Movie Monday – The Raid: Redemption, Get the Gringo, ParaNorman

Wow, The Raid was brutal. It is an Indonesian martial art-action film. With subtitles. What a pain. It’s already hard to track the fast-paced action and trying to read subtitles at the same time can really be challenging. It’s a pretty simple plot of a mobster who controls an apartment building, a SWAT team that attempts to raid and clean out the building, only to become trapped and fighting for their lives. The film is jam-packed with action and fight scenes. One went on so long I actually said out loud, “Just die already!” The movie is done well. I can’t say anything bad about it really. It was just too much for me. I felt exhausted just watching and often had to look away because I just couldn’t watch one more person getting hacked with a machete. It is intensely violent. And it’s not the kind of movie you really walk away from saying, “OMG, that was awesome!” However, we both appreciated the choreography and martial arts skills displayed.

Get the Gringo is unique and interesting. I saw a preview when it was at the theater and I really thought it looked like a dumb idea. Who cares about a criminal that jumps the US/Mexican border to be arrested and jailed in Mexico? But there’s more to it that. Unfortunately, it also has subtitles. I couldn’t believe our luck. Two in one week. Aside from that, and the frustrating fact that the font and color were actually hard to read, it’s a good film. It’s gritty. It reminds me of Gran Torino, which was excellent if you haven’t seen it. Get the Gringo is also violent but not overbearingly so. Definitely not a kids movie but a good adult movie. I haven’t seen Mel Gibson in anything in a long time; I was impressed with this performance.

For a (seemingly) lighter fare, we also watched ParaNorman at the theater. It’s a little weird. The animation is phenomenal. The story on the other hand is at times a little creepy and morbid. Odd for a kid’s movie but like so many “kid’s” movie these days, there is a blend of kid/adult humor to allow the movie to appeal to both audiences. I think that young kids (which there were quite a few in our theater) wouldn’t quite understand some of the more adult ideas (a young witch put to death by her community) but even so, I find that a little, I don’t know, bothersome? The message of the story is not to persecute something or someone because of your fear due to lack of understanding. But the moral is told through a lens that kids can relate to – young boy (Norman) is shunned by his peers and community for being able to see and talk to dead people, until his ability to do so is the only way to save the town from a centuries-old curse. It’s an interesting movie.

Ever notice how ‘What the hell’ is always the right answer?
~ Marilyn Monroe

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