Tag Archives: Logan Lerman

Review: Noah

Noah PosterWhen you’ve got Darren Aronofsky bringing a Biblical tale to screen, expectations are through the roof. “Noah” may not meet those expectations, but the film does nestle in just a few notches below. It isn’t a mind-blowing epic, but it’s certainly a riveting and worthy retelling of this story.

The film kicks off with a partial recap of creation, specifically what went down with Adam and Eve, and what became of their children, Cain, Abel and Seth. From there we cut to one of Seth’s descendant’s, Noah (Dakota Goyo), who’s just a boy at the time, but watches his father murdered right before his eyes. Years later, Noah (Russell Crowe) has a wife, Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), and three boys of his own, Shem, Ham and Japheth. After having a vision of man’s demise, Noah sets out to save the innocent – the animals – with the help of his family and The Watchers while Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone) and his followers threaten to claim their work, the ark.

As someone with limited knowledge of scripture, Aronofsky had a significant amount of breathing room with this and he didn’t let an inch of it go to waste. Whereas early memories of Noah’s ark involve a lecture or pages in a book, Aronofsky’s take is cinematic through and through. The performances are bold and engaging, most visuals are downright stunning, and they’re both featured within the context of an enthralling narrative. However, even though Aronofsky does deliver a worthy big screen Bible story, by going big in certain respects, he is forced to tiptoe around a number of potential pitfalls.

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Interview: Stuck In Love’s Nat Wolff & Liana Liberato

Stuck_in_LoveSometimes it’s awkward playing dance video games with Jennifer Connelly and often it’s a little uncomfortable to reenact your director’s first time, but when you’ve got strong talent and a good friend by your side, you end up with charming and poignant material like Nat Wolff and Liana Liberato did with “Stuck In Love.”

Wolff leads as Rusty, the son of a prominent writer (Greg Kinnear) and the brother of a budding young talent (Lily Collins) on the verge of having her first book published. Rusty wants to be a writer too, but what’s a writer without a life full of experiences? So Rusty decides to take a risk, defy the high school social ladder, and win over the girl of his dreams, Kate (Liana Liberato).

With “Stuck In Love” due for a limited release on July 5th, Wolff and Liberato took the time to sit down and run through the challenges and highlights of making the film. We cover what it’s like working with an esteemed co-cast, crying on cue and the pressure of portraying real people in addition to a nice dose of sarcasm and a sense of what happens when Nat Wolff unleashes his inner Alex Wolff. Check it all out for yourself in the video interview below.

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Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

While I’ve still yet to give it a read, apparently “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” has roots in some excellent source material. Sure, seeing the movie before reading the book takes away the opportunity to imagine the characters as I perceive them, but the casting for this film is so pitch perfect, there’s no one I’d rather spend more time with than Logan Lerman’s Charlie, Ezra Miller’s Patrick and Emma Watson’s Sam.

Life isn’t easy for Charlie. Not only does he have a rather dark past, but he’s starting high school and doesn’t have a single friend there. However, one night at a football game, on a whim, Charlie approaches Patrick, a senior from his woodshop class with a tendency to cause trouble, as he makes no effort to restrain his big personality. Patrick introduces Charlie to his stepsister, Sam, and the two immediately take a liking to him, bringing Charlie into their circle of friends and finally making him feel accepted.

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is oozing with high school clichés and has quite a bit of tacky dialogue, but, for the most part, it works in the film’s favor. The innocence of the material matches Charlie’s naivety and the combination creates this overwhelmingly sweet and seemingly harmless environment. However, then drugs, alcohol and some really disturbing scenarios juxtapose that innocence, making “Perks” much more than any other face value high school drama.

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Daring to Dream: Casting ‘The Hunger Games’ Movie

I’ve never been a big reader, but in the last few years picked up the hobby of reading books being adapted to film. Even after plowing through dozens, I still never understood the people who would willingly sit all day, flipping pages until they finished an entire book. You know, like the Harry Potter fans. I enjoyed reading, but never felt desperate to see what happens next in exchange for food, sleep or just time to zone out – until I picked up The Hunger Games.

Suzanne Collin‘s book is hands down, the most fantastic piece I’ve ever read. Not only did I read obsessively only stopping to get some work done, but I actually was compelled to read it again, a first for me, and then go on to do the same with the sequel, Catching Fire. You’ll be hooked from the very first page of the soon-to-be three-book series, when you meet the story’s hero, Katniss Everdeen. She lives in Panem, the country formed after the destruction of North America. It consists of the wealthy Capitol and 12 districts, the last of which Katniss calls home. Once every year, each district must select two residents, one boy and one girl both between the ages of 12 and 18, and send them to the Captiol to compete in the Hunger Games, a televised battle to the death.

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Interview: Chris Columbus And The Cast Of Percy Jackson

After having seen Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, I was somewhat disappointed upon reaching the top of the Empire State building and not finding a doorway to Olympus. I may not have met Zeus, Poseidon and Athena, but I was lucky enough to be in the presence director Chris Columbus and stars Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario and Pierce Brosnan.

Based on the popular fantasy book by Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief tells the story of Percy Jackson, an average teenager who finds out he’s the son of Poseidon. After receiving guidance from the wise Centaur Chiron, Percy teams up with his protector Grover and Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, to rescue his mother and identify the individual who stole Zeus’ coveted lightning bolt. The trio goes on a cross-country adventure battling any ungodly creature in their way.

Columbus has the stellar source material and the impressive cast, but the question remains; did he kick off a franchise with the potential to follow in Harry Potter’s footsteps. My hopes are high, but only time will tell. What I can say for sure is that if The Lighting Thief does spawn a film series, Columbus will have a team of humble and hardworking actors in his company.

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Interview: Percy Jackson’s Alexandra Daddario

Since she signed on to play Annabeth, Chase Alexandra Daddario’s world has become as much of a fantasy as the world of Percy Jackson & The Olympians. She was lucky enough to get a role in All My Children back in 2002, but other jobs didn’t come easily. Now, not only does Daddario have a potential franchise at her feet, but she’s being offered other films as well.

In The Lightning Thief, Daddario plays Annabeth, the daughter of Athena and a skilled warrior. She accompanies Percy on his mission to travel to the Underworld and rescue his mother. Check out what Daddario told me about her audition process, how she learned to kick ass Annabeth-style, her hopes for the future and more.

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Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The weight of the world is on Logan Lerman’s shoulders. Not only is he expected to become the next Daniel Radcliff, he literally has to save the planet by keeping the gods from going to war in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Will Lerman save mankind and lead the Percy Jackson team to franchise glory as hoped? You’ll have to see the film to find the answer to the former, but the odds are in his favor in terms of the latter.

Percy Jackson (Lerman) is an average kid. He isn’t the greatest student but finds solace in being in the swimming pool and hanging out with his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson). While his classmates are busy learning about Greek mythology, Percy is thrown directly into it when he finds out that he’s the son of Poseidon (Kevin McKidd). Making matters even more complex, Percy is being blamed for committing the unthinkable, stealing Zeus’ (Sean Bean) coveted lightning bolt. Not only does Percy have to meet Zeus’ deadline for returning the bolt, but he’s also got to evade the forces of Hades (Steve Coogan), who wants the power of the bolt for himself.

Percy ventures off to Camp Half Blood, a training facility for young demigods. There he hones his powers prior to heading out to take care of business. He’s joined by Grover, who happens to be a Satyr assigned to protect Percy, and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), the daughter of Athena and a skilled warrior. The trio travels across the country battling Medusa (Uma Thurman), a nasty Hydra and any other evil force that comes their way in order to identify the true lightning thief and return the powerful weapon to its rightful owner.

The only person incapable of enjoying this premise is an individual lacking an imagination. Percy Jackson will appeal to kids and adults alike. Younger audiences will be spellbound by out-of-this-world creatures, mystical powers and charming characters while more mature crowds will take a liking to the famous faces and having the chance to feel like a kid again.

The three main characters are immensely likable. Lerman has a commanding presence with an innate likeability. He successfully makes Percy transition from a vulnerable teenager into a powerful hero. Jackson’s Grover makes for the perfect sidekick. The majorities of his jokes are targeted towards the youngsters in the crowd, but will undeniably evoke a few innocent giggles from older moviegoers. Annabeth is the ultimate female hero. She’s confident, tough and has an unspoken influence over Percy. Unfortunately, she is a rather flat character, but at no fault of Daddario’s. Hopefully if Percy Jackson spawns a sequel, more attention will be payed to unveiling additional layers of Annabeth.

Of the seasoned veterans Coogan makes the biggest impression. Unlike his fellow gods, he ditches the typical Greek garb for something humorously gothic spitting out a few jokes at the outfit’s expense. On the other hand, Uma Thurman’s Medusa is unintentionally comical. The CGI snake hair doesn’t quite work and is more of a caricature.

This is a problem that plagues a number of scenes in the film. Some of the special effects are impressive, particularly Grover and Chiron’s lower bodies, but others don’t seem to have been taken seriously enough. The film has a campy and cartoonish undertone, but some of the CGI takes it a step too far and ends up looking sloppy. The opening scene is particularly hard to digest.

Stylistically, Percy Jackson is very similar to Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant. I immensely enjoyed Cirque du Freak, so that’s 110% a compliment. Percy Jackson’s leg up on the vampire film comes from its deeper meaning. Cirque is all fun and games while Percy Jackson has just enough weightiness to make it a good film rather than just a novelty. Percy Jackson is no Harry Potter, but if you let your inner child loose, offers an extraordinary adventure that moviegoers of any age can enjoy.

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