In 605 B.C. Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians and many of their best young men were taken into captivity, including Daniel. Daniel was taken to Babylon to serve it. As Powerful ... See full summary »
Years after he fought his way out of an inescapable prison, Ray Breslin has organized a new top-notch security force. But when one of his team members goes missing, Breslin must return to the hell he once escaped from.
Steven C. Miller
12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.
A Hebrew with an unusual gift of strength must respond properly to the call of God on his life in order to lead his people out of enslavement. After his youthful ambition leads to a tragic marriage, his acts of revenge thrust him into direct conflict with the Philistine army. As his brother mounts a tribal rebellion, only Samson's relationship with a Philistine seductress and his final surrender - both to the Philistines and to God - turns imprisonment and blindness into final victory.Written by
Biblical movies are hot topic films that often don't get their fair reviews, wedged between two extremes that are unrelenting. While there have been some amazing films to capture the lessons of the Lord, there are others that fall short of the glory. This weekend, another attempt to bring the stories to visual splendor this time focusing on the tale of Samson and Delilah. You may not have seen the trailers, but the teaser did not hold much promise for this film, with a Taylor Lautner look alike taking center screen amidst a lot of extras. Still, yours truly hits another round of movies to bring you another review. Does this film succeed or is it just bleeding your pockets dry? Let's get started on the analysis, shall we?
Orchestra work: Not the most unique or creative, but the orchestra work in Samson brings an emotional curb to the scene or sequence it is covering. The booming cannons, the sharp trumpets blaring honorably, and the deep drums all combine to form a symphony that mirrors the ferocity of Samson's strength. Without this track, the edge portrayed in the trailer would not be there.
Biblical Look: Okay, okay I'm drawing straw here, but the setting looked like a decent representation of old world towns, palaces, and shacks. Samson's cast have a bountiful environment to work in, from dried up forests, to the open desert plains. The shots are beautiful, and some of the made-up settings look legitimate, especially the outside shots of the CGI built palaces. A nice start, but the budget needed to be expanded to really clean up the rougher edges of the setting.
The Biblical Message: In these types of movies, one strives to learn the Lord's lessons, perhaps as a means to reconnect with their spiritual side. Samson manages to do this, using both the narratives and physical prowess scenes to help spread the message of going to God. The latter in particular are very pronounced prayers, going out of the way to dramatize the kneeling and shut eyes as he communicates with God. This usually follows with some super hero feats, from bashing a person's rib cage in with a punch or pushing open a gate that has no chance of opening. Combined with the music, church goers will love seeing the power of God manifest in Samson's deeds.
Unpolished Acting/Writing: One major problem with Samson is that much of the movie feels unfinished, unpolished, and quite weak. Many of the characters act at one extreme or the other, with many of the performances almost feeling like they were uninterested in the part. When dramatic moments hit, the prolonged speeches, and acts of passion were on the other end of the spectrum, very melodramatic and a little cheesy. I can't pinpoint if this is due to the writing, the direction, or something else, but it didn't meet the Oscar quality they might have been shooting for.
Rushed Story: The acting can be stomached, but the story, well that is where things really take a dive. Samson's tale is epic, and one would hope to see that legendary story have all the meaning and development it needed. Sadly, this film failed to bring the story to full light. All the major points are covered, but much of it is a rushed, diluted mess that lacks suspense, quality, or even satisfaction. Character deaths happen in the blink of an eye, punishments lack the movie magic to actually make you feel the pain in your heart and given the writing/acting...things don't feel believable in the performance. Like many movies, they seemed to try and cram everything in to a short run time and it didn't work for me.
The Action: Okay, seeing a Hebrew take on corrupt, pigheaded soldiers, is always satisfying given the portrayal of bad guys in Hollywood. However, Samson's strength falters not in terms of power, but in terms of quality in the fight scenes itself. Much of the movie is just the well-toned body of Taylor James being framed in a close up, with him performing the same, habitual punch/bash over and over again. Oh yeah, they have a little mix up, but it's nothing impressive as it resorts back to the usual bashing before seeing a shot of a poor extra pretending to die. Sword play is lacking, suspense again is gone, and even the main bad guys feel weak in terms of epic villainy and thrilling fights. Like much of this movie, they cut corners on this aspect and it didn't pay off.
The legendary story of Samson is an epic one about the power of God and filled with morals about trusting the Almighty one with your life. Sadly, this film was not able to glorify it the way it needed to be. Whether it is due to a limited budget, a short time limit, or rookie status, the movie cut too many corners as they tried to cram everything they could into a short time frame. Mediocre acting, rushed story, and lackluster action more than overshadow the visuals and message in this movie, setting another example of how Hollywood doesn't necessarily mean quality. So, while the spiritual power is good, Robbie recommends skipping this installment at least until RedBox that is... and I can only marginally recommend this.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 4.0
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