Movie for the Weekend of April 26, 2015

I only watched 2 movies this weekend. One I sat down and watched with my wife, the other, an independent type deal, I watched in the background while working on something else. First up:

Left Behind (2014) – This is the big main stream attempt to bring the Left Behind series to the masses. Starring Nicholas Cage, Lea Thompson, Chad Michael Murray and Jordan Sparks are the big names I recognize in the cast list and the only ones I’ll list here. But if you are familiar with the Left Behind series of books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, this is the second time an adaption of the material has been attempted. It’s the first time it’s been attempted with big name actors attached (well, aside from Kirk Cameron, of course in the original film series).

Left Behind follows the chaos that takes place after The Rapture occurs. It follows the people … wait for it … left behind … when their family members, friends and nearly all the children in the world vanish in the blink of an eye. If you aren’t familiar with the source material – or the original movies – I’m really not sure how you’d take this film. My wife seemed interested enough, asking a few questions here and there about the characters, and over all she watched it all the way through. As for me, knowing the original books and the movies, I thought it struck a very slow paced and shaky chord that probably turned most viewers off. The material itself is something that requires background, internal monologues by the characters and details that only an author can contribute in the paragraphs of a novel. In short, I don’t think any film adaption can do this title justice. Even the acting is wooden and stale, and that’s saying something considering Nic Cage is one of the leads.

If you are just a Nicholas Cage fan, or a fan of Left Behind, go ahead and watch it – you’ll understand it more than a new comer who may be left frustrated by the ending, which is just left hanging. If you’re not a fan of the material, I honestly can’t say I recommend it, which is sad because the world does need – in my opinion – more material like this.

Now if they’d just make a decent television series that aired on public broadcast (ABC, CBS, NBC, etc) that everyone could tune in to with the family.

The second movie I tuned in to the background is a coming of age tale.

Night Has Settled – also a 2014 film, this follows the main character, Oliver Nicholas, at the age of 13. He faces the realities of family, love, death, friendship and sex as he learns that things change, people grow and people leave us. From what I could tell, the acting is solid, the story was actually pretty good and while there may be some forced moments in there, it’s still a good movie to watch if you’re into these types of tales. I’d recommend it.

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