Posts Tagged ‘SOUL SURFER:’

From Blue Crush to Lawrence of Arabia: Hot movies to warm yourself by this winter

crushBy Richard Crouse & Mark Breslin Reel Guys – Metro Canada

Synopsis: The Reel Guys are hardy Canadians, but with the sub-zero weather we’ve been having lately even the most robust Canuck deserves a snow day. With that in mind, the Reel Guys have put away their long underwear, ear muffs and dignity and decided to stay home. At the risk of earning ridicule from our friends in Saskatchewan and other places where it regularly gets frigid, here are our ideas for movies to take your mind off the deep freeze. Close the drapes, turn up the heat and enjoy…

Richard: Spring Breakers was shot in St. Petersburg, Florida, so expect lots of beach shots, beautiful sunsets and a young cast — featuring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine—stripped down to clothing that would cause instant frost bite for those us of living in the Great White North these days. The story of the illegal way they try to make money for spring break plays more like a wild music video than traditional film, but there’s no denying the heat that comes off the screen.


MB: Summer camp? I’m with you on the Canadian classic Meatballs, with the great Bill Murray. But there’s another counter-intuitive way to go here, Richard. And that is to watch movies that depict a world so hot, you’ll be wishing for some refreshing snowflakes. Just put on the great Lawrence of Arabia. You’ll want to make a snowman by the second hour. Or Gus Van Sant’s Gerry or Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point, both of which take place in literal and existential deserts. Dune would probably work too, although I’ve never met anyone who could watch it all the way through.

RC: Talk about flipping from one extreme to the other. I’ll stick with a more moderate climate for my last pick. Under the Tuscan Sun is a hot love story starring Diane Lane set in moderate, but enjoyable temperatures.

MB: A lovely movie. But let’s not forget the old standby: The Yule Log, burning brightly on DVD. Not much of a cast, the acting is wooden, but the dialogue crackles!


Soul-Surfer-PHOTO_13325106_190205_30776885_ap“Soul Surfer,” based on the inspirational life story of Bethany Hamilton, plays like an ad for the Hawaiian Tourist Bureau… right up to the point where young Bethany gets her arm chewed off by a rogue shark. But “Jaws,” this ain’t. “Soul Surfer” sees AnnaSophia “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Robb play Hamilton, an award winning surfer who survived a shark attack and went on to become the Venus de Milo of the surfing world, competing professionally and winning the Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award.

A well intentioned movie like this is hard to be cynical about but just because a movie is made with good intentions doesn’t mean it’s a good movie. Sure, it’s filled with strong messages about the importance of friends, family and faith but they are covered in a thick layer of treacle that would make even the producers of the overly-earnest “After School Specials” blush. Inspirational is one thing. Feel good is another. Then there’s “Soul Surfer,” set in a world where a shark attack is a teachable moment and it’s possible to have a poignant scene with a ukulele.

Hamilton’s story is inspirational and surely deserves a better movie than this. Perhaps a documentary would have spared us the trite dialogue, clichéd near-death sequence complete with bright white lights and stirring liturgical music and passé villain who we’re supposed to know is bad because she’s the only girl with dark hair in a sea of blondes. But that’s the kind of movie this is, literal to a fault.