In The Picture: Movie Reviews – by Nadine

This week’s reviews: The Grey, 21 Jump Street, Rock of Ages.


The Grey is an American thriller film starring Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo and Dermot Mulroney. The film is based on a short story known as Ghost Walker which was written by Ian MacKenzie.

The story is cast in Alaska where John Ottway works. His job is to kill the wolves that threaten the oil drilling team. Upon completing the job, the team and Ottway head home on a plane that crashes in a blizzard.

Ottway being a canny hunter sets all the survivors to the task of collecting materials for fire and survival. His efforts are however construed as they party is constantly attacked by a pack of vicious wolves. Assuming that they are most likely within the wolves’ territory he encourages the team to move away from the plane wreck onto the nearby woods.

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Okay, I was very young when the original 21 Jump Street was featured on TV. I can however still remember this, as Johnny Depp became one of my favourite actors.

And it’s because of that, that I have very diplomatic opinion on this latest action comedy that stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. While I loved the idea of these two actors together, I even liked some of the phrases and scenes (two strapping) – I didn’t like how the movie just became all crazy towards the end.

Yes I know it was meant for teens and therefore the current day’s lingo but it just seemed a bit over the top. The fact that Johnny played a part (very tiny and weird part) within the movie actually just screwed it up towards the end. Whilst I still thrived on vouching for everyone (irrespective of my husband’s rants) I had to agree. My 11 year old son loved it, which meant it was absolutely not meant for my level and I had to give up my futile effort of support.

So if you are younger than I am and you didn’t have a love for the original series – you are bounded to love this movie. However if you are a fan of the original, I’m sure you would share my opinion which is that it was “okay”.

For those who don’t know what it’s about, the plot is based on two high school classmates who meet up at the police academy. The pair of underachieving cops are sent to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring. As grown-up’s they fulfill the opposite rolls of what they resented whilst they were in school. Morton (Played by Jonah Hill) used to be a nerd and Greg (Played by Channing Tatum) used to be a jock. Now, on the job they however swap character traits.

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If you have a love for musical movies and a special place for legendary rock – Rock of Ages is definitely the movie to watch. I love the way Hollywood is currently preserving old music in modern takes. They are keeping it young, harbouring it for generations to come.

The movie cast consists of Diego Bonito; Julienna Hough (Also played in Footloose); Tom Cruise; Alec Baldwin; Russel Brand; Mary J Blige; Catherine Zeta Jones and so many more (and yes, surprisingly enough they all happen to be able to sing.)

For those that haven’t seen it and don’t know the plot: Rock of Ages is a musical comedy film that is an adaptation on the 2006 Rock Jukebox Broadway musical. It’s about a lady (Sherrie Christian) that travels from Oklahoma to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a famous singer. Her dreams are however shortly lived as her suitcase containing all her favourite records are stolen shortly after her arrival. Drew Baily ( Diego Boneta) happens to be close by and tries to assist her. Understanding Sherrie’s predicament he organises her a job at the club where he works.

The club however is threatening to close due to unpaid taxes. Dennis (Alec Baldwin) and Lonny (Russell Brand) try to find ways to keep the club alive in order to preserve their love for Rock and Roll. They envision doing so by holding a Tracey Jackson (played by Tom Cruise) concert. Their efforts are however dampened since Tracey is never on time and they are faced with religious protests brought forth by Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta Jones) the upcoming mayors’ wife. Throughout the storyline, Sherrie and Drew’s’ love progresses and quickly takes a turn for the worse even though they still carry the infatuation for music.

Life in the fast lane causes both star crossed lovers to stray onto different paths. Stacey Jackson on the other hand decides to have a benefit concert on behalf of the club. Proceeds will go towards preserving the clubs culture and announcing his resignation from his band Arsenal.

The movie shows off oldies like – Hit me with your best shot; Waiting for a girl like you; More than words; Wanted dead or alive; I want to know what love is ; Pour some sugar on me ; I wanna Rock; Shadows of the night ; We built this city and Don’t stop believing.

It has some very sharp yet surprising comedy (What else could one expect with Russel Brand) and is layered with sexiness and dance. For the ladies out there – if you don’t find Tom singing “Pour some sugar on me,” sassy (I mean goodness for a 50 year old he looks divine); I dare say that you have never lived.

The movie left me wanting to give up my job, jump into a pair of leathers and get a tattoo.

Rock on.


About Octarine Valur

Octarine Valur - Founder: House Valur, South African Vampyre Community, South African Vampi(y)re Alliance (SAVA), SA Vampyre news (SAVN). View all posts by Octarine Valur

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