Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2014 films: Noah, Maleficent, and The Legend of Hercules

Made in 2014 and probably overlooked in 2015—here are three entries for Tuesday’s Overlooked Films, Audio and Video at Todd Mason’s blog Sweet Freedom.

I spent last weekend watching the concluding parts of three mythological and adventure films on cable and decided I'd wasted my time, as it so happens when you’re too lazy to do anything else and sit down and watch all sorts of films on television.

The first of these was Noah directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan). Russell Crowe plays Noah and lives with his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), their three boys, and an adopted girl (Emma Watson). As the eponymous title suggests, Noah is chosen by the creator to build an ark for his family and the animal kingdom before god unleashes a terrifying flood and wipes out all civilisation on earth. The film is mildly entertaining. But it has a lot of special effects, like the Watchers, fallen angels who have assumed the form of the many-armed giant stone creatures who protect Noah and his ark from humans led by a villainous king. 

Russell Crowe's Noah is an intense and a more serious version of Steve Carell's Evan Almighty (2007). Both build an ark and that's pretty much it. However, I will say this much—Crowe can pull off any role.

I think Angelina Jolie is one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood and I found her no more inspiring in Maleficent than I did in her other films. Robert Stromberg directs this adventure film that is little more than a twist in the tale of Sleeping Beauty. The last half-hour I saw was unexciting, though I like the way the word ‘maleficent’ rolls off the tongue.

The Legend of Hercules, made by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger), retells the origins of Hercules (Kellan Lutz), the mythical Greek warrior. The half god-half man is forced into exile and slavery by King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), his stepfather, and Prince Iphicles (Liam Garrigan), his stepbrother. In scenes reminiscent of Gladiator (2000), Hercules must fight his way through the arena before he can avenge his mother’s death and regain his kingdom from the evil king. In his quest Hercules receives divine help from his father, Zeus, the supreme Greek god. I didn’t find Kellan Lutz (Twilight series) very convincing as Hercules but the film has plenty of sword-and-spear action.

Have you seen any of these films? If yes, what did you think of them?


  1. Thanks for your candid views, Prashant. I'll be honest myself: I've never been an Angelina Jolie fan. I have enjoyed Crowe in some of his roles, though. I've not seen those particular films, mostly because most people I know have had the same reaction you have to them. Certainly I wouldn't have paid cinema prices for them...

  2. I saw NOAH but didn't much like it either. I am not a Crowe fan because of his personal life. I can't seem to separate the two.

  3. I saw Noah and Maleficient. Both were OK. I probably liked Noah a bit more. Neither one will go on my list of favorite films.

  4. Haven't seen any of these. I must of heard of them but they did not stick in my mind. Too many other movies I would rather watch. I am glad you gave me a taste of each of these.

  5. I have only seen Noah - a month or two ago. I'm no longer a big fan of Crowe - same reasons as Patti, I would say, I do like Ray Winstone though.

    I think I'd have more fun sticking pins in my eyes than watching the other 2 films.

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