Thought this was going to be a sequel but it's not. Not a prequel either. Rather, it runs concurrently to the timeline of the original movie. While Leonidas and his Spartans are trying to keep the Persians from getting through that pass, this movie focuses on Themistokles leading the Athenians against the invading Persian force in the naval theatre.
Same template as the first movie. The Athenians are ridiculously outnumbered and rely on superior tactics; instead of Xerxes as the main badass villain you have that brutal naval commander chick played by Eva Green. No surprises but you get what you came for.
Namely gratuitous violence, lots of slo-mo, etc. etc.
They need to update more frequently. They probably have some good movies on there, but I feel like the ones worth seeing I've already seen, so I stopped looking. I mostly use it for TV now.
Yeah I only use it to try out tv shows. I started watching that show "Scandal". Watched like 6 episodes in a row. Show is pretty good. People say they're hidden gems movie wise on Netflix, but I don't have the time to find them.
Doesn't have the same epic scope as the LotR trilogy, but the same movie-making craftsmanship is accounted for. It's a bit slow and uneventful at times; I occasionally grew a little impatient with it.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Much more action-packed than the prior movie, and as such it didn't feel as long. The entire like 45 minute sequence with the dragon was badass; I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Almost as good as the worst LotR movie(The Two Towers). This one felt like more of a true adventure, whereas the first one felt more like dwarves just walking around bemoaning shit.
I've always had a bit of a soft spot in my heart for Dean Koontz. He was the first horror/spooky/supernatural writer I really latched onto as a kid(not Stephen King like most people). I know he's not taken very seriously amongst the literary community, and I can understand why. He's a very formulaic writer. The protagonist is always this blue-collar regular dude with a strong moral compass who puts his life on the line despite impossible odds, the villains tend to be completely batshit insane/part of some evil shadow organization and/or a supranatural evil, and there's always a female love interest who manages to be smart, wise, artistic, down-to-earth, and yet at the same time ravishingly beautiful.
Yet because of that connection from my childhood I still have an interest in a lot of his stuff, even if it means I have to occasionally, and disappointingly, wade through some of his stinkers.
Now, about the movie. Willem Dafoe is the most recognizable actor(he plays the sheriff dude), but the starring role is played by that Russian navigator guy from the recent Star Trek movies.
It's about a guy who can see ghosts, and they tend to want him to tie up some loose ends for them. Or bring their killer to justice, that sort of thing. They can't speak to him; it's non-verbal type communication. And he, being the stand-up guy he is, helps them. Sometimes he sees what he refers to as "bodaks", malevolent spirits that show up when some bad shit is going to go down. He sees their presence as a harbinger of said bad shit to come and tries to prevent whatever's going to happen through supernatural detective work.
They skip a bunch of stuff from the book and pretty much jump right into what leads to the climax. Which unfortunately means they omitted one of the most interesting aspects of the book -- his relationship with Ghost Elvis. Oh well. The movie has a very distinct "made for TV" or "straight-to-DVD" quality to it, and outside of Dafoe and Star Trek guy the acting isn't...good. But it's still a fairly charming flick with some heart underneath that "I better change the channel now" veneer. Decent special effects too. And like the book, it punched me in the feels.