Loosely based on the graphic novel Hellraiser, Constantine follows the life of John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) a man with limited time on this earth due to his constant chain smoking, and a determination to work his way back into heaven by killing demons that have crossed our earthly plain, since he will be denied access because of a suicide attempt he made as a child. Since Constantine is based on Catholic doctrine, suicide is a mortal sin and therefore guarantees you a one way trip to hell, one Constantine is desperately seeking to avoid.
The movie, for the most part, works. No one has ever argued that Keanu is a great actor but Constantine is a vehicle that is suited to his particular talents: brooding and looking confused. High on action and low on dialogue, it's a great role for a guy who has made his career playing such characters.
Also the story itself is engaging. Who doesn't like a little heaven and hell, angels and demons battling it out for the souls of humanity. Add to that an everyman kind of guy who isn't so devout, is fighting for the good side but has ulterior motives. You like John Constantine because he is flawed. He is the regular Joe who finds himself in some extraordinary situations and ultimately does some great things, albeit for selfish reasons.
Constantine has one of the best opening sequences you can ask for in a movie and the special effects are realistic and believable, if occasionally slightly over the top. The supporting cast more then makes up for Reeves lackluster acting as they all give pretty good performances: from Djimon Hansu as Midnight an otherworldly figure who owns a club where the demons can come and rest to Gavin Rossdale as Beezlebub, Satan's right hand man and John Constantine's arch Nemesis and Shia LeBouf as Jake Constantine's young and bothersome apprentice, Chas. They were all fun to watch.
The problems with the movie come after you've left the theatre. You begin to realize that much of what you saw just didn't make any sense, that you have more questions then answers and that the holes in the plot are so gaping that you wonder how did you mange to miss them to begin with? The answer is simple: lots of action, loud music and killer graphics when done properly, can mask an underdeveloped plot most days of the week.
Bottom line, if you're a Keanu Reeves fan or you enjoy the Christian based action genre then this movie is for you. If not, stay home I'm sure they'll be something good on cable.
Tamika Johnson is a freelance writer and owner of PrologueReviews.com. To read more articles by Tamika and to recieve FREE tips on becoming a successful writer visit www.prologuereviews.com">http://www.prologuereviews.com
Polish author Olga Tokarczuk won the £50,000 (about $67,170) Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, for her novel of linked fragments, Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft. The cash award is divided equally between author and translator, who also both receive £1,000 for being shortlisted.
Philip Roth, whose novel American Pastoral won a Pulitzer in 1998 but who was best-known for the controversial and explicit 1969 Portnoy's Complaint, has died at age 85.
Writing in The Washington Post, author and professor Sandra Beasley asks, "Do we continue to teach the work of people we now suspect of behaving unethically or abusively? ... As a reader, I'm devastated. As a teacher, I've got decisions to make..."
The romance-focused magazine Romantic Times, along with the RT Book Reviews, RT VIP Salon and RT Booklovers Convention brands, is shutting down after 37 years. The closure is effective immediately, and though the RT website will remain up for another year or so, there will be no new content in the future.
Philip Pullman has been named author of the year at the British Book Awards for his "outstanding" success.
The children's author was recognized after returning to the world of his Dark Materials with La Belle Sauvage last year. Awards organizers described Pullman as a "true one-off".
Gail Honeyman won book of the year for her best-selling debut Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Judges said it was "brilliantly written" and "the complete package".
Tom Wolfe, author of notable works such as The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, has died aged 88. In addition to his books, he was a pioneer of New Journalism, which developed in the 1960s and 1970s and involved writing from a subjective perspective as opposed to more traditional objective journalism. He was also known for coining phrases such as "radical chic" and "the me decade".
Last week, Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the US, saw its stock price plunge nearly 8% just days after the New York Times published an editorial calling for the chain to be saved. "It's depressing to imagine that more than 600 Barnes & Noble stores might simply disappear," wrote columnist David Leonhardt. "But the death of Barnes & Noble is now plausible."
Author Jojo Moyes has pledged to save the British adult literacy program Quick Reads from closure by funding it for the next three years. She says she was "completely dumbfounded" on learning of the scheme's closure and is believed to have donated around £360,000 (well over US$500,000) to help it continue.
"Having written a Quick Reads myself [Paris for One, in 2015] and spoken to readers who had benefited from the scheme, I knew how important it was," she told The Bookseller. "It is relatively low cost and loved by authors, publishers and readers. At a time when libraries are ever more endangered, it seemed a completely regressive move to lose Quick Reads."
The Pulitzer Prize board has opened an independent review of sexual misconduct allegations against the award-winning novelist Junot Díaz, who is stepping down as chairman, the board said on Thursday.
"Mr. Díaz said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully with it," the Pulitzer board said in a statement.
Mr. Díaz, who joined the board in 2010, was elevated to chairman last month, according to the organization. It said that Mr. Díaz asked to relinquish his role and that he would remain a part of the body.
Viet Thanh Nguyen argues that books by immigrants, foreigners and minorities don't diminish the 'classic' curriculum. They enhance it....
...We must read Shakespeare and authors who are women, Arab, Muslim, queer. Most of the world is neither white nor European, and the United States may be a majority-minority country by mid-century. White people will gain more by embracing this reality rather than fighting it. As for literature, the mind-set that turns the canon into a bunker in order to defend one dialect of English is the same mind-set that closes borders, enacts tariffs and declares trade wars to protect its precious commodities and its besieged whiteness. But literature, like the economy, withers when it closes itself off from the world. The world is coming anyway. It demands that we know ourselves and the Other...