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
The term "thought provoking" is over-used but that does describe eighth grader Melissa Shang's opinion piece in the New York Times in which she asks why "there are very few stories about kids in wheelchairs, and there are even fewer with a disabled person who is cheerful and happy." Her powerful article questions why "disability is always seen as a misfortune, and disabled characters are simply opportunities to demonstrate the kindness of the able-bodied protagonists."
Tracy K. Smith has been named the 22nd poet laureate of the United States. Smith's poetry has won her such top awards in her field as the James Laughlin Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, and, for her 2011 collection Life on Mars, the Pulitzer Prize.
For many years, the publishing industry's major annual event, BookExpo, was aimed at publishing insiders only. A few years ago, organizers ReedPOP, started experimenting with allowing in more readers, which morphed into a separate one-day event in 2014 called BookCon which immediately followed BookExpo. In 2015, BookCon moved to two days; then in 2016 back to one day.
This year, BookExpo's show floor was reduced from three days to two and BookCon's expanded back to two days. While engaging with fans is seen as positive by many in the publishing industry, the shows' continuing evolution is causing headaches for some, particularly the smaller, specialized publishers who wished to exhibit at BookExpo but not BookCon and thus found themselves relegated to a separate exhibit area at the Javits Center in New York.
An Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum opened in Springfield, MA last weekend. Springfield is the home town of Theodor Geisel better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss - who wrote and illustrated dozens of rhyming children's books including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. The museum features interactive exhibits, artwork never before displayed publicly and explains how his childhood experiences in the city about 90 miles west of Boston shaped his work.
Helen Dunmore has died aged 64 of cancer. She authored 12 novels, three books of short stories, numerous books for young adults and children and 11 collections of poetry.
She was also Chair of the Society of Authors until shortly before her death, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lived in Cliftonwood, Bristol the setting for her poignant last novel, Birdcage Walk (published in the UK earlier this year and due to publish in the US on August 1). Although she knew she was dying only at the editing stage she suggests, in an afterword, that she must have known subliminally because the novel was "full of a sharper light, rather as a landscape becomes brilliantly distinct in the last sunlight before a storm".
On Monday, the Nobel Foundation released Bob Dylan's lecture (which he gave just shy of the 6 month deadline in order to receive the award and cash prize of US$900,000. In his 27 minute speech, Dylan explored the topic that was on many people's minds when he was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, can song lyrics be literature?
"The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent," Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, wrote in a blog post. "Now that the Lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close."
Listen to the speech
The U.S. Postal Service is honoring Henry David Thoreau (b. July 12, 1817) during the bicentennial year of his birth with a Forever Stamp. A first-day-issue stamp dedication ceremony took place last week at the the Walden Pond State Reservation Visitors Center in Concord, Mass.
Denis Johnson, the prize-winning fiction writer, poet and playwright best known for his surreal and transcendent story collection "Jesus' Son," has died at age 67.
Jean Fritz, an award-winning writer whose work helped transform historical biographies for children from leaden recitals of battles and dates into warm, human narratives full of quirks and crotchets and satisfyingly strange facts, died on Sunday at her home in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. She was 101.
The author of more than four dozen books, Mrs. Fritz was known in particular for her biographies of many of the signal figures of 18th- and 19th-century American history.
America's libraries got a major boost this week on Capitol Hill as a group of leading publishing, information, software, and other businesses unveiled an organized effort to advocate for federal library funding. The move comes in response to the Trump administration's proposal to eliminate virtually all federal library funding, and the agency that distributes those funds to all 50 states.