Thursday, April 9, 2015

Wild

Reese Witherspoon plays a woman named Cheryl Strayed who is completely lost in her life after enduring a family tragedy and the fallout from that event.  When she is at the end of her rope and doesn’t know what else to do, she decides to go on a thousand mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.  With zero experience doing anything like this and being alone on her journey, it all turns out to be much harder than she had anticipated.  But, every obstacle she overcomes helps her to find a little more of herself again and help her deal with all of the feelings she’s been trying to work through.  It reminded me a little of the movie Into the Wild, except instead of trying to escape all of “life,” she was just needing a break from her own life for a while.  This film also reminded me of that old saying how “sometimes you have to lose yourself in order to find yourself.”  After watching this and seeing all of the amazing scenery, it makes me want to hike the trail, too!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Imitation Game

“Sometimes, it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”  This line is used a few times during this movie and it couldn’t be more true!  Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job playing Alan Turing, a brilliant, socially awkward mathematician who is part of a team assembled to try to break the unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine.  I also enjoyed Keira Knightly as Joan Clark, who worked with him and the rest of the team as they spent all day, every day trying to crack the codes.  Turing had a dream of creating a machine that could go through codes faster than any human could ever dream to – and spent most of his time trying to create this “computer.”  Just as he’s starting to make progress, a secret he has been hiding his entire life comes to light and threatens to completely ruin life as he knows it.  This was just a great story of never giving up, not judging a book by its cover and fighting against impossible odds.  They say Turing’s machine shortened the war by two years and saved an estimated 14 million lives, which is an incredible achievement, and I’m glad the story has finally been told!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Interstellar

To say this movie messed with my head would be an understatement!  Matthew McConaughey plays an ex-NASA test pilot that is chosen to join a mission to find another planet for humans to live on.  Earth is no longer able to sustain any crops other than corn, which will ultimately lead to extinction if no other solution is found.  Lucky for him and his team, a wormhole has been discovered near Saturn that allows the team to travel through it into another dimension and galaxy to hopefully find other planets with suitable environments.  As you can imagine, not everything goes smoothly and it gets a little hard to keep track of everything when he’s going into all kinds of other dimensions and different space and time.  It’s also a struggle watching how much of his own life he misses out on with his family and how they all react over the years to him being gone for almost their entire lives.  There were other big names in the movie along with McConaughey, like Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and John Lithgow, to name just a few.  The movie was also almost 3 hours long – which isn’t that bad when they’re covering around 100 years of time, I guess.  Overall, I did enjoy it and also thinking about what we would do if that type of situation does ever arise for us and our planet.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Unbroken

This movie is the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic athlete who experienced more trauma and hardship than anyone should ever have to endure.  After surviving a plane crash during World War II, he and two other survivors spend 47 days on a raft in the ocean before being captured by the Japanese and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp until the war is over.  Any of these experiences are enough to break a person, but “Louie” is remarkably resilient and is able to survive the ordeal.  I almost found it hard to even watch the scenes in the POW camp – the humiliation, the beatings and just seeing their spirit fade away the more they were subjected to over time.  I also wasn’t expecting to be so moved by the story of what has happened since the war ended and how he was able to eventually make peace with everything and even meet with the very people who held him captive.  As the movie said before the credits rolled, “Louie came to see that the way forward was not revenge, but forgiveness.”  And that is exactly what I was feeling after watching this very powerful movie.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Theory of Everything


Eddie Redmayne who plays Stephen Hawking won best lead actor for his portrayal of Mr. Hawking and after seeing this movie – there is no doubt that he deserved to win!  The film is based on the true story between Stephen and Jane Hawking.  It starts off in Cambridge in 1963, where they both meet and fall in love with each other.  Shortly after that, Stephen is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and told he has 2 years to live.  The story revolves around their lives and what it was like to be one of the smartest minds and trapped in a failing body but yet have your mind be so clear.  It’s about their love and their fight to keep their marriage together through the hardest times in both of their lives.  He broke all the rules by surviving this disease, and by doing so, gave great insight to the scientific world.  I admire Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Mr. Hawking.  He gave a very personal, heartfelt, and saddening look into the life of an ALS patient and their family.  For not knowing much about Mr. Hawking, I enjoyed the film immensely.

Guardians of the Galaxy

I wasn’t sure if I was even going to watch this movie, but had quite a few people tell me how good it was, so gave it a shot.  I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed it!  I’d say it was a sci-fi film that didn’t take itself too seriously, but wasn’t “silly” either.  Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, an unlikely “hero” that was taken from Earth when he was young, and has grown up in space in other worlds.  When he gains access to an orb that is worth millions and that everyone seems to be trying to get, his latest adventure begins.  Through trying to fight off anyone that wants the orb, he meets and teams up with four other characters that are all kind of misfits like himself, forming a great team with each person bringing their own unique qualities to their group.  It was funny, had a nice story, and great characters each with their own back story that made it all a very fun movie!

Nightcrawler

This was quite a movie!  Jake Gyllenhaal plays an unemployed person who stops at an accident scene and sees a man filming footage to sell to TV stations for their news broadcasts.  This trips something in his mind that he could do this, too – and possibly make some money in the process.  And he does.  The more experience he gets and the better quality his recordings are, the more it all works out for him with contacts and demanding more money for his work.  When it all came together for me was when he started manipulating scenes to make a better “story” or picture and started arriving to crime scenes before the police were even there.  Where is the line on what you can/should legally film, especially when doors are already open or a crime is in the process of happening?  This movie was kind of fun, but got very creepy the longer it went on and the more risks he was willing to take.  I’m still thinking a lot about all the different angles you can look at this story.  Toward the end, he was definitely crossing the line, but it’s also the world we live in…