As a fan of the cartoon when I was younger, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this new movie. I really enjoyed it! It was very “smurfy,” but not too much. It might seem silly to say, but these Smurfs seemed more “real” to me and had much more personality than the cartoon – almost like they could really exist! The adventure begins when they pass through a magic portal from their world and land in New York City. Besides having to deal with everything in this unknown place, their enemy, Gargamel, has followed them and is trying to capture them! They also must figure out some way to “re-open” the portal to get back to their own world before it’s too late! Luckily, they meet some nice people that are able to help them during their stay in New York – and both sides learn important life lessons from each other while having a lot of fun along the way! If you liked the cartoons or are just looking for a fun movie, I’d give this one a try! It won’t “smurf” you down!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The Smurfs was a silly but fun family movie. When my 3 year old grandson asked me to watch this with him I was rolling my eyes. I thought - here we go - another corny movie, but, to my surprise . . .it wasn’t half bad!! I didn’t grow up watching the Smurfs so I wasn’t expecting much from the movie - but I found myself laughing and giggling in parts of it! It had some very cute moments and Neil Patrick Harris was very charming in his role as the human they take refuge with and in the end - they all help each other out and find out that friendship goes beyond colors and worlds. So to sum it all up - it was “smurfy” fun with lots of “smurf” to go around.
Monday, December 12, 2011
I have to tell you about “The Help”. I LOVED this movie!! What a powerful story! The movie is from the book with the same title by Kathyrn Stockett and it centers around one town in Mississippi during the height of the racial tensions. The story is told from the perspective of black maids who worked for white families. These women were the primary caretakers of the home and the children but yet they were treated as third rate citizens even though they were running the homes. The story centers around a character by the name of “Skeeter”, played by Emma Stone, who is home from college and feels propelled to tell the stories and secrets of the maids and show the prejudice that existed within her community. This was a tremendous movie that is filled with character, charm, and depth and I recommend it to anyone who wants to see a film that is more than just fluff.
What a POWERFUL movie!!! The story goes just like Christy said. Besides how they were treated, some of what got to me the most was how they could just be fired for almost no reason and have their "life" ruined out of nowhere, even when their bosses were lying! If they used the wrong bathroom or had company show up or were falsely accused of stealing or almost anything! You could tell how devastating this was to them whenever it happened – they had obviously formed powerful bonds with the families they had helped raise and care for. The maids were running everything and were treated terribly! But then it was nice that some of the people really appreciated their help and did treat them as equals. I'm sure it really was both ways. You could also tell what a HUGE risk they were taking by telling their story. The performances were incredible and it was just a really good, strong, powerful movie!!! Like Christy said, it is definitely NOT fluff.
Monday, November 28, 2011
I saw this film in the theatres then watched it again on DVD and for the most part, I liked it. There were some parts that I didn’t like but you can’t like everything I guess. The story goes that Steve Carell’s character finds out his wife had an affair and she wants a divorce. He is blindsided by the revelation and finds himself moving out and drowning his sorrows in the local club. Enter the smooth talking ladies man played by Ryan Gossling. He takes pity on Steve and decides he’s going to teach him how to be a man again . . .a ladies man. The story takes you on Steve’s transformation and his conquests but through it all – he still wants to be that middle-aged man married to his love of his life. There are several other subplots which are entertaining and some really funny lines and scenes. Eventually the movie hits the nail on the head by realizing – that true love does exist in its truest and sometimes stupidest forms. And after everything has been said and done - you have to sit back and decide if all the craziness, heartache, and pain is worth getting back to square one. Overall, I think I liked it better than what I thought!
I REALLY enjoyed this movie! I think what I liked the most was how to me, I could really put myself in almost each person's role as far as being in love in different stages of life. Like being 13 and being in love with a 17-year-old and thinking it's the real thing. And being 17 and having a 13-year-old with a big crush on me. Or being in love and being destroyed by the person you care most about in the world and have given your heart to. Even the "player" falling in love when it's the last thing he was looking for and it found him! It was funny, but also hit serious notes and touched nerves for anyone that has been through anything like they were dealing with. It had me laughing out loud one second and crying the next. I liked everyone in the movie – I always like Steve Carell and Emma Stone – it also had Julianne Moore and Marisa Tomei and even Kevin Bacon. They used humor to mask things at times, but their true feelings kept coming out, too... How love IS crazy! It IS stupid! But, it can also be the most incredible thing in the world when you find someone you have "that" connection with - and it seemed like everyone in the movie was either looking for that connection or trying not to lose that connection - or to get it back!
Monday, November 21, 2011
So, here’s ANOTHER “Pirates” movie. It was fine. I enjoyed it, I guess. I don’t know – I just didn’t really feel the same vibe as some of the others. Johnny Depp is back as the one-of-a-kind Captain Jack Sparrow and Penelope Cruz plays his love interest, Angelica. Just kind of a “been there, done that” kind of feeling for me. The adventure this time is looking for the fabled Fountain of Youth and Jack is said to know the location, which makes him very valuable to Blackbeard and everyone else trying to find the fountain. It really is quite an adventure finding it for everyone. One thing I do enjoy is Jack’s humor – the one-liners are so deadpan and unexpected sometimes – a lot like my own sense of humor. I could have used a lot more of that! I didn’t hate it, but wasn’t blown away, either – and I WAS blown away with the first movie in the series. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood this time? I did like it – just not sure what was missing for me.
I have to agree with Eric – this was the fourth installment in the Pirates franchise and it felt like the fourth one. I loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie! It was whimsical, enchanting, romantic, and adventurous – as any “first” movie should be. After that, the storylines just kept going downhill BUT the adventure and Captain Jack Sparrow stay the same. I think that’s why there’s still a draw to these movies is because Johnny Depp plays an amazing character whom we’ve all come to love and root for! A few new faces in this movie was a nice change, Penelope Cruz as his love interest and Ian McShane as the evil Blackbeard the Pirate. On Stranger Tides still brings the swashbuckling adventure, the thrill of the chase, a few surprises, and of course, Jack Sparrow in all his glory. If you are a fan of the Pirates movies you’d still want to see this one – after all – once a pirate – always a pirate!
Monday, November 14, 2011
I really liked this movie! It reminded me a little bit of “The Notebook” the way it was told but I was enthralled by the actors, the setting, and the story. Set in the depression, a very impressive Robert Pattinson (from the Twilight movies) plays a veterinary student named Jacob who has lost everything. With no ties to his hometown – he jumps a train to look for work. The train he jumped on belongs to a traveling circus. He is offered a job working for the circus and in turn - falls in love with the animals and the star of the show, Marlena, who is the ringmaster’s wife played by Reese Witherspoon. It is a beautiful story told under the big top with all the trappings of a jealous husband, a couple of lost souls, and one extraordinary elephant named Rosie that brings all their fates together. I found myself lost in the story as I was transported to a time of long ago. I would watch this movie again as it mesmerized me from beginning to end.
I agree with Christy 100%! Wow, I don’t say THAT very often! I wasn’t sure what this movie was when I decided to watch it, but knew the book was popular, so thought I’d give it a shot. I’m so glad I did - I really, really liked it! A LOT! I found myself completely “lost” in it. It kind of followed the lives of the circus workers involved in keeping a traveling circus running in the 1930s. There was some violence, some drama, sacrifices that had to be made, a love story - all kinds of stuff. There were definitely some rough spots if you're an animal lover (which I am), but not devastating. I guess I could see where it was heading, but wasn't ever sure how it was going to get there, so it really kept my interest and kept me watching! I'd definitely watch it again!
Monday, November 7, 2011
I want to tell you about two movies that I really enjoyed! I like movies that have heart and warmth to them. Movies that make me smile and laugh and movies I can watch over and over again and still enjoy them as much as I did the first time I watched them. Heart and Souls is one of them. I adore Robert Downey Jr and this film has so much charm to it I have to tell you about it. The premise may seem odd – it’s about four spirits that have unfinished business on earth and they need Robert Downey Jr’s help to fulfill their last wishes. He finds out that by helping them – he learns his own life lessons along the way. That we all have a desire to be forgiven, to be loved, to be remembered, and to make the most of our lives while we are still here on earth. Hopefully this movie will make you laugh – smile – and just forget about your problems if just for a couple of hours.
Then, just a fairy tale away is Penelope. Penelope has been cursed with a nose of a pig - a pig nose instead of a normal nose. For years her parents have kept her hidden because of the scorn and hurtful words people have thrust upon her. But now the time has come for her to get married and her parents are paying any man to look past the nose and marry their daughter. But to Penelope, she knows love is more than just money or looks. That love is something that is deep, true, and something that will look past all faults to the real heart of the person. Penelope is a fairy tale of a curse, a blessing, and coming to find out that you are who you are and people will love you just as you are if you love yourself first. An enchanting film that will cast its’ spell on you with some fairy dust, a sprinkle of laughter, and of course, as all fairy tales go . . . a happy ending.
Monday, October 24, 2011
I thought this movie was just “alright.” I’m not sure why it didn’t impress me more – it just seemed like it was a step below what it should have been on almost every level. I didn’t know much about the Green Lantern as a superhero going into this, so I was glad they spent quite a bit of the movie explaining their history and how they select new members. It just felt like a regular guy that became a superhero – almost too much so. He didn’t seem “that” super until it was up to him to defend mankind and save the universe from Parallax, a super powerful being who was just getting stronger and stronger all the time. Something I did like was that you never knew what he was going to “create” out of nowhere (which he could do with his mind) to fix whatever situation he was in – that was entertaining to me. So, I’d say it wasn’t great or a classic, but I’ve definitely seen worse!
Monday, October 17, 2011
I've seen some really bad reviews for this one, but I think they were taking it WAY too seriously!!! It was just a fun, family type movie for heaven's sake!!! I thought it was funny in a lot of spots - and not just “stupid” funny – although there was some of that, too. Kevin James can be hilarious at times and I’ve liked Rosario Dawson ever since I saw her in the movie Seven Pounds. It’s basically about a man who is a zookeeper that has been unlucky in love and is “helped” by the animals in his zoo who reveal to him that they can talk. They give him plenty of advice and it really shows that what works in the animal world does not transfer very well to the human world. There are also a LOT of celebrity voices – everyone from Adam Sandler to Cher to Sylvester Stallone - it's fun just trying to place each voice, too! I liked it! It was silly. Maybe I was just in the right mood, but I’d definitely watch it again.
I thought the Zookeeper was a kick in the pants! I saw it in the theaters and couldn’t wait for it to come out on DVD. This movie was just fun to watch without the language, bathroom humor or other kind of vulgarities. Kevin James is very comedic in this role and I loved the talking animals! Like Eric said, it was a hoot trying to figure out the big name voices behind the animals. Overall, this movie is for the whole family - a little bit of adult humor, some over the top scenes, but that’s what it is all about- a zoo full of animals who love their zookeeper so much they will do anything to help him get the girl of his dreams. And sometimes - you might be surprised by the friendships you make along the way. It was a very enjoyable movie and one that I will watch over and over again with my family.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I really liked the movie Fast Five!! It was an action packed movie that came at you from the very beginning and never stopped!! I hadn’t seen any of the other movies in this series but for the most part – that didn’t matter. This movie had hot cars, hot action and a little eye candy. (Can I just say how much I like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson!) You can’t go wrong with The Rock, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges in these roles. If you like action movies you will like Fast Five. It was a little long in length and somewhat unbelievable in some scenes but it didn’t matter . . . it took me on a high octane ride and never let me go!! It was a blast!
So, I think the only movie I’ve seen from this series is the first one – The Fast and the Furious that came out in 2001. I've never really liked Paul Walker or Vin Diesel as actors, but that being said, I did enjoy this movie! It was just a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish. Of course, some of the scenes were way, way, way over the top – but that’s what made it fun! Plus, it had some VERY nice, fast cars – I guess that was my eye candy! It was over 2 hours long and seemed like it was over before I knew it. Lots of intense, heart-pounding car chases and crashes, some shooting – all the normal stuff for this type of movie. I’m sure I missed some references to the earlier movies and story lines not having seen them, but I still thought it was very entertaining! Glad I watched it.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Here’s another movie that’s been around for awhile, but most people have never heard about when I mention it to them. I absolutely LOVE this movie! It’s about an abandoned dog that was taken in by a college professor (Richard Gere), becomes a part of his family and actually becomes a part of “everyone’s” lives without anyone fully realizing how much their lives have become intertwined. Based on true events, it’s also an incredibly moving story that shows what true loyalty is. It’s such a simple story, I can’t believe how powerful and touching it is – I cry EVERY time I watch it! I’m even tearing up right now! I don’t want to tell everything and have spoilers, because I think it’s even more powerful if you don’t know how the story plays out. If you like dog movies like Old Yeller and Marley & Me, or have ever had that special bond with a pet, you should really be able to identify with the feelings in this movie. I think I need a tissue...
Hachi is one of those movies that didn’t get any press but it is one that shouldn’t be missed. It is based loosely on a true story of a rare kinship between a man and his dog. Their friendship stood the test of time and the limits of time also. A story of love, devotion, and what ultimately proved to be a one-of-a-kind relationship that we as humans all yearn for. I agree with Eric and suggest you have a box of kleenex with you – because it will tug at your heart and make you want to hug your dog and hold the ones you love even a little more closer.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Bridesmaids . . .in one simple word – YUCK!! It was suppose to be the “funniest movie” of the summer. It had been billed as “The Hangover” for women. I didn’t know you had to dumb down the story line to make a movie for women!!! I knew going into this movie that there would be language, sex, and crass humor BUT I didn’t know it was going to be over-the-top stupidity in writing! I get that the writers wanted it to be funny, they wanted it to be crafty, witty, and wise . . .but they were just lacking in brain cells. This movie is 2 hours in length and I only made it through the first 45 minutes!! I didn’t find anything remotely funny in it. I thought it was long, repetitive, gross, and lacking anything humorous! I know everyone has their degree of what they think funny is and what they can stand watching - I probably spent 45 minutes too long on this movie because it was a waste of time and for that matter - I’m smarter than the movie!
For some reason, I had high expectations for this movie – maybe just all of the marketing and everything comparing it to The Hangover. Let’s just say that I was VERY let down!!! I guess I was expecting maybe "smart" funny – not a bunch of dumb “bathroom” humor and tons of unnecessary scenes that seemed to take forever to end. Most of the time, it was like watching a bad SNL skit that should have stopped a lot sooner! And it was just SO uneven - it couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be stupid and disgusting or halfway serious and have an actual story. I don’t know if they were going for shock value or what. There were some funny moments or a line here and there, but not anything NEAR what I was expecting! I didn't really "hate" it, but was just very, very disappointed with the whole thing...
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Thor the god of thunder–son of King Odin, is next in line to take his father’s position. In their world – there is an internal struggle going on between father and son, brother and brother and enemy against enemy. As Thor decides to take vengeance upon the warring factor he is held in contempt by his father and banished forever from his planet of Asgard and thrust upon earth without his powers – he is now mortal. So begins the journey of Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth. I like this type of movie if it’s done well. I like X-Men, Iron Man, and the new Star Trek but this one just fell flat. I thought the whole space story of his origins was hokey and I was surprised Anthony Hopkins, who plays his father, would do this role. The story line got a little more interesting when he was on earth – he meets a girl, Natalie Portman, finds out who he is and saves planet earth but it’s like I had seen the story before in the classic Flash Gordon, Superman, Star Trek and Iron Man. It was an okay movie but as far as a summer blockbuster went – I was looking for more “WOW” then just a sizzle.
Friday, September 16, 2011
I know this movie is a little bit older, it was done in 2007, but with the movie, Crazy Stupid Love in the theatres and coming out soon on DVD – I thought I would plug another movie by Steve Carell that you might have overlooked. Dan in Real Life was one of those movies that I was expecting one thing – didn’t like it after watching it – but yet watched it over and over and I found the charm and the humor in it and now it is one of my favorite movies! Steve Carell, from the television show, The Office, plays Dan, a single father raising three high-spirited girls. It is time for the yearly family reunion and as they embark to visit the family – they all get more than what they bargained for. Dane Cook plays Steve’s brother with a new girlfriend. A girlfriend that Dan met at the coffee store and made a connection with unbeknownst to him, that it was his brother’s girlfriend. It’s a story of love lost, love found, innocent love, and a family that will drive you crazy and still have your back at the end of the day. It is filled with humor, life’s crazy lessons, and a message that you are pretty lucky if you have family above all else that loves you no matter what! If you’re looking for a film to pass the afternoon – check this one out and give it try. It just might strike your funny bone and give you a reason to smile.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I don’t know if I liked this movie or not. I think I did. I never quite know what to expect when I start a Will Ferrell movie. Is it going to be over the top? Or really stupid? Or maybe it could be serious – which is more where this one went. It starts out with him losing his job and just goes downhill for him from there. When he goes home, all of his belongings are in the front yard, the doors are locked and his wife is gone. He seems completely blind-sided and really doesn’t know what to do, so he just starts “living” in his yard – almost like he’s just trying to make the best of his situation. He does find new friends and they are all able to help each other in their lives in different ways. It definitely wasn’t funny like I was expecting – there were maybe “moments,” but it was never where I laughed out loud or anything. It sounds like a pretty simple movie, but the more I think about it, there seem to be a lot more “levels” to all of it than I realized when I was watching it. I’m starting to see that I DID like it. It’s really making me think – and I do like that!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I usually don’t write about movies that are still in the theatres – but I have to tell you about “The Help”. I LOVED this movie!! What a powerful story! The movie is from the book with the same title by Kathyrn Stockett and it centers around one town in Mississippi during the height of the racial tensions. The story is told from the perspective of black maids who worked for white families. These women were the primary caretakers of the home and the children but yet they were treated as third rate citizens even though they were running the homes. The story centers around a character by the name of “Skeeter”, played by Emma Stone, who is home from college and feels propelled to tell the stories and secrets of the maids and show the prejudices that existed within her community. This movie was filled with so much character, charm, and depth that when the movie was over and the credits were rolling . . .nobody in the audience moved. We all sat there still thinking about what we just saw! This was a tremendous movie and I recommend it to anyone who wants to see a film that is more than just fluff.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
So, The Perfect Host was kind of different – to say the least. The story revolves around a bank robber looking to hide out after he was injured during a heist. He winds up at the door of Warwick Wilson, played by David Hyde Pierce of Frasier fame. The robber thinks he’s in control of the situation, but it’s not long before he realizes he has met his match in Warwick. What unfolds is an unpredictable night of strange events and not really knowing who is who or what the future holds for anyone! Is Warwick crazy? Who really knows? There were a LOT of twists - and just when you'd kind of think you knew what was going on, it would completely go the other way on you! It’s one I’d almost want to watch over again after kind of already knowing the story just to be able to follow everything easier. Let’s just say not everything is always as it appears!
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Something Borrowed is a romantic comedy of long lost loves and secrets of the heart. Rachel, played by Ginnifer Goodwin falls in love with Dex in college. Instead of telling him how much she loves him, she lets her best friend, Darcy, played by Kate Hudson, take him from her. Through the years, she keeps her true feelings a secret until the night of her birthday. A little too much party, a little too much drink and a lot of emotions lead to a night of bliss and a morning of regrets between the two. What do you do when you sleep with your best friends boyfriend and to top it all off – they’re engaged!! Needless to say - a love triangle is forged and secrets come out that change the course of all of their lives. For me, the best part of the movie was John Krasinski, who plays Darcy’s friend Ethan. He had the best lines in the movie!! Otherwise it was an ok movie with an ok cast.
Who wouldn’t want to be able to think clearer and faster and use 100% of their brain instead of the 20% that’s always quoted? I would think most everyone would. The movie Limitless takes you on that ride. The main character, Eddie, a down and out wannabe writer, comes across a pill that is guaranteed to open up new connections in the brain and allow you to focus completely and have access to everything you’ve ever read, seen, heard or thought about – and it’s all completely organized in your “new” brain. The catch is that the effects of the pill only last so long, you also might die if you stop taking them, and the pills are incredibly rare. This causes a lot of problems for anyone involved. It’s not long before Eddie’s life changes for the better and his newfound intelligence and new lifestyle catch the attention of some of the most powerful people in the business and financial worlds. Everyone wants a “piece” of Eddie and his world is either going to flourish or come crashing down on him and everyone he’s associated with. It didn't seem that far-fetched watching it, which makes it a lot easier for me to buy into. Makes you wonder what you would do in his situation...
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
OK, I admit it. I enjoyed this movie. I didn't want to. I'm not a huge fan of Russell Brand. And who could replace Dudley Moore? I liked the original. It was a classic. I always say you shouldn't mess with a classic. But, I think what I liked about this one was that Russell Brand wasn't trying to "be" Dudley Moore - he was being Russell Brand. It was definitely over the top in a lot of scenes and totally unrealistic, but it was also fun - and very funny! And Helen Mirren was great as his nanny, Hobson. Overall, it was the same story as the original - he's incredibly wealthy, has never really grown up, is drunk most of the time, and finds his true love where you would least expect. But, it's also updated for current times - the original is 30 years old! And the story isn't exactly the same, so it's not really like watching a remake. I actually found myself not even thinking about the original. I didn't think that would happen! So, yes, I liked it. It was funny. It was witty. It was silly. It was a good movie to get away from reality for awhile. I'm glad I watched it!
Can I say how much I enjoyed Russell Brand in this movie? I thought he was the perfect actor to play Arthur. Arthur was made famous by the talented Dudley Moore so when this movie came out – I was a little bit leery. Like Eric said, it was a classic! I wasn’t expecting it to be the “same” movie but it did have the same heart to it. Russell Brand, did a really good job in this role. He was funny, warm, silly, and very much embraced this character that you couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. His relationship with his nanny, played beautifully by Helen Mirren was my favorite part of the whole movie. The chemistry between the two was the heart of this movie. I didn’t think the other characters worked or were believable, but I enjoyed this movie for the same reason Eric did – it wasn’t Arthur of the 80’s but a new version with some new laughs, heart, and soul. Give it a chance - you might just enjoy yourself!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Soul Surfer is a movie for the whole family to watch! It is Bethany Hamilton's true life story that at the age of 13, in 2003, she lost her arm to a shark while surfing. Bethany’s story isn’t about the shark but about her life, her family, her faith, and her desire to still be Bethany! This film is her family’s story of how they dealt with the loss of a limb and possibly - the loss of a major surfing career for Bethany. Raised by surfing parents, her whole life was surrounded by water and the love of surfing. One fateful day, while surfing with family friends - a shark came out of nowhere and bit her arm off right under the shoulder. Rushed to the hospital with a low chance of survival the doctors were able to save her life. That is where her story begins. Bethany went on to learn how to surf with one arm and continued pro surfing winning various awards and became a symbol of hope to many others. This is an upbeat film with a positive message. Check it out for a family night of entertainment plus the library has several books by her if you’re interested in knowing more.
I think most everyone is familiar with the story for this one – the 13-year old girl who was surfing and had her arm bitten off by a shark. I was really looking forward to watching Bethany Hamilton’s story and was not disappointed! I liked it. A lot! It wasn’t a movie about the shark attack that’s trying to be a thriller – it was more a movie about dealing with things that happen in life, no matter how bad they are, and not letting them ruin you or take over your thinking and still be able to “live” without regrets. She was positive and upbeat, but she had her down times, too, just like anyone would. Surfing was her life up until that point, so it was quite an adjustment just to move forward and not know what she was going to do after the attack. She decides that a missing arm is not going to stop her and keep her dreams from coming true - and will do anything she can to become a professional surfer. I thought many of the scenes were very powerful! I was almost up yelling and cheering "She did it, she did it" when she was back on the board and stood up for the first time!!! So yeah, I liked it! Makes me want to take up surfing after watching it! It was nice to have a movie "live up" to what I was wanting it to be - and more!!!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
So, I didn't really watch any new movies this weekend - instead, I found myself watching a marathon of The Shawshank Redemption. I can't believe how many people have never seen or have never even heard of this movie! It's one of my all-time favorites and really can watch it over and over again. I see something new every time! It’s based on a Stephen King novel, but isn’t like what I normally think of when I think of his books – it really surprised me. Andy Dufresne is a banker accused of killing his wife and her lover and is sentenced to life in prison. He also claims his innocence from the very beginning. Most of the movie centers around the friendship of Andy (Tim Robbins) and Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman) while in prison and takes you through many ups and downs through their almost 20 years of serving time together. It's a completely different life than Andy is used to and he must learn to adapt if he's going to make it all work for him - and adapt he does! Just when you think you have it all figured out, there are HUGE twists and I still remember the first time I saw it - I had NO idea what was going to happen after one of them! I wish I could write about all of them, but don't want to have spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. It's not fancy, nothing blows up, there aren't any big special effects - it's just a smart, incredibly powerful movie about hope and not giving up. As the tagline says, "Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free."
The Shawshank Redemption was a very powerful movie like Eric said. When I watched it, I didn’t know what to expect but it surprised me! It is a tough movie to watch and as the story goes, Andy is in a rock hard penitentiary for murder. He has to fight for every bit of humanity and peace of mind just to survive, but along the way he makes friends and eventually that is what the movie is about. A friendship that lasts and endures all the trials and tribulations life can throw at them. Even though it’s a movie full of horrible things that happen in life – it’s also a story of determination, hope, and a life made stronger because of the journey.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Philippe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, Michael Pena, John Leguizamo and Josh Lucas . . .if these names catch your eye it’s for a good reason. They made a great film called, “The Lincoln Lawyer”. This movie is a legal thriller and Matthew McConaughey plays a very slick defense attorney named Mick. His character is the go-getter of the court room and for a price – he will take any case and he is convinced he can win. He somehow gets involved in a very high profile case where a wealthy young client, played by Ryan Philippe, is accused of a heinous crime. Where it goes from there is a thrill ride a minute!! This film is smartly done and smartly acted!! I really enjoyed Matthew McConaughey playing this character and would love to see him reprise this role. It was very entertaining and it kept me on the edge of my seat and had a few surprises that I never saw coming!!
Monday, July 18, 2011
I thought The Company Men was alright – although it did seem more depressing than I was expecting. It was a good, “solid” movie – just not a whole lot of fun – which is still OK. I have always liked Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello and even Craig T. Nelson. Kevin Costner also made a few appearances and got more involved toward the end – I think the movie could have used a lot more of his talent. It was mainly how different workers from the bottom all the way up to top management were dealing with being cut from their jobs in a major downsizing and how it was affecting their personal lives and their standards of living, along with what they were willing to let go of and cut back on, while having to find new ways to live - and maybe realizing what was really important in their lives. Some could handle it, some could not. They thought their years of service should matter and their friendships in the company would protect them - and neither did - at all! It all comes down to the money... Like real life sometimes, I guess.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I am not one – most of the time anyway – for a heavy film. I like to go to the movies to escape the news, the despair, and just life sometimes. So for me, a light-hearted movie is just my style . . . I am Number Four was just the movie to fit the bill. The movie itself is from a young adult book – so it might appeal more to the youth but I enjoyed too. It took awhile to get into the movie but once you got on – it took you for a ride! Alex Pettyfer, (Beastly), is an alien who is hiding on earth to escape his death. Three of his friends have been killed by their enemies and he is marked as he is number four and they kill in order. His protector, played by Timothy Olyphant (Justified and The Perfect Getaway), must save him from his enemies as well as himself sometimes. They move to a small town to hide and Alex’s character, John, falls in love with Sarah, who is played by Dianna Agron of Glee. This isn’t the whole story as the plot thickens, death comes to the family, the enemies find where they are hiding, and all “h-e-double toothpicks” breaks loose. Lots of action, super-hero stunts and just enough of an open ending to think they might make this into a series. No serious stuff here – just fun.
I really liked this movie! Had no idea what it was, hadn’t read the book, hadn’t seen any previews, and was pretty much just going by word of mouth with people saying how much they’d enjoyed it. Well, I did too! There wasn’t that much to “buy into” as far as a sci-fi/fantasy movie normally goes. It seemed perfectly normal that John was from another world and had special powers and was being hunted down by his enemies. I guess I felt like I was learning things about his situation at the same time he was, so felt like we were kind of in it together. He doesn’t seem to like hiding who he really is and wants to be like a normal teenager – go to school, go out and have fun, go on dates – all that stuff. But, if he allows himself to be too “public,” the risks are just too great for everyone involved. It really sucked me in – and it was definitely left open-ended for another movie – and I can’t wait!!!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this movie. Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman play 14th-century knights who seem to have had an epiphany during one of their battles and decide to change their lives, stop their senseless violence and killing, and return home. Along the way, they find town after town that has been overtaken by the Black Plague. Not knowing the cause of the illness, a woman suspected to be a witch is charged with causing all of the sickness and needs to be transported to a remote location where a ritual can be performed in hopes of stopping the power of her spells. Enter the knights to lead the mission. Nobody is really sure what she is capable of or if she is even a real witch, but they don’t want to take any chances. This makes for a very interesting journey for all of them – and a conclusion they could never have imagined! I’m not really into witches or demons or sorcery, but found myself pulled in by the story and had finished the movie before I even realized how far along it was. It’s not a “great” movie or a “classic” by any means, but I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as some of the reviews I’d seen before watching it. It was alright.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
A fairytale retold for a modern generation. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started watching Beastly, but shortly into it I saw the connection with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. A popular, hunky, stuck up high school student played by Alex Pettyfer, (I am Number Four), gets a lesson in life he won’t soon forget. He has it all - as far as earthly things matter, but he forgot what it meant to be compassionate, caring, and kind. Enter the role of the witch, played by Mary-Kate Olsen, who is out to teach him a lesson. She casts a spell on him which changes the most popular guy in school into a scarred, freak of nature. No longer the pretty boy he must find someone to say “I love you” before the year’s end or remain beastly forever. So begins the love story . . .the girl of his dreams, played by Vanessa Hudgens, is the one that can see past his outward appearances and helps him find again what matters most in life. It’s a pretty generic movie that could’ve been so much more powerful – but it lacked good writing and without a script, even the actors fell flat. It’s not a leap of faith to watch the movie nor was it filled with in-depth characters or much of a storyline for that matter. I wouldn’t say it was a waste of time –but it just reminded me of a made for television movie of the week and that left me disappointed.
Monday, June 27, 2011
“Oh Grandma, what big eyes you have, grandma what big ears you have, and grandma what big teeth you have”. . . I was waiting for this line throughout the whole movie!! You can’t retell a classic fairytale without throwing in some of the famous lines! This movie is exactly what you think it might be . . . if you liked the Twilight movies – you will like this one. Dark, suspenseful, moody, a creature of the night, and as fear and love intertwine . . you wonder if our beautiful young girl will make the right choice or end up as wolf meat! Amanda Seyfried plays Valerie, the village girl who is head over heels in love with a childhood friend. They make plans to run away together because she is betrothed to another villager. Just as they plan to make their escape – her sister is killed by the wolf and the villagers band together to kill the creature once and for all. But you know fairy tales are never that simple. Enter in The Wolf Hunter, played by the slippery and slithering, Gary Oldman (he has always given me the creeps since he played Dracula). From there the chase begins . . . and clues are given to see if you can figure out who the wolf is. Is it Valerie herself, her lovers, the hunter, or heaven forbid . . . the grandma!!! A Grimm’s fairy tale is given a modern twist as we watch the story convulse with good versus evil until you come face to face with the wolf . . .then the question is . . .are you ready for the end? Because in the fairytale the wolf eats the grandma and Red Riding Hood herself and then he himself dies. But what fate lays ahead for the wolf . . . will it matter who it turns out to be . . . . and what of the young lovers . . . all will be revealed as you come along for the adventure of Red Riding Hood.
Hmmm… I’m thinking this one didn’t do quite as much for me as it did for Christy. It was alright, I guess. I did like it more than I was expecting after the reviews. They just trashed it – and I didn’t think it was quite “that” bad. Overall, it did have a big Twilight feel to it, I thought. It was like watching a grown-up version of the classic fairy tale – there’s a grandma, a red hood, a wolf, etc. It did keep you guessing as to who the wolf was, and there was some suspense, along with a few twists, too. To steal a quote from another movie in our blog, I’d say it was “watchable.” The more I think about it, the more I realize I did maybe like it better than I thought. I’d probably watch it again.
Monday, June 20, 2011
This movie is a remake of the John Wayne classic from 1969. This one follows the original very closely, and even though I enjoyed the original, I liked this version better! Seemed like all I heard about when this came out were the big names in it like Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin. Not to say they weren’t good, but, Hailee Steinfeld, who plays Mattie Ross, completely stole the show. She blew me away (no pun intended!). She plays a very headstrong, sharp tongued young girl who will stop at nothing to find her father’s killer and avenge his death. After asking around, she decides Rooster Cogburn is the man to help her find the killer – he has a reputation as the meanest Marshall there is – pitiless and double tough with no fear – a man with “true grit.” After agreeing to terms, they set out to track down Tom Chaney and have many adventures along the way. Both characters seemed to be what the other needed at the time and came to know and care about each other through their journey. You could tell he had softened quite a bit by the end of the film and they had made a special connection that would last a lifetime.
True Grit was a blockbuster of a hit at the theaters but for me . . .I wasn=t that impressed by it. There are some roles and movies that should not be redone - and True Grit, with the legendary John Wayne would be one of them. It wasn=t a bad movie - it stuck to the original pretty well but there were some changes that I really disliked. The young girl, Mattie is a feisty 14 year old with as much grit at Rooster Cogburn - but at the end of the movie (which is different from the original) she is portrayed as an old almost witch like woman. I didn=t like how they portrayed her because, to me, this character would not end up alone and bitter - she had too much spunk and you could just imagine what she would become because of the way she was in the movie. Jeff Bridges tried to walk in John Wayne=s shoes but I think he overacted, Matt Damon, as his sidekick, was still Matt Damon under all the makeup and like Eric said, Hailee Steinfeld who played Mattie was a standout! So in the end, it=s not a bad movie to watch - but I still would pick 3:10 to Yuma over this for a better western.
Let’s talk about the movie Country Strong. In the movie, Gwyneth Paltrow plays a huge country artist that is at the top of her game till her world takes a turn for the worse with several events that changes her course in life. She is getting out of rehab and her relationship with her husband/manager and the music world is not the same. Her husband, played by the real country artist, Tim McGraw, is falling out of love with Gwyneth’s character, Kelly. As we watch the movie unfold, you want to root for them to get back together but the storyline isn’t that strong to support it and you have a feeling that it’s not going to end happily. This movie shows off some other musical talent not just by Paltrow but by the other two co-stars, played by Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester. There is a twist to the movie – one that I don’t think really fits and the ending just left me blah. But if you’re looking for something that isn’t a rerun - it’s watchable enough.
Watchable enough? When I watched it, I remember liking it a lot! I was really impressed with Gwyneth Paltrow's performances and VERY impressed by ALL of the music in the film. I thought Garrett Hedlund was great. I wanted to listen to the soundtrack as soon as the movie was over. And I did! It's a good story and I thought you could really feel her pain as she struggles with trying to pull her life together - while it's completely falling apart...
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
What do you do when there’s an unmanned, runaway train, carrying toxic chemicals, that’s speeding for a highly populated area??? Try to stop it, of course!!! Denzel Washington and Chris Pine take us on a non-stop, heart-racing, nail-biting thrill ride as we watch them try to stop the unstoppable train. Denzel plays an experienced engineer that knows more than the people running the operation and Chris is a new conductor on his first run – and what a first day it is for him! Together, they have to figure out how to stop this train that is bearing down on a town and will cause a fiery crash if something isn’t done. The story is based on actual events and the intensity builds and builds until everything comes to a head. It’s definitely an exciting film and the action doesn’t ever let up!!! I would highly recommend it!
Monday, June 13, 2011
So here’s the scoop . . . this is a horrible movie!! Just Go With It with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler is a flop . . . a dud . . . a complete waste of time!! I didn’t have high hopes for it to begin with, but with all the hype that came with it I thought I would give it a try. I wasn’t wrong – within 5 minutes I was ready to turn it off and I thought, “no – I’ll give it a chance.” Well about an hour into it . . .I had enough!! Oh my goodness . . .first off – Jennifer Aniston cannot act!!! She plays the same role in each movie . . .why even bother? Adam Sandler is hit and miss for me . . .I really liked him in Grown Ups but this movie . . .was another waste. No chemistry between the actors, the lines were so lame, there was no acting and the storyline . . . .dumb! I would rather watch paint dry than try to watch this movie again!!
Why don’t you say what you really thought about it, Christy? Jeez. All kidding aside, it was NOT good! Setting up of the storyline was ridiculous, the whole movie was TOTALLY predictable, and just felt like a complete waste of my time!!! The story was “beyond” not believable – it was just stupid! Like he’d be SO in love with this woman THAT fast and even just how outrageous the lies everyone told were and the characters just went along with everything like they didn’t really have a choice. I guess it’s nice it had a happy ending, but you can tell who’s gonna wind up with who from the start! I almost NEVER turn off a movie and seriously thought about it with this one! DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!!! If you have the choice, I’d say just go “without!”
Monday, June 6, 2011
I must admit, sometimes the only thing that can fix my mood is a little retail therapy. I mean who doesn’t like the thrill of spending money on a little bit of this and a little bit of that? That=s the main character’s problem in the movie . . . she loves shopping . . .to the point of over spending and having creditors hounding her! How does a storyline like that make this a wonderful, funny, movie - the main character is why. Rebecca Bloomwood is played by the enchanting Isla Fisher and her life is in an uproar because of her shopping issues. She has big dreams of being a fashion columnist and she tries to get a writing job at a fashion paper but instead winds up writing for a finance paper!!! Unbeknownst to her, her column, the “Girl with the Green Scarf” takes off! Her boss, the delicious Hugh Dancy, takes notice of her, but she also gains the interest of the creditor she=s been trying to avoid. This is a romantic comedy that is a feel good movie. You will fall in love with Rebecca and find yourself rooting for her and in the end, it=s exactly what you wanted and what you’ve been waiting for the whole time.
First off, my name is “Eric” and I am NOT a shopaholic! I don’t get any “thrill” out of buying things or spending money. But, I did like the movie. This was another one that Christy “forced” me to watch. It was cute and fun and had a nice story - kind of a chick flick type thing – which I don’t really mind all the time. It was nice there was an actual story and she really seemed to “grow up” during the course of the film. Like Christy said, you do find yourself rooting for Rebecca and hoping everything turns out alright for her! I wouldn’t call it a “classic” or very realistic by any means, but it was just a fun movie to escape life for awhile.
Can I say how much I absolutely loved this movie!! It’s Complicated was a movie that made me say, “Finally, a movie for adults with brains and humor!” This movie has such a beat of true life in it that you can’t help but laugh out loud! Meryl Streep plays a well-rounded divorcee that has a great life with great kids. Her ex-husband, played hysterically by Alex Baldwin, wanted a younger woman but he comes to find out . . . life is not always greener on the other side. The comedic situations take a turn for the hilarious when the two get together for their son’s graduation, drink a little too much, and in the morning, find themselves in a familiar situation. Hilarious hookups, a possible new guy, (played oh so well by Steve Martin), and a newfound freedom forces them to once again ask the question . . . were we meant to be or is there more to my life now? This movie has smart dialogue, witty lines, and a storyline that reminds us how human we all are no matter the age.
Have you ever dreamed of just leaving your current life behind and starting a new one? That is exactly what Christopher McCandless does in this movie – completely! I had been wanting to watch Into the Wild for a long time and finally got the chance. I LOVED it! He’s a new college graduate and can already see his future mapped out for him and doesn’t like the look of it. He decides to give away everything he owns, donates all of his savings to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to “live off the land.” The trip is filled with many interesting people and adventures, along with some unforeseen problems, but seems to be exactly what he was looking for! It may not have the “happiest” of endings, but I think I liked it so much because that’s the type of thing I’ve always dreamed of doing myself and identified with so many of his feelings along the way. Along with the story, the filming and scenery were breathtaking! This film is definitely a great way to get away from it all for awhile – or at least imagine it!!!
Monday, May 23, 2011
Eric and I both have very strong feelings about the movie Seven Pounds. To him, this movie brought out a deep rooted passion about the storyline and for me . . .my emotions were deep but more in the “I totally disliked” this movie!! I found this movie to leave a bad taste in my mouth! I really did not like the subject matter and half way through the movie I figured out the storyline. I thought the reason why Will Smith’s character was doing what he was doing was wrong!! I disagreed with his intent and his “purpose” in life and I thought it relayed a poor message. It’s hard not to give away the plot but let’s just say . . .it takes a very deep, twisted, and dark turn. What he thinks will “redeem” his soul only leads to more destruction and pain. The “gift” that he feel he needs to give, to me, is selfish and egotistical and it made me mad that he would choose that way. He had all the resources to do what he felt he needed to do . . . but yet . . .he lacked the heart and hope of which should’ve been instilled in him for a higher purpose. This movie just left me cold and angry.
Seven Pounds is probably the movie Christy and I have disagreed the most about over the years. And it has gotten ugly! I’m surprised a fist-fight has never broken out!!! We both feel that strongly about our opinions of this film. I don’t know what she was watching, but I’ve never had a movie speak to me like this one did. I’ve probably seen it at least 100 times – and still get pretty emotional when I watch it! I don’t think he’s being selfish at all! He’s trying to help as many people as he can and find a way to end his pain and suffering in the process! Of course, he runs into some “complications” with his plan, but that’s one of the things that makes it such a powerful movie to me. There are definitely decisions to be made and I think they would be hard for anyone to know what to do. I wasn’t trying to “figure out” the storyline like Christy, I was just watching the movie and trying to put myself in the main character’s place – and wondering what I would do in the same situation... I like to think I would do the same thing.
Uh-oh, I can tell another fight is just around the corner when she reads this!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I needed a “break” last weekend so I watched a couple of movies that did the trick. “A Perfect Getaway” is a cat and mouse thrill ride! I really like Steve Zahn and Timothy Olyphant and this movie did not lack in showcasing their talents!! The perfect setting - Hawaii - the perfect couples, Zhan, Olyphant and their wives played by Milla Jovovich and Kiele Sanchez - and an almost perfect murder. All of these couple get tangled up in a “who’s who” of murder and just when you think you know who the killer is . . .the hand is flipped and you’re back to square one again! The suspense kept me guessing till the very end.
Right along with this I watched “Red.” A high octane, in your face, action movie!! Bruce Willis is a retired C.I.A. Black Ops agent and a person you don’t want to mess with . . .but people are out to kill him along with other retired Black Ops agents played by Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. They band together to make this movie a roller coaster ride of pure entertainment! For an action movie - it has a sense of humor and fun and just a bit of romance tied in with enough explosions and bullets to last to the very end. The actors make this an outstanding movie and just a fun way to spend a couple of hours.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I watched this movie not knowing much about it. All I’d heard is that it was sad. And yes, it is. Very! The whole movie is centered around a couple who is trying to figure out how to deal with the loss of their little boy who had been run over by a car while trying not to have it destroy their relationship in the process. What is the “right” thing to do? Do you talk about it? Do you pack up his things? Do you keep a “shrine” in his room that is exactly as he left it that morning and never change anything? Do you go to counseling? Do others have the answers? Do you fight? Does acting one way or the other mean you loved him more or less? Do any of these questions even have “right” answers? The movie also shows how others are affected by such an event and the pain they are feeling and how maybe there are no “right” answers. Not everything is always going to make sense. I didn’t enjoy this movie at all. But, I don’t think I was really supposed to, either... I thought Nicole Kidman was great as the mother and really made me feel her pain and what she was going through. So, I would say it was a good movie, but I didn’t like it.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I have to tell you, I am not a horror fan! I grew up in the generation of the old TV series Dark Shadows and read all sorts of scary comic books. So sometimes I admit, I want to watch some of the movies that go bump in the night!! This is a TV series that premiered last fall on AMC and after the first episode . . .I was hooked . . .zombies and all!! The premise of the show is about the end of man-kind as we know it. There is a worldwide virus that has turned your next door neighbor and families into corpses of rotting flesh. But then, we have a band of survivors who were not infected and are looking to stay alive in a world that no longer belongs to them. It was the characters themselves that got me hooked!! Right from the start I cared about the main character, the sheriff! I wanted to know what happened to his family and other people who took up the good fight. As the show continued, you get to know the characters, see their pains, their loves, their fears - and in a world that is out of control - they still have to focus on their lives. There are plenty of zombie scenes to fill your thirst for a little bit of the gore factor and the blood is sometimes in your face but they still take a backseat to an amazing plot. Great actors, great zombies, great special effects, and a storyline that will suck you in and leave you breathless till the season starts up again in the fall.
Well, this is one I probably wouldn’t have watched on my own. But, Christy kept telling me how good it was and how much she enjoyed it. After her bugging me over and over about how I needed to watch it, I finally gave in – and I’m so glad I did! I would have to agree with everything she wrote about it. It reminded me of the movie Zombieland for the story, but was a completely serious version. You really do come to care about the characters and almost put yourself in their place, wondering what you would do or how you would handle different situations they come across. It is kind of gory in many of the scenes, but doesn’t seem to be doing it so much for shock value as trying to look as realistic as possible (OK, some is definitely for shock value, too!). I also liked that it wasn’t totally predictable and there were some surprises. I guess I’m hooked, too! I’m already waiting for the new season to begin!!!
Monday, May 2, 2011
When I’ve mentioned this movie to people, most have no idea what it is – but as soon as they start hearing the story, they realize they do know and remember the events from when they actually happened. It’s hard to tell from the title, but this movie tells the true story of Aron Ralston, the mountain climber whose hand was pinned to a wall by a small boulder deep in a crevice in the mountains near Moab, Utah. He was all alone and pretty much in the “middle of nowhere.” Even knowing the story already and having read his book, this film completely engrossed me – from start to finish! There were times where I was squirming in my seat as I could tell he was resorting to desperate measures to free himself. I don’t normally get “that” into movies, but found myself holding my breath without even realizing it during the most intense scenes and letting out a huge sigh of relief once he was finished. I really felt like this movie captured the feelings and emotions he must have gone through during his 127 hour ordeal. His story is one that is very intriguing, but not one anyone would wish to actually go through! Watching this made me feel like I did “experience” it as much as possible and it definitely felt real!!! I highly recommend it!
So here’s the fun part of this blog . . .I’m going to disagree with Eric about the movie 127 Hours. I knew of the story, read bits and pieces of the book and Eric and I have talked about his struggle and the sheer will of survival. In that respect, I didn’t feel this movie captured any of that feeling. I had no connection with the character even though I knew what to expect. I didn’t think the actor did a good job with his portrayal. I thought the music was horrendous for this type of film and the cinematography drove me crazy!! I really did not like how it was filmed. It was jerky and weird!!! I didn’t like the flashbacks or the flashforwards - it did nothing to my heart strings. This movie should’ve made me gasp out loud and make my heart pound but all it did was make me wish for the end!!