Thursday, December 27, 2012

Trouble with the Curve

Trouble with the Curve was more of a heartfelt movie than what I was expecting.  Clint Eastwood plays an aging baseball scout who is worried more about recruiting than he is his health.  His daughter, played by Amy Adams, has been at odds with her father for years, but when her dad’s livelihood is on the line  she comes to be at his side and that is where the story begins. Clint’s character needs his daughter to be his eyes and she needs him to be her dad and through the love of baseball  They find a way to work through the hurt, the pain and the loss which inflicted them for most of their lives.  There are other outstanding actors in the movie such as Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, and several other “old timers”.  It isn’t a heavy handed drama –but it is a family drama and one that you might want to watch for the purity of the story and for the legendary actor that is Clint Eastwood.

Trouble with the Curve

This movie was so much more than just baseball.  It was about life.  It was about relationships.  It was about how everything really affects everyone and everything else along the way.  It’s Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams playing their roles as father and daughter perfectly.  Along with Justin Timberlake and John Goodman and many others doing the same.  I liked that it showed how age, experience and knowing what you’re doing DOES matter!  And that loyalty should matter.  That there are more important things in life than just the bottom line.  Clint Eastwood plays a baseball scout nearing the end of his career and not really wanting to accept that fact.  Amy Adams is his daughter, who is trying to reconcile the past with her father while making sure he’s doing alright with his aging, along with trying to further herself in her law career.  Justin Timberlake is a new scout trying to learn the ropes from the best.  They’re all tied together and in the end, they realize just how much they really are alike (even if they never saw it before) and how much they all mean to each other.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Men In Black 3

Even though this is the third movie in the series, it felt “fresh” to me – but still familiar, too.  I was afraid in the beginning that it would be like the second one in the trilogy with old gags and weird things added for no real reason, but it wasn’t.  It was a whole new movie with a good story!  I got to see Agent K (played by Tommy Lee Jones) before he became a grumpy old man – and Josh Brolin was PERFECT in the role of the younger version of K!  I really can’t see how he could have done any better.  I also liked that it had a real story – Boris the Animal has escaped from prison and goes back in time to kill K, who arrested him back in 1969, and wants to keep it all from happening.  Agent J (played by Will Smith) realizes what’s happened and has to go back in time himself and try to straighten everything out – and that’s where the fun begins!  There are some twists and turns and some explanations for how things have turned out in the future and it was just a funny movie on top of all of that!  There were even some very touching scenes toward the end that I wasn’t expecting at all.  I’m glad I watched it!  I enjoyed it a lot!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Expendables 2

Hang on to your hats – the boys are back!  The whole crew from the first movie plus a few new faces are back to kick it into high gear!  As with the first movie, this one didn’t disappoint!  I don’t have to tell you the plot – because it doesn’t really matter.  You know what you’re getting when you watch this movie – fun, explosions and over the top “NO WAY” action.  Sly Stallone is back with the whole gang, (minus Mickey Rourke) for another adventure.   He’s brought along a few new friends you might know - Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme.  This movie is just a kick in the pants!  Besides the action – it’s packed with humor and great one-liners from the characters that they made famous in the 80’s – for example who’s known for saying “Yippee-ki-yay” and “I’ll be back?”  Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  With most sequels, they’re never as good as the first – but this one is - it hits the mark dead on!!  Don’t miss it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

"Everyone and everything is interconnected in this universe.  Stay pure of heart and you will see the signs.  Follow the signs and you will uncover your destiny.”   This is how the movie opens and is exactly what Jeff believes about life.  He is also obsessed with the movie Signs and believes no “sign” is too small to matter in the grand scheme of things.  This movie was NOTHING like I was expecting.  I was expecting some pot-head, stoner movie that didn’t really touch on anything and would just be really light.  Jeff does like his weed, but that’s not the focus of this one.  Jeff is kind of stalled in life and searching for his destiny, and along the way realizes how many others may be in the same shape, even if they look like they’ve got it all together.  Jeff’s mother is kind of lost in life after the death of her husband and his brother’s marriage is going downhill.  He has such an idealistic view of what life is, or should be, or could be, and I found myself identifying with him over and over when he’s “seeing” it and can’t seem to get anyone else to see what he’s talking about – or feeling everything in the same way as him.  There is also some major soul-searching about what we view and expect of others, as well as ourselves, and this movie can really strike some chords in the viewer as well.  Eventually, everything does come together for everyone in a way none of them could have ever expected.  I liked it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

Did we need another Spider-Man movie?  Probably not, but I still enjoyed this one.  It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the Spider-Man movies from the last decade, so not sure how it compares scene by scene.  And I didn’t try matching it to comic books and seeing how “faithful” the characters are or anything like that.  I just watched it.  It’s  always interesting to see what Peter Parker’s drive and motivation are going to be for taking on the Spider-Man “persona” and his incentive this time is trying to figure out why his parents disappeared when he was just a child.  After finding top-secret documents his father left behind, he tracks down his dad’s former partner, Dr. Curt Connors, and hoping for some insight, shares the information with him.  This is exactly what Connors was needing to try to complete his most important research.  But, as often happens with these things, not everything goes as planned – to put it mildly!  And of course, Spider-Man is the only one who can save everyone!  Spider-Man has always been my favorite super-hero, so maybe I’m a little biased, but I thought it was a good movie!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Campaign

With the election right around the corner – this movie is out at the right time – if you need some humor to break up the torrential flood of commercials of the “pick me” game!!  Actually, this movie isn’t too bad – it could’ve done without some of the lewd and crude jokes but beyond that – it was kind of funny.  Will Ferrell plays the baby kissing, butt kissing, faker than fake politician who is Congressman Brady running for office again.  The powers that be – want someone else in that position to be their patsy and that person is your nobody important, dog loving, American fearing, flag waving, next door neighbor played by Zach Galifianakis.  It’s a virtual fight for every vote and neither one of them are afraid to do what it takes to get the vote!  The movie has political undertones that do ring true with today’s campaigns, but then there is over the top humor and a few baby scene stealers that you can’t help but shake your head at and laugh.  If you’re a fan of Will Ferrell you’ll like this movie – he seems to always play the same type of character but the banter between him and Galifianakis is pretty funny and the ending is as American and patriotic as it gets! 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I’ll start by saying that I was VERY skeptical of this movie before watching it.  Why make Abraham Lincoln a vampire hunter?  The whole concept just seemed strange to me.  But from the start, I was sucked into this movie!  No pun intended…  It wasn’t a bloody “slasher” movie like I was expecting, it was serious - like they wanted you to believe history could have actually happened this way.  Not to say there wasn’t any blood or gore – there was plenty!  It all started when Lincoln witnessed a vampire killing his mother when he was just a child – and he vows to seek revenge on him!  After years of patiently waiting, he tries going about it himself and learns it might be a lot harder than he initially thought!  Lucky for him, Henry Sturges comes along and trains him in the art of killing vampires.  His weapon of choice is an ax that he can swing and control like he's some kind of ninja and it becomes the star of many scenes.  The path he takes leads him through being a vampire killer, a politician, and eventually President of the United States.  I hate to say it, but the movie does such a good job, it almost seems plausible!  Fantasy is tied in with history to create a whole new past and I was hooked right away!  I liked the characters, I liked the acting, and I liked the story!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

This show was so much more than what I thought it would be and I really liked it!  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a movie, that if you let it, will make you stop and think.  It isn’t a heavy film but the emotions it can evoke can be pretty heartfelt.  The end of the world is here – there is no choice, there is no Bruce Willis to save the world, the asteroid Matilida is due to hit the earth and time is of the essence.  Steve Carell plays Dodge, whose no-nonsense approach on life is as plain as the nose on his face.  He meets his neighbor, Penny, played by Keira Knightley, who is an optimist looking at the world through rose colored glasses.  Together, they set out to fulfill their last wishes – for him it’s to find his first love and for her, it’s to be with her family.  Along the way, you meet people who, in their own way, are dealing with the end.  This movie made me think, what would I do if I knew I had 21 days to live – would I drink and party, would I go to work, would I riot and go crazy or would I spend that time with the people that matter the most in my life.  This movie isn’t an action movie – it is a very heartfelt movie of life, loss and a friendship that lasts through the final moments of time.  The ending was the culmination of the whole movie . . .it made me cry.  It was so much more than what the commercials presented and it’s worth every minute of it.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

I can’t stop thinking about this movie…  I liked it a lot!  I’ve watched it twice already and it just came out on DVD last week.  The asteroid is definitely heading towards Earth and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it from destroying all life as we know it.  I think what I liked most about the movie is that it’s not just another action movie – it’s like it goes below the surface of the normal chaos and panic and into the real feelings and emotions of the characters who are reflecting on their lives and looking at what’s left of their future.  Penny and Dodge are about as different as they can be, but they are both needing someone and have that in common.  It seemed to me like the movie was more than just the asteroid – it was about figuring out what – and who – is really important to you before it’s too late.  And they have all kinds of crazy things happen on their adventure, but nothing seems to phase them or stop them from finding what they’ve been looking for all along. I just hope if that time ever comes for me, I will have a friend like Penny and Dodge were able to have and be there for each other.  I really think this one can be as “deep” as you want it to be and allow it to be.  If you let it, this movie will get to you… 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Machinist

I had never heard of this movie until a friend recommended it to me – and I am so glad she did!  The Machinist was different, intense at times, unpredictable, and kept me on the edge of my seat for sure.  It’s an older movie where Christian Bale plays an industrial worker who literally has not slept for an entire year and has no idea why he can’t fall asleep.  Strange things start happening and his lack of rest starts catching up with him - after a horrible accident at work, he doesn’t know if people are out to get him, if he’s just paranoid, or if he’s suffering from his lack of sleep and just isn’t thinking straight.  He really begins to question his own sanity and you know eventually, something has to give.  I don’t sleep very much and found myself identifying with his character over and over through the whole movie – not sure if that’s a good thing or not…  I can’t say too much here, because it’s not until the last scenes of the movie that you find out what’s been happening and all of the answers you (and him) have been looking for the entire film!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Magic Mike

Magic Mike is a waste of time, brain cells, and anything you “think” it might be!!  This movie is filled with vile language and a storyline that reminded me of a seedy 70’s movie about sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.  I have read many reviews on this film and I think I must’ve watched a different movie from all the other people that “loved” it!!!  The only good thing about this movie was Channing Tatum!  If you enjoy watching awesome dance scenes – he’s it!  He can dance and it’s not even about the stripping scenes – he can actually dance and it’s fun to watch him do what he does best but other than that – it’s a waste.  Every word in the movie is the “f” word, the actual “stripping” scenes were pretty laughable, and the story itself was sad and desperate.  The other main character story line is with Alex Pettyfer, who finds himself getting roped into being a male dancer but along with the money comes the down side of drugs and nameless sex.  He finds himself going down an empty road.  And a shout out to Matthew McConaughey fans – he plays the sleaziest, greasiest, foul-mouthed club owner who runs around half naked and cussing everything in sight.  His character made me cringe every time he was on screen.  I didn’t find anything appealing in this film and I can’t believe they are making a sequel.  So you’ve been warned – there isn’t anything “magic” about this movie!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

This movie was released a few months ago, but I finally got around to watching it.  Maybe it was the title?  Salmon Fishing in the Yemen?  Really???  That didn’t sound very exciting to me.  But in some ways, it really was!  Not in a blow up buildings and shoot everyone in every scene kind of way - but more in a “following your dreams no matter how crazy they seem, following your heart, and working against impossible odds to accomplish what you set out to do” kind of way.  It’s the dream of a sheik to bring the sport of salmon fishing to the desert and he wants someone to make it possible.  This is definitely no easy task!  Even the man he hires to do it thinks it’s impossible to actually make it work in the beginning.  You need the right water, you need a lot of fish, all kinds of things – and besides just acquiring these things, you need to be able to get them there and make it all work in a natural environment.  It wasn't "really" about fishing, though – it seemed to be more about what it all represented by making the fishing possible and how getting to that point affected everyone involved.  There were side stories that kept everything moving along, and of course, a love story.  It was a smart, caring type movie that was actually about the story.  It was sweet, nice and just a decent overall movie.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rock of Ages

You know the artists – Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, WhiteSnake, REO Speedwagon, Guns n’ Roses, Night Ranger, Scorpions, Def Leppard just to name a few of the rockers of the 80’s.  That is what Rock of Ages is about – the music and the feel of the 80’s. This movie is a musical first and story second. The storyline is ok but it’s not the star of the show.  You watch this movie for the cheesy fun that was the 80’s - the hairstyles, the leather pants, the hair bands that defined it so well.  Tom Cruise plays every rocker persona of the 80’s in his character, Stacee Jaxx, a worn out, sex crazed, boozed rocker.  He’s still got it – but along the way, he sold his soul to the devil of rock and roll and now he’s reaping the price.  Throw in a small town girl, played by Julianne Hough, with the bright lights of the big city in her eyes and you’ve got your love story as she falls in love with a young rocker to be, who breaks her heart.  But as every good musical goes, they sing, they dance, and cast their spell on the rest of the story as you follow the journey of each person’s dream.  This is a group of talented actors who you can’t help but laugh at and sing along with.  AND, if you’re wondering if Tom Cruise pulls off the rock god persona – he does and with a voice to boot!  It was a “totally awesome” rocking movie and if you’re “looking for nothing but a good time” you’ve come to the right place . . .dude!

Rock of Ages

I’ll start by saying I liked this movie – A LOT - it was fun!  I’m not really sure how to describe it, though.  It was kind of like a self-mocking “tribute” to the 80s and many of the bands that helped define the decade.  It was the music I grew up with and listened to in high school – I knew every word to every song in the movie!  It was definitely different hearing others sing the songs I’ve heard at least a million times throughout my life – and I won’t lie - there were times it felt like some extended episode of Glee – but some were fairly decent, some surprisingly good, some not so much.  I wasn’t too sure about Tom Cruise right away, but I think he pulled it off!  And with Russell Brand, I’m never quite sure what I’m going to get and have never been a “huge” fan of his, but I’m liking him more and more and thought he was hilarious in this one!  If you’re looking for a documentary or something that really captures what the 80s music and scene were like, I’d say “this ain’t it” – but if you want something that’s fun and doesn’t take itself too serious – almost to the point of being completely ridiculous at times – you should like this one!  The music took me back to my youth and was a really fun trip down memory lane!!!  It rocked!!!  In a “musical” kind of way…

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Marvel's The Avengers

I enjoyed this movie a lot!  I saw it in the theatres and anxiously waited for it to come out on DVD so I could watch it again!  LOVED Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk.  You get to see a side of him, (the Hulk), that might not have played out in other previous movies.  He plays the Hulk’s counter part, Dr. Banner, as a  sensitive guy with a sense of humor but yet you know, bottled up, is the lean, green, mean machine.  LOVED Robert Downey, Jr. in his return character - Iron Man!  His character is smart, witty and full of himself but he delivers on full blown charisma.  Chris Hemsworth is the handsome God of Thunder, built to take on any enemy that comes his way and this time, it’s his brother, Loki, who plans on imprisoning earth and all its inhabitants.  Along the way, you have Jeremy Renner who plays Hawk, a very skilled professional with a bow and arrow, The Black Widow, played by the beautiful Scarlett Johansson, who kicks butt as good as any guy and don’t forget about Captain America.  The suave Chris Evans brings to life the solider that was made from a test tube – but will forever stand for liberty and pursuit of justice.  Mix in evil plots, aliens from another world, a lot of humor and just really good acting and you get a super hero movie!!  Coming in at 2 ½ hours – it will keep you engaged, laughing, and always cheering for the good guys to win . . .which they do . . .because they are . . . The Avengers!!

Marvel's The Avengers

I liked this one, too!  After working out all of their issues, it was fun seeing all of the superheroes work together and use each of their strengths to go against Loki – when none of them could have defeated him and his “army” alone.  I’ve always liked the Hulk and Captain America, and have gotten to know Thor, Iron Man and all the others through the movies leading up to this one – it really felt like an all-star cast!  I think Iron Man is my favorite with all of his sarcasm and one-liners, but I do like them all.  The special effects were pretty cool, too – I’m thinking it would have been quite a spectacle on the big screen, but they were still good on a smaller scale, too.  It was just a fun, “get away from it all” for awhile, nice escape movie for me!  If you’ve seen the earlier movies or like comic book/superhero movies, you should like this one! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Think Like A Man

I thought this movie was so fun!!  Based on the bestselling book by Steve Harvey, “Act like a Lady~Think like a Man” – the movie captures the heart and soul of the book and all the relationship questions we women have about men!  The movie shows different types of men and women who struggle with relationships and their own reasoning’s for what they’re looking for.  The movie just sucked me in and I went along for the ride and laughed as the characters tried to outsmart each other in their relationships to win the other’s heart. But when all is said and done – the characters show us that you need to be true to yourself first and when you do that – there are no losers.  Great romantic comedy– watch it for a girl’s night or a date night or if you’re just looking for something that is just entertaining!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Hunger Games

I’m not sure how I feel about this movie.  I read this book several times over and really enjoyed it but to see it on film – was a different feeling for me.  I knew what was coming and what was going to happen but yet, it bothered me to see the storyline play out on film.  Set in the future, there has been a breakdown in society and 2 “tributes" from each of the 12 regions must participate in The Hunger Games. A “game” where kids, ages 12-18, are pitted against each other and the only way to win, is to be the last person alive.  It isn’t overly graphic but I do feel it’s intended for 13 years and up.  I really liked the actors and felt they captured the heart and the soul of the story.  I think this is a movie that you can read many different perceptions into but overall – it’s a compelling film.

The Hunger Games

I admit it – I was completely sucked in by this movie!  I hadn’t read any of the books and went into it barely knowing the story, so I didn’t have any real expectations.  Their society was pretty much just the wealthy and the poor – no in between - and the main reason for the games seemed to be for the entertainment of the wealthy.  Jennifer Lawrence, who portrayed the main character, Katniss, did an incredible job and captured her independence, her slightly rebellious attitude and her resourcefulness, along with showing us her caring side.  There seemed to be all kinds of small plot twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat and I didn’t have any idea which direction some of the scenes were going to take.  Something else I liked about this movie were all of the characters and how I felt about them.  I cared about each of them and it was hard watching them go through this ordeal and have to fight to the death just because they “won” a lottery and were forced to – they had no choice in being in The Hunger Games.  All that being said, I would definitely watch it again.  It was very entertaining!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Big Miracle

Big Miracle is inspired by an incredible true story that happened back in 1988. Three gray whales get trapped by ice in the Arctic Circle above Alaska and nobody can figure out the best way to help them - and the area is slowly freezing and closing their only breathing hole.  The story starts out as kind of a joke and grows so much that it eventually captures the attention and heart of the entire world!  Everyone is rooting for the whales, affectionately known as “Fred,” “Wilma,” and “Bamm-Bamm.”  I liked that everyone worked together to help them, whether they lived there or were visiting or even American or Russian or whatever – the whales were what mattered!  The working conditions were like nothing most of them had ever experienced – and the EXTREME cold made most everything impossible.  I laughed, I cried, and I rooted for the whales along with everyone else!  I really enjoyed this one – even just to get away from all the “normal” news stories for awhile. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Teen Wolf - The First Season

This is not the 80’s version of teen wolf with Michael J. Fox– this is a new MTV series that has scored high ratings and there’s a reason for that – IT’S FUN!  It’s a story you’re familiar with – kid gets bitten by “something” and it turns out to be a wolf – a werewolf!  It’s Scotts struggle to find himself and stay true and not turn to the evil that is now in him.  The premise is set in high school, so you have all the drama of high school plus a super supporting cast. Tyler Posey plays Scott, and he brings such charm to his character, you don’t care if he’s a werewolf.  He battles the forces against him and within him to keep those around him safe as well as himself. His best friend, Stiles, is a hoot!!  He is the comic relief to the show and brings a breath of fresh air to his character. His romantic interest, Allison, is the girl next door with a secret of her own and of course there’s the jock that wants what Scott has and will do anything to get it.  Mix in another hot werewolf, Derek and some serious dark turn of events and you have a show that rivals The Vampire Diaries or any other show like it on TV.   It’s funny, smart, cool, romantic, and a little bit on the dark side.  Season Two is on TV now so catch up with season one and you’ll be hooked too!

Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror on the wall – who’s the fairest of them all?  Another classic fairy tale is retold but this time, there are some very modern twists to it.  There are dwarfs who aren’t so short, a queen that schemes to dupe prince charming out of his money and a princess who finds out there’s more to her than her beauty.  Julia Roberts plays the deliciously evil queen, Lily Collins who is the fairest of them all, and Armie Hammer the dashing and not-so-needed prince charming.  I loved the dwarfs and their lines were so funny and the story’s main theme is for young girls!  That they can do whatever they want if they put their mind to it. It’s a good movie for the family and for those who enjoy movies of fairy tales – this one will be right up your alley.

One for the Money

I owe my friend an apology.  She has been on me to watch this movie since it came out.  I really had no desire to see it but for the lack of anything on TV- I watched it and was pleasantly surprised!  Not being a fan of Katherine Heigl or having read any of the Janet Evanovich books, from which the movie came from – I wasn’t sure how hokey it might be.  But it was pretty good.  Katherine’s character is Stephanie Plum, a down on her luck, fired from her last job woman who needs some money.  She hits up her cousin for a job and he asks her to bring in a couple of people who missed their court dates.  She then turns Bounty Hunter.  The case she wants, worth the big bucks, is her ex-boyfriend, a cop who is accused of killing an unarmed man.  It’s cops and robbers, chases and a few twist and turns.  So, my friend was right and the movie was worth watching

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

This is will be a very short blog – this movie was awful and should’ve never been made!  I really liked the first one – it was different, fun, and quirky.  This movie was none of those things.  A new director made this film go off the deep end!  The character of Johnny Blaze was darker and almost like he was on drugs!  He wasn’t the same character as the first movie had portrayed him and the whole “feel” of the movie was lost on me.  Overall, this doesn’t compare at all to the first one and wasn’t even worth a glance.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Contraband

This movie has Mark Wahlberg playing the role of a former smuggler who has “retired” from that line of work and cleaned up his life.  That’s all well and good until his brother-in-law gets into trouble with a smuggle gone wrong.  In order to protect him, Wahlberg’s character must get back in the game – and find a way to smuggle millions of dollars in counterfeit bills from Panama!  I didn’t really feel like this movie was breaking any new ground or was anything I hadn’t seen before - seemed pretty cliché.  But I still enjoyed it - it was entertaining and had a decent story.  So, if that’s the type of movie you go for, it shouldn’t disappoint!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are back again as Holmes and Watson.  For fans of the first movie, the sequel is just as good.  Once again, Holmes is on a mission to thwart evil and he “persuades” Watson to join him in his mission.  This Sherlock Holmes is long in storytelling, running at 2 hours and 9 minutes, but it does suck you into the adventure and lots of adventure there is.  The ending captivated me and as I watched I thought, “No way!  They wouldn’t do that”!   The story is very mysterious, intriguing, and just an entertaining film.  It’s a must for the fans of the first movie and if you haven’t seen these films – you might give them both a try.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Safe House

I really, really, really, liked this movie!!!  It was engaging, enthralling, intense and kept me on the edge of my seat till the very end!  Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds are at their very best in these character roles.  Denzel can play the heck out of anything and in this movie he gave an outstanding performance as Tobin Frost, a rogue ex-CIA agent that has a file that people are willing to kill for.  I thought this was Ryan’s best performance yet!  He plays CIA agent, Matt Weston, who is the keeper of the safe house.  Enter Denzel’s character and that’s where the story explodes.  The safe house has been sabotaged and all agents killed – except for Frost and Matt.  It is up to Matt to get Frost to another safe house before the killers find them and kill them both.  This movie has intrigue, suspense, twists and turns, and just solid acting!!  An A+ movie.

Act of Valor

This movie stars a group of real active-duty Navy SEALs on a mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative that get involved in stopping a terrorist plot against the U.S.  I’ve heard criticism about the acting, but I’ve also heard people that think it’s great they didn’t have actors and had actual SEALs in the movie.  I thought the story was very powerful and intense and made up for the acting!  And it was VERY emotional!!!  Not sure if everyone would like it, though – there was a lot of blood, some torture, and a LOT of shooting and killing!  It doesn’t matter if it’s women or children or whoever.  It was just showing how merciless all of that can be, but was still disturbing.  But then, it was trying to be realistic and not sugarcoat everything, so in that way, I would say it definitely succeeded!  If you want to see a movie that shows a realistic view of what the military does for our country and the sacrifices they have to make, you won’t want to miss this one!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Red Tails

This movie is based on the true story of the first African-American combat unit to serve in World War II.  They’d always been told they weren’t smart enough and their reflexes weren’t fast enough and any other reason that could be used to keep them out of flying combat missions.  When they’re finally given a chance to show they truly are capable, they make the most of it!  They REALLY make the most of it!!!  After being skeptical at first, other pilots come to respect them and actually request to have the “Red Tails” fly along on their missions!  For being a “war” movie, it still had light-hearted moments and didn’t always take itself too seriously, although there were serious moments, too.  I loved the flight and combat sequences and all of the aerial acrobatics flying across the screen!  It wasn’t the best movie ever, but I’d say it was definitely above average.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

This Means War

I really liked this movie!  It was amusing, entertaining, and a perfect movie for a date night!  Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play best friends who are CIA agents.  Reese Witherspoon plays their love interest – but unknowingly to the guys, they are in love with the same woman.  It is a game of high tech cat and mouse while each of them try to get her to fall for them.  The movie is filled with lots of action, car chases and amusing one liners and a touch of romance as she must decide who she ultimately loves.  Just a fun flick that’s laugh out loud funny!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Grey

I did not like this movie.  Had I known more about it – I don’t think I would’ve watched it.  It was a very dark, depressing movie with no hope.  A small band of survivors of a plane, crash, in a remote, frozen, barren, wilderness and struggle to stay alive.  They fight against all the elements of nature, the wind, snow and the wolves that hunt in packs.  Their only hope is to survive in a place where humans aren’t meant to survive and only the fiercest of animals make their way.  In a way, this movie was almost like a horror movie just in the fact that the wolves were picking off the survivors one by one.  Some of the story lines were unbelievable and some of them were meant to make you think about life and death.  I don’t want to watch a movie so depressing that it depresses me!!!  Some people will like this show, some will go into the depths of their mind and souls and come away with some big meaning to life through the death scenes – all I wanted after watching it was to watch a little bit of I Love Lucy and quit being so depressed!

The Grey

Well, I did “like” this movie.  And pretty much for the same reasons that Christy didn’t like it!  It WAS dark, it WAS depressing, it WAS bleak.  I guess how I saw it was showing that real life isn't a fairy tale.  Life isn't fair.  You can do all the "right" things and still die in a plane crash.  Or drown in a river.  Or get eaten by a wolf!  It definitely wasn't a classic or top notch by any means – and some things weren’t very realistic, but I thought it was way better than I was expecting.  I think I was looking more at the story or what they were trying to convey with it, rather than the actual "how" of it all.  I would watch it again - not that I "enjoyed" it - just feel like there was more to it than some people have seen when they watched it...

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Year's Eve

What happens when you get a huge group of actors and ask them all to be in a movie?  Nothing!!  This movie was like, 1000 different stories rolled up into a ball of messy, tangled twine.  New Year’s Eve tells the stories of different people and how their lives intersect on New Year’s Eve.  It wasn’t so much the different stories, but it was the lack of energy, imagination, and general acting!!  I wasn’t impressed by this movie because it seemed like they threw this movie together for the holiday season in hopes of making a buck or two.  There were some storylines I did like, there were some sweet moments, but overall, I was just sitting through a movie waiting for the credits so I didn’t feel like I wasted 2 hours.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dark Tide

I like sharks and I like Halle Berry, but I DID NOT like this movie very much!  The storyline was incredibly basic, the acting was awful, and I didn’t care if any of them lived or died - I didn’t even care how the movie was going to end!!!  The sharks were the best actors if that tells you anything!  The story was about Halle’s character having been hired to take a man and his son out to “swim free with sharks” without a cage - because she’s the best - but hadn’t been in the water for over a year because of a tragic accident that left her friend dead.  The actual filming and scenery were nice, Halle Berry was beautiful, of course, and like I said, the sharks did very well – but you need more than that to make a decent movie!

Joyful Noise

Let’s start out with the positives of this movie.  Great music!  I knew going into this film that I would hear awesome, uplifting music and I wasn’t disappointed!  Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah star in the movie as dueling divas of a church choir but it’s the two young stars of the movie that deliver outstanding vocals!!  That said, the story itself was very clichéd.  A single mom raising kids with attitudes, a grandson that has a checkered past, the two young kids fall in love and there is no love lost between Dolly and Queen Latifah until they realize they must work together to win the national choir competition.  The acting was fair.  I was expecting a “blockbuster” feel to the movie and I came away feeling like I watched a “lackluster” film.  I don’t want to say this is a bad film because I’ve seen worse so if you liked the Sister Act movies and enjoy Christian/Gospel music – you will enjoy this one too!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

This is the fourth installment in this franchise and the best!  I have enjoyed all the MIs, but I was very happy to see new life breathed into this film.  The first 3 are dark and very brooding and this one hits with new energy! The locations, the cars, the stunts are just incredible!  Tom Cruise reprises his role of Ethan Hunt, an IMF agent who has been disavowed and he, with 3 other agents, must stop a mad man with a nuclear device.  It’s all very clever, very thrilling and I’m a sucker for movies with a nod to the original and of course, there’s the famous music of Mission Impossible, which I’m still humming in my mind!  It runs a little long but “should you choose to accept the mission” you won’t be disappointed!

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

I enjoyed this movie a lot!  I’m a little young to remember the TV series, but I do like the movies.  I can’t stop thinking about some of the stunts – especially Tom Cruise climbing on the outside of and swinging around on the 240-story Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai – which he actually did with no stunt doubles!  I also thought it was cool how most of the devices they used were things we use in our everyday lives – things like iPhones and iPads - gadgets that may have seemed very futuristic in the 60s and 70s, but made it seem more plausible and like if I could find the right app, maybe I could do those things, too!!!  This was just a fun, entertaining movie! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We Bought a Zoo

We Bought a Zoo wasn’t what I was expecting – I thought it would have more animals and silly stuff like The Zookeeper but I was pleasantly surprised – it had a story line and heart.  Based on true events, Matt Damon plays Benjamin Mee, who is raising two kids on his own after he lost his wife to cancer. The story itself isn’t sad but it is about the determination of a dad who is doing the best he can, given the hand he was dealt.  We find out that Benjamin is an adventurer and when he comes to a crossroad in his life he decides to buy a zoo.  The movie has a lot of appeal - I enjoyed the characters and the actress who plays his daughter is just a doll!  I would say this is a family movie but with a slight hesitation.  It is a story driven movie and the animals are secondary.  Even though we do see the animals, younger kids may get bored because there’s not enough scenes with the animals to keep their interest and there are a few minor cuss words if you are uncomfortable with your kids hearing any kind of language.  But overall, I really enjoyed!

We Bought a Zoo

I’d have to agree with Christy on this one – it wasn’t really what I was expecting, either.  It was more - a lot more!  The zoo itself was more of a side story, while the focus of the movie was more about how he was trying to deal with the loss of his wife and taking care of his children and starting life as a different family.  The movie really begins when he falls in love with a house…that has an attached zoo - and buying the house means buying the zoo, too!  It was hard to tell if they were going to make it work, but it turned out to be exactly what everyone needed.  I was expecting more of a kids’ movie, but I really enjoyed this one!  It was funny, it was sad, it was uplifting – a full movie experience!  Makes ME want to go find a zoo to buy, too!!!

War Horse

The horse in this movie is incredible!  He was more than just a horse.  It’s like the horse “knows” what’s going on during every scene and has a spirit that can’t be broken.  It’s amazing how many lives he touches through the course of the film!  Set during World War I, it’s an against the odds, never give up type of story - he’s a horse nobody wanted, the farm he’s working on is ready to fail, and his spirit always triumphs!  He goes from the farm and the boy who trained him and who he means the world to off to being a war horse and experiencing battles, being captured by enemies, and even being saved by others.  Everyone who comes in contact with him has their lives changed!  He gave them hope and allows people to triumph during incredibly bleak times by being put through test after test and he could have easily given up or been killed at almost any point.  If you’ve ever had that special connection with an animal, this film is for you!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hop

Just in time for Easter, Hop,  jumps into our collection.  This cute animation (mixed with real time) film comes to life as E.B. (better known as the Easter Bunny) isn’t ready to take over the reins from his dad.  He has a dream – to be a drummer!!  His dream takes him from Easter Island, (where all the goodies of Easter are made) to where else . . .Hollywood!!  There he runs into or almost gets ran over by Fred, a slacker of a son who can’t make his parents happy either.  Once Fred gets over his anxieties about a talking rabbit – silly fun pursues as E.B. wants to live out his dream as a drummer for David Hasselhoff and Fred discovers he wants to be the new Easter Bunny.  But – an evil chick is on the loose on Easter Island and threatens to take them all down.  What will E.B. do??  Will he live out his dreams or save Easter Island? Russell Brand is the perfect voice for E.B., and James Marsden plays Fred.  I found this movie to be delightfully fun and even laugh out loud funny in parts. Whether it’s Easter or any other time – this is a perfect family movie for a night of popcorn and laughs!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Descendants

I loved this movie!  It was hard to watch in some spots, but I couldn’t turn away, either.  George Clooney’s character, Matt, a lawyer in Hawaii, is taking care of his daughters after his wife has been in a horrible boating accident and is clinging to life in the hospital.  He hasn’t really been a big part of their lives up to this point and seems to have a hard time relating to them.  As he does, there are also new revelations about his life that come to light for him.  Besides dealing with all of this, he is the sole trustee to a huge plot of land that he and his cousins are planning on selling because the trust for it will be dissolving before long.  I just felt like Matt was getting hit from all sides the whole movie and having to deal with everyone and everything and just trying to do the “right” thing as much as possible.  Nothing ever seemed to let up for him!  And it was like I could “feel” every emotion he was going though.  I can’t stop thinking about it!  I want to watch it again right now, but then again, I don’t…  Yeah, I think I do.

The Descendants

It’s funny how everyone sees the same movie and comes away with totally different views of it.  I saw The Descendants and didn’t “love” it the way Eric did – but I liked it.  George Clooney was charming in this role – he can play any role and make the character come to life.  In this, he plays a frazzled husband and father who has to deal with some very altering life decisions as his wife is dying.  His two daughters don’t make life any easier as they are mouthy and very obstinate to any kind of parental control in their lives.  But during the whole process of dealing with being the main parent and figuring out how to say goodbye to his wife, he finds out that his wife had an affair.   That is the story of the movie – the complexity of our lives.  Nothing is ever easy, ever simple, and as we try to do our lives – we are interwoven in the lives of so many others.  The movie is about family – the heartache, the moments that take our breath away, and then those quiet, still moments when we might find a moment of peace.  It is graced with humor, wit and heartfelt emotions and a solid movie worth watching.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Switch

This movie was nothing like I expected it to be and was pleasantly surprised at the warmness and sentiment of it.  Jason Bateman plays Wally, the best friend to Jennifer Aniston’s character, Kassie.  It all starts out at a party that Kassie is having.  She is ready to have a baby and with the help of a stranger, she is planning on getting artificially inseminated.  Well, after a night of drinking, Wally decides to go into the bathroom where the guy, played by Patrick Wilson, has left his “ingredient” in a specimen cup.  Wally accidently knocks over the container and spills everything out.  He then feels he needs to replace it with his “ingredient” – and doesn’t think about that night until 7 years later – when Kassie returns to her home town with her son – who happens to look just like him.  This movie is a romantic comedy but what I really enjoyed about it is the character that Jason Bateman plays.  This guy with no attachments in life finds out the impact a child can make on his life and how love can change him.  It was a fun, heart warming movie and I would watch it again!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Footloose

Can you believe it’s been almost 30 years since the original Footloose movie???  I’m not a fan of remakes and don’t feel like people should mess with a “classic” when it comes to movies, music or anything, really.  That being said, I did like this movie.  Kevin Bacon really was classic in the original's title role, but newcomer Kenny Wormald wasn’t bad!  Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, and Andie MacDowell also held up their roles as the love interest and the overbearing parents.  It’s the same story as the first one – rebel kid moves to a small town where there are laws against anything fun.  The kids decide they want to fight the system.  It’s just a fun movie with a lot of dancing and good music – and a decent remake.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tower Heist

I was expecting a lot more from this movie than what I got!  With Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, and Alan Alda, among others, I thought it would be MUCH funnier.  I'd say it was just "OK" – it started out really slow and was pretty unrealistic all the way through.  The jokes were flat, the lines were flat - to me, it all just really “fell flat.”  Alan Alda plays a wealthy business man that has used a Ponzi scheme to cheat workers out of their savings.  To get back at him and get their money back, they decide to rob his apartment where they believe the money is hidden.  Eddie Murphy is their streetwise friend that’s going to help them break in and get past all of the security in the building.  There were “some” funny lines and it did get better toward the end, but I wanted the whole movie to be that way! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hugo

Before watching this movie, I didn’t see much of anything that really told me about it – everything said things like “a magical world of spectacular adventure” or “unlocks a mystery and embarks on a quest” and things like that.  After watching it, I can kind of see why.  If you know too much, it might “ruin” it.  The feel of the movie reminded me a lot of the movie The Polar Express.  It’s definitely a visual masterpiece – it’s easy to see why it won Oscars for sound and cinematography!  Basically, the story is about an orphan living in the walls of a train station in Paris that seems to be searching for his “place” in life.  He encounters all kinds of people in his daily life, and eventually, they lead him to a girl who may have the key to the answers he’s been looking for ever since his father died.  While discovering where he belongs, he’s also able to help others along the way – in ways none of them could ever have imagined!  I would have to agree with the descriptions I’d seen - he really does find “a magical world of spectacular adventure!”

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Drive

I wasn't sure if I liked this one or not after watching it, but thinking I kind of did – maybe because it was a little different from a lot of movies in this genre.  Ryan Gosling’s character seemed very strange and almost mysterious in this role.  He is a stunt driver for movies, but he’s also a “getaway driver” for hire by criminals and has even been hired to drive a race car for a new team being formed by his boss at the garage where he works.  We get drawn into his life as he meets a new neighbor with a little boy whose father is in prison.  After awhile, he starts falling for her and opening up to her more than he normally allows himself to with most people.  Her husband gets released from prison and they ALL get to be friends.  The husband enlists his “services” and that is where his troubles begin…  I liked that the movie didn't “hold my hand” through the whole thing and left me to figure out what was happening a lot of the time!  It made me think a little bit!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Captain America - The Avenger

I wanted to like this movie as I like superhero movies– but I can’t quite bring myself to say that I liked it.  Captain America was “born” in war time, 1942, when the world was fighting against the Nazis.  The war wasn’t going good and America needed to invent a stronger, better soldier – so they made Captain America!  Captain America, also known as Steve Rogers, is a 90 pound weakling of a man whom they injected with an experimental drug and was turned into a lean, mean fighting machine with a heart for justice and liberty!  That said – the reason I didn’t like this film was because I thought, that the “bad” guy was too comic bookish and the weapons he was using to destroy the world were too futuristic for the time.  I’ve seen a lot of superhero movies and the things I like about them are that they are fighting against evil in their time element.  This one just seemed like a stretch to be fighting against machines that really didn’t exist in that time.  I also didn’t like the ending.  They set the ending up to prelude into a new superhero movie coming out this spring, The Avengers. (This movie will include, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, and Captain America).  So was this movie done to promote the new movie?  For me, this movie just wasn’t that “super” and left me with the blahs.

The Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn Part One

As the fourth installment and the last in the series – I had heard a lot of negative things about this movie, so I didn’t even see it until it came out on DVD.  The critics were wrong – I think this was best of the series yet!  I really liked how the characters have evolved, their acting has gotten better, and it stayed close to the book as the other movies did.  When I watch these movies, I don’t see vampires and werewolves, I see people with their lives in turmoil and a love story.  Of course being a fantasy, there is a baby that is half human and half vampire and that is essentially, the crux of the movie.  Part 2 will come out later this fall and I can’t wait to see it because it ended in a way that you are anxious to see the new Bella and finish the story even though you know how it all ends.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In Time

I REALLY liked the concept of this movie!!!  In this sci-fi picture, time “is” money.  You stop aging at 25 and a counter in your arm starts counting down 1 year that you have left to live – unless you can find ways to get more time to add to your life.  You can work and earn time, receive gifts of time, gamble – just like money.  But, you also pay for everything with your time clock – a phone call, a cup of coffee, a car – everything!  If your clock hits 0:00, you are dead - no exceptions -  and no second chances!  If you have time, you’re rich – if you don’t, you’re poor - and everyone can tell at a glance just by looking at your arm.  At first, it seemed really far-fetched, but the more I think about it, it’s really easy to relate everything to our current lives and the role money plays in our society.  I actually can’t stop thinking about it!  I’d definitely recommend it if you’re wanting something a little different!

Battle: Los Angeles

It was interesting when I read the reviews for this movie.  There were a lot of varied thoughts about this film and depending on your background, this movie might be “more” than just a sci-fi film.  I liked this movie!  It was a good movie about an alien invasion in our world – right where we live – and those men and women who fought the battle.  It starts off with a bang – Los Angeles is being invaded from an alien nation and they are here to kill and destroy anyone or anything in their way.  In the midst of the battle, is a small band of Marines who will fight for their country.  They don’t care that the invasion is alien – all they care about is defending their city and their homes with whatever resources they have till the very end.  Some call this a war movie, others saw it as a story of what our Marines do for us every day.  However you want to see it, it was a solid movie, good acting, lots of action, and an ending that didn’t come wrapped up in a bow, but one that still left you with some hope for mankind.

The Astronaut Farmer

Can I tell you how much I enjoyed this movie?  This movie was done in 2007 and I re-watched it again and just had to tell you about it.  This was a sleeper of a film at the box office.  It doesn’t have any really big names, any big explosions, or car chases . . .but it does have heart!!  Billy Bob Thorton (who really let me believe him in this role) plays Charles Farmer, a former NASA astronaut who was forced to retire early because of financial issues.  He had a dream that he never got to live out and that was to fly a rocket around the earth.  He has decided to build a rocket in his barn and to fly it with the help of his family.  It didn’t matter when I watched this film that it would be unrealistic.  What mattered about this film was the heart, the hope, and the dream that one man and his family had.  This is a sincere film about everyone’s dreams – it sucked me in from the beginning and it held on to me till the very end.  I’m not trying to be sappy -  this is just a genuine story with some very strong acting and a movie that is worth seeing just for the adventure.