Thursday, February 20, 2014

All Is Lost

I love movies like this!  Robert Redford is also one of my favorite actors, so it’s not really a surprise I liked this one.  Redford plays a sailor who is alone at sea and has a rogue shipping container punch a hole in the side of his boat.  Obviously, that is not a good situation.  He needs to make a plan and do whatever he can to get through this ordeal.  There were almost no spoken words the entire film, which I really enjoyed!  They didn’t explain every little thing and it was like you were with him as he tried to figure out what to do as each new challenge arose.  You can almost see his determination and spirit fading away as each day passes and he starts to face his own mortality and realize how slim his chances of surviving really are.  Some people may think it’s boring and is just a guy out on the water in a boat, but it felt like so much more to me – a lot more!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Escape Plan

I really wanted to be “wowed” by this movie but unfortunately – I wasn’t.  The premise itself looked really interesting to me and it had Sly Stallone in it – another plus.  But when I was watching it – I felt like it was a movie I had seen many different times in different films.  Stallone plays Ray Breslin, a man who gets paid to break out of prison to highlight the weak areas of the prison.  As the story goes, he’s asked to take on an undercover, secret mission where none of his people know where he is.  As it turns out – it’s a setup and he is now forced to be a prisoner in an unescapable prison.  To me, the prison and the storyline seemed to border on being sci-fi.  I really didn’t believe the storyline and it felt so similar to other characters he has done in the past.  Even with Arnold Schwarzenegger in it – I half expected him to say “I’ll be back.”  It was ok to watch – but I just wanted more and it just didn’t get past the starting block for me.

Dallas Buyers Club

What a powerful, emotional movie!  This one destroyed me!  I can’t stop thinking about it.  Matthew McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a straight man in 1985 that’s been diagnosed with HIV and told he has 30 days to live.  During this time, HIV and AIDS were still fairly new and scary and there were all kinds of stereotypes and prejudices against those that were sick, which Ron gets to experience firsthand.  Those wanting treatment were subjected to the FDA’s red tape and doctors & drug companies wanting to make money when the people are just trying to survive.  After improving by using experimental drug “cocktails” created with meds from outside the United States, Ron works to find ways to get these to the sick and dying – fighting with the system every step of the way.  Since it’s illegal to sell them, he creates the Dallas Buyers Club – where you buy a membership and then get the meds for free.  This helps countless people and makes what’s left of their lives more bearable instead of just waiting to die in the hospitals.  This movie made me sad and angry, and just really makes you think about what’s right and wrong and how our system works…  Sometimes, it’s such a hard thing to straddle that line of what’s legal and what’s RIGHT! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I’ve watched this one twice and I’m still not sure what I think of it.  I liked the story, but just never felt a real connection with the movie or the actors.  The film covers the true-life story about a legendary rivalry between racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) during the golden age of Formula 1 racing.  Maybe it’s because I watch a lot of racing, but it seriously just felt like I was watching actors pretending to be racers in the 70s instead of really getting sucked into the storylines and the movie.  There are some unexpected twists and turns that add to everything, but I can’t see how they can say things like “Ron Howard’s best film ever” or “One of the best movies ever made” and other quotes that I’ve read.  Maybe I was expecting more racing action.  It’s not a bad movie by any means, it just felt like it had all the elements of a good movie, but not all of the pieces fell together quite like they should have.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Last Vegas

Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline – if those four tremendous actors don’t get your attention – then you have been missing out on some great films through the years!  This movie takes these legendary actors and for the first time in their careers, cast them together in Last Vegas – a film about friendship that last through the years and always being there for you no matter what!  Michael Douglas plays Billy, a high rolling bachelor (who’s 69 by the way) who decides to marry his girlfriend who is 30 something.  To top off his big day – he invites his three best friends from elementary school to come and help in the only way he knows how – the Vegas way.  There is much laughter and funny lines and some heart tugs moments where each character learns the value of their own worth and what it means to come to terms with grief, love, and growing old richly. 

Last Vegas

This was a fun movie with some of the biggest name actors around.  They’ve all been friends for 60 years and when Billy is finally ready to settle down and get married, they get to throw him the biggest party they can imagine!  I was glad it didn’t just turn into another Hangover movie – it was real and funny, but had its serious moments, too.  Each of them are dealing with growing older and where their lives are and this trip to Vegas really seems to help all of them get their lives back on track, move on,  and help them to find their “passion” for life again.  Along the way, they also find out how important having true friendship is – and that sometimes those friends know you better than anyone else!  So get ready, it’s time to party like it’s 1959!