Monday, April 27, 2015

Furious 7


So it seems lately I’ve been in a slump with watching or writing about movies.  Not much seems to be grabbing me like I “have to” watch it.  It makes for a quieter blog for sure but Eric seems to be picking up the pieces and writing for the both of us.  But, as I have done before in the past, I’m writing about another movie that I have seen at the theatres but wanted to share my thoughts on it.  I have been a fan of the Fast and Furious movie series since it came out.  I read that it’s been 15 years since the first one!  Crazy to think that this cast of characters are still going strong but they are.  If you’ve seen any of these films then you know that they are known for their extreme stunts and cars! But it’s also more than a “car/action” movie - it’s about family.  You get to know these characters as you do any TV series that you watch.  So it was a blow when Paul  Walker lost his life in a real life car crash.  He had already started filming Fast 7 and we all wondered how would they finish the movie and what would they do with his beloved character! Well, unlike real life, his character survives this movie and the final scene of the film is of him, his wife, and his son on the beach and his family looking on with tears in their eyes.  It was strange to watch because you knew this was his last film, his last ride with Vin Diesel and his character.  It was with gratitude, I’m sure, that the film directors relied on his brothers to fill in the gaps where Paul wasn’t able to finish.  What amazing brotherly love!  They had no prior acting skills, but yet, they were able to fill in where if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t have known it wasn’t Paul.  There will be a Fast 8 and it will be interesting to see where it goes without Paul.  But it still has all the things you want from this franchise – fast and crazy action with genuine respect towards the cast whom have all become more than friends.  As the movie ended, there is a tribute to Paul and as I sat there it felt like I just attended a funeral for a friend.  But that’s what you want movies to do - to move you in some way and this movie will stand alone as a bigger, badder, Furious than all . . . but also with the love that only true friends can give another friend.

Cake

This movie had Jennifer Aniston in quite a different role than I’m used to her playing.  Her character is Claire Bennett, a woman who is struggling to deal with both debilitating, chronic pain and the loss of her child from an accident they’d been through together.  After someone from her support group commits suicide, she becomes fixated on those types of thoughts for herself and starts acting a little irrationally, along with taking painkillers constantly.  She even contacts the husband of the woman from her group and starts a relationship with him and his little boy when they’re both trying to deal with their loss.  It was hard watching her struggle every second of every day just trying to have a normal life when she was in so much pain, but also felt more like real life than a movie in that way, too.  If you’re looking for “Rachel,” you won’t find her here.  This is NOT a happy movie, but if you want something that is an honest portrayal of how difficult life can be when a tragedy occurs and you need to pull yourself up and try to move on, this movie is very relatable.  I didn’t enjoy it, but I enjoyed it…

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Wild

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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Imitation Game

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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Interstellar

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