Monday, January 25, 2016

Everest

Wow!  This movie was INTENSE!  It’s about the true-life story of a group on an expedition to the top of Mount Everest.  The struggles for these people range everywhere from just trying to climb to the peak all the way to actually surviving the trip.  And if that wasn’t enough, they have a huge storm to deal with that hits just as some of them are beginning their descent.  Everyone is equal on the mountain – it doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have, or what connections you might have – if you take the climb lightly, you will definitely pay for it in the end.  Watching the movie, it seems almost insane to think of a person wanting to put themselves through this kind of torture and abuse just to say they hiked Everest!  I thought the producers did an amazing job of capturing just how hard this journey was – from the photography and camera angles to the climbers and their families and everything in between.  After watching this film, I have a whole new appreciation for the people who have made this climb, along with those who have never made it back.

The Intern

This movie stars Robert De Niro as a retired widower who has found out that being alone and having a lot of free time isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  When he sees a flyer advertising for a senior intern, he decides to try it out.  Anne Hathaway plays a young woman that has started her own internet business and it is growing to the point where she’s almost in over her head.  She thinks the whole “senior intern” thing is a joke, but after awhile, realizes how much his experience can help.  Also, just how important it can be to have someone with an actual work ethic that knows what they’re doing and can offer you different points of view – it turns out to be invaluable to her.  It takes her some time to figure this out, but once she does, she can’t imagine being without him!  I enjoyed this film a lot.  It felt like something that could actually happen in real life and was nice to see how much everyone was able to learn about work – and life – from this “old” man!

Pawn Sacrifice

I had never heard of this movie until Christy told me about it.  And honestly, it sounded kind of boring with it being about chess.  But it wasn’t at all!  The movie is set in 1972 during the Cold War.  Tobey Maguire plays the role of Bobby Fischer, an American chess prodigy who has a goal in life to be the world champion of chess.  In order to do this, he must beat the Russian champion Boris Spassky, who is the best in the world.  Who would have thought that a movie about chess could be so engaging and intense?  It almost felt like America against Russia more than just a chess tournament.  It was also interesting watching Fischer get more and more paranoid the closer he was to reaching his goal.  Every step came with challenges and made him closer to cracking.  He was almost falling apart.  Chess was his world.  And he truly was a genius at chess, but not so much at life.  It makes you think about being so focused on something – is that really a good thing?  I also thought Toby Maguire did an amazing job in his role!  I always thought he’d just be Spider-Man to me, but now he is totally Bobby Fischer!

Pawn Sacrifice


There is more to this movie than the title leads you to believe.  I think this was one of those movies that flew under the wire without much hoopla, but it’s a very good movie.  Based on the world championship chess player, Bobby Fischer – this is the story of what it took to become the ultimate chess champion!  There was so much more to his story than chess and the amazing feat he accomplished by having all of America cheer for him.  Tobey Maguire, who plays Bobby, is awesome in this role.  He created a person who I was very interested in knowing.  Bobby was a child prodigy with a very unique mind but also a mental illness that kept coming to haunt him in his quest for the world title.  His one and only desire was to beat the Soviet Union champion, Boris Spassky, played by Liv Schreiber.  As you watch him struggle with his mental illness, you also watch those that care for him struggle too as they know how important this title is.  It was very interesting, very intriguing and I would watch it again.

The Martian


Matt Damon, who plays astronaut, Mark Watney, is on Mars with his team when a fierce storm comes up.  As they try to make it back to the spacecraft – Mark is hit with flying debris and is sent spiraling backwards in the darkness of the storm.  To the other astronauts, it seemed like he is dead and they must make a decision to stay and possibly not survive the storm or leave.  They choose to leave.  As the next day dawns – Mark isn’t dead but finds himself alone.  With thier base camp with some supplies left – he must figure out how to survive with little food and water till the next craft comes to Mars – in four years!  From there the movie gets very engaging!  There’s a lot of storytelling that goes on as we see him trying to grow potatoes with his own poop, make water, and figure out how to contact NASA.  He does eventually make contact and a rescue mission is set into motion.  But not everything goes as planned and at times you have to stretch your imagination to the impossible.  But it doesn’t matter – you are hooked from the beginning of the movie and you stay on the journey till all the popcorn is gone and you know how Mark’s journey ends.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Martian

First off, I did like this movie.  A lot.  I thought Matt Damon did a great job as an astronaut left stranded alone on Mars.  Besides just needing to figure out how to survive, he had to try to find a way to make contact with NASA and possibly be rescued.  In doing all of this, he was incredibly resourceful!  Especially for being the only one on the planet for a very, very long period of time.  I guess I’d say my only “issue” with all of it is that I was thinking I would feel a little more “despair” or times of hopelessness through the movie – maybe like the film Castaway, only on Mars.  It seemed more upbeat than I thought it would be, which isn’t a bad thing, just not quite what I was expecting.  I’m sure he had his down moments, but maybe that wouldn’t have been as fun to watch as him trying to grow potatoes and listening to disco music that was left behind.  There was a good balance, but just felt like it could have been a little more intense overall.  I really did like it – just more in a “fun” disaster-movie kind of way…

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Walk

This was a great movie!  It follows the true story of Philippe Petit, who was a wire walker that had the ultimate dream of walking on a wire connecting the towers of the World Trade Center in 1974 - which was over 1,300 feet above the ground and without a net!  I had always just viewed his walk as a publicity stunt and had never thought about “why” he did it or the incredible amount of planning that had to go into doing something like that.  Or how hard it would be to get a wire strung up there that was safe and without anyone noticing.  Also, he couldn’t do it alone and needed to find people he could trust to help him in his “coup,” as he called it.  I watched this movie because l was curious and it looked interesting – but it was so much more than I was expecting!  It was about following your dreams, finding your passion and doing what is right for YOU, and not letting anything or anyone stop you!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story


What would you do if you were called, “The Ugliest Person” on the Internet and people were posting horrible things like, “kill yourself” or “kill it with fire?”  This is what happened to Lizzie Velasquez.  You may not know that name, but by the time you finish this movie, you won’t forget her name.  She is a 25 year old woman born with a very rare syndrome that went undiagnosed until just recently.  She is only 1 of 3 people with a rare syndrome called Adipose Tissue which means, she is unable to gain weight.  So through her childhood, she looked different than other children.  She experienced many forms of bullying and it wasn’t until she was in high school that the bullying went cyber.  She was called the “ugliest woman” and had very hateful, hateful things said against her.  But, instead of listening to the haters, she opened her heart and took a stance against bullying.  With her desire to show the world a different side of her and who she was – she stood up and proclaimed she is a somebody – that we are all a somebody.  In 2012, she did a Ted Talk program and become an overnight sensation! Her story has made her somewhat of a celebrity where she has had the opportunities to go to many countries, schools, and even the White House to have others join her in the fight against bullying.  She has partnered up to help push “The Safe School Improvement Act” in Congress.  This is the first federal bill on bullying with the potential to reach the floor for a Congressional vote.  For more information on Lizzie herself and her cause, go to any of her websites.  This film can make a difference in children’s, youth and adult lives.  Very strong, very emotional and very personal – don’t miss it!!

 

Minions

If you like the Minions, you will probably like this movie.  I did.  They were funny and quirky like they always are – just a lot more of it all!  You get to travel through their entire history all the way up into the 1960s, where most of the film is set.  There are times where it was almost too much of a good thing being all about them in many parts instead of having them play small parts and popping up like in other movies I’ve seen, but it was still a lot of fun.  And I can honestly say that I now know the difference between Kevin, Bob and Stuart, too!  Overall, I’d say I liked it, but didn’t “love” it.  It was just a nice movie that kids (and parents) of all ages can enjoy.

Ant-Man

You wouldn’t think that being able to shrink down to the size of an ant would be much of a “power” to have.  But being able to shrink and grow at will, along with gaining the strength an ant has (like being able to lift 50 times its weight) turns out to be VERY useful – and kind of cool, too!  Paul Rudd plays a man that finds the suit and after wearing it, “becomes” Ant-Man!  The suit’s creator is played by Michael Douglas, and together, they go up against Yellowjacket, a villain that is trying to replicate the shrinking process for his own good to possibly take over the world!  This was another movie that was just fun and entertaining.  I thought I’d enjoy it, but I liked it even more than I thought I would.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

I've seen all of the Mission Impossible movies and have liked them all – including this one – a lot!  Tom Cruise is back and trying to keep a group known as “The Syndicate” from destroying the IMF (Impossible Mission Force).  The whole movie is full of action and amazing stunts, just like you’d expect if you’ve seen any of the others.  A fun fact that makes it even more exciting to watch is that Cruise performed ALL of the stunts in the film himself!  So, when you see him dangling off the side of a plane that’s taking off, it’s really him!  Or when he had to hold his breath underwater for 6 minutes during one sequence, that’s him too.  At least to me, those things do add something to it all.  For the 5th film in the series, I was really impressed and VERY entertained!