Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Hope Springs

This 2012 movie with Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Steve Carell was absolutely wonderful!  It was about a couple who has been married for 31 years – things have become distant and the Kay wants things the way they were in the beginning. She learns about Steve Carell (marriage counselor) and surprises her hubby with a week long intensive marriage counseling session.

I laughed a lot, I cried some, I felt for these two folks trying to find their way back to one another. As true in  marriages – there was no one ‘wrong’ thing – there were missed moments and instances of one thinking they were doing the best for the other by not talking. This movie is a must see for all married couples!

Date Night August 6, 2011

Well, we have been doing our date nights pretty regularly and I am enjoying the time we are spending together. Last week, it was a family event as it was my birthday. This week, just Daniel and I went out. We grabbed a bite to eat at Subway, then went to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
I loved Planet of the Apes when I was a kid. And who can forget Charlton Heston (“Get your hands off me, you filthy ape!”) And Roddy McDowell made an awesome ape scientist! And then the powerful moment at the end, when we realize that the astronauts have landed on a future earth…knock your socks off moment!
Planet of the Apes 1968.jpg
They did a remake of Planet of the Apes in 2001. The less said about that the better…
Today, we went to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes. After all, we need to know how we got to that ending moment in the 1968 version (yes, I know there were four other movies that helped explain that, but let’s forget that for now, okay). This movie is fantastic! The visual presentation is amazing, the story-line believable and interesting and we learn that even when we are trying to do something good, not so good consequences can result. Be sure to be on the lookout for Tom Felton. Be aware of type-casting Tom, could be bad for your career! You can watch this movie without having watched any other Planet of the Apes movies, but if you have seen the old ones…there will be some especially interesting tidbits/moments for you! I absolutely cannot wait to see the next one!
I highly recommend this movie and I give it 5 bananas!
We ended our night with a visit to Sweet Frog – now that is a hopping and yummy place! Ran into Todd and Lily Foster while we were there and saw the Harkins family leaving…

The Librarian Movies with Noah Wylie

A couple of weeks ago we got a movie from Netflix called The Librarian: Quest for the Spear with Noah Wylie. This movie is a light-hearted cross between Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone and may have been part of the inspiration for the new SciFi show  Warehouse 13.  The kids and I watched the movie and really enjoyed it. Since then we have also seen The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines. And we are waiting for the last movie available: The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalis.

The kids and I really enjoyed the first two and we recommend them highly!

 

 

Avatar: Ferngully for Adults

Spoilers ahead!!!!
We have been listening to the hype for months about Avatar. We respect James Cameron and he has done a lot of amazing cinematic events, so we were looking forward to seeing Avatar. Today, we used up one of our free ‘baby sitting’ coupons – more like crowd control, and went to see Avatar.
First I want to address the positive. Avatar is probably one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. I would love to walk on a planet where the flowers and plants light up when you touch them. A place where there were 10 feet tall graceful blue cat people who lived in harmony with the world around them. A place where people literally had a connection with all around them. The people of the planet, Pandora, were like super connected Native Americans. They had these ‘tendrils’ in their hair that could connect them to roots of trees, and to animals. It was amazing!
Other than the amazing cinematic magic, I found myself disappointed in the film. It was full of cliches. The overall story reminded me of Ferngully which came out in 1992. The pointy ears of the fairy people in Ferngully. The fact that the fairies were in touch with the magic of the forest. The surfing bulldozer guy who changes his mind and sees the beauty of the forest and falls in love with Ferngully. And then there is the flying bat…
I am tired of going to movies and being preached at and seeing cardboard cut-outs of human beings. I go to movies to be entertained, I really didn’t find Avatar that entertaining. I found it had a lot of preachiness that would make a lot of extremes happy. Man raping the planet your particular thing? It’s in there. All corporate guys evil and bad? It’s in there. Crazy military types that are over the top in their actions? They’re in there. Native people who have all the right answers…they’re in there.
Please don’t get me wrong. I think we need to take care of our planet and I would be morally opposed to us going to another planet and taking over becasue we had the firepower and they had a natural resource we wanted. But this story could have been so much better…so much more interesting…so much more meaningful!
When Sigourney Weaver’s character hits on the fact that everything is connected on the planet, I envisioned an end that would somehow include the ‘tendrils’ of the planet reaching into the earthlings and helping them to understand and see how harmony could have been achieved. Not in a body-snatching way or puppeteer way, but in a ‘let us teach you’ kind of way. It would have been a better story if it had had a peaceful conclusion where both sides benefitted.
There was so much potential and had it been combined with a better story, this movie would be one to talk about through the ages. Instead, it is a cinematic wonder(visually), but beauty is not enough – the story has to be striking as well. Instead this one was full of holes and cliched characters.

Movie Review: Public Enemies

Okay, so it is no secret to those of you who come by fairly regularly that I am a big Johnny Depp fan. So today, when an afternoon appointment got rescheduled, I took advantage of having someone over to keep the kids company and I went to see Public Enemies. I do not know how accurate the depiction was and there was lots of killing going on. Can’t have gang movies without that.
But I enjoyed the movie. Johnny Depp and Christian Bale each gave excellent performances. What a lawless time it was. I find it interesting that people so often romanticize or root for people like Robin Hood, John Dillinger, etc. John Dillinger robbed banks. He killed people. But he was also charismatic. When he robbed from the banks, he did not take money from the customers in line. He didn’t want to be involved in kidnapping. He appeared to want to keep killing out of the equation. He was just after the money and the good life. But, this is wrong. A wrong against society. Not to be romanticized or encouraged. Dillinger was slippery and clever, and a criminal who in the end got what he deserved.
As to Johnny Depp, I continue to believe he is the best actor of my generation. He is talented beyond many that are out there today. It’s not just his looks and charm. It is his ability to become the character he is playing. I find it interesting that he never watches his own movies. I love the fact that he plays such a wide variety of roles and does so with such skill. I hope he will continue to entertain us for years to come.

Movie Review Round-up

Over the last week, we have watched several movies. Don’t know why, just sometimes we go through spells. They are mostly older movies and some I may have even shared thoughts about before, but thought I would say a few words here about each.
My Bloody Valentine – okay, this was hubby’s pick. Not my type of movie at all. Too much gore. Too many holes. Poor dialogue. Poor acting. I had my eyes closed a good part of the time. Nuff said.
Independence Day – I love Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. I love this movie. It is a favorite and we watch it pretty much every 4th of July. There is great dialogue and the President’s speech is stirring and who doesn’t love Randy’s performance and sacrifice! If you have never seen this movie, do yourself a favor and watch it.
War of the Worlds – Tom Cruise. First of all, I really don’t like Tom Cruise. Second of all, I liked the original movie best. Third, the best part of this movie was Morgan Freeman’s voice over at the beginning and end. Fourth, the gore is just unnecessary and there are too many moments that remind me too much of 9-11.
Signs – another favorite! I love Mel Gibson’s performance and Joaquin Phoenix (too bad he seems to have gone off the deep end). This movie is just the right amount of scary.
The Searchers – John Wayne – this is a touching tale. There were a lot of things in it that wouldn’t be allowed in a movie today (references, actions…none of which were PC), but it is an excellent story and I never tire of seeing John Wayne. Problems with it include the fact that I don’t think any of the Native Americans were actually played by Native Americans. Good parts are the fact that blood and gore was not necessary to be shown for us to know that horrible things were happening.
Cloverfield – actually Daniel and Jack watched that. I saw it once, wasn’t overly impressed and didn’t want to watch it again.
King Arthur – 2004 version. I am watching it right now. Lots of high quality actors in it. Definitely a different look at King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I like it.

Movie Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Last week, Daniel and I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
What an unusual movie! It was the first thing that I have seen Brad Pitt in in awhile that I actually thought he gave a good performance. The story concerns a child who is born with the body of an old man. He looks like a baby in size, but his joints, his face…all resemble that of an 80 year old man. As he grows, he begins to get younger. His life is backwards.
This leads to all kinds of interesting conundrums. You know the saying that youth is often wasted on the young…well, this gives a bit of an idea of what it would be like if you were old first in mind, but then as you aged and grew more wise, your body would become young and vigorous.
I found this idea very different and that is hard to come by these days. I am still mulling over the movie and look forward to seeing it again. There were a couple of episodes that could have been left out (they were a bit long and didn’t add to the overall story), but that is really the only criticism I have. My hubby didn’t like it as much as I did and he felt the movie as a whole was too long.
So we give it 1 1/2 thumbs up!

Benedict Arnold

I watched Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor a couple of days ago.  I don’t know a lot about Benedict Arnold, except his status as a traitor during the Revolutionary War. I am not sure how close to the truth that this movie was, but I had read an article at some time in the past that really made it sound like Arnold had been pushed against the wall by his own country men. His achievements were overlooked, he was not paid his salary, and another jealous general tried to take credit for his courageous deeds. On the other side of the story, it appears he mishandled funds, but I was unclear whether that occurred before or after a lack of pay caused him financial distress. At any rate, I am not trying to condone his behavior, as there were ample other soldiers during the Civil War who were not getting paid and they didn’t turn traitor.

At any rate, Arnold started out by giving his all for his country. But then after feeling slighted and running into financial difficulties, his 2nd wife began pushing him towards turning traitor. He resisted some, but in the end, he gave up and did as she asked/goaded him. The movie was well-acted and it made me feel a bit sorry for Arnold (of course, since the plot was foiled, it is easier to feel sorry for him).

Movie Review: Fool’s Gold

I borrowed Fool’s Gold from Netflix and it came this week. It’s been in my queue for awhile. I didn’t have very high expectations of it, but thought it would be a fun romance/adventure movie and I wasn’t disappointed. It was actually better than I thought it would be (having low expectations can be a blessing). I can never get over how much Kate Hudson looks like her mother (Goldie Hawn).
At any rate, the story is pretty typical, but everyone seems to be having fun with it. What I enjoyed most watching were the diving scenes since we are taking SCUBA Diving lessons later this month and we have been studying our SCUBA diving manuals.
I give this movie 3 stars for being fun!

Movie Review: P.S. I Love You

First, this movie definitely deserves it’s PG-13 movie rating and in my opinion, probably R. The things people say and that others think 13 years are okay to hear, just boggles my mind. But enough about that.
This movie is excellent! A real tear-jerker chick flick. But it would be great if you could get your hubby/significant other to watch it with you. It starts out with a fight scene between a young married couple, followed by them making up, followed by his death. It grabs your attention from the first moment, especially if you are part of a couple because you can relate to what is going on between these too. And the love they obviously have for one another in spite of the tensions is very apparent.
After her husband’s death, Holly, played by Hillary Swank, goes into a tailspin of mourning until she receives a gift from her deceased husband. From there, she goes on to receive 10 letters that help her to grieve and to live again. It is a wonderful movie!
I give it 4.5 stars!