Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Wolverine

     For Wolverine fans or women in search of a hot body to look at - Go See It.  For anyone else, Wait for the DVD.  Now, I'm not a huge Wolverine fan except that I really like the hero types - those willing to do what it takes to make sure the bad guys get what is coming to them - and Logan totally fits that hero type.  In fact, in this movie I think he is more of a hero than ever.
     There were some really great "bad guy gets it" moments in this movie - actually, there were a lot of them and it was almost worth seeing the movie just for that.  There were also some kind of funny parts that no one laughed at except me (I'm totally used to laughing all by myself but if you go see this and it gets to the part just before he goes to say goodbye to his friend, let me know if you thought it was funny too and I just happened to be watching this with a bunch of cretins).
     I've never seen Rila Fukushima before but I liked her in this movie.  She is a great combination of vulnerable and kick-a** and I love her smile at the end.  The people I saw this with thought she had a distracting hair style (they said it was lame) but I thought it was kind of cool. I'm not sold on the color but it is very Japanese.
     The other lead actress, Tao Okamoto, was not the best actress I've ever seen.  She is very pretty but you could totally tell that she was a model trying to break into acting (and not doing the best job).
     Most of the time I judge a movie by how it makes me feel when it's over.  I didn't feel much of anything when this was over which is why I think you would have to be a big Wolverine fan (or lusty woman - I admit, Hugh Jackman's body is RIDICULOUS!!) to love it.  Having said that, you know how they have little bits of movies after the credits run (the Shwarma scene after The Avengers being one of the best)?  This one is totally worth waiting for.  I almost enjoyed the little bit after the credits as much as I did the whole rest of the movie. If you're looking for something to see this weekend and you've seen everything else, you could do worse.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Movies in Theaters July 30 2013

     First of all, you should know that the movie theatre in my town CLOSED a few months ago and it has been VERY HARD on me.  I have to drive at least half an hour to a movie theatre and it's just not the same.  But, happy news - the theatre in my town will be opening on Thursday - just in time for the kids to go back to school!
     Anyway, I have managed to see a few movies and this is what I think about them:
     Go See It - R.I.P.D.
          I love Ryan Reynolds so I was really looking forward to this movie but it surpassed even my expectations - and not just because of Mr. Reynolds! I really liked the way they handled the idea of death and becoming used to your own death. I love movies where people sacrifice for the good of the entire world - so inspiring.
     On top of all of this inspiration and learning, Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges are hysterical and good looking.  Such a great idea to make them look different to the people around them too (Marissa Miller is gorgeous!).  I just don't think you can get a better combination (can I get an amen?).  I've always liked Mary-Louise Parker and she lives up to her hype in this as the Proctor for the RIPD.   For some reason, I didn't realize that Kevin Bacon was in this until he showed up on the screen.  So many great actors together have got to make a great movie.  Go See It!

     Go See It - Despicable Me 2
     If you see no other movie this summer, you have got to see Despicable Me 2.  It is better than the first one.
     The girls are even more charming in this one - I just love Agnes and her sweet relationship with Gru.  And we get to see Margo growing up and falling in love.  Of course, the Minions are fantastic and we all want to have a couple of them live at our house.
     I really don't want to give much of the story away but I will say this - don't announce what weapon you're using until after you use it.  Trust me.  Go See It!

     Go See It - Red 2
     I'm not sure if Red 2 is better than the first one but it's certainly not worse like most follow-up movies are.  Usually we have to wait for the end of the trilogy to get to the best movie but so far, both "RED" movies are great.  There is humor, lots of a**-kicking, and even love.
     Mary-Louise Parker must have been busy recently to have two movies out this summer and she shines in this one as Frank's thrill-loving girlfriend.
     I can't say enough good about Bruce Willis - he is so charming and sweet and kick-a**!  It's a very likable combination.  He may play similar parts in all his movies but he SOOO good at it.
     John Malkovich adds just the right amount of crazy to the mix with his paranoid warnings (if they really are after you, is it really paranoia?).  He is very funny and a caring friend in his own weird way.
     Of course, the incomparable Helen Mirren continues to dazzle with her wit and hard as steel "wet work."  I would never have thought to put her in a movie like this but she is great as a secret assassin.
     I'm sure you've all seen Catherine Zeta-Jones in the trailers.  She is perfect as a Russian spy who has a history with Frank (Willis).  I love how she walks into the scene and you just know she's totally in charge.
     The surprise actor in Red 2 is Anthony Hopkins.  I don't want to spoil anything about the movie so I'll just say that Hopkins is a great actor.
     Byung-Hun Lee (Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe Retaliation) is my new favorite action hero.  He has some great lines and some great actions in this movie.  I loved what he does after he gets handcuffed to a freezer door in a convenience store.  Awesome.  Also, if you haven't seen G.I. Joe Retaliation, you should see it just for him.

     Wait for Video - Turbo
     Feel free to see this one in theaters if you want to but I don't know that it will be better.  Certainly don't waste you money and see it in 3-D.  It is a very cute movie and I like the moral of the story but if you don't have time to get to the theaters, don't feel bad.
     Actually, there are several morals to this story - follow your dreams no matter what, the little guy can win if he just has a big enough heart, sometimes the "different" one becomes the hero and I'm sure there are more.  It's definitely a feel good movie and I will admit to being a little tense when it looked like there wouldn't be a happy ending but I should have just had faith in DreamWorks!
     I did like several of the lines in the movie - "White Shadow!" and Samuel L. Jackson was as cool as ever.  There are some good laughs and you'll definitely want to see this eventually but there is no hurry.
     Although many people will want it in their video library, it's no Toy Story.  So, my advice is: Wait for Video on this one.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's Been Awhile

Wow! Sorry I haven't posted in so long. Life got really busy and I didn't get to see too many movies. I finally decided that I'm going to have to sneak them in when I can and, even though I'm not a night owl, I decided to sacrifice sometimes and see the late show. So, without further ado...the latest movies I've seen.
The Vow
I've been waiting for this one ever since the advertisements for it began several months ago. I really like the way Channing Tatum is gentle and loving but a real man in all his movies. And, of course, Rachel McAdams is always great. I wasn't super in love with her dark hair in this movie but *spoiler alert* she does lighten it halfway through the movie. (Just so you know, I don't personally consider that little tidbit a "spoiler" but I know people who would so this is for them).
I'm guessing that most people who want to see this movie have already seen it so let me know if you liked it or not. I loved the interaction between Channing and Rachel (although, as I saw recently on Pinterest: If I woke up without a memory and Channing Tatum told me he was my husband...I'd go with it). I really identified with both of them and I thought the choices they made were very interesting to think about - would you make the same choices you did before if you lost your memory?
I loved the myriad of life lessons that you could gain from this movie - forgiveness, the search for self, honesty, true love - I could go on and on. Maybe because it was based on a true story it rings a little "truer" than some other movies? I don't know... but I do know that I left the theatre with a smile on my face and a satisfied feeling in my heart from this charming double love story.
Man on a Ledge
I know this movie was panned by the critics but I thought it was great. It is a classic good vs. evil with the twist of not being able to figure out which one is which for a little while (for some of us, maybe not until the very end. lol) As far as the acting goes, you should probably know that I love Sam Worthington. I think he is highly under-rated as an actor and I'm looking forward to "Clash of the Titans" which will be out soon. In fact, I've never seen a movie of his that I didn't like. Elizabeth Banks (who looks a little rough - for good reason, it turns out) is a police psychiatrist trying to talk Sam, an ex-cop/convicted felon, down off the ledge of a hotel, from which he threatens to jump.
Kyra Sedgewick has a cameo as a TV reporter. She is another actress I really like (although I have a hard time picturing her with Kevin Bacon. Am I right?). She is tough and funny and totally unlike her character in The Closer (on TNT). Actually there were several funny lines/situations in this movie along with very tense and intense action - a little something for everyone.
I was originally not going to see this movie (because I mistakenly believed that for once, the critics got it right) but my sisters and my daughter, Kiki, saw it and really liked it. Take my advice (and theirs) and see this feel-good movie (probably have to wait until it comes out on DVD now or see it at a dollar theatre). Again, sorry I'm so far behind!!
In another shocker, I disagree with most of the critics on this movie. All I heard before I went to see this is how great it was, how everyone is so moved and affected by it. And yes, I was affected and moved but not in a good way.
I have only seen one of the actors in this movie before - Michael Kelly (The Adjustment Bureau, Law & Order) and he plays one of the most disturbing men I've seen in awhile. He abuses his son and even when I thought he had learned his lesson and would change his life, he sinks even further. He tries to beat up his son when he is lying in a hospital, unconscious and covered in bandages! I thought he deserved what he got but that's just my evil, vindictive side speaking.
The movie centers around three high school kids. The first one is Andrew Detmer, played by Dane DeHaan, an abused (see above), "quirky" teen who decides to video his life. Matt Garetty, played by Alex Russell, is Andrew's cousin and ride to school. Matt has a MUCH better home life than Andrew which you can tell because he is much better groomed through the whole movie. And Steve Montgomery, played by Michael B. Jordan (who was on Friday Night Lights - a show I never got around to watching), a popular, friendly, and confident kid who is running for Student Body President.
I know some people think it does you good to see the sordid and the ugly - I guess so that you can appreciate the sublime and the beautiful even more. I don't think that seeing disturbing things is particularly mind opening. In fact, I wish I could get some of the horrifying scenes of this movie out of my head. I thought it was really disturbing and I don't think the ending is particularly satisfying. Hopefully this review won't make you super curious and if you haven't seen this one yet, don't bother.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some Good, Some Okay

Kung Fu Panda 2
I just saw "Kung Fu Panda 2" today. HYSTERICAL! I can't decide if I liked it better than the first one or not. One good thing about Kung Fu Panda and other shows like it, is the extra comments you get from the kids in the theatre with you. Once, at a very tense part, a little kid burped. Courtney and I laughed our heads off (I even snorted). Still, even without our propensity to laugh at everything, Kung Fu Panda 2 is very funny. (Other people in the theatre laughed). It's not just for little kids either. The whole family will love it.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot but the thing I liked about the first one was the life lesson learned, the justice in the end and, of course, the hilarity along the way. This one has a great life lesson, awesome justice and even more hilarity. You should go see it now. Also- our theatre has started showing 2D and 3D so we have a choice now. We saw it in 2D and I hope never to shell out the extra cash for 3D again!!!

Pirates of the Carribbean on Stranger Tides

I know this has been a big hit with the critics but I was not as impressed as I expected to be. The thing I like about Jack Sparrow (Captain) is his cleverness and decency, despite being a pirate. He does have that in spades here but I kind of expected Penelope Cruz to be similar and she's really not. I liked the mermaids but I thought the end kind of leaves you hanging with them. And, I'm sorry but the King of England just made me nauseous. I mean, I'm sure he was fat and maybe not all too bright in real life but the guy in the movie was just disgusting! Even if the King WAS disgusting, I just don't need to see that!!
The other Pirates had many more redeeming values than this one. Which, I'm sure, is closer to the reality of piracy, but I like a little more fantasy with my movies. This one is probably best seen on the big screen but certainly don't waste your money seeing it in 3D and if you're on the fence, feel free to wait for it.

Something Borrowed
This is based on Emily Griffin's book of the same name so I know there will be a sequel and I hope it's soon. This one kind of left me hanging. (Although, a Lifetime Movie would be plenty). I LOVE Ginnifer Goodwin and John Krasinski but I was not all that thrilled with Colin Egglesfield. Kate Hudson proves that she is actually an actress because usually I like her and I hated her character in this movie. Ginnifer Goodwin is beautiful in this movie. I've always thought of her as a little young but she looks grown-up and great. I love the courage and compassion that she shows.
The big and happy suprise in this movie is John Krasinski! He totally makes the movie. I haven't read the book but my gut says that it would probably be a little better than the movie. I'm going to go ahead and read the sequels though because I think John Krasinski's character (Ethan) is at the center of the next one (Something Blue) and I REALLY want to find out what happens to him! This is a great movie for girls' night out or in a few months for girls' night in. I don't think people are going to see it as all that memorable though. Kind of meh (if you know what I mean).

Happy movie going to you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I have to tell you that I was super excited for this movie to come out and it didn't disappoint. I've been a Chris Hemsworth fan ever since he played Kirk's father in Star Trek (2009). He was amazing as Thor - an arrogant but impressive warrior and then a believably gentle and noble as time went on. (It doesn't hurt that he is really good looking either).

I wasn't sure that Natalie Portman could pull off being a physicist but she does a pretty good job. She is funny and determined and you can immediately see her connection to Thor.

My favorite (after Christ Hemsworth) is Kat Dennings as the grad student helping Natalie Portman. Her "ipod" line and "political science" line (among others) are sooo funny!

I hated Tom Hiddleston as Loki and yet I felt sorry for him - which is what we are supposed to do so it must mean he is a really good actor. The incomparable Anthony Hawkins is a marvelous Odin and it is good to see Rene Russo back as Freya his wife.

I also hated Clark Gregg as the leader of SHIELD (don't ask me what it stands for) and I think you will too.

I have seen several reviews from people who hated this movie but I think they are probably big fans of the comic books - speaking of, Stan Lee does his usual cameo and he is great. The comic book fans have certain pictures in their heads of what everyone should look like and I think the real life people probably don't measure up to that. I, however, haven't read any Thor comic books and I'm SUPER excited for Thor II to come out. Two thumbs up on this one too!

Super Summer Movies

Fast and Furious Five

I saw this one with my daughter and we both liked it. I've seen Fast and Furious 4 which helped explain a few things - you may want to see a few of the first "Fast and Furious" movies before you see this one. This movie has some of the best stunts I've ever seen. Of course, ever since XXX, I've come to expect spectaculat stunts whenever Vin Diesel is around. And speaking of Vin Diesel, I've never been one to be impressed by big muscles but I'll just say his voice sends shivers down my spine!

I also like Dwayne Johnson who adds more big muscles to the movie. He is the leader of an elite task force sent to apprehend Diesel and his crew. Unlike the character played by Tommy Lee Jones in "The Fugitive," Dwayne has a heart and some common sense which allows justice to win, even if the law is a little crumpled.

Jordana Brewster is as beautiful as ever (which makes it a little bit hard to believe that she is Diesel's sister) and Paul Walker as her boyfriend and former government agent plays his role perfectly.

The crew that joins them in Brazil makes the movie really fun. There is Sung Kang as the gorgeous Han Lue and Gal Gadot as the even more gorgeous former Mossad agent (you probably remember her from "Date Night" where she plays Mark Wahlberg's girlfriend). Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris deserve special mention - they are hilarious but can be serious and skilled when they need to be. Tego Calderon and his sidekick Don Omar are the same way - with a little more hilariosity thrown in.

Because of the incredible stunts, the "good over evil" plot and the satisfying ending, I give this one two thumbs up!


Speaking of Brazil - Rio (in 3D) is also out. I did not expect to like this one but I laughed out loud in several parts and it wasn't just me - the rest of the audience was laughing as well. As you know, I'm not a big fan of 3D and this movie certainly didn't need it (but we'll overlook that for now)

The songs were very well done and fit with the movie but the birds flying and the carnival scenes were spectacular! I would see it again just to see those two parts. Of course, it is also a feel good movie with love in the air. The birds that Blue meets along his way (George Lopez as "Rafael" a smooth-talking toucan, Jamie Foxx as Nico and as Pedro) are hysterical. Tracy Morgan as a dog is not as annoying as I usually find him.

Jesse Eisenberg does a spectacular job as Blu, making him sound cool, nerdy, whiney and confident in turns. Anne Hathaway, likewise, makes the perfect Jewel - the only other blue macaw in existance.

My guess is that the makers of this movie want to cut down on the smuggling of exotic birds but I never felt that they were preaching. I'm going to give this one two suprised thumbs up!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Three in Two Days

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules

I saw the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid and loved it. It was funny and heartwarming and had great lessons in it for all of us. My kids saw "Roderick Rules" before I did and they told me it was really funny so I expected the same thing from this second movie (based on the books by Jeff Kinney). It does end up to be funny and heartwarming with great lessons but first you have to wade through some of the most embarrassing, gut-wrenching, and awful times of young Greg's life. (Don't even get me started on the character of "Fregley"!)

I didn't particularly like the character of Roderick in the first movie and he is even more obnoxious in this one. In fact, he goes beyond obnoxious to pure evil. I can't believe some of the "pranks" he pulls on his little brother. And his advice on how to get along in the world is horrible. (Unfortunately, it seems that many kids in America follow it). There were so many times that my face was flaming and I was squirming in my seat for poor Greg that I almost left the movie.

I stuck it out, however, and the last half hour or so turned out to be really funny and heart warming. I will say that the audience was about 75% children and they LOVED this movie. They hardly stopped laughing. Also, Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn as the parents are great. Rachael Harris in particular is hysterical. If you are past puberty, and have any kind of empathetic bone in your body, you will want to wait for this to come out on video (if you see it at all). But if you are under the age of 15 or so, you should go see this ASAP.


I was undecided about this movie. I really like Bradley Cooper though and he did not fail me in this movie. It kept me guessing and hoping for the whole movie. I'm sure you know the premise of the movie - slacker guy gets pill that makes him rich and famous. There were more twists and turns than I expected and I loved the ending. There was one kind of disturbing scene where he drinks someone's blood (ewww!) but it was for a good reason and the guy was a bad guy so it didn't bother me as much as it would have (maybe I've just seen too many vampire shows lately... just pretend it's chocolate syrup and you'll be okay).

For some reason I didn't realize that Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch) was in this movie. She plays Bradley Cooper's girlfriend and she is really good. I'm very surprised that she is not more well known. I think she will become more of a household name after these two movies. Of course, Robert De Niro is wonderful as usual. You should see this just to see his face at the end.

This one gets two thumbs up from me. You should see if it you haven't already.

Source Code

Wow! I have to say that I haven't been a huge fan of Jake Gyllenhaal because of Brokeback Mountain (just yuck) but I really liked him in Prince of Persia and I have become a huge fan after seeing Source Code. I really hope that he continues to do action hero movies. It was awesome! He plays an Air Force captain who is sent back in time (sort of) to find the person who bombed a train in Chicago, killing everyone aboard.

He wakes up completely confused, sitting across from a lovely Michelle Monaghan who seems to know him, gets blown up, and wakes up back in some kind of capsule with a calm voice asking him to "acknowledge." From this confusing beginning, Gyllenhaal's character is continually thrown into this Groundhog Day-like dilemma. The action is engrossing, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat exciting and you are pulling for him all the way.

Vera Farmiga does an outstanding job as the calm voice of reason and compassion. (You may remember her as George Clooney's love interest in "Up in the Air" for which she received an Academy award nomination).

I left the theatre feeling pumped and happy. (And my husband liked it too!) If that's what you're looking for, you should see this one. Two thumbs up!