Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sucker Punch

I'm going to say right off that I liked this movie. I even cried at the end. I think you will like it if you like anime (Japanese "cartoons"). There are even elements of "Inception" in it (dreams within a dream). However, I'm guessing that it's not for everyone. It was a little confusing in parts and definitely had a foreign film feel to it. If you have a hard time suspending your disbelief (getting into movies), you should skip it.

I liked the girls that are in it. The star, Emily Browning, is haunting with her big eyes and fierce in her action scenes. In fact, you can wait for it to come out on video, but you really should see her first fight scene against HUGE Japanese warriors. It shows her as a tiny little thing across from the giant and then she just goes after it. Totally empowering.

Vanessa Hudgens (who has been a very busy girl lately!) sometimes bugs me but she does a great job in this and I was also impressed with Jamie Chung as "Amber." Both are beautiful girls and really tough in this movie. My favorites were Abbie Cornish as "Sweet Pea" and Jena Malone as "Rocket." They are sisters who will do anything for each other. Their relationship is a big part of why I liked this movie.

The way the girls work together despite their issues and the sacrifices they make are inspiring. And the ending is really uplifting - there are angels looking out for us. I predict this will become a cult classic. There are some adult themes - prostitution, brothels, rape and a lobotomy that would be difficult to explain to younger kids so be aware of that before you let younger kids see it. The PG-13 rating is a good one. I saw it with my 18 year old daughter and I wasn't embarassed though (like some PG-13s I've seen). I'm giving this movie one & a half thumbs up!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red Riding Hood

I have to say the visuals in this movie are stunning. The villiage, the forest, and the houses are all beautiful and haunting and just like a fairytale. And the red cloak is beautiful whenever it shows up. I want one just like it.

After the opening scenes showing the forest and narrowing in on the little villiage where our tale takes place, I have to say, I was really disappointed in the first third of the movie. Several of the villiagers were REALLY bad actors - WAY over the top. Even when they were supposed to be in the background they were over-acting! And I am pretty sure that "dirty dancing" was not part of usual medieval societies - even fairytale ones and a little girl who has no problem cutting a sweet bunny rabbit's throat? It was a little bit too much to swallow.

I think Red Riding Hood (who we learn is really named Valerie) chooses the wrong boy too. You may disagree with me but I think Henry is much better looking and nicer than Peter (not to mention richer). But, I was pleased with the ending all in all.

There are a few really disturbing scenes - one where a boy who is not right in the head is tortured while his sister bargains with her body for his release (no nudity, though), the gentle priest is run through and killed for a very flimsy reason, and a couple of limbs are cut off and shown close-up. Unfortunately, there were small children in the theatre when I watched this movie. I guess their parents thought, "Oh, this is a fairy tale - great for kids." (Or they just don't care what their kids watch).

I hated Gary Oldham in this one - which I guess means he's a pretty good actor and I was super pleased to see Julie Christie! She was fabulous! However, other than some thought-provoking questions about choices, honor, secrets and family, I think this is one that you can safely wait for to come out on video - which I'm sure it will soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

Usually I tell you that movies I like are "great" or "awesome." I really liked this movie but it's more "impactful" and "thought-provoking." Matt Damon is wonderful (as usual) as a young Congressman running for the Senate. I don't think I've ever seen a Matt Damon movie that I didn't like him in (not that I've seen them all).

Emily Blunt is perfect as the free-spirited dancer. In fact, I don't know if she had a dancer double or not but the dance scenes are absolutely inspiring! I wish there had been more of them - but that's not really the focus of the movie. Emily Blunt, for those who are not as familiar with her, is married to John Krasinski ("The Office") and was in "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Young Victoria" (see favorite DVD list). She was also the voice for Juliet in "Gnomeo & Juliet." After seeing "The Devil Wears Prada," I hated Emily Blunt but after seeing "The Young Victoria," I loved her. I guess that means she's a pretty good actress.

A happy little surprise is Anthony Mackie who plays Harry. I would have thought that I hadn't seen him before but he has played sort of semi-background characters for quite awhile. He is a graduate of Juilliard and has appeared in "Million Dollar Baby," "Eagle Eye," and "We Are Marshall" (another DVD I recommend). I'm really pleased that he has a more prominant role in this film and I hope to see more of him.

I'm giving this one two thumbs up. It's just much more impressive and impactful on the big screen.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I saw Beastly with Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens this afternoon. I really liked it. Alex Pettyfer is better than anyone (except possibly Orlando Bloom) at looking at a woman as if he really cherishes her.

As Vanessa's character (Lindy) says, everyone knows the story of Beauty and the Beast. I think they've done a wonderful job of updating the story to modern day. Lindy's dad is in believeable trouble which makes him hand Lindy off to "the Beast." Alex (Kyle) is adorable as the nervous beast, trying to get Lindy to love him. Mary-Kate Olsen is fabulous as the witch. I really was a little scared of her. My very favorite, however, is Neil Patrick Harris. I would see the movie just for his character alone.

This is a classic, timeless tale with lots of lessons to learn and things to think about. I'm giving it two thumbs up. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I'm sure you've already seen this movie. It's been the number one in the box office since it came out. I finally saw it and while I liked it, there were a few holes in it. I was a little suprised to find out it was based on a book "Out of My Head" by Didier van Cauwelaert. I think the few holes can maybe be explained by the fact that the book was first written in French, translated into English and then turned into this film.

I thought it was a great rush and I totally identified with Liam Neeson's character in his confusion. I didn't figure out what was going on until the very end (when I was told, lol). I think my husband figured it out way before that (he usually does). So, if you like to figure out what is happening, there are clues along the way. But if you are talented at suspending your disbelief, you won't even notice the little inconsistencies.

I thought Diane Krueger (from National Treasure) did a fabulous job and so did Liam Neeson. I usually love Aiden Quinn but his character bugged me and I cheered a little bit inside when I saw what happened to January Jones' character. Let me know if you feel the same way! So, I'm going to give this one and a half thumbs. If you like to go to movies, you should see this in the theater. If you are not big on movies, there is no problem waiting for this to come to video.

I added some new videos to my list for anyone who is looking for something for the weekend. I'm looking forward to The Adjustment Bureau!