Saturday, December 29, 2007

Charlie Wilson's War

Charlie Wilson's War stars Tom Hanks as a whiskey drinking, womanizing Congressman with connections, who used his power and influence to the max to stick it to the Soviets big time. Now, add a rich Texas socialite who wants something done in Afghanistan, played perfectly by Julia Roberts; and a pain-in-his-boss's-ass CIA agent, superbly done by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and you have a movie well worth watching. Outstanding writing, and superlative acting.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

P.S. I Love You

Despite the all of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, mom and I were able to make it out to a movie today. **Chick Flick Alert** We chose to see P.S. I Love you, which is based on a best selling novel by Cecilia Ahern. If you decide to go see this movie, you may want to make sure to bring some extra tissues along.

P.S. I Love You is one of those painful films that makes you cry right off the bat, then lifts you up with some choice comedy only to slap you in the face with a heart-breaking flashback. But despite the extremely depressing subject matter, it still emanates an aura of hope.

The film opens with Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) and her Irish husband Gerry (Gerard Butler) fighting over a seemingly innocuous comment Gerry made to Holly’s mother. Just when the couple realizes how much they need one another, the film cuts ahead several months to Gerry’s funeral, where Holly is absolutely devastated. On Holly's 30th birthday she receives the first of a series of letters that Gerry composed during his battle with a brain tumor, which were to be delivered to Holly after his death, each ending with the phrase “P.S. I Love You.” As each letter arrives, Holly struggles with the memories of her past as her two best friends Denise (Lisa Kudrow) and Sharon (Gina Gershon), and the shamelessly blunt bartender Daniel (Harry Connick Jr.), all struggle to get her to start anew.

Ultimately, the film serves to prove that annoying adage you hear after every break-up, "‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” is true. You will not be disappointed with this movie. It is not an academy award winning film, but it is a tearjerker and definitely makes you go home home and hug your significant other and be more appreciative to have them in your life.


Although this movie seemed a little long at times, mom and I really enjoyed seeing it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Holiday

This is one that mom and I couldn't wait to see when it came out last year and it did not disappoint. After watching it again today, I remember just how much I loved this movie! It's a really good, light hearted movie, with GREAT characterization.

The Holiday is enjoyable to watch with touching and funny scenes throughout the movie. The ending is predictable, but what do you expect, it is a romantic comedy. You will leave the movie feeling good, and isn't that what movies are all about?!?!?

If you're tired of holiday films that are so stacked with so much Christmas cheer that it makes you sick, this is the perfect alternative. Light enough for some serious laughs, and with enough drama to keep it interesting to audiences, this one's a good date movie; definitely one for the collection!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Atonement

As you know, mom and I haven't been to the movies in two full weeks but we got back on track today and what a good day for the movies it was too - cold, rainy and wet, perfect conditions for sitting in a warm theater and forgetting about the weather outside.

We chose to see Atonement and we were not disappointed in our choice. This was a brilliant movie based on the 2001 novel by Ian McEwan. It begins on a light and airy note and descends into an abyss of tragedy and loss. The film, as the book, is divided into two principal sections with a short epilogue.

That story opens in 1935 in a vast British country estate where Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), a servant's son with a bright future ahead of him, is in love with Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley), the beautiful daughter of the lord of the manor. Cecilia returns his affections, but their love is a secret.

13-year old Briony (Saoirse Ronan, later played by Romola Garai) is watching this developing relationship and when she catches them in a compromising position, on the same night a shocking sex crime occurs on the manor, she gives wrongful evidence that forever alters three lives, including her own.

It skillfully pulls itself together in the end and packs an emotional punch that justifies the movie's title and concept. It will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

This was an excellent movie! I would not be at all surprised if it were nominated for Best Picture.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Catch and Release

For the second weekend in a row, mom and I didn't make it out to go see a movie; instead, we spend our time shopping, again - 'tis the season. I feel certain that we will be back on the movie track come next weekend. There are several movies coming out soon that we have on our list...

Before you start feeling too sorry for me, that I didn't get to go to the movies, I should tell you that I did get to see a good movie that came out earlier this year called Catch and Release. Mom and I never went to see it but it was on cable Saturday night and it sounded good so I watched it.

This was a wonderful romantic comedy starring Jennifer Garner, as Gray, who is struggling to deal with the death of her fiancé and the secrets she discovers that he kept from her.

I don't know how we missed this one, but I can't recall ever hearing about it. Excellent little movie! Definitely one for the collection - which apparently my husband thought I would enjoy too, since he got it for my birthday and I forgot. I'm only sorry I didn't watch it sooner but, now that I know I've got my very own copy, I can watch it any time I want.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

August Rush

Two movies in one weekend!?!?! WOW! What a lucky girl I am, and what a great weekend it was too!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know that many people like to go see movies over the Thanksgiving holiday’s and mom and I are no exception to this rule…..my only complaint was just how crowded the theater was, but other than that it was all good.

As you already know, we took my daughter to see Enchanted on Friday and we LOVED it!!! On Saturday we decided to go see August Rush, another one that mom and I were looking forward to seeing.

I had heard reports that this movie was a Fantasy, so I didn’t go in with the beliefs that this would be a realistic movie; therefore, I wasn’t as disappointed as some of the reviews have been for this one. Is it believable? No, absolutely not but I don’t know that it fits in the category of “fantasy” either – at least, not what I think of when I think of the word fantasy.

This is a movie about a boy named Evan (Freddie Highmore) - who is the product of a brief union between a punk rocker (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and a virtuoso cellist (Kerri Russell) – who hears melodies and harmonies all around him. He was put up for adoption - unbeknownst to his mother, who believes he is dead - at birth by his grandfather and grows up in an orphanage, where he is bullied daily for being a freak. But through it all, he never gives up hope that his parents will one day come for him.

When he runs away from the institution, he falls into the clutches of a musical Fagin (Robin Williams), who soon discovers the kid is a musical prodigy and puts him on the street as a busker. After that, the plot has the boy bouncing between Julliard and his old street gang. Meanwhile he's writing a symphony for the New York Philharmonic in hopes of telepathically reuniting his parents and mending his broken family.

In my opinion, the ending left something to be desired but overall, this was a sweet movie about music and love being able to overcome any obstacles. It’s a toss up whether others will like this one; it had some nice music, but I don’t think it will be for everyone. I believe this one is going to be one of those “loved it” or “hated it” types of movies; as for mom and I, we enjoyed it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Enchanted

Today mom and I took my oldest daughter to see Enchanted. This was the cutest movie I've seen in a while. Amy Adams is wonderful in this film. It was easy to believe that she really did emerge from a fairy-tale land and what better choice for the evil queen than Susan Sarandon?
This movie begins in the animated land of Andalasia where there lives a beautiful damsel named Giselle (Amy Adams) and the handsome Prince Edward (James Marsden) both dreaming of loves true kiss. When the two meet, all of Giselle's dreams are about to come true; she's about to become a princess by marrying her prince charming which would dethrone Narissa (Susan Sarandon). The evil queen would do anything to maintain her position on the throne and she thrusts Giselle into a well which sends her via a manhole into New York's Times Square.
This is a great family movie!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Transformers

Mom and I had to skip the movies this weekend because of holiday family plans; however, the hubby asked me to get him the Transformers movie when it came out on DVD. We just finished watching this it and I must say... WOW!!! What an incredible movie!!!

For a man, there are few things more powerful than the relationship he has with his first automobile, and it’s no different for Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf). Sam is your typical teenager living the life of angst over not being one of the cool kids, and pining away for the girl of his dreams, Mikaela (Megan Fox). He has worked and saved for his first car, and his father has agreed to help him. Together they go car shopping, but all Sam can afford is a beat up old Camaro. However, this clunker is no ordinary piece of crap, it's more than meets the eye! Sam’s relationship with his car is about change his life and propel him into the middle of a galactic war between the Autobots and Decepticons.

Will the Decepticons succeed in taking over Earth as their new home planet, or Can Sam and the Autobots stop them?

Just because this movie is about a boy and his car does not mean that it skimps on action; in fact, it wastes no time getting right to the incredible, eye-popping, rampant robot destruction.

This is one for the collection!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's your favorite?

Is there a movie that you watch every time that it comes on the television - you could watch it over and over again and it never gets old?

For my husband it’s Flash Gordon – don’t ask me why, I’m sure I do not know. In my opinion this is one of the cheesiest movies ever made, but he loves it and I love him so I deal with it. In fact, I even bought the DVD for him when it came out – mistake? Maybe, he made us watch it that day and the next.
It’s been a while since he last subjected us to it – shhh…don’t say anything to him though, maybe he forgot that he as it. Ha! (a girl can wish)

I have a few but the main one for me is Dirty Dancing – and I must admit he probably feels the same way about my movie as I feel about his. It came on again last night and of course I watched it; I just love this movie!! Besides the great music and dancing; they really captured the conversion of going from daddy’s little girl into a woman. I’m sure the hubby disagrees and thinks that this is one of the cheesiest movies ever made, but I love it and he loves me and so he will deal with it. In fact, he even bought the DVD for me when it first came out – mistake? NOPE! I’ve never made him watch it, but he has been subjected to it, once or twice, when it came on TV. Lol!

To me, it’s always interesting to learn what movies people like the most and why; comment now and tell me about your favorite.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

P2

Today mom and I went to see P2. We didn't know much about it, other than it's supposed to be scary. We love scary, so off we went....

Although this movie wasn't bad, it is not what I would classify as scary. However, I must admit that my scare factor is off the charts - maybe even broken.

The entire movie takes place in a parking garage - cost efficiency at it's best! I thought the script was very good and the acting was nicely done.

All this being said, there were a few parts that I found unrealistic:

One was the nasty fingernail coming off scene - and can I just say, I HATE that!!! That is the one thing these film directors just love to put in their movies and that I could completely do without! It absolutely grosses me out, like fingernails running down a chalk board, and turns my stomach!! I don't know, maybe that's the effect that they're going for??? Anyway, my point is this....if you've ever bent your fingernail back, you know just how bad that hurts never mind how it would feel if it actually got bent so far that it detaches. When her fingernail comes off, she barely has a reaction - at least not one I would expect - she doesn't scream, or even curse...but then again, maybe she just has a higher tolerance to pain.

Another part that was unbelievable to me is when the cops come to check things out. How is it that they don't notice all of the security cameras that she broke?
All in all, this was a pretty good movie.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Martian Child

Mom and I have been looking forward to seeing this weeks movie feature for a LONG TIME!!! As you know, we go to the movies almost every weekend, which means we get to see lots of previews and they have been showing the previews for Martian Child for several months now, but they always said "Coming Soon", never giving us a date. Well, it is FINALLY out in theaters and we couldn't wait to go see it!

This was a feel good movie about a widower (John Cusak) who is still grieving from the loss of his wife, two years earlier, and a troubled boy (Bobby Coleman) who thinks he's from Mars and is in desperate need of unconditional love. I thought the acting in this one was phenomenal; John Cusak gives and outstanding performance and a grieving husband, you can actually feel his pain.
Why is it when critics give a movie a poor rating we usually love it?? Most reviews I have heard/read for this movie have been mediocre, but mom and I both really enjoyed this one!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Contract

Mom and I didn't get out to the movies this weekend because I was busy hosting a Halloween party. However, the day after the party - when all the hubby and I were doing absolutely nothing except sitting around and relaxing - we watched The Contract with John Cusack and Morgan Freeman. With such big actors I would have though this movie would be good; in fact, I bought this movie because it had both of them in it and I was surprised that I had never heard of it. However, after after watching it, I now know why I had never heard of it. The script was horrible and the plot had way too many holes.

High school gym teacher Ray Keene (Cusack) goes on a bonding excursion with his teenage son, who got in trouble with the local law for smoking pot, and comes back with a new girl friend and a new pal in the underworld. With these two amazing actors, this movie has all the ingredients for a speedy action thriller, and just how it fails to raise even the tiniest bit of suspense is beyond me.

This one was a disappointment.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Cate Blanchette and Clive Owen bring magic to the screen in this beautifully filmed and costumed tale of ELIZABETH THE GOLDEN AGE.

In this movie, Queen Elizabeth I (Cate Blanchette) prepares for war against Spain and King Philip II (Jordi Mollà). But as she readies for a major fight to save her crown, she also finds herself falling in love with the adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen). While an official relationship is strictly forbidden for the Queen, she comes up with a devious plan to keep Raleigh by her side that may actually end up breaking her heart.
There were a few scenes that were gory but all in all this was a good movie. Mom and I both enjoyed it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Michael Clayton


The movie of choice this weekend was Michael Clayton. In this Legal-Eagle thriller, Clooney’s Clayton is trained as a high-class lawyer but works the lower end of the judicial spectrum. So low, in fact, he has not set foot inside a courtroom for over a decade. Michael is the firm’s “fixer” - a guy who knows the right people for the right circumstance, a somewhat shady character and hard to define- until you need him.

After spending 6 years defending a phosphate conglomerate in a multi-billion dollar toxic poisoning case, veteran lawyer Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) has lost his mind and is threatening to change sides. On the orders of his boss (Sydney Pollack), Clayton is told to bring his powers of persuasion to bear on his friend. However, Clayton’s instincts tell him there could be some truth to Arthur’s insane ramblings.

This movie reminded me of a combination of The Firm and Erin Brockovich. If you liked those movies, your sure to love this one - Not to mention, George Clooney is always nice to watch...ha!

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Jane Austen Book Club

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I've not read any of the Jane Austen books but I've seen a few of the movies based on her books and I've enjoyed them all. Recently, I watched a movie - Becoming Jane - that was loosely based on her life; I enjoyed this one much better.
The Jane Austen Book Club is about Six people who start a club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to find that their relationships begin to resemble 21st century versions of her novels. The members of the club are hopeful about love, but helpless when it comes to relationships. The characters in this movie are interesting and likable, the acting is good, and it isn't filled with violence and vulgarity - something that's increasingly hard to find these days.
Mom and I both very much enjoyed this movie.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Feast of Love

The movie that mom and I chose this weekend was the Feast of Love, an adaptation of the 2000 book by Charles Baxter.

The story begins with a brilliant theory on love, “There is a story about the Greek Gods. They were board, so they invented human beings. But they were still board, so they invented love. Then they weren’t board any longer; so they decided to try love for themselves….and finally, they invented laughter – so they could stand it.” quoted by philosophy professor Harry Stevenson (Morgan Freeman). The couplings and uncouplings in Feast of Love are observed and pondered through the wizened eyes of Professor Stevenson who is a regular at Jitters, the coffee shop owned by the good-hearted if less observant Bradley Thomas (Greg Kinnear). This is a movie about love, the chances we take and the things that connect us together.

I really enjoyed the wit of Freeman’s character in this movie, as well as the story lines. However, if you are uncomfortable with sex and nudity then this is not the movie for you!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

In the Valley of Elah


When Mom asked if I wanted to go see In the Valley of Elah this weekend and then went on to tell me it stars Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Surandon, and Charlize Theron, I was on board. I went into this movie knowing nothing about it, I had never even heard of it before mom called.
This movie takes its name from the story of David and Goliath, which takes place in the Valley of Elah. But it has nothing to do with the Bible.

Instead, it is based on the July 13, 2003, murder of Richard Davis, a 23-year-old Army soldier who had just returned to Fort Benning, Ga., when he was declared AWOL. The young veteran’s charred remains were discovered in the woods four months later.

The murder trial that followed revealed disturbing information about Richard Davis and the Army unit he had belonged to, including alleged war crimes they committed against civilians in Baghdad and the fact that some of the soldiers were suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

Tommy Lee Jones plays Hank Deerfield, the father of Mike, the murdered soldier and a retired Army criminal investigator. In the films beginning we learn that Mike has gone is considered AWOL. Jones' portrayal of Mike's worried father is painfully realistic.

Unfortunately, as a murder mystery, “Elah” is lacking. Once we learn the who, what, where and when about Mike’s death, the looming question of “why” — the one the PTSD angle is supposed to address — never gets answered.
Personally, I like to go to the movies to escape from reality and this one - although the acting was on point - was just a little too "real" for my liking.