Sunday, August 8, 2010

Amelia Earhart was lost at sea-That is totally new information!

Amelia (Liked It)--This movie has been much maligned by critics. It's far from perfect, but I don't think it's as bad as some have let on. The things I found disappointing about this movie were that all I really found out was that Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic solo and she was lost at sea while trying to circumnavigate the world. I already knew that. I don't expect biopics to be deep or hugely revelatory or even all that accurate, but this one was so basic that it just could have been better. Hillary Swank does look very much like Amelia, but that's not enough. I would have liked them to just explain more. I don't just want a picture to look pretty and that's what this one did. Why did Amelia have an open relationship with her husband? What ended the affair with Gene Vidal? What drove her to take the risks she did? And was it really all her navigators fault? I don't think so. It just could have been better and that's what's disappointing. However, if you don't know anything about her, watch a documentary and then watch this film. There are some positives, including the feel of the 20's and 30's and the highlights of her ground breaking flights. I've spent two hours doing worse things than watching this film. It's also PG, so it's very family friendly. The affair is only alluded to, there's very little bad language, and they try to tell a good story.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Claymation-Who'd of Thought

The Fantastic Mr. Fox (Liked It)--So the Fantastic Mr. Fox is a claymation story based on a Roald Dahl story and directed by Wes Anderson. Now, I don't watch this kind of animation often. I think the last movie was Chicken Run (and that was a long time ago), but I had a good friend recommend this and since I trust his opinion, I decided to give it a try. I really liked this movie. The animation is great. The voices are perfect. George Clooney as Mr. Fox was right on the money and I really liked Meryl Streep as Mrs. Fox. The story is original and funny but kind of dark. It is after all, Roald Dahl. That's his signature and this movie falls right in line with that style. But it's funny, original, smart, sassy, and really well done. The interplay between the characters is very adult but it's humorous enough for kids as well. And there are some funny things thrown in by the director. An example is not having the characters really say the cuss words, but instead, say, "What the cuss!" That was just funny. I loved the plot. Mr. Fox wants to "support" his family by stealing chickens and such from three mean farmers. The way Mr. Fox convinces his family and the other animals in his community to go along is wonderful. My favorite characters and my favorite subplot are Mr. Fox's son and nephew. There's a bit of sibling rivalry going on there and it was fun to watch. I highly recommend this movie. It's good for the whole family and it's short. It's only 1 1/2 hours. It's SO worth the rental. I think you'll laugh.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nature's Movie Theatre

Yellowstone National Park (Loved It)--So I haven't posted in quite awhile. I've been busy working and then I went on vacation. I'm digressing from my normal format on anything I can watch on a screen to write about Yellowstone National Park. It was amazing. It was nature's movie. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed my visit to the world's first national park. I had asked quite a few people who had previously visited there to tell me about their visits. Everyone, and I'm not exaggerating, everyone I asked loved that place. I am with them. I thought I might like it, it would be pretty, I would get to see a buffalo/bison, it would be fun. NO, it was phenomenal. I got to see a bison within the first 10 minutes in the park, the scenery was beautiful, and Old Faithful was as cool as I'd heard. I loved the geysers and the hot pots. I was floored by the vast array of terrain in that 3400 square mile uncommercialized oasis. And then, I got to see two grizzlies, who were no more than 25 yards away at their closest point, also the point where we got back into the car and drove away. I would recommend this park to anyone and I would go back. I saw people from France, England, heard people from Germany, saw license plates from almost all 50 states and would have seen them from all 50 if I'd looked harder, and plates from several of the Canadian provinces. It was so fun to see nature as true to nature as I will in my life. The wildlife, the baby bald eagle learning to fly, the enormous 6 point bull elk in the middle of the road just chilling out, the trumpeter swan, all of it was so cool. It may sound cliche, but it felt so American to me. That we would take this land and give it to humanity is awesome. A coworker challenged me once to find a government program that actually works, after my visit to Yellowstone, I stick by my choice of the National Park system. I'm telling everyone I know to go visit this park. It is so worth the time. You will not regret it.

I'll be back with a regular movie review soon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Must See Documentary On The Civil War

Ken Burns: The Civil War (Loved It)--So, I haven't watched many movies in the last couple of weeks, because I've been watching a documentary on the Civil War. This documentary is 9 parts, but it is a must see. I love to study history. It's one of my hobbies. I like to read about it, I love to visit these places, and I really enjoy watching documentaries and movies about history. I also like the Burns brothers. Both Ric and Ken choose subjects that interest me and do an very thorough job of giving the history and the details of the subjects they pick. This documentary is no different. It's wonderful. That's not to say it's always easy to watch. The carnage and sheer numbers of people that died during that four year war is mind boggling. Thousands of men would die in battle in the morning and then it would all repeat in the afternoon. This went on for 4 years and the total number of men dead outnumbers all other deaths in ALL of the other American wars combined. It also shows pictures, many which I had never seen before, of the soldiers, the carnage, and the people who were part of this event. I also really enjoyed the actual writings of the many of the soldiers and those they left at home. This is done through journals, letters, and memoirs of the actual players in history.

Another favorite was Shelby Foote. He was a southern historian who has written a definitive three part history of the Civil War. Mr. Burns was going to use him as a resource and liked him enough to put him in the documentary. He talks as if he knew the people he's written about and I feel he tries to be impartial even though he's southern. He criticizes and praises people on both the Blue and the Gray equally. He later said that Ken Burns made him a millionaire because sales of his books skyrocketed after this documentary premiered and I know why. His knowledge and insight were wonderful and the way he tells the stories was mesmerizing.

This is worth the time investment. It's information that any American should learn and know. It is well done. I highly recommend this to anyone.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm changing a rating. . . a new movie to see

The Young Victoria (Loved it enough to Buy it)--First, I need to say that I am changing the rating of The Snow Walker to Loved it enough to Buy it, because I did. I bought it. So, this is the first time I've changed a rating but that is because I decided I really loved this movie. And the ending which at first I didn't like, I have now decided that I enjoy that it's not entirely wrapped up and the end. It's a bit ambiguous, and you have to think about the ending. In this case, that was a good way to end the movie.

Now, on to The Young Victoria. I LOVED this movie. I'm buying this movie as well. I have watched it twice already and I could and will watch it again. Now, I'm a history buff. It's one of my hobbies. I love to watch, read, visit, learn about the past. That's why I love to visit Europe and historic sites in the USA. I love to visit museums and old homes. It's as close to time travel as I can get. I feel the same way about movies. It allows me to visit places I will never get to and to be part of experiences that I could never have been a part of. The Young Victoria is one of those movies.

I visited London in July 2009 and there was a billboard of this movie on the train platform in the small town we were staying in. I saw it every morning for an entire week and I remember I put it in my Netflix queue when I returned. It was just released in the U.S. on DVD about one month ago and it went to the top of my list of must sees. The story is compelling and for the most part true. There are a few embellishments, but this is a movie and not a documentary. And, from what I've read about Victoria and Albert, it's close enough to the truth. Besides, it transports you to the reign of a young Victoria and her new husband. It shows how they became the great team they were, and how they were better together than they were apart. Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend where pitch perfect and Victoria and Albert. They had amazing chemistry and the performances were wonderful. They became the two people they were playing. It worked. Their performances show a royal match that actually resulted in love and team work. The film also showed the machinations of royalty and politics, but how in this particular case, love conquered it all. Everyone wants to believe that's possible and it's rare. So, I really enjoyed watching a true case where it happened.

The costumes are terrific (they won an Oscar), the sets look perfect and are lavish, and the acting is top notch from everyone in the production, and I do mean everyone. There really isn't a weak link. I LOVED this. I also want to say, that it's PG and for good reason. No bad language, very little violence, and although quite a bit of kissing (it is about newlyweds), there's NO skin. It's great. Everyone can watch this. Now, as I said before, there are a few poetic licenses taken, but it's close enough and if you want to know the history, watch a documentary. Watch this for the fantasy, the romance (men included, because ALL women want an Albert), the escape, and the feel and look of the past. It's one of my favorites and I'm recommending it to everyone!!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A sports movie

The Express (Liked it)--I liked The Express. I like underdog sports movies. I watch quite a few of them. Rudy, Miracle, Hoosiers, The Rookie, etc., you get the idea. A coworker of mine says you can pretty much write any sports underdog movie (I agree). They're all sort of the same formula, but I still enjoy them anyway. Life isn't always easy and I enjoy watching someone beat the odds. Sports flicks are usually one way of seeing that.

Well, I didn't know anything about Ernie Davie before this movie. The only thing I knew about this film going in is that it had something to do with the Heisman Trophy. I had never heard of this man, but his story was compelling. He was the first African American to win the Heisman. I'm not sure why I hadn't heard of this player before this movie, although the ending may have something to do with that. However, if making this movie helps get the story out there, it was worth doing. I love true stories and this telling was good. The acting was good, especially, Rob Brown, who played Ernie Davis. The story was good, and although the ending was sad and may explain a bit why I hadn't heard of this player before 2010, I would highly recommend it. There is absolutely nothing offensive in this movie. It's PG, so anyone can and should watch this. It's definitely worth a rental.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The reason I'm finally visiting Yellowstone National Park

The National Parks: America's Best Idea (Loved It)--This is a documentary by Ken Burns. I love both Ric & Ken Burns documentaries. Their styles appeal to me. but this documentary is now one of my all time favorites. It is beautiful and should be watched. Rent it, Nexflix it, DVR it, do what you have to do to see this. It's GREAT. I didn't know there were 58 parks in the National Park System. I've been to two (Zion's & Arches) and after seeing this, added Yellowstone to my travel itinerary. I'm going in June with my mom, my stepfather, and my sister.

It's wonderful how Ken Burns combines the history of the parks and their development with the stories of "ordinary" people. These or4dinary experiences are the truly extraordinary part of this series. And I'm not going to lie that I teared up (as I often do) when listening to the stories about John Muir and the Gerkes who toured the parks in the 20's in a series of Buicks. The real tears came when I listened to my favorite story of Tuan Luong who has visited and photographed all 58 parks and has the stamps to prove it. He's a French/Viet Namese man who fell in love with the parks, set a goal to see each one, and did so. I have a goal to visit all 50 states before I die (I've been to 30 and to Washington D.C., but none of the 5 U.S. territories), so I understand his motivation and that's probably why I loved his story so much.

A man at work asked me to find one government program that has worked and my answer was the National Parks. The United States invented this idea and we are the benchmark for the other nations that have followed this pattern. It is a system that provides universal democracy. It allows all men to "own" a piece of the most beautiful and important land this country has to offer. So plan on watching this and then visiting a National Park. There are 5 in Utah, so if you live near me or not so near--GO!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Netflix Streaming is Awesome

The Snow Walker (Loved It)--So occasionally I stream movies on Netflix. It's another way for me to get my movie fix. I just watch them on my computer and I love it. If I don't like a movie, I can instantly stop it and move on to another movies ASAP. It's perfect for me. But yesterday, I started a movie that captured my attention from minute one and I didn't need to find something else to watch until the movie was over. The movie was The Snow Walker. It's directed by Charles Martin Smith. He is the actor that starred in Never Cry Wolf a couple of decades ago, and I loved that movie. It also stars Barry Pepper, who I really like as an actor and I think he's under utilized. He's starred in a couple of my all time favorite movies, so when this popped up on my Netflix recommendations I wanted to give it a try. The movie is based on a short story by Farley Mowat (who also wrote Never Cry Wolf). It's a simple story about a pilot in 1950's Canada, who is taking a native to the hospital to treat TB when the plane hes' flying crashes into the Canadian Wilderness. The pilot, Charlie (Pepper) and the native Kanaalaq, played brilliantly by a non-actor named Annabella Piugattuk, have to survive together in a cold, brutal, and vast countryside. The pilot is cocky and thinks he can traipse out to civilization on his own. He soon finds out this isn't the case and learns to depend on Kanaalaq to survive in such a harsh environment. Anabella is wonderful. They auditioned hundreds of girls and I really think they picked the perfect person for this role. She is a natural and the interplay between herself and Barry Pepper was great. Their scenes together have a natural chemistry and the arc that Charlie has is completely believable. The story is much weaker when civilization and the search party stuff is brought in, but to see how the survival happens and how the pilot learns, is worth the two hours. The ending (which I don't want to give away) was a little weak, but overall, I could watch this again. And, I probably will. It had the elements in a movie that I love. It took me to a situation which I will never be in, but was thrilled to view.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I have a confession. . .

Inglorious Basterds (Loved It)--I have a confession. I will watch just about anything that has to do with World War II. I am especially interested in any story concerning the European Front and the Holocaust. I had a co-worker mention one day that I was a Holocaust fan and I told him that you can't really say that because it makes you sound like you can't wait for the next one. That is not the case for me. I just find the war and the stories that feed from that dark period of history interesting because I do not think I am brave enough to go through what so many millions had to deal with in one of the darkest periods of human history. I watch many documentaries, I've read countless books, and I have viewed so many movies about these topics. So, although I don't see a lot of Tarantino film, I wanted to watch this one. His films are very violent and this film is NO exception. The language and violence are R rated (and for good reason). But, I wanted to see Tarantino's take on how he thought World War II should have gone. Plus, this film had Brad Pitt in it and that never hurts. He was perfect as the good ole' boy that wants to "hunt some Nazi's". This movie is NOT for the faint of heart. I found it entertaining but I admit I had to fast forward some of the Nazi killing. It was bloody but satisfying. I also loved that the film cast Germans playing Germans, French playing French, and Americans playing Americans, with Mike Meyers doing a great cameo as an Englishman. I had a friend who thought I wouldn't like this movie because it was NOT historically accurate, but I knew that going in, so I enjoyed the revisionist story. It's not a film for a World War II history lesson, but oh, if only. . .

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Materpiece Classic

The 39 Steps (Liked It)--So I have recently started watching Masterpiece Classic. This movie is one of those shown on this season of Masterpiece. It was fun. I really like Rupert Penry-Jones, who some of you will know as Captain Wentworth in the latest version of Persuasion. He's equally as charming in this story. The 39 Steps is based on a novel by John Buchnan. There's actually 5 novels in the series about Richard Hannay and involves espionage, war, excitement, etc. This movie was fun to watch and the acting was great. I also enjoyed the interplay between Rupert and Lydia Leonard who plays Victoria. She's a suffragette and a good match for Mr. Hannay. The plot involves the Germans trying to steal the British Naval plans on the eve of World War I and it kept my interest for the entire movie. Being Masterpiece Classic means it's well made and there are many of actors from the British front that many will recognize even if they aren't necessarily household names over here. If you're looking for something to watch one evening, give this movie a run in your DVD player or see if it's going to be rebroadcast on PBS. It's worth the 90 minutes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So, I'm reviewing DVD's I own, when I can't get to a new movie

Cast Away (Loved it Enough to Buy It)--So, I'm rewatching some of the DVD's I own. I haven't had the time lately to sit down and watch a new movie or actually to make it to the movie theater to see a new movie. But, I have had time to put on a DVD of a movie that I loved enough to buy. Usually when I do this, I am doing something else that should be done and the DVD is in the background, but I can multi-task and since I have a pretty good memory, I can remember why I liked the movie enough to buy it in the first place.

So here is Cast Away: I thought this movie was fascinating. It was an interesting story and although not original (I'd have to be reviewing Robinson Crusoe for that to be true), it was an idea that Hollywood hadn't visited in awhile when this was made in 1999. Tom Hanks is a good actor and although I won't see just anything he's in, I usually like his acting choices as well as movies he decides to produce (From Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, etc.). This movie had a story that interested me from moment one. It's a modern day shipwreck story on a deserted tropical island. Many people often think being stranded on a tropical island would be paradise, but the situation the main character is put into in this story is hardly ideal. The time that Chuck Noland spends on the island is amazing. I don't know how I would do in that situation, but I have a pretty good guess that I would not survive it. I thought the movie did a great job of showing the mental and physical anguish that would happen with such an ordeal and when Chuck triumphs in the end, it makes the previous time of watching the difficulty worth it. I also like how much of the movie is free of dialog. Chuck does have a companion he creates (Wilson, the volleyball) and it helps him maintain a bit of sanity. It was interesting how I thought of this inanimate object as real during the course of the movie.

Now this is not a movie I watch often because it's a difficult situation to watch, but I think it's a fascinating premise and I love watching movies because I can experience situations that I will NEVER deal with in real life. That is why I LOVE to watch movies and so this movie is a good one for me. Plus the special features are informative and interesting. The survival specialists they used as advisors on the film are an eclectic group of men and it was great to listen to them give the advice on how to survive in an extreme situation and the tidbits about how the roller blades had to be changed to ice skates were fun.

So if you Netflix, consider this DVD as a possibility.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I haven't quit blogging.

I just wanted to publish a post saying my blogging has NOT quit. I just honestly have had no time to watch movies lately. Between work and other activities my movie watching time has been cut down significantly as of late. But, I am beginning again today and should have a couple of posts on actual movies beginning this week.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I've been away & it's Olympic time

I realize it's been awhile since I posted. Truth is I've been busy. I went to Singapore on business and between the preparation and the travel, almost a month has FLOWN by. In addition, I haven't been watching many movies. I HAVE been watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. I LOVE the Olympics and I really can't overstate that. I am an Olympic junkie and since I'm watching it on my TV screen, I decided to blog about that. The first Olympics I remember is the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. I remember Scott Hamilton carrying in the U.S. flag, the lambskin coats the team wore, Eric Heiden and his 5 gold medals and of course, the Miracle On Ice. I also remember that the Soviet game was not the gold medal game and that my family skipped church to watch the gold medal game because it was on a Sunday. These were the days remember before DVR, DVD and even VCR. So, I am basically a couch potato when the Olympics are being broadcast. For half of these games, I was in Singapore and completely maxed out my DVR with the telecast, so I have spent the last few days trying to catch up.
Now, why I love the athletics and seeing sports that we in the U.S. only watch every four years, what I really enjoy is all the sentimental stuff. I love the stories of comebacks, the sacrifices made to get to the Olympics, and the cultural things they share about the host nation and the nations of the many athletes. I enjoy the stories of athletes that KNOW they aren't going to medal, but just want to be there, like the Turkish skater, Tugba Karademir, whose parents literally gave up everything they had so their daughter could compete. They emigrated to Canada so she could train and worked menial jobs for the money. They couldn't afford to see her in Torino and thought the same thing about Vancouver, but then someone paid their expenses and they were able to see their daughter skate as an Olympian. I bawled like a baby watching that story and I'm tearing up while I write this. Those are the stories that make it worth watching. Then there are the stories like Bode Miller, in essence, redeeming his poor performance in Torino. He was a changed man. I also love the stories that Tom Brokaw and Mary Carillo share. They all just touch my heart.
So, I've still got a few days of the Olympics to catch up on and then I'll be back to my normal movie reviews. Until then, if you have a computer, go to and check out some of the highlight clips and touching stories that make the Olympics so awesome.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cool Take on an Old Story

Sherlock Holmes (somewhere between Loved It & Liked It)--I really liked this movie, and some parts of it I loved, so that's why the less than firm rating. I thought Robert Downey Jr. was great as Sherlock Holmes and I really like Jude Law's take on Watson. The rest of the cast was also good. This movie has quite a bit of action violence and some serious fight scenes which Sherlock analyzes for the "benefit" of the audience, but very little bad language and NO sex!. You see a flash of Rachel McAdams back and this is quite a bit of innuendo, but nothing too bad. And, there were no sex scenes and surprisingly the man was the one with no clothes on (necessary area covered by a pillow) and you can see that scene in the trailer. It was a fun movie and I loved how Holmes used his brains to figure everything out. This is not a surprise because after all, this is Sherlock Holmes, but Guy Ritchie does a good job in breathing new life into an old standby. This is something that also occurred in the film Star Trek with that cast & director. I liked this new take on an old story. The macabre is there, and I especially enjoyed the relationship of Watson and Holmes. Law and Downey Jr. do that bit VERY well. So, if you're looking for a good time, go see this movie. I would see it again, because I'm sure I missed things the first time around. Can't wait for the DVD.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another Hopeful Movie

The Blind Side (Loved It)--I mentioned that Invictus was a hopeful movie, and this is another movie that qualifies. I'll admit sometimes I like cheesy movies. This one could be called cheesy, but it isn't overly so. It helps that once again it is based on a true story. Although I know there is some "Hollywoodizing" of the story, I think they got the highlights right. But, Michael Oher did know how to play football before he got to the prep school. Nevertheless, this is a story about a family that was willing to reach out and help someone that needed a boost. I thought Sandra Bullock embodied Leigh Anne Tuohy. I've seen a couple of interviews with the real woman portrayed by Ms. Bullock and she nailed it. I also liked Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy. He did a good job and could do the souther man thing because that's what he is. Plus, they used some of his music in one of the scenes but it was subtly done and therefore done well. Quinton Aaron who played Michael was the right size to play a defensive football player and didn't overplay the part. He also has a compelling story of his own that is as interesting as the real Michael's (he lost his mom and was about to be evicted, auditioned for the role, didn't think he'd get it, told them he would work security on the set if needed, and then got the part). This movie shows the good in people and that is never a bad thing. We are bombarded daily with the stress and bad news that we all face, so it's good to have something inspiring and hopeful to watch. This movie is all that.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rating System

So it was suggested I need a rating system for my blog. So, I've been thinking about it and here are my ratings:

1. Loved it enough to Buy it
2. Loved it
3. Liked it
4. Didn't like it
5. Hated it

And to kick off the rating system, here is my review of Avatar:

Avatar (Liked it)--I really wanted to love this movie, and parts of it I did (more on that later). My sister teaches 7th grade and apparently to a seventh grader this movie is, "the greatest movie ever!" If you are 39, maybe not so much. I saw this on IMAX 3D (I loved the 3D and didn't mind the glasses). The special effects were phenomenal and really cool. Plus, I think to direct and coordinate all of the behind the scenes stuff was quite a feat. Another positive was the performances. Everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do, no big stretches, but everyone delivered. Now, I went in knowing this would be a special effects bonanza and it was. I also knew not to expect too much character development or story, and there wasn't a lot of either one of those. But, even with no expectations, I have to say by the time the film got to the Operation Pandora Freedom part, I was sort of over it. I just wanted it to end. Let the good blue people triumph or let man destroy another perfect world, just get there. I've heard this movie described as Dances with Wolves in space or Smurf porn. I think it's more aptly described as Dances crossed with Smurf crossed with G.I. Joe.

Now, I'm not saying don't see this, but if you are going to, you have to see it on the BIG SCREEN and in 3D. I think once it's out of the theatres this movie is going to lose a little of its lustre. There is no way this movie will translate as effectively on a small screen, even if the DVD is Blu Ray, the TV is HD and the TV large. This is something that has to be experience HUGE and in 3D. The only thing that should have been smaller is the length of this movie. I thought it was about 40 minutes too long. And there's a lot of scantily clad, elongated blue creatures dancing around and communing with nature, although they are beautiful (especially Sam Worthington whether he's human or avatar). The world they live on is also beautiful, Pandora and all it's wonders are a visual feast. I've been asked if younger kids should see this. It's got quite a bit of violence, a little bad language, some very scary "native creatures", and those blue people with very little clothing on, so I would say it's PG-13 for a very good reason. So, bottom line, if you want to see this, go to the theatre, wear the 3D glasses, and enjoy the special effects.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coming Soon

Saw Avatar tonight, but have to process it all before I write my review. It's coming. . .

Monday, January 25, 2010

In the theatre

Invictus--I saw this movie on the big screen. This is a great movie! A little surprising that it's Clint Eastwood, because his movies tend to be much darker than this one is. This is a hopeful movie, and it's true, so that helps. Right now is a good time for hopeful movies.

Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors. He has played everything from an escaped slave who's become a Civil War soldier to the President of the United States and he's believable in any role he picks. I remember watching him on the Electric Company as a kid and I have liked his performances in everything from Glory to Bruce Almighty (didn't like the movie, did like Mr. Freeman). Morgan Freeman IS Nelson Mandela in this movie, and I just can't say enough good about the performance or the movie. Matt Damon, who is another of my favorites, also did a great job. He also bulked up for the role of the captain of the South African National Rugby team and that never hurts. But, in all seriousness, this film should be seen. It's about how a country that was broken started to recover and how a rugby team and the leader that turned to it started the healing process. Go see this movie. There are a couple of bad words, but nothing to offend and just the right amount of the rugby playing and competition. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I noticed that my posts can have labels, so I will be identifying how I watched the movie. Sometimes, actually often, I watch movies and then like them enough to buy them. This next movie is one of those and the label identifies it as such.

Julie & Julia--I loved this movie and as I mentioned above, I bought this one. I LOVE Meryl Streep. Basically I think she can do no wrong (at least lately). We watched this DVD as a family. My brother even joined us. He has a mother, two sisters, and a wife, so he's used to watching "chick flick" sometimes. But since we had the testosterone fix with Star Trek, he was game. As we started the movie, he asked, "who is Julia Child?" Thirty seconds into Meryl Streep's portrayal, he said, "Oh, I know who she is. Wow, that Meryl Streep really can play anyone." I agree. Anyone that can do this movie, Mamma Mis, and Doubt CAN play anyone and probably better that they played themselves. I though Nora Ephron did a great job combining the two stories and interweaving the plots. I admit I preferred the Julia side (thanks in large part to Ms. Streep and the wonderful Stanley Tucci), but the Julie side was also well done (with great performances by Amy Adams, Chris Messina, and Mary Kay Place as the mother). And, it made me want to cook. The food looked great. I actually want to try the Queen of Sheba cake recipe. The movie was just fun. My brother even commented that is wasn't really a chick flick because those are move "lovey". I agree. This was a movie about two women with parallel stories and they were both interesting. There are a couple of bad words and one scene of Amy Adams in her bra, but the movie is definitely worth the watch. I loved it, I bought it, and I WILL be watching it again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And introducing. . .

I love movies. I have for as long as I can remember. My whole family does. We love to go to the movies, rent movies, and I love to buy movies. It's one of my things. I grew up in a place where there were 3 things to do every weekend: get drunk, break one of the ten commandments, or watch movies. Since I was a good girl, I went to the movies or watched videos. For me, these are my forms of escape. For 2 hours, I can time travel, meet people I will never get to know in real life and visit worlds without number. It's awesome. I disappear into a different reality for a little while and I escape, relax, and enjoy.

People are always asking me, "have you seen any good movies lately?" The answer is usually "yes", and I'm going to share my opinions of those movies here. So, let's decide what we should watch tonight.

Here is my first review--

1. Star Trek--the new one, the JJ Abrams one. I liked it. I am a bit of a Trekkie and my father was definitely one, so I check out the Trek movies. I never really enjoyed the original series, but I like the later TV incarnation and I have always enjoyed the Star Trek movies, all casts. I really liked this version. In the middle of watching the movie, I commented that it also felt like an homage to the old Star Wars movies. How excited was I when Mr. Abrams himself confirmed that thought in one of the special features. this version gave new life to an old franchise. I thought the casting was great, the action excellent, and the humor throughout the movie was spot on. Overall I would recommend it to anyone. There is the normal science fiction violence, some bad language (but not a ton), and the apparently necessary scene of two women walking around in their underwear for a few minutes (with Chris Pine in his underwear for a few seconds, as well), but it was absolutely worth the rental and I would watch it again.