Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week 18: Water for Elephants

I have really been looking forward to seeing Water for Elephants.  Mainly because I love going to movie's that are books first.  I know there can be a lot of disappointment because rarely do you see a movie that's even close to as good as the book.  But I don't have a real vivid imagination so I love seeing how a movie brings a book to life.

When I read this book I was a little disappointed with the whole love story.  For whatever reason it didn't give me enough emotion or something.  That being said, I thought it would be perfect for a movie.  Movie's can't give you quite as much as a book so I thought the book was at a level that would be captured well in the movie.  Does that make sense?  Am I just rambling?

So on to the movie.  I was curious to see how Robert Pattinson would do in a non-Twilight role.  I think he did a really good job.  And he had pretty good chemistry with Reese Witherspoon.  She did a great job.  She fit the role well.  Christoph Waltz, an unknown character for me, played the other main guy.  He was the slightly crazy, abusive ring leader.  I thought he really fit the bill.

It seemed like the movie stayed pretty true to the book.  I read it over a couple years ago so it's been awhile but it seemed pretty close.  And I did think the love story was better as a movie.  I would say, overall this movie was better than average.  Better then most we've seen lately.  I'd say it's worth going to whether you've read the book or not.

To Sum it up: Good, high profile actors and a decent book to movie film.

Week 18: Water For Elephants

This week we finally got to go see "Water for Elephants" I always like seeing movies of books I have read, but usually choose to see them some time after I have finished the book because movies miss so many details and I hate feeling like I have been cheated. I waited just long enough this time, I remembered most of the book, but not too well.

The story line behind this movie is about a man who joins the circus, after his mother and father pass away and he has nothing left. He becomes the circus Vet. Robert Pattison plays this main character, Jacob. Jacob starts to fall in love with the horse performer, Marlena, played by Reese Witherspoon. The problem is in the fact that Marlena is the wife of August,(Christoph Waltz) the circus' manager. The elephant comes in as the circus aquires an elephant that Marlena and Jacob must train to keep the show bringing in money. The book is awesome by the way.

I think Reese Witherspoon did a good job with her character. She seemed to capture Marlena's personality from the book. I always feel like a movie doesn't completely allow the viewers to see the characters like a book will, but in her case, it wasn't bad. I was diappointed in August's character. He wasn't quite crazy enough. In the book he showed the battle of a bipolar type personality, but in the movie he just seemed moody. Robert Pattison did well as Jacob, although I do feel like he was slightly too "happy" in the movie, the book led me to believe he was more depressed and somber.

The supporting characters were lacking, there were some good storylines that the movie didn't have time to capture. I wished somehow the development of characters could have been better. Although, the book was slightly lacking in the development of Marlena and Jacob's relationship so I guess I can't expect the movie to do any better.

I think I liked this movie because the book came to life a little bit for me, not so much because I thought the movie was exceptional. I think if I hadn't read the book I would have thought the movie was lacking and rushed, with pieces missing.

All in all I think the movie was ok, it was nice to see how someone put it in picture form. I would recommend reading the book more though!

See you next week.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Week 17: African Cats

In honor of Earth Day we took most of the family to "African Cats". I had seen the previews for this movie a while back and knew I wanted to see it and thought it would be great for the kids. I enjoyed the movie tremendously. I love when there are documentaries about animal "families" and I am always intrigued with the similarities of animal and human living, and natural instinct of mothering. I liked the story they put behind the animals' lives. Of course, we can never truly know what an animal is thinking, but the movie did a good job of playing out a good story based on the animals' actions.

I enjoyed all the different animals in the movie, and although the focus was on the cats, it was neat to see some of the characteristics of the other animals as well. The movie did have some scenes that may be a little disturbing for small kids, and there were some sad moments, as well a funny, happy and thoughtful. All the stuff a good movie is made of!

Good movie for the week! If you get the chance, and like animals go see it,oh and stick around for the credits they are kind of funny. Happy Easter/Happy Earth Day! See you next week.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Week 17: African Cats

In honor of Earth Day, we went and saw African Cats.  The week's movie was a family affair.  Well, I guess for my family it was just me and my 6 year old son Rhett.  Rhett was really excited to see this movie.  Real life animal movies or documentaries are right up Rhett's alley.  He's seen all sorts of animal shows and knows more about animals then your average adult.  Me included.  And one thing about Rhett is he knows all about an animals life cycle and how sometimes one animal has to die in order for the other to live.  We like to keep things real in the Jenkins household.  It's a good thing we do when it comes to going to movies like this. 

This movie, like most who follow animals around in their natural habitat, showed the ups and downs of living in the wild.  If you intend to take your kids to this movie you'll really want to think twice about how you're child deals with this stuff.  One of my friends took her 7 year old daughter and said she cried every time an animal was killed.  Rhett on the other hand didn't bat an eye to that stuff.  So make sure you know what your getting into before assuming this is for everyone. 

Now, me on the other hand, I have a love/hate relationship with these kinds of movies.  I find them fascinating but I hate to see the weak be taken down.  And it's especially hard to see bad things happen to the young animals.  Since this is a Disney movie nothing was overly graphic though.  But there were sad moments and triumphant times as well. 

It was about three sets of cats.  Two prides of lions fighting over territory and a momma cheetah and her cubs.  I know you have a narrator (Samuel L. Jackson; the perfect voice for the movie) the whole time but it's still amazing the kind of stories that can come out of observing a family of animals.  It was so well done though too.  If this is your thing, I highly recommend this movie.  Next year the Earth Day movie is about a three year old orphaned chimpanzee.  That's going to be a tear jerker.

To Sum it up: Amazing animals, breathtaking scenery and wonderful stories.   

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Week 16: Hanna

WOW! Super slow this week....Well, if you haven't noticed we saw "Hanna" starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, (who I always like) and Cate Blanchette. My husband informed me that this was a "remake" of like the 4th degree of the movie "LE FEMME Nikita". I did remember the movie with Bridget Fonda "Point of No Return" and I guess they were similar. None the less, I liked the story line and was impressed with the players.

Hanna is a girl who was bred to be a killer. She disappeared at a young age, and is now coming back. Her father (Bana) knows her "maker" (Blanchette) is going to be on the war path, and has been preparing Hanna for years.

I think that Ronan did a great job in the movie. She had to play so many different emotions, and I believed everyone of them. She is only 17, yet has a lofty acting career, and I think this movie only helped bring her abilities to light even more. Bana did well as did Blanchette. I really think that Ronan kind of pulled the movie through though.

I liked the story line, I liked the action. It did get a little gruesome at times, but true to a spy thiller type movie. I am beginning to like these kind of movies more and more. I guess I like the action, and when an actor can also include some true emotions the movie is even more appealing.

I have to say the movie was good, I enjoyed watching it, and would recommend oscars or anything, but a good Sunday afternoon.

See you Next...I mean in a few days! Dang I am slow!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 16: Hanna

This week we saw Hanna.  I thought this looked like an interesting movie.  I was excited to see Saoirse Ronan as the main character.  She was the one in The Lovely Bones and I thought she was really good in that one so I was hoping the same for this one.  And she was good.  She really did a great job of playing this fearless 16 year old with amazing skills.  Although I will say she looked more like a 13 year old. 

The premise behind the movie is that a CIA agent, played by Cate Blanchett, was doing this research to try to make a super army by fiddling with the DNA of unborn babies. (Official terms I know.)  Well, something happened that she had to abort the project as well as all the "subjects".  Hanna was the only one who got away with the help of rouge CIA agent played by Eric Bana.  He taught her all these crazy skills on survival so she could defend herself from Cate's character, Marissa.  Of course, it was action packed and full of suspense.  And can I say that Cate played this southern talking crazy lady very well.  She even creeped me out a little.   

My brother in law said that he's seen a few movies like this with the same general concept so apparently this isn't a super original idea but it was for me.  Maybe if you had seen those other ones this wouldn't have been so interesting.  But I  thought it was well acted and worth watching. 

To Sum it up:  Good acting, creepy characters and kept you on the edge of your seat.          

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week 15 Bonus: Your Highness

Two movies in one week...excessive you say?  Well, maybe it is but that's what you do when you're in Montana with no kids. 

So Your Highness...what to say.  I wasn't expecting greatness with this movie but I was expecting entertainment.  I mean, Natalie Portman is one of my favorite actresses.  And I hear James Franco is Oscar worthy.  But alas, my expectations were too high even for this type of movie.

First of all, I knew I would have to be in a certain mood with this kind of humor.  And I thought I was prepared for it but I was wrong.  Danny McBride looked like he would be really funny in it but he just wasn't.  For one thing, this movie was pretty raunchy.  I mean, at one point Danny McBride's character had this beast's penis around his neck as a souvenir.  Now, I'm not one to get offended easily and I wasn't really with this one but I just didn't think it was funny.  Raunchy works as long as it's funny but this just wasn't.  Plain and simple. 

I think you might think it's funny if you're a teenage boy. (My teenage brother thought it was really funny.) But that's about it.  I'm not even sure my husband who sometimes acts like a teenage boy would have thought it was funny.  And I feel bad that that was the movie we took my mom too.  I'm sure she thought it was even less funny than me.  Oh well.  Live and learn.

To Sum it up: Not funny, really crude and not worth seeing if you're over 18 and a female.  

Week 15: Source Code

One of the movies we saw for week 15 was Source Code with Jake Gyllenhaal.  Like Deb said, it was a Groundhog Day type of movie.  You keep reliving the same 8 minutes over and over.  At first I thought it would be one of those movies (like Groundhog Day) where you groan after the third time reliving the same moments.  But they did a good job of "fast forwarding" through the same ole same ole. 

Jake Gyllenhaal did a good job.  He has a very genuine feel to his acting.  It was sort of a one man show but he pulled it off.  Of course, it was a little tense knowing that every 8 minutes a train was going to blow up but that's all part of an action movie, right?  And the idea was thought provoking. 

Overall I think it was a solid action movie.  It's worth seeing but may not leave a huge lasting impression.

To Sum it up: Tense, thought provoking and your basic action thriller. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 15: Your Highness-Bonus Review

I title this bonus review lightly, as this movie was not a bonus in any way shape or form. I have to say, I shouldn't have wasted my time, or my money. Yet, never would have guessed it's demise based on the actors.

James Franco and Natalie Portman are good actors, yet I can't figure out what they were doing in this movie?! I am a Monty Python fan, I like that kind of humor, and this movie seemed to try and follow the Monty Python road, but fell extremely short. I think I learned that I am getting old, or maybe just don't appreciate young humor, but I like to think it was more about just seeing a bad movie. The humor was unnecessarily sexual in a rather crass and offensive nature, thrown in with no real reason or direction.

The movie was a quest, by two prince brothers, to find the young virgin kidnapped by the evil knight. Good, strong, fairytale type, that didn't happen that way. Granted, this movie was suppose to be funny, but it was sort of just over the top. I don't really even have anything to say about the actors, the writing was so bad how could they succeed?

Bottom line: don't waste your money! See you next week!!

Week 15: Source Code

This week we actually saw 2 movies because we went to Montana, and whenever we go home we seem to go to more movies than normal. The first one we saw was Source Code. This movie starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmigo, and Michelle Monaghan.

The movie takes place on a train, as well as in a lab. The concept was really cool. Basically, Jake's character travels back in time 8 minutes, over and over again, to determine who caused a terrorist attack. The crazy thing, Jake isn't really alive, as we know it. The premise was far fetched, yet not really...

I like Jake and his acting ability. He didn't disappoint me in this movie. He did well. This movie mostly focused on Jake and his character and often I felt like the movie was really a "one man movie." However, the supporting characters did a good job too, even though it all felt like a one man battle. The movie was slightly "groundhog day", with repeating the same scene with small changes, but overall didn't seem too redundant.

I would recommend seeing this movie. The concept was solid, and the idea creative. The actors were entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Pretty good overall.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Week 14: Limitless

This week we went to Limitless. Bradley Cooper plays a writer who is in a slump, and takes a pill which is suppose to access more brain power than the normal human is able. He finds that it works, but with gliches and, like any drug, withdrawls. The story takes you through his climb through the corporate world, while on this drug. Robert DeNiro also plays a major role in this film.

Although I was super psyched based on the premise, and I did feel both Bradley and Robert did a great job playing their parts, the film was disappointing to me. The movie seemed to continually try to hit a climax, and always seemed to fall short. There was a stuggle to find an ending, and to find a way to wrap the whole thing up. In the end, I wasn't impressed with how little was accomplished in the film. The movie was slow, there never was a big climatic point, and the end was a huge let down.

Like I said, I did feel Bradley and Robert played their parts well, they did a good job with what they were given, but I just didn't feel like they were given a whole lot to work with. This type of storyline has so much potential. The writers could have gone in so many good directions, instead it kind of just fizzled.

Not a great one this week, don't recommend it, maybe next week will be better! See you then

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 14: Limitless

This week we saw Limitless.  Bradley Cooper plays the main character.  He plays a washed up writer with major writer's block.  He basically looks like a bum who hasn't taken a shower in weeks.  He runs into his ex-brother-in-law who gives him this pill that supposedly allows you to use the "other" 80% of your brain that us humans haven't tapped into.  Suddenly he can see clearer and knows how to fix all his problems.  And he ends up looking a lot better too.  Well, of course there are side effects and he gets into all sorts of trouble.  It's actually a little gory in some spots.

Really, it was a pretty interesting concept.  Although, there were some parts where the cinemotagraphy (not sure if this is the write word - Austin you would know) actually made you a little dizzy when you're zooming through the city at warp speed.  I guess it just added another element of interest.  And I thought Bradley Cooper was a good fit.  He was believable as a bum and he was beleivable as an uber-smart, put together guy.  Probably because he's not this major good looking guy but also a step above the guy next door.  In my opinion anyway. 

Robert De Niro was also in it as a high-powered exec who tries to use Bradley Cooper's character for his own use.  And the girlfriend was played by Abbie Cornish.  I haven't seen her in a lot before but she was good.  Nothing exceptional.

Overall, I think this was an interesting movie and made you think but it wasn't much more than that.  I did enjoy it though.

To Sum it up: Cool concept, a little disorienting but keeps you thinking.