Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Bonus Review: Dolphin Tales

So, this must have been the week of movies...yes, I actually went to three movies this week...and I am not ashamed at all, I love movies and I am glad I get to go. (Ok, so maybe I overkill movies some, but oh well)

I took the family to see "Dolphin Tales". All my kids were just dying to see this movie and couldn't wait for it to come out, so we saw it the second day after opening. Brian and I were a little excited to see it as well, the previews looked good and I like movies based on true stories.

The story is about a dolphin who gets caught in a fisherman's trap and loses his tail. The dolphin, Winter, is found by a boy who makes a connection with the dolphin. The dolphin is taken to a rehabilitation center for sea animals, and the movie follows the dolphins journey to recovery and the lives of all those who are helping him.

The main characters, besides Winter the dolphin, in this movie include the boy, Sawyer-played by Nathan Gamble, his mom, played by Ashley Judd, the vet-played by Harry Connick Jr and his daughter, played by Cozi Zuehlsorff.

Again, kind of like Moneyball, the story really plays the movie more than the actors. The movie was well played and all the characters were very natural in their roles. I like Harry Connick in movies, he is sort of a low key natural. I was pretty impressed with Cozi, who played the 11 year old daughter. She will probably be seen in more movies in the future I am guessing.

My kids really like the movie as well. An inspiring story, and neat to see the real clips at the end as well as find the website following Winter's progress.

Highly recommended family movie with good vibes and happy endings! See you soon

Week 39: Moneyball

Running a little behind on the reviews this week! As Tiff mentioned, we say "Moneyball" from a free screening this week, and also a sneak peek at a preview for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".

I am a pretty big "sports movie" person. I like the thrill of competition and the whole build up of characters to a final win, so I thought this movie would be pretty good, and it was...however, I feel like I was somewhat underappreciate of the whole story line. Not that I don't appreciate the game of baseball, trading and drafting, but rather that I don't really understand all the statistics of the game, and in actuality don't really care to learn that much detail.

This movie was based on a true story about Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, and his work to use an age old stategy to draft a baseball team and lead them to a higher level of play and wins. (in a small...very small nutshell)

This movie was entertaining to me. I think Brad Pitt did okay, I don't think he is a great actor or anything, the story was more interesting to me than his acting. What I was more impressed with was all the supporting actors. Jonah Hill did a great job as the right hand man. He was were most of the laughs came from. Some of the actors who played the baseball players in this movie did a good job as well. I think what I found though, was that they were good, because they really just seemed like a group of baseball players. Nothing outstanding, but just sports men.

I was intrigued with the way this whole story portrayed a change in baseball, and how it influenced baseball. I am still completely amazed at the constant trading, bargaining and playing that happens with the sports world.

Overall, I have to say that this movie would be best watched by all those sports fanatics. If I can enjoy it with my little knowledge of baseball and all it's strategy...someone with a lot of knowledge will definately be happy they went.

See you next time!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week 39: Moneyball

We went and saw Moneyball this past weekend.  Even though it was only a day before it came out it was still a pre screening.  Interesting process.  We couldn't take our phones in with us and we had to be wanded and everything.  But it was free.  And we got to see a never before seen preview of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Looks pretty good.  I'll have to get on that book.

I'll start by pointing out that although I really enjoy sports related movies I'm not really a big sports person per say.  Meaning if it's not high school (people I know) or college sports I don't really invest a lot of time into a game.  I enjoy the occasional pro sporting event but for the most part it's just to people watch.  (Except for tennis and hockey.  Weird I know.)  So with that being said, I thought this was a really good sports movie.  However, I didn't know what they were talking about most of the time.   

There was a lot of talk about the strategy of baseball and how this guy, Billy Beane, changed the way people thought about said strategy.  Really fascinating.  Again no real idea what they were talking about but fascinating.  It was a cryin' shame that Russ didn't get to go.  He would have been so much more into it and known what they were talking about.  I tried to go into a little detail about some players in the movie.  Russ was embarrassed for me during the conversation. 

This was a little different from some sports movies because it was less about specific games and more about this whole process.  Brad Pitt really played the role of Billy Beane well.  There's just something about his confidence that draws you in.  It's Brad Pitt after all.  And Jonah Hill as the stats genius was great.  They had good chemistry together in a platonic way of course.

If you're a sports fanatic, definitely see this movie.  If you're not, it's still worth seeing but be prepared to be a little clueless.

To Sum it up: Motivating and fascinating with just a tad of humor.  

Bonus Review: Contagion

My husband and I decided to take in the AMC Cinema Suites last week and went to the movie Contagion. This was a movie Tiff and I were hoping to see, so I decided I would write up a review, hopefully Tiff will get to it as well.

I think the most impressionable thing about this movie wasn't necessarily the acting. I actually think it could have been somewhat of a documentary. No one actor really stuck out to me. Gwyneth Paltrow played a rather little and insignificant part in my mind. (ok, so not insignificant, rather limited movie time and not significant as an actor) Matt Damon did a good job, but again, it was really the story that made the movie. The unfolding of a contagious disease and the speed at which it can spread worldwide. The whole idea was pretty scary, even working in the healthcare field, I found myself becoming a little germaphobic. (Not to mention both my husband and I decided this movie wasn't the best for a dinner theatre atmosphere)

I think the impressionable thing about this movie was really just the realization that what we see in the news, regarding mass deaths from diseases can actually be so much worse than we imagine. Also, that behind it all the government can be extremely controlling and make our lives seem so insignificant..when they shouldn't.

I recommend this movie more for the message. Again, the acting was pretty insignificant to me...anyone could have played in it and I would have walked out feeling the same way.

Go see it, or rent it, but don't eat while you watch it!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week 38: I Don't Know How She Does It

A little slow on posting this..maybe because I have been thinking about why I wan't really impressed with this movie. I have a had a little time to mull over this, and I think I know why. I resently say an episode of Sex in the City, as well as part of "Did you hear about the Morgans", both with Sarah Jessica Parker. The movie this week also starred her. She literally could have been the same character in all three cases. I don't necessarily think she is a bad actress, mostly that she just is a one character actress.

Okay, that being said, the movie follows Kate, a higher class working wife and mother of 2 children. Her job is in corporate america and involves a lot of travel and time. Basically she is working to be "super mom"..(what working mother isn't)? The movie follows the ups and downs of her marriage, her job and her trying to fit in with the other mothers (who don't work). There were some notable actors in the movie, Pierce Bronson, Kelsey Grammer, Greg Kinnear, and Christina Hedricks. My favorites were actually two not so prominant roles played by Busy Phillips (I love her!) and Oliva Munn.

I won't really go into many of the details, because if you are a working mother and wife you can probably guess what the movie entails. I guess, nothing to exciting or adventurous...simply LIFE.

Although I wasn't too impressed, I will say, I loved that the movie was generally wholesome. The lesson was strong and the meaning was good.

Really, this was just an average movie. Some good laughs, some hearfelt moments, but really a weekend rental when you have nothing else to do.

See you again soon!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 38: I Don't Know How She Does It

This past week we saw I Don't Know How She Does It with Sarah Jessica Parker.  It was pretty good but nothing super special.  There were some funny parts and it had good actors in it but it wasn't a real memorable movie.

Sarah Jessica Parker fit the role of the working mom trying to juggle life.  Although maybe I've seen too many Sex and the City episodes to think she plays a good investment whatever she was.  And I kept thinking it was set in NYC for the same reason.  The other roles were played by Greg Kinnear and Pierce Brosnan with smaller roles by Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer and Busy Philipps.  They all were good but no one really stood out.  Even Pierce Brosnan who usually plays stronger roles was a little washed out.

As far as the plot, I could totally relate as a working mom.  Obviously, the movie was a little exaggerating than what I think happens in real life but still relevant. 

Overall, I thought it was decent and entertaining for a night but nothing to write home about.

To Sum it up: Pretty funny but didn't leave a lasting impression.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Week 37: The Debt

We were all set to see Moneyball last weekend for a free screening but they were having "loading" issues so we couldn't see it.  I won't even pretend to know what that means.  As we were hanging our heads in disappointment we realized that we could still see another one.  Even if it wasn't free.  So that's just what we did.  We were able to boogie into The Debt minutes before it started.  Talk about preparing yourself to see one kind of movie then ending up seeing something completely opposite. 

The Debt was a spy thriller that goes between the past and present of three characters.  As Deb said, the main characters were played by Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas and Sam Worthington as the younger characters and Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciaran Hinds as their older counterparts.  All did an exceptional job especially Helen Mirren.  She was fantastic.  Actually, Jessica Chastain did a pretty good job too.  And I just looked her up and she was the one who played Celia in The Help.  Wow.  I would have never guessed it was the same person.  I guess that means she's doing her job.  The men were good but I felt they were in more supporting roles.  That's a change.

Even though this was a spy thriller I would say it was more thriller than spy to me.  In spy movies you tend to have a lot of action and gadgets.  And there was but it had a little more suspense aspect to it.  There were at least two or three times where I had to squint my eyes to avoid seeing something full on that I knew would make me jump.  I'm such a wimp.

Although I'm sure this movie was a lot more intense than Moneyball would have been I'm glad we saw it.  Very well done.

To Sum it up:  Interesting plot, well acted and a few jump in your seat moments.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 37: The Debt

This week were were planning to attend a prescreening of "Moneyball", however due to some technical difficulties the screening was cancelled, so we just went to a movie that fit in with the time frame, since we were at the theatre and all. When we walked into the movie we didn't remember what the it was about and hadn't prepared ourselves for the type of movie we were going to see. After the first scene I remembered the previews and settled in.

This movie was about 3 Israel Mossad agents who are sent on a mission to track down a Nazi war criminal. The movie flashes back and forth between the present and the past, so in essence there are 3 main characters, played by 6 actors. I was a little concerned at first that the jumping back and forth would make the characters seem disconnected, however, it didn't at all. I was actually really impressed with how easily the roles blended together, and each character really did seem like only one actor.

Rachel, played by Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain, was my favorite. She is really the "main" character of the film as the story centers mostly around her life. I was impressed with both of the female actresses. Helem Mirren is quite amazing!

Stephan is played by Tom Wilkinson and Marton Csokas. Again, a great job by both characters. I wasn't as "convinced" they were the same character, and sometimes had to remind myself, but overall they pulled it off.

David, played by Ciaran Hinds and Sam Worthington wasn't as played in the present as the past. I liked the job Sam Worthington did with this character, and really bought into his role.

Overall the movie was extremely entertaining, I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. It was a good "spy", thriller and I liked how the past and the present played on each other.

My husband went with us and he agreed it was a good movie. Overall a good movie for men and women a like! Definately worth the money and a great substitute.

See you next week

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Week 36: Warrior

What an unexpected surprise with this movie.  Warrior definitely was more than I thought it would be.  When I saw the previews I thought it looked good but I didn't really think we'd choose it over other movies.  When we saw that there was a free prescreening we jumped on it.  Because, hey, who wouldn't go to a free movie?  Boy am I glad we did. 

As Deb said, this was a Rockyish type movie but amped up for this generation.  Instead of straight-up boxing it was like UFC.  Didn't realize this going in but it ended up being a nice deviation from the same old boxing story.  If this movie was only about the training and fights leading up to the big match it would have been great.  There's nothing like a good motivational sports story.  Warrior had all those parts and more.  But the thing that set it apart was the relationships between these two brothers and their father and how they developed.  I loved that it didn't lay everything out.  You had to be patient to find out what the full story was behind these three "troubled" men's lives. 

Nick Nolte was really the only well known actor in this movie.  I agree with Deb that it really worked well not having some big A lister in the movie.  Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy all played their roles perfectly.  What is it about strong, silent, troubled men that really gets you hooked?  Jennifer Morrison played the wife well and Frank Grillo as the trainer was really exceptional.   

So yes, this was one of the better movies that we've seen this year.  Who would have thought?  Go see it.  This is one that I think men and women alike will love.

To Sum it up:  Intense characters, intense relationships and adrenaline galore.