Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 47: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

You can't be surprised that this is the movie we went to see this week.  The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1.  Oh how I love movies that are such a big deal that there are lines of people waiting to get in.  Seriously, I really love the whole process.  Makes everything so exciting and you really feel like you're a part of something.  I know it's just a movie.  It's not like Woodstock or anything but still a great way to break up the week of routine family schedule.  And we really didn't even have to stand in line.  Or go at midnight.  We scored 8pm tickets through AMC's stubs program.  Worth the $12 membership if you ask me. 

So obviously I've read the books and seen the previous movies.  But it's been a while since I've read this book so the details weren't fresh in my mind.  I think this is the only way to see a movie that was a book first.  Otherwise you critique every little difference and you don't get to enjoy the story being brought to life.  And let me tell ya, there's nothing I enjoy more.

I won't bore you with who's in this because whether you like the movies or not you probably already know.  And if you don't you must live in a bubble.  I kid.  But seriously, I think the acting is getting better with each movie.  I know there are people who have beef with the acting and choice of actors for this series (aka my sister in law) but this one stepped it up a notch.  The acting is definitely better.  I've never had a huge problem with it myself because I can easily overlook so so acting when I'm really excited about what I'm seeing. 

This last book had the potential to be a crazy over the top movie with everything that was going on.  With the rapid pregnancy and crazy delivery it could have been a cheese fest nightmare.  But it wasn't.  I thought it was done really well.  And in this one you got to experience the wolves talking to each other in their heads a little better.  I liked it.  I don't know how I'm going to wait for the next one.  By the way, I think Part 2 will make the best movie out of them all.  You get to meet all the cool vampires and their "gifts" and a lot more action.  Can't wait.

If you love this series I don't have to tell you to go see it because either you already have or have plans to go.  If you don't like it there's probably no convincing you to go anyway.  But I'll tell you this.  There may be a chance that I'll go again over Thanksgiving.

To Sum it up: Love it, love it, love it. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Week 47: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1

WEEK 47?!?!? We only have 5 weeks left!..I am thinking this tradition will have to continue in 2012.

SO...the ever awaited "Breaking Dawn" was our show for the week. We luckily didn't have to wait until 12:01 to see it, but got in on the Stubs reward showing at 8:00 instead. It was crazy, there were 5 or so screens showing it at the AMC. Guess there is always a way around the 12:01 release huh?

So, I think I liked this movie the best, which is crazy because I liked this book the least. I am pure Jacob, 100%. I actually saw an awesome tee-shirt last night that read "Team Jacob, because real men don't sparkle" LOL I want that shirt!

Anyway, back to the movie. There were a few things that I felt made this movie better. 1.) I feel like the actors are getting better at acting. I watched the first 3 movies again before I watched this one. The maturity of the actors is showing through, and I feel like they just did a better job. 2.) I liked that the interaction between the wolves is more apparent in this movie. You get a better feel of the way they communicate and their connection with each other. 3.) Some of the personalities of the vampires come through better. 4.) I liked that the movie took more time to focus on the first half of the book since it was split up into two separate movies. I think that kept some of the story alive and didn't cause the makers to have to pull some of the important parts. I will re-state though, the book is where you will get it all.

We were amazed at how many "older" ---meaning not teenager,-- woman there were at the movie. I don't think the books were meant to target that population, but looking at the audience, I would have swore the book was wrote for the 30-50 year old, female population. I decided it must be our need for the teenage romance aspect of life. Our longing for the good old days, then of course, in high school I didn't have two hot looking boys fighting over me, so maybe it was our teenage dream!

Not much else to say, don't really feel I need to rehash the story. If you like the Twilight Series you won't be disappointed...

P.S. Stay following the credits or you will miss one of the connecting scenes.

See you next week! Looking forward to the start of the Holiday movie sweeps.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Week 46: J Edgar

This week we were slightly influenced by Tiff's father-in-law and decided to got see J Edgar. Not much explaining to do...a movie about someone's version of his life.

My ignorance of politics, government and the like came forward again as I watched the movie, mostly because I didn't realize the extensive influence he had on so many different areas, the card catalog systems, finger printing, FBI development...all very interested and intriguing.

J Edgar was played by Leonardo DiCaprio. I like the way movies keep the actors in the same role for a full length of life, the make-up artists are amazing. DiCaprio did a good job in this role, I think the hardest part was J Edgar was portrayed very oddly. He came across as slighly mental. Maybe he really was that way, but I never would have guessed it based on his accomplishments.

His "partner" and second hand man was played by Armie Hammer, again, watching him age over the years is pretty amazing.

I don't feel like I can say too much about the movie itself without giving away the details (that apparently a lot of people already knew, I just didn't) The actors were extremely believable, the story was pretty intriging, and the make-up was impressive. Hoover's character was sort of creepy though. Whether or not his character was accurately depicted I am not sure, but if it is, he was a "different" sort of man, but then of course many people say the "brilliant" people of the world are the closest to the craziest.

Overall decent movie, not necessarily my cup of tea, but good.

See you in a few!

Week 46: J. Edgar

We went and saw J. Edgar for week 46.  My father-in-law really wanted us to go see this one for obvious reasons being a former FBI agent and all.  He actually saw it the night it came out and was curious what my take would be.  His take wasn't very good.  I haven't had a chance to talk to him about it yet though.

First of all I should mention that if I didn't marry into the family I did I probably wouldn't be able to tell you who J. Edgar Hoover was.  That's the sad truth when it comes to my knowledge of certain US history.  I get ridiculed on a daily basis from my husband.  Can I confess something else?  Even though I have been apprised of who J. Edgar Hoover is I wouldn't bet my life on the fact that I could have told you who it was if I was put on the spot.  I'm just being honest here. 

That being said, I really had no idea what to expect with this movie.  I had no prejudices one way or the other.  Because of this I will say I was completely shocked with the turn of events.  Obviously, this is someones opinion of J. Edgar Hoover so you really don't know what is fact or fiction but wow.  This was one colorful guy.

This movie portrayed Hoover as ruthless, egotistical, paranoid, a mama's boy (almost to the point of creepy) and gay.  I had no idea.  I can't say this movie really gave an opinion one way or the other about the FBI in general.  It was more about Hoover as a person.  And I wouldn't say it was the most flattering depiction.  Leonardo DiCaprio played Hoover and he was fantastic.  I heard there was Oscar talk for his role.  I think it would be well deserved.  Judi Dench played his mom, Naomi Watts his secretary and Armie Hammer as his "second in command".  All did great. This movie was sort of dark and creepy but I would recommend it.   

To Sum it up: Well done, well acted and very fascinating.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bonus Review: Happy Feet Two

Last week we had the opportunity to see a prescreening of Happy Feet Two.  Russ and I decided to take the kids.  Rhett has gone to a good amount of movies now and does pretty good.  This was Piper's first movie.  We figured a free movie was the best way to test out her interest.  And it was 3D so it added a little extra flare to the experience.

None of us had seen Happy Feet so anything that may have referenced the first one was lost on us.  But we weren't confused about much which I'm sure is the intent with a kids movie.  This one was chalked full of well known voices.  Some of them were Robin Williams, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Pink, Sofia Vergara and Elijah Wood.  Is that the thing to do now with an animated movie?  It seems like nowadays there is always someone famous doing the voice of the characters.  I find myself paying way too much attention to the voices trying to figure out if it really sounds like that person.  Why, I don't know.

Like most animated movies, this one had a good message.  The message in this one was to work together and being different is okay.  Good concepts unless you have a son like mine who knows that when it comes to animals it's the survival of the fittest.  An elephant seal isn't going to help a baby penguin and a puffin isn't going to be accepted as an animal their not.  But putting facts aside, this was a fun movie with dancing and music and humor.  What more could you ask in a kids movie?  The 3D was pretty cool.  There were only a few scenes where it seemed really worth it but the kids had fun with the glasses.  Not sure it would be worth it to pay extra for it though.  2D would probably be just fine.

Overall, kids enjoyed it and only got a little restless towards the end.  Piper did pretty darn good for her first movie.  I think she enjoyed the Diet Coke, popcorn and glasses best of all though.

To Sum it up: Great voices, fun dancing and just enough to keep the kids engaged.     

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Week 45: Tower Heist

Week 45.  I can't believe this year 'o movies is almost over.  I'm not sure I'm going to be able to go back to a "normal" moving watching schedule.  Maybe I won't. Ha. 

Anyway, so this past weekend we went and saw Tower Heist.  Like I mentioned last week, there hasn't been a whole lot of options in movies right now.  All the good ones must be coming out for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This one probably isn't one I would pick if I had a handful to choose from.  I figured I would like it okay but wouldn't get overly thrilled about it either.

Turns out I was about right.  There were a group of funny characters played by Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick and Alan Alda.  Oh, and Tea Leoni as the token female.  Ben Stiller wasn't as funny as I've seen him and Eddie Murphy was just okay.  Although I'm not a huge fan of his anyway.  I've always liked Casey Affleck although this movie didn't do him any favors.  Surprisingly Matthew Broderick was probably the best one and he didn't even have a huge part. 

Basically this movie was about a bunch of people who get swindled out of their retirement money and try to get it back from the guy who did it by robbing him.  Okay concept and okay execution but it wasn't anything special.  Don't get me wrong.  There were parts that I laughed at but overall it wasn't anything I'd write home about.

It was funny and mildly entertaining but I don't think I would waste a trip to the movies on it.  Watching it at home would be sufficient with this one. 

To Sum it up: A little outlandish, quasi-funny and probably better as a rental.

Week 45: Tower Heist

Well, this week we went for the Hollywood pusher. I have seen more press on this movie in the last month than any other movie. Either they were nervous it wouldn't do as well as they thought, or they had extra money for advertising.

If you happen to be one of the few who haven't seen the previews, the movie is about a high class apartment tower manager who decides to rob the penthouse owner who invested all his workers money and then stole it. The main players of the movie are Allen Alda, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Brodrick and Casey Affleck.

This movie was funny. I have to say, I did laugh a lot. The premise seemed sort of cheesy, but they seemed to pull it off better than I thought they would. Luckily they didn't try to play the movie off as a "serious" action film, they went for the comedy end instead and I think that is what made it work.

Now when I say "work" what I am really saying is the movie is a typical Hollywood film, with action and comedy. It meets the basic criteria of that average film that meets the needs of all those none thinker movie types. Nothing big to figure out, no thinking involved, just sit and zone and watch. So basically, the movie was entertaining. However, it wasn't anything special. Would be a good renter.

See you next week. AND THEN!!!! TWILIGHT!!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Week 44: The Way

Last weekend we saw The Way.  Never heard of it you say?  Well, neither had I until I was browsing through our options.  Let me tell ya, it's been a duddy couple weeks in movies and this was the only one that seemed worth going to.  This was released first in Spain then at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.  It came out a couple other places internationally before it hit here this October.  So this isn't your average American blockbuster.  And what a nice change of pace. 

Emilio Estevez wrote and directed this with a minor role in the movie.  The main character was Martin Sheen.  Everyone else was pretty much no namers. Martin Sheen played Tom, a guy who travels to Europe to retrieve the body of his son (played by Estevez) who died in an accident while embarking on a pilgrimage from France to Spain.  As he's there he decides to finish what his son started and take the pilgrimage himself.  (With his son's ashes in tow.)  On his journey he meets up with three other people who are making the trek for their own specific reasons. 

What I loved about this movie is it was so simple and honest.  There wasn't a lot of drama or unnecessary dialog.  Martin Sheen was really perfect in this role.  He was understated and believable.  The other characters were equally as good.  It was a thought provoking movie and to top it off there was some humor thrown in as well.  Really well done.

If you're looking for something off the beaten path this is the movie for you.  It might even make you want to drop everything and go "find" yourself in the European countryside. 

To Sum it up: Touching, funny, and inspires you to be a better person.  

Week 44: "The Way"

This movie was such an inspiration. The best way I can think to describe it in a few words is to say "this movie reminded me of reading the book "Eat Pray Love"...I felt so happy and inspired, I felt like I wanted to go on a Pilgramage"

So you may not have heard much about this movie, I actually hadn't heard anything about it before going, I didn't know it existed. I am sure glad we discovered it. I looked up some information online about the movie to get a better idea of the whole background story, and found a good description that I will just quote here..I took this from Wikipedia

"The Way is a 2010 American drama film. It is a collaboration between Martin Sheen and his real life son Emilio Estevez, to honour the Camino de Santiago and promote pilgrimage. Not wanting to appeal to one demographic, Emilio Estevez called the film "pro people, pro life — not anti — anything."

The main actors in the movie, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez (although not in the movie much as he is the dead son) Deborah Ungar, James Nesbitt and Yorick van Wageningen all just fit together so well. I sort of felt like I was just watching a documentary of 4 people making this wonderful journey. The movie wasn't necessarily fasted paced, but for some reason I was totally engrossed the whole time. I loved the scenery, I enjoyed the light humor and I appreciated the deep content and reflection. I want to walk the Camino de Santagio. Maybe someday....

I would recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a little inspiration, who loves to travel and who enjoys the journey of life.

See you next week! (or later this week :)