Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Week 52: We Bought a Zoo

Week 52! NOOOOOOO, ok, we will see another one, sort of like being pregnant, they say it's 9 months, but really it's 10. They say 52 weeks in a year, we say 53.

So, Christmas Day we loaded up the families (minus 2) and headed down to the Plaza to see a movie. Sort of trying to make it a little more exciting than going to our regular theater. Christmas lights, theatre with an escalator (cheaper by about 15 bucks!)

The key players in this movie were Matt Damon, (the dad) Scarlett Johansson (the zoo keeper), Colin Ford (older child) Maggie Elizabeth Jones (younger child), and Elle Fanning (13 year old zoo helper). The story line follows the title, a family of 3 buys a home that happens to be part of a Zoo. This movie is based on a true story, I like true stories so was happy this was our Christmas movie.

All in all I enjoyed this movie. My husband did happen to notice there was a little more "swearing" than he thought appropriate for a PG movie. I do agree, but regardless I thought the movie was good. I like Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson was okay, nothing outstanding. Maggie Elizabeth Jones stole the show really. She was super darn cute! She is a 7 year old, but really seemed younger which made her more cute. If you saw "Footloose" she played in that as well. Wouldn't be surprised to see her more in the near future.

This movie was touching, had some good humor and a good family show. My 8 year old was "in love" with the romance of this movie. She couldn't hard contain her "AHHH" for the romance that happened between Elle Fanning's character and Colin Ford. She is a hopeless romantic like her Mama.

All in all and good family movie. See it together and appreciate the family you have.

See you for our LAST review of 2011~ It's a good one!

Week 52: We Bought a Zoo

Any normal person might think this is our last post in our quest to see a movie a week in 2011.  After all, it is week 52.  Well, as it turns out it is not.  We just saw our last movie yesterday and it wasn't this one.  How can that be you ask?  Well, if you recall January 1st was a Saturday.  We went to a movie that day and called it week 1.  Technically it probably wasn't week 1.  But alas, that's what we did so we managed to defy the western calendar and actually have 53 weeks of movies this year.  Not to mention a few extras.  As far as movies are concerned it's been a pretty darn good year for us.  Now that the accountant in me has justified week 53 I'll continue on.

This past weekend we saw We Bought a Zoo for week 52.  We chose this one to satisfy all the family needs since we made this one an all family event.  Christmas day movies are the best.  Going to a movie on Christmas has always been a tradition in our family.  Anyone else?

This may not have been my first choice of a movie to see but I was interested in seeing it.  I love Matt Damon for one.  And two...well I love Matt Damon.  How can you go wrong with that?  This movie is about a guy who is working through the loss of his wife and decides to move his kids to a new place to get a fresh start.  They end up buying a house that includes a run down zoo.  They put in a lot of money and hard work to get it open again and of course learn some life lessons on the way.  Pretty much a nice wholesome story. 

Matt Damon was of course good and so was Scarlett Johansson who played the main zookeeper.  I'm not sure that the two had the best chemistry but it was okay.  The kids were played by Colin Ford and Maggie Elizabeth Jones with another role played by Elle Fanning.  They were all good especially Maggie Elizabeth Jones.  She was so cute it was hard not to consider her the standout. 

Overall I thought this was a cute movie.  It had funny and touching moments and a good story.  I'm not sure I would say it's one of my favorites but good entertainment for a night.  The kids seemed to enjoy it but it was a little slow for my six year old. 

To Sum it up:  A warm, fun story with heart.

Week 51: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

How is it that I get so behind in posting my reviews?  I have three movies swirling in my head right now.  These last few of the year might be short and sweet.
For week 51 we went and saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  I was a big fan of the first one so I was looking forward to this.  Russ was a big fan of the first one too so he was actually looking forward to seeing this movie.  When he's excited about seeing a movie I'm happy because that means he'll try hard to go with me.  So this movie ended up being a date night for us sisters.  Love it when it works out that way.

This is the second installment of the Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.  I totally agree with Deb.  They have great chemistry together in the movie.  I love the humor and wit.  Actually, Robert Downey Jr. has good chemistry with Rachel McAdams too even if they didn't have as big of a role this time around.  Generally speaking I love Robert Downey Jr.'s humor and he is no exception in this one.  I love the visual effects as well with the dark atmosphere and cool slow mo action shots.  It all works wonderfully.

Definitely a fun one to see in the theater. 
To Sum it up: Good action, good banter and just plain good entertainment. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Week 51: Sherlock Holmes-A Game of Shadows

This movie was a good "take your husband out on a date" movie. I had not seen the first one, but was told it didn't matter. I think it may have helped a little, but I don't think I lost any of the intention by not seeing the first one.

We also got to enjoy the movie with our friends. Thanks for coming with us Steve and Shelley.

The main players: Robert Downey Jr.-He did excellent. Jude Law-Amazing as well. These two had great chemistry and worked well together. Kept me entertained with humor and quirkiness. Roomi Rapace- She did a great job. Excited to see her in a different role to see if she is a great as she seems.

Overall impression: Good movie, lots of adventure, action, and twists and turns. Good couples movie!

Next review to follow soon.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Week 50: New Years Eve

The pickins' are slim this holiday season! With only a few movies left I was hoping to go out with a BANG! However, it is kind of just fizzling away.

This week we say New Years Eve. This movie was basically the interconnection between about 20 different people and what they do on New Years Eve in New York. There were a ton of well known actors in this film, (look at Tiff's post, it will save me the typing!) Really there was only one story line that kind of "touched" me, and amazingly enough it was the scenes with Halle Berry and Robert De Niro. I guess saying, "amazingly enough" doesn't sound nice, really they both are great actors, I was more amazed that with all the different actors in this film there were only two that impressed me much.

The movie was pretty light hearted, with some laughs and some touching moments, but nothing of real depth that captures your soul. Kind of like watching a T.V. show as the relationships were not really developed too much, and there really was no plot. Just watching the lives of many on a Holiday.

I will say that my 14 year old daughter really did like this film, so maybe it's geared more towards the teenage female audience. Honestly, I was confused why it didn't come out on New Years, or something like that..I think the movie industry is just dying to find something to feed to us Movie Junkies because there isn't much out there right now, they were just throwing us a bone.

All in all, a decent movie, but nothing too special. I would say it is a good mother/teenage daughter show. Zac Efron and Ashton Kutcher may appeal to those tween types and it's a clean show :)

See you soon!

Week 50: New Year's Eve

For week 50 we went and saw New Year's Eve. This is from the same writer as Valentine's Day.  I didn't see Valentine's Day but I imagine they are very similar.  It's about a bunch of characters and what's going on in their life around New Year's Eve.  All the characters are intertwined in some way and you find all the connections at the end of the movie.

Of course this movie was packed full of actors:  Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Hilary Swank, Josh Duhamel, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Seth Meyers (SNL), Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele (Glee), Sarah Jessica Parker and Abigail Breslin.  Whew.  I think I got the main players.

I don't think this movie is intended to have a lot of meat to it.  Because it doesn't.  It's fun and a little humorous and a little touching but that's about it.  If you want a similar type of concept that's done a lot better check out Crazy, Stupid, Love or Love Actually.  Way better done.

I felt like through most of the movie I was missing out on back stories that would have made the relationships more meaningful.  Again, I don't think this was meant to be really in depth but come on.  I think I could have looked past the relationship aspect if it was funnier and just generally more entertaining.  And with all the great actors in this movie none of them really stood out.  The only thing I can really say about any of them is that Zac Efron makes me feel like a 15 year old girl again.  Or maybe that I want to be a 15 year old girl again.  Take that how you will.

To Sum it up: Only mildly entertaining and a lot of good actors with not a lot of good acting. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Week 49: The Descendants

Boy, Deb's right.  We are behind on our posts.  Here's to knocking two out the same day.  Note that this reveiw has slight spoilers so if you want to see the movie first that might be a good idea. 

We saw The Descendants for week 49 with George Clooney as the main character followed by his daughter played by Shailene Woodley.  As Deb said, this movie was mainly about the relationship between these two characters.  The story is about a guy, George Clooney, who's dealing with the impending loss of his wife who was in a boating accident and also dealing with selling property that's part of this big family trust.  So there's sort of two different stories going on. Oh, and it was set in Hawaii which threw in an interesting perspective.

In the first story with his wife, he's working through this process of saying good bye and trying to manage his two daughters.  In dealing with his oldest daughter's anger towards his wife he finds out that his wife was having an affair and was thinking about leaving him.  A good chunk of the movie is about him dealing with this revelation.

This movie has a heavy feel with serious topics but not a lot of drama.  And there was a lot of comic relief in just the right places.  It reminds me of 50/50 a little bit in the sense that if an "average" person was thrown in this situation this is how they might actually deal with it.  It didn't feel hollywoodized.  (I just made that word up.)  With George Clooney as the main guy you might not think it's possible to imagine an average guy with an average family but there were times where he actually did seem like an average guy.  I mean, it is George Clooney after all so of course you won't forget that but he intentionally wasn't as dashing in this one.     

I did think it was a good movie and one worth seeing but I was surprised in my lack of emotional connection with the characters.  I felt distanced from them when normally I'm sniffling right along with Deb.  I think this is mainly because of my personal hatred and dysfunction when it comes to infidelity and all things cheating.  Or maybe I just wasn't in a sappy mood.  Either way, it didn't touch me as much as some movies do.  But I think it probably would to the average person. 

To Sum it up: Serious topics, perfectly timed humor and good "almost made you forget the actor" acting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Week 49: The Descendants

Ok, so our posts are running a week behind, but we ARE going to the movie, which is most important in my world.

We got to do a "Two sisters, A Mom and A Movie" this time around! We were hard pressed to find something out there we wanted to see, but after some looking around stumbled across this gem. Yes, it was a gem!

This movie follows two basic story lines, one about a family who's mother/wife is ill and the family is trying to cope with the choices that need to be made to stay afloat emotionally. This is intertwined with a story of the father/husband of this family, trying to make a decision about selling some land that is in his trust.

George Clooney plays the lead role along with Shailene Woodley, who plays one of his daughters. Really, most of the movie centers around these two and their interactions. I am always impressed when I see Good old George on the film. He seems so at ease. In fact, at one point in the movie he was suppose to be kind of "geeky" or maybe more "average" and it seemed out of character, he just is too laid back and in control that to be out of control was sort of off. Not to say he didn't do a good job, but you just know it's not him.

Shailene did an exceptional job as a 17 year old girl. She was pretty darn close to what I think so many 17 year olds probably act like. I know she plays on a TV series, but I read where this was her first role in a movie. Yep, she's good!

I think what I most liked about this movie was that I cried and I laughed. A movie that does that can't be anything but a winner in my emotional book. I like to laugh and cry..tap into both ends of the spectrum and confuse the mind with how it really feels.

Mostly, just a great movie to go to with my mom and sister! Thanks for the great night Tiff and Mom.

See you for week 50! only 2 sad :(

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Giveaway Suggestions

So we were thinking about having one last giveaway in 2011.  One last hurrah before our year 'o movies is over.  What kind of giveaway would you like to see?  Straight up movie tickets?  Dinner and a movie?  A book/movie giveaway? 

Give us some ideas and we'll post a giveaway soon!

Week 48: My Week with Marilyn

While all the family was here for Thanksgiving we went and saw My Week with Marilyn down at the Cinema Suites downtown.  So much fun going there.  And it was Russ' first time and he thought it was pretty cool.  He decided he wants to see the new Mission Impossible there.

So, on to the movie.  Let me tell ya.  Deb and I have really been struggling these past couple weeks on what movies to see.  There really hasn't been a whole lot of good stuff coming out.  Hopefully the last few weeks in December will be better.  Luckily this movie worked with our schedule and was a movie no one else in our family had seen. 

The movie was really more about a guy, Colin played by Eddie Redmayne, who worked on one of Marilyn Monroe's movies and his interaction with her during that time.  Marilyn is played by Michelle Williams.  I'll be honest, other than the blonde hair I didn't think she would fit the part.  Marilyn is so curvy and sexual and Michelle Williams just isn't.  But I think she did a fantastic job.  Now, I'm not an expert on all things Marilyn Monroe but from my limited knowledge of her I think Williams portrayed her well. 

I really thought Eddie Redmayne did a great job as well.  There were some other well known actors in this movie.  Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond, Judi Dench and Emma Watson had a small role.  It was good to see Emma in something besides Harry Potter.  Just to see how she was.  And she was good.

The storyline was interesting as well.  It was about an assistant director who gets chummy and ends up falling in love with Marilyn over this short period of time.  It was interesting to see what the life of a star might look like.  And how easily infatuated a "normal" person might get with them. 

Overall, I liked this movie and thought it had great acting.  I heard Michelle Williams might be considered for an Oscar for this role.  We'll see.

To Sum it up: Well acted, charming characters and interesting look at stardom.

Week 48: My Week With Marilyn

Happy Belated Thanksgiving. Usually this time of year movies are all over the place and as my family often comes to visit Tiff and I for Thanksgiving, we go to several movies over the week. For some reason this year, the movies are few and far between. However, we found this one, and wanted to share the AMC Cinema Suite experience with everyone.

This movie chronicles a week following a man named Colin Clark, played by Eddie Redmayne, who happens upon a job as the 3rd assistant director in the taping of a film with Marilyn Monroe, played by Michelle Williams. The movie is based on a book, by Colin Clark, and is a true story (from Colin's perspective of course.)

The movie really didn't have a lot of depth. I think the movie really captured the "craziness" that is so often rumored of Marilyn Monroe's personality. I have no idea how true this really is, of course it is just one man's opinion, but my guess it Marilyn was sort of off her rocker just a little bit. She seemed to have some issues with mental illness, as well as addiction. I have never really seen anything about Marilyn and her life. I guess I expected a little craziness, but man this movie made her seem a little more than just crazy.

As far as the movie itself, I think Michelle Williams did an amazing job. From the few clips I have seen of Marilyn Monroe, I have to say Michelle did great. Her voice was especially convincing. Eddie Redmayne did okay. I wasn't overly impressed. However, one of the best performances was by Judi Dench. I always like her characters. She just seems so natural in her roles, and this movie was no different.

Overall this movie wasn't that great, it really wasn't Cinema Suite worthy, but if you like Marilyn Monroe, and want to see someones perspective of her life, this would be a good renter.

See you next week.

Bonus Review: Jack and Jill

Well, this will be short and sweet. I took the family to see Jack and Jill last week (or the week before maybe.) This is the movie with Adam Sandler and Katie Holmes (no chemistry what so ever). Adam plays the husband and then a twin sister to the husband. The twin sister comes to visit, and over stays her welcome. There was really no development of the story, it just sort of "started". The character development was not there at all, everything just sort of happened. Honestly, I thought this movie was kind of stupid. There was really no plot, no real story line and no real anything. However, my 11 year old son laughed so much and so infectiously during this movie I found myself laugh/crying at him.

So I guess this movie was geared towards those 11-14 year old boys of the world. Burps, farts, falls and stupidity galore. I say boys, but my 14 year old daughter and her friend seemed to kind of like it as well.

Basically, a good family movie, if you want to see your kids laugh and enjoy some family time, but rent a little money.