Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2012: Week 34: Hit & Run

Hit & Run

Genre: Comedy, Action

Main Players: Dax Shepard, Kristin Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold

General Gist: An ex-con, who is in a witness protection program, comes out of hiding to help his girlfriend get a job.  They are then chased by his former gang of thieves. 

Deb's Take:
A little set up here.  I watch “Parenthood” , the weekly T.V. series.  I absolutely love the character “Crosby”, played by Dax Shepard.  I hadn’t heard much about this movie, but noticed he was starring in it and thought it looked good enough.   If that wasn’t enough, there was a long long list of cameo performances in this movie, along with a list of just darn right funny people.  I mentioned to Tiff, that following the movie I thought maybe Dax (who also wrote and directed the film) must have just started calling up all his buddies and asking them to play in his movie.  (I looked it up…I was right).  His fiancĂ© (girlfriend, wife, not sure what they officially are) Kristen Bell played opposite him, and..of course it worked.  Duh, they are a couple and they didn’t have to pretend.  Then you have this crazy list of actors you never expect to see..Tom Arnold, Bradley Cooper, Jason Bateman, Joy Bryant (plays Dax’s wife on “Parenthood”), Beau Bridges, and Sean Hayes.  AND…on top of those actors, there were some I didn’t know that cracked me up!
Ok, so as far as the movie…it was pretty much, fast cars, crude/rude humor and roll your eyes stupid funny. The movie covers only a couple day time period, and is pretty much just a car chase.  There is a little relationship stuff, a little nudity, although not the kind you might expect, and a lot of stupid laughs.   Exactly what appears to be expected from Dax Shepard.  ( I didn’t realize he used to play on “Punk’d”)  This movie is not intended to challenge any part of your brain, but rather to allow your brain to fall into the depths of pure jelliness (I am not sure what other word to use).  That being said, if you are in the mood, and not easily offended, go and enjoy yourself with a male friend, he will thank you for the offer.  It is a guys movie, but one this sister really enjoyed.
Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Tiff's Take:
Russ and I use to see Dax Shepard on Punk'd and think he was hilarious.  So it's no surprise I thought this movie was funny beings that it was written and directed by him.  I wish Russ had seen this one with me though.  I think he would have liked it even more than me.  Here's why.  Even though this has a relationship aspect to it, it really is coming from the viewpoint of a man.  Not too mushy and not necessarily the main focus.  Also, cars and driving cars are a big part of this movie too.  Russ would have eaten this up.  I definitely couldn't appreciate it like he would have.  And of course it was funny with some really funny actors.  There were a lot of great cameos. 

My only beef with this movie was that it was a little choppy.  It wasn't quite as fluid as I thought it should be.  I'm not sure if this was the first movie he directed but it sort of felt like it.  But still enjoyable and surprisingly sweet in parts.  I loved all the actors and thought that the chemistry between Dax and Kristen was great.  I always thought they seemed like an odd couple in real life but after seeing this movie I can see how it works. 

Tiff's Rate: Matinee (but on the Friday Night side of Matinee)

Preview: Prescreening of "Pitch Perfect", (no it's not a baseball movie)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012: Week 33: Sparkle


Genre:  Drama

Main Players: Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Carmen Ejogo

General Gist: Three sisters work to form a girl singing group in the 1960's.

Deb's Take:
This movie wasn’t really advertised much.  I had seen a few previews, but had sort of forgot about it until we started looking for a movie for the week.  I was intrigued mostly because it was Whitney Houston’s last project before her death.  I have always really adored Whitney Houston for her amazing singing voice.  I know she has had a rough go of it over the last decade, and I was really hoping to see something amazing in her honor. 
The movie itself was sort of disjointed to me.  The story line jumped around a lot without great character development.  I know the family was suppose to be a messed up group of woman, but beyond that dysfunction, the flow of the movie was off.  I never really felt like there was a beginning and middle, mostly just an end.  I did enjoy the singing, some amazing singers! Unfortunately, I think Whitney’s hard life destroyed her amazing gift and it was sad to hear how all her hardship changed her singing voice.  I also got the feeling that we were sort of watching Whitney’s life on screen even though the story was portrayed through her characters' daughter.

The movie wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great.  A tribute, in a way , to an amazing singer.
Deb's Rate: Matinee

Tiff's Take:
So another movie with a music theme.  It's generally a miss for me when it comes to these but I will admit there have been a few hits.  This one was not one of the few hits. 

The music itself was good with amazing singers but the storyline wasn't well thought out.  I felt like there were actually three different movies all mashed into one.  The only "story" I thought was decent was about the last 45 minutes.  And even then it wasn't an original story that deserved much praise.  I think this was Jordin Sparks' debut movie.  Her acting seemed safe and a little blah.  The other two who played her sisters were much more compelling but again the story didn't quite fit.  And unfortunately Whitney Houston looked a little rough.  Not her most spectacular last performance on the big screen. 

One more music movie bites the dust.   
Tiff's Rate: Rent It

Preview: We have a couple bonus reviews to get up.  Really, we do.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Movie Night at Home Giveaway Winner

Thanks everyone for entering our Movie Night at Home giveaway! 

Just to recap...our winner will get 2 bags of Popcorn Indiana popcorn, War Horse and The Smurfs DVD's and a bag of peanut M&M's. 

And the winner is...

Amy M.


Please email me at and I'll get these goodies out to you.

2012: Week 32: Hope Springs

Hope Springs

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Main Players: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell

General Gist: A couple, married 30 years, attends a week long counseling get-a-way in hopes of reviving their marriage.

Deb's Take: 
We had it all planned to see Moonrise Kingdom, then we got a  pre-screening invite to “Hope Springs” and decided free is better, (as was the whole timing of the movie) so we ended up at this movie.  I had wanted to see it anyway and it was a pre-release, I like them the best. 
This movie was not necessarily exactly what I thought it was going to be.  I knew the storyline, but for some reason I thought it was going to be funnier.  Even a bad marriage can be funny right?  Well, this movie was much more about the passage of time and what effects it can have on a marriage.  This movie was much more geared towards an older crowd, their marriage was at the 30 year mark, mine is only at 18.  I do know after seeing this movie I really hope my marriage isn’t anything like theirs, but I always find that I am a great “learn by observation” type of gal so I will take this as a lesson.
As far as the acting… Meryl Streep only gets better with age.  I am not a big Tommy Lee Jones fan, yet he did well in this movie.  I think it was his part that was convincing more than his acting though.  Steve Carell was surpising good in a little more serious role.  Really his role was minimal compared to the other two, but good none the less.
I enjoyed the venue a lot and would recommend a stop at the Armour Theatre in the Northland if you ever get a chance to go

Deb's Rate: Matinee

Tiff's Take:
Like Deb said, this movie was more on the serious side.  There were some funny parts but generally speaking it was more of a drama than comedy.  For me, this worked just fine.  I'm not sure I was expecting as much comedy as Deb so it seemed to fit my expectations.

Even though I was a minority in the theater (the average age was probably closer to 50), I have to say I really enjoyed this movie.  Sure it dealt with issues that I can't necessarily relate to at my age but I still appreciated it.  I liked how honest it was and how vulnerable the characters were.  And speaking of characters, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones were fantastic.  I was very pleasantly surprised with Steve Carell beings that he didn't have really any funny parts and he played it perfectly.  (Unlike his role in Seeking a which I did not enjoy.) 

I do have to ask one question though.  Is there really ever a guy who does not want to have sex?  I mean really.     

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: Winner of the Giveaway to be announced.  And a bonus review.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Giveaway: A Movie Night at Home

I've been meaning to do a giveaway for a few weeks now but can't seem to get my act together.  I figured it's about time to get on it. 

I recently found a popcorn company called Popcorn Indiana.  The popcorn flavors intrigued me.  They have different flavors like Buffalo Cheddar Kettlecorn, Bacon Ranch and Movie Theater Popcorn.  This seemed like a perfect thing to giveaway on our blog.  So I thought I'd pair a few bags of this popcorn with a couple DVD's and, because we can't go to a movie without them, a bag of peanut M&M's.  Sounds like the perfect ingredients for a movie night at home, don't ya think?

So here are the details.  One lucky winner will get:
  • Two bags of Popcorn Indiana popcorn (Movie Theater Popcorn and Cinnamon Sugar Kettlecorn)
  • The Smurfs and War Horse DVD's - a little something for the kids and one that everyone can enjoy!
  • A big ole bag of peanut M&M's 

To enter the contest just leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite movie snack.  Ours of course is popcorn, M&M's and a Diet Coke.  (The Diet Coke is more my weakness then Deb's!)  What's yours?

We'll announce the winner sometime after our next review!

Monday, August 6, 2012

2012: Week 31: Diary of a Wimpy Kids: Dog Days

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Genre: Family, Comedy

Main Players: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Steve Zahn, Peyton List

General Gist: Third movie of this great book series!  This one is about "The Wimpy Kid's" summer.

Deb's Take:
Well, we took the whole gang this week. My family has seen the two prior so we were excited for this one.   The story lines always seem to hit home with each member of our family.  This movie was even more “real.”  I guess the ages of the characters sort of fell in line a little more closely with my kids (the two oldest at least.)  The parents’ characters were pretty hilarious too!  My husband and I laughed quite a lot during this movie, and shared moments of knowing smiles and nods.  All the characters did well,  I will say that the main character, Zachary Gordon, looked a little too old for a 7th grader though.  He is 14 in real life, so not too off, but for some reason I wasn’t convinced.   I think this movie was just a great family show to laugh and enjoy.  My three kids of 9, 12, 15 seemed to enjoy it.  I will be curious what Tiff says her kids thought.  Much younger crowd to please there. 
Deb's Rate: Matinee -Great family time

Tiff's Take:
I couldn't help but draw similarities between this movie and Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer.  My kids for whatever reason really got into that movie so I've seen it at least a bazillion times.  Both story lines are about a kid in their tweens trying to figure out what to do during summer.  I have to say that this movie wasn't nearly as enjoyable.  At least from a parent's perspective.  It was funny but I didn't think it was hilarious by any means.  And I just didn't think it was as interesting.  Also, since my kids are younger (4 and 7) I was very aware of how much they were enjoying it.  My 7 year old said he liked it but my 4 year old started to get restless towards the end.  I don't really think this movie is intended for a 4 year old audience but mine absolutely loves Judy Moody so I thought this might work.   

I really wish I had seen the first two movies.  I see the advertisements for them and think they look hilarious but it's not really something I would go rent for my own benefit.  I'm not sure if seeing them would change the way I felt about this movie.  Most likely it would but as a stand alone movie I wasn't overly impressed.  When we got out of the movie my husband said, "Judy Moody was way better."  Ha. We watch too many kids movies!  

Tiff's Rate: Rent It

Preview: Going to see Moonrise Kingdom.  Not really advertised much.  We'll see how it goes!