Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2012: Bonus Review: The Campaign

The Campaign

Genre:  Comedy

Main Players: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott

General Gist: An unlikely candidate runs for congress against the long reigning congressman for a district in North Carolina with the encouragement of two big time CEO's with an ulterior motive.

Tiff's Take:
I had the pleasure of seeing this with my lovely husband and brother-in-law.  I knew if there was any movie my husband would be happy to see it would be this one.  He's a huge Will Ferrell fan through and through.  That being said, there was no way I was going to go to this movie without him.  Boy was it worth it.   

This movie is classic Will Ferrell.  I mean classic.  It reminded me of some of his earlier movies.  It was crude, vulgar, hilarious and inappropriate.  And adding Zach Galifianakis to the mix only made it that much sweeter.  It doesn't really matter so much about the plot or anything like that because you really only go to this kind of movie for the humor.  With Will and Zach that's all you get.  And props to Dylan McDermott and Jason Sudeikis for holding their own with these two comedian power houses. 

I'm so glad I went with Russ to this because he made it funnier for me.  I like Will Ferrell and I like comedies but I'm not sure I would choose them over a love story or good drama.  If I had gone with anyone else I might not have thought it was so funny.  Russ thought it was hilarious which made it easy for me to enjoy it that much more.  There were times when Russ was laughing so hard that he was crying and couldn't breathe.  He would miss a whole scene because the first part was so funny that he couldn't recover in time.  My brother-in-law seemed to enjoy it just as much too.  Actually, he enjoyed it enough to go the next night with my father-in-law.  (Does this paint a tiny picture of what I married into?)  

Most people either like Will Ferrell's sense of humor or they don't.  Not a lot of in between.  If you don't then by all means skip this one.  It would probably only offend you.  If you like his humor then go.  You'll laugh.  A lot.  But choose your company wisely.
Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

2012: Week 38: Trouble with the Curve

Trouble with the Curve

Genre: Drama

Main Players: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman

General Gist: A veteraned baseball scout gets some (unsolicited and unwanted) help from his daughter when he realizes his eyes are starting to go and needs help keeping his job. 

Tiff's Take: 
So that whole thing about not going to a movie this past week?  Yeah, we lied.  We were both going out of town and didn't really think we'd be able to work one in.  As luck would have it, we were able to work one in AND go with our brother and sister-in-law.  Perfect!

I'll just start out by saying I really enjoyed this movie.  I've always been a fan of Amy Adams.  I think I've liked her in almost everything she's been in.  She sort of comes off as this American Sweetheart type actress but I'm always surprised when she can be a little rougher around the edges.  She had a little bit of that edge in this one.  I can't say whether I really like or dislike Clint Eastwood but he was a good fit for the role of grouchy dad/ baseball scout.  Together, they were spot on.  And Justin Timberlake is always good to me.  I think he is talented and just plain funny.  I liked him as the love interest.

This movie had a little bit of everything.  It was serious (I teared up many times), if was funny, it had love and sports.  How could you go wrong with that?  My sister-in-law, who is sort of picky when it comes to movies, loved it.  My brother said it was good but didn't quite rave like we did.  Take that how you will.    

Tiff's Rate: A very solid Friday Night

Deb's Take:
Well, I guess we are addicted.  Not only did we not miss this week, we actually saw two movies. One was on our verrrryyy long flight to Reno (and Cleveland, and San Francisco) and the other with my brother and sister in law.  After reading Tiff's review there is a little repeat here, but we always knew we are a like.
My husband saw this movie and enjoyed it.   He didn’t say a whole lot about it though.  My brother was only mildly impressed, or mildly unimpressed, whichever way you want to look at it.  With two small girls he and my sister in law don’t get to movies much.  He said it was “predictable.”  My sister in law disagreed, she liked it because there was closure.  At the end, everything was neatly resolved and all situations were how they were intended. 
I agree with both of them, the movie was predictable.  Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood did well as a father/daughter pair.  I enjoyed the relationship, its turmoil and its resolve.  I am becoming more impressed with Justin Timberlake as an actor as well.  He plays the boyfriend role well.  He and Amy Adams seemed to have nice chemistry.  The movie was touching, funny and full of relationship…everything a good Hollywood Movie tries to be…Hence my brother’s lack of excitement  and my sister in laws praise.  Yes, the movie was predictable and ended all tied up in a bow at the end, nothing outstanding but not awful either.  I have to say the highlight was spending time with my family though.

Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: Since we actually had a movie to review we'll post the infamous Bonus Reviews later this week. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

2012: Week 37: Won't Back Down

Won't Back Down

Genre: Drama

Main Players: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Oscar Isaac, Holly Hunter, Emily Alyn Lind 

General Gist: A single mother, living in a poor inner city community, wants to improve her daughter's school by "taking it over" and rebuilding it. 

Tiff's Take:   
This movie touches on a subject that can really get you fired up and wonder how some kids can be so lucky in what they have while others are barely making it.  Don't these kinds of movies make you so mad and sad?  One thing that really got me with this one is that the daughter in it was the same age as my son.  That will do it to me every time.  The easier I can imagine my own kids in situations the more emotional of a movie it is for me.  This was definitely one of those.  I was tearing up left and right. 

Putting the kid thing aside it was also one of those that gets you pumped up about making a difference even when you're the underdog.  Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played the mother, definitely played this role well.  (Even though she sort of had crazy eyes the whole time.)  Viola Davis, who played the teacher, was great as well although I felt like I wanted more about her story and what she was all about.

This was definitely a good one.  Be prepared for an emotional ride though.  

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Deb's Take:
I was so happy we went to this movie this week.  Like I had mentioned on a post, we had the choice of two pre-screenings, and this was the one we picked.   On a side note, I purchased 5 raffle tickets that an organization was having, at this movie and won 4 Royals Tickets in the Diamond perk!  Also if you get a chance look up the organization "Variety" in K.C. they are doing some pretty cool things in Independence.   Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming..

I sort of thought this movie was based on a true story,but it wasn't, (it would have been even more cool if it had been!)  The story made me so amazingly aware of how sheltered my life often can be.  I think the most outstanding realization to me when I watched this movie, I felt like this same story may be happening in my city.  I don't even begin to believe I know anything about the Kansas City School District, but if the Blue Springs School District may become a alternate location for the students, I can only imagine what is happening in the schools.  It's sad really, that all schools aren't created equal somehow. 

Anyway, I am not a political person, I just don't like seeing struggles and always want the underdog to win!  So..the movie was an emotional one.  I was so impressed with Maggie Gyllenhaal.  I loved her character in the movie.  She was so spunky, and loving, and motivated.  She was inspiring and real and genuine.  (ha ha, I just read the part about her crazy eyes that Tiff wrote...she was a little crazy eyed!) I can't remember another movie where she played the lead, and I was amazed at her ability.  Viola Davis did a great job as the teacher, her character was more closed off, but she still came through loud and clear for me.  There was a little hint of romance hidden in this film that was touching to me. 

This is the kind of movie that makes you want to go out and make a difference in the world! 

Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: We'll be traveling this week and most likely won't get a movie in (boo) so we're going to post a few bonus reviews that we keep promising.  The Campaign and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012: Week 36: The Words

The Words

Genre: Drama, Romance 

Main Players: Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons

General Gist: A writer finds someone else's story and publishes it as if it's his own work.

Tiff's Take:  
This movie had a really interesting concept.  It was like a story within a story within a story.  I should mention it was a little confusing too.  Generally speaking I thought it was a decent movie.  The story was good, the acting was good and the chemistry between the actors were good.  But...I felt like there was information missing here and there.  Or maybe just depth.  I don't know.  It just didn't have that emotional pull like I thought it would.  It left me wanting a little more.  And did I mention it was confusing?  Unnecessarily so.

I thought Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana had great chemistry but Dennis Quaid and Olivia Wilde just didn't seem like a great fit.

So this one was sort of neutral for me.  Not bad but definitely not great.  Probably not worth going to the theater for this one.  

Tiff's Rate: Rent It

Deb's Take:
I really was expecting more from this movie.  The previews were misleading to me.  I expected a love story, intertwined with an authors challenging dilemma.  Well, I suppose that is what it was about,..kind of.  The movie was slow.  I felt like I got lost in boredom at some points.  I wasn't really buying the relationships and the plot was weak.  I feel like the movie could have been good, but it was a story, about a story book, about a story...too many stories.  (lol...side note, I didn't read Tiff's review, as I usually don't, before I wrote mine..sometimes our conversations is just too similar!!)  The worse part was the ending.  Nothing was wrapped up, nothing seemed to be resolved and all in all I was disappointed.

The actors did okay in their parts, but I think it's hard to act a poor movie sometimes.  I also think the premise behind the movie could have been quite intriguing if written better.   All in all I expected more and got less.  I actually don't have a whole lot to say because I just really didn't like it.

Deb's Rate: Don't a good book instead!

Preview:   "Won't Back Down" is on the docket this week.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012: Week 35: Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect

Genre: Comedy, Music

Main Players: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Elizabeth Banks, Skylar Astin

General Gist: A self made DJ/Mixer (??) decides to join an all girls a cappella group, "The Bellas", her freshman year at college to appease her dad.  They try to make it to nationals to beat the favorites, the school's male group.

Tiff's Take:
Last year was the year of Natalie Portman.  This year I'm officially calling it the year of music.  Much to my dismay.  I'll admit that some of them we've seen this year haven't been too bad.  Surprisingly this one has probably been one of my favorite music/musical type movies so far.  I'm actually shocked to say that out loud.

The female actors in this movie are the main reason for liking it so well.  I know I've said it before but I'll say it again.  I really like Anna Kendrick.  It seems like she should be pigeon holed into certain type of roles but she isn't.  Not in my opinion anyway.  I just really like her and her sense of humor, and who knew she could sing?!  (But then again, can't they all?) 

Rebel Wilson.  What can I say?  She is hilarious.  And even though Elizabeth Banks had only a minor role she was equally as funny.  Another one of my favorites. 

On top of the acting, the music was fun and a little more "hip" then the music in some of the other ones we've seen this year.  That always makes things more enjoyable.  Definitely an entertaining movie that keeps you laughing as well. 

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night 

Deb's Take:
As Tiff mentioned, we have hit the year of musicals...or movies with music...I had only seen one preview for this movie, and didn't really know what to expect.  Well, I got more then my expectations.  Unlike Tiff, I am a movie music lover.  Music makes the whole experience better!  I agree, some of them have been..... not so better. I liked this one for a few reasons.

1.)  Anna Kendrick is becoming more and more likable to me with each show she does.  I was rather amazed that she could sing.  I like her easy nature and sort of real personality she brings to the table in her movies.  She seems to find the personality of each of her characters and makes it so her own.  She never seems to be the "same" character but in different movies.  That is impressive to me.  There is a scene in the movie, when she is trying out for "The Bellas"  LOVE IT!!

2.) Rebel Wilson!  She is stinkin hilarious...she makes me laugh out loud.  I love her! ( I think her accent helps)  She really makes the comedy of this movie what it is.

3.) There was some romance, although it was choppy and not really what the movie was about.  But I like romance.

4.) AWESOMENESS in the singing department.  Wow, I do like what music is becoming..the music battles, the overlaying of songs, a cappella singing.  All very cool

Deb's Rate: Friday Night...only because the romance was a little weak.
Preview:   Any suggestions?