Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012: Bonus Review: Red Dawn

Red Dawn

Genre: Action

Main Players: Chris Hemsworth, Isabel Lucas, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Adrianne Palicki, Connor Cruise

General Gist: A group of teenagers work to save their town from an invasion of North Koreans

Deb's Take:  This one was one of our Thanksgiving extravaganza of movie seeing.  As many of you know, this movie was a remake, I remember seeing Red Dawn as a teen/tween and always think it’s cool when 30 years later I am taking my kids to see a movie that I grew up on.  This movie followed the same line, with up to date technology and advancements.  There was a lot of action, suspense, and unexpected events.  The acting was adequate, not a movie that I was expecting a whole lot from.  The actors were good at their roles, but really just a whole bunch of kids. It wasn’t bad or anything, just nothing exceptional.  What I enjoyed more was hearing my kids’ reactions.  My daughter doesn’t usually go to movies like this, and she said she really liked it, she seemed to enjoy the suspense.  My son was slightly troubled by the unnecessary death of some of the characters, and several times explained how those deaths could have been easily avoided.  (He is like that!)  All in all it was a fun family event, a little on the violent side, but not too bad for my 16 and 12 year old.

Deb's Rate: Rent it

Preview:  Almost there!


2012: Bonus Review: Flight


Genre: Drama,

Main Players: Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, Bruce Greenwood, John Goodman

General Gist: A pilot is able to prevent his airliner from crashing, however, an investigation reveals his troubled lifestyle.

Deb's Take:  My husband and I went to this movie on a pre screening night.  The trailers and promos really played up this movie as an exciting, edge of your seat, type of movie and my husband was really looking forward to going.  Denzel is such a good actor, and I can say he did a good job in this movie, as usual.   I really like Kelly Reilly, she was so convincing as a recovering drug addict and down on her luck sort of gal.  John Goodman was the humor of this show, he brought the humor to this all to serious subject, and Bruce Greenwood did exceptional.  That all being said, the movie was NOT an edge of your seat type of show, rather, after  the first 15-20 minutes the movie was really more about alcoholism and how it rears it’s ugly head in the life of a pilot.  I am not saying the movie was bad, just that the trailers were misleading and really not the story I expected.  Sometimes the unexpected makes for a pleasant surprise, in this case I didn’t feel that way.  If you go, just be ready for something different than what you may have expected.

Deb's Rate: Rent it

Preview:  We are getting caught up, I swear!

Friday, November 16, 2012

2012: Week 46: Breaking Dawn: Part 2

Breaking Dawn: Part 2

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Adventure

Main Players: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison, Taylor Lautner:  Plus lots of other really cool actors.

General Gist:  The Final Chapter of the Twilight Series...Nuff said!

Deb's Take:
Ok, so we made it to the 10:00pm showing (8 theatres were sold out for this one in Independence)  The hype of the movie is always so much fun!   SO...if you haven't joined the Twilight world this movie is probably just O.K. for you.  In all honesty, the acting is sometimes cheesy, and the visual effects aren't all that great at times.  BUT...this movie is about the experience, it's the 5th movie and who doesn't want to see how it all ends in real life (vs the book?). 

I have never been a big fan of Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattison, they are depressing to me, when they smile it looks out of character because they never smile and always look sort of bored and irritated.  I know some of it is the movie and their characters, but really I just never really fell for them in these roles.  On the other hand, I love so many of the supporting characters, but have to say Michael Sheen took the cake in this movie.  He does evil so well. Really all the "evil" characters/actors in this film did good, they are believable.  I also like Taylor Lautner, he just fit his role well, and is so darn cute and Ashley Greene, she was spot on.

I don't feel like there is too much to say, but I will put out one little teaser...I read the books, I knew the ending, I have gone to LOTS of movies in my life (well, maybe more then Lots) and this one got me!  Was so not expecting it!....all I can say, you will be surprised.

Great ending for this Team Jacob fan.

Deb's Rate: Opening Night

Tiff's Take: I don't know how many times I can say it.  I love love love the excitement of a hyped up opening night!  All the anticipation, the crazies (the making fun of the crazies) and feeling like you're a part of something fun.  This is probably the only time I can handle going to a movie where you have a very active and loud audience. 

First, let me get this out of the way.  As I was watching the first couple scenes I was cringing just a tad.  It started out a little too cheesy and low budget.  (Is that even possible??)  I thought of my sister-in-law knowing that she would immediately hate the movie.  (Back story:  She's an incredibly hard critic and loved if not obsessed over these books.  Movies never live up to her book standards.  Ever.)  But after it got into the heart of the story I didn't worry about cheesy or low budget any more. 

The characters came back just as good as ever and I loved seeing the introduction of all the "other" vampires.  Most of it was what I would have expected but the ending?!  Wow.  What a great way to change things up without really changing things up.  Bravo movie makers.  Great final installment.  First Harry Potter is over now Twilight.  It's going to be a sad day when all the Hunger Game movies are done.  I'm not sure what I'll do.

Go Team Edward! Ha. 

Tiff's Rate: Opening Night of course.

Preview:  James....James Bond 

2012: Week 45: Argo


Genre: Drama, Thriller, History 

Main Players: Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Victor Garber

General Gist: Six Americans are trapped in hiding in the Canadian embassy in Iran.  In an effort to get them back home, the CIA creates a fake movie as an excuse to get in the country and get them out by saying they are a film crew.  Based on a true story in the late 70's early 80's.

Tiff's Take: 
This movie was based on a true story which I love.  And it has Ben Affleck who I'm always rooting for.  He doesn't have the best track record in my mind as being the best actor in the world but I've always really liked him.  This character really fit him well.  Maybe it helped that he was the director.  Who knows.  What I do know is this story was so interesting.  It makes you wonder what movie will be made 30 years from now about something happening right now that we have no idea about.  That's a little unsettling so maybe we shouldn't think about that.

This was a pretty serious movie with a big emphasis on suspense.  The whole time I was on the edge of my seat wondering if they were going to get out.  Now, if I knew the story from way back in the day I would know the answer to that but I didn't.  I was only like 2 and to be honest I probably wouldn't know too much about it if I was 18 at the time.  Since I didn't really know exactly what was going to happen it was even more nail biting.  And just to give my heart a little break there was comedic relief by John Goodman and Alan Arkin's characters.  Just the right amount.

I really enjoyed this and so did Russ.  Russ thought this would be interesting but I don't think he thought he would like it quite so much.  (I mean it's no James Bond movie but...) Great date night movie.  Both parties will enjoy this one.       

Tiff's Rate: Opening Night
Deb's Take: 
I am not much of a history buff either.  I married a history buff so that he could give me all the details of the things I have missed in life.  Brian said he remembered this, and I don't know if he told me, or I just assumed, but I knew from the beginning they were getting out, so I wasn't in as much of a suspenseful stupor as some, but I agree this movie was suspenseful.

I think Ben Affleck did a great job as both director and actor of this film.  After watching a true story based movie I always go and do a little hunting around to see how the film was different from the real situation.  This movie was good about trying to get the story accurate, while making it "Hollywood".  I, like my sister, am amazed at the things that happen in this world without the general public knowledge.  Well,,maybe not that surprised. 

I really think you will like this movie if you like history, or even if you just like movies that include real life events.  There was plenty of suspense, light humor and action, with enough drama to round it all out.
Deb's Rate: Opening Night
Preview: Skyfall and Breaking Dawn 2 both in the same week.  Oh, and maybe we'll throw a bonus review in the mix as well. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

2012: Week 44: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Genre: Drama, Romance 

Main Players: Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller

General Gist:  A story that follows the school year of a shy freshman boy who becomes friends with two seniors.

Deb's Take: 
I loved this movie!  It felt like the "Breakfast Club" meets "Pretty in Pink".  I have always liked movies about high school.  Everything is so innocent and new.  The thrill (or maybe agony) of becoming an adult, and experiencing so much for the first time.  It's also scary, and lonely and sad for some, but when it's not, its amazing.

I loved the chemistry of these actors. The characters were bizarre, quirky, and perfect!  All three of the actors were great.  I really liked Logan Lerman, what a wonderful job. There were funny parts, sad parts, and happy parts.  All those things that make life...Life, and all those things that shape who we are.  Yes, we all experience life differently, but all in all, everything is a lesson, and if we make it through we learn something about who we are and who we will be become. 

Deb's Rate: Opening Night

Tiff's Take:
Ditto on what Deb said.  Yeah, really great movie.  Although I'm not surprised.  I thought I would like this one from the first time I saw the preview.  It's been out a little while and I wasn't sure if we would get to see it so I'm glad we finally did. 

The basic story line was pretty straight forward.  A boy trying to fit in while finding unlikely friends in two older kids.  But there was a lot more to the back history of the three main characters that made it interesting.  In fact, it makes you want to know more about them.  Parts of it are vague which I think was done on purpose to let you fill in the holes.  That can be annoying at times but worked for this.  I'm guessing the book gets into a lot more detail but the movie worked.

I loved all three of the main actors/characters.  They each had a special charm to them.  I loved seeing Emma Watson do so well in a post Harry Potter movie.  Definitely one of the better movies we've seen this year.

Tiff's Rate: Opening Night 

Preview:  Review for Argo and Wreck-It Ralph coming up. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012: Week 43: The Sessions

The Sessions

Genre: Drama, Romance 

Main Players: Helen Hunt, John Hawkes, William H Macy

General Gist: A young man who has been disabled since a young boy, seeks the help of a sexual surrogate to experience sex for the first time.

Deb's Take: 
I was a little surprised at how many older adults there were in this movie.  It was a pre-screening, and I am wondering if it targeted the “senior” population for some reason, because Tiff, my cousin Leslie and I were some of the youngest people in there..(except of course the looney who brought her 4 and 10 year old children, seriously people!  It’s a movie about a sexual surrogate, you think the R rating means nothing? Let them see it in their own home where they can ask questions or something!) 

Anyway, the movie was ok.  I say OK because the whole scenario was set up, characters were just “sort of” developed, and I hated how the ending hit you smack in the face and was anti-climatic in nature.  The movie felt like it wanted to go so much deeper, there was emotions and relationships, but they were all so "unfinished" and choppy.  That being said, I liked the story.  I had no clue what to expect as I have never really thought about a sexual surrogate.  I am actually sort of surprised I haven’t though, considering I am an Occupational Therapist and have worked with many clients who are paralyzed. I have often answered  personal questions about sexual activity and educated patients in options when disabilities are involved. If nothing else, the movie gave me a new perspective of sex and my belief of what is appropriate and what isn’t.

The acting?  Helen Hunt was great, wish I looked like her in my birthday suit, John Hawkes was amazing..what a hard role and character to play! And William H Macy was a funny little addition to the mix.  I think this movie is a good one to ponder and think about, especially if you are in the therapy world, can’t say it was amazing though.

Deb's Rate: Rent It

Tiff's Take:
I guess I thought this was a little better than what Deb thought.  I didn't get too hung up on the character development but it did just sort of throw you into the lives of the people rather than building up background.  The whole idea was interesting though.  And based on a true story so that made it even more interesting.  Who knew there was such a thing as a sex surrogate?!  Sort of a weird concept if you ask me. 

The acting was really good.  I hadn't seen Helen Hunt in anything for a long time.  I really like her.  And I seem to always like William H Macy in anything.  John Hawkes looked like a completely different person.  It was really amazing. 

Yeah, the ending was sort of abrupt and the relationship between Hawkes and Hunt's characters sort of left you wanting more but all in all it was a good movie.  Not great but worth seeing. (And as Deb pointed out, don't bring your small children to this.  Really not appropriate in any way.  Thanks.)

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

Preview:  We're way backed up on our reviews but we have some good ones coming up.