Friday, September 5, 2014

2014: Week 33: Boyhood


Genre: Drama

Main Players:  Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette

General Gist: Following the life of a young man from 5 to 18.

Deb's Take:
This movie won several film awards, to which I'm not familiar with at all, but I think the fact that it won awards says something.  So, this movie was interesting and fascinating in two particular ways for me.  One, it followed the life of a family over a 12 year period, and ACTUALLY filmed over a 12 year period to allow for the actors to age with the movie.  I liked this premise because I feel like it kept the characters and personalities real.  Two, I am amazed that this could be pulled off.  Each year a different piece of the movie was recorded to eventually follow the actors over a 12 year "true" history.  That was cool and neat and impressive.

As far as the movie itself, I felt it was slow, and unclimatic.  Which in a way, I think that was the point.  Following a boy from age 5-18 and touching the highlights (or often in his case the low lights) of his life made me very aware, that on average, life is pretty average for many.  Now, his family life was a little screwed up in a way I couldn't really relate to, but I think all our lives are on the verge of weird and his was just a different kind of weird for me.  The acting wasn't outstanding, and the storyline was slow.  I do feel like I walked out of the movie with this sense of "OMG, I'm 43 years old and I better get going with my life because 12 years can pass super fast and then I'm 55 and what do I have to show for it?"   All in all the idea was captivating, but I think the award for this movie were for the timeline not the storyline.

Deb's Rate: Rent it

Tiff's Take:
It heard this movie was good and it seemed interesting and artsy.  I usually like those.  And I didn't not like it.  As Deb said, the premise behind this movie was really cool.  It's amazing how a 6 year old boy can turn out to be this 18 year old kid that doesn't seem like the kid you would think he would be.  I guess that's the amazing thing about watching an actual boy grow up in front of you over a two hour time span.  So that part of the movie was good.  

But it just felt way too long.  There wasn't a lot going on during a lot of the movie.  Yeah, I think that was part of the point but unfortunately it didn't make for a very interesting movie.  The parts where there was a little more going on felt unstable.  And instabilities in movies make me feel weird.  Is it weird that it makes me feel weird?!  Anyway, just a so so one for me.  I wanted to like it better than I did.       

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

Preview: The Giver

2014: Week 32: The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Genre: Drama

Main Players:  Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte La Bon

General Gist: A blossoming chef and his Indian family move to France and open a restaurant across from a highly celebrated French restaurant.

Deb's Take:
First off, the above description of the movie doesn't do this movie justice, but I couldn't figure out a better way to describe this movie in a nutshell.  So, don't judge the movie by it's preview.  That being said, this movie was like reading an excellent novel, and I love to read a good novel.  Seldom does a movie compare, but I love when I find that movie.  The movie that makes me forget I am in a theatre, that I am not standing right next to the characters,  that movie that plays like a book.  This movie was comparable to "The Way" to me, which since we started this blog, has been my all time favorite.  Also falls right along side of "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", another goodie. 

I have been trying to figure out why this movie was so much better than so many others.  Why this one made me feel "satisfied" with the movie industry.  I think the best way I can describe my feelings, is that this movie hit my soul.  So many movies now a days are about the Hollywood hype, about being "showy" and entertaining without making you think or feel.  This movie was the opposite to me.  It allowed me to think and feel, and I love that!  I liked feeling the emotion.  The crazy thing to me was that the movie subject just seemed like there would be no way a deep emotional story could erupt, I was so wrong.  The movie was about family, passion, love, and heart.

I enjoy watching actors who present themselves so well.  Helen Mirren is amazing, the other three main players were new to me, and I was thrilled with their presentations as well.  Manish Dayal played his part perfectly.  I loved that there was a focus on relationships as well as personal progress and growth.  I just feel this movie was so well done, I can't even put into words how much I liked it.  I would just recommend you go and see it for yourself, if you are a person who likes to see a book unfold on screen and don't want the typical Hollywood Hype. 

Deb's Rate: Opening Night

Tiff's Take:
Agree, agree, agree.  What a wonderful movie!  This was one of those refreshing movies that comes along only every once in awhile.  Quite honestly I don't have much more to add then what Deb already said.  And beings that I'm so behind in my reviews I think I'll just leave it at that.  

Go see this movie!  

Tiff's Rate: Opening Night

Preview: Boyhood

Friday, August 8, 2014

2014: Bonus: Planes: Fire & Rescue

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Genre: Animation

Main Players: Voices of Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen

General Gist: The second Planes movie where Dusty trains to be a firefighter after getting injured and isn't able to race anymore.

Tiff's Take: 
I didn't see the first Planes so I was going into this one sort of blind and I can't really compare it to the first one.  I went with some kids that were pretty darn excited to see it though.  

From the kids' perspective, this was a hit for the 4 year old boy who is a Planes die hard fan.  It was an entertaining one for the 9 year old boy who was once a Cars die hard fan.  It was a little long for the 6 year old girl who has never been a big fan of either Cars or Planes. 

From my perspective, it was entertaining with fun parts throughout but a little on the long side.  It was also surprisingly serious for a cartoon.  There were a few heavy subjects that might be a little much for sensitive, younger kids.  The original Cars is still probably my favorite.

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

2014: Week 31: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Main Players:  Chris Pratt, Zoe Zaldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper (voice), Van Diesel (voice)

General Gist: Four unlikely characters find themselves in a battle against Ronan the Accuser when they come in possession of an Orb ,with power to destroy a civilization.

Deb's Take:
I have grown to love the Marvel movies.  I can't say I am no longer a super hero movie fan, because I think the last five I have seen I have really enjoyed.  Tiff and I are having a fun time trying to tie the characters from each Marvel film to each other. 

When I saw the previews for this movie I was skeptical.  It looked sort of goofy and cheesy.  I'm glad the previews were wrong.  This movie was entertaining.  I really enjoyed the humor.  I liked the storyline and the interplay between the characters.  Chris Pratt was a fun actor to watch.   Honestly there wasn't really anything I didn't like about the movie.  Great entertainment, especially if you are a Marvel Fan.

Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Tiff's Take:
Why am I never more excited to see a Marvel movie?  I am always sort of so so about going to one then I always end up really enjoying them.  You think I would learn.

I'll be honest, I really didn't think I would like this one.  Actually I didn't really have a desire to see it at all.  I mean, come on.  One of the characters is a raccoon.  And a tree.  I thought it would be epically stupid.  It was, however, not epically stupid but funny, action-packed and thoroughly entertaining.  Again, why am I surprised?  I can't say this is my favorite Marvel movie (I'm more of a Thor girl) but definitely a good one.

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: Might see Transformers for a date night but probably will see something else with just the sis.

2014: Week 30: Lucy


Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Main Players:  Scarlett Johansson,  Morgan Freeman, Min-Sik Choi

General Gist: A woman is kidnapped and by happenstance, ends up injected with a drug that allows her brain to function at a higher percentage than imaginable.

Deb's Take:
I loved the concept of this movie.  That fact that we as humans use only up to 7-10% of our cerebral cortex is really quite unfathomable.  Also, the fact that we haven't learned, evolved, captured...the ability to use more of our brain is mind boggling.  This movie idea had so much potential.  Predicting what would happen if humans had the capability to tap into a higher brain potential is intriguing.  This movie did lay a different idea out there.  I got the concept, and was interested in the theory, I just feel like the movie wasn't great at it's presentation of the idea.  Hollywood kind of got in the way of this one for me.  The movie played a good spin on brain power, but I wish the action, gun fighting, drug dealers wasn't part of the movie.  I think Scarlett Johansson did well.  I liked her character, and I feel like she captured the personality that the story was setting.  I just didn't feel like the movie tied everything together well.  Morgan Freeman's role could have been much more played out, and I also feel like the movie sort of balked the ending.  Here's a nice little present with a bow...we are done here.  I just wasn't impressed, but I really wanted to be, so rent will give you something to speculate.

Deb's Rate: Rent It

Tiff's Take:
Yeah, I agree.  This movie had a lot of potential.  The concept could have turned into a great movie, like Inception, that really made you think about, well, thinking.  But it really fell short.  One issue with this kind of movie is that if it's not done right it can be really confusion and hard to wrap your, apparently, underutilized brain around.  This one had a little bit of that going on.  And it got a little too philosophical for my liking.  And not because I don't like philosophical but because it didn't fit well with the rest of the movie.  

The acting was okay for me.  I usually really like Scarlett Johansson and I think she did great with what she was supposed to portray but I guess I just didn't really like her character.  It was sort of uninteresting.  The French policeman was sort of a weird addition and Morgan Freeman was boring for me as well.  

What could have been a lot better movie was just sort of blah. 

Tiff's Rate: Rent It

Preview: Guardians of the Galaxy

2014: Week 29: When the Game Stands Tall

When the Game Stands Tall

Genre: Drama

Main Players:  Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig, Michael Chiklis, Laura Dern

General Gist:  True Story of De Le Salle High School football team and their journey from a 151 winning streak with coach Bob Ladouceur.

Deb's Take:
I love a good movie about high school football.  Of course it's even better if it's true.  This movie was amazing.  The movie didn't just follow the season of a high school team, but rather a coach and his endeavour to make high school football about something other than winning.  I was impressed with all of the actors, Jim Caviezel did good, all the actors that played the high school kids did wonderful.  I felt like I was watching the lives of real folks, (which is essence I was).  There was a good message, great connection of characters, and I liked that at the end we got to see some real footage of the team and coach.  All in all this was a winner for me.   This one doesn't come out in theatres until Aug. 22 so mark your calendar!

Deb's Rate: Opening Night

Tiff's Take:
Same goes for this sister.  Even though I'm not a really huge sports fanatic, I do love a good sports movie.  I love the inspiration and talent and competitiveness.  This one had a few more relationship elements rather than just a straight up sports angle which I liked.  I also loved that it was a true story.  Makes it that much more exciting.  The acting was great so not much to complain about there.  This would be a great one to take your hubby to.  

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: Lucy and Guardians of the Galaxy

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014: Week 28: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi

Main Players:  Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke

General Gist: 
Genetically evolved Apes come to war with the human race. 

Deb's Take:
I am not a Planet of the Apes Fan.  After seeing this movie, I still am not a fan.  I don't feel like I can really give anyone a good review of this movie, because quite frankly, I thought it was stupid.  I couldn't get past the fact that these Apes were "human" and have evolved to a point where they were equal to man.   I just didn't like it.  So, since I went with my son and husband I will give you their opinions, beause they are more fans than me.  My husband said it was ok, he thought it was too drawn out and sort of boring.  He did think the premise of this one was good, and didn't say it was aweful just not great.  My 13 year old son was a different story.  The whole way home he tried to convince me that I really DID like the movie, but that I just didn't understand it.  UM, no, but good try.  Anyway, he really liked it.  The actors did good, I didn't realize the Apes were actually played by people so that was something interesting.  All in all though, just can't give it kudos.  Although, the 30 year old male who was sitting to my left was obviously touched because he cried through the whole last scene,  like for real....

Deb's Rate:  Don't bother unless you are a fan of Planet of the Apes, if so I suppose a Matinee would do.

Preview: When the Game Stands Tall

Monday, July 14, 2014

2014: Week 27: Tammy


Genre: Comedy

Main Players:  Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon,

General Gist:  A woman loses her job, finds out her husband is cheating, and takes a road trip with her Grandma to run away from it all.

Tiff's Take:
I always look forward to Melissa McCarthy movies because let's face it, she's hilarious.  But time and time again her movies aren't really that great.  I had a feeling this one would be about the same.  Russ actually wanted to see this one because he loves nothing better than a good comedy.  Sadly, both of us were disappointed.  What is it about going to bad movies with Russ?  I swear he's never going to want to go with me again.       

So this one started off pretty funny and had a lot of laugh out loud moments.  But it sort of went downhill from there.  The serious parts just didn't do it for me and the funny parts didn't make up for it.  And although I like Susan Sarandon, I did not think she fit the grandma role.  I mean, at all.  The chemistry between the two just did not do it for me. Overall a bit bust in the casting department.  Actually, just a big bust overall.  My dad even fell asleep during part of it.   

Tiff's Rate: Rent It - only because I like Melissa McCarthy.  If it wasn't for her it would definitely be a Don't Bother.

Deb's Take: 
Melissa McCarthy has never really disappointed me in a movie.  She can always make me laugh.  I was looking for an easy going, comedy, no brainer this week, and with Tiff out of town I took the hubby.  (Little did I know Tiff was going to the same movie too!  We are so good.)  This movie had a little bit of everything.  There was romance, laughs, seriousness, relationships, and even a little action, (ok not much but some).  The movie wasn't anything in depth, it was just entertainment.  Susan Sarandon was good in this, she too doesn't disappoint often.  I liked how the movie took some serious issues, and made them important but not intense.  The whole story was a little off the rocker, but actually could have been real life to some.  If you are looking for some light entertainment, some laughs and a few touching moments this one is pretty good. I also liked that I could walk out of the theatre with some one liners...

Deb's Rate:  Matinee

Preview: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014: Week 26: Begin Again

Begin Again

Genre: Drama, 

Main Players:  Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine

General Gist:  A music executive down on his luck discovers a musician who is ready to leave the country after she is jilted by her pop star boyfriend.

Tiff's Take:
Oh boy.  Another movie with music.  This is becoming a common theme.  Going into this one, I didn't realize how much music was actually going to be in the movie.  If I had known I may have been less enthusiastic to go.  But I didn't and I was really looking forward to it.  

Even though Adam Levine, who is pretty darn mainstream, was in this, I wouldn't say this was a mainstream kind of movie.  I like that.  This movie was a tad on the quirky side.  Just a little.  And I like that as well.  It was based in NYC which I love.  It had interesting, unpredictable characters which is always refreshing.  I mostly love Keira Knightley in anything she's in a I like Mark Ruffalo as well.  They were both great in this.  Adam Levine was okay but honestly he didn't have a huge part so it was hard to say whether he was bad or good.  I can't say I'm a huge fan of Adam like my dear sister so he was just sort of neutral for me.  Actually, his character was on the annoying side but I think that was intentional.      

Despite all the singing (which if I'm being honest, I liked in this one), I really enjoyed the characters and the less conventional story.  It seems like the bad movie streak has finally ended.

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Deb's Take: 
I love movies with music.  This one was different because it wasn't a musical per se, it was more a movie, about music with music.  Totally different but perfectly conducted.  

Adam Lavine's movie debut, that in itself was enough for me.  He is quite a man, not to mention I like his music A LOT.   Ok, that being said, Adam was amazingly good in this movie.  Maybe because he is a singer/star playing one was pretty much like being himself, but he was extremely natural and never once did I feel like he was struggling to pull off the acting gig.  This was especially important because he was playing opposite Kiera, who was phenomenal.  Ok, her singing was decent, by no means was I floored, but the music fit her.   Mark Ruffalo did great as well.  Really not one person was disappointing in this movie.  The chemistry between all the characters was spot on.  

This movie had everything I love, relationships with deep meaning, conflict, heart, emotion, heartbreak, get it.  I pretty much just melted into my seat and got lost in the story.  I liked that it wasn't a cookie cutter story, I loved the music, and I appreciated the emotions.  What a great film.   I will be going again!  Something I rarely do.  

Deb's Rate:  Opening Night

Preview: Travel might get in the way of both of us being able to go to the movie next week.  But you never know.  We have a way of making it work.  We shall see.

2014: Week 25: How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Genre: Animation

Main Players: Voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett and Jonah Hill 

General Gist: The Train Your Dragon sequel where Hiccup and his crew take on an evil dragon collector to keep the peace between humans and dragons.

Tiff's Take:
For this week only one sister was able to make it.  It does happen occasionally believe it or not.  When it happens usually the kids luck out because who else am I going to go to the movies with?!

I took both my kids to this movie.  My 9 and 6 year old.  My 9 year old was much more interested in seeing this but the 6 year old will never miss an opportunity to go to a movie and get popcorn and treats.  

I enjoyed the first one so I thought this would be equally as good.  And it was.  There was a lot of action and it was fast paced which is always good for kids.  And both my kids enjoyed it.  My 9 year old probably liked it better and I think it was a little more appropriate for him as well.  I wouldn't say that this movie was really on the violent side but it definitely had some more serious subjects that were a little too heavy for younger kids.  Empathy is not really a strong attribute of my 6 year old but there was a point where she thought the movie was sad.  If you do have kids that are sensitive to emotions then you might want to think about whether you should take them to this.  

But for me and my kids it was a hit that we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview:  Pre-Screening of Begin Again with Adam Levine and Keira Knightley

2014: Week 24: Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys

Genre: Drama, Musical, Biography

Main Players: Vincent Piazza, John Lloyd Young, Michael Lomenda, Erich Bergen

General Gist: The story of the 4 young men who formed the 1960's group The Four Seasons

Deb's Take: 
I was fortunate to see this show as a stage play last year.  I am a lover of musicals, drama, and biographies, so this was a no brainer.  I think the downfall was that I DID see the stage performance so I found myself comparing the two frequently.

First off, the story of The Four Seasons is intriguing.  I have always been fascinated with how people become stars.  I am even more fascinated when they become stars through their own work and sweat.  The movie did a wonderful job of expressing the relationships between the characters and leaving a feeling like you really knew what each character was about.  I liked the heart and soul of the movie, the drama and the story.

Secondly, I did feel like the actors did an amazing job.  Not one actor seemed out of place or misrepresenting.  I was impressed with the singing, (although not as impressed as I was with the stage performance).  I loved the music, a good movie must have good music...period.

Lastly, I felt like the movie was simply me watching four friends' lives unfold and play out.  I was lost in the movie, which is always a plus for me.  Definitely a movie worth seeing.

Deb's Rate:  Friday Night

Tiff's Take:
It's not a big secret that I'm not a huge fan of musicals or a movie that is heavy with music.  It's a little odd to say that because it's not like I don't like music in my life.  I do.  A lot.  But the acting/music combo is just a little boring to me.

This wasn't a musical so much as music in a movie.  So I didn't mind it.  It also helped that I really like music from the 60's.  The story itself was pretty fascinating too.  Although when I watch movies that have any sort of mob connection it always makes me nervous.  Does it for you?  Am I just weird that way?  I always worry someone is going to make the wrong move and get themselves killed.  

So the actors were good and talented and all that but honestly none of them really stood out to me.  And even though the story was fascinating, the movie was a bit too long.  I felt like it dragged out a little too much.  In the end, I would say I liked the movie but didn't love it.

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

Preview:  Kids movie coming up.  How to Train Your Dragon 2.

2014: Week 23: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

Genre: Romantic Drama

Main Players: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern

General Gist: A 16 year old with cancer meets a fellow cancer survivor at a support group and a relationship ensues even with an unpredictable future.

Tiff's Take: 
You all know I am a huge fan of the book to movie phenomenon.  I get pretty excited about seeing a movie when I've read the book.  Especially when it's a book I loved.  And I loved this book.  I'm also pretty forgiving when the movie doesn't quite live up to the book.  Which is most of the time but I still enjoy the excitement leading up to going to the movie.

I thought this movie was a really good adaptation of the book.  Of course there were things that were left out but overall it really stuck to the book.  I thought the casting was great too.  Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort were perfect in their roles.  Like the book, it was funny and sad at the same time.  There was lots of crying in the theater.  And a lot of mothers with their tween/teen daughters.  I think the only guys that were there were coerced by their girlfriends to go.

If you liked the book I think you will like the movie too.  If you didn't read the book and think you will like the movie.  Basically, you will like this movie.  I loved it.    

Tiff's Rate: Opening Night

Deb's Take: 
Like Tiff, I enjoy a book to movie film.  I do have my qualms as I have never seen a movie that was better than a book, I mean really, that isn't possible.  That being said, some movies just do it better than others when it comes to depicting the book.  This movie was one of them.  I had just finished this book a couple days before I saw the movie, which always is a little bit of a risk as the details are so fresh in my head and I HATE missing out on details, even though I know a movie can never really get it all, I am still always just a little disappointed.  This book seemed perfect though.  The detail in the book seemed doable for a movie.  There wasn't so much inner character dialogue that got lost, and this movie actually shared some of that dialogue along the way.  Kudos!    I am often disappointed in the choice of actors to play certain parts.  I was not disappointed this time.  The actors did so well.  I felt like Shailene was great,  and Ansel was a charmer.   I didn't feel like the actors overplayed their parts and they all seemed natural, which I too like.

I can't give this movie an Opening Night however, I do feel like there was some lacking of emotion and deep connection that I got between the two main characters in the book, and didn't get in the movie.  Probably not the fault of the movie/directors but rather just a side effect of making a movie from a book.   I will say that this movie was probably one of the best book to film movies I have watched and if you liked the book, you will enjoy the movie as well.

Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Preview:  Pre-Screening of "Jersey Boys"

Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014: Week 22: Maleficent


Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Family

Main Players: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Sharlto Copley

General Gist: A twist on Sleeping Beauty, from a totally different point of view.

Deb's Take:
I'm a sucker for fairy tales.  I think 2 years ago a handful of fairy tales told from a different point of view flooded the screen.  I liked them, so I figured I would like this one too. 

I have never been a real big fan of Angelina Jolie and her acting abilities.  Whenever I watch her I always just get more of a feeling that she is a presence more than an actor.  She doesn't have many lines in the movies I watch her in.  I was a little nervous she might ruin this one for me.  Luckily, her role required more of a "presence" and not much talking, so she fit it perfectly.  I was impressed with the makeup work on her (or digital work as it may be).  I liked how this played on the fantasy, and told a pretty good back story.  I liked Sam Riley's character, and felt like he was Angelina's other side.  Almost like he had the words she didn't.  Elle Fanning was very princess like.  This movie was quite enjoyable.   I'm not sure how younger kids would do with it however.  I know it's a Disney movie, but a few parts may be on the scary side for those 5 year olds, but all in all it had all the things a good Disney movie needs.

Deb's Rate: Matinee

Tiff's Take:
I too have been enjoying the twists on the old fairy tale classics.  This one had an interesting point of view.  Obviously more depth to it then the original Sleeping Beauty.

I don't necessarily love Angelina Jolie but I don't really dislike her either so I didn't go into this one with as much skepticism as Deb.  And I wasn't really surprised at how well the role fit Jolie.  The other actors were good and got the job done.  Overall, it was a good movie but not sure what demographics it was trying to pull in.  I thought about taking my 6 year old but glad I didn't.  I'm not sure it was "young" enough for her.  And my 9 year old didn't have any interest in seeing it although he probably would have liked it better then he thought.  (Not too princessy)  But as a thirty something women who likes fairy tales it was worth watching.

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

Preview: We both finished the book "The Fault in Our Stars" so we took our posse (ok two others who also finished the book and a few more who didn't read it) with us!

2014: Week 21: X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Main Players: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence (and a whole crew of others)

General Gist: Wolverine travels to the past to try and change the fate of humans and mutants.

Deb's Take: 
I think I have mentioned recently that I haven't always been a big "superhero" movie fan.  Over the last year or so Tiff and I have been to a lot of these movies.  The Marvel/Superhero genre has been on a big upswing, or so it seems.  I have found myself much more inclined to going and more impressed with what I see.  I will always be a drama, romantic girl at heart, but I have an open mind and find these movies quite entertaining as well.  As far as X-men, I was introduced to these characters about 20 years ago.  There was a Saturday morning cartoon that came on and my husband always got up to watch it..(even before kids!)  I took an interest and was intrigued. 

I liked this one!  There was a different twist.  This one had a lot of Hugh Jackman, and he's a fine man to see a lot of.  The movie kept my attention with all the action, and the characters played their parts well.  James McAvoy was impressive in his role.  I liked all the actors quite honestly.  It's a superhero movie so the ending is pretty predictable, but after two weeks of boredom this movie hit the spot. 

Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Tiff's Take:
I never make going to X-Men movies a priority but I'm not sure why.  I've seen enough of them so far to realize that I thoroughly enjoy them.  I don't think there's been one I haven't liked.  This one was no exception. 

Hugh Jackman does an amazing job as Wolverine and I'm always majorly impressed with how he can bulk up for this role.  I know he's not super old but he's no young buck either. The fact that he can get so ripped is, well, impressive.  And easy on the eyes. 

I am a huge fan of Jennifer Lawrence so she can really do no wrong in my eye.  I liked her as Mystique.  Like Deb, I liked all the actors.  They all were great in their roles and this movie was entertaining in every way.  Can't go wrong with an X-Men movie.  One of these days I'll remember that.

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: Maleficent

Monday, May 26, 2014

Horrible Movie Giveaway Winner

And the winner is .....


Let me know what pop (or other drink) you would prefer in your package and I'll get it sent out ASAP.

Thanks for those who played and let's hope no more horrible movies in the near future!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Horrible Movie Giveaway

Ok, since we have had a small rash of horrible movies with only a few good ones thrown in, we are going to do a Horrible Movie Giveaway.  Hopefully this giveaway will bring us good luck and better movies to get our summer off to a great start.  So, this is a simple one...tell us the most horrible movie you ever saw.  You can comment here on the blog or on facebook..either one gets you an entry into the Horrible Movie Giveaway.  Here's the prize

Movie Snacks:
Peanut M&M's (Deb's favorite)
Junior Mints (Tiff's favorite)
Popcorn (both equally enjoy)
Sweet Tarts
Soda (your choice)

Money for a movie:
$20--Cold, hard cash for a movie out or a movie in...or maybe just more snacks.   But hopefully it won't be Horrible. (and just as a head's up, Alexandar and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is coming soon...maybe you could go see that!!)

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2014: Week 20: Moms' Night Out

Moms' Night Out

Genre: Comedy

Main Players: Sarah Drew, Sean Austin, Patricia Heaton, Logan White

General Gist:  Three moms attempt to enjoy a much needed night out.

Deb's Take:  

I have really been wanting to see a good comedy.  I was so disappointed last week with Neighbors that I didn't think I could go wrong this week. Well, this movie was not as stupid, but it was pretty boring.  I liked the premise, and as a mom thought for sure the humor would be relatable.  It wasn't AT ALL.  I think where the movie went all wrong for me, was it's discombobulation of scenes.  The beginning made me think of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" with screen pop ups and self narration, then it jumped to a scene from "Footloose" with the church mom's meeting, and finally "Adventures in Babysitting" with a mad dash around the city looking for people and places and everything just falling apart.  The whole story was pretty unbelievable, and more importantly I wasn't really sold on the message that was sent.  YES, I am a mother and know that my kids are wonderful, are the best thing that could have ever happened to me, and I love them to death...but a night out is a good thing, and deciding to have a night out will not be a mess OR place you in the category of loser mom. 

As far as the acting, mediocre at best.  I wasn't impressed with anyone, and I was quite bored at one point.  So bored I got up and went to the bathroom just to "step out" for a few minutes.  Now that is sad, because I never step out of a movie unless I am on the verge of bladder overload and explosion. I think the most exciting part of the movie was the little battle going on between the audience members over some unnecessary noise levels.  Pretty sad movie night...

Deb's Rate: Rent it leaning on Don't bother

Tiff's Take:
Ugh!  This movie was just awful.  I thought Neighbors was bad but this one totally beat it out.  In the worst possible way.  It was supposed to be a comedy but I literally didn't laugh at any of it.  I mean at all.  Other than being completely boring, it had a horrible message.  At least in my eyes, and I guess Deb's too.  So is the message really supposed to be that if you're frustrated with motherhood and try to get a one night break you'll be punished by not only having a bad time where everything goes wrong but that you'll realize you should have never stepped outside your house away from your kids?  Really?  I was almost offended by it.  And I'm never offended by anything.

Aside from the awful writing, the characters were oddly mixed and had no chemistry in any way.  Really bad choice all around.      

Tiff's Rate: A big Don't Bother for me.
Preview: Hopefully something worth watching!

2014: Week 19: Neighbors


Genre: Comedy

Main Players: Zac Efron, Seth Rogan, Rose Byrne

General Gist:  A frat house goes up in a residential neighborhood and the neighbors work to keep things under control.

Deb's Take:  
This movie felt like it was tailored for a 18 to 23 year old crowd. At first I thought maybe I was just getting old, but then I talked to Tiff...she thought maybe she was getting old, then we decided we aren't old, this was just young, stupid, mildly disturbing, comedy.  I actually don't think even as an 18 to 23 year old I would have liked it.  The idea seemed like it could have been funny, but it wasn't.  I was disappointed because I like Seth Rogan and Zac Efron most of the time.  The humor just seemed more stupid than funny.  I suppose there was a few places that made me laugh, I'm not THAT old, but I just didn't get the hype from this one.  Not a lot of substance.  I wouldn't even bother with this one.

Deb's Rate: Don't bother

Tiff's Take:
Yeah, like Deb said, I thought maybe I've reached that age where young, crude humor is lost on me.  Does it happen in your mid 30's?  Man, I hope not.  This movie sort of reminded me of an updated version of Old School.  Do you remember that one?  With Will Ferrell?  That was funny.  This was not.  It just didn't work at all.  I didn't think any of it was overly funny and some of the story just didn't make sense.  Seth Rogan wasn't very funny and Zac Efron seemed sort of creepy.  My husband really wanted to see this one (I think hoping it would be like Old School) but I don't think even he would have liked it.  I'd be curious to know what a younger crowd thought.  Who knows.  Maybe I am just getting too old.   

Tiff's Rate: Rent It
Preview: Moms' Night Out (Hint: Not much better than this one.  Maybe worse.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014: Week 18: Draft Day

Draft Day

Genre:  Drama, Sports

Main Players:  Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Patrick St. Esprit, Chadwick Boseman

General Gist:  A NFL general manager, on Draft Day, must make several decisions to rebuild his team, while taking into consideration several outside influences.

Tiff's Take:
I feel really bad that I went to this movie without Russ.  He really wanted to see it and I know he would have liked it.  And he would have appreciated and understood it a lot better than me.  I think a lot of the little details of the actual draft day were lost on me.  Obviously.  

So even though I'm a football idiot and basically know nothing about what goes on behind the scenes (or in front of my face) I still really enjoyed this movie.  It was fascinating.  It almost made me want to watch the draft.  Ha!  Okay, not really but it made me appreciate the process.  

Kevin Costner was really good in this.  I didn't quite believe the relationship between him and Jennifer though.  I really liked her in this but the relationship aspect seemed a little forced and could have almost been left out of the story altogether.  But other than that this was a great date movie that your man is sure to enjoy.

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Deb's Take:  
Brian went to this movie with us, and I was happy he was sitting next to me, because like Tiff, I didn't know the details of an actual draft day, and Brian was so kind as to answer my questions during the movie.  Which is HUGE, because I am a big believer in not talking during a movie but I broke my own rule so I could follow the whole process with more knowledge.  I enjoyed the movie much more knowing what was going on.  It's really not too suprising that I like the movie, because it's a sports movie and I can't think of a sports movie I haven't enjoyed.  I am with Tiff on this one..the love story side could have just been left off the table.  Maybe the writer's were trying to cater some to the female audience with that storyline, but really it was unnecessary.  I liked the idea of his personal assistant having so much knowledge about football, but wish there would have just been a "female in the male world" spin and no romance at all.  I absolutely loved Kevin Costner in this.  Although, like sports movies, I have a hard time thinking of a Kevin Costner movie I didn't like.  He is still so good at his job!  Yep, this one was a winner for Friday night.   

Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: Neighbors

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014: Week 17: The Other Woman

The Other Woman

Genre:  Romantic Comedy

Main Players:  Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

General Gist:  A wife finds that her husband is having an affair and soon befriends his lover, only to find there is another lover.  The three woman plot to beat him at his own game.

Deb's Take:   
I like Leslie Mann a lot.  She's quirky, and odd and funny to me.  She makes me laugh and I enjoy watching her act.  I tend to not be a fan of Cameron Diaz.  I'm not sure why, but she just has never been impressive to me.  That being said, this movie was just okay for me.  I thought it was funny, in parts, but I think the story was weak.  The movie didn't have a lot of deep connections, the friendships were surface, at best, and the whole "must get revenge" was sort of out there.  By the end of the movie I think the writer was grasping for straws. I think it sort of fell apart and was just thrown together for closure.  Also, the movie wasn't really what I would call a "romantic" comedy.  It made me laugh, but didn't hold a lot of substance.   It wasn't awful, but I think watching it at home with a glass of wine and your BFF would be fine.

Deb's Rate:  Rent it 

Tiff's Take: 

I guess I'm just a tad bit more forgiving with this one then Deb.  Although not by much.  I like Leslie Mann too.  She's really funny and she made me laugh a lot in this movie.  I generally do like Cameron Diaz but in this she was just okay.  I haven't seen her in a movie in a while it seems.  She seems more harsh in her features than she used to be.  I guess that's not necessarily bad but she seems a little different as an actress.  Not sure it makes me like her better though.  So back to the movie.  There were some really funny parts but it was a little out there.  And yes, it seemed to lose track along the way.  But generally the chemistry between the actresses were good.  I have to say though I wasn't very impressed at all with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.  Especially with the funnier parts.  He didn't work well for me at all.

So just okay.  Some funny parts but not quite all there.
Tiff's Rate: Matinee

Preview:  Draft Day

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014: Week 16: Heaven Is for Real

Heaven is for Real

Genre: Drama

Main Players:  Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum

General Gist:  The story of a 4 year old who goes to Heaven as told by his father.  Based on a true story.

Tiff's Take: 
So, I didn't read this book.  To be honest it just didn't seem like my cup of tea.  I'm very open minded about spiritual experiences and such but for some reason I wasn't horribly interested in reading this book.  I thought the movie would give me a good snippet about what the hype was all about and I could call it a day.

Well, I think I would have been better off just reading the book and calling it a day.  I'm sure the movie did not do the book justice in the least.  I wasn't invested in this story at all.  I didn't really feel the emotions that some people might get from watching this.  There was a decent amount of people who clapped when this movie was over.  It obviously moved some people.  Not this girl.  I was actually bored towards the end.  I believe this was an amazing story for the people involved.  But the movie just left me feeling uninspired.  

Tiff's Rate: Don't Bother

Deb's Take:  
Hmm.. This movie was disappointing to me.  I was expecting big, Big, BIG things from this.  I am a very spiritual person.  I believe in the power of miracles, visions, Angels, a greater being and spiritual experiences.  I enjoy hearing people's encounters with things not normal.  I expected whole heartedly to come out of this movie with a sense of peace, and connection.  I did not.  I felt like half of this movie was a sermon.  I felt some sort of lesson was trying to be pushed through the cracks, but in the end got stuck.  Spiritual encounters are meant to be powerful, life changing and awesome.  I believe that this story is all of those things, but the movie deflated the experience.   I felt the acting was good, but the writing and directing was not.  Connor Corum did great!  I also liked Greg Kinnear.  Kelly Reilly was lacking, and sort of annoying, as were many of the supporting roles. The story is amazing, but stick to the book because I feel like the movie ruined it. 

Deb's Rate:  Don't bother, just read the book.

Preview: Pre-screening of  "The Other Woman"

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014: Week 15: Non-Stop


Genre: Action

Main Players: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Lupita Nyong'o

General Gist: A flight is hijacked by an unknown passenger by texting an air marshall demanding $150 million be sent to their account.

Tiff's Take: 
This was just sort of your classic, action movie.  I felt like I was decently tensed up the whole time but there wasn't anything that left an impression on me.  Liam Neeson just hasn't been super convincing to me in these action roles he's had lately.  He seems a little old for what he's doing and not overly impressive.  Or maybe it's that the movies are overly impressive and he's not adding a lot of value.  The other actors were okay too but I think the movie was just a bit average to think anyone was exceptional.  I don't know.  This was okay.  Not bad, not great.  Not an action movie I would ever need to see again but didn't hate it.

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

Deb's Take:  
I'm noticing that Liam Neeson seems to be doing the same kind of movies lately.  The action, save the day, race against time kind of movie.    His roles are becoming pretty predictable.  Then of course, lots of action movies are pretty predictable in general.  That makes me wonder what makes this movie better or worse than any other.  Well, it was better in that even though the whole movie pretty much took place on a plane, there was still enough scene changes to keep my interest.  It was better because I didn't figure out who the bad guy was until revealed( something  I usually figure out quickly) and the actors were decent.  The movie was worse in that there was a predictability about it that made it less exciting, also,  there's only so much that can happen on a plane.  I still can say it was better than some but not exceptional.  Kind of a no brainer, but better on the big screen I'm sure!

Deb's Rate: Matinee

Preview:  Heaven is for Real review.  Have you seen it?

Friday, April 18, 2014

2014: Week 14: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Genre: Action, Adventure

Main Players: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson, Robert Redford

General Gist: The second movie in the Captain America Saga

Deb's Take: 
I started out this adventure a few years ago, and am surprised at the changes in my taste of movies.  I never was a big "super hero" fan, however, since the whole Marvel productions have been sweeping out theatres over the last few years I am becoming a bigger fan.

I really enjoyed this movie.  I liked the chemistry between Johansson and Evans.  The role of Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie was a great addition.  I liked seeing Robert Redford, 78 years old and still a badass.  This movie had a lot of action, a little humor, great stunts and graphics.  If you are a super hero fan this one should keep you extremely entertained and happy. 

Short and to the point!  If you like superhero movies, it's a go!

Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Tiff's Take:
I feel the same way as Deb.  I never have really wanted to see a super hero movie.  It's never been on the top of my list.  But these days?  You bet I'll go to one.  I've really enjoyed all the Marvel movies.  I'll admit that the first Captain America wasn't my favorite.  I've always been more of a Thor girl.  This one though was great.  It was better than the first and that's a hard thing to do.

I also like the chemistry between Johansson and Evans.  The actors were all good.  I just really enjoyed this one.  Not much else to say.

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview:  Have a couple more reviews coming..a bonus and Week 15

Thursday, April 17, 2014

2014: Bonus Review: Noah


Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure

Main Players: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth

General Gist:  The title is pretty self explanatory.  However, this "based" not an actual replication.

Deb's Take:   This movie was quite a different experience than I expected.  Obviously, there is a book that the story is based on...I haven't read the book,  but I have heard the story over and over again in my life.  I think there was controversy over how this story was told.  Here is my take.  Noah is a bible story, we all have the basic idea and beliefs of what happened.  Hollywood decided to tell the story with a different spin.  That is what movies do, tell stories in a new way.  I don't think anyone said the movie was a "true recollection of specific actions".  I went into the movie really having no idea what I would truly see.

The movie was done in a Sci-Fi sort of way.  Some crazy creatures were formed, some pretty evil people were portrayed, and it was all done with Hollywood flare.  I was actually quite impressed with the casting, some pretty big names.  I also thought the acting was good.  I found some enjoyment  seeing this story told with a new spin.  I didn't feel the movie was being disrespectful to Christianity, I wasn't turned off by the approach.  That being said, I'm not a huge Sci-Fi sort of gal, so all in all the movie wasn't something that impressed me.  I felt like it got a little long, it was lacking meaningful relationships, and the bottom line lessons were not touching, like I feel they could have been.

If you are going to see the story of "Noah" as represented in the bible, you may want to reconsider, or at least don't get offended, because that's not what you'll see.

Deb's Rate: Rent It

Preview: Two more reviews to post!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014: Week 13 1/2: 3 Days to Kill

3 Days to Kill

Genre: Action, Drama

Main Players: Kevin Costner, Hallie Steinfeld, Amber Heard

General Gist: A dying CIA agent is offered an experimental drug to save his life, in exchange for one last assignment

Deb's Take:  This movie actually has a little "spin" in the title.  This movie has two separate story lines going on at the same time.  In one story line, Kevin Costner is reconnecting with his teenage daughter, Haillie Steinfeld, while her mother is out of town for 3 days...Hence, they have "3 days to kill." In the second story line, Kevin Costner is paired with Amber Heard in an attempt to save his life from cancer, and he has 3 days to kill...literally, the bad guys.  Ok, so the second story line is much more complicated then that, but all in all that's the general idea.

I went to this movie with my high school BFF as Tiff and I were 1600 miles away from each other for the week. We both agreed that the storyline with his daughter was a little unnecessary.  There were some moments that could have been intermingled, but sometimes the whole idea was a little overkilled.  The movie had a lot of unnecessary scenes, that really didn't play into the whole movie itself.  There was a lot of action, fast driving, shooting, and bad guys, but all in all I wasn't really impressed with the story lines.  Kevin Costner is still a great actor, and Amber Heard was decent but this movie just didn't really hit the spot for me.

Deb's Rate: Rent It

Preview: Just catching up on all our reviews. A few more to come.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

2014: Week 13: Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted

Genre: Comedy, Adventure

Main Players: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey and of course Kermit and Piggy and all. 

General Gist: The Muppets decide to go back on tour and get caught up with the wrong tour manager while Kermit is mistaken for a "bad" frog.

Tiff's Take:
I want to start with letting you know that the Muppets aren't my thing.  They have never been my thing.  Even when I was younger.  Originally I was going to let my husband take my kids to this because it looked too unappealing to me and because he actually likes them.  But it just so turned out that I found myself with a weekend alone with my kids and nothing to do.  So The Muppets it was.  Ugh.

One thing that saved me with this movie was the funny actors in it.  At least I hoped.  They weren't as funny as they should have been.  So I guess they didn't really make it that much better.  Honestly, I don't really have a lot to say about this movie.  I didn't find it all that funny or entertaining and I almost fell asleep at one point.  My kids seemed to enjoy it enough but even they didn't think it was exceptional.  My 5 year old asked how much longer after only about 45 minutes in.

Unless you're a fan of the Muppets, I wouldn't bother seeing this unless your kids make you.

Tiff's Rate: Rent It

Preview: Just catching up on all our reviews.  A few more to come.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014: Week 12: Divergent


Genre: Action, Adventure

Main Players: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Miles Teller, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort

General Gist: A futuristic Chicago is divided up into five factions.  Every 16 year old has to decide what faction they belong in.  One girl realizes she doesn't fit into just one faction and has to figure out what that means.

Tiff's Take:
Such a highly anticipated movie!  I love these kinds.  Reading all three books in the series within about 9 days helps a little with the anticipation.  I felt a little bit like a teenage girl waiting for this one.

Let's start out with, of course the book is better.  That's a given like 99.9% of the time.  But obviously some do it better than others.  This one was on the better side of it.  It wasn't perfect but it was good.  The main reason I thought it was so good was the casting.  Maybe not everyone physically looked exactly how I envisioned the characters in my head but they all played the part so well.  It seemed like the actors really got the characters.  Shailene Woodley and Theo James played the parts of Tris and Four fantastically.  I was worried that Shailene wouldn't seem weak enough to play Tris but she really nailed it.  And Theo James. *swoon*  I felt like there was a lot of hype from the teenage girls about him.  Boy am I on that bandwagon.  Not only is he easy to look at but he really took on the Four persona.      

Was it perfect?  No.  Did it leave you a little disappointed after reading the book?  What movie doesn't.  Am I still thinking about it?  Yes.  Do I want to see it a second time?  Is it wrong if I say I do?  I think not.

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Deb's Take:
I didn't read all three books in the series like my dear sister (I did read the first one in a day or two though).  How can you not look forward to a movie that was a book?   It's all about bringing the characters to life.  Movies like this are about the anticipation, the energy in the theatre as everyone waits to SEE what they have only imagined.  The whole experience is just fun.

I will agree with Tiff, the book is always better.  A book allows you to see in the brain of the characters, allows you to know their thoughts,  not really possible in a movie.  So..yes the book was much, much MUCH better.  So, let's take the book out of it.  The movie was good.  I believe the casting of Tris and Four were good.  I didn't like Eric and Christina so well..Peter was right on.  I think where the movie was lacking was the whole romance between Four and Tris.  I just didn't get that "first love" passion.  They had good chemistry, but the movie didn't play on that.  I also was unimpressed with the relationship between Tris and her parents.  I felt it was to surface.   I guess when I think about it, none of the relationships were very impressive, and unfortunately that's what makes a good movie for me. 

I'm a little less forgiving with this one.  I think it could have been better, I think the directors got a little lazy and let the book do the talking.  Can't wait to read the next two books though!

Deb's Rate: Matinee

Preview:  One of us is traveling this week so we might have to go to different movies.  
(or maybe two sisters will become one sister and a brother for a twist.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

2014: Week 11: 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave

Genre: Drama, Biography

Main Players: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Brat Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch

General Gist: Set in pre-civil war America, a free black man is tricked into traveling south into DC and then abducted and sold as a slave.  Based on a true story. 

Tiff's Take:
This was a slow week for movies so we decided to see this one since we didn't get to see it last year.  And I always like to see Oscar ones I missed.

Let me say, this was so well acted and done.  I can definitely see why it won Oscars.  However, that being said, it was so difficult to watch.  How can people continue to move forward when their situation is so bad?  It's really hard seeing people literally and figuratively beaten down over and over.    Obviously not a high point in our country's history.  But this man's story is horrific and amazing all at the same time.  And Lupita Nyong'o who played Patsey definitely earned her Oscar.

If you haven't seen this yet it is definitely worth seeing but it's not an easy one to sit through.  It won't be one that you can watch over and over.  One time is enough for me.

Tiff's Rate: Opening Night

Deb's Take:
If you want a movie that will evoke emotions from deep in the pit of your stomach this is the one to see.  Like Tiff said, its horrific and amazing. Worth every award it received.  I can't even imagine living through what these people endured.  There is something to be said for the ability for a human being to carry on. 

This movie was best because I didn't know many of the actors.  I like when movies don't pull in the known people, a sense of authenticity is created when the actors seem more like people than stars.  Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o were beyond amazing.  I think if I had to live those parts, in any way, shape or form, I would vomit daily.  That's what this movie made me feel like, it was so sickening to see what these people had to endure I wanted to throw up. Piggybacking on my "history lesson" post of The Monuments Men, I will say this kind of history lesson hurts the heart. 

This movie was all emotion, intensity and passion.  The movie will break your soul, cause you to question humankind and possibly fill you with hatred... but it will also make you passionate about life, hunger for compassion and burst with love.  Now that folks, is a good movie!

Deb's Rate: Opening Night

Preview: Divergent of course.   

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014: Bonus: Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Genre: Animation

Main Players: Voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter

General Gist: Time travel at it's best with an genius dog and his adopted human son.

Tiff's Take:
I really didn't know much going into this movie.  I knew my son (9) wanted to see it but that's it.  Actually the one or two previews I saw didn't make it seem very interesting.  I wasn't expecting to like it all that much.  I was pleasantly surprised.

It's basically about this genius dog who has accomplished all this great stuff in life then decides to adopt a human son.  He takes that son on time traveling journeys to teach him about history.  Let me tell you, this movie was right up my son's alley.  It was perfect for him.  And it was really interesting for adults too.  It didn't have a lot of action and it didn't have a lot of kids humor but it really worked. At least for me and my son.

To give you another daughter (almost 6) did seem to enjoy it but I think I've mentioned before that she enjoys the process of going to movies more than anything.  Afterwards she said it was a little boring but good.  She doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings after all.  So I can definitely see how this movie wouldn't be a great fit for all kids especially younger ones.  But for me and my boy it was a hit.

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: 12 Years a Slave review up next.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2014: Week 10: The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men

Genre: Drama, Biography

Main Players: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban

General Gist: A group of unlikely men seek out stolen art during WWII in hopes of saving what the Nazi's are trying to destroy.  Based on a true story.

Tiff's Take:
There's nothing better than a good George Clooney/Matt Damon movie.  They have such great chemistry together.  Paired with a good movie and they are fantastic.  I was hoping that this would be one of those movies but I was slightly disappointed.

All the actors did well and George and Matt were their normal wonderful selves but the movie itself was a little slow.  I'm not sure if it was the screenplay or what but it didn't feel like it had much direction.  It was also missing some pizazz or emotion or something.  Things happened too matter of factly that you almost didn't care if something happened to one of the characters.  And it was sort of easy to forget that they were plopped down in the middle of a war.  There wasn't a sense of urgency or level of intensity.

Aside from that though, it was really interesting.  (Slow and interesting at the same time?  A little bit of an oxymoron.)  The idea of what these men were trying to do was really fascinating.  This is something you don't often hear about when you learn about WWII.  For that, I enjoyed it.  But if it wasn't such an interesting topic with phenomenal actors then I don't think this movie would have really gone anywhere at all.

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

Deb's Take:
I disliked history growing up.  I didn't like my history classes, I was often bored with the facts and because of that I know very little about history, (to a fault).  In the last few years I have grown to love history because I began studying it in a more interesting way.  I like the stories behind the history.  The meat and potatoes.  My husband says I had the wrong teachers.  I think so.  Now, I know this movie is hyped up on Hollywood, but what I liked about it was that it taught me some history I didn't know.  The story was so fascinating to me.  World War II and the doings of Hitler are so intriguing.  SAD..but intriguing. 

I agree with Tiff that this movie wasn't so much about he actors.  They all did good, and I know the group of them was more of some of the "top" players, but really, the story had me engrossed more than the actors.  They did a good job, but I wouldn't say they were what made the movie, the story itself made the movie.  The movie would have been good to me no matter who played the parts.  I wasn't as underwhelmed as Tiff in this one, I don't remember feeling like the movie was slow, but I agree there wasn't much emotion or intensity.  I don't know how close to the real story this movie came, but I enjoyed learning something I didn't know before.  Although this wasn't a huge winner for me, I can't say it was a loser.

Deb's Rate: Matinee

Preview: We finally got to see 12 Years a Slave and a bonus movie with the kids.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Divergent Giveaway Winner

Thanks for everyone who entered our giveaway.  I know I have been getting little sleep since I started reading the books.  I hope the movie is just as good.  

The winner of our giveaway is...


We'll be in contact with you and thanks for playing along!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Divergent Giveaway

In honor of the (older) sister's birthday today (Happy Birthday Deb!) and because you guys were kind enough to give us 100 likes on Facebook (it's the small things that make us happy), we want to do a little giveaway.  

We here love movies and books so we love doing giveaways that involve them both.  I'm getting ready to start reading Divergent.  I saw the preview for the movie and it seemed like it would be an interesting book.  I thought I would try to read it before the movie comes out which is March 21st.  And I thought it would be a perfect book to giveaway!  Let's throw in a Fandango gift card too!  That way you can go see the movie after you read the book.

Here's the trailer.  

Looks pretty good huh?

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post.  That's it.  We like hearing what you have to say.  And it's sort of nice to know that people are actually reading are blog. :)  (There is someone out there reading this right?)

So, comment on this post about anything (just say hi if you want) and you could win a copy of the book Divergent and a $15 gift card to Fandango.  Make sure you leave your name or email so we can get a hold of you if you win. 

If you're having trouble commenting on this post just let us know on our Facebook page and we'll make sure you get entered!

We'll announce the winner this weekend before our next review.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014: Week 9: That Awkward Moment

That Awkward Moment

Genre:  Romantic Comedy

Main Players: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis

General Gist: Three best friends and their dilemmas with relationships.

Deb's Take:
I needed this movie this week.  I needed to laugh and pretty much sink into a chicky flicky kind of mode.  The thing about this movie is that is wasn't necessarily a chick flick, it was about three college guy friends.  There is very little that is chick flicky about three guys.  However, this movie was about relationships, and love, and sex, and friendship and MY perfect combination of romance, comedy and seriousness.  Now by no means is this movie an Oscar type of show.  There is no deeper meaning, no hidden messages, just flat out relationship craziness.  In all actuality it's the "fairytale" portrayal that I liked.  Chase the girl, lose the girl, get the girl (although not completely).  The better part though is it cracked me up.  There was a scene that made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants. It was crude, but I guess my humor runs a little on the dirty side at times.  I will never think of the word "cocktail" in quite the same way.

Now about the actors,  yes I am 42 but I still think Zac Efron is nice to look at.  Also, the chemistry between the three guy actors was so natural.  Not sure if they are really friends but they seemed pretty believable to me.  I also liked the chemistry between the couples.  I liked how the dynamics between each couple was different and  all seemed like plausible situations.  Another sort of hokey likeness in the movie were the cliches and puns.  I am a sucker for one liners be it serious or funny. 

If you happen to see this movie stay for the outtakes.  They are funnier than some of the scenes.  Oh, and another thing...not one naked woman, but a couple naked men..see, chick flick!  I say take a friend (like your sister) and enjoy some girl time, and really, I think a guy might enjoy some of the funny men situations, if for no other reason than the fact that they could probably relate to every situation.

Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Tiff's Take:
Another love story (sort of) for the third week in a row.  This one was more from the male perspective though.  Meaning a lot about sex and a lot of swearing and definitely funnier than the other two.  Seeing relationships from the male perspective can be refreshing.  And this was.  But.

There were a lot of one liners, which were funny, but it didn't seem like there were any real conversations.  It was a little too much for me.  I liked the chemistry between the couples but they didn't ever really talk to each other.  I don't know.  I just didn't get into the rhythm of the movie.

But as Deb said, there was one scene that was so funny we both were practically crying.  We sisters definitely like a good laugh.  That right there is enough to go to the movie.  But overall, for me, it was just okay.

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

Preview:  We'll be celebrating the older sister's birthday this week with a movie!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014: Bonus: The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie

Genre: Animation

Main Players: Voices of: Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Chris Pratt

General Gist: An "average" Lego is mistaken for a master building in hopes of saving Lego Land from tyrant, Lord Business.

Tiff's Take:
We took our now nine year old son to this for his birthday along with nine other boys and a tag along sister.  Are we crazy or what? 

My son is a huge Lego fan whether it is a toy, video game or movie.  Always has been.  So this was a no brainer for his birthday party which happened to be around the same time this came out.  Perfect. 

As an adult, this movie was great.  It was funny and fast moving which is always good when your watching a movie for the sake of your kids.  I thought it was pretty clever too.  I liked how the ending really tied everything together.  Really well done.

From a kid standpoint, my son and his friends seemed to love it.  It kept all of their attention throughout the whole thing.  That's a success right there.  As for my almost six year old daughter, it was a hit too.  I will say that having an older brother makes her used to "boyish" type things.  And she loves going to movies no matter what they are.  She usually enjoys the popcorn more than anything.  But if you have only girls in your family who are much more interested in princesses I could see how this would be a little boring for them.  But our whole family enjoyed this show immensely.       
Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: Going to a movie tonight.  I think we missed out on seeing any more Oscar nominations so just a normal ole movie will have to do.