"Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Tourist...Again

We watched two good movies this weekend, You Again and The Tourist.  

First, You Again.  The movie stars Kristen Bell as a young woman who is very successful in her career that comes home for her brother's wedding, only to be confronted by the fact that her soon to be sister-in-law is her arch nemesis from high school.  Her mother (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) tries to help her forgive and forget until her arch nemesis (played by Sigourney Weaver) shows up as the fiance's aunt.  Of course drama and hilarity ensue.

One thing that struck me as a little odd was the dynamics of the family.  The oldest is probably 30 or early 30s, then Bell's character who's mid to late 20s, then a younger brother who's maybe 14 or 15.  They never really address the age gap, which just made me wonder a little.  Nothing major, but I wanted to know what the writer/director was going for with that.

Betty White also makes a few appearances in this film as the grandma, and I have to say, I love her.  She's hilarious in just about anything.  As can be expected, there are a few sexual jokes that are awesome, and a scene that involves her teeth that will have you gagging and laughing at the same time.  

All around, it was just good, clean fun.  I'd recommend it!

The Tourist

The Tourist stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.  It follows the story of a wife of a financial criminal who's not only being chased by the law, but also by a high profile gangster that he stole a ton of money from.  Jolie's job is to throw the police off the trail of the true criminal by choosing a random person on a train and making them believe he is her husband.  She does such a remarkable job of it, that the gangster also thinks this poor bloke is her husband and tries to kill him repeatedly.  

There are some excellent lines:

Police Officer: "So, you'd like to report a murder."

Depp: "Well, attempted murder.  Mine."

Police Officer: "That's not so serious."

Depp: "Well, no, not when you downgrade it from murder.  But when you upgrade it from room service, it's quite serious."  

That's just good writing.  And Depp's delivery is flawless, making it that much more enjoyable.  

Jolie is hit or miss for me - either I love her movies or I hate them (Changeling - loved, Salt - not so much).  But this one was quite good.  She went back to her roots here and plays a wealthy glamorous woman with a secret - a perfect fit for her in my opinion.  

Plus, there's a nice little twist at the end that Dan actually figured out about 10 minutes into the movie, but still came as a nice surprise for me.  

Again, I thought this was a good one.  Not an Oscar winner or anything, but just good entertainment, and sometimes that's all I want from a movie.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Opening Today!

There are a few movies of interest hitting the big screen today.  First, is Thor.  The Marvel movie is (for all of you who don't know the story) about a warrior who is banished to Earth for his arrogance.  He of course falls in love with a beautiful human (making us women-folk feel like it's realistic to expect an other worldly warrior to fall in love with us) - played by Natalie Portman - and subsequently has to save Earth when a villan from his own planet attacks.  I'm excited about this one.  I'm enjoying the Marvel movie trend going on right now, and - after X-Men and Spider Man - have high expectations of this one.  We'll see if it can live up to its potential!

Next on the list is Something Borrowed.  Starring Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin, the film is about a self centered friend who gets engaged to the man that Goodwin's character loves.  Trailers imply an affair follows.  I never read the book by Emily Giffin for that exact reason.  I don't generally appreciate stories that are about affairs and tend to glorify the act of cheating.  Though I like both actresses in this one, I think I will probably skip it.

The Beaver is also making a limited debut today.  I have to say, I'm skeptically curious about this one.  Starring Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson, it certainly has some big names in it.  However, it's about a guy that is struggling so much with his psyche that he has to communicate through the use of an old puppet (a puppet, by the way, that he finds in the dumpster.  Hepatitis anyone?).  Bizarre?  Yes.  Would this story line have been acceptable 10 or 20 years ago?  I don't think so.  But, with so much light being shown on mental illness and the damage it can do, I think this film might see some success.  I still struggle with it because it's just odd.  I mean this fully grown man expects everyone in his life to communicate with him through this puppet?  That's weird!  And yet, strangely intriguing.  It seems to deal with some tough issues, like depression and how it can affect a marriage.  I'm not sure I'll see it in the theater, but I might give it a shot when it comes out on DVD.

So, that's pretty much it for this weekend.  Oh, and for the record, I stand corrected about last weekend's Fast Five prediction.  It gained the number one spot at the box office, which either demonstrates that it's a fairly good flick, or the weekend was just that slow.  I'll let you be the judge on that one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On DVD This Week

Two movies of note were released on DVD and Blu Ray this week.  First, The Green Hornet.  Starring Seth Rogan (who I must admit has a ridiculously annoying laugh) and Jay Chao as his sidekick, the film focuses on a wealthy man's heir who forms a crime fighting team.  Antics and overall good fun ensue.  While, I didn't see this movie in the theaters, I pegged it as a good renter, and I plan to follow through on that.

The Dilemma is also out this week.  Man was this movie stressful!  It was good, but it had me cringing most of the way through it!  The film stars Vince Vaughn and Kevin James who play best friends.  Vaughn's character discover's James's wife is cheating on him, then follows how he tries to handle the secret.  Winona Ryder plays James's wife, and she does a disturbingly good job playing the evil, cheating you-know-what.  There's a scene where Vaughn's character tries to corner her and convince her to tell James the truth, and she puts on this crying show that is shockingly realistic, and then does this evil smile afterwards while her face is still wet from tears!  Horrifying!  The movie has some very funny scenes, and is most definitely worth watching.

Other than that, not much new out this week.  I have to say, I'm looking forward to the Friday release of Thor...but that'll be a discussion for another day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ruining The Host?

I read today that Saorise Ronan has been asked to play the lead role of Melanie in Stephenie Meyer's latest book to film flick The Host.  I'm peeved.  The last two Ronan films I've seen have been horrible - The Lovely Bones and Hanna.  I was most disappointed because Ronan is a beautiful girl, but not in a conventional way.  I wanted her to succeed in these roles.  I blamed The Lovely Bones on odd material, but Hanna was terrible all around.  Again, it could have been bad direction, but she's two for two.

If she truly is cast as Melanie I think it will be too much of a stretch for her.  She will play a woman who's body is occupied by an alien.  She does not control her body, Wanderer does.  I've been curious as to how this will be acted out on screen, and if Ronan wrecks it for me I'm going to be so peeved.  Maybe the rumor isn't true, or maybe she'll have a conflict and won't be able to do it.  One can hope.

But, maybe she'll surprise me.  Perhaps, in the hands of the right director, she can be the amazing actress I'd hoped she would be in the first two films.

There's been no word of a speculative release date for The Host, or even who will direct the film.

One Day

In more hopeful news, a trailer for One Day with Anne Hathaway and and Jim Sturgess popped up.  It follows a pair through one day on the anniversary of their meeting for twenty years.  I'm intrigued!  I love Anne Hathaway, and will generally see a film just because she's in it, but it's interesting to follow a pair of friends for 20 years and see how they change as people, and how their lives change around them.  I have high hopes for this one.  It's due out in August apparently.  Can't wait!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Adapt or Die Already

Went to see Hanna this weekend.  We had another free ticket, so it only cost us $6.50, and I have to say, what a waste of a perfectly good $6.50.  I was so disappointed with this movie!  It's the first Eric Bana film I haven't liked, and the fact that it was directed by the same guy that did Pride and Prejudice and Atonement - two of my favorite films - I thought it was a shoe in!  Boy was I wrong.

Overall, the film moves way to slowly.   Joe Wright spends the entire movie building to the climax, then it's over!  There's no denouement!  Hanna shoots Marissa, and the screen goes red with giant white HANNA emblazoned across it.  Oh, was that supposed to move me or something?  What happens to Hanna after that?  Particularly now that the man she thought was her father but isn't (oh, and thanks for throwing that little tid-bit in there for good measure and never fully developing it) is dead.  She has no money, no real identity, and no sense of how to live in the modern world.  What will she do?  THAT'S WHAT DENOUEMENT IS FOR, WRIGHT!

The other thing that bothered me is Cate Blanchette's character, Marissa.  What is the deal with her accent?  Was she southern or not?  Was it entirely necessary to show her cleaning her teeth so intensely that she was bleeding everywhere (gag)?  Generally, I think Blanchette is amazing, but this was just not her best.

I also found the film to be rather unrealistic within the world it had created.  For example, you can't tell me that this guy spent the last 16 years of his life or whatever preparing this girl to kill Marissa, and then didn't tell her how to recognize the real Marissa.  Hanna asks her one question, and is convinced it's her?  Get real.  Couldn't she sense the hesitation after the question while the real Marissa fed her the answer?

Additionally, Marissa is clumsy and uncoordinated at best.  The only way she ends up killing anyone is dumb luck.  She's supposed to be a believable match/foe for these two highly skilled assassins?

OH!  And the other thing that bothered me is the way the movie comes full circle.  In the very beginning she shoots a deer but doesn't kill the poor thing right away because she misses its heart.  She ends up chasing it all over creation until it finally falls down.  When the movie finally circles round to the showdown between her and Marissa, she does the same thing!  Didn't she learn anything?  Didn't she at least become a better shot?!

At any rate, I thought it was a horrible film.  Saoirse Ronan, you're two for two in my book.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yawn! What's new this weekend?

Seems like it's going to be a slow weekend for the movies.

The biggest film to hit theaters today is Fast Five.  My brother is totally stoked about this one, but it doesn't twist my Twizzler.  Apparently the original cast of The Fast and the Furious has been reunited for the making of this film, making it somewhat - dare I say - nostalgic.  Seems to me that it will have everything all the other films had - plenty of car chases, explosions, fights and violence, with a slightly different plot and a few good one liners.  If you're anything like my brother, or you're just looking for some mindless entertainment, you'll love it.  Me, I think $9 a pop is too much to pay for mindless.  I don't think for a second that this movie will be number one this week.  Maybe I'll be surprised.

Prom also opens this week.  Made by Disney, you can expect this one to be a wholesome look at the life of teens getting ready for the prom.  While I would have loved this movie when I was 14, at 27 I'm thinking I can skip it.

Hoodwinked Too is also out this week.  I didn't see the first Hoodwinked, and am shocked at the amount of buzz this film is getting.  People are genuinely excited about it.  I love the one preview I saw for it that declared it is "as good as Shrek."  Haha, lets not set the standards too high and call it better than Shrek.  Anyway, the film is about the disappearance of Hansel and Gretel, and the other fairy tail creatures trying to find them.  Meh.  This is one that I can see on DVD at best, or on TBS when it gets there.

So, if I make it to the movies this weekend, what can I watch?  I still haven't seen Water for Elephants, so that might be an option if Dan is game.  Hanna is another one I've been itching to see.  So, we'll see what we see!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Only One Can Live

HARRY POTTER!!!  The first trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is online!  First of all, can I just say, it's about friggin time!  I mean, it's been since November that we got our last taste of fresh Harry Potter material!

Ok, enough with the exclamation points.  In all seriousness, the new trailer is great.  It provides small glimpses of what you can expect, and if you blink, or only watch the trailer 5 times instead of 10, you're liable to miss something.

First is the horcruxes.  Lets not forget the overall mission of this story, finding and destroying all the horcruxes.  We get a glimpse of a few of them - ones that have yet to be found, and ones that have already been destroyed.

Second, is the major focus on Snape.  The truth about Snape will finally be revealed with this epic finale, and I can't WAIT to see it!  And, who is that that Voldemort is performing a killing curse on about 29 seconds into the trailer?  Don't blink or you'll miss it.

Lily also makes an appearance in the trailer, as part of what I can assume is Snape's flashbacks.

The end scene worries me.  Is that Hogwarts that's become a ball of fire?!  I mean, I know it was a mess in the book, but it might make me cry a little to actually see it destroyed.

And, can I just say, I love the soundtrack for these films.  Every time I hear those notes I get goosebumps.  The way they've slowed the tune down for the opening of this trailer is amazing.

Of course, it all boils down to the final battle.  Only one can survive.  And I can't wait to see Harry do it!