Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Dark Knight

Last night we started The Dark Knight later than we should have...after eating a nice big bread bowl of delicious homemade soup.

Long story short...I fell asleep.

So did William.

So did Kristi.

Needless to say...we need to watch it again. I anticipate that I'm going to love it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day

So…after a long hiatus from watching movies, I dove back into the movie pool with Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. It was a good one to start back in with, too…I really liked it. The movie tells the story of Miss Pettigrew, (played by Frances McDormand, who is wonderful) who is a British nanny, quite unlike Mary Poppins. As opposed to Miss Poppins, Miss Pettigrew seems to be practically UN-perfect in every way…at least according to the families she has served. After being dismissed by one family after another, she finds herself at the placement agency, and is told that they aren’t willing to give her any more jobs. Desperate for employment, she takes a reference card from her boss’s desk before leaving, and heads to what she thinks is another nannying gig.

Instead of finding children who need care, however, Miss Pettigrew finds Delysia Lafosse, (played by Amy Adams, who is fabulous) an American singer in London, who needs a different kind of care. Delysia had contacted the employment agency to find a social secretary, not a nanny, and while she has no experience with such things, Miss Pettigrew pretends that she’s been sent to fill the position, simply to keep the job.

The day that follows is unlike anything that Miss Pettigrew has ever experienced. In spite of the fact that Delysia is spoiled and seemingly airheaded, she and Miss Pettigrew connect almost immediately, and Miss Pettigrew honestly DOES want to take care of Delysia. She is immediately thrust into the life that Delysia lives, complete with numerous boyfriends, fashion shows, socialite friends, and lingerie designers. During a stop on at the salon, Delysia treats Miss Pettigrew to a makeover, and she begins to think that maybe…just maybe…she might fit in with this crowd, if only on the surface.

Miss Pettigrew meets some people who continue to judge her based on the world that she came from (poverty) and those who see that there is more to her than meets the eye. As she does everything she can to help Delysia make it through what she considers the most important day of her life, Miss Pettigrew is able to live what becomes the most important day of her life, as well. With the help of those who see her for the beautiful and good person that she really is…she is able to finally see herself that way.

I liked this movie for a lot of reasons. First off, I generally like movies that have British characters, because I’m totally infatuated with the accent, and tend to use it for a while after watching the movie. While this might annoy others, I really don’t care…it is who I am. But the story itself is just good. The two women in the story are polar opposites, but in each other they find true friendship, which neither of them has really experienced much of before. Though they are together for only one day…the effects of that one day in both of their lives is lasting. Basically nobody should ever underestimate the good that they can do by simply being a friend to someone else.

Long story short…it was a fun movie, it was touching, and I loved it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And Then I Stopped Watching Movies

Lest you think I've been slacking yet again...I seriously don't remember the last movie that I watched. Crazy...I know. I have spent most of my free time this summer watching CSI on DVD...I'm a little obsessed lately...but I'm pretty sure I'll begin watching movies again at some point. Hee hee...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Catching Up--The Lightning Round

So, I realize that I haven't been keeping up with my movie blogging. This is not, however, because I have given up my habit of watching movies. It's more just because I've been lazy. Yeah...I said it. Instead of going through the effort of writing a huge blog about every movie I've seen in the past little bit, I've decided to catch up with one sentence reviews for everything I remember seeing in the past month or so. Ready? Okay...(in the order in which I think of them, not in which I saw them...)

The Eye

Um...It was okay; though not as scary/good as I had hoped it would be.

Meet The Spartans

If you're interested in seeing it, you know what kind of humor it is; I laughed pretty hard at some stuff, though.

Be Kind, Rewind

I actually really liked this movie, which turned out to be more than a typical Jack Black comedy.

Fool's Gold

There isn't much that I don't love about a good romantic adventure starring Kate and Matthew...loved it in the theater, and bought the DVD.

Definitely, Maybe

This movie wasn't what I thought it was going to be, but I still liked it well enough...even Ryan Reynolds, who usually doesn't do much for me.

The Spiderwick Chronicles

This one was fun, and made me wish I could see the invisible world of Goblins and Fairies that are visible in the movie.

The Singles 2nd Ward

Nowhere near as good as the first one, which is sad.

Three Can Play That Game

Even further from being as good as the first one than The Singles 2nd Ward, which TOTALLY sucks.


It had some scary parts, but overall, just didn't do it for me.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

I liked it, just as much as the first one...can't wait for number 3!

Kung Fu Panda

Just plain funny.

Get Smart

I've said before how much I love Steve Carell, and he certainly didn't let me down in this one, which had me laughing pretty much from beginning to end.

So...basically...that's all I can think of. If there were more, maybe I'll add them later, but hopefully I'll get back on track with actual, detailed, reviews in the near future...:)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Strangers

Somewhere in the darkest hallways of my very worst nightmares, there is a masked man standing just on the other side of my window. It has been one of my worst fears for as long as I can remember…I just don’t like masks…especially when the wearer of the mask has nothing but murder on his agenda. Not that I’ve ever come face to mask with a psycho killer…(!!!)…but it remains my greatest fear to this day.

My worst nightmare comes to life in The Strangers. Instead of one masked assailant, however, there are three. Yeah…that’s helpful.

I love a good scary movie, which I have said before, and this one is exactly what I love/hate/can’t get enough of. The movie tells the story of Kristen and James, a couple who, after attending a friend’s wedding reception, retreat to his family’s summer home which is, of course, out in the middle of nowhere. Through some flashbacks at the beginning of the movie, we learn that earlier in the night, James had proposed to Kristen, but that she told him she wasn’t ready. Understandably, there is some tension between them, and they aren’t even speaking at the beginning of the movie.

As the couple finally begins to talk again, and to “work things out,” there is a loud knock on the door. They are somewhat concerned at the late hour, (It’s 4:00 in the morning) but answer the door anyway. On the porch stands a young girl…maybe in her late teens or early twenties…whose face we cannot see because the porch light has gone out. She asks for “Tamara,” and James tells her that she’s got the wrong house. “See you later,” she says, with more than a little bit of foreshadowing. Kristen and James shake the experience off as just “weird,” and initially think nothing more of it. Shortly after this exchange, Kristen announces that she’s out of cigarettes, and James volunteers to go get her some. Once he’s gone, the “holy crap I’m going to have a freaking heart attack”s begin.

Kristen hasn’t been alone long before there is more knocking at the door. Instead of opening it, she listens as the girl’s voice returns, asking for Tamara. Kristen tells her to leave, but the knocking continues, getting more and more insistent and loud. She calls James to tell him to hurry home, and their call is cut off. Of course. She stands by the kitchen, smoking her last cigarette and tries to shake off the “willies” she’s gotten. I think she does a pretty good job of it, too, but only because she can’t see the freakiest masked man in the history of masked men standing quietly behind her, just watching from the hallway. Seriously…that guy…he’d probably scare my nightmare’s masked man to death. When she finally turns around, of course, he is gone. Eventually, though, she realizes that she is not alone. Her cell phone, which she’d plugged in at one point, is missing. A fire alarm that she’d thrown on the floor is now on a chair. There are other sounds around the house, and she begins to panic. She looks out the window to see masked figures in the distance…two girls in masks…and then pulls one curtain back to find the aforementioned scariest guy in the history of time standing RIGHT on the other side of the glass.

How she manages not to simply die of fright at that moment is beyond me.

Kristen does not, after all, die of fright…at any point in the movie. I don’t want to go into many more details, though, because if you WANT to see the movie, it will be better if you don’t know what is coming. I will say though, that James makes it home, and that things get worse. It’s pretty clear to me that the objective of the people in masks is to terrify Kristen and James completely…to freak them out beyond all freakingout-edness…and then to go from there. They do everything in their power to keep their victims from escaping…but this is only to prolong what they obviously see as being some sort of cat and mouse game. Kristen and James are confident that the trio is there to kill them…(though at one point it is explained that it’s nothing personal…when Kristen asks them for a motive, the answer she receives is “because you were home.”)…but in spite of gaining countless opportunities to do it, our would-be murderers continually abstain from murder.

Constant suspense like this is far scarier to me, in a movie, than actual blood and gore. There are plenty of times during the movie that I sat thinking that I probably would almost want them to get it over with…rather than to continually make me wonder what they were up to, and what they were going to do, and when they were going to do it. I, however, would have honestly died of a stroke upon seeing who the credits simply call “The Man in the Mask” for the first time, so I probably wouldn’t be their ideal victim for their kind of “fun.” Thank freaking goodness!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Untraceable is one of those scary movies that is even more scary because it could actually happen in real life. And the fact that it could happen makes it kind of a sad world that we live in. Seriously.

The movie takes place from the point of view of Jennifer Marsh, who is an agent in the FBI’s Cybercrime division. She and her partner spend much of their time tracking down criminals who steal identities and prey on underage children…all online. In short, they get to get the bad guy without ever having to physically confront the bad guy. If I ever decide that I want to career in law enforcement, that’s the way I’d like to go.

Except that one night while on the job, Jennifer gets a tip to visit a site that is unlike anything she’s ever seen before. Instead of embezzlers and perverts, Jennifer finds a killer on the site…or at least she finds a killer’s victim. Her first visit to the site features a live stream of a kitten, which is killed, live on the internet while people watch. In fact, the more people that log onto the site, the faster the kitten dies.

As you can imagine, the killer’s victims escalate to humans. Jennifer and her partners are left helplessly watching as people are tortured and killed on a site that is always changing its address…i.e…it’s untraceable, and they can’t find out who is behind it.

The site features a counter that shows how many people are watching, and clearly states that the more people log on, the more severe the torture and deaths will be. Surely some of them think it’s merely a hoax…but some of them know what is going on…which is freaky. How many people out there would WANT to watch something like that? Bleah. In essence each person that logs on to the site is an accomplice to murder…and they are told as much in press conferences and by police. And yet, people keep logging on.

As Jennifer closes in on clues that lead her to the killer, the killer moves closer to Jennifer. You know this is going to happen…it’s movie after all…and eventually her partner and even her family are put at risk. It’s up to Jennifer to find him and stop him before he can get to them.

I thought the movie was a effective thriller. I liked the fact that, while it was very disturbing, it was not as “gruesome” as it might have been. Anymore, it seems like movies just get thrills out of blood and gore, but Untraceable was definitely less violent and gross than it could have been. The scariest thing imaginable, after all, is not physical pain…but what is going on in the minds of those who choose to inflict it.

Lars And The Real Girl

I was kind of underwhelmed by Lars and the Real Girl. I’d heard from several sources that it was really good, and it didn’t suck…it just wasn’t everything I had hoped it would be. I don't know why. I don't know what I expected, so I can't really put a finger on where it was lacking for me.

The movie centers around a quiet but kind man named Lars. He lives in the garage behind the house where he grew up, and his sister-in-law and brother, who live in the house, worry that something is wrong with him because he prefers to spend most of his time alone. They invite him to meals and he finds reasons not to come, and he refuses to talk to anyone, really, more than he has to. There is a girl from church who has an obvious crush on him, but when he’s presented with the opportunity to give her a flower and strike up a conversation, he throws the flower aside and runs away.

Lars’ shyness begins to ebb away when he announces that he’s got a visitor from abroad: Bianca. Due to her religious beliefs, Lars asks his brother and sister-in-law if she can stay with them. She’s very shy and quiet, doesn’t speak much English, and is in a wheelchair. She’s also a doll.

Lars introduces Bianca to the people in his life as his girlfriend, and clearly believes that she is alive. On the recommendation of the doctor in town, Lars’ family and friends…and eventually the whole town…play along with his delusion. They believe that Bianca’s presence in Lars’ life has meaning, and it is clear that she’s bringing him out of his shell in ways that he never could have done on his own. The town plays along so well, in fact, that Bianca is eventually elected to the School Board and is honored at a Hospital volunteer banquet. As Lars watches Bianca “live” her own life, he learns to live his. The support that he has clearly bolsters him as he works through his own issues, which brought Bianca into all of their lives in the first place.

Ryan Gosling, who plays Lars, does a GREAT job in the movie. He’s been charismatic and almost “crush-worthy” in other roles, but he’s 100% socially inept in this one…but still somehow makes himself loveable. The supporting cast does their job, too, and overall, I think the movie shows a side of mental illness that many people have never seen. Instead of being ridiculed and treated like he’s crazy, Lars is loved and helped through his crisis. It’s probably something that would never happen too often in real life…but it did give me a good feeling to know that maybe somewhere there are people who would choose to do the kind thing in an extreme situation.

I know it sounds kind of like I’m praising the movie…but I didn’t love it. I’m not slamming it either, I didn’t dislike the movie at all…but once again, I think I expected more from it due to hearing so many good things about it from others. I would say that it’s a unique movie that’s worth seeing…but it’s probably not one that I’d need to see again or own.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mad Money

Over the weekend I watched Mad Money. I didn’t know much about the movie, other than the fact that I’d read on some celebrity blog that it kind of bombed in theaters. I honestly didn’t even know what it was about. Turns out, though…that it was a fun movie, about stuff that would never happen to me...(then again, they don’t usually make movies about girls who go to work every day and sometimes fall down)…and I liked it.

The movie starts out reminding me, kind of, of Fun With Dick and Jane. Dian Keaton plays Bridget, whose life spins into chaos when her husband, Don, loses his job. While they were once lived very comfortably in an upper middle class lifestyle, they are now facing the loss of her home, as Don is unable to find work anywhere. Though she has been out of the workforce for over twenty years, Bridget takes it upon herself to get a job to support them. After a series of failures in her search, she finally gets a job at the Federal Reserve Bank as a custodian.

Before seeing this movie, I didn’t even know what the Federal Reserve Bank was. Apparently one of their functions…(they may have more?)…is to shred “worn out” money that has run its course, that is going to be replaced by newly printed money. On her first day on the job, Bridget watches Nina, played by Queen Latifah, shred piles and piles of money. Obviously, the stacks of cash catch the newly impoverished Bridget’s eye.

It isn’t long before Bridget develops a plan to take some of the cash…which she justifies by saying that it’s going to be destroyed anyway. She gets Nina in on the plan, and they recruit another girl, Jackie, played by Katie Holmes, to complete their team. The plan is simple: Bridget, while she is cleaning, will change the lock on a cash cart and replace it with an identical lock that she had made. Jackie, who transports the carts from one area to another, will pick up the cart, unlock it with a copy of the new key, and then empty some of the cash into a pre-determined garbage can, which Bridget will empty later in the day. Once the cart has reached Nina in shredding, she will have retrieved the original lock from the bathroom where Bridget has left it, and return it to the cart. At the end of the day, they will take the cash out of the building, stuffed under their clothes, and get away scott-free.

The plan works well for a while. The girls have more money than they can spend…literally. If any of them spends too much of the cash at once, or deposits any large sums in their bank accounts, they will raise suspicion. They agree to live the same lifestyles they’d originally had, aside from paying the bills that they needed to pay and supporting their families. Of course things can’t go smoothly forever, though…or there wouldn’t be a movie. People find out what they shouldn’t find out…significant others get involved in ways that they shouldn’t get involved…things get sticky.

I won’t go into the rest of the details…just know that I thought it was a fun show with some laughs, and I thought it was worth the watch. If nothing else, it made me wish I had a little "mad money" tucked away...but of course I'd have to come by it the honest way. :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

P.S. I Love You

The second movie I watched over the weekend was P.S. I Love You. In this movie, Hilary Swank plays Holly, a young widow who is trying to deal with the recent loss of her husband, Gerry. Gerry’s death was not unexpected, as he had a brain tumor, and Holly finds out that as he prepared for his death, he also prepared a way to try to make losing him easier on Holly. He has made arrangements that letters, from him, will be delivered to her at different times throughout the year after his death, giving her advice and helping her find ways to move on.

This movie was good in many ways. The story line is just sweet and touching. In one scene my heart was breaking for Holly, as she called Gerry’s phone, over and over, just to hear his voice. Then, the next scene I was smiling and laughing as it showed a flashback to a time when Holly and Gerry did Karaoke. I’ve never lost a spouse…obviously…but I think the movie portrays Holly’s grief fairly authentically…one minute she’s smiling and reveling in fond memories…and the next she’s sobbing and inconsolable, unable to imagine how she’ll live her life without her true love. I can’t even begin to imagine the emotional roller coaster that losing someone so dear would be.

Some of Gerry’s letters/instructions are simple. He tells her to go back to work…to enjoy what she’s doing. He tells her to get dressed up like a Diva and go back to the Karaoke bar where her previous experience was less than stellar. In one of his grander moves, however, she finds that he has arranged for her and her two best friends to go to Ireland, where he is from, and where they first met. Gerry leaves letters for her friends, as well, giving them instructions on things they need to make her do…places to take her…all in an attempt to help her cope and continue living her life.

While the film features Gerry throughout, (played by the SUPER dreamy Gerard Butler… :)…)...both in flashbacks that tell the story of Holly’s and Gerry’s life together, and through hearing his voiceover as Holly reads the letters, there are two other men in Holly’s life. The first of these is Daniel, who works at the bar that Holly’s mother owns, and who is infatuated with Holly from the moment he sees her at Gerry's wake. Daniel is played by Harry Connick Jr., and isn’t nearly as charming as I know Harry Connick Jr. can be…(He won me over big time in Hope Floats.) Daniel never minces words with his intentions with Holly, and at one point tells her that he wants to help her get rid of Gerry. In spite of his blunt nature, Holly enjoys spending time with him, and they get closer throughout the movie.

The other man is a musician named William, who Holly meets in Ireland. There is an immediate attraction between the two, but Holly is afraid of feeling anything for anyone new. It turns out, though, that William (who is played by the same actor who played Denny Duquette on Grey’s Anatomy, and drove me CRAZY on that show) has insights on Gerry that Holly couldn't have seen coming, and he easily endears himself to Holly (and to me, unbelievably).

I really liked this movie. Like I said, it’s touching and funny…and I feel like it’s “real.” I would highly recommend it to anyone who either likes a good story…maybe a couple of tears…or at the very least, a good looking Irishman…: )

Over Her Dead Body

I recently watched two movies about a person moving on in life after losing their significant other. Each movie addresses the issue differently, but I liked both movies, for the most part.

The first movie I watched was Over Her Dead Body. This movie centers around Henry, who is trying to enter the dating world after losing his fiancé, Kate, who was killed on their wedding day the year before. In an effort to speed the process up, his sister (who really does just want him to be happy) talks a part-time psychic into telling Henry that she has received a message from Kate that she wants Henry to move on. As soon as Henry begins to trust the psychic, Ashley, he begins to fall for her, as well, and his sister’s plan seems to be right on track.

Nobody could account, however, for the fact that Kate, who has not moved on herself, is not ready for Henry to move on, either. On the contrary, she makes it her mission to thwart any and all chances that Henry and Ashley might make it. Although Ashley never saw or heard from Kate in the beginning, Kate makes her presence known to Ashley, who initially freaks out at seeing a ghost, but eventually chooses to defy Kate’s wishes and dates Henry anyway.

This movie was good, but not GREAT. I’m not a huge fan of Paul Rudd, who plays Henry…especially as a leading man. I think he’s fine as the supportive friend/sidekick to the real leading man…but he doesn’t pull of the “main squeeze” role for me. I don’t know why…he just doesn’t. Similarly, Ashley is played by an actress whose name I don’t even know, and who I don’t recognize from anything else. She’s likeable enough, but she’s not a strong enough presence to sell the movie.

Eva Longoria Parker plays Kate, and she’s my favorite person in the movie. In spite of the fact that she knows she is dead…and logically, Henry cannot be expected to pine for her forever…she isn’t willing to let go just yet. She is able to appear whenever she wants in Ashley’s life, and can make Ashley see and hear things that nobody else can. One of the funniest scenes is when Ashley and Henry go off for a weekend together, and Kate has Ashley convinced that Henry is farting up a storm in their hotel room. What can I say? Farts are funny.

Overall, this movie, like I said, is good…but it’s not a new favorite. I don’t think it set out to be the biggest comedy blockbuster of all time…just a fun, pleasant movie…and it achieved that goal. I don’t regret having watched it, but it wasn’t anything that knocked my socks off either.

Friday, May 2, 2008

27 Dresses

How much do I love the movie 27 Dresses, you ask? So much that I saw it once in the theater, and now that it’s out on DVD for 3 days, I’ve watched it twice already, and I’d probably watch it again this weekend if the opportunity presented itself. And, since I rushed out and bought the DVD the day it was released…that opportunity might just rear its glorious head…you never know.

27 Dresses is the story of Jane…a girl who loves weddings so much that she’s found herself in the middle of no less than 27 of them…none of which were her own. She’s not only been the maid of honor or at least a bridesmaid in these weddings, but more often than not, she’s helped plan each of the events, being so intricately involved in each of them that in a way they are hers…right up to the moment when “Here Comes the Bride” begins, and she’s reminded that this is someone else’s day.

The movie opens on a night when Jane is a bridesmaid in two different weddings in the same night, following her back and forth between the two events. Jane makes sure to catch every important moment for two of her very best friends, including two doses of the Macarena. Her dedication to her role as bridesmaid cannot be questioned. Nobody seems to notice that Jane is working both weddings at once, except a writer named Kevin. After watching her jump in and out of a cab numerous times and immediately change clothes as the taxi drives away, he takes a marked interest in Jane. The two share a cab after both weddings are over, and when Jane leaves her date book on the floor of the back seat, Kevin keeps it, in order to learn more about her. Upon investigating, he realizes that she is fully immersed in weddings, and decides that he wants to do a story on her...(he writes the "Commitments" column in the paper, and Jane loves his stories...without knowing that it is him who writes them.) They develop a sort of love/hate relationship, as he is a cynic when it comes to marriage, and she works continually to prove to him that all things “wedding” are not to be frowned upon.

When she’s not “working the wedding circuit,” Jane is an assistant to George…a man she’s not so secretly in love with, but with whom she has never shared her true feelings. She is as dedicated to him as she is to the brides in her life, and she is positive that one day, he’ll come to realize that she is irreplaceable as more than just a work assistant.

Jane’s dreams are shattered, however, when her sister, Tess, comes to town for what is meant to be a visit, and George immediately takes an interest in her. Jane watches helplessly as Tess and George grow closer and closer, (due in part to Tess’ tendency to lie about all of the things that they have in common) and eventually is mortified when George proposes.

Jane not only has to deal with the fact that her sister is getting married to the man that she’s in love with, but also that she is expected to plan the perfect wedding for them. Jane is torn between wanting to take care of Tess, which she has always done since their mother died when they were children, and exposing “the real Tess” to George, who is a good man, and doesn’t deserve to be lied to. The only person who she can turn to in her time of need turns out to be Kevin, and eventually they find that they have more in common than they had originally thought.

I love this movie for so many reasons. I don’t want to go into the plot any further, because it’s a delight that I don’t want to ruin for you. But the movie makes me laugh and scowl, and smile and fall in love with love and everything in between. The characters are likeable, and the circumstances never seem over the top to me. Some of the dresses, though, cannot make such a claim…(the scene where Jane models all of her 27 dresses for a mortified Kevin is one of my favorites)…and I’ve vowed that when I finally get married myself, I will choose bridesmaid dresses that nobody will be humiliated to wear.

Monday, April 28, 2008

No Country For Old Men

No Country For Old Men is a movie that’s really hard to describe. I’m not sure if it’s a western, a drama, a thriller, a horror movie, or a mystery. It’s really one of a kind, for sure, and won the Oscar for Best Picture earlier this year.

The movie follows three main characters. Llewelyn Moss, who is a Vietnam Vet who lives in a trailer with his wife, Ed Tom Bell, a Texas sheriff who is on the verge of retirement, and Anton Chigurh, who is, for lack of a better description, a creepy psycho killer. I won’t tell you what happens between the three, or even most of the movie, but I’ll at least give you the basics.

Llewelyn is out hunting one afternoon when he comes upon an apparent drug deal gone bad. Everyone at the scene is dead, save one man who is injured and begging for water. Llewelyn, I think, is genuinely a decent man, but he knows that if this is a drug deal where all the drug dealers are dead and the drugs are still present, there is probably some money to be found as well. He finds it…two million dollars in a briefcase. And, as there aren’t any witnesses that he can see, he decides that he’s going to take it.

Little does Llewelyn know what his quick decision is getting him into. See, Anton arrives at the crime scene with the expectation that the money would be waiting for him, and he’s really not too happy that it’s missing. As the money had been equipped with a transponder, he is able to track every move the Llewelyn makes in order to get the money back. Being the psycho killer that he very obviously is, (we know that from the very first scene) Chigurh goes on the hunt for Llewelyn, and nearly kills every person he meets along the way. There are a few lucky exceptions…but even they must have felt death looming as they were conversing with the creepy Chigurh. He is violent and has no remorse, and he scares the crap out of me. Seriously…that guy…I don’t want to meet him. Ever. I don’t even want to meet the actor who played him. I think I’d pee my pants. The scariest thing about him really is the fact that he shows nearly no emotion. He talks deadpan all the time. He never looks angry, but he never really smiles, either. He is totally calm in the craziest of situations…and that is freaking NUTS.

Tying the story together is Sheriff Bell…who is essentially looking for both men, or trying to get to Llewelyn before Anton does. He is quiet and wise, and is perfectly played by Tommy Lee Jones. He is also calm in most situations, but unlike Chigurh, he doesn’t make me want to cringe every time he’s on the screen. He’s overwhelmed by how much the world has changed since he became a Sheriff, by the violence of the crimes he’s witnessing, and by the weariness he feels after twenty years of service. He honestly wants nothing more than to stop what is going on around him…but deep in his heart, he knows that it’s too big for him.

The movie didn’t end the way I thought it would…but then, in the end, I don’t know how else it could have ended. In reality, story doesn’t really even end…we just stop getting to watch it. Like the events that surround Sheriff Bell, maybe the story of Moss, Chigurh, and Bell are too big for us…and we’ll never know how, or when, the end really comes.

One Missed Call

Re-making Japanese horror movies seems to be all the rage lately. We’ve had The Ring, The Ring 2, The Grudge, The Grudge 2, and probably some others that I don’t even know about. In the spirit of Japanese adaptations past, comes One Missed Call.

One by one, a group of college students are dying off, but not before each of them receives a strange call on their cell phone, from one of the previous victims. Of course this is somewhat tricky, as all of these previous victims are, of course, dead…(kind of pre-requisite for being a victim)…and really shouldn’t be able to make phone calls. Why none of the kids actually answer the calls when they come in is something of a mystery…each of them just lets the phone ring until the ringing stops and the screen ominously displays “One Missed Call.” When listening to their voicemails, they each hear a message containing their own voices, sometimes terrified, sometimes unexpecting…but their speech is always interrupted by their own death. The voicemails are always “left” at the exact day and time, in the future, when they will die. Kind of crappy, right?

The kids take out their batteries, they smash their phones, they do whatever they can think of to stop the cycle…but to no avail. The phones keep on ringing. You’d think, though, that they would maybe learn to NOT say the things that they are saying in the voicemails. Especially at the exact time when they are told they’ll die. I mean…MAYBE that would work. We never find out, though, because none of them try it. Instead they all repeat the words, verbatim, at the precise moment that they are meant to say them, and then die.

I wonder if the folks in Japan ever get bored with their horror movies. Things get pretty predictable from here on out. There is one girl who is determined to figure out what is causing the deaths of her friends before any more of them are victimized. Doing some detective work, she finds that that culprit is an unholy spirit, who is dead set on vengeance against anyone any everyone. Sound familiar? Yeah, to me, too. Whether or not our heroine will find the spirit and thwart it, all the while finding love with the only person who believes her, a detective whose sister was an early victim of the villain, is something I’ll let you find out on your own.

I’m not saying that One Missed Call isn’t scary. It has some very effective scares, and does just what it is supposed to do. One of these days, however, I’m just hoping that one of these movies from Japan will come up with something a little more original, instead of playing essentially out the same old story in a different way. If we're treated, in a year or two, to One Missed Call 2, or Another Missed Call, or anything of the sort...I just might have to skip it.


You know, I’m not really a big proponent for teenage pregnancy. I don’t know anyone who really thinks it’s “cool” or desirable. I have to say, however, that I did like the movie, Juno.

First off, the title character, Juno MacGuff, is honestly just a funny girl. She’s in a sucky situation, and she knows it…but she kind of carries herself through it with a good attitude, and makes the right choice (in my opinion) when she decides to go through with the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption.

Juno is very concerned that her child is given to the “right” home…no weird or lame couple will do. She finds the “perfect couple” in Vanessa and Mark, who seem to be happily married and normal, as well as successful. Vanessa feels like she was born to be a mother, and welcomes Juno into their lives. Juno seems to bond initially more with Mark, who has a lot in common with her. However, after seeing Vanessa’s interaction with a child at the mall, Juno is clearly convinced that she has found the right mother for her baby.

The movie basically follows Juno’s entire “journey” over the next nine months. We see how she finds out that she’s pregnant, how she tells her family and friends, and how she bonds with the Lorings. We see how she deals with ridicule at school, but always holds her head high and has a quick one liner for every situation. Things don’t always go the way that she plans them, but she rolls with the punches and does the best she can with the hand she’s dealt herself.

Juno’s character is certainly what sells the movie for me, but I also am impressed with her support system. She’s got friends who continually stand by her, (including her best friend, Bleeker, who is also the father of the baby), and her family is very supportive. Although they definitely don’t like the situation, (I love the scene when Juno tells her dad and step-mom that she’s pregnant, and they lament that it hadn’t been something easier to take, like hard drug use or a DWI) they are there with her every step of the way. Her dad still sees her as his little girl, and wants to take care of her, while her step-mother, Brenda, though “tough” on the outside, clearly wants to protect her as well. This is obvious in one scene where an ultrasound technician expresses relief that Juno is giving the child up for adoption, because a teenager is obviously not fit to care for a child. Whether or not Brenda agrees with the notion that a child would be better off in a home with two (adult) parents, she sticks up for Juno, saying, of the adoptive parents, “They could be utterly negligent. Maybe they'll do a far shittier job of raising a kid than my dumbass step-daughter would. Have you considered that?”

Overall, the movie just made me smile, due mostly to the likeable (though sometimes awkward) characters. I am all for any movie that shows that good things can come from bad situations. Juno learns things about herself, builds a stronger relationship with her family, and realizes the importance of her true friends. And, when Vanessa is seen holding her child for the first time, I got a warm feeling that you generally wouldn’t associate with something as “ugly” as unplanned teenage pregnancy. Nobody likes clouds, but all of them potentially have silver linings…we just have to find them.


I’m not 100% sure how to even write my review of Cloverfield. Number one, I think I was overly pumped up for the movie by a guy that I work with. Pretty much he said it was going to be the best thing ever. So…there was that. Also…I generally like a good scary movie…so I was all ready for the ride of my life. And I have to say…I love a good ride.

After having seen the movie, though...I feel like, instead of a trip on Space Mountain with an Indiana Jones Adventure chaser (yeah, I love Disneyland), I got a ride on a measly little Ferris Wheel. You see, I don’t really have anything against Ferris Wheels. They can be pleasant. They are fine. But they aren’t the ride of my life…not even close.

Cloverfield is the story of New York City, while it’s being attacked by a giant monster from who knows where. The movie is filmed from a camcorder, carried by the world’s most annoying man, running through the streets and chaos with his friends. So…it’s like Godzilla and the Blair Witch Project rolled into one. In addition to the huge monster, there are smaller, insect like monsters that fall from it’s back or something, and they attack people, too. A lot of people die. A lot of buildings are destroyed. The camcorder guy is annoying. Again and again and again.

And yeah…that’s about all I can say. Like, there isn’t really any more to the plot than that. And if you’re looking for resolution, you don’t get any…inevitably you know that the camcorder is going to have to just stop taping…and it does…pretty abruptly. And the credits roll.

I don’t know so much that I HATED the movie, as much as it just didn’t “do it” for me. It ended, and I felt like saying, “Oh…so what?”

Finally, had it been me, I would have dropped the camera a LONG time before our protagonists do…they carry that thing through thick and thin. But then, if I’m being attacked by a disgusting crab/spider/alien thing, (or eight of them) I’m pretty sure the camera isn’t going to be able to catch me from my “good side.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sweeney Todd

Okay…this is one I’ve been wanting to do for so long!! I saw Sweeney Todd in the theater twice and absolutely loved it. I decided to wait for the DVD release to do my official write-up though…and I have been counting down the days until I got to see it again…which I did last night.

Ahhhh…I really do just love this movie. It makes me so happy! Hahaha…when you know the premise, that might sound strange…but it is what it is. Sweeney Todd is the story of a barber, named Benjamin Barker, who is wrongfully imprisoned by an jerkface Judge, who wants to get Barker out of the picture so he can have Barker’s wife. 15 years after his imprisonment, he has escaped (or been released? Not sure) and has returned to London, having reinvented himself as a man named Sweeney Todd, hoping to find the family he’d left behind. He goes back to Mrs. Lovett’s Meat Pies shop…where he, his wife and daughter had rented a room. Instead of the happy homecoming he’d envisioned, however, he learns from Mrs. Lovett that his wife had poisoned herself, and that the Judge had taken custody of his daughter.

Upon this revelation, Todd vows revenge upon the Judge and all those who have wronged him in the past…enlisting the help of Mrs. Lovett. She is quite obviously in love with him, (though it is wasted, as he is consumed with memories of his wife and daughter alone) and is willing to do anything for him. Together they work up a plan that Todd will open his barber shop above her meat pie shop…and they will lure the Judge to him by developing a reputation around town for being the best barber in the business. After competing in a head to head “shave off” with the town’s “celebrity” barber, (and dispensing of that competition…quite literally) Todd begins to entertain more and more customers…some of which receive a shave that is a bit closer than they’d probably bargained for. Mrs. Lovett, whose pie shop had previously been struggling due to a lack of money, and therefore, a lack of meat…(she introduces herself in the movie as the maker of the “Worst Pies in London”)…finds her own business to be booming as Todd’s customers literally pile up, providing her daily with “fresh supplies.”

I honestly could go on and on and on about this movie…but I’ll stop there with the plot references. I will, however, give you the...

“Top Three Things I Love About Sweeney Todd”

The Music! The movie, which I would say is probably 75% music, is based on a Broadway musical, and the songs are addictive and contagious. I bought the soundtrack within days of seeing the movie and find myself singing the songs all the time. As dastardly as the plot may seem…the singing really balances out the horror of what is happening. I know that might sound weird…but it’s hard to remember that you’re watching a literal “slasher” flick, when the killer is singing a beautiful song about his long lost daughter.

Johnny Depp! I honestly can’t say enough about Mr. Depp. I just love that guy. Sometimes I think I feel about him the way that Mrs. Lovett feels about Mr. Todd…but I can safely say that I’d never bake a “Priest-filled Meat Pie” for him. Johnny’s performance as Sweeney is SOOO good…he’s dark and brooding…and envelopes the character entirely. Also, his singing voice is just perfect for the part.

Tim Burton! I think whenever a Tim Burton movie comes out, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to love it. He just makes good movies…that are fun to watch…even to look at. He’s paired so many times with Johnny Depp that they almost just seem to “go together” by default…but each new movie is something fresh and new…and he never disappoints me. I love that guy.

The movie, I guess, probably isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like musicals, for one…you probably won’t like this movie. If you love musicals, but don’t like people who’s motives are not always “honorable,” then maybe you should go rent Mary Poppins instead. Finally…there IS a fair amount of killing in the movie. But, like I said before…it feels less violent (at least to me) than it is…due to the dark humor and wonderful music, and Tim Burton’s artistic style. I love love love this movie…and it has become, immediately, one of my all time favorites.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Deep Blue Sea

Over the weekend, I revisited an older movie, which I have always liked, "Deep Blue Sea." The movie follows a group of aquatic scientists, who are using brain proteins from sharks to try to find a cure for Alzheimer's.

Apparently sharks never seem to “age,” in that their brain activity never slows. It seems like the perfect plan. The problem with the sharks is that at regular size, there isn’t enough brain mass to produce enough protein to do their studies…so they have genetically altered the sharks to make their brains bigger. Handy idea, sure…but one of the unforeseen side effects is that they are suddenly dealing with very smart…not to mention, ENORMOUS, sharks.

Of course, just as soon as everyone is celebrating because their experiments seem to work…everything goes wrong. The lab is out in the middle of the ocean, (literally…it’s both above and below sea level) and huge storm is raging outside the walls. The aforementioned genius sharks suddenly decide that maybe they don’t like to be prodded and poked and that maybe they’d prefer NOT to donate their brain proteins to the cause of Alzheimer’s research. So…being the smart little buggers they are…they bite off a couple of body parts, break down a couple of walls…and viola…you have a flooded lab full of people that the sharks can swim around and get.

I might be making this movie sound corny or something…but I have to say that it’s not. As I said, I’ve always liked it…and the special effects are pretty darn good! Those sharks…they look so real that I squirm in my seat every time that I see them. I know everything that they are going to do…(I’ve seen it several times)…and they still freak me out! Basically…they aren’t nice. No…they aren’t.

I don’t know where it came from…I grew up (and have lived my entire life) pretty much as far inland as one can get…(Wyoming, anyone?)…but I am simultaneously fascinated and terrified of sharks at the same time. Honestly…is there ANYTHING scarier than a 45 foot shark barreling toward you in confined space when all you have to fight it off is a frying pan? No…no there isn’t. Whether or not the frying pan wins remains to be seen…you’ll have to check it out if you want to know.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Mist

So...the jury is still out on how I feel about "The Mist." I wanted to watch it because I do love a good scare...and well, it did deliver in that regard. I did get a little frustrated (or a LOT) with some of the characters, though...I just don't understand why people do the things that they do.

In "The Mist," based on a novella by Stephen King, a small New England town is enveloped in a thick fog...or Mist, if you will...after a violent thunderstorm. The storm has taken the power out in many homes, and destroyed a lot of property. Many people end up at the small local grocery store to get supplies to sustain them while they wait for the power to return. While they are there, it is determined that there is "something in The Mist" when a local man comes running into the store after watching his friend be "taken" by something.

The majority of the people in the store decide that it is unsafe to go outside of the store. A few venture out...either because they don't believe that anything dangerous is out there, or because they want to get home to protect loved ones. We learn of some of their outcomes throughout the movie. Eventually, the "something(s) in The Mist" are revealed...and I have to say...I'm not a huge fan of them.

The story...which I will not detail much more...creates some interesting studies on human behavior. It is amazing how quickly people can change when they are in intense situations. A quiet artist will become something of a leader...while those who seemed to be self-assured, and the beginning, will buckle under the pressure and eventually do and believe anything that they are it good, or bad. Some people turn on their friends...while others who never even met band together. The tagline for the movie is "Fear Changes Everything," and that really does say it all. When you really think about it, more scary than encounters with the "things" in the Mist, is what happens to the people inside the supermarket...through encounters with one another.

I have enjoyed other Stephen King movies that Frank Darabont has made...(he did "The Green Mile" and "The Shawshank Redemption;" he's the director of this one, too.) I think my reservations with this movie come from the story itself...which is really quite tragic in so many ways. I can't say that it's a "bad"'s one of those movies that makes you think about what you would's a "thinker" movie. Aside from the supernatural elements, the characters are real...and act like real people...which is disturbing...if you see it, I'm sure you'll know what I mean. While I don't regret seeing the's certainly not for everyone.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I Am Legend

From seeing the previews of I Am Legend, I guess I sort of missed what it was all about. I knew that Will Smith was alone in an abandoned New York City...and that, at some point, he was freaked out in a darkish warehouse when he heard a noise. I got the impression that while running amok in the City, he was trying to figure out what happened to everyone else, and see if there were any survivors. That's really about it. Little did I know that all along, Smith's character, Robert Neville, was totally aware of what had happened around him, and was actually trying to "fix it." That preview did NOT preview this movie well.

I'll go ahead and start right out saying that I HATE vampires. I especially hate the vampires in this movie. Nobody ever comes right out and calls them vampires, but that is what I'm calling them. Sunlight kills them, so they only come out at night, but they make the most of those evening hours killing everything they can get their hands on...blah blah get the picture. They are freaking jerks.

Seriously...Dracula has nothing on these guys. No more are the days when a vampire would parade around as a semi-charming Count from Eastern Europe and say things like, "I vant to suck your blood," before dramatically descending upon his helpless victim. Instead, these "dark seekers," (as one character has named them) move with speed and grace that seriously freaks me out, and scream at the top of their lungs constantly. I can never understand what they are saying...but I'm pretty sure if I consulted a "Dark Seeker to English Dictionary" it would translate into something like, "I vant to jump out of the shadows and show you how vide I can open my mouth as I scream at you, and then if you don't die of a heart attack, I vill chase you down and rip your face off."

Long story short, Robert Neville is the only living survivor in a futuristic New York City. Every living person in the City, (and in the world, for all he knows) has been exposed to a virus that was originally developed to cure cancer, but turns out to pretty much be the worst scientific development in the history of the world. Three things can happen to someone who is exposed: 1. They can die...which the vast majority of people did. 2. They can turn into the previously referenced jerkface vampires...which is the second most popular thing to have happened. 3. They can find that they are immune to the virus...which turned out to be the result for something like 1 in a hundred million people.

Robert turns out to be immune to the stuff...hence his status as the only living survivor in NYC. He is a doctor, and is trying to find a cure for the virus, using the immunity that is in his blood. Setting an alarm on his watch so he always has warning of when sunset is coming, Robert goes out during the day, when the vampires have to hide...and gets food and picks out new DVDs at the movie store. For some reason there are wild deer and other animals roaming the streets of Manhattan, and sometimes he hunts them. He hasn't got anyone in his life to talk to, except his trusty dog, Sam...who accompanies him everywhere.

That's all I'll tell you...which is a heck of a lot more than any preview I ever saw told me...but still not enough to ruin the movie. The movie is definitely not for anyone who doesn't like to be scared...I was in panic mode about 90% of the time, I think. Some of this panic turned out to be unwarranted...but that freaking "scary movie music" really does a good job in this one...and the actual scary moments are SCARY.

I thought about how I would react if Robert's reality became my own. If you had to look at the options of how exposure to this vampire virus would affect would most likely hope for the whole immunity least you don't have to die or become a murderous creature of the night. After thinking about it though, I have to say...after watching Robert deal with it...I think I'd have wished for death. In all honesty, I wouldn't have lasted a day in his world...because even if I was immune to the virus...I would certainly not be immune to the whole heart attack from seeing the wide mouthed vampire screaming in my face for the first time.

Nancy Drew

I grew up reading and loving Nancy Drew books. I think the first one I read was at my Grampa’s house…it was on the shelf, next to some Hardy Boys mysteries…and I kind of became hooked after that. I loved how smart she was…how she could figure anything out, and was never fooled by the lesser minded criminals she nabbed.

The Nancy Drew featured in the 2007 movie (played by Julia Roberts’ niece, Emma Roberts…who does this weird thing with her mouth that I can’t even figure out…it just bugs me) is easily as “book smart” as my childhood hero…but she’s way more naïve, and is socially kind of clueless. The Nancy Drew books were introduced in the 50s…and our movie’s heroine would have felt more comfortable in that decade far better than she does in ours. In the movie, Nancy goes with her father to Los Angeles for a three month business endeavor of sorts. Nancy has to leave her friends (including dreamy Ned Nickerson...but don't worry...he comes to visit) and “fans” in River Heights, and is immersed in a world where she doesn’t fit in. Modern day Los Angeles just isn’t ready for teenage whiz kids in penny loafers.

Most of the kids at her new school don’t like her…but Nancy does find a friend in 12 year old Corky, who develops an immediate crush on her and seems to just want to be with her. I’m not sure what role he plays, other than comic relief…because he doesn’t seem to help her in many other ways, other than providing her company.

Of course, aside from her woes in trying to find friends and be a “normal teenager,” there is a mystery to be solved. Nancy had promised her father that she wouldn’t do any sleuthing while in Los Angeles…but breaks her word almost immediately upon arrival. Nancy and her father are renting the house of a former Hollywood starlet who died under mysterious circumstances. Nancy sets out to solve the mystery that nobody has been able to solve for the past 30 years…and pits herself against bad guys of all sorts along the way.

I can say, honestly, that I did like the movie…though I felt annoyed by some of Nancy’s naivety, and wanted her to smarten up a bit. Like, maybe in the sequel, Nancy could NOT walk right into the back seat of the car that has been menacingly chasing her for the entire movie. Maybe. I don’t know.

Overall…it’s a fun movie…not one I’d probably run out to buy right away…but not one I regret watching either.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I watched Enchanted over the weekend. I loved it! I’m a huge sucker for anything Disney…so I knew that I would love it even before I watched it…but you know, it’s good that it’s official. How can one go wrong with a movie that is 1 part cartoon, 1 part live action, 1 part musical, and 1 part McDreamy? One can NOT go wrong, I tell you…it’s not going to happen.

The movie, in case you’re not familiar, follows the story of a typical Disney Princess (to be), Giselle, who, just moments after meeting her “one true love,” is thrust from her beloved cartoon world into modern day New York City. Of course you can see where this is going…hilarity will ensue! Giselle is charming and innocent, and wins over almost everyone she comes across…including divorce lawyer, Robert, and his daughter, Morgan.

Giselle is followed through the portal to reality by various characters from her world, including her best friend, a talking squirrel who can’t talk anymore, a wicked witch and her bumbling henchman and then, of course, by Edward, who is determined to rescue her and take her back to their happily ever after.

Without ruining too much…I will just say that this is typical Disney…in that I love it…but I also like the fact that it also makes fun of itself a little bit, exploiting so many Disney cartoon stereotypes along the way to its happy ending.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

I remember reading a celebrity news/gossip blog last year sometime, and they were talking about this movie that Natalie Portman had done where she had done some steamy scene in which she was wearing nothing but a pair of socks for the majority of it. And I thought to myself…"who in the crap would want to see that?" You know…besides perverts. Hee hee. Well, I didn’t know the name of the movie, and then out came Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, which I knew nothing about…except that it starred Natalie Portman. So…putting two and two together and getting 7…I assumed that this Magic Emporium was some sort of dirty “adult” store, owned by some disgusting dirty old sicko named Mr. Magorium, in which Natalie paraded around nude all the time. I was disgusted with the kinds of movies that they make these days.

Turns out…I was wrong. Thankfully. Apparently…when she’s not doing cameo spots in the nude, Natalie Portman can make a really cute family movie. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is the story of the coolest toy store in the world. Why is it so cool? Because it’s magical. Things in the store are alive…which makes playing with them a LOT more fun…because you don’t just play with them…they play with you! Mr. Magorium, played by Dustin Hoffman, has been running the store for over a hundred years…and he’s finally thinking it might be time to leave the store to someone else.

Enter Natalie Portman…(who is fully clothed for the entire movie)…as Molly Mahoney. She has worked at the store for years and looks to Mr. Magorium with the utmost affection. She loves him and loves working for him…and is inspired by the magic that he shares with the world. Understandably, she’s not so excited to hear that he’s leaving, and entirely overwhelmed by the thought that he would leave the store to her. It is only through his guidance that she will see whether or not she has what it takes to direct the magic once Mr. Magorium is gone.

There are two other main characters in the movie. Eric, a little boy who hasn’t got any friends outside of Molly and Mr. Magorium, spends all of his time in the shop. He loves playing…but doesn’t have anyone to play with. There is also Henry, an accountant who is hired by Mr. Magorium to get his financial affairs in order before his departure. Henry is also friendless, because he works all of the time, and hasn’t got a mind to grasp the magic that surrounds him in the store. Eric, who has never been able to make a friend, steps out of his comfort zone to reach out to Henry…and they kind of complete each other…in a non-creepy way. Henry is someone that Eric can connect with...for the first time ever...and Eric is able to help Henry see the reality of the store around him. It seems like Eric doesn’t have a father…(we do see his mother, who is concerned about his lack of friends)...and maybe on some level, Henry fills that role for him.

Overall…I really liked the movie. It’s definitely fun for kids and the young at heart, and is one that I would totally want to see again. I’m a sucker for toys, and magic, and last but not least, fully dressed lead characters.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bee Movie

Tonight I watched Bee Movie. I'm pretty much easy to please when it comes to animation...I guess it's just the kid in me that refuses to grow up. I really liked this movie, though, because it not only appealed to the kid in me...but also had humor that I think grown ups can appreciate. I've always been a fan of Jerry Seinfeld's hilarious "observation" humor. Almost everything he does in his stand up is just based on things he's observed about human's funny because it's true. Seinfeld's unique humor is laced throughout the movie, and I found myself laughing even when the 5 year old I was watching it wasn't. We both laughed, however, at the rest of the movie...which I thought was good fun from the beginning to the end.

It's something of a "feel-good" movie...(as most cartoons are supposed to be, I think)...and it did its job. Another worthy release from Dreamworks...(the Shrek people)...=)

August Rush

Wow...what a good movie. I really loved so much about it!! I have liked Freddie Highmore in other movies he has been in, but I still worry that, like many child actors, he'll get more and more annoying as he gets older. I feel like he's pretty close to said annoying state...but he hasn't reached it yet.

Freddie plays Evan, a boy who has grown up an orphan, but who is sure his parents are "out there" and that they want to be with him. He is sure that he can "hear" them in the music that he hears all around him, in the everyday happenings of his life. He lives at an orphanage, but eventually leaves, in search of his parents, following his love for music. He finds himself in New York, where he meets "Wizard," played by Robin Williams, who seems impressed with him, and says he wants to help him develop his musical talent. Eventually, Wizard gives Evan the stage name of "August Rush." August meets several people in his life, all of whom are amazed at his musical genius, and help mold his talents.

We also see the stories of Evan's parents, who met by chance, but were separated by circumstance, and have lived to regret that they were not able to stay together. They are also musicians; music is the common thread that binds them all.

The stories of all three main characters show that they are each incomplete without the other two, though initially only August is actually searching for the others. He see his music as a vehicle to find the parents that he's always loved, and believes it will bring them to him.

This movie was good in so many ways. I loved the characters and the music. I was drawn into the lives of the characters, and totally adopted thier emotions. I found myself wanting to know more and keep watching, even as the credits rolled. Excellent!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dan In Real Life

So I just watched Dan In Real Life. I am a fan of Steve Carell, but this is a little different from most of the movies he's been in. Less "Over the top Will Ferrell-y," and more, "This is actually someone that could exist and could be related to." Some of Carell's awkwardness that I've grown to love in The Office is there...but not so much that I was embarrassed for him...but just enough to make him seem like a real person with real feelings. We've all felt the way he feels...about one thing or another.

In the movie, Steve plays a man named Dan, whose wife has died, and who has been raising their three daughters on his own. The two older daughters drove me crazy almost the entire movie. Like, I get that teenagers are obnoxious sometimes...but I don't buy how jerky these girls were. Their dad is a nice guy and he loves them...I don't get how rude they are to him. So you didn't get what you wanted...move on, brats. His youngest daughter is more bearable...and has the most tender relationship with him. Basically she is willing to cut him a break moreso than the others...and I appreciate that. He deserves a break.

Dan's family is central in the movie...they spend a week (or something) at a sort of reunion, where Dan's brother, played by the always annoying Dane Cook, introduces them all to his new girlfriend, Marie...ten minutes after Dan met her in a book store and fell for her. Of course this makes for some awkwardness. As painful as it might be, stuff like this has to happen to give movies a plot...I get it.

Anyway...I won't share the whole plot here...but I did like the movie, annoying daughters and Dane Cook aside. Dan's family was likeable and warm, as was the whole movie, in my opinion. Probably one I will buy at some point...:)