Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Never forget where you came from."

Bright and early tomorrow morning, I am leaving for a week to go on a mission trip to Belize with my church. I am, therefore, posting my Weekend Movie Preview a day early and will be out of touch until next Thursday. I may be updating our church blog from there, however I will not know for sure what kind of internet access I will have until I get down there. If you are interest, I have included the links to the blog and the organization with which we will be working at the bottom of the page.

The three big movies coming to theaters this weekend are: Our Idiot Brother, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Colombiana

Colombiana is about a girl named Cataleya Restrepo who is raised by her uncle to be an assassin. When she grows up, she seeks revenge on the Colombian drug lord who killed her parents. It stars Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis and Jordi Molla. The trailer looks pretty bad ass, but I have not yet seen many reviews. My guess would be that the fight scenes are pretty cool but the storyline is weak, as with similar movies. I could be wrong, but even if I were going to be around this weekend, I would still probably wait to see it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"You're trying to control things that are not meant to be controlled."

I finally got around to seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes and I have to say, I was pretty disappointed. I was not originally planning to see this movie, but it had gotten good reviews, so I figured I would give it a shot. I have to say, I was expecting it to be much better than it was.

The acting was fine, but the characters were incredibly one-dimensional. The writing was just pretty awful. As my one friend put it, "It's like they wrote it for Apes." I just felt that, in general, it was incredibly cheesy. I also did not find the special effects to be all that spectacular. The motion capture technology is impressive, but no more so than anything we have seen before.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"An orgy won't look after you when you're old."

Opening this weekend at the box office is One Day, Fright Night, Conan the Barbarian and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D.

One Day stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgiss and is about two people who meet for the first time on the night of their graduation from college. We then see their relationship on that same date every year. Some days they are together, some days they are not. Some days they like each other, some days they hate each other. Over the years they learn what friendship and love is really all about.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fall Movie Preview

I have finally received my Entertainment Weekly Fall Movie Preview! As I did last year, and at the beginning of the summer, I will now list for you the movies that I am most looking forward to seeing this fall.

9 - Warrior (Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte)
16 - Drive (Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman)
23 - Moneyball (Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman)
     - Red State (Michael Parks, John Goodman, Melissa Leo)
30 - 50/50 (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick)

I may also see Contagion (9/9), I Don't Know How She Does It (9/16), Abduction (9/23) and What's Your Number? (9/30).

Monday, August 15, 2011

"You can write my obituary! Charlotte Phelan, dead! Her daughter, still single!"

I want to start by pointing out that this is my 100th post and I have recently surpassed 8,000 views of my blog. Thank you to all of you who are reading and enjoying my random thoughts. If you have not already done so, please share this with any of your friends, family, co-workers or random people on the street that you think might enjoy reading it as well!

And now onto business.....

As I talked about last week, I recently read The Help by Kathryn Stockett in preparation for the movie. I am glad that I read the book because it was very good, but it made me realize that I need to stop reading books before seeing a movie adaptation. Or at least not reading it so close to seeing the movie because then I compare and contrast too much and think about all the things that have been left out from the book instead of just enjoying the movie.

That being said, this was a great film that everyone should see. It was funny and moving and very engaging. I did think it left out a little too much of the racial tension that was very present in the book, but the performances were excellent and really drove the plot.

The characters did talk about how much trouble they would be in if anyone discovered that they were writing the book and there were a few scenes where they show you what kinds of things went on in Jackson, Mississippi in the 60's. However, Skeeter's mother, played by Allison Janney, was not as racist in the movie as she was in the book. Also, they did not really talk about the maids who did experience backlash from their book, aside from Aibileen. The movie as a whole was just a lot more lighthearted than the book.

Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer were all fantastic in their performances. I also enjoyed seeing some Veronica Mars faces in Chris Lowell, Jessica Chastain and Nelsan Ellis. It is really because of this great acting that the movie was so good. With a less talented cast, I do not think it would have made the same impact.

I think it is important for all women to see this film. Not only is it entertaining but it shows us what roles we played in a previous time and reminds us of how far we have come and why we should not take our power for granted.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

"That's your fatherly advice? Personal ads?"

In the movie Beginners, Ewan McGregor plays a young man named Oliver whose father, played by Christopher Plummer, has just died from lung cancer and whose mother died when he was a child. It actually takes place at three different times: 1. when he is a child and his mother is still alive; 2. when he is an adult and his father has just been diagnosed with lung cancer and through his death; and 3. after his father's death when he meets a girl and falls in love. It goes back and forth between each period throughout the entire movie.

Going to see this was a very bad idea. Not because it was a bad movie, it was actually quite good, but because it reminded me too much of my father. He died from lung cancer last year. The lung cancer storyline caugh me off-guard and I seriously considered walking out of the theater, but decided to stick it out and am glad that I did. While parts of it were sad, it was excellent and at times very funny.

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Remember middle school, when me and you worshipped the devil for, like, two weeks?"

Since The Help is coming out early this week, I am doing my Weekend Preview today instead of Thursday. In addition to The Help, the other big movies out this weekend are 30 Minutes or Less, Final Destination 5 and Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie.

30 Minutes or Less stars Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, Dilshad Varsaria, Michael Pena and Fred Ward. In this movie, Eisenberg plays a pizza delivery boy that gets kidnapped by two wanna-be criminals who strap a bomb to his chest and give him eight hours to rob a bank. He enlists the help of his best friend and must also deal with the police, assassins that the criminals have hired to kill their father, and their own relationship issues. It looks pretty funny but I will probably wait for the reviews before I make up my mind about seeing this.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"A place is only as good as the people you know in it."

I know I do not talk about books often, but I do read, especially in the summer when there is less television and good pool weather. That being said, these are the books that you should read right now if you have not already, 1. because they are FABulous; and 2. because the movie adaptations are coming soon: The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The Help movie is out this week and the first of The Hunger Games will be out next year. I have also finally read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, but am still on the fence about it. I realize that I am behind on some of these things, but that is mostly because I, obviously, watch a lot more television and movies than I read books. However, that does mean that I do not know what I am talking about here. Next on my list are the rest of the Larsson trilogy and Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

Alright, now on to what I am actually good at, which is watching and talking about movies :o)

I have recently, finally, gotten around to watching I Am Number Four and Arthur. Neither was very good, but I am glad that I can say that definitively now, instead of just assuming.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Before making any decision in your life, no matter how small, call your wife first...

...Think of yourself as a brain-damaged mule, lost in the desert, helpless, dumb and in constant need of direction. Never take the initiative, never strike out on your own and never deviate from the plan. Why? 'Cause you're a brain-damaged mule and you are lost in the damn desert!"

The two big films out this weekend are Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Change-Up.

In a "Freaky Friday" style movie for the boys, The Change-Up stars Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, two friends who magically switch bodies after a night of drinking. Bateman plays the family man with three kids and Reynolds plays the responsibility-free ladies man. They soon discover that the other's life is not as easy as they once thought.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"I should have fought for you. 'Cause you fight for your soul-mates."

As many of you know, I think that Ryan Gosling is the best actor of our generation. Unfortunately, he has not been in a lot of mainstream movies, so most people only know him from The Notebook. This is a shame because he has been in some fantastic movies that I recommend you watch immediately.

That being said, I loved Crazy, Stupid Love. It starts out a little slow, introducing you to all the characters and their stories, but it gradually picks up. The general tone of the movie is more serious than I expected it to be, but still really funny at the same time. There is some really great comedic acting from Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. This might be a little surprising for Gosling, who usually plays dark, moody characters, but he is such a fantastic actor that the comedy did not seem unnatural coming from him. This movie was emotional, it was smart, but mostly it was just really funny.