Monday, June 6, 2011

The King's Speech

In case you hadn't noticed I skipped the Oscar Countdown for this past year. My lack of interest in movies kept me from seeing some fine pieces of work. And so with my change of heart, I am catching up on the Best Movie contenders. My first choice was the Best Movie, The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter.I had heard so many mixed reviews that I stayed away from this wonderful gem - I'm so glad I watched it. It was a wonderful human story about a tragic time in history--the brink of WWII--and the monarchy of England. Specifically, following the death of King George V, his son ascends to the throne only to abdicate to marry Wallis Simpson, leaving the throne to his younger brother Albert. Afflicted with a terrible lifelong stammer, Albert must take the inner journey to find confidence in himself and overcome the impediment as the country joins the war against Germany.
Wonderful performances by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush as King and irreverant speech therapist. Interesting history with poignant human interest and a dash of humor kept me engaged for the whole 118 minutes.  SEE IT!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Water for Elephants

I like to read. I admit I don't own an E-reader and probably won't anytime soon. I like the feel of a book, turning the pages, hearing the spine crack as I move to the next fresh chapter. So I always approach a book-turned-movie with a bit of trepidation.  I believe the story images in our minds are always better than anything that Hollywood could possibly produce. And sometimes the casting isn't what I thought of a particular character and I think that's the worst. And so I was really surprised with "Water for Elephants" -- the wonderful novel by Sara Gruen about life in the circus during the 1930s Depression and Prohibition era.

The movie really stayed true to the book, the characters were well cast, and it moved along with no wasted frames.  I didn't know how I would feel about Reese Witherspoon in the part of Marlena, but she did pull it off. Robert Pattinson was wonderful as the gentle animal vet, Jacob Jankowski, who loses his innocence about life during the 1930s depression. The best role was played by Christoph Waltz as August, the brutal circus owner and animal trainer. 
I admit watching the animal abuse was harder than reading about it (I studied my coffee cup a little too long) but the story was wonderful and interesting.  Good choice - movie theater or DVD, which I assume won't be too long coming.

X-Men - First Class

It's really no surprise that I am a comic book fan and am truly enjoying the past few years' resurgence in Super Hero movies.   The X-Men are one of my favorites in the Marvel world and I was very curious to see the "pre-quel"  to the franchise, X-Men First Class.  I was not disappointed.  The movie explained the early years of the first characters, Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), the origins of the friendship and ultimate parting of ways.  Other characters are also introduced, like Mystique and Beast. Kevin Bacon plays the wonderfully awful Sebastian Shaw.   The special effects were awesome, but the cameos and one-liner references were even better.  There were even some well-placed laughs. I didn't even mind being the only female in the theater.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year - New Ideas

Well, I know, I know, I have been away for quite a while, but I have a very good reason! The movies this past year have not been worthy of my hard earned dollars. How can a die hard movie watcher like myself feel that way, you ask? It's just that when I plan on seeing a movie, I usually have a few on the list. I weigh the general consensus, how badly I want to see it, and the cost & then come up with the theater vs. DVD factor (or TDF as I call it). Sadly, this past year has seen the list of 'wait for DVD' grow exponentially. I'm thinking I should just do DVD reviews?
One other item that is starting to gnaw at me is that the trend toward 3D is ridiculous. How bout it, Hollywood? Let's get back to good storylines, with earnest actors, and forget the big dollar productions? Save me some bucks at the theater and maybe you will see more lines at those hallowed big screen halls. (Used to be my kids could go for $5 plus snacks, now it $20 plus snacks! -- REALLY??)
I'll be back -- Your thoughts?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I don't know bout this...

Katherine Heigl to pick up the Stephanie Plum mantle...
According to the Ausiello Files Spoilers -- Katherine Heigl has signed on to play Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum! I am aan avid reader of the Sptehanie Plum mysteries and I'm not sure how I feel about this. I guess this will be the true test of Heigl's talents if she can pull this one off. I have always seen Plum as a tough little cookie - crazy yet self assured. I have not seen that in Heigl's repertois as yet.
Any thoughts on this my little Plum fans?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hooray for Sandra !

Congrats Sandra Bullock -- one of my favorites both as an actress and person!

I have long followed Sandra Bullock's movie career -- I just enjoy her honest, unpretentioius, girl next door beauty! (Not to mention the fact that we are the same age and she looks great for our age--no matter what she's wearing). She has a quick dry wit that I get.

I laughed at her in Demolition Man (1993) with Sly Stallone, and marveled at her in her breakout role in Speed (1994) and admired her freshness ever since (good or bad movies). I have even watched The Net (1995) several times (it soothes my inner computer geek). She is generally the girl next door in her roles which I think is why The Blind Side finally let her shine with acting maturity.

If you are looking for a popcorn and Bullock night, try Speed, Hope Floats, and The Proposal to enjoy her range.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

OSCAR NIGHT! The picks...

OoOkay, here go the picks for tonight... Please feel free to discuss

Best Animated - Up

Best Supporting Actress - Mo'nique (Precious)

Best Supporting Actor - Christopher Waltz (Inglorious Basterds)

Best Actress - Meryl Streep (Julie/Julia) --sorry Sandra (I still love ya)

Best Actor - Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)

Best Director - Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker)

Best Movie - Avatar (overall and everything considered) - sorry Hurt Locker

Makeup - Star Trek (I didn't even know that was Eric Bana)

Visual Effects - Avatar (wow)

Cinemotography - Hurt Locker