Movie Adventures

I love movies. Going to the theater, throwing a DVD in, streaming on the internet. Doesn’t matter to me, I just love to watch movies. Unfortunately, the last few months have been very chaotic in my personal and work lives (yes, I separate those!) and I haven’t had much time to enjoy movies in my favorite form: the big screen.

Aside from worrying about being stuck next to a sniffler, screaming tweens, or perhaps the universally-feared chatterbox, actually GOING to the movies is almost always a great experience. This week I was able to see not one, but two movies in the theater!

So, what did I see, you ask? The top two grossing movies out right now — duh! Sunday was a espionage afternoon with Skyfall and today was a matinee full of vampires and werewolves in Breaking Dawn Pt. 2.

Overall my movie-going experience both days was fantastic. I thought I’d share some brief thoughts on the films in case you too are debating taking the $20+ plunge of going to the theater.

First up, Bond. James Bond.

I am personally not a huge 007 fan. I know, I know… that’s a crime! Well if you can forgive me for that, I will say that I REALLY enjoyed Skyfall. As a stand alone movie (for someone who hasn’t seen all the James Bond movies) it was easy to follow and just as intriguing as say the Bourne series (one of my favorites). I thought they did a great job at keeping twists and turns in the movie without simultaneously losing my interest by confusing me.

The most impressive part about this film: Javier Bardem. He played the most creepy, freakishly smart, and crazy ex-agent ever: Silva. Oh the goosebumps! His bleach blonde hair, removable face implant, and über freaky laugh really made you believe he’d gone off the deep end.

Second best part: Daniel Craig. Enough said. :)

Overall, I give the movie an ‘A’ for being intriguing, suspenseful, and having a very handsome leading man who can kick butt all day long without breaking too much of a sweat (even for an “old” guy).

Next: the end of an era Saga

I don’t know about you, but when I’ve invested time in a TV show, multi-movie franchise, book series, etc. I tend to stick it out even past its expiration date, just because. Prime example: One Tree Hill. I watched that show like it was my job from the first to last season because after the first few seasons I felt committed enough that I couldn’t NOT find out how it ended… it was hardly the same show after 9 seasons.

Same story with Twilight. I couldn’t give up after the New Moon debacle (that movie was a challenge to sit through!). It really was too bad that the movies didn’t do the books justice because they had so much to work with. Fortunately, these last two (Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 & 2) were both really well done. Although the acting of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson didn’t necessarily get better, I think the directors were able to help them out a bit.

So, I’ve now officially seen all 5 movies (and yes, read the 4 books) and can honestly say this last one was the best of them. The cheese-factor was far less than the prior installments. Even the visual effects were impressive — those wolves almost look real. However Renesmee’s (Mackenzie Foy) digital face on various ages of children was a little creepy, but they did the best they could given the fictional nature of the character.

Anywhoo, it was definitely a great ending to a so-so movie saga. They stuck to the book well enough that I didn’t see any major reasons for complaints, the acting was improved, and the overall feel of completeness of the series (and the characters) was there — something I can say is often lacking in long-lived television shows. I’d give it an ‘A-‘ and say it is definitely worth seeing if you have any remote interest in the story because it repents for the past films that were less than stellar.

There you have it folks, my take on the top two movies of Thanksgiving week. As for what else is coming out that I want to see, the list is quite lengthy after having seen about 10 trailers in the last few days. Costco movie tickets, here I come!

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Movie Review | The Lucky One

“How do you explain something that you can’t even understand yourself?”

click the picture to watch the trailer

As promised, I went and saw “The Lucky One.”

For starters, here’s the plot summary (from Apple trailers):

U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive-a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name is Beth (Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.

Overall, the movie was pretty good (I’d say a 7 out of 10).  Zac Efron did a great job playing the sexy, sensitive guy.  Question, do those actually exist?  Doubtful….darn you Nicholas Sparks for setting my expectations so high! Anyway, the chemistry between Efron and his co-star Taylor Schilling was a little less than spectacular.

For those of you who have a love of all things Nicholas Sparks (like I do), you probably think love should be as amazing as Noah and Allie in the Notebook.  Beth and Logan (Schilling and Efron) just don’t possess that same, gotta-have-one-another magnetism.  I personally think that Schilling is just a little old for Efron. I can’t recall from the book, but I don’t believe that the character of Beth was supposed to seem older than Logan.

As always, the characters are relatable and have great back stories.  Beth is a teacher with ex-husband issues, who is a loving mom, and caring granddaughter.  Logan is a marine who feels every day is a gift and simply wants to make everyone’s lives better.  An added bonus in this movie is the mass number of adorable doggies, including Logan’s dog Zeus.

I would definitely recommend this movie to those who are interested in seeing your average rom-com, and who happen to love the overly-perfect endings of a Nicholas Sparks book, but if your expectations are still on Notebook and A Walk To Remember levels, then you might be a little let down.

Fun Finds | Going to the Movies

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I just wanted to share with you some upcoming movie trailers that look really awesome!  As you can probably tell from my last post like this, I am a movie trailer addict.  I rarely see a trailer in the theaters that I haven’t seen already. So, without further adieu (look, 6 years of French and I was able to include a French word in a post)… here are three movies coming out soon-ish that I am really excited to see!

The Avengers – May 4, 2012

(click the image to watch the trailer)

For those of you living under a rock, The Avengers is basically the best of the best.  We’ve got all the Marvel characters melding their powers to defeat evil. I don’t know about all of you, but the hype this movie has gotten has certainly increased my excitement. It also helps that I absolutely loved the Iron Man movies and can’t wait to see RDJ (Robert Downy jr.) team up with other super heroes!

Nesting – May 11, 2012

(click the image to watch the trailer)

This movie has not gotten much press yet, but I think it will be quite funny.  Plus, everyone loves a rom-com!  This movie essentially chronicles the attempt of one Gen-X couple to get the spontaneity back in their lives.

Looper – September 28, 2012

(click the image to watch the trailer)

Now this is for sure going to be the movie of the fall! Yes, I know it doesn’t come out until September, but the premise looks amazing (although a little freaky too). For starters I will see just about anything with Joseph Gordon-Levitt because he is just an amazing actor and incredibly good looking. Unfortunately, in this movie he has some serious prosthetics on because he is supposed to be the young version of Bruce Willis (obviously, the resemblance is not there in real life). Anywhoo, the movie looks like it will be complex much like Inception (another movie where Joseph demonstrated his mad acting skills) and keep you on the edge of your seat.

Well kids that’s my Fun Finds movie round up for right now — the ole laptop only has a few percentage points of battery left — but please let me know in the comments section if and when you see these movies or any other ones that look like they are worth watching!

Movie Review | 21 Jump Street

“I really thought that was going to explode.”

Do you like funny movies? Of course you do! :)

So…you need to see 21 Jump Street. I could not stop laughing the entire movie (nor could anyone in the theater).  If you need proof, just look at the ratings.  It was the top grossing movie this weekend, and if you’ve seen it, you know why!

If you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, and have yet to even see the preview, check it out (click the picture).

Click on the image to go to the trailer.

 

Who would have known that Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum would make a great duo?! Personally  love all things Channing Tatum… just ask my friends, I’ve been obsessed with every movie he’s been in for years (i.e. Dear John, The Vow, Step Up, She’s the Man, Stop Loss, just to name a few).

Until this point, I hadn’t really enjoyed Jonah Hill as an actor, but I was really impressed — he’s definitely moved passed his Superbad days.

Having been a mere infant when the original 21 Jump Street ended, I obviously have no comparison to what 80’s TV-aholics believe to be one of the best shows ever created, but as a stand-alone movie the 2012 version was amazing.

The basic plot line, for those of you who don’t know, is two somewhat pathetic cops (Hill and Tatum) are put undercover and thrown back into high school, in order to find the supplier of a new drug.  Tatum’s character was a high school jock in his day, and expects to be right back in that BMOC (big man on-campus) position.  Little does he know, the new cool kids are the environmentally-friendly, smart kids who are getting into Berkeley and saving the planet, one Prius at a time.  Hill’s character, the once “not-so-slim-Shady” is now realizing what it was like to have the adoration of high school pupils.

The whole movie will have you bursting at the seams laughing.  The timing is right, the characters were well cast, and there are definitely a few surprises lurking around corners that audience members, like myself, definitely don’t see coming!

A small warning to those of you who may be a bit sensitive, it is definitely an R-rated movie for a reason.  Throughout the film, there is a lot of profanity, but unlike the aforementioned Superbad (which I couldn’t sit through due to the horrible sophomoric humor), it didn’t hit you in the face quite so obnoxiously.

Overall, I absolutely loved this movie, and would suggest it to anyone who just needs a really gut-busting laugh.

Movie Review | The Debt

“What if we could go back. Would it be different?”

Oh boy, have I got a movie recommendation for all of you! This weekend I went to see the movie “The Debt” stars Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Jesper Christensen, Marton Csokas, and Tom Wilkinson, among others.  The film is about a trio of secret agents whose mission is to hunt down the surgeon of Birkenau–“a man whose sadistic experiments left thousands disfigured or dead.”

Personally I love films that jump between present day and a time long ago (or in this case the 1960s).  The side-by-side plot lines intertwined excellently, showing how the relationship of Stefan, Rachel, and David unfolded during and after their time in Soviet-controlled East Berlin.

The film was a great combination of action, romance, and mystery simply due to the nature of the mission these young agents were on, and the ways in which they so seamlessly integrated themselves into society in order to not draw attention to themselves.

young Rachel, David, and Stefan training in their apartment

After the initial mission fails, the three struggle to keep their hostage alive in the confines of their small apartment. During the surgeons “feeding times” the bond between the three agents begins to wear thin, and his messages to them begin to infiltrate each agent’s mind, subsequently driving them mad.

When the film returns to “modern day” (1997) we see how drastically life has changed, and how secrets are much harder to keep than anyone could have anticipated.  After a member of the trio ends his own life, the mission restarts and the desire to rid the earth of the surgeon begins once again.

This film was an excellent emotional roller coaster.  I really loved that it wasn’t a typical film in the way that one can anticipate what is lying around every turn.  The way in which the movie was actually filmed was also really interesting to me.  The filters and angles used really gave the film some intrigue, even before the actors start talking.

Interestingly, I had not heard of this movie when I went to see it at the theater.  I simply was surfing the movie listings and saw the title and gave the trailer a quick preview.  So, for any of you who did see it already (despite its lack of advertising) what did you think?  Is anyone else as refreshed as I was to see a film that isn’t highly predictable like most movies these days? What are your thoughts on how semi-newbies Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain did at portraying Mossad secret agents? Let me know in the comments section!

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