Thursday, April 17, 2008

Late Movie Reviews

I'm behind with everything this week. I've been running to doctor appointments for the past few days and that's thrown everything off. It's amazing how much of your day disappears when you have to visit the doctor!

We saw a couple of great movies this week. It's funny how we may see a couple of good ones and then the next five will bomb. LOL! I think I'm getting harder and harder to please where movies are concerned. There is just such a lack of good movies being made these days. Many of them have little to no meaning and I feel like I've wasted two hours watching them. Here are a few that get the thumbs up from me this week, and one that didn't:

Into the Wild ~ This movie was inspired by a true story. Christopher McCandless graduates from college and his parents have high hopes for him. They want him to go to law school and "do great things." Chris has other plans. He gives away his $24,000 life savings, leaves all of his possessions, breaks contact with his family, and hitchhikes to Alaska to live off the land. On his way to Alaska, he meets many people who will be inspirational in his life.

*This film was wonderful! To watch Chris leave everything behind and chase his dream was so inspirational. Along the way, he meets so many wonderful people who share their knowledge of life. Chris deals with many of his own emotional skeletons along the way; his parents rocky relationship over the years, the expectations they have of him, etc. He is determined to leave it all behind and make it on his own in the Alaskan wilderness. When Chris finally makes it to Alaska, I breathed a sigh of relief. However, this is when many of his challenges began. He took shelter in an abandoned bus sitting in the middle of the wilderness. I can't say much more without giving away a lot of the ending. What I will say is that this movie holds so many great life lessons. It is a long movie (over two hours). There is some language in the movie and there is a pretty graphic wilderness scene in which Chris has to field dress a moose. He is hunting for game and shoots this moose. He has to work quickly in dressing the moose so that he preserves all of the meat. I opened and closed my eyes through this because I've never been able to watch someone field dress an animal. Overall, a great movie with many wonderful lessons. I'm on a mission to read the book now.*

Reservation Road ~ Synopsis: On a warm September evening, college professor Ethan Learner, his wife Grace, and their daughter Emma are attending a recital. Their 10-year-old son Josh is playing cello -- beautifully, as usual. His younger sister looks up to him, and his parents are proud of their son. On the way home, they all stop at a gas station on Reservation Road. There, in one terrible instant, he is taken from them forever. On a warm September evening, law associate Dwight Arno and his 11-year-old son Lucas are attending a baseball game. Their favorite team, the Red Sox, is playing - and, hopefully, heading for the World Series. Dwight cherishes his time spent with Lucas. Driving his son back to his ex-wife, Lucas' mother Ruth Wheldon, Dwight heads towards his fateful encounter at Reservation Road. The accident happens so fast that Lucas is all but unaware, while Ethan -- the only witness -- is all too aware, as a panicked Dwight speeds away. The police are called, and an investigation begins. Haunted by the tragedy, both fathers react in unexpected ways, as do Grace and Emma. As a reckoning looms, the two fathers are forced to make the hardest choices of their lives. Written by Focus Features.

*I was excited to see this film after seeing the previews. Between the great clips and Mark Ruffalo (I'm a huge fan) being in the film, I expected a lot. It did not disappoint. This film takes you into the lives of these two families and how they deal with this tragedy. I found myself feeling some of the same feelings the parents felt. I was sympathetic for both sides. I wanted things to just work themselves out, and they did in the end. There was some language in this one and then ending is assumed rather than shown. I didn't like that but I still thought it was a good film. It was predictable at times but again, I enjoyed the story line.

Dan In Real Life ~ Synopsis: Love strikes in the worst possible circumstances for widower, single dad and popular family advice columnist Dan Burns (Steve Carell) when he falls for a beautiful stranger (Juliette Binoche) in a bookshop -- only to discover she's the very same woman his charismatic brother (Dane Cook) is about to introduce as his incredible new girlfriend at their parents' annual get-together. As the weekend gets underway, Dan and Marie scramble to hide their mutual attraction to each other, resulting in a series of hilariously awkward situations. Yet, even under those circumstances, they can't help falling in love. Now, Dan is about to realize that -- no matter how many good suggestions he might have for other people -- when it comes to romance and family, the hardest advice for a man to follow is his own.

I had wanted to see this movie since the day I saw it in the video store. Finally, we were able to pick it up and sit down to watch it a few nights ago. The movie is still fresh in my head and I have to tell you, sometimes I laugh out loud just thinking about various parts of it. Steve Carell is not my favorite actor but he is growing on me. Sometimes his humor is a little to dry for me. He hit it big in this one though! The movie was funny, heartwarming, funny, sweet, funny, and funny. I can't tell you how many times I laughed during this one. I absolutely loved Carell's character and I'm a big Juliette Binoche fan. I think they were the perfect choice for their characters in this movie. The one negative that comes to mind is the attitude of the children in the movie. They are very sarcastic and bratty. Overall, I think it's definitely one to check out. I liked it enough that I'd probably buy it. This is definitely my favorite movie of the week.

Waitress ~ Not even gonna link to this one. I didn't like it. I hated the attitude of Keri Russell's character and I don't think watching this film is helpful or edifying in any way. While we were watching it, we were hoping a big change was going to occur and there would be a good turning point to the movie. However, most of the movie was how Russell's character hated her husband and how much she didn't want to have the baby she was carrying. I remember some months ago that someone told me this was a "cute" movie. Well, I must have missed the cute part :-o) Very disappointing. Russell's last two movies have been very, very disappointing to me. My opinion is to skip this one.

We've got a few lined up for the weekend so check back Sunday for those reviews.

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Ron Paul 2008


Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

Thanks for the reviews! I haven't seen any of these, so I will have to put them on my watch list!

gail@more than a song said...

I enjoyed Dan in Real Life!

Patrick Roberts said...

into the wild was crazy good, McCandless's story is tragic, but then so many people have benefited from hearing it...