- I think after Super Size Me, a few people got the message. This past summer seemed to be the summer of the mini-food. Mini-cupcakes and mini-burgers were everywhere. And it seemed that variety seemed to be indirectly proportional to size. For cupcakes, there was red velvet, triple chocolate, carrot cake, and vanilla bean, all with different colored frostings and sprinkles. Slider-wise we had beef and bleu cheese, portabella mushroom, crab cakes, ahi tuna, BBQ salmon… Well, summer’s over but I’m going to keep up the mini trend with movie reviews.
Every now and then I’m going to present a sampler of movies I’ve liked (or which have piqued my interest in some way). I’m not a movie critic, I’m a fan. I love everything about the movies: the darkened theater, the pop quiz pre-shows, the junky concession stand food — okay, the commercials are lame, but I sympathize with the distributors’ plight. At home, my movie watching habits are nearly as voracious as my reading habits. So, without further ado, here’s today’s sampler:
A bit like Inception, but easier to follow and, even though it’s based on a Philip K. Dick short story and very much has a science fiction feel to it, it’s a ROMANCE! 😀 Plus, Emily Blunt. Need I say more? Well, I will… She’s beautiful AND hilarious! Every time I see her! This movie also reminded me of Matrix (but in a good way and you won’t be disappointed in the ending). It’s interesting to note that Rotten Tomatoes has it listed at 72%. Decent enough. I’m betting if they’d ended it at the hospital scene (you’ll know what I’m talking about after you watch it, if you haven’t already), it would have gotten in the 90’s. But that’s a subject for another article. Me? I’m giving this one 100%. There’s NOTHING I would change about it.
Hmm… interesting. Man’s wet dream? Wall Street on crack? Anti-drug propaganda? All three? None of the above? The ending was a bit of a surprise, which I like. Not sure I agree with it, but that’s okay. And here’s the crazy thing: Bradley Cooper can actually look like an unattractive bum. Go figure. I did not think that was possible. Of course, there are enough scenes where he doesn’t that my entire entertainment world was not completely rocked. Here’s the million dollar question for anyone who’s seen it: was he telling the truth in the end??
For this one, I actually made popcorn. How can you not, right? Superheroes? Check. Mega special effects? Check. Mud wrestling? Um, check? Wait a second– that was awesome! Hadn’t seen that since 1981’s Stripes. And then when the big bad metal Terminator showed up, well… I couldn’t help wondering if Thor might whisk Jane back to Asgard so she could fight Sif on a big bed covered with gold lame sheets ala Dale Arden and Princess Aura in 1980’s Flash Gordon. But, alas, that did not occur. Maybe in Thor II…
If you loved 2005’s Pride and Prejudice’s rain confrontation scene, then you’ll love 2011’s Jane Eyre’s beneath the trees proposal scene. Mia Wasikowska (exquisite looking in 2010’s Alice in Wonderland) looks very, ahem… ‘plain Jane’ is this role. Which is the point, of course, and allows us to focus on her acting, which was superb. I thought BBC’s 2006 Jane Eyre was fantastic and needed no updating. But this version is very much worth watching. The early orphanage scenes, admirably played by Amelia Clarkson, imbue the character with immediate sympathy. Jane’s later reserve and lack of self-pity become absolutely heroic. Other bonuses: Dame Judi Dench as Rochester’s housekeeper and some very grand cinematography!
After you get past the too-smooth-for-its-own-good Act I, the movie gets interesting. In fact, remarkably so. Rarely does a film redeem itself. Usually first acts are amazing… and then disappointment increases from there. I’m not going to comment on whether the legalities of the plot were realistic because, seriously, what would be the fun in that?!? (And, hey, I write a fiction series that is about a law student who is being trained to represent demons. Obviously, slavish devotion to justice system realities is not high on my list when it comes to entertainment. People who seek to combine education and entertainment in the same delivery system do so at their own risk.) The ending was a little loose, but I’ll take it. I would happily watch a Lincoln Lawyer II. (Hollywood people, there are four other Mickey Haller books out there, get moving!)
“12 Monkeys meets Groundhog Day” was my thought about ten minutes in. And that, plus “Great!” will do for anyone who doesn’t like spoilers. But if you’ve seen it, or if you’re like me and sometimes don’t mind hearing details about a movie before you’ve seen it, then scroll down.
First off, I’ve never been so closely moved to tears by a frozen tableau of a couple kissing amidst a train full of smiling, laughing, happy people. The movie peaked there for me. What a scene! After that it got a little wonky, requiring us not only to buy into the movie’s far-fetched premise of connecting living brain tissue with a deceased person’s “deathbed” memories in some sort of source code “afterglow” program but also to THEN buy into the fact that Program Afterglow (i.e. Source Code) can (1) create alternate realities for the consciousnesses of the program participants AND (2) change the reality of the programmers back home. Okay… But creating an ending like this neatly sidestepped answering the age-old question of Are two million people’s lives more valuable than one? Hmm… maybe wonky = brilliant.
So, how about you? Did you see any of the movies I sampled above? What did YOU think of them? Seen anything else lately that you’d like to recommend?