What’s a good Valentine’s Day movie to see?

Before Drew and I went out for dinner, we went out for brunch with Jillian and Steve and then caught this movie to finish up our double-date. Okay, it’s not a romantic, lovey-dovey movie, but it’s fun and exciting and predictable (but in a good way). It’s not as good as the first one, obviously (I think that one’s so good because he’s in such a limited space with only his wits and whatever resources [i.e., weapons and explosives] he can find), but it’s still good action movie fun. Bruce Willis remains likeable (despite being a Republican) and John McClane is cool as ever. This one sees him joining forces with his son and I’m hoping that the next one will be a daddy/daughter crime-fighting movie – that would be cool! There’s nothing too hard to think about here – it’s a Die Hard movie, you know what you’re going to get – but it’s a perfectly fun way to waste an afternoon.

Two birds with one stone…

I’m behind on my movie reviews! First up…The Hobbit.

I had been sooooo excited for this and then the mediocre reviews starting coming out. Dun dun duuuuun! Of course I still wanted to see for myself and, I hate to say it, but the mediocre reviews were kind of right. There are wonderful things about it, namely Martin Freeman as Bilbo – he’s fantastic, I just want to cuddle him through the whole movie. Actually all of the acting is good, but, as everyone will have said by now, Bilbo’s scene with Gollum is the highlight of the movie. I think the main problem was just the pacing – there are parts that are very exciting and just as enthralling as any of the LOTR movies, but there are parts that drag and things that got added in that I don’t think needed to be added in. I am a little bit peeved that they’re stretching out The Hobbit into three movies when they did LOTR in the same amount of film time. It’s just unnecessary and it certainly feels a little money-grubbing. Not that it’ll keep me from seeing the rest of the movies – I’m so super excited for Smaug in the next one. Oh, lovely Cucumberpatch, you were made to voice a dragon!

Then Drew and I saw Hyde Park on Hudson. And it didn’t really bowl him over and I was, frankly, a little disappointed.

We both really liked Bill Murray as FDR – he really is a very good actor (I don’t know why that always surprises everyone, myself included)! I really liked the royals (though I kept expecting the king to be played by Colin Firth every time he came on screen) and the interactions between both the king and FDR and between the king and queen and would have liked to see more of those relationships or more of the political goings-on surrounding the visit. The weak link for me was definitely Daisy. I didn’t like her and wished we could have known more about her (maybe that would have made me like her more). I didn’t buy the relationship between the two of them – I found her to be quite naive and definitely didn’t seem like someone that would challenge or even interest someone like FDR. The other women he surrounds himself with (Eleanor and his secretary, Missy) are intelligent and seem immersed in the political world, people that FDR could talk to as an equal. Maybe that’s why he gravitated toward Daisy, but the movie rushes the relationship so much that it left me just not believing it. So, yeah, kind of a meh movie, this one which was a bummer because I’d been so looking forward to it.

February movies!

I don’t like Daniel Radcliffe (he’s just so pasty – he’s a pasty tool – and I don’t mean pale when I say pasty [that would be like the milk calling the snow white], I mean that he always looks vaguely…moist), but I do like a good ghost story, so I went to see The Woman in Black, the movie based on the long-running London play based on the book. (A friend of a friend of a friend had been to see the play and, from her reports, Steve, Liz, and I were all very jealous and had a few conversations about how nice it would be to be rich enough to take an impromptu trip to London just to see it.)

It’s definitely creepy and plenty atmospheric! The fake jolts of fright definitely got me a few times and one particular actual fright COMPLETELY got me. I wasn’t thrilled with the Hollywood “happy” ending, but up until then I was satisfied with it for what it was.

Also…it turns out I HAVE actually seen the play in London – saw it with my parents when we went to London for Christmas in 1996 or so. *facepalm* I even read the plot because I remembered seeing a play called The Woman in _____, but I really thought it had been a play of the Wilkie Collins novel The Woman in White not in Black and STILL didn’t remember that I’d seen it. But there was two recurring things in the movie that gave me a moment or two of “Wait a minute…” and sure enough!

And all was right with the world…

I finally saw The Muppets on Friday – and it was everything I could have hoped for. Fun songs, great musical numbers, awareness that they’re in a movie, tons of celebrity cameos (including on particularly awesome one during a song), Kermit, Fonzie, Rowlf, Gonzo (who was responsible for one of the three funniest moments in the movie), and “Rainbow Connection.”

Go see it – do not hesitate!

p.s. – The Toy Story short that runs before it is also super cute, so don’t be late!

November movies!

I’ll be the first one to agree that The Muppet Movie should be included in this post, but my down-in-the-dumps Thanksgiving extended to getting around to seeing this even though I’ve been looking forward to it since the very first trailer. Soon, though!

I like Ben Stiller – even more when he’s not in a movie where embarrassment is the source of the humor – so I thought this would be a fun movie. And it was! It wasn’t as good as I think it could have been, but as mindless fun, it fit the bill pretty well. The comedy’s not very subtle and there are a few holes in the plot (Why did he invite along Matthew Broderick’s character?), but I’m willing to overlook those. Note: You will get sweaty palms during a few scenes, I’ll tell you that right now! 😉

October movies!

Oddly enough, I do like a good political thriller. I do, less oddly enough, reeeeeallly like George Clooney. I don’t like Ryan Gosling. I did like The Ides of March. It walks the line of falling into cliche and bad decisions, but ends up going the much more interesting route. To be fair, Ryan Gosling’s character tries to do the cliche (and stupid) thing, but circumstances, and a very clever Paul Giamatti, don’t allow him to. I don’t want to give things away, but basically mistakes are made and loyalties are questioned and morals are weighed against the greater good and to see the campaign game at work is all very interesting.

Who knew you’d need tissues at a movie that’s basically about Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots?!

Awesome movie, but first? We have to talk about War Horse. If you’ve somehow managed to make it this far without seeing the trailer for it, here it is. MOM, DO NOT WATCH IT. This movie is not for you – just keep scrolling.

Goddammit, I cried just trying to make sure I had the right trailer to link here!

Every time I see that first shot of the horse running across No-Man’s Land, I think “OH, GOD, IT’S WAR HORSE!” and the tears begin. I do not want to see this movie – I really don’t want to see this movie – but I have a horrible feeling I’m going to end up seeing it. My plan is to go to a super-early show so that the odds are good that I’ll be the only one in the cinema and won’t disturb anyone with my hysterical sobbing. And then I’ll be set for crying for probably the next year or so. But before I go, I’ll need to get all the tissues there are. And I mean that a la Ron Swanson.

So back to the movie at hand.

WHICH IS THE MOST AWESOME MOVIE EVER! I will admit that I was not sold when the trailer for this first came out (a million years ago – did its release date get pushed back or something?), but they wore me down and I was looking forward to it. But never in a million years did I expect it to actually be a really good movie.

It has action, it has drama, it has heart, it has the always lovely Hugh Jackman, it has an adorable kid, it has an even more adorable robot. What more do you need?! Heather and I both teared up more than once – I can’t speak for her, but it’s the whole underdog, father/son relationship thing they’ve got going here that got me. And the robot fight scenes are really exciting, too – in the last fight, I really had to work hard to not cheer out loud for Atom (though the only other people in the cinema actually did, so they probably wouldn’t have minded).

Also, if robot boxing were actually a thing, I would so be all over that. And actually, the same goes for Hugh Jackman. 😉

Oh! Jerry Orbach’s eyes!

If you read Rachel’s post on her blog about last night’s slumber party, you’ll notice she said we used Dirty Dancing as a drinking game! We picked and chose rules from here and ended up with:

Take one drink when:

  • A voice comes over a loudspeaker
  • Watermelons
  • Neal patronizes Baby
  • Someone receives a monetary tip
  • Anyone says the word “summer”
  • Anyone says the word “lesson”
  • Baby and Johnny practice the lift
  • She’s like the wind
  • Fifteen years later you finally understand that Penny got a back-alley abortion, not the flu
  • Lisa talks about doing it with Robbie
  • Somebody puts Baby in a corner
  • Somebody takes Baby out of said corner

There was one rule suggested in particular that made me laugh super hard (though no one else laughed and we didn’t end up using it [which is good as I would have been drinking steadily the whole time Jerry Orbach was on screen]) was “You can’t stop looking at Jerry Orbach’s eyes and thinking that some random schmo in New York City is currently walking around with them.” I couldn’t figure out why I was laughing so inappropriately hard at this and then it hit me!

John Mulaney! (Well, “John Mulaney” hit me after much googling, but it did hit me that it was a comedy routine I’d heard.)

I’ve searched the intarwebz high and low and this is the only place I’ve found that has the whole clip. Keep listening through the Law & Order jokes until you get to the bit about “This summer, love is spelled with two eyes.” (Around the 4:40 mark.) So that’s what I was thinking every time Jerry Orbach was on screen.

June movies!

Jillian and I did our very best to avoid the third Transformers movie, but in the end, we decided it would be more fun if we met up in Indianapolis, saw the movie, and then spent the rest of the evening trying to drink away the memory of it – and catching up, of course! And I’m happy to say that it completely lived up to our expectations. The post-movie part of the weekend was fun, but the movie was somehow one of the most boring movies either of us had ever seen despite there being explosions pretty much nonstop. But we got to hang out, so at least it wasn’t a complete loss!

Out of order, but it’s worth it!

Uh, you need to see this movie. Like now. Actually more like yesterday.

I’m a fan of most comic book movies anyway, but the X-Men movies are among my favorites. And this is hands down my favorite of the X-Men movies. It was awesome. It’s a prequel to the rest of the movies, filling in those of us who haven’t read the comics on exactly what happened between Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) to put them on opposite sides. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have really good chemistry as two people with different approaches to the same issue – I’ll be honest, I really wanted them to make out a couple times, especially when Charles is helping Erik focus his abilities to move a satellite dish. He totally should have gone for it.

ETA: Haha, apparently, James McAvoy agrees with me: “It is a little bit of a mini-tragedy that him and Magneto don’t, you know, have sex and become married and become best friends.” [source]

The supporting cast are (mostly) good, too – Kevin Bacon is definitely ominous as the villain and the team of mutants that Charles and Erik assemble are all likable. The one weak spot is, unfortunately, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique. I haven’t seen Winter’s Bone, but everything I heard about her was good. Alas, she is…not good here. I don’t know if it was the part or the writing, but given the quality of the rest of the film, I’m inclined to think that it’s her. This does not bode well for the Hunger Games movies…

The only problem (and it’s not a problem – it’s just that I’m not sure it was intended) is that the movie makes Magneto a lot more sympathetic than Professor X – he has good reason to be distrustful of non-mutants and, although he may not use the most ideal methods to get his results, you can definitely see his point. And Professor X is a little insufferable – so optimistic and smooth and a little self-righteous despite not always using his own abilities for solely virtuous purposes.

Plus, come on, Magneto pulls a submarine out of the ocean. How cool is that?!

Summer blockbuster tally = 10-1-0