I didn’t plan to post everyday this week, but I already had this one written, and, well, alliteration just makes everything better….
It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a cinephile.
I love movies, yes, but even more, I love going to the movies.
Sometimes I go to the movies to sit in a dark, anonymous room and escape the stressors of everyday life.
Sometimes I go to vicariously travel to distant worlds.
Sometimes I go for inspiration. Sometimes I go when I’m homesick. Sometimes I go to decompress. Sometimes I go to celebrate.
Occasionally I even go to have an excuse to raid the bulk candy bins at the grocery store next door.
Brent and I probably average about a movie a week together, and so I’ve decided to dedicated Fridays to posting about these filmic festivities.
I may offer some recommendations (or a warning to stay far, far away). I may ramble on about Best Picture nominees or rant about the most over-rated movies in America (feel free to argue with me). I may even convince my husband to do a guest spot on occasion – he makes a mean Oscars prediction.
Next week, I’m thinking about a post on cheapifying the movie-going experience.
But today –
Some short reviews from an amateur film geek and her equally film-geeky husband (most of these we saw together in the past several weeks – a few were with friends), just in time for the weekend, if you’re looking for a reason to take a break from the mayhem of holiday shopping:
127 Hours – The general consensus among me and Brent and our friends who joined us for this one: This was one of those movies that was really well done (if a bit over-stylized) and fantastically acted, but just wasn’t all that much fun to actually watch.
Due Date – Why, oh why, did we waste two hours on this one? This was Brent’s choice (though he said afterward that he didn’t actually have strong feelings about seeing it…) It was the second half of a double feature, and totally negated the satisfaction of the first film. The one redeeming feature? Zach Galifianakis’ Lilith Fair t-shirt.
Easy A – It was fun enough, and Emma Stone was great, but after all the stellar reviews, I was expecting more.
For Colored Girls – An impressive cast, a powerful set of interwoven stories, and ultimately a disappointing commentary on ‘the’ black female experience – precisely because in the end, Tyler Perry paints all black women as occupying the same space in the world: victimhood.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – My least favorite in the Stieg Larsson trilogy, but still a stellar film. The first half felt scattered and slow, but it picked up speed and came together in the end.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story – Zach Galifianakis of Hangover (and Due Date) fame offers a far more subtle performance as a longterm patient in a state mental health ward in this feel-good dramedy (as feel-good as a movie about a boy who voluntarily commits himself can be, anyway). Well worth the trip to your local independent movie theater.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I – My favorite of the franchise, because it was the first film that felt like a story in its own right, rather than a cliffs notes version of the book. Admittedly, it’s probably not as much fun if you haven’t read the book, and you’ve gotta go in prepared for a cliff-hanger of an ending that won’t be wrapped up until the summer release of Part II.
Life as We Know It – Perfectly mindless Katherine Heigl fluff. It’s entertaining to watch, and forgettable as soon as you walk out of the theater. Exactly what we were both looking for that night. Even Brent enjoyed it.
Love and Other Drugs – All in all, a solid pick. The story was compelling, the soundtrack fantastic, and the script generally sound. There were a few moments where it fell into hopeless cliche, but Jake Gylenhaal’s eyes got me through ’em. Brent wasn’t as taken with those baby blues.
Morning Glory – Fluffy, cliched, heavy-handed, and perfectly played. Exactly what I was looking for in a girls’ night out when the gentlemen were home playing Texas Hold ‘Em.
Never Let Me Go – Based on a Japanese novel wrestling with the ethical questions of human cloning, this was one of the best films I’ve seen all year. And, as Brent said when we walked out, one of the most bleak. Check it out, but don’t go in looking to be uplifted.
Red – I have to admit, I had high expectations for this action comedy about aging CIA agents who come out of retirement for one last hurrah. The previews looked so promising. In general, I thought the movie fell a bit flat, though Brent told me afterward that I had a huge smile on my face every time Helen Mirren took to the screen. She was brilliant. (Brent went in with perhaps more realistic expectations, and sufficiently enjoyed it.)
So, there you have it. Most of these are still in the theaters, and the rest are sure to be available on netflix soon. Check a couple of them out – and let me know what you think!
And in the meantime, don’t forget to enter the Lonely Planet giveaway!!