Friday, September 5, 2014

2014: Week 33: Boyhood


Genre: Drama

Main Players:  Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette

General Gist: Following the life of a young man from 5 to 18.

Deb's Take:
This movie won several film awards, to which I'm not familiar with at all, but I think the fact that it won awards says something.  So, this movie was interesting and fascinating in two particular ways for me.  One, it followed the life of a family over a 12 year period, and ACTUALLY filmed over a 12 year period to allow for the actors to age with the movie.  I liked this premise because I feel like it kept the characters and personalities real.  Two, I am amazed that this could be pulled off.  Each year a different piece of the movie was recorded to eventually follow the actors over a 12 year "true" history.  That was cool and neat and impressive.

As far as the movie itself, I felt it was slow, and unclimatic.  Which in a way, I think that was the point.  Following a boy from age 5-18 and touching the highlights (or often in his case the low lights) of his life made me very aware, that on average, life is pretty average for many.  Now, his family life was a little screwed up in a way I couldn't really relate to, but I think all our lives are on the verge of weird and his was just a different kind of weird for me.  The acting wasn't outstanding, and the storyline was slow.  I do feel like I walked out of the movie with this sense of "OMG, I'm 43 years old and I better get going with my life because 12 years can pass super fast and then I'm 55 and what do I have to show for it?"   All in all the idea was captivating, but I think the award for this movie were for the timeline not the storyline.

Deb's Rate: Rent it

Tiff's Take:
It heard this movie was good and it seemed interesting and artsy.  I usually like those.  And I didn't not like it.  As Deb said, the premise behind this movie was really cool.  It's amazing how a 6 year old boy can turn out to be this 18 year old kid that doesn't seem like the kid you would think he would be.  I guess that's the amazing thing about watching an actual boy grow up in front of you over a two hour time span.  So that part of the movie was good.  

But it just felt way too long.  There wasn't a lot going on during a lot of the movie.  Yeah, I think that was part of the point but unfortunately it didn't make for a very interesting movie.  The parts where there was a little more going on felt unstable.  And instabilities in movies make me feel weird.  Is it weird that it makes me feel weird?!  Anyway, just a so so one for me.  I wanted to like it better than I did.       

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

Preview: The Giver

2014: Week 32: The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Genre: Drama

Main Players:  Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte La Bon

General Gist: A blossoming chef and his Indian family move to France and open a restaurant across from a highly celebrated French restaurant.

Deb's Take:
First off, the above description of the movie doesn't do this movie justice, but I couldn't figure out a better way to describe this movie in a nutshell.  So, don't judge the movie by it's preview.  That being said, this movie was like reading an excellent novel, and I love to read a good novel.  Seldom does a movie compare, but I love when I find that movie.  The movie that makes me forget I am in a theatre, that I am not standing right next to the characters,  that movie that plays like a book.  This movie was comparable to "The Way" to me, which since we started this blog, has been my all time favorite.  Also falls right along side of "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", another goodie. 

I have been trying to figure out why this movie was so much better than so many others.  Why this one made me feel "satisfied" with the movie industry.  I think the best way I can describe my feelings, is that this movie hit my soul.  So many movies now a days are about the Hollywood hype, about being "showy" and entertaining without making you think or feel.  This movie was the opposite to me.  It allowed me to think and feel, and I love that!  I liked feeling the emotion.  The crazy thing to me was that the movie subject just seemed like there would be no way a deep emotional story could erupt, I was so wrong.  The movie was about family, passion, love, and heart.

I enjoy watching actors who present themselves so well.  Helen Mirren is amazing, the other three main players were new to me, and I was thrilled with their presentations as well.  Manish Dayal played his part perfectly.  I loved that there was a focus on relationships as well as personal progress and growth.  I just feel this movie was so well done, I can't even put into words how much I liked it.  I would just recommend you go and see it for yourself, if you are a person who likes to see a book unfold on screen and don't want the typical Hollywood Hype. 

Deb's Rate: Opening Night

Tiff's Take:
Agree, agree, agree.  What a wonderful movie!  This was one of those refreshing movies that comes along only every once in awhile.  Quite honestly I don't have much more to add then what Deb already said.  And beings that I'm so behind in my reviews I think I'll just leave it at that.  

Go see this movie!  

Tiff's Rate: Opening Night

Preview: Boyhood

Friday, August 8, 2014

2014: Bonus: Planes: Fire & Rescue

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Genre: Animation

Main Players: Voices of Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen

General Gist: The second Planes movie where Dusty trains to be a firefighter after getting injured and isn't able to race anymore.

Tiff's Take: 
I didn't see the first Planes so I was going into this one sort of blind and I can't really compare it to the first one.  I went with some kids that were pretty darn excited to see it though.  

From the kids' perspective, this was a hit for the 4 year old boy who is a Planes die hard fan.  It was an entertaining one for the 9 year old boy who was once a Cars die hard fan.  It was a little long for the 6 year old girl who has never been a big fan of either Cars or Planes. 

From my perspective, it was entertaining with fun parts throughout but a little on the long side.  It was also surprisingly serious for a cartoon.  There were a few heavy subjects that might be a little much for sensitive, younger kids.  The original Cars is still probably my favorite.

Tiff's Rate: Matinee

2014: Week 31: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Main Players:  Chris Pratt, Zoe Zaldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper (voice), Van Diesel (voice)

General Gist: Four unlikely characters find themselves in a battle against Ronan the Accuser when they come in possession of an Orb ,with power to destroy a civilization.

Deb's Take:
I have grown to love the Marvel movies.  I can't say I am no longer a super hero movie fan, because I think the last five I have seen I have really enjoyed.  Tiff and I are having a fun time trying to tie the characters from each Marvel film to each other. 

When I saw the previews for this movie I was skeptical.  It looked sort of goofy and cheesy.  I'm glad the previews were wrong.  This movie was entertaining.  I really enjoyed the humor.  I liked the storyline and the interplay between the characters.  Chris Pratt was a fun actor to watch.   Honestly there wasn't really anything I didn't like about the movie.  Great entertainment, especially if you are a Marvel Fan.

Deb's Rate: Friday Night

Tiff's Take:
Why am I never more excited to see a Marvel movie?  I am always sort of so so about going to one then I always end up really enjoying them.  You think I would learn.

I'll be honest, I really didn't think I would like this one.  Actually I didn't really have a desire to see it at all.  I mean, come on.  One of the characters is a raccoon.  And a tree.  I thought it would be epically stupid.  It was, however, not epically stupid but funny, action-packed and thoroughly entertaining.  Again, why am I surprised?  I can't say this is my favorite Marvel movie (I'm more of a Thor girl) but definitely a good one.

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: Might see Transformers for a date night but probably will see something else with just the sis.

2014: Week 30: Lucy


Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Main Players:  Scarlett Johansson,  Morgan Freeman, Min-Sik Choi

General Gist: A woman is kidnapped and by happenstance, ends up injected with a drug that allows her brain to function at a higher percentage than imaginable.

Deb's Take:
I loved the concept of this movie.  That fact that we as humans use only up to 7-10% of our cerebral cortex is really quite unfathomable.  Also, the fact that we haven't learned, evolved, captured...the ability to use more of our brain is mind boggling.  This movie idea had so much potential.  Predicting what would happen if humans had the capability to tap into a higher brain potential is intriguing.  This movie did lay a different idea out there.  I got the concept, and was interested in the theory, I just feel like the movie wasn't great at it's presentation of the idea.  Hollywood kind of got in the way of this one for me.  The movie played a good spin on brain power, but I wish the action, gun fighting, drug dealers wasn't part of the movie.  I think Scarlett Johansson did well.  I liked her character, and I feel like she captured the personality that the story was setting.  I just didn't feel like the movie tied everything together well.  Morgan Freeman's role could have been much more played out, and I also feel like the movie sort of balked the ending.  Here's a nice little present with a bow...we are done here.  I just wasn't impressed, but I really wanted to be, so rent will give you something to speculate.

Deb's Rate: Rent It

Tiff's Take:
Yeah, I agree.  This movie had a lot of potential.  The concept could have turned into a great movie, like Inception, that really made you think about, well, thinking.  But it really fell short.  One issue with this kind of movie is that if it's not done right it can be really confusion and hard to wrap your, apparently, underutilized brain around.  This one had a little bit of that going on.  And it got a little too philosophical for my liking.  And not because I don't like philosophical but because it didn't fit well with the rest of the movie.  

The acting was okay for me.  I usually really like Scarlett Johansson and I think she did great with what she was supposed to portray but I guess I just didn't really like her character.  It was sort of uninteresting.  The French policeman was sort of a weird addition and Morgan Freeman was boring for me as well.  

What could have been a lot better movie was just sort of blah. 

Tiff's Rate: Rent It

Preview: Guardians of the Galaxy

2014: Week 29: When the Game Stands Tall

When the Game Stands Tall

Genre: Drama

Main Players:  Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig, Michael Chiklis, Laura Dern

General Gist:  True Story of De Le Salle High School football team and their journey from a 151 winning streak with coach Bob Ladouceur.

Deb's Take:
I love a good movie about high school football.  Of course it's even better if it's true.  This movie was amazing.  The movie didn't just follow the season of a high school team, but rather a coach and his endeavour to make high school football about something other than winning.  I was impressed with all of the actors, Jim Caviezel did good, all the actors that played the high school kids did wonderful.  I felt like I was watching the lives of real folks, (which is essence I was).  There was a good message, great connection of characters, and I liked that at the end we got to see some real footage of the team and coach.  All in all this was a winner for me.   This one doesn't come out in theatres until Aug. 22 so mark your calendar!

Deb's Rate: Opening Night

Tiff's Take:
Same goes for this sister.  Even though I'm not a really huge sports fanatic, I do love a good sports movie.  I love the inspiration and talent and competitiveness.  This one had a few more relationship elements rather than just a straight up sports angle which I liked.  I also loved that it was a true story.  Makes it that much more exciting.  The acting was great so not much to complain about there.  This would be a great one to take your hubby to.  

Tiff's Rate: Friday Night

Preview: Lucy and Guardians of the Galaxy

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014: Week 28: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi

Main Players:  Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke

General Gist: 
Genetically evolved Apes come to war with the human race. 

Deb's Take:
I am not a Planet of the Apes Fan.  After seeing this movie, I still am not a fan.  I don't feel like I can really give anyone a good review of this movie, because quite frankly, I thought it was stupid.  I couldn't get past the fact that these Apes were "human" and have evolved to a point where they were equal to man.   I just didn't like it.  So, since I went with my son and husband I will give you their opinions, beause they are more fans than me.  My husband said it was ok, he thought it was too drawn out and sort of boring.  He did think the premise of this one was good, and didn't say it was aweful just not great.  My 13 year old son was a different story.  The whole way home he tried to convince me that I really DID like the movie, but that I just didn't understand it.  UM, no, but good try.  Anyway, he really liked it.  The actors did good, I didn't realize the Apes were actually played by people so that was something interesting.  All in all though, just can't give it kudos.  Although, the 30 year old male who was sitting to my left was obviously touched because he cried through the whole last scene,  like for real....

Deb's Rate:  Don't bother unless you are a fan of Planet of the Apes, if so I suppose a Matinee would do.

Preview: When the Game Stands Tall