Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recent DVD Rentals Good and Bad

27 DressesI think it's because half of our furniture--including the television--is piled in our bedroom and that for the first time in our married life we've had a chance to watch movies in bed we've turned to our Netflix account more than normal.

We've been whipping through the DVD rentals and let me tell you there are some stinkers out there. So I'm giving you the advantage of our movie renting labors and reviewing a few of our recent picks. May you enjoy those we enjoyed while learning from our mistakes, I've graded them on a standard A, B, C, D, F scale with a C being average--there is no grade inflation here folks, I've got myself a nicely spread bell curve if I do say so myself. Feel free to disagree, I can take it! Better yet, leave me your recommendations because I'm planning on stretching out on our couch and watching some good flicks over the holiday weekend.

And don't worry, I'm pretty good about not throwing any spoilers at you.

1. 27 Dresses. Saw this poster all over the place when the DVD was coming out but I completely missed the trailers when it was out in the theaters. Katherine Heigl plays a 27-times-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride role in this romantic comedy that really wasn't heavy on either comedy or romance.

I knew we were in trouble when the opening "comedy" scene has her helping to hold up a bride's dress while the bride uses the restroom. Something about that image says to me "We've really come a long way baby" when we're supposed to consider women using the toilet high comedy. Classy. Add to that her getting drunk and then . . . nevermind I said no spoilers but let's just say it was completely out of character.

This one gets a D.

Mad Money2. Mad Money. Also a movie poster sell, I missed this in the theaters and I'm so usually all over the Queen Latifah scene I'm not sure how it slipped by me. With Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes and Queen Latifah in the cast maybe I was prejudiced toward loving it from the get go. Love is too strong of a word, I quite liked this comedy where Diane Keaton's suburban housewife falls into a life of crime when her family's bankruptcy forces her to work as a janitor at the local Federal Reserve.

Not to be taken too seriously it was kind of funny, rather entertaining and certainly worth the price of a rental--one of Katie Holmes' more pleasant roles, she tends to weird me out somehow though Diane Keaton's character really isn't too likeable despite my fond memories of Father of the Bride. Deep down I really wished for her to get what she deserved.

I'd give this one a B, maybe B+ if I was in a relaxed and funny mood.

Rails and Ties3. Rails and Ties. One of the approximately 4,568 movies to Kevin Bacon's credit it follows the intertwining relationships between a young boy whose mother kills herself in front of the train driven by the Senor Bacon himself. Marcia Gay Harden rounds out the story as the wife dying of breast cancer--oh yes, this one is the cinematic answer to Prozac.

I'm not sure what possessed me to put it in our queue, I must have been in one of my Morrissey moods (and you'd have to have listened to him in the 80s to even remotely understand what I mean by that). It was plodding, overly somber, depressing and generally grating--complete with a blouse-dropping move by Ms. Harden that luckily was predictable enough to allow me avert my eyes before the image was seared into my corneas. Unrealistic, maudlin and forgettable. I'd advise you to avoid this one at all costs.

Sorry, but it gets an F.

4. Wild Hogs. Heh. Sure, rip into the artsy film that'll probably get some kind of an Academy Award nomination then say I like this one and it'll destroy any credibility I could possible maintain here. So sue me, I think John Travolta, William H. Macy, Martin Lawrence and Tim Allen are funny together as mid-life crisis victims taking a road trip to find their unfulfilled dreams--there were some parts that were laugh out loud funny though the language was cutting-edge enough that I wouldn't let the kids see this one. I think the best part of the movie is probably Ray Liotta as Crazy Vengeful Biker #1 because half the time you can't tell if he's going to make you laugh or punch someone in the face.

Another B+. I wouldn't pay full price at the theater but as a rental it's not a bad deal.

Bella5. Bella. Oh gosh, I wish I'd been able to sit through this one because it was so bad, so exquisitely horrifying that if I'd watched the whole thing the review I could write would be a piece of art. It's kind of about this Latino soccer team but kind of about this waitress who gets pregnant but kind of about the chef who befriends her but kind of about these two other guys that I never could figure out who they even were . . . a movie that tried sooooo hard to be deep that there is absolutely no end to how low it can sink into the boredom and plotless ramblings. I guess you could say that it's so deep that the mindlessness is bottomless.

I remember seeing somewhere someone else mentioning that it was a stinker and I should have listened. I don't even really remember how it found its way into my queue but PLEASE for the love of all that is cinema DON'T SEE THIS MOVIE.

Not even worth an F, that would be too good.

6. Scooby Doo and the Goblin King. Yes even this one was better than Bella. And it's got Casey Kasem doing the voice of Shaggy. That's saying something. I was sent this one to review and while it's far inferior to the original series and not even as good as most of the full-length movies that have been produced since then the kids liked it well enough. David's a big Scooby Doo fan so he'd pretty much watch any of the movies they produced.

A C if you grade by Scooby Doo standards, a D by animated feature standards.

Flawless7. Flawless. With Demi Moore (which, I have since learned is definitely pronounced de-MEE as it's short for Demetria. Since she and I are practically best friends now I thought you all ought to know) and Michael Caine it's probably my favorite movie of Mrs. Kutcher's though I didn't care for Ghost that much and never saw the Brat Pack movies she made.

I mentioned this one a month or two ago when we rented it and it's very good. Moore plays this vulnerable woman making her way in a man's world and simultaneously projects the strength and uncertainty that make her character quite interesting--not unlike her role in A Few Good Men (a good one if you haven't seen it). It's a heist movie set in the 60s that has the feel of the original Italian Job (also a Caine movie) but more psychologically engaging. You're not sure where it's going but it keeps you guessing.

Definitely an A--why else would I have mentioned it again?

The Invasion8. The Invasion. I understand that this is basically a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers only starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig (who is only appealing as James Bond, thank you very little) as the obligatory humans-running-from-an-organism-bent-on-destroying-all-mankind. The opening storytelling sequence of back-telling, while compelling, certainly isn't enough to carry this mediocre thriller and probably at the heart of all these types of movies (War of the Worlds, I Am Legend, Independence Day etc.) is the problem with an ending.

How a thriller ends is really really important to how I'm going to rate the movie overall. I'm just not going to buy a scenario where a computer virus gets uploaded to the mother ship or the invading organism conveniently breaks down of its own accord. Invasion's ending is weak--I can't give any spoilers here because it's so weak I've forgotten what it even was, I just remember that it was disappointing and anti-climatic.

How would I have ended it? Hmmmm . . . let's see. How about Ms. Kidman riding through the streets of New York on a horse with an automatic rifle blasting away at zombies while Daniel Craig hang glides behind her dropping bombs on the crowd? He swoops down, grabs her, horse and all, and they fly off into the sunset to a deserted island where no zombies can ever get them. Ever. Well it would have been better than whatever it was that they gave me for real.

A D+, maybe a C- if you don't count the last 30 minutes of the movie.

Breach9. Breach. Oh! Oh! In case you think I'm too hard on movies this one proves that I'm totally not because both Andrew and I really liked this one. Of course it's got Chris Cooper who is a fine actor and he carries this story well. It's the true story of Robert Hansson, the Russian spy who was in the C.I.A. back in the 80s. It's slow but not plodding, it's more about systematically leading and building your emotions until you are really at the mercy of the director and Cooper as to what to think. Interesting and intelligent, it was a great investment of two hours of our time.

An A, and maybe another A just for good measure.

10. Evan Almighty. Didn't see Bruce Almighty--which I can only imagine was made by the same group of people and involves a popular Hollywood figure impersonating Deity, most delicious of ironies. And by the way, why is it that Morgan Freeman, next to George Burns, plays God more than anyone else? Why? Is it the voice? Must be. But anyway this one was kind of funny, probably because I think Steve Carell is a funny guy and the movie is not only very clean but has a nice little message packaged to go along with it.

Evan AlmightyThough I must interject here about that message and say that Steve Carell plays Evan Baxter, a new congressman who is going to "Change the world" so what does he do? What does Hollywood give him as his major task? How will he make humanity better? Will he eradicate disease? Stave off hunger? Destroy poverty, crime, pornography, corruption or violence? How about improve education, send disadvantaged children to college or help poor single moms to get better jobs and get off welfare? Even in one little town or precinct?

Nope. He saves him some big fat environment. Apparently Hollywood believes that by saving the world you literally mean SAVING the WORLD. Forget about the humans living on that world or any of the other oddly disastrous problems facing them--such as, say, banks folding, massive unemployment from defunct auto makers, deflation (or inflation, take your pick), war, international mayhem and despair the biggest way to make a difference is to keep the evil developers from destroying the raccoons' habitat. He doesn't even save the environment for poor people fighting to save land from the ravages of over worked soil and too many chemicals, he saves rich people's land so they can have a pretty view.

I don't know, forgive the rant but while protecting our planet is important and morally correct of all the problems we face as a human beings I think we have a much greater chance at destroying ourselves through our own violence, ignorance and vice than by running out of clean water and ozone. At least at this point. But I guess Hollywood really couldn't preach against silly little things like violence or greed. That might start to eat into box office sales.

But despite what you might think following these last three acidic paragraphs I did think the movie was cute. And as I said it was very clean and while it was an example of most of the funny parts being in the previews it was nonetheless a decent video rental.

I give it a B. B for Baxter. And baby raccoons because I'm really not the monster you might think I am.

Next11. Next. I'm sorry but in my humble opinion Nicholas Cage will always and forever be enshrined in my memory as he was in Raising Arizona. That was the funniest and best thing he has ever done and nothing--NOTHING--can compare with the comedy he produced for those two hours.

So to see him and Jessica Biel in this psychological thriller really is just setting myself up for a bit of disappointment. It's not a bad movie, just kind of ho-hum average. Cage plays a guy who can see into the future up to two or three minutes in advance and the movie opens with him using this to his financial advantage until the plot thickens and suddenly he's on the run.

Biel is his love interest (d'uh, she's not exactly designed to play the ugly stepsister is she?) but I've never really liked watching her on screen. She seems rather flat--in a character way, certainly not in other ways.

It reminded me of Deja Vu, another movie of the same style and genre, but which I thought was slightly better. Next is rather forgettable, certainly not Cage's best work (Matchstick Men is better if you're interested).

It would have to be a C-.

The Invisible12. The Invisible. Okay this one might be the hardest to review because I'm not entirely sure how I'd grade this. From the producers of the Sixth Sense it's about a teen boy who gets inadvertently mixed up with some nasty teen thugs who beat him up and leave him for dead. He "haunts" them, particularly their female ring leader, as he tries to solve his own murder.

Another Marcia Gay Harden role in there somewhere (if I remember correctly, I'm too tired to go Google it and make sure) it's not stellar but it's not bad either. The connections between the characters are interesting and intriguing and they keep things going along pretty well until the end which isn't entirely as one would expect. Definitely not near as good as the Sixth Sense but still it's not bad.

I hereby award this one a B-, a solid B if I get to watch it with Andrew.

140813. 1408. Stephen King has some movies that are just great. Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me, even The Green Mile. I've only caught them on television in their edited formats but even then they were good stories. Then there are his other ones--I remember watching The Langoliers that was hyped as a miniseries years ago and it didn't take me long to realize it was so stinkin' bad it was funny. Really funny.

Well 1408 sucked me in because 1) it has John Cusack whom I tend to enjoy and 2) Samuel L. Jackson who I nearly always enjoy as well. The synopsis sounded decent so into the queue it went and it started out pretty good. Cusack plays a writer specializing in debunking paranormal occurrences until he gets coerced into staying at a certain hotel claiming to have the Most Haunted Room in the World. Room--you guessed it--1408.

He wants to stay, he's begged not to, he and the manager go rounds to see who will win but you know he'll get to stay because if he doesn't there will be no movie.

The whole thing builds the suspense pretty well at the beginning and Andrew and I both said, "Hey, this is pretty good!" at first. Then it just kind of spirals downward until by the end you're just clueless as to what you've seen and if the whole cast got together and sang "It's a Small World After All" it wouldn't feel more bizarre.

I think I ended up answering emails on my laptop about 2/3 of the way through the movie when I lost interest though Andrew saw it through to the end. Don't bother renting. This post is probably all you'd ever need to know about the movie.

A rock-solid D. Sorry Stephen. Keep working at it, I'm sure you'll do better next time.

As You Like It14. As You Like It. I like Shakespeare, love retellings of his famous stories, love Bryce Dallas Howard but this all didn't add up to a good movie experience. The famous comedy is set in colonial Japan with the part of the Duke being played as a samurai and while the women are lovely the whole thing is just so darn flaky that we ended up abandoning ship.

I bet there are those of you out there who are smart enough to figure out that Shakespeare and samurai on a date night is just asking for trouble but I'm a little slow and didn't figure it out until half way through. I know now. Maybe if I was smart enough to have figured it out I'd be smart enough to get the movie. Hey--that's quite a catch 22 there isn't it?

A D. I'm being generous because it is still The Bard.

Girl with a Pearl Earring15. Girl with a Pearl Earring. I'm saving this one for last not only because it was our most recent viewing but because I really loved it. It's been out on DVD forever and maybe most of you have already seen it but both Andrew and I gave it two big fat thumbs up.

Why? First of all every scene is constructed like a painting, with composition, lighting and color carefully balanced until you feel as if the whole thing is just completely beautiful. It's one of the best movies, cinematographically speaking--if that is really a aword--that I've ever seen.

Second, while I've never thought Scarlett Johanson to be pretty (her face looks a little pinched and fat-lipped to me) I thought she was absolutely perfect for this part. By the end I thought her beautiful and from beginning to end she was fascinating to watch. You get a lot of beauty on screen but you don't get many faces that are interesting. Hers was interesting.

Third, it was not only clean but the tension between the characters was brilliant. Reminded me of an Austen period movie where though you see no skin or romping but the undercurrent of tension, emotion and desire is driving the characters forward. To me that's much more interesting and engaging than a movie where all the characters spend their time in bed.

Anyway, loved it. I wasn't in the mood for a heavy, "artsy" movie when Andrew put in the disc but it didn't take long to get me hooked, if you haven't already seen it I'd highly recommend it.

An artistic and elegant A.

16. The Guardian. I was only going to have fifteen but by the time I finally got around to posting this we'd seen yet another film. Kevin Costner's back in all his sagging glory to star with Ashton Kutcher in a drama about the men and women of the Coast Guard. The opening scene is pretty darn good. Predictable but I didn't care because it was good--kind of like the train wreck in the Fugitive. But the movie slides into such a rut that even the mild quips from Kutcher aren't enough to satisfy.

I will say this though, I'm going to give this one an honorary B because by the time the end was drawing near we were so bored and so without care as to what would happen that we started doing the commentary thing like you see in MST 3000 and it was hysterical. Haven't seen a movie in quite a while where we could make so many hi-larious comments. The mockery was brilliant I'd say. So if you want a good movie for making fun of, this could be it.

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Technorati tags: movies, videos, DVDs

57 comments:

Michemily said...

I reallllly appreciate your suggestions, because I know I can trust them. Thanks so much.

Lucy said...

Thankhyouthankyouthankyou! It's spook as we agree totally on movies. I loved Girl with the Pearl Earring. The others that I have 'tried to see but quit' didn't make my list. I have stopped seeing movies unless someone tells me it's worth seeing. I've even been stung on Netflix. So keep doing this, please.

MoziEsmé said...

I love your reviews! I'm working on my want list now...

Outnumbered2to1 said...

I have to second that I LOVED Breached. It is so suspenseful. Your reviews were awesome.

Candid Carrie said...

Prettiest movie cover would have to go to number fourteen. If I would watch a movie based on its poster I would have to go with this one for sure!

I agree with Outnumbered2to1, your reviews were great, but I would have had to pick Wild Hogs as my favorite. William H Macy in that particular role was just plain ol' clever. His apple tatoo, his biking skills, the ending did get predictable but sometimes life is so stressful that i need a couple of good pratfalls to get me giggling.

I hope you make movie reviews a regular feature.

Hey, I heard google is adding two more days to the week so you have a chance to blog about more topics. Isn't that cool?

patty w said...

I've not seen any of these except Wild Hogs !! We actually took the kids to see it at the second run theater (cheap shows) and then went out and bought it! A little off color in parts for kids but it was FUNNY ! We enjoyed it alot and still watch it . I love watching my 10yr old laugh hysterically at the parts he finds funny ! Warped, yep, that's me! LOL

ewe are here said...

I have to admit, save for the potty humor and the way she treated him until she realized she actually did want to go out with him, I enjoyed 27 Dresses. I particularly liked the final shot, of all 27 bridesmaids standing their in those outrageously hidous but entertaining dresses.

Edi said...

To save time and disgust later - I always try to read a quick review of a movie before we put it on hold at our local library - using imdb.com

If a movie has a rating of less than 7.0 - we are unlikely to check it out. Sure a few good ones might fall through the crack - but for the most part if IMDB says it's a 5.8 it probably is.

A lot of times the review will also include a parental warning listing what particular things you need to watch out for (so if you can handle violence but not profanity - it's helpful to know what to expect).

Flea said...

Raising Arizona is one of my all-time favorite movies, but wasn't Cage in a movie with Sean Connery (one of my favorite actors)? The Rock, maybe? He was very good in that role. But thanks for the heads up.

And I have to agree with your about Scarlett.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

I like when you post your opinion about movies. I also thought about doing one like this as well. I have only seen bruce almighty, so this list was helpful. I wanted 1408 to be good. I might rent it. Probably not.

Summer said...

I loved Breach, Invasion was forgettable and Girl with a Pearl Earring is a better book, but still a decent movie. The rest I haven't seen.

One movie that I had heard very good things about was Waitress. We got it in our queue the other day and I don't get what all the fuss was about. It was such a miss match. Some decent drama would be going on and all the sudden the strangest attempts at comedy were thrown in and it didn't work. Plus I was just uncomfortable the whole time with the idea that the affair going on was suppose to be a good thing.

calicobebop said...

I too loved Girl With A Pearl Earring. Also, I like 27 Dresses. I guess I connected with that singing scene in the bar... :)

Sheri said...

Thank you! There is nothing I have more than wasting my time and money on a bad movie. I always check reviews. It sounds like we have similar tastes in movies so I'm going to mark some of these off my "to watch" list.

Pmom @ Chocolate and Garlic said...

Bella got less than an F? I am in shock! Honestly it is my favorite of the movies I've seen this year. I would definitely give it an A. I thought it was an engaging story and an intriguing film. It is possible that people who are pro-choice would not like it though. (I have no idea what your position on that issue is, I just mention this as a heads up for others).

It's amazing how different people can have such different takes on things like movies. I guess mine is sort of quirky. I am thinking I need to see some of your A rated movies just to test whether are movie sensibilities are complete opposites or not.

Anonymous said...

Hi Scribbet,
Nice job reviewing, although I disagree with you on Bella. While I'll admit it wasn't a great film and agree it had an odd feel to it in terms of explaining the hows and whys of the characters plights, I thought it refreshing and sweet. Hey- any time we're lucky enough to actually see a movie where there's no nudity, profanity or gratuitous sex, I'm thankful (and frankly shocked.) Sadly, movies that manage to be clean and only half way decent practically get an automatic thumbs up from me for that reason alone any more. That said, two big thumbs up on your blog. I've been reading you now for at least two years and look forward every day to what you might have to say.
I'm sticking Evan Almighty and Girl With the Pearl Earring on our Netflix list, pronto.
~Melanie Glenn
Grass Valley, California

Jeana said...

I loved reading your reviews! I liked that you got a little acidic--you don't usually do a lot of controversy, so for some reason I just enjoyed seeing you rant a little. It's very possible that I would not have enjoyed it quite so much had I not agreed with you. :-)

Several of these movies were on the plane for our flight to London and I'm seeing in hindsight that being stuck on the plane for 8 hours definitely affected my selection of movie and the satisfaction I derived from it.

I've been drawn to Girl with a Pearl Earring but I never got it because I assumed it would be a two-hour flesh fest. Good to see I was wrong on that.

Anjali said...

This comes just in the nick of time -- My netflix list was running short.

Loved Breach. Loved it.

Janet said...

Since I haven't seen any of these, and I generally agree with your assessments about the various people involve (love Samuel jackson and Queen Latifah and Morgan Freeman and . . .) I'll definitely put these on my list! (both to see and to avoid). Of course, we've seen 3 movies in 5 years. We're not setting any land speed records here. (I've been watching Demi Moore since she started on General Hospital in 1981. Along with Janine Turner, later of Northern Exposure fame (I loved that show).
As to your credibility. You EXPECT more from an arty movie. With a movie like Wild Hogs you should know from the get-go that it's just supposed to be fun.

Kristen M. said...

You have me adding Flawless to my Netflix (I hadn't heard of it until today). I totally agree with your review of 27 Dresses. I didn't even make it past the first couple scenes. I could tell that it was going to be shallow. I was surprised because a lot of friends whom I respect had recommended it.

Melanie J said...

My husband and I saw The Guardian on a plane once and I swear, we dined out on Guardian-related jokes for a month. The ending gave us everything we could ever want or need for pure, unadulterated mockery.

Lara said...

I've only seen a couple of these so far. Sounds like I need to add Flawless and Girl with the Pearl Earring to my list. Thank you!

LLG said...

I really like your website and I really liked your movie reviews except for 27 dresses...I love that movie but good to see people have their own opinions. Thanks for the reviews

fruitfulwords said...

I so agree with you about Bella. I went into it wanting to like it because everone (and I mean everyone) I know liked it.

Jordan (MamaBlogga) said...

DH and I liked Breach, too--I think that might have been the last movie we've seen in a theater... Oh, wait, we saw Iron Man this summer. Also good.

I agree that Jessica Biel isn't much of an actress.

Definitely want to see Flawless now!

Sheila said...

Thanks for steering me away from 27 Dresses. I have to disagree with you on Bella. I thought the portrayal of the Latin American family was terrific and the message important. I agree that the characters should have been developed more.

We liked Breach and Flawless too.

Carinne said...

Sorry - you lost a lot of credibility with Girl with a Pearl Earring. The book was only ok and the movie was worse. Yes, it was pretty, but that's where it stopped. The whole book/movie is about her lusting after Vermeer. The low point was when she runs to have sex with her boyfriend after spending the say with Vermeer and getting turned on by him. I read the book because everyone raved about it. Not great. I don't have much excuse for watching the movies, except that I was hoping beyond hope that the movie wouls somehow be better. It's just hard to like a movie/book when you don't really like any of the characters.

Scribbit said...

Sounds like Bella might have a few fans out there--we didn't give it more than 20 minutes of chance so it is possible (I'm saying this skeptically :) that it got better.

Maybe? The whole pro-choice/pro-life thing wasn't why I didn't like it though, it was just boring. Apparently I'm a shoot-em-up, LOTR geek.

Mrs. Organic said...

I loved Breach (nothing thrills like real-life suspense), but I also enjoyed Bella. It all came together at the end even though it was hard to follow at the start.

Thank you for letting me know about Flawless - I had heard there was a great heist movie out and checked out the wrong one. It was so horrible I won't even tell you the name, but we turned it off after 5 minutes. Ghastly! (as my grandma would say).

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Your reviews are totally funny. Really enjoyed reading them.

I LOVED the novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and so I was afraid to see the movie version. Thanks for putting my fears to rest. :)

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

And is it wrong that your Morrisey comment now has "Girlfriend in a Coma" stuck in my head? No? Good.

MommyK said...

I have to disagree on 27 Dresses. I thought the opening scene was right on, my bridesmaids had to hold my dress so I could pee before MY wedding.

Katherine Heigl gets on my nerves so much, but I loved her in this movie, I thought it was cute and funny, and that James Marsden sure is easy on the eyes@!

27 Dresses was MUCH better than the other Heigl movie I just saw, Knocked Up, which was so full of the F word I could barely watch it.

Pmom @ Chocolate and Garlic said...

Oh Scribbit! maybe you should give Bella another try. It is absolutely the case that it gets better after the first 20 minutes (I think I tried to get my husband to turn it off but didn't succeed). I'd forgotten about that. But when the movie started I didn't like it, and by the time it ended it was the favorite movie I'd seen this year.

I admit, I liked it partly because of its message. I just thought it was such an uplifting film. A clean film as the other reviewer mentioned, but also dealing with hard, real life tough things and imperfect people. It's a movie with a wonderful message about change, repentance, redemption, sacrifice and growing up. The ending is a real surprise.

Scribbit said...

You tempt me--those are all things I love in a movie and normally I tend to like character studies. Hmmm. . . I'd have to hide it from Andrew though or he'd think I was crazy. Maybe I'll give it another try when he's out of town.

Heather said...

I love Raising Arizona. It's one of my favorites because I laugh no matter how many times I see it.

Jennifer said...

How funny! The majority of two of the movies you mentioned, Mad Money and Guardian, were both filmed my little old hometown of Shreveport, LA.

I haven't seen the The Girl with the Pearl Earring, but now I must check it out.

Melissa said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I also loved Breach, and agreed with most of the other reviews (that I had actually seen) but I disagreed about Bella. It was confusing at first, but after hanging in I figured out who everyone was and I loved the message of the movie. It was definitely an "indie" film, but I forgave it. ;) I haven't seen GIrl with the Pearl Earring, but it is on my list now. Thanks again!

tjhirst said...

Loved the girl with the Pearl earring, too.

Recommendation: Have you seen August Rush?

imadramamama said...

I love movies like 27 Dresses because they're just so silly. Yes, they're formula, but it's all about escapism for me.

Bruce Almighty was SOOOO much better than Evan Almighty.

And I have to add Girl With The Pearl Earring to my list. I had forgotten about that one!

Natalie Jane said...

Yes. Girl with a pearl earring was great. An even better read.

Just thought you would like to know that I decided I need to detox my google reader. (Had over 1000 unread posts) - you were one of the few sites that stayed put. I'm sure you are jumping with glee now :)

all over the map said...

I am going to make note of these. I am so out of what's at the rental shop. Movies tend to get here behind their release in the US, unless they are the big hitters like Bond or Brit films.
I'm excited about Flawless and Breach. I love Chris Cooper.
Girl With a Pearl Earring was very good. I enjoyed that thoroughly. I love time period pieces.
Evan Almighty was great. I liked the message of course.

Anonymous said...

I rarely rent movies. I never go to movies. I go to the library, then if I hate it, nothing lost. The Girl....Earring. Loved your description. Visually stunning! Emotionally tense. Great acting. I like starlet Scarlett. Not the most beautiful, but very interesting face. Will most likely end up in the Blanchett/Dench category. Breach....WOW. Chris Cooper flew under the radar for a decade or so, but a solid actor. Talk bout Tension! I agree, agree, agree. MOMM

luckyzmom said...

Thanks for doing this. I have myself a nice list of movies to see. I saw and liked Pearl. I never got Raising Arizona.

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny you said one of the reasons that 27 Dresses is bad because they jump into bed together and it's so against her character, when you say that Girl with a Pearl Earring is great when she does the same thing with her boyfriend. The girl feels uncomfortable showing her hair because of her strict religious background, yet jumps into bed with her boyfriend...

Headless Mom said...

Interesting-I heard great things about Bella. Hmmm, now I'll have to think twice about it.

I've always wanted to see The Girl With The Pearl Earring-the book was one of my all time favorites and it sounds like the movie will live up to it! Thanks!

CoconutKate said...

Oh...if you haven't seen Dan in Real Life, you should. I loved it, although I did want to teach his girls a thing or two about how you treat your parent.
Thanks for the review. I'll put flawless on my netflix list. :0)

Lis Garrett said...

I *love* Girl with a Pearl Earring. I first saw it when my husband was away on a business trip (I knew he wouldn't agree to watch it otherwise). I love it so much, I watched it twice in the same night!

I love storylines where tension and forbidden love propel the characters. It's an addiction!

Stephanie said...

WOW! That is A LOT of movies! I can count on one hand the number of movies we've seen in the past 6 months - due to morning sickness, pregnancy tiredness, and having a 2-year-old. Hopefully, we'll get back into the movie-watching "business" sooner or later. When we do, I'll definitely refer back to your list. Flawless especially looks good. I love movies that make you "think."

I have seen Evan Almighty and I agree with your rating. I have also seen 27 Dresses and, although it wasn't my favorite, I thought there were some good moments. And I liked the leading man's persistence - like when he writes his information all over her calendar.

chelle said...

I have to chirp in ... 1408. Stephen King ... it was based on a short story that he wrote .... They totally changed the middle to end that rocked (I have audio version and i am still spooked!) So sad when they venture too far from the story.

Love your reviews!

Shauna said...

Disappointed with your trashing of Bella, but I appreciate the gusto with which you express your opinions! :) I thought the Girl with the Pearl Earring was overrated.

ariel said...

"Girl with a Pearl Earring" was the first time I ever saw Scarlett Johannsen. I didn't know she was a big-name star, and I was so impressed with her acting. I liked how she could play such an expressive character and yet only have maybe 3 lines in the movie :)

perilloparodies said...

Wild Hogs had both me and my hubby rolling in some of the scenes. I personally would have given "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" a D-... The rest I have not seen much of... but thanks for the review. one of these days, I might be able to see about some of them... :-)

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

So I only see 3 or 4 I'll even bother with! Thanks for watching them for me and making my time management a piece of cake. LOL

Laurie said...

If you don't mind subtitles, I really enjoyed 2 movies from Spain. Pan's Labyrinth is a fable-inspired story. It's a hero's story for sure, but it's a bit violent. Not for the kiddos. And I loved Volver, which is about 3 generations of women, who get themselves into crazy situations. It's dry humor. With Penelope Cruz. Some adult situations but mild.

Mean Mommy said...

Oh, my. You had me until Evan Almighty. In the words of Skippyjon Jones: El Stinko Muchito. But I did love your perspective on saving the world! And now I'm dying to see the Girl with the Pearl Earring. Thanks for sharing your views! :)

Anonymous said...

O-my-gosh. I read your blog all the time, and about fainted when I read what you said about the movie "Bella". Isn't it shocking how two people can watch the same thing and come away with an ENTIRELY different take on it? Bella is on my Top Ten movies to watch. I've loaned it to friends and family and they have all adored it! Bella is a pro-life story in the truest sense of the word. I strongly suggest you sit down and watch it all the way through. The message at the end is stunning. Please. Do it. Then come back and tell me if you feel the same way? - Peggy

Amy said...

I love your suggestions as they are spot on with how we felt about the rentals that we have gotten. Bella. No words. That horrible. I am surprised you could write even that much.

I will have to look into that Demi Moore movie though. That was one I have missed.

Thanks for posting these!!

Corretta Smith said...

very nice list; I suggest you put this on the Amzon list.