Thursday, June 11, 2009

Do I Watch Too Many Movies?

21I'm asking that rhetorically you know. Because I kind of suspect I do watch too many movies--but what can I say? It's a weakness of mine. I don't watch television (I'm sorry but I'm firmly in the "television is a vast wasteland" camp) but I do love me a good movie now and then. And then again.

I posted a few of our recent rentals a few months ago and since then I've seen a few more. Here are my reviews. It's a window to my soul.

1. 21
Kevin Spacey tends to play the same character over and over again and he's back for a repeat here in this "true story" adaptation of the MIT students who took on the Blackjack tables of Las Vegas in the 90s.

Ben Campbell plays the lead and I'm not sure what it is but he's got a screen appeal that makes his character interesting. Kate Bosworth isn't bad either though they both kind of have a hard time playing "genius" if you know what I mean. Most master brains I know aren't nearly so attractive and athletic and charming and all that but then this is the movies, right?

The whole trick was to count cards and early on the movie explains the technique and almost as quickly as I wondered "How on earth did all those casinos agree to allow them to explain this?" I realized "Aha! It's because the movie makes it look easy and those casinos are hoping all the suckers watching are cocky enough to think they can do what genius-kids at MIT did." I can only imagine the jump in revenues they got from it all because I can assure you, even after several detailed explanations I still did not get it.

Andrew and I both gave it two thumbs up. Though I warn you, there's a skanky scene in a Vegas club (you can kind of see it coming) that gives it the PG-13 rating. Very skanky. Look away! Look away! But I'd give it a solid B. Maybe B+ if you could eliminate the skank factor.

Traitor2. Traitor
Another drama and another two thumbs up from the husband and me possibly because Don Cheadle too is fun to watch. He's not exactly a Jason Bourne or James Bond and this isn't exactly a typical spy flick but he plays a character with a little more depth that you can't really decide to cheer for or not.

The movie is rather a standard political thriller except with the age-old "illusion v. reality" conundrum playing excellently throughout. Who is the "good" guy and who is the bad? Are you supposed to like Cheadle's character or hope he gets taken out?

Maybe I'm a little touched in the head but I really had no idea how things would go until the final wrap up but it did keep us going for about 3/4 of the movie. Clean, but with the obligatory massive gunfire that shatters pretty much every piece of glass on the eastern seaboard. My grade? Another B. Definitely worth a rental.

Enchanted3. Enchanted
I'm betting most of you have already seen this one but it was new to me when the kids picked it up at the local Blockbuster (and no, the chain didn't pay me to say that).

Seems this one was rather popular when it came out but somehow I missed it in the theaters--I think one of my sisters might have obliged me by taking Grace to see it--and I was curious to see it as my very first Patrick Dempsey movie. Yes, my very first time folks.

Did I like it? Weeeellll . . . it was fine I guess. The premise was cute. Prince Charming was cleverly done and I kind of liked having it be a musical--the world needs more musicals in my opinion--and the little girl? Completely the cutest kid I've ever seen (after my own of course).

There were a few fun chuckles though Grace rolled her eyes at me as I analyzed the film while the credits ran at the end.

Gripe #1: They expect me to believe that a cartoon fairy princess and a guy who swears he doesn't believe in romance make a match of it? They were so unsuited it was ridiculous. No. Way. A much better match is Susan Sarandon as Medusa. But then I suppose if I can suspend my disbelief enough to allow a cartoon metro hole between New York City and Disneyland then I guess I can grudgingly believe that a dingy but sweet redhead in a falsetto voice can win the heart of Captain Von Studdly.

Gripe #2. I know I'm going to sound Scroogish here but the whole idea that every girl has her one and only Prince Charming out there and her job in life is to find that ONE SOUL who will light her fire with his kiss is so whacked that it's rather hard to ignore. In a cartoon it's fine--it's just a fairy tale--but when they put it in modern context it makes me shake my head. Sorry folks, I don't believe in soul mates and a lot of unhappy females out there are wandering around, wondering if the guy in the cubicle next to them is "The One" instead of realizing that while some personalities are better suited as a match any two people of good character can have a happy life together.

It's more about character than it is kismet. Instead of sitting around, worrying when they're going to meet their own and only Prince Charming and if he's romancing them enough if more women spent that same energy developing the kind of character that attracts the right kind of man they'd be a lot happier. Life is about so many things and only a tiny part of it is romance.

Enough ranting. You know I'm only half serious here? I mean I'm kind of serious but I don't make it my life's mission to educate on the issue. Agree or not--I don't particularly care. But I'd give this a B-. A "B" for the music and laughs, a minus for the Disney-fied, uber-choreographed, dangerous unreality that leaves a lot of women feeling unfulfilled.

Mystery Date4. Mystery Date
Did you ever see this 90s movie? Grace rented it a bit ago and I'd forgot how funny it is. No really. FUNNY. It's Ethan Hawke (pre-Uma) and Teri Polo in a comedy of errors that has some very quotable lines.

The first time I saw it (in the theater all those years ago) there was a line that joked about Ben and Jerry's ice cream and being that Ben and Jerry's had not yet reached Utah (where the theater was located) my room mate and I were the only ones who got the joke and got the pleasure of laughing our heads off while the rest of the theater went "Whuh?"

Anyway . . . cute movie. I'm handing out my first A- for this one. Go see it for the Asian guy who looks like Rocky Balboa and for Dwight.

The Last King of Scotland5. The Last King of Scotland
Disclaimer here: I didn't see this on video, it was on television and I caught it in it's edited form and I'm guessing that it warrants its R rating as it was a rather violent movie.

However, I thought it was great. I completely understand how Forrest Whitaker would walk away with the Oscar from this one and James McAvoy does just as good a job in his supporting role.

I'll say here that I'm particularly partial to the historical genre and this film did not disappoint. It is the story of Idi Amin, the dictator of Uganda, who ruled in the 70s and recently died in exile in 2008 somewhere in the middle east (if memory serves). It's kind of like Titanic, where it takes a true story and weaves a fictional character (McAvoy) into the mix so we can be guided through the historically correct details while being held at attention by a personal view of humanity within the framework of the larger story.

McAvoy plays Amin's doctor who becomes wrapped up in the insanity of the times, sucked farther and farther into the horror of Amin's regime as his absolute power c0rrupts him absolutely.

What struck me at the end was the comparison to current megalomaniacs grabbing headlines--you have Kim Jong Il causing no end of problems to our east and dear little Hugo Chavez wreaking havoc down south and it makes me wonder how Obama could justify his visit in Venezuala? After seeing the life of one cruel dictator up close it makes the world's current atrocities seem even more horrifying. I have to shake my head at whatever it was that made our president think that extending a hand of friendship to such an one was an honorable thing to do.

An A movie. Though as I said, the R version would be violent.

Paul Blart Mall Cop6. Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
Oh where to start?? You know that ad where the voiceover says with authority: "The year's best comedy!" or something along those lines? Don't you believe it.

I'll repeat: DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT!

Yes, I'll admit the previews were funny. I chuckled and smiled and thought "My what an endearing chubby man! What a fun, laugh-filled escapade!"

Or at least something along those lines but when I was actually in the theater, committed and in my seat? The diagnosis wasn't so cheerful. I'm afraid there are only so many jokes one can make about fat men and mall security guards before life gets sad. Any laughs you might have anticipated were all handed out prematurely in the previews so the best grade I can offer this one is a D. I'll spare it a D- because I did find the previews entertaining, if only for a minute.

Penelope7. Penelope.
Have you seen this? Have you seen this? Oh if you haven't you've got to put it on your list of movies to see because it's a gem.

You might think that I'm just a James McAvoy fan but really it must just be that the man has a knack for picking stellar roles because this is one sweet movie.

Christina Ricci plays the teen daughter of an aristocratic family plagued by an ancient curse which wends its way through the family tree until Penelope has the misfortune to be born with a pig's nose. Of course the only way to break the curse is to . . . blah blah blah. You get the idea.

You've got Catherine O'Hare and Reese Witherspoon as talented supporting actresses (Witherspoon produced the movie) and you know all that griping about Enchanted being so far-fetched and dangerously unrealistic? Well Penelope is a similar story but instead has some tender little messages woven into the plot that fit perfectly into real life and it's not quite what you'd call predictable. Not entirely. It's as if this is what a good fairy tale should be.

Anyway, if you're looking for a squeaky-clean fairy tale of modern beauty with great set design then this is your flick. An A most certainly.

Funny Girl8. Funny Girl
Are you a Streisand fan? I'll admit to a reserved and hesitant "yes" myself. One of my favorite movies is her classic comedy What's up Doc? Her beautiful drama The Mirror Has Two Faces shows off her talents perfectly and her voice is one of the wonders of the world but I wouldn't consider paying more than about $10 for a ticket to one of her concerts.

But Funny Girl is a must-see 1968 classic. The story of real-life vaudeville star Fanny Brice, it stars Streisand as the woman who breaks into New York theater with her voice and comedic talents rather than her beauty. Really the perfect role for Streisand--but it's not exactly an all-around upbeat story. Omar Sharif is her man and while the music is great (you'll recognize some of the songs if you had a mother like mine who tutored me in all the great musicals) it's really about her life as it collides with fame and love. Bittersweet though that doesn't mean I won't give it an A-.

Pirates of the Caribbean at World's End9. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
You'll laugh that I hadn't seen this already but I carefully avoided it after wanting to gouge my eyes out with the remote control while watching its predecessors.

Chow Yun Fat what have you done???

So why did I give in if I was so sure I was going to hate it? All for the love of a boy. My son wanted to see it so very badly that I finally gave in and told him I'd let him see it if I could at least be allowed to have my laptop open and do other things while still being present to edit out some of the more graphically grotesque parts.

Bad? Words cannot describe. Even the the joys of Johnny Depp weren't enough to cover the glaring deficiencies of plot (was there one?) and character (I swear I'm so sick of Keira Knightley I'm ready to feed her scrawny body to the Kracken myself). And LONG! It was soooo loooong!

It's as if the screen writers were being paid by the minute or something because it's nearly three hours of absolute torture, like a root canal without anesthetic. And is anyone else confused as to why I'm supposed to be rooting for the pirates here? I mean I'll give it to you that Depp makes a rather fetching buccaneer but the whole swaggering-slurring-Keith-Richards-schick was kind of done to death in the previous 5 hours of pirate pandering and I was really hoping to see an early end with all ships going down.

If you gave me the choice right here, right now of being forced to watch the movie again or walking the plank? You wouldn't even be able to get through the whole sentence before I'd be running for the water. Not even a D. Less than a D--dare I say F? Okay F. If it saves anyone the pain I endured my work will not be in vain.

Knightly is so much more manly than Orlando Bloom (who is only appealing as an elf) I'm not sure how the pair have survived thus far as an on-screen couple. The best part of the movie here? And pardon me if this gives out any spoilers. Ha! Spoilers! As if anything could spoil this movie more than Mr. Verbinski himself has already done . . . anyway, best part is when Will Turner returns to Elizabeth at the very end of the movie. She's on the cliff, awaiting his return, the warm glow of the fake CGI sunset all around her as Will's ship glides into the harbor and Grace said in her best Mystery Science Theater 3000 voice imitating Will Turner: "Man! I hope she's made hamburgers for dinner!"

Cranford10. Cranford
If you like period movies then I think you'll like this one. A BBC production based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell it's set in the small town of Cranford where characters weave their way in and out through the concurrent plot lines for three or four discs.

It's a very long movie--six or eight hours maybe? I forget--and has some big names in British acting. You see here Judi Dench who does a capital job and Imelda Staunton (think Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter) and there's Michael Gambon and another fifty or so assorted characters that flit in and out of the story like a Chex party mix.

Jane Austen always has a clash of society at the heart of her romances, Dickens some social injustice he wants to remedy. This story, however, is merely about the town and the people who live there. There aren't any great machinations of plot, there isn't some driving device moving the story forward. You have little romances here or there, issues of public interest in the town or stories of fortunes lost and won but none of the microplots has any great time share in the overall event. It's like little vignettes. Charming and enjoyable but don't look for any great underlying message, theme or story. The only thing unifying things is the town itself. Which is why . . . er . . . I guess it's called Cranford. D'uh.

A B+. Great for the costumes, accents and basic entertainment. Not nearly as good as BBC's Bleak House.

The Sasquatch Gang11. The Sasquatch Gang
This movie was recommended to me by one of my brothers who said (and I quote) "It's not as funny as Napoleon Dynamite but it has better character development and plot."

Now you may already know that Napoleon Dynamite is one of the funniest movies ever made so I thought that even if it's not quite as funny as N.D. I'd still love it.

Not so my friends, not so.

Yes, it's made by the people who did the great Napoleon, though I believe it was the producers maybe and not the writers. (Maybe?) There's a Skousen listed in the credits whose got to be of the Utah branch of Skousens and somehow connected in there but the big problem here is that they tried so desperately to recreate the magic that was Napoleon and you just can't go home again.

There will be no other Napoleon so stop trying. It's as if the actors here had watched the first movie too many times and were just trying the same tricks again. You see that guy in the shorts? He's just Kip repackaged, he even does a similar thing with his voice. There's also the nerdy girl sidekick and the annoyingly loud and non-funny, teen, not-so-arch villain. They brought Justin Long on board to see if he could make it as a redneck and I'll grant you that there is one very funny moment in the whole movie that made us laugh pretty hard but only one.

You've even got "Uncle Ricco" back for a less-funny encore and the kid who plays the main character tries to deliver his deadpan lines the way Heder did but he doesn't get "nerd" the way Heder did. Maybe it would have been funnier had I not already been to the summit and seen what a film could be but it's so close to the original that you must compare and it comes up lacking.

A C-. And I'm kind because of the lizard scene. It just goes to prove my long-held belief that it's much harder to produce good comedy than it is to produce good drama or suspense.

Eagle Eye12. Eagle Eye
Okay you see this stolen-from-the-web picture to the left here? See it? Well if you do then you've pretty much seen the movie.

There, I've saved you one hour and forty minutes of gut-wrenching grief.

But now you'll probably force me to explain why I hated this movie.

First, I must disclose that I saw it because I'm living with a 15 year-old Shia LeBeouf fan. Yup, he's right next to David Archuleta in her little superstar pantheon (did I mention that Archuleta is coming to the state fair in August? We've heard nothing else). Anyway, while I did like LeBeouf in Holes (a fabulous movie) I just can't believe that he's now old enough to have facial hair let alone hold up as a leading man. He still looks like he's fourteen or fifteen for goodness sake. And look at him next to Michelle Monaghan--she's practically old enough to be his mother! No, seriously. I looked it up. She's ten years older than he and it completely weirds me to see them romantically connected. Nearly as weird as the Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas thing.

Anyway, it's a stupid, stupid plot driven by over-the-top action sequences and writers with a political agenda who want to tell us how our freedoms are slipping away. It reminded me of Cellular--another bomb that nearly killed me. I can accept babies being born with pig noses, I can accept cartoon princesses being sucked through manholes but don't try to tell me that cell phone service is that reliable. I won't believe it.

Another F. F for "Flee for your Lives!"

That Thing You Do13. That Thing You Do
I'll end on a positive note here and say that this movie is, without a doubt, my favorite thing Tom Hanks has ever done. He's a talented actor with an amazing career but this movie is pretty much perfect. Grace rented it a few weeks ago and it was a pleasant repeat performance.

Is it the greatest movie ever made? No, not really, but what I mean by perfection is it does everything a movie should do. It's original. It makes you laugh. You're involved with the characters and you live along with them all while forgetting that the story is taking place 30 years previous.

It's been out so long it was Liv Tyler's big break and Charlize Theron's first screen appearance (which gives you an idea how long we're talking). But was such a hit that it also gave Steve Zahn and Tom Everett Scott a fighting chance in Hollywood.

It's the fictional story (that leaves you wondering at the end if it really is fictional or not, despite your better judgment) of the Wonders, a 60s band formed by four small-town guys who accidentally strike it big and make it all the way to the top. Written and directed by Hanks (who plays their manager) it is the inspiration for the name of Hank's own production company, Playtone.

Anyway, the song the movie is built around is infectious and considering that you hear the Wonders smash single over and over again throughout the film you'd expect nothing less. If you haven't seen this you've been missing out--it's an A+ for sure.

Sponsored by Wedding Paper Divas for wedding invitations.


Jane Hamilton said...

If you watch too many movies, then you're totally my kindred sister!

Your list of movies are awesome. I've seen half the list, I think. Shame on me that I haven't seen the other half. Getting to it pronto!

Love your work,

Jane Hamilton.

Robin said...

I thought The Last King of Scotland was an incredible movie - up until the last 10 minutes. That last ten minutes was so over the top graphically violent that it forever colored my view of this film. Truly horrifying. I can't imagine that any of it made it to tv.

rupiawan said...

Although only a fiction but the story you describe is very interesting to read. If you do not mind you can see the ad on my blog. Thanks

branda50 said...

I like suggestions for movies...Thanks I needed more on my list for Netflix..I already added them to my queue...We watch so many movies..

Jolanthe said...

I loved Cranford so much I bought it! :) And I LOVED Penelope.

If you haven't seen North and South {a BBC miniseries ~ not the Patrick Swayze one}, that's another great rental too! The other miniseries I have from BBC that I have yet to watch is Wives and Daughters...but I've heard great things about it!

Summer said...

Well I guess I never thought about the underlying "Soul Mate" message of Enchanted. I really enjoyed that movie. Sounds like Penelope is one I will have to see. I also really liked That Thing You Do.

Carrie said...

I watched Cranford with my SIL's and MIL on vacation when our hubby's were all out golfing and other various boring activities...and we loved it - we thought it was hilarious! :)

CWDkids said...

Thank you for the great movie reviews. We just got Netflix so I love having a list to start on!

Ashley, with CWDkids

fj62 said...

The only ones I've seen of the ones you mentioned are Cranford and Bleak House- enjoyed both very much. Two that I've seen recently that I would highly recommend would be Last Chance Harvey(Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson) The acting was fantastic! The other movie is Wives and Daughters- long but worth it. Thanks for your reviews.

jacjewelry said...

I'm probably the wrong person to ask, because not only do I not watch TV (except The Office), but I also don't watch movies. I have a hard time sitting through an entire movie, and it always feels longer than 2 hours. I don't know why. I can NOT watch a movie more than once - something my husband cannot understand as he has watched some movies over 100 times (I am serious). From your list, I've only seen Pirates of the Caribbean... and only because my friend made me watch it with her!

Shelly said...

I too agree that TV is trash. We only keep cable so that DH can watch the games. However, I still like a good movie and since I am big on doing more than one thing at once, I usually rent a movie from the library or use my netflix to keep a movie around for a week to watch in little snippets, like when i am putting the laundry away, etc.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Mystery Date! I used to watch that over and over... and I just recently watched Penelope and was surprised I liked it so much!

I recently rented He's Just Not That Into You and actually enjoyed it! And Revolutionary Road (did NOT enjoy.) Rachel Getting Married is another good one, too.


oh amanda said...

*sigh* That Thing You Do. I just posted about it the other day, too. One of the best ever! Steve Zahn is hilarious in it. The scene of him getting married in Vegas at the end is priceless.

I had the soundtrack in college and can sing the whole thing...

Kathy G said...

The novel that the movie 21 was based on is should add it to your list of books to read.

They focus more on the technical aspects of how they did it. There was no (or minimal) sex.

Janelle said...

1) I loved this movie. I found it absolutely fascinating.

3) I had lots of friends who took their kids to see this in the theaters, and then they went back (as adults) to see it several more times. I didn't get it. Finally I watched it, and I loved it. I love how self-deprecating it is -- making fun of any and every Disney princess movie ever made. (And I had to look up the word 'kismet', by the way.)

4) Added to my Netflix queue.

6) I didn't think the previews were even that good. The first time I saw one, I said to my husband, "That's all the best parts of the movie right there, and even that wasn't all good."

7) Great great movie.

9) I thought it was better than Dead Man's Chest, but not by much. I loved the first, so I felt compelled to see the other two, but was sorely disappointed. You might be amused, however, but the reviews of the movies on Ask a Ninja (and if you're not familiar with the are missing out!). Here is for Pirates 2, and here is for Pirates 3, which really just has an alternate opening.

11) I hated Napolean Dynamite, so I think I'll just pass on this one altogether.

13) Great movie! A modern classic.

Jill in MA said...

Wow! A lot of these I haven't seen! Thank you for your list and detailed descriptions -- now I've got a whole bunch to add to my Netflix list!

As usual, Michelle, you're awesome!

Jen R. ( said...

I completely agree with your gripe #2.

Kristen M. said...

I'm glad you see so many movies so I know what to order from Netflix. There are a few here I haven't watched. I think Penelope will be next on my list.

I loved The Last King of Scotland but have to agree that the violence on the DVD was over-the-top. Also, 100% agree with Eagle Eye. I'd heard so many great reviews from from my friends but it was horribly painful to sit through!

Melissa said...

Thanks for the reviews! I always love them! It helps when we want something to watch on a weekend and we have no idea what to rent. And since we don't have cable, satellite, etc., then renting is our best option.

I totally agree with "That Thing You Do". It's hard for me to see Tom Everett Scott, Steve Zahn or T.B. (The Bass Player) in any other role without immediately taking a little memory trip through this movie. I still have a small crush on Tom Everett Scott, too, but don't tell my husband. ;)

Marcy said...

Loving James McAvoy right now. We just watched Becoming Jane. My daughter (she's 8) loves to watch Penelope. Wow - it's a movie with a message.

I saw That Thing You Do when it came out. Totally love it and will even sit down to watch it if it's on HBO or Showtime. I saw a directors cut version recently and I liked it even more.

Scribbit said...

Catching up here on comments--sounds like that Last King of Scotland movie really is violent. Too bad you can't rent the edited version. I did suspect the ending had been edited--given how short it was :) Kind of like when I saw an edited version of Beverly Hills Cop back in high school. The dialog was only half there. Every other word was bleeped out :)

I'm odd about over-analyzing movies. I can recognize that oddity in me but it doesn't stop me from doing it. Grace really liked Enchanted so she gave me the "oh mom!" thing when I expressed a bit of dissatisfaction. Which of course just fueled my orneriness :)

I haven't seen Last Chance Harvey but I did recently see Stranger Than Fiction with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson and I love that movie. I would have added it to the list but forgot it. To me that one is also a perfectly crafted movie. Funny, engaging, love the characters, love the feel and message, love the cleverness of plot.

Oh and did see Becoming Jane but didn't care for it too much. I think I was expecting a real Austen story and the plot rather irritated me. Silly again I know but there it is. And it's probably because my husband thinks Anne Hathaway is a beauty (he won't admit it but I can read him like a book) so I'm probably just jealous :)

Leisa Hammett said...

Michelle, you are a delicious writer. I enjoyed perusing these.

The Source said...

Have you seen "Taking Chance"? I think you'd like that one.

I love "That Thing You Do" especially the part where they hear their song on the radio for the first time!

Patricia Linehan said...

In reference to your Paul Blart review... also, if the review quoted on all of the movie's press is someone you've never heard of from a publication you've never read that probably means that the big critics hated it and they had to dig a little to get that GREAAAAAAAT!!! FUNNNNNNNY!!! SEE IT!!! review

Diane said...

I don't watch many movies (not even with the kids...ones like Happy Feet are just too painful) and can't say I've seen any on your list, but I always love reading your reviews. Thanks!

chelle said...

Wow you have seen a lot of movies!
Mall Cop was a disappointment to us too, we went on our date night after it was recommended by friends! bah!

a Tonggu Momma said...

I've seen about half of these and mostly agreed with your take on those, so I'll have to check out the other ones you liked that I have yet to see.

I will say that Enchanted isn't that bad of a movie for little girls when you compare it to the other "princess movies" out there. The Little Mermaid? She "falls in love" without even talking to the guy first. And don't even get me started on the older Disney movies. Mulan still wins, hands down, though.

Mandy said...

I agree with ya regarding the soul mate spiel...confused people out there, I tell ya!

Magnolia Mom said...

I want to see Mall Cop. I'm the total opposite; watch way too much TV and hardly ever see movies. :)

Sarah said...

Dwight. He's the flower delivery guy, right? He's the star of the whole movie in my opinion. "I can't wait to see what you throw at me next."

I have got to rent "Mystery Date" again...

Serena said...

I can't tell you how hysterically I laughed at Grace's MST3000 comment at the end of At World's End. We just saw this recently (it took us forever to see the second one, and, like you, we weren't terribly eager to see the third after that) and we were dying the whole time. Oh, it's awful. So, so, so bad. We thought it was over at least three times but it just kept GOING. And, no, there was no plot. It was ridiculous.

Penelope: So good! I thought it was just charming and enjoyable.

Enchanted: There was so much fuss about it. Blah. I did laugh about the translation of her cartoon wedding dress to NYC dress, though. It looks all flowing and poufy and pretty in the animation, and then it was about the size of Central Park in the live action scenes.

Eagle Eye: Haven't seen it, but yeah on Shia LeBeouf. I don't understand how that scrawny kid is supposed to be a heartthrob. The preview I saw for the new Transformers movie (besides making me blush and scoff at the shot of the girl's leg/hiney) just had me laughing. Really? Him? He's the star?

Serena said...

Oh, and Bleak House is so wonderful! I noticed someone else recommended North and South (NOT the Patrick Swayze one!), and I second the recommendation. I liked it more than--dare I say--the BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. (Gasp! Don't tell anyone I said that!)

Alison Kelley said...

My husband is a big time movie buff. So yes, ever since I've been with him I have seen alot of movies. I love watching a good movie over and over again because I always seem to see something in it that I didn't before. Have you seen the movie "Dead Again", it is so fantastic and heart felt. If you haven't seen it yet make sure you watch it at least twice because there is no way to catch everything that is going on in just one viewing, it'll blow your mind all over again the second time.

Sara and Alex said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I updated my netflix queue!

april said...

Actually, Penelope was 18 when she started interviewing suitors but was 25 years old in the movie's present day. Not exactly a teen.

Can you tell I really love that movie (and watched it enough times to catch the details)? I really love Enchanted, too.

Amber @ Classic Housewife said...

I only have two things to say.

1 - Was it REALLY that BAD to watch the Pirates?? REALLY?? I guess I just have a thing for pirates. Though, I really was disappointed with the way the third one ended. I'll give you that much.

2 - Pardon me, I mean this as "cheerfully" as possible .. but either you missed the point on Enchanted or I TOTALLY misunderstood it. Isn't it a parody? I thought it was hilarious! It has taken all the Disney movies, every fairy tale cliche and rolled them up into one, highly improbable, totally facetious, comedy. It's like "When fairy tale SURrealty collides with REality." His line, "it's like you popped out of a Hallmark card..." One of my favorites.
Seriously, if you pay attention, there are references to The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White... you name it. I thought her ditzy-ness was played up on purpose, because of the "happy, airy, bubbly" princessess of the Disney movies. I thought that her cluelessness was on purpose (because REALLY if a Disney princess suddenly landed in New York she would HAVE. NO. CLUE.)

Anyway, I'm not trying to convince you to love it, just simply trying to present another option. I think you were taking it way too seriously. Or perhaps, after watching Disney/Princess movies over and over and over with my two girls for the last 9 years, I just derived a lot of pleasure out of a flick that seemed to poke fun at their faults and weaknesses a little. =)

All Rileyed Up said...

I could watch Enchanted repeatedly for the scenes with James Marsden and the line when Amy whatshername is encouraging Patrick Dempsey to sing to his fiancee and she says the words "beautiful ballad" -- I swear I crack up every time.

I have to admite, I am shocked at your love for Mystery Date. I even saw that movie when I had the world's hugest crush on Ethan Hawke but don't quite think I would give it an A-. I'd give it a B, though. There are some good lines.

And Penelope, oh Penelope. LOVE IT!!!!! Catherine O'Hara is so good at being obnoxious, isn't she?

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

yes you watch too any movies, how else am I to know what to rent? I tend to over analyze movies too and Stephanie almost gets up and walks out on me.I have only seen Pirates That thing you do and Eagle eye. I too was done with Pirates after the second one and wondered why third one was sooo long. I don't think I will bother with Enchanted, too cheesy for me. oh and btw, I had the Killers Human in my head all morning yesterday. thanks a lot...

Lori said...

Pirates made me so glad that I was delirious from baby-induced lack of sleep and could go to sleep.

I forgot about Penelope. That is now on my Netflix queue (second from the top, my daughter wants the Wizard of Oz since we just read one).

jubilee said...

Me thinks I'll skip the Johnny Depp movie and rent Penelope instead.

I kinda liked Eagle Eye, though You are right that the romance between the two characters was icky.

And, shame on me, I fell asleep during That Thing You Do (Sunday afternoon . . . kids were napping . . .). I'll have to rent it again and see what I missed.

Elizabeth said...

We watch a lot of movies too. I think I've seen all but 2 of those. We didn't see Traitor or the King of Scotland one.

Thanks for bringing up Mystery Date. It's one of my favorite "older" movies. I crack up every time I think about the "Look in the pot" line.

Penelope is adorable. And if I had to pick a celebrity crush Jame McAvoy would be it. He's adorable.

Enchanted is just a wonderful movie. I fall asleep every time we have try to watch Pirates: World's End.

You have really good taste in movies. What's your favorite?

Scribbit said...

Well thank you Elizabeth :)

My favorite has to be lord of the Rings, Two Towers specifically. Star Wars (the original) is a close second. I'm also a big Lost Ark fan and then movies like Out of Africa and Napoleon Dynamite and Oh Brother Where Art Thou? are high on the list. I also loved Dead Poets Society and Truman Show (both directed by Peter Wier) and Sound of Music and Finding Nemo. While You Were Sleeping and Return to Me and Runnaway Bride are great romantic comedies. Wait Until Dark, Rear Window and Dial M for Murder are great classics.

Lots of great movies out there.

Banteringblonde said...

hmmm sadly I haven't seen a movie in a long time but I'm due for a day on the couch so I'll be using this list as a reference!

Grace @ Sandier Pastures said...

Like you, I do watch movies on DVD a lot because we don't have any channel installed in our TV. (We are TV-free for almost three years now)

After reading your list, I am now officially embarassed to say that I do love Enchanted and didn't really think a story like that would be impossible. Sigh.

Would love to see some of the movies in the list but would not go for Last King of Scotland because my 5yo is too young for that kind of movie.

Wally said...

One of my all time fav movies! My three boys and I quote lines all the time. "Gotta be quick with me".
Hanks is great, Tyler is great, Zahn makes the movie. See it!

?Oh, did I tell you, you look great in sunglasses?"

Alice Wills Gold said...

I was so disappoined in Mall Cop, but I liked Enchanted enough, as well as Eagle Eye...haven't watched Penelope all the way through, but my kids liked it, but haven't been overly obsessed with it...we bought it and they've only watched it twice...that to me means that it's not THAT amazing.

I tell you what though...we just saw Pizar's "Up" in the theatre and it was fabulous...I mean totally amazing...the kids loved it and I cried and laughed both with total enjoyment.

Janel said...

I loved "That Thing You Do" too for all the same reasons. I refused to watch Pirates #3 especially after I hated the first two so much and my 16yo sewing buddy told me the plot plus ending and ranted for weeeeeks about how disappointed she was. (It reminded me too much of Matrix3 - which made me rant for weeks.) I've had Penelope on my list for awhile. Now I really want to see it.

Now for Enchanted... lol. I saw it for the first time 2 months ago and I am one of those people who loved it. As a bright, sunny, positive person like Giselle, sometimes I feel like I've been dropped in to a not so very nice place. I relate. Reality stinks. : p lol

Yes, there were some cheezy moments, but I didn't mind. Now if I could only get that little yodel thing down, I'm sure that I would make new friends and could get some help cleaning the bathroom while we all sing a happy working song! ; )

Veronica Mitchell said...

I agree on so much in this post: soulmates, Mall Cop, Orlando Bloom, Funny Girl. Feel free to screen all my movies for me.

Phyllis Sommer said...

i love your movie posts. you do NOT watch too many movies! i love "that thing you do" - it's so cute...

Laura Moffitt said...

I am so glad to find another What's Up Doc Fan!! I love when you do these post because now I have a few movies that I totally want to watch now.

Stephanie said...

I remember when I first saw "That Thing You Do." I immediately went out to buy the soundtrack. There's great music in that film. It's quite a fun movie too.

I agree that "Enchanted" is unrealistic, but it's also exceptionally sweet and the characters are endearing. And, as you said, the world needs more musicals.

I just added "Penelope" to our Netflix queue. That looks like a good one. Now if only we could find time to actually *watch* any of the movies in our Netflix queue...