The Iron Lady doesn't turn out to be what you think it will be. The movie stars Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But the film focuses less on her biography and political career and more on the Alzheimer's disease which she is now experiencing.
Not that the movie isn't entertaining, or educational. But a straight history is what you expect, not a medical drama. The film is a little depressing.
We Bought a Zoo looks like it should have been filmed in Technicolor. It FEELS like a 1960s live-action Disney film, just a little edgier with the swear words. In fact, it was somewhat reminiscent of the Disney film Swiss Family Robinson.
Matt Damon is excellent as the widowed father. On the other hand, here is yet another movie about a clueless dad trying to raise two children on his own (see my earlier comments about The Descendants).
It's not a laugh-out-loud comedy, just sweet. The subplot involving the animal inspector was the weakest part of the film.
Joyful Noise isn't as funny as the previews make it out to be. It's more of a soap opera with gospel and pop music. The singing is wonderful, by the way. But the subplots of family problems were more annoying than entertaining. In fact, there were so many characters that it was hard to keep all of them straight.
However, it was wonderful seeing Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah together. They should have made a movie together years ago!
The most elaborate computer-animated film ever made has to be Hugo. It's been nominated for several Academy Awards. Hugo is about an orphan boy who lives in the clock tower of the train station in Paris in the 1920s. A girl who is slightly older than he is befriends him, and together they help her grandparents come to terms with their earlier, forgotten careers in movie-making.
The grandfather is Georges Milier, who created one of the earliest feature films, Le Voyages de la Lune, about a trip to the moon. I have no idea how much actual history is in Hugo, how it compares to the real-life story of Milier. Hugo is a bit slow in places, and truthfully, the elaborate-ness of the train station and clock tower can be distracting at times. It's not an animated film for small children, who would likely not understand the story. It's for tweens and older.
Red Tails is an unusual move/movie for producer George Lucas. It's about black soldiers stationed in Italy during World War II, the men known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
It's a highly fictionalized story. I honestly do not know if any of the characters in the movie were based on real people, or compilations of people. You'd think the movie would bring up a lot of emotions, but it feels "cold," for want of a better term.
The special effects (plane and train explosions) are 21st century, but the sound is mid-20th century. By that I mean that the voices are soft and not in stereo, and the instrumental background music sounds like it is a coming from a simple mono record player. The acting is a bit wooden as well. I think it might have been a better movie if it had been filmed in black-and-white.
Gerald McRaney has a bit part in the movie, playing yet another soldier.
Like so many movies that have won Best Picture, I was not that impressed with The Artist. I thought it was slow.
Much of the movie is borrowed heavily from Singing in the Rain and A Star is Born. Actually, except for one character giving someone the finger, the majority of the movie is very benign, and I couldn't understand why it had a PG-13 rating. It's not until the last 20 minutes that you learn why the film has a heavier rating.
I suspect the movie won so many awards because of its novelty--being filmed in black-and-white, and being mostly silent. There are some scenes with sound, and they are actually the most interesting parts of the film.
Mary Norton wrote five books about the Borrowers, families of tiny people who live in the walls of old homes in the British countryside in the early 1900s. Arrietty is the daughter of one of these families. The Secret World of Arrietty is a Japanese anime' film which combines the first two novels, The Borrowers and The Borrowers Afield. The setting has been moved to modern-day Japan. For American audiences, the film was dubbed into English, with Carol Burnett supplying the voice of the housekeeper.
The first half of the movie pretty much follows the first half of The Borrowers. Then a character from the second book is introduced, and the story veers off, although the ending is the same as the book.
Is the film good? It's entertaining, but it gets a little slow in the middle. The animation is beautiful, but the setting and the voices are a little disconcerting, because they don't look and sound like what you imagined they'd be if you've read the books.
The movie actually has a G rating!
I absolutely LOVED the Drew Barrymore movie Big Miracle and will have to buy the DVD.
It's based on a true incident from 1988 in which three whales were trapped by thickening ice off of Barrow, Alaska. The ice on the top of the water had frozen for 5 miles before open ocean, and that was too far for them to swim without surfacing. Whales are mammals, you know, and breathe air.
I think the reason I enjoyed Big Miracle so much was that in many ways it was reminiscent of Apollo 13, my all-time favorite movie. Miracle was a true story, about three trapped beings, cold temperatures, anxious TV viewers from around the world, continuing news coverage, many people coming together to help, occasional nerve-wracking scenes, and an ending that wasn't entirely happy.
Although not for very small children, this is a movie I recommend for the whole family.
Oh, man, was Chronicle one weird disturbing movie!
It's the story of three teenage boys who develop magical/super powers after visiting a mysterious cave which is later covered over. This is NOT a superhero movie. The boys at first enjoy their new powers, but of course they cannot handle them and the climax turns out tragic and violent. It's apocalyptic at the end as downtown Seattle is blown apart.
That's not to say that Chronicle isn't a good movie. The truth is, it was well-written, upsetting and clever, with well-done but low-budget special effects. It's got a PG-13 rating but it's borderline R with its violence.
The best scene was the most innocent one. Rather than using their powers to get girls or humiliate bullies, two of the boys enter their high school talent show as magicians and totally wow their audience. That sequence was one of the reasons the movie was so original--what movie have you seen lately that included a high school talent show?