I nearly walked out of Silver Linings Playbook during the first 30 minutes. The film gets better, although I don't understand why it was nominated for Best Picture. Perhaps because it was an odd movie to begin with?
The plot is that a man with OCD and narcissism is released from the mental hospital after an eight-month stay. He had severely beaten his wife's lover and another person at the school where she works. I don't know how he avoided going to jail. He has been released into the custody of his parents. His father also has OCD.
The main character is obsessed with getting back with his wife, even though there is a restraining order against him. She is all she talks about. His mannerisms and his voice patterns will remind you of Rain Man. In fact, the movie is like seeing the story of Rain Man through Dustin Hoffman's point of view rather than Tom Cruise's.
Then, SLP turns into a Lifetime family drama as he settles into a routine with his family, and meets a young widow with a bad reputation. It's a typical story of two questionable characters beginning to redeem themselves through love and
Wait for it
A DANCE CONTEST?!
We went from Rain Man to Dirty Dancing?!
I am not making this up.
You have to watch this movie to believe it. I am glad I waited until it was showing at the second-run theater, and on Tuesdays the admission is $1.75.
Basically Dreamgirls set in Australia and Vietnam, The Sapphires is based on a true story of girl quartet touring the war zones. You get to see photos of the real women at the end of the movie.
It's a predictable story line, starting with their audition and then ending with their return to their home town. It's cute, but a little foul-mouthed at times.
42 is a biography of baseball player Jackie Robinson. It's a little slow, and a little confusing in the beginning keeping all the minor league teams straight, but otherwise enjoyable. You wanted to kick some of the characters in the head, but that was the point. You barely recognize Harrison Ford. Although most of the story is familiar, the one detail I did learn was the story behind Leo Derocher.
Even though this movie is PG-13, there is no violence or sex or F-words.
A very funny summer rental movie set in a beach town in New England. I SOOOO wanted to go there!
A man (Steve Carell) and his daughter plus his girlfriend and her son stay at his beach house. His family has been doing this for years but the girlfriend and son are new to this. Carell is NOT the good guy this time. He is a jerk from the very beginning. His girlfriend's son knew this immediately but it took several weeks for the mother to figure it out. The Way, Way Back is only playing at art houses in larger cities. If you can go see it, it's a very fun movie.
Ignore all the bad-mouthing by the critics for The Lone Ranger, and ignore the bad-mouthing by the under-30 male crowd. The Lone Ranger is the best movie I've seen in years; I came out of the theater smiling and have been thinking about it ever since. I was delighted by this movie!
I've said for years that I don't see movies that are remakes, sequels, based on comic books or based on TV shows, but I made an exception for this one because the previews intrigued me. I was not let down. The scenery is spectacular, the music is wonderful (I dare you to try not tapping your foot during The William Tell Overture), the script is engrossing and the actors are both charming and funny.
The audience at the theater I was at was all over 40. I think the problem the critics and fanboys have had is that they just don't "get" the movie. I think the advertising was wrong to be aimed at the younger summer moviegoing crowd. Not only am I planning to get the DVD when it is released, but I will probably see the movie again in the theater and will purchase the soundtrack.
I've always had a soft spot for Mary Poppins. It was the first movie I saw in the theater. I was 4 years old in 1965, and my grandmother took me downtown on the bus to see it at one of the long-gone huge downtown theaters on the day after Easter.
Reading about Saving Mr. Banks did not pique my curiosity. But I saw one commercial for the movie, which played "Feed the Birds" in the background, and I started to cry.
My sister and I saw it Thursday, Dec. 26, at the early evening show. There were about 100 people in the theater, and no one was there under the age of 45. I suspect anyone younger would have no clue what was going on in the movie.
The story is about Walt Disney wooing PL Travers, who wrote the book Mary Poppins, to buy the rights to her book. Why he wanted to work with her is a mystery, because she was a bit of a bitch!
We see flashbacks of Travers' childhood in Australia where she copes with her father's two illnesses, alcoholism and tuberculosis. She is still bitter about it 50 years later, which I think is why she was so protective of her book.
The movie is physically beautiful, very detailed and rather sad. At the end when Mary Poppins premieres at Disneyland, I started to cry, again.
In Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks stars as Rich Phillips, the captain of the Maersk Alabama, which was hijacked by modern-day pirates off the coast of Somalia in 2009. The movie is intense and gets very nerve-wracking and violent toward the end. I did not know how much Phillips was brutalized in the lifeboat during the last few hours of him being held hostage.
When you see the previews, you might think of Hanks in Apollo 13, but Phillips bears little resemblance to that story. It is much more reminiscent of United 93, although, fortunately, Phillips and the crew survive at the end.
I know it sounds like I just said a spoiler, but I am assuming you already knew the story anyway!
I'm not sure what the purpose of the movie American Hustle is. It's mildly funny. It's also very slow, although it picks up in the second half, too long, and very, very foul-mouthed.
It takes place in New Jersey in 1978. None of the publicity and promos ever mention what the story is actually about, and the term that came out of this incident is mentioned only once. This movie is about Abscam. I don't remember much of the case--I was a junior in high school--just that I remember all those senators being arrested.
I have to wonder that, like my beloved Lone Ranger movie, that the critics are too young to understand or catch the allusions and details of the movie. My sister and I (I'm 52, she's 50) were really surprised as we watched American Hustle and realized where the story originated. I'm also surprised that no one has ever mentioned that this case was where the word "scam" came from.
There are so few chick flicks anymore that I really hate it when one comes along and I cannot recommend it. August: Osage County is the latest one. August is not a romantic comedy. It's a play about a family with a level of dysfunction that would make the Simpsons and the Ewings and the Kardashians green with envy.
The stars are Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Juliette Lewis, with smaller roles by Sam Shepard, Margo Martindale and Chris Cooper (the only likeable person in the movie). Shepard's character has died and Streep's sister and daughters return to their home in Oklahoma for the funeral. That first part of the plot is not unusual.
This is NOT a Lifetime movie. The women have very foul mouths with language that would have been funny in small doses but makes you cringe after you hear it constantly. The insults are written to hurt, not to make the audience laugh.
When my mother, my sister and I all hate the movie, I cannot suggest it for anyone.
The Monuments Men is educational and often funny. It's also a little slow and it's difficult to keep track of all of the characters. My favorite character was Private Sam Epstein, the Jeep driver.
The older man at the end of the movie is Nick Clooney, George's father.