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Eat Pray Love (2010)
Good Acting, Weak Story.
I was already warned that the book is self indulgent and whiny and perhaps that is why I wasn't as "disappointed" as other viewers.
I thought there were very good isolated performances by Billy Cudrup, James Franco, Richard Jenkins and Javier Bardem (for the most part), but as a whole story, this movie did not work.
Because Julia Robert's character, Liz, doesn't stay in one place too long, we don't really have enough time to invest in the characters that she meets in her path. Just when we are getting to know them, she "moves on".
One of the most sympathetic characters in this story is right in the beginning. Billy Cudrup plays Julia Robert's soon to be ex husband who has every right to be upset with her when she decides she wants a divorce. I found myself rooting for him, which is not a good sign for our supposed protagonist- Liz.
So from then on, I didn't like her very much. She rebounds immediately into relationship with an actor friend played by James Franco, who is super charming. But he is not good enough for her and she becomes too needy and leaves him.
She hops on a plane to Italy and eats a lot of food and buys bigger jeans. I found that part endearing, but not compelling. Then she goes to India and tries to find peace and runs into "Richard From Texas", played by Richard Jenkins, who is a great actor and does the best he can with the script he has been given. During one of his moving monologues, I just kept thinking, "I like this as an isolated performance, but it doesn't fit the pace of the movie."
Then she saunters off to Bali and eventually meets Javier Bardem and at first I really liked him. But it doesn't take long until he starts emotionally dumping on her as well and sheds a tear.
I kept waiting for one of these characters to slap Liz in the face and tell her to go home and grow up, but there seemed to be no voice of reason. Only emotion. I think Richard from Texas attempted to be this voice in her life, but his advice feels empty.
My favorite part of the movie is when Liz finally tells Bardem's character that she "doesn't need to love him first before she can love herself." I thought, "yes, she is starting to get it!" But then what does she do? She takes off on a boat with him in the end. WHY? Her character had just said earlier in the movie that she has "been in relationships since she was 15 years old and has never really been alone". Well, honey, now is your chance and you still ended up with a man.
Liberating? Enlightening? Amazing? Not at all.
At least the acting was good.
Step Up 3D (2010)
So Bad It's Good!
Okay, first of all, remember folks, that dancers aren't actors. And apparently no one was a writer either because the script sounded like it was written in about 10 minutes, BUT, this movie was thoroughly entertaining anyway.
Me and my hip hoppers saw this movie after dance class and we were NOT disappointed! When we weren't watching the mesmerizing dance routines, we were laughing out loud at the horribly cheesy dialogue and plot.
The best part of the movie,(besides the dancing), is the character Moose. He is our main protagonist and is the most believable in regards to acting and character development. He and his BFF have a more convincing romantic storyline than their two older beautiful people counterparts.
If you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the dancing and not take this movie too seriously, you will love it! Especially if you are a dancer.
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
WHAT WAS THAT?
Okay- throw me a bone here. I know I am not a sleuth or anything, but the average movie goer needs some help filling in the blanks from time to time.
I think Soderbergh was just a little too close to his own project.
The first act took waaaay too long. The pace was just off. I needed to see the main characters jumping ship from their current living situations within the first 10 minutes. I don't think I needed to see Benedict visiting every thief in the beginning. We already know they are caught. The beginning could have been more creative.
The story took too long to introduce the night fox. Pacing off.
But what really killed me was the reuniting of Zeta Jones and her father. PUKE. Why did he have to pretend to be dead? That was a bit much.
Someone explain to me again what happened with Damon's MOM? I missed the "clue" beforehand.
Brad Pitt...just not doing it for me. For whatever reason, I just don't believe him.
Well, It Ain't Shakespeare....
But it's entirely them.
I know nothing about the band Metallica, but I found this documentary very honest and entertaining as it filmed the frustrations of the recording process.
Kudos to the cameramen and the editors in capturing alot of humorous and transparent moments.
One suspects that maybe some of the band members have taken too many mind altering substances in the past as they churned out rated R nursery rhymes in the writing process.
But Metallica ain't supposed to be Shakespeare. As long as they are painfully honest and go for it 100 percent everytime, they will always have a following and a career.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Decent Movie - But the Book is BETTER!
After the hype over this movie began to die down, I finally saw it tonight.
It's pretty good. I had been going over the four gospels again, to make sure they were fresh in my memory. After seeing this movie, it makes me want to read my bible more. And that's a good thing.
This is not a perfect movie. There are some discrepancies (that I will address in a minute). But I think the point Mel Gibson was trying to do was to get audiences to engage in dialogue about spiritual things- and he has succeeded.
This movie will plant a seed in some people and create a spiritual fervor and spark. But it will not answer all your questions. But it may encourage you to read the Bible, and the Bible will satisfy alot more than this movie.
And now for my questions:
Mary Magdalene- Um, where in the bible does it say that she was the woman who was caught in adultery? It says she was a woman "out of whom had come seven demons" (Luke 8:2) Where as the woman who was caught in adultery in the movie flashback (although this is not obvious to people who don't know the scriptures) is not named in the Bible.(John 8:3-11)
Where is Pilate's wife in the Bible? Someone told me she is in there, but I am still looking.
Mary & John took Jesus down off the cross in the movie, but in the bible it says:
"When Jesus therefore saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman behold your son!" Then He said to the disciple "Behold your mother!" And from that hour THAT DISCIPLE TOOK HER TO HIS OWN HOME. (John 19:26-27)
THEN Jesus said "I thirst" and THEN He gave up His Spirit. Later on Joseph of Arimathea took away Jesus' body. (John 19:28-38)
One last thing:
Someone said that the gospels were in Greek only, but my bible says in John 19:19-20 "Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS"
"Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in HEBREW, GREEK AND LATIN." ----- okay enough of that.
Good movie, but the BOOK IS BETTER! 8/10
"Big" meets "The Jerk" - Corny, but funny for the kiddies
I saw this movie at a matinee and that's about right.
Will Ferrell is great with physical comedy and this movie is well cast. Some things are predictable if you have seen movies like "Big" and "The Jerk".
But the details is what makes this movie stand out and I will not spoil them for you. I loved some of the over-the-top ridiculous make believe dramatics that took place, especially in the "north pole".
This is definitely for the kiddies and those with imagination- who really really "want to believe."
The School of Rock (2003)
Gives Young People Credit.....
I knew I would love this movie because I love Jack Black and I love music. What I didn't know is that I would love this movie because it showcases that young kids ARE SMART - much more than we give them credit for.
At an age where one assumes that a child cannot handle certain responsibilities or isn't ready for "the real world" - this movie challenges that aspect.
Granted, it is a MOVIE hence, some FANTASY - but I was inspired at how Jack Black's character, for the most part, doesn't "talk down" to these young talented kids. He treats them as if "of COURSE they can handle things and BE IN CHARGE of certain activities" -even at the age of 10 and this pleases me.
This movie will be much funnier to you if you like rock music and are familiar with the AC/DC references. I loved it.
The Women of Brewster Place (1989)
Every time I see that this movie is on TV again, I get SUCKED IN every time and have to watch it to the end!
It does such a great job communicating about a culture that I know so little about. I feel like I was invited in-it is so painfully real.
The writing, the acting and the directing is so well done. It also feels like a play.
It's honest. 9/10
Cute, but uneven - *Spoiler*
This movie has so much going on and such a great cast, but it's just too much all at once. I was either laughing out loud hysterically, or rolling my eyes. The pacing was wierd and bit slow and confusing at times. The dialogue went back and forth from being very clever and smart, to being very cliche and predictable.
Less is more. I wish the screenplay would have narrowed it down to fewer characters and focused on them, rather than trying to squeeze in as many comedic character actors as possible.
The biggest laugh in the theatre was when the Pilates for Puppies receptionist told Elle and the other guy that their dogs were gay. That lady was very very funny.
The Italian Job (2003)
Entertaining, funny and refreshing.....
Especially after watching THE MATRIX RELOADED!! *SPOILERS*
After seeing the Matrix with all it's ridiculous fantasy make-believe-robotic characters with their super powers, it was refreshing to see an action movie with real people in situations that involved actual risk! I cared about these people, and even though some of the stunts seemed a bit much, it still left me feeling like "it's possible" verses "what a stupid video game" (like the Matrix)
This movie isn't brain surgery, it's very straight forward. Some things are predictable- like knowing that someone is going to be a back-stabber and that someone early on is going to die. Pretty obvious, but SO WHAT? The first 15 minutes sets up our reason, our motive, our main objective.
I like that Theron and Walhberg didn't have any make-out scenes. I am glad that they didn't go there. They kept it about funny dialogue ESPECIALLY SETH GREENE. That guy IS FUNNY!
This is a movie that I would buy when it comes out on DVD. It's fun, fast and entertaining. The only thing (and I guess it's a big thing) is that we are really - rooting for the bad guys. This group of protaganists are already on the wrong side of the law. Not a good message for the kiddies - parents, please explain this to them.