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RED 2 (2013)
Will definitely see again!
If you liked the first RED, and understood what it was and what is wasn't, you should be completely entertained by RED 2. We were lucky enough to see an advanced showing before the naysayers started spreading their naying and we walked out of the theater last night laughing, quoting, and discussing the movie - always a good sign! This is not a movie that needs to be over-analyzed... as my husband said, "It was exactly what I was hoping it would be." which is, more interesting characters played by top notch well-known actors getting into all kinds of far-out situations. Great lite summer fare and we will definitely be re-watching this one again when it hits the premium cable channels (just like we have with RED).
Special Agent Oso (2009)
It's for THREE year olds!!
If you're looking for something that is brightly colored, has catchy earworm songs, and will entertain your toddler while you write TV show reviews, then Special Agent Oso is for you. We stumbled across this show a few weeks ago, right before Disney Playhouse became Disney Jr. (to compete directly with Nick Jr.? nice try!) I described it to my husband as Winnie the Pooh meets James Bond and to expect anything beyond that is asking too much. The animation style is definitely different, but what's wrong with that? Once you get used to certain aspects, most adults should find wry humor in the repetitive twists on 007 movie titles as well as appreciate the simplicity with which a child's dilemma (tying one's shoes the first few times IS a big deal!) is broken down into steps to achieve success. From a personal aspect, my 3 year old mimics the entire opening sequence, pantomiming the movements and attempting to sing along, which of course, to us, her parents, is hysterical. Older children may get quickly bored by it and adults should in no way attempt to see this as any thing more than harmless and mildly endearing fluff by Disney. Plus it's kind of funny to listen to Samwise Gamgee's voice coming out of Oso's (Spanish for 'bear', btw!) mouth! ; )
The Fresh Beat Band (2004)
Trying HARD to like it....
Every star I'm giving this series is STRICTLY for the musical numbers that are performed in between terrible dialog, poor acting by obviously-embarrassed actors, and barely existent plot lines. When the previews for the JUMP-AROUNDS began many months ago, we (my husband and I) were very excited to have another Nickelodeon show that we could enjoy along with our 2 year old. The musical numbers that were used as the previews were cute, catchy, and raised our hopes that this show would be similar (music-based) to the Backyardigans... How disappointed we were when the show finally debuted (along with a strange name change!) If not for the bright primary colors, enthusiastic four main cast members, and catchy but simple songs, this show would have NOTHING in the way of appeal to ANY audience... and I'm sure this will give away my age, but this show CONSTANTLY reminds me of a 2010 version of "The Monkees"... the same lame writing, odd secondary characters, and talented but unlucky actor/musicians who use this show as an opportunity to bigger and less lame things.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
It's a PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER more than a HORROR flick!
I'm not going to repeat the gist of what most of the other posters have already stated about this "mockumentary" film. I'm not going to agree with the comments about not being able to sleep after seeing it or that it was the scariest movie I've ever seen.
I AM going to say that the hype is DESERVED because this is another one of those cool indie films that follows the adage "Less is More" and that no place is scarier than one's own imagination.
Go watch this film with an open mind. Don't expect stellar acting, a full-circle storyline, or things to be dealt with "appropriately". Humans RARELY deal with stressful situations "appropriately". I myself came away from the theater (last night!) thinking of what I would've done differently, would've changed, etc., and I'm no film student, but this movie stands on its own because it scares you WITHOUT over-the-top gore, violence, tragedy, or needless extraneous romantic couplings. If Hollywood could produce more "scary" films without all those things, I'd actually go to the theater more than three times a year again.
Go to a matinée if you don't want to pay full price for a "blockbuster" caliber movie, but I wouldn't recommend going alone. There are creepy and jumpy moments that are more fun experienced with a friend. Enjoy!