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A Madea Christmas (2011)
Is There a -1 Rating That I Can Give?
I am a Tyler Perry fan and have purchased some of his movies. I was really looking forward to a Christmas movie with Madea but was I ever disappointed.
WARNING: This is a play not a movie and it has a fake lifeless feel. The play starts with the characters each standing in the room of a house and singing a Christmas carol. This lousy singing was my first clue that this movie was going to be a bust. No talent there. And it just gets worse. I turned the movie off after 20 minutes. It was going nowhere and the acting was lacklustre and seemed forced. The live audience seemed to see humour in the dialogue; maybe I'm missing something but the movie had me cringing instead of laughing.
What happened Tyler Perry?! This play is not up to your usual calibre. Don't waste our time and money on this one.
Hope Springs (2012)
Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play a couple who have been married for 31 years but their marriage has become route and stale. They've become two roommates sharing the same house. They even sleep in separate bedrooms. Meryl Streep decides that this isn't what she wants for the rest of their married life and coaxes Tommy Lee Jones to attend intensive couple counselling. Both do an excellent job of portraying partners who deep down still love each other but are unable to connect or communicate. Steve Clavell does a superb job of playing the counsellor. No wise cracks or humour here.
There is lots of subtle humour but this is not a laugh out loud movie. You may see the humour more in how these characters portray people you know well - like your own spouse or your parents.
The counselling proves not to be a miracle cure but it does open the door of each parter's heart enough to start healing. The movie takes you back and forth between the feelings of hopelessness, despair, extreme sadness and rays of hope and intimacy. Marriage is a lot of hard work and that comes across well.
Bravo to Streep and Jones in giving depth and intensity to these characters and not feeding us a quick fix fairy tale ending. Both shine in their roles. This is a touching movie that will stay with you for a long time.
Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)
Worst Movie Ever
I only ended up watching this movie because the husband of a friend I was visiting selected this. I just don't understand all the positive reviews. Am I missing something? Is there something wrong with me because I can't appreciate disturbing gratuitous violence? I watched the first half hour of this movie and had to walk away. The level of gore, violence, and sadism was so disturbing. How can doing horrible unspeakable acts to other humans be considered art? What is the point of this movie? If you enjoy non-ending pointless violence, blood, and gore, I guess you won't be disappointed.
I found this movie so disturbing that I couldn't shake the images from my head for several days afterwards. I appreciate movies that are disturbing in their social commentary and make me think, but in what world does the setting of this movie even exist?! I may get slammed by those who loved the movie for being old-fashion and prudish but this movie goes way beyond any acceptable level of violence. It's disturbing that this movie gets any positive reviews.
Combat Hospital (2011)
It Better Improve If I'm Going to Keep Watching....
The first few episodes kept my interest but lately it seems to be the same story lines. And the characters don't seem to be developing as the episodes progress. I don't like Simon's character at all and if his character is suppose to add some comic relief to the series, all I can say is "epic fail". Also, it would have made more sense to run this series while the war was active but now that we're pulling out, it just doesn't seem to fit with current events.
And what's with all the commercials?! 5 minutes of show followed by 5 minutes of commercials for a whole hour. If I stop watching this show, it will be b/c of the commercials. Even with my PVR, I am getting sick of FF every 5 minutes....
Battle Los Angeles (2011)
Better Than I Had Expected
OK I didn't expect much from this movie but I found it better than I had expected it to be. Battle's story line wasn't terribly different from Independence Day except that Battle focuses on a small group of military in the thick of the battle and the battle itself; whereas Independence Day focused more on what was happening with the public and the chaos within the military at the higher up levels. There are some great battle scenes, especially the battle after the bus gets stuck on the freeway bridge. There are a lot of close ups of the characters during their moments of terror and panic that certainly invoked anxiety in me. It was a tense movie to watch. Overall I really enjoyed Battle. Have to admit it was fun watching LA being destroyed and maybe I should have watched this AFTER going to visit my sister in LA instead of before! :) Watch this for purely entertainment value and you won't be disappointed.
Eat Pray Love (2010)
I Loved It!
When I watched this movie, I wasn't expecting much because of the reviews of the book I had read on Amazon. However, I found the movie much better than I had expected. But I have to say that I am really puzzled by all the very negative reviews. I have seen lot worse movies but this isn't one of them and don't understand why most of the reviews really slam this movie and are so hard on the main character. Yes this is a movie about a divorced woman trying to heal and, consequently, the focus IS on her. I don't' think she was being selfish. She wasn't going out to save the world - just herself. Maybe it's because I am recently separated myself that I could relate more to Lizzy. Eat Pray Love was meaningful to me. After watching the movie, I read the book and have to say that the movie is better. But the book gave me a better understanding of where she was coming from. Obviously this movie isn't for everyone, but it was for me.
Blue Valentine (2010)
This Movie Missed A Wonderful Opportunity
Blue Valentine misses the opportunity to explore why a marriage that starts out wonderfully ends up broken. There is no reason given throughout the story of this couple as to why things started to dissolve - nor any attempt to do so. It seems that out of the blue the wife decides she doesn't want to be married anymore - but no reason why. And out of the blue arguments escalate into physical or sexual violence - scenes that don't seem to fit where the marriage is at and seem so out of place. That the movie doesn't explore why the marriage dissolved left me very frustrated. The only redeeming feature of this movie is the stellar job Ryan Gosling does in portraying a husband still in love with his wife and desperate to save his marriage. There are many better movies out there that explore the breakdown of marriage, like, The Story of Us, a little recognized but powerful movie of the same subject.
I gave this move a try b/c of Colin Firth who is one of my favourite actors. But what a huge disappointment. I knew this movie would be melancholy and not have a lot of action, but this has got to be one of the most boring movies I have ever watched. Not only is there no plot, I don't think the movie even attempts to have a meaningful message. I didn't care at all about the characters. The movie basically takes you through the day to day life of the family after they move to Genoa. And it basically goes nowhere. The ending looks like they just ran out of time and decided to end it where they did.
That it takes place in Italy was another reason I gave it a viewing, but if that is how truly bleak Genoa is, it won't be on any of my future travel plans. In summary, that is 1 and a half hours of my life that I will never get back. Use yours more wisely and skip this meaningless movie....
How Do You Know (2010)
I just don't understand how such a great cast can waste their time on such a shallow movie. Owen Wilson is great but the story line is boring and there's nothing here in terms of emotion and making me care about the characters or how the movie ends. If you want to see the funny parts just watch the trailer. There's no more than what's on the trailer, folks. I was really looking forward to a fun romantic comedy based on the trailer but was so let down. You'd think a movie with Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson, Reese Wetherspoon, and some other well knowns would deliver. Boy, was I wrong. Did these actors make this movie because they needed some extra spending cash. Their own hearts just didn't seem to be in it.
The Tourist (2010)
Much Better Than I Expected
I rented this movie knowing that the reviews hadn't been good, but was pleasantly surprised that the movie was very enjoyable. I don't understand all the negative reviews. The movie had good action, a good plot, bad guys, great actors, lots of glamour, suspense, and a beautiful location (Venice!). The chemistry between Frank (Depp) and Elise (Jolie) was subdued but it was strong. The ending was a pleasant surprise. If you're looking for a romantic comedy, this isn't the movie for you. Yes, it had a few laugh out loud scenes, but I don't think the movie was intended to be a comedy. It's more a light drama - and a very enjoyable one at that.