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The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Warrants watching twice, if you haven't read the book
I haven't read the Da Vinci Code yet because I had heard that it was poorly written. But I was intrigued by the premise. I was glad that I finally got my butt into the movie theater this weekend to see this movie, because it was an intriguing, thought-provoking flick. (Interestingly, though this movie had been out for a month by the time I saw it, the theater sold out well before showtime, so I'm also glad that I got there early!) The sheer quantity of "information" (I know - historical purists will take issue with this term) presented in this movie, combined with a roller coaster of a plot, led me and my movie-going companion to agree that we'll have to see it again. It's a great date flick, because you'll have plenty to discuss afterward.
I have no idea why the reviews have been so poor; perhaps this is due to the influence of the religious right? Then you have the Dan Brown fans, who on the one hand insist that the movie isn't good because it's NOT true enough to the book, and on the other hand, some saying that it's not worth watching if you've already seen the book because there's nothing NEW in the movie. But if you have an open mind, you might be pleasantly surprised by this ambitious thriller.
A League of Their Own (1992)
Penny Marshall's Absolute Home Run
I am not a movie-goer. I watch everything on video or cable. I have seen League of Their Own no less than 50 times, and each time, I'm delighted and amazed at the comedic thought and timing that Penny Marshall put into this movie. This is the only movie that I can quote verbatim during the dialogue. Such gems as when Jimmy Dugan asks why the bus stopped, then "Betty Spaghetti" informs him that "Lou quit." Dugan screams, "Who's Lou?!" And on another Dugan rant, when Rosie O'Donnell's character mumbles, "Is that English?" The expression on the scout's face when he sees how, er, plain-looking Marla looks. His explanation that he has to go home after dropping his recruits off for tryouts, because he needs to shower, shave, and "give the wife some pickle tickle." Beyond the funny, fine performances, though, this film has a sweet sadness that makes it real. In the end, these former professional athletes who made it to their golden years come back to be honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame and play in a virtual homecoming game. They all look pretty much like the grandma who you love or who lives down the street from you, but you know that they're women who were brought together because they all had the guts, determination and talent to change the face of American sports.