Friday, April 29, 2011

The Conspirator

Great movie.  It's about the trial of Mary Surratt, one of nine people, the only female, accused of conspiracy in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.  She owned the boarding house where the conspirators met.  Her son was part of the group, which included John Wilkes Booth.  It's a great story of the need by many for revenge after the assassination.  I loved it.  James McAvoy plays the young attorney assigned to defend Mary, not a popular job.  Justin Long has a small part as one of James's friends.  It was nice seeing him in something other than a romantic comedy.  But his mustache is a little comical, just saying.  I did not realize it was Directed and Produced by Robert Redford until the credits.  No wonder I loved it.  Another must see for me. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011


This is a great animated movie.  It's about the last blue macaws and the idea to get them together to keep the species going, but the smugglers have another idea in mind.  It's situated in Rio, during Carnivale.  It's a very beautiful movie, with lots of vibrant colors, fun music and songs, and a great cast!  It's one of the better animated movies lately, a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.  Must see, 3 stars out of 4.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


This is a must see.  It's the story of a young girl who is raised in the forest by her father (Eric Bana, whom I love), a rouge agent who is training his daughter to be an assassin; his target is Cate Blanchet.  The reason and their history is revealed slowly throughout the movie.  Cate does a great job playing the villain.  The young girl is played by Saoirse Ronan who is fantastic.  She's only known the forest and their very primitive cabin, and she's beginning to be curious about the rest of the world.  Her father finally sends her out on her mission.  I thought there were some very cute, humorous moments as she meets other kids.  The ending was a little confusing, but it didn't ruin it for me.  I give it 3 1/2 stars (out of 4).  Forgot to mention, the music was amazing.  It was like another character in the movie.  Really added to the suspense, and not by being loud.  Loved it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Your Highness

This is one of those comedies with lots of sexual innuendos, and some outright naughty jokes, that get bigger laughs because of the actors delivering them.  James Franco does a great job as the serious-minded "favored prince" while Natalie Portman plays a daring female warrior.  It's interesting to see her in this kind of a role, and I thought she carried it off pretty well.  This is one of those movies where you have to be in the mood for some somewhat juvenile humor.  I liked it overall.  I'd give it 2.5 stars.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Is it a haunted house story, a child possessed story, or a sci-fi story?  It's a little bit of all of them.  I'm not into horror movies too much, but this one wasn't bad.  It's not a gore-fest, but more of a spooky monsters show, which I liked.  It was a fun horror movie that gets you spooked a bit without grossing you out.  If you don't see it in the theater, it'd be a good rental.  I give it 2 stars.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Soul Surfer

I rate this movie 4+ kleenex.  I really could have used a few more.  There were some happy tears too.  The movie is based on the real-life story of the young, up-and-coming surfer, Bethany Hamilton, who had her arm bitten off by a shark.  The story carries the movie.  This sounds crazy, but I really liked how they did the shark attack.  They didn't try to build it up over a long time, it was kind of sudden, and the focus wasn't on the shark (not all gorey), but on the amazing, take-action reaction of Bethany and her friends, which is what saved her life.  There is a lot on how her faith helped her heal, and Carrie Underwood did a passable job as Bethany's youth group's leader.  There were a few parts where I felt the script was lame, especially the teenage friendly interaction shots.  But other than that, I liked it.  If you go, you MUST stay for the credits, I loved them, they show home movies of the real Bethany.  I give it 2 stars.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer

You had me with Matthew McConaughey.  This reminds me of one of his first movies, A Time to Kill, in which he also was a lawyer.  I think this is one of his best movies since that one.  I like seeing him in one where he can really act, because he is more than a pretty face.  This movie has it's twist and turns, which I loved, about a lawyer who is working out of the back of his limousine (I guess it's a Lincoln), with lots of sleazy clients, with the sleaziest of them all being Ryan Phillipe's character.  He makes the others look lovable.  It's one of those who can "out smart the other" duals between the two of them.  The supporting characters all add to this movie and I'd give it 3 stars.  I think I'll have to read the book.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Source Code

This was awesome!  I loved it.  It's a bit sci-fi, bit romance, quite a bit thriller; very suspenseful.  I loved Jake Gyllenhaal's portrayal of a US soldier on a special mission, to discover who blew up a commuter train in order to stop them from blowing up the entire city of Chicago.  In places there are unexpected splashes of humor in an otherwise intense movie.  It's a very surreal premise, but I loved it.  And I was surprised I needed the kleenex.  If you're a parent of a child in the US service, you might need a box full.  It's a definite must see, I think I'll go back and take my hubby.  I'd give it my first 4 star rating of the year!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sucker Punch

This is like watching a video game, developed by a bunch of teenage boys.  Yay, not a must see.  I was surprised by how bad it was.  It’s inconceivable that a young woman whose mother just died and whose abusive step father, who just killed her little sister and is trying to pin it on her, and is having her committed to a mental institution, would try to escape her reality by fantasizing she’s enslaved in a brothel.  And all the women in the brothel are wearing provocative, sex kitten outfits.  The hair styles and make up are extreme, and for the women too.  Vanessa Hudgen’s character provided some comic relief for me, but only because with her hair, make up and outfit, she was reminding me of Snookie!   The script didn’t seem very original; the Wise Man character reminded me of Columbo; every speech ending with “Oh, one last thing…”.  The first fantasy within the fantasy was like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.   Everything seemed based on some classic movie or character.  I’ll be generous and give this 1 star.  If I liked shoot ‘em up video games it might be a 2. Oh, I forgot, the big "Sucker Punch", not so much.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Red Riding Hood

I was surprised how much I liked this one.  It might be geared more for teenage girls, but I thought it was a great twist on the classic fairy tale.  It was dark and suspenseful, and not too obvious as to what was coming up.   The love triangle may turn some people off, but I liked it ad how it played out.  It's another werewolf story; it seems like there have been a lot of them.  It was nice seeing Julie Chistie again.  This one worked for me, though I'm sure it wouldn't for a lot of other people.  I'd give it 2 ½ stars.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Sorry, I thought this was boring.  I didn’t like the previews and was not interested in going, which would make this one of those rare movies I didn’t see.  But I kept hearing good things and a friend at work said she really liked it.  So I went.  Wish I hadn’t.  I apologize to my fellow movie-goers for my solitaire playing on the cell phone.  I’m not sure how much kids would have liked it.  I give it a 1 star, just cuz they got Johnnie Depp to do the voice.  Not a must see.  Not even a good rental. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


If you can get past the premise of the movie, that someone is obnoxious enough to talk about how much better they are than others because they’re good looking, it’s not a bad movie.  I can believe there might be some people who think they’re better because they’re good looking, but talking about it, and getting a crowd of people to cheer you as you do it?  That just was uncomfortable for me.  But I really liked the Olsen twin witch!  The makeup on the characters was interesting for me and helped keep me involved.  The character of the father of the beast was not believable but I liked the characters of the blind tutor (Neal Patrick Harris) and the maid; they lent substance to the movie and helped save it for me.  The romance of the beast and the beauty was cute, a little sappy, but that was okay for me.  Definitely not a must see.  1.5 stars.  If you have teenagers they might like it better.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Battle LA

Slow start, but eventually, I liked it.  The dialog seemed very stilted at the start, but maybe that's how they talk in the military.  Then the explosions started; and they went on, and on, and on...  The first 30 minutes of the film is a pyrotechnic's dream. You can't see where the explosions are coming from, and neither can the American soldiers, because they keep saying "I can't see anything."  I think they might have been trying to build up to seeing the "enemy", but if it was, it failed.  Finally the movie starts with some dialog and characters.  It's a little cheesy at times, but bearable for me.  Overall it was OK, not a must see, but I was glad I saw it.  I'd give it 2 stars, but if I were splitting it up, I'd give the first half of the movie 1/2 stars and the second half 2 1/2.