Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Cider House Rules (1999)

VHS over 4/27/11 and 4/28/11
Yes, I still own a handful (or around a hundred) of films on VHS. This is one of the Best Picture nominees from the late 90s - right around the time that I started seriously caring about the Oscars. It ultimately lost to American Beauty, which I think was the right choice, but this is a very strong film too. It's depressing and heavy. I was not expecting the abortion subplot to be so strong, but I didn't know much about the film going in. It's worth watching, but I'm not sure it's one I'll feel like watching again.
My Netflix rating: 4 stars

New Movies in Year Three: 27

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hanna (2011)

Westbrook Cinemagic on 4/27/11
This is a very violent, fast-paced spy movie that centers on a little girl who's been trained by her ex-CIA father in the Russian(?) woods. The editing and music choices are sometimes really strange and the writing falters some places (especially with the dialogue - I will never understand screenwriters who don't have the hang of dialogue), but Saoirse Ronan is absolutely amazing. It's no wonder she's been nominated for an Oscar once already. I don't really understand why they gave Cate Blanchett that terrible Texas accent, but I guess it's a CIA agent thing. They're always southern, aren't they?
My Netflix rating: 4 stars

New Movies in Year Three: 26

Sunday, April 24, 2011

How Do You Know (2010)

Netflix DVD over 4/21/11 and 4/23/11
This movie was pretty disappointing. With such a good cast (Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson), I was expecting a heartwarming, moving, funny film that was well-acted and well-written. Apparently, that was asking too much. Overall, this isn't a terrible movie, but it came nowhere near the expectations I had for that ensemble. It's also nothing special in terms of plot - generic love triangle rom com.
My Netflix rating: 3 stars

New Movies in Year Three: 25

Soul Surfer (2011)

Westbrook Cinemagic on 4/18/11
I was afraid that this movie was going to be very cheesy and overboard with the inspiration, but it's actually not. I think the key to that is in the performances. AnnaSophia Robb really owns the role of Bethany Hamilton and makes the audience feel for her. The Hawaiian locations are gorgeous and the surfing camera work is pretty eye-boggling. The one complaint I do have is with the shark attack itself - it's far too quick and too tame. Maybe it's my love of Jaws or some leftover scarring from 127 Hours, but I was hoping for a much more graphic moment - especially since that event is the catalyst for the major character arc.
My Netflix rating: 4 stars

I'm sorry for the delay in posting. Unfortunately, we lost our office building to a fire on April 17th, and this whole week has been spent cleaning and seeing what is salvageable.

New Movies in Year Three: 24

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Arthur (2011)

Cinemagic Grand with Sheila on 4/9/11
I really expected to hate this movie. I really can't stand Russell Brand in the little I've seen him in (plus he's married to Katy Perry - big loss of points there too), but he's a little bit endearing in this. PLUS, Helen Mirren is here. Big plus. She really makes anything she's in that much better. This is a remake - I've never seen the original, so I don't have a comparison for you. But let's just say that I went into this expecting (as Stephen King would say) cinematic dog vomit. And in the end, it actually made me laugh.
My Netflix rating: 3 stars

New Movies in Year Three: 23

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Fox and the Child (2007)

Netflix DVD on 4/5/11
This is sort of a fairy tale about a young girl who befriends a fox and her kits living in the woods around her house. It's cute and the girl is a pretty good actress (which is good since she's literally the only one) but I have to take issue with the idea that's central to the story. People should not befriend wild animals. Growing up in a fairly rural area, that was one of the first things I was taught. Wild animals can be cute and exotic and intriguing, but trying to tame them is a bad idea all around. It is potentially disrupting to the animal's life and potentially dangerous if it has any sort of disease. Cute movie, but bad message.
My Netflix rating: 3 stars

New Movies in Year Three: 22

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Burlesque (2010)

Netflix DVD on 4/2/11
I had heard a lot of mediocre-to-bad things about this film, so my expectations were pretty low. Honestly, I thought it was fun! It's a little bit of a rip-off of Moulin Rouge! with some of the characterizations and much of the staging, but the costumes are beautiful and the singing is solid. Cher even managed not to annoy me! I really liked Kristen Bell and it's actually because I hated her character. Normally I find her adorable, so anything where she can make me hate her is a success. Seeing Eric Dane as the sleazy real-estate developer was fun, since I like him on Grey's Anatomy (however, after the debacle that was this week's musical episode, I think that I'm breaking up with GA for good).
My Netflix rating: 4 stars

New Movies in Year Three: 21