November 2011

The Evolving Complexity of Visual Media

There used to be a time, not so long ago, when the idea of shooting a movie with the intent of making more to follow it was not exactly acceptable.  Sure, the potential for sequels was always present, but one had to wait for the sales numbers to come in on the first one before thinking about number two.  Making a three-part series, such as The Lord of the Rings was a risky venture that most production companies were not willing to put their necks (and wallets) on the line for.

Top Gun

"I feel the need...the need for speed!"

Well, after 25 years, I am no longer a "Top Gun" virgin. That's right, I finally saw the movie for the first time, about a month ago.

My husband and I had been talking one day and he made a reference to "Top Gun". I admitted to him that I had never seen the movie. He couldn't believe it. I was never a big Tom Cruise fan, so it wasn't on my list of priorities. And, when the movie came out in 1986, I didn't go on dates much; and going to the movies alone is no fun. Time went by, and I just never saw it, not even on television in the intervening years. So, on our next trip to the video store after I made my revelation, we were the proud owners of a "Top Gun" DVD.

Pan's Labyrinth

There Is More Than One Answer

Guillermo Del Toro's “Pan's Labyrinth” (actually “the labyrinth of the faun” if you translate the title literally) operates on several levels at once. It's a relentless, bleak, depressing story of a little girl caught up in the brutal aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, when her mother marries a Fascist commander tasked with crushing the remnants of guerilla resistance up in the mountains.

5 Stars: Mask Maker

You Must Watch The Mask Maker

As usual I have had my daily movie watching from Redbox. However, this week I actually came across some movies that I felt were worth watching. One of the movies that I was particularly fond of was “The Mask Maker”. The movie started off a little slow but after about 20 minutes or so things really got to rolling. However, I am a horror movie lover so if you do not like watching horror movies this may not be one of the best choices for you.

The Muppets Movie: Ridiculous Fun, Nostalgia Galore

New movie promises to create a legion of new Muppets fanatics

When I first heard that a new 'Muppets' movie was in the works, I cringed a little, I'll admit. I really like Jason Segel and I respected what he was trying to do: Introduce the beloved Jim Henson characters to a whole new generation and bring those of us 'raised on Muppets' back into the fold (as if we ever left...we didn't, we just got busy with life). I worried that this new 'Muppets' film would fail to live up to my (very) high expectations. Why I worried, I'll never know, because this movie is insanely fun and classic Muppets entertainment!
Having just seen 'The Muppets' yesterday, I'm still dancing and singing.

Real Parents Don’t Take Their Daughters to See Twilight least, not the ones who value said offspring in the first place

I will acknowledge that it’s one thing for your children to go see a movie you don’t want them to see on their own or with friends. My mom hated every scary movie (as well as every fantasy, save for The Wizard of Oz, since she loves Judy Garland) that I went to see, but she respected my desire to see them. So I went with friends or my boyfriend while she rolled her eyes, occasionally talking to me about what I liked from the films.

Lily Tomlin's Movies

She's had some great roles.

Lily Tomlin is certainly a versatile actress. She is cast as flighty and whimsical, but also stern and unyielding--sometimes in the same movie. She's the ball buster, but she can also be the sweet sister.

Let's look back at some of Tomlin's most memorable roles in the past thirty years:

Something About Terry

No Stars: Something About Terry

If you are looking for a movie that is boring and confusing then something about Terry will be the movie for you. I rented this movie last night to watch and I must say it was a total waste of money in my eyes. From the beginning of the movie I was lost. I could not follow the story line and to top it off the ending sucked. The movie was like one of those movies that if you were trying to watch when you were having trouble falling asleep it would definitely put you to sleep.

Brad Pitt to Retire at Age 50

Will he or won't he? That is the question.

Brad Pitt claims he is going to retire by the time he hits 50. Or at least while he's 50. That's what he told the Australian talk show "60 Minutes" recently. Since Brad turns 50 on December 18, 2013, that's just a little over two years. Others are saying three years, so I guess that really means he's planning to retire sometime after he turns 50, but before he turns 51.

I'd like to retire by the time I'm 50. Wait, what am I saying? I AM 50. And, there's no way I can even think about retiring. I'm probably not going to be able to think about it until I'm at least 70. But that's just me. I'm happy for Brad; really, I am.

'Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn' on Pace to Make Bank at Weekend Box Office

Team Edward or Team Jacob? Either way, you're buying a ticket

The question about The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 is not whether it will be the top movie at this weekend's box office (almost a given, I'd be shocked if that didn't happen), but how much moola it will rake in from TwiHards who are frothing at the mouth for another dose of sparkly vampire goodness, care of stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Industry estimates have this first Breaking Dawn movie taking in as much as $140 million in it's opening weekend (roughly the same amount that Twilight: New Moon made in it's debut two years ago).
Breaking Dawn promises more of the formula that's made Twilight such a wildly successful book and movie franchise: drama, angst and super-hot vampires and werewolves (can't leave Taylor Lautner out of the mix, now can I?). Without giving anything away for those who haven't read the book: A lot of stuff happens in this one. And yes, I'm talking about the long-awaited Bella and Edward wedding and - ahem - honeymoon, but there's more, trust me.

They Live

We Sleep!

The first half of John Carpenter's sci-fi movie “They Live,” before it becomes a straight-up action movie, is some of the most hilariously spot-on political satire I've ever seen. A homeless construction worker- played by Scottish-themed pro-wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper!- stumbles on a box of sunglasses left behind after a mysterious police raid on a nearby church. When he puts them on, he discovers the awful truth- the Earth has been colonized by exploitative aliens. Rich people and some cops are actually alien invaders.

"Jack and Jill" has a 3% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes

What did you expect?

Adam Sandler movies are always stupid. I can never really understand how people can feel good about themselves watching these movies because they're supposed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Sandler's people so obviously say to themselves that their viewers blue-collar workers, young dudes and their girlfriends, and idiots, so the characters in these movies need to be even worse. Don't people have more self-respect than to see that they're being pandered to in the worst possible way?

Hunger Games Trailer Released

Have you seen it? If not, click here immediately. It’s pretty much all that fans have been hoping for and more. I have yet to hear from anyone really disappointed with the full Hunger Games trailer that was released on Monday, and if they are, well, they’re fishing.

The trailer itself is pretty ingenious; it follows the story from beginning to middle, succinctly giving moviegoers who haven’t read the books (hint: go read them. They are amazing!) a good idea about what the film is about. It also gave fans a glimpse into most of what we were craving: the reaping, the Capitol, a peek at Effie, Peeta, Rue, and Cinna (as well as Thresh, Cato, and Clove—not to mention President Snow), some of Katniss’s outfits, and of course, the Cornucopia scene. But that’s where it ends, which is pretty perfect; the trailer concludes with a countdown as the tributes size each other up, ready to be released into the actual arena—and then, as they make their dash into that horrible bloodbath, it cuts out and all we can hear is Rue’s four-note song.

Review: Boy Toy

Average Rating For Boy Toy

Boy Toy is a movie that deserves 3 ½ stars. The movie has a good plot but I do not feel as though the actors in this movie played their parts as well as they could have. Throughout the movie there were some funny parts but nothing that put things over the edge.

Jack and Jill Movie Reviews: Happy Madison Serves Up Another Stinker?

Dear Adam Sandler: I adore you. I thought you were brilliant in Punch-Drunk Love. I actually really enjoyed your Happy Madison Productions movies Anger Management and The House Bunny. Heck, I even giggled more than once during Billy Madison. But (and this is a big, big but) I can't stay a fan if you continue to put out terrible movies year after year. I just can't. Movies are simply too expensive and in this economy, I've got to be super careful about where I spend my money. So I implore you, please stop with the assembly line junk. At the moment, I've just finished perusing reviews for your latest Happy Madison movie Jack and Jill. And they're horrible. I like a good slapstick comedy as much as anyone, but I can't risk spending my hard-earned cash on something that's (apparently) this awful.

The Edge

David Mamet and Alaskan Survival


“The Edge” was the first movie David Mamet wrote specifically for Hollywood rather than as an adaptation of a play, so it still has some of the elements of a play such as a relatively small cast. Most of the movie is centered around just three of the characters, who have to try to walk to civilization through the Alaskan wilderness after a birdstrike downs their small plane. All of this is made much more difficult by the giant Kodiak grizzly bear relentlessly stalking them through the mountains, determined to eat every last one of them.

Tower Heist

Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy star in this high-rise comedy

 My husband and decided to go to a movie last weekend. We hadn't been to the movie theater in several weeks so we thought it would be a nice treat. We live in a fairly small town with one four-screen theater, so generally our choice of movies to see is limited unless we want to drive 45 minutes to the next town where there are three, more expensive theaters.

Our choices this week were Courageous, Harold and Kumar's Christmas, Tower Heist and Puss n Boots. Neither one of us were familiar with Courageous, and neither of us had seen any of Harold and Kumar's earlier adventures, so that left us with Tower Heist or Puss n Boots. If Puss n Boots had been offered in 3D at our theater, the feisty kitty would have won hands down. As it was, we debated which one to see.

Save the Last Dance

Dancing and teen nostalgia? Yes, please.


As I’ve said before, I love dancing movies, and I’m way, way too nostalgic these days about my childhood. That’s why Save the Last Dance was the perfect movie to quell both of these silly inclinations with one stone: it obviously includes dancing and was released when I was thirteen.