MonthJuly 2010

Alice in Wonderland

My mom has been in town this past weekend, and we decided that we would all watch a movie together. We used to watch them all the time, and it seemed fitting to watch one together. My wife and I have seen a ton of movies. You can tell that by this blog, but we all had not seen this one. All of us were reluctant to rent it because the animated version just was not any good, but we are willing to give everything a chance. The movie was pretty good to be honest. It shows a darker side of Alice in Wonderland that most of us are not ever exposed to. I have never read the book, but my wife has. She told me that it seemed to follow the emotions in the story more than the other versions.

As you can see, the movie stars Johnny Depp, and he does not disappoint. I am not sure that he has made a movie that I do not like. He is just a great actor. There is no reason for me to go into detail on the plot of this movie. If you don’t know the story, you had to have been born an adult or something. Everyone hears this story at some point in their life. As for my thoughts on the movie, I really enjoyed it, and I would actually watch it again. It was a great change of pace from the usual things that I watch.

Crazy Heart

This movie arrived from Netflix a couple of weeks ago, and the night that I watched we just were not in the mood for it. I guess that means that the movie is not the greatest, but it turned out to be decent when it really got going. The movie stars Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal. It almost reminds me of a contemporary western movie or something. It is hard to describe, but it follows the music industry heavily. I am sure the are references to other country artists that I do not fully grasp as well. What can I say, I have really stopped listening to country music. I put it on the station every now and then, but I just don’t connect with it like I used to.

The movie follows an older country singer (Jeff Bridges) who has hit rock bottom. He is a heavy drinker, and he has nothing in his life to write about. He travels all over the U.S. playing at any location that will let him. His drinking really prevents him performing at an acceptable level, and he seems to have forgotten the words at times. He is even forced to leave the stage because of vomiting. On one of his shows, he is interviewed by a young reporter (Maggie Gylenhaal), and they begin a relationship. It is awkward to say the least.

The singer falls in love again, and he is able to write songs. His songs have always been extremely popular, and a very popular singer has asked him to tour with him. The new star used to be in the veteran’s band. It is funny how things have changed. The new star asks the veteran to write him songs, and the veteran really has no choice. He is playing at bowling alleys and bars, and he has to find a way to pay the bills. The romance with the reporter allows him to have the content for the new songs.

The movie follows this path for most of the movie, and I even thought that every thing would turn out alright. The old singer really loves the reporter and her son, and he does everything that he can to make the little boy have a great time. The reporter and son come to visit him in Houston, and the singer offers to give the reporter/mom a break in the afternoon. She reluctantly agrees, and she goes out for a little while. The singer is in need of a drink, stops by a bar, and loses the little boy. They eventually find him, but the damage has already been done.

The reporter takes her son back home with her, and she does not see the singer anymore. He does try to go back and get her, but she tells him that she can never trust him again. He writes songs about her, and he stops drinking. She just doesn’t let him back in her life. At another show, he runs into her, and he sees that she is married to another man. In that instant, you can see his heart break, but he keeps his composure. He gives her a check for a large sum of money, and she says that she can’t take it. He simply says that if it wasn’t for her the check wouldn’t exist. Of course, she then took the money.

In the end, the movie is decent. It is very slow, and I might say boring at times. What can you expect from a movie about country music? Either way, I think that you can find some entertainment, if you give it a try.

Unthinkable

On another trip to the local RedBox, I picked up Unthinkable. I read the overview of the movie, and I thought that I would take a chance. I never thought that I would end up with such a great movie. I had not seen any trailers for this or advertising, but it is a great movie. It is surprising what you can find when you just go the movie store or rental kiosk in this case. I would recommend that everyone see this movie. It is very suspenseful, and it really draws you into the movie.

The movie starts with Carrie-Anne Moss trying to find a terrorist. She is a agent for the government. A man named Steven Arthur Younger (Michael Sheen) has sent a threat to the news, and he is a hot topic. He has planted three bombs in large cities, and they have to find him so that they can try to find them. While looking for him, they try to find another suspected terrorist. His name is Henry Herald ‘H’ Humphries (Samuel L. Jackson), and they send agents to try to bring him in. When there, they are captured, and they realize that this guy is dangerous. He is brought in, and another agent comes to get him immediately. He is heavily protected, and he should have never been picked up. There was a mistake in paperwork.

They eventually find Younger, but it is not announced to the media. The government is holding him in an abandoned school, and they are going to begin interrogation soon. Henry Herald ‘H’ Humphries or just “H” is the lead interrogator. In fact, it is how he makes his living. He gets information from people ┬áno matter how much they don’t want to tell you. The agent is asked to help in the interrogation, but she is completely against the use of force. The terrorist leads them on a goose chase, but he never says anything that leads them to the bombs, and they are doing everything they can think of to make him talk.

They eventually bring his wife into the room, and she tells him to tell them what he has done. “H” threatens to kill her, but no one believes that he will do it so nothing more is said. Then he kills her. It happens in just a second, but they guy still does not talk. They find one of the bombs in Dallas, TX, but they are looking for the other ones. The bring his children into the room with “H”, and the guy blurts out the other locations almost instantly. He doesn’t want to see his children hurt. “H” believes that there is another bomb out there that they are not being told about it, and it makes sense. The amount of stolen radioactive material does not equal the weight that is in the current bombs. In a brief struggle, Younger gets a handgun and kills himself. They end the movie with the children with the agent standing their in silence. There was an alternate ending that I had to see, and it did show another bomb in one of the lccations. I think the original ending choice seemed to fit the movie better.

There is no way that I can express the intensity that is in this movie. I highly recommend this one to you, and I hope that you get a chance to go check it out.

Funny People

I had heard so many bad things about this movie, that I was extremely hesitant to watch it. I was scared that it was going to be the worst movie ever. The reviews that it got sure made it seem that way, but I was surprised to see that this was not the case. Adam Sandler is a funny guy to me, but there are some of his movies that are more than a little screwy. This one was not that way. It had a serious side that you hardly ever get to see, and I believe that Sandler should try to do more movies like this.

The movie follows Adam Sandler who plays a comedian in the movie, George Simmons. He has made a ton of movies, and he is extremely successful. He is diagnosed with cancer, and he starts doing stand-up comedy during his illness. He has been away from the circuit so long that he has lost touch with the new style of comedy, and he hires an upcoming comedian (Seth Rogen) to help him write jokes. The young comedian has been trying to make it for a long time, but he has not been successful. He just sees his friends making it. He lives on the couch of their apartment.

Simmons is not very well liked because of his attitude, but he tries to make things better in the end. He starts donating things to charity, and he doesn’t want to tell anyone about the things that he is facing. He just wants to make people laugh for the last few moments of his life. He also wants to reconnect with his ex-wife. He has never been able to let her go, and he has to see if there is any love left. He talks to her on the phone, and he travels to see her. They do something sexual, but the current husband comes home. She realizes that she can’t leave what she has for Simmons, and the husband and Simmons get in a fight.

There are a lot of other points to the story, but the ending is the best part. Simmons ends up without his wife, and he is all alone again. He reaches out to the young comedian, and he starts helping him with his jokes and delivery, and you get the idea that he is going to make it. It is pretty cool to see this cold-hearted person be turned into someone that actually cares. The cancer does go away as well. So Simmons is a changed man who has a positive outlook on life.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants something to watch. I wish that I would have seen it in the theaters, but the negative reviews kept me away. I wish that I would have seen it earlier, and I hope that this review encourages you to give it a chance.

Twilight- Eclipse

I am a little afraid to say this, but I have read the entire Twilight series. I am not sure what that means, but I am sure that it is not the greatest thing for a guy to have done. I am a big fan of vampires so it seemed like a logical read. I have also watched the other two in movies in preparation for watching this one. My sister-in-law wanted me to go see this movie so I figured that I would. Since she was going to pay, I couldn’t pass it up.

To be honest, the movies are not as good as the books. In fact, they don’t capture any of the intensity. The acting is pretty poor, but it could simply be the screenplay that is making the movie sub-par. They leave out a lot of key parts, and it just doesn’t capture the story very well. Of course, I seem to think that every movie based on a book is pretty bad. Especially when I have read the book before watching the movie.

I am not going to go into the plot in detail in this post. I think that you should check out the movies. Please watch them in order though so that you do not miss any key points. The books were a good read, and I have at times thought of re-reading them. I also hope that the author comes out with another book. It is rumored that she is going to finish the book that she already started. She stopped working on it when someone stole an electronic copy from here and posted it on the internet.

One last note. Taylor Lautner’s nose is huge. They do a lot of shots from the ground to his face, and it looks like he has broken that thing multiple times. I kind of feel bad for the guy. It has to be hard to breathe with that thing.

-Drew