movie reviews

Movie Monday – Warm Bodies, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Arrested Development

Warm Bodies is a little like The Walking Dead meets Twilight. Sort of. It is similar to Twilight in that the lead male character resists his own nature and of course, there’s the love story. (He’s a zombie but he meets a girl he suddenly doesn’t want to eat and wants a relationship instead.) It’s interesting. Entertaining. Clever and funny at times. But a little slow, sort of like Twilight. A lot of long looks. So I have mixed feelings. It was fun and yet slow and it had a few concepts that went unexplained. (What exactly do the zombies who are suddenly becoming human again eat?) Overall impression…we enjoyed the outing to the theater but it’s not a movie that I feel compelled to tell folks to run out to see. Even if you’re a zombie story enthusiast, I’m not sure it will ring true for you. Perhaps that was the challenge for me, comparing it against all the other zombie lore in other movies and tv. It’s hard to go from The Walking Dead (which we LOVE to watch) to the idea that the zombies still have some humanity and can somehow come back from zombie-ism.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a Disney family film about a childless couple who are torn over their inability to have a child. One night they bury a box with notes describing their dream of a child. Magically, they are greeted that same night by a young boy who grew out of the garden where they buried the box. But, of course there is more to the story. You’ll have to watch if you want to know. Was it good? That is hard to say. It was sweet in many ways. But it was odd too. Not in a good way. Perhaps overly sentimental and too thin in some areas. Some characters were drastically underdeveloped yet included like placeholders. But there were some good moments too. Not the worst thing I’ve ever seen by far. Not that that’s a glowing recommendation.

We also finished watching Arrested Development in the last week. Noooo!!! I didn’t realize we were so close to the end. We watched the last episode and Netflix said no more and I thought, what? That can’t be! But it was true. BUT, guess what?!! They’ve been filming a 4th season last year that will air on Netflix in MAY. No. Way. Wikipedia better not be lying to me! There’s also still talk about a possible movie. Oh, I hope so! Arrested Development is so wacky and funny, if you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it! But be sure to watch it from the beginning or you might think I’m seriously off my rocker. LOL

This is my best friend. By best friend I mean we occasionally grunt and stare awkwardly at each other.
~ R, Warm Bodies

Movie Monday – Lawless, A Little Bit Zombie

We’ve watched a lot in the past couple of weeks. I was crazy sick for about a week and Don had knee surgery recently so we’ve spent copious amounts of time in front of the television lately. But I’m going to stretch out the reviews so I don’t write a ridiculously overloaded post in one day. So without further adieu…

I really enjoyed Lawless. It is a little slow, too slow for Don’s taste really, but it still had me gasping and cringing at moments. It’s gritty and different. The story is set in the Depression and centers around a family of bootleggers and the ups and downs that come with such a lifestyle. I think the historical flavor to the story is what captured my interest most. It’s not the best movie I’ve ever seen but worth watching in my opinion.

A Little Bit Zombie was something Don was already watching when I arrived home from work one day so I missed maybe the first 20 minutes or so. Definitely not something I would pick offhand but it wasn’t all that bad. It was funny, not in a laugh out loud kind of way but funny all the same. It’s not to be taken seriously much like Scary Movie type films and it’s actually kind of clever at times. If you like dumb goofy comedy (and zombies) then check this one out. You might like it.

Jack, look at me. We’re survivors. We control the fear. And without the fear, we are all as good as dead. Do you understand?
~ Forrest Bondurant, Lawless, 2012

Movie Monday – The Campaign, The Amazing Spider-Man

This past week we watched The Campaign and The Amazing Spider-Man. Of the two I liked the first better.

I was pleasantly surprised by The Campaign. I don’t generally like the type of movies that Will Ferrell makes, things like Talladaga Nights, Stepbrothers, Elf, and even Anchorman, which I know some people love. That Saturday Night Live style humor just isn’t something that appeals to me. But The Campaign was surprisingly clever and smart. Absurd and excessive but topical at the same time. And for once the absurdity wasn’t a turn-off for me. The chemistry just worked. We both really enjoyed it. Thumbs up for this one.

Spider-Man on the other hand…ugh. Why did they make it again? It’s just too damn soon to be making it again. Sure, the effects were amazing. His costume is outstanding. The scenes of him flying through the city from building to building and crane to crane are spectacular. I’m sure it was impressive in 3-D at the theater. And for young people who haven’t seen the previous versions, perhaps this is more compelling. But the story was only halfway interesting (to us) and the new cast and characters (Gwen – what happened to Mary Jane?) did not do anything for us. I couldn’t relate or feel anything for the characters. That’s pretty rare for me. I even felt more for the cast/characters of the new Footloose remake and I was horrified that they decided to remake an old favorite of mine. To sum up, I didn’t like it. I can appreciate the quality and skill of the filmmaking but I didn’t enjoy it as a story.

Cam Brady: My heart is pounding. Like a phone book in a dryer.
~ The Campaign

Movie Monday – The Crying Game, The Tall Man, Warrior

The Crying Game was mentioned in an article recently about the best twist endings in movies. I’ve seen most of the movies in the article and would agree that they were all very good but I hadn’t seen The Crying Game so I thought I’d check it out. First I have to say, I shielded myself from what it was about so that I wouldn’t spoil the surprise of the twist. But I could see it coming. Because I knew there was a twist I was on hyper-lookout for it and I knew right away where it was going. And my goodness, did it take forever to get there. I didn’t find it a very gripping or engaging movie at all. It has a very high rating on IMDb so who am I to say it wasn’t great. I found it slow and dull. 😦

One day I came home from work to find Don watching The Tall Man. I had missed probably the first 45 minutes but I went ahead and watched the rest. It was a little slow but it was interesting. It’s about children that go missing and the mystery of a “Tall Man” who might be abducting them. That’s all I can say without giving anything away. It had us guessing and it had a good ending. It’s not all good but it’s an appropriate ending. It’s definitely not the horror movie we thought it was going to be so if you watch it with that expectation you’d be disappointed. I’d classify it as a suspense thriller.

Warrior has been in our netflix queue forever. I thought Don would want to see it but we never seemed to get around to watching it together. So I watched it alone this weekend. I don’t think Don would have liked it much. Too much personal relationship drama between characters in addition to the main plot of the story which is of two brothers pitted against one another in an Ultimate Fighting Champion competition. I was actually uncertain that the story would be interesting to me since I’m not a fan or follower of the UFC. But the complex relationships and struggles of the characters gave the movie an unexpected depth and I thought it was simply outstanding. I cried. I don’t know that most viewers would but the story really touched me. I can see why Nick Nolte was nominated for many best actor awards. He did a fantastic job. If you’ve been wavering about watching this like me, I say do it. You won’t regret it.

Boxing is your father’s sport.
~ Dana White

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Movie Monday – Dear John, Colombiana

I watched Dear John this weekend and I could swear I’ve posted it before but I couldn’t find anything in my blog history. Maybe I watched it before I started blogging. Regardless, it’s a good story but man is it slow! If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a story of two young people, a solider and a college girl who fall in love while he is on leave. There’s much more to the story, families, war, tragedy…and life doesn’t go as planned. I’m betting it’s a really good read, probably more powerful than the movie.

I also watched Colombiana. It was slightly better. More action that’s for sure. Zoe Saldana plays a woman who as a child witnesses the murder of her parents so she sets out to learn to be a professional killer and seeks revenge on the killers as an adult. It wasn’t gripping but it was interesting.

No matter where it is in the sky… No matter where you are in the world… the moon is never bigger than your thumb.
~ John, Dear John