movie

Movie Monday – Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas was…well, odd. It reminded me a bit of the TV series, The Dresden Files, or any series that is paranormal in nature, and TV quality. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t done really well either. It had an interesting, unique plot: young man sees dead people and demons, and has other clairvoyant abilities that he uses to try to help prevent evil from happening. Kind of campy and goofy but in a good way. Unfortunately, at times the characters were flat and not well-developed. However, eventually that falls away and you just get caught up in the story. The end caught us completely off-guard and the story suddenly had a heart that it was lacking up to that point I think. It certainly wasn’t an expected or predictable turn of events. I realized what was happening just a few seconds before Don did and…I can’t say more or I’d give too much away. I think the end really turned my whole opinion of the story around. Of course all of this is relative because it’s based on a series by Dean Koontz which I’m sure is more comprehensive and solid on paper. And, the fact that’s it’s a series makes sense. The movie feels like the start of a longer story and I could easily see a TV series around the idea. If you like fantasy, sci-fi, or paranormal stories, this one is worth a watch just for the fun of it.

“I see dead people. But, then by God, I do something about it!”
~ Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas

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Movie Monday – Captain Phillips, Kick-Ass 2, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Captain Phillips was GOOD. The best of all 3 movies that we watched last week. I wish at the end they would tell you (along with the other end notes that tell you Captain Phillips didn’t go back to sea for over a year and that one pirate, Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, is serving 33 years in an American prison) that since this incident happened, container ships and similar transport vessels now employ armed security forces, often retired military, for protection when traveling. Seems like a pretty relevant bit of information in my opinion. Considering the movie portrays an industry that employes a vessel full of unarmed civilians traveling through dangerous waters with little idea how to protect themselves. But all that aside, the movie was gripping and well done. It strays from the truth as to be expected. If you’re interested in how the movie compared to true events, read more here.

Kick-Ass 2 was much like the first movie. A little odd. A bit dark in humor. Slow at times. But not a total flop either. It’s interesting enough that I think it’s worth watching once if you like superhero movies or the first Kick-Ass.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is fun and has lots of special effects but like the first movie, there are things that just don’t seem to make sense to me. Like, if Percy can control the sea to the extent that he can ride a wave like he’s surfing without a board, why do the 3 main characters have to call a sea creature to ride out to a boat, and why do they have to use a bottle of I don’t know what to propel their little lifeboat across the sea in a later scene? Why can’t Percy just control the movement of the water to push them where they want to go? I had a feeling with the first movie that has been reaffirmed by this second installment, that perhaps this is a story better told in a book than on-screen. I know the series is popular and it’s my guess that perhaps things that don’t seem to translate well on-screen are much more explained and sensible in the book version. It’s on my list to read and see if my theory is correct, one of these days.

Life’s like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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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 Hobbit, Total Recall, Moonrise Kingdom, The Bourne Legacy

It has been movie mayhem the last couple of weeks!

Of greatest note, as part of our holiday weekend, we watched The Hobbit on 3D in IMAX. Oh. Yeah. It. Was. Awesome. And the fact that we didn’t know that they were making a trilogy of the story was kind of a fun surprise. Kind of. Now we wait another year for the next installment. It’s worth it. We spent the week leading up to watching The Hobbit by having a Lord of the Rings marathon by watching our extended edition DVD set. We definitely got our fill of Middle Earth the past two weeks. LOL

An added bonus of our IMAX experience, we saw some outstanding 3D previews for Jack the Giant Killer (a reinvented Jack and the Beanstalk story), Oz: The Great and Powerful (a story about the Wizard of Oz, before he became the Wizard of Oz), A Good Day to Die Hard, (the next installment of the Die Hard franchise), and Star Trek Into Darkness (O.M.G. I CANNOT WAIT!)

We also watched the new Total Recall, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Bourne Legacy recently. All excellent.

The new Total Recall might be criticized by some but we really enjoyed it. It is non-stop action and the effects are all handled well. Some things are changed from the 1990 version and for us, that’s ok. I can like both movies for different reasons. If you like action movies, I definitely think this one is worth your time.

Moonrise Kingdom is offbeat, unique, slightly sad at times, but overall fun and funny. It’s different. I’m not really sure how else to describe it. With a stellar cast including Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and Frances McDormand, it’s just something worth watching.

The Bourne Legacy is a little slow to start. We didn’t bother with a Bourne marathon leading up to watching it and I wondered early on if it might have helped us understand what was going on. But in does pick up speed and it starts to make sense enough that we followed what was going on. This one is also action packed and we both enjoyed the ride.

We watched a lot of older movies we’ve seen before in the past two weeks as well – Gulliver’s Travels (silly but fun), Arthur (funny with a touch of sad), The Ref (one of my favorite holiday movies that I MUST watch every year), and The Avengers (outstanding of course), to name a few.

Only a couple of days of lazy holiday routine left and then it’s back to the real world. Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year!

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.
~ Dr. Seuss

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