Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Movie Madness

To pass the time when we're on a layover, we enjoy watching movies. Purchasing our laptop was a huge contributing factor to viewing, and we've made our fair share of purchases from Blockbuster's $2 movie selection. Here's a review of the movies we've watched over the past 4 months, in no particular order (we learned pretty quickly that $2 movie generally means that the movie stinks).

Revolutionary Road: Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kathy Bates reunite from their Titanic days in this book-turned-movie. Great acting. The story revolves around a young couple who consider themselves to be extraordinary and beyond the ho-hum of daily work and life in the suburbs with a father who hates his job and opposes the conformity to the settled American life. The wife convinces the husband to return to the enthusiasm of their younger years and move to Paris, which gives them fleeting moments of unrecounted happiness. All hope of this new adventure comes to a quick halt when the wife discovers she is pregnant with their third child. The husband decides to take a promotion at work and stay in the states, while the wife desperately seeks out ways for them to return to the enthusiasm of their plan to move, which includes a self-induced abortion which culminates in the taking of her own life as well.

The Life Aquatic: This movie is steeped in European humor. Unless one is a fan, we do not recommend it. Great cast, though.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter: The book was great, the movie, notsomuch. It exhibited a low budget and tight schedule (and apparently was a Lifetime movie). If you're interested, just read the book. Trust me.

The Devil's Tomb: Cuba Gooding Jr. stars in one of the biggest wastes of time. It's remarkable just how bad a movie can be. He needs a new agent.

Dan in Real Life: This is one of the better movies we've seen in a long time. Dan is an advice columnist who is still coping with the recent loss of his beloved wife, while he continues to raise their three daughters. The movie centers around an extended family get-together weekend. One of his brothers brings his new girlfriend over to meet the family, and Dan finds himself strongly attracted to her, bringing about many funny and awkward situations, which will tug at your heartstrings. This movie is an emotional rollercoaster, with a heartwarming ending.

Lies and Illusions: Christian Slater and Cuba Gooding Jr. star in this movie, which started out very serious and captivating in the first 10 minutes. It didn't take long, then, for it to take a dive south. We both feel that halfway through the movie, the director decided it was a joke to film it, and then they improvised the rest of the film, sprinting to the finish. Christian Slater needs a new agent too.

The Life Before Her Eyes: This is a fairly good movie, opening up with two teenage girls primping in the bathroom before class, when suddenly, gunfire shots are heard throughout the school as a disgruntled classmate is taking his frustration out on the school. The scene ends with the young man barging into the girls' restroom, looking for someone to shoot. The movie then jumps forward so many years, depicting the aftermath of the shooting in the life of one of the young women. As the movie jumps back and forth between present-day reality and the day of the shooting, and with it unclear as to what took place in the girls' restroom, this movie is filled with suspense and twists in the plot.

Lakeview Terrace: This movie is about a black workaholic police officer who sought to provide everything for his family, while not realizing that in doing so, he drove his wife and children away from him. Consequently, his wife had an affair, and was accidentally killed in a traffic accident with her lover, who happened to be white. This brings about deep racial prejudice against white men who are married to black women. With his new neighbors happening to be such a couple, this movie focuses on the tensions therein.

Crossing Over: This is an intriguing portrayal of the trials and tribulations both legal and illegal immigrants go through as they seek to work and obtain citizenship in the United States. The movie is interesting but filled with lots of nudity and foul language. The great cast includes Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd, and Ray Liotta.

Valkyrie: This movie is the retelling of the last assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler. It is fairly suspenseful and well-acted.

Meet the Browns: This Tyler Perry film highlights the struggles of a single mother providing for her three children with limited income and resources. What is refreshing about the movie is the the mother's care for her children and the responsibility she takes upon herself to be the best she can be for them.

Meet the Fockers: An excellent sequel to Meet the Parents, with as much gut-busting laughter as the first.

The Unsaid: Andy Garcia stars as a psychologist who lost his teenage son to suicide. Years after his loss, a former psychology student requests his help for aiding a young man similar to his son (at least in physical characteristics). The story is a race against time as the psychologist must put aside his own feelings of inadequacy about his son's suicide in order to uncover the truth about the young man's past before he acts out dangerously. The plot has plenty of twists to keep you at the edge of your seat to the end.

Zodiac: This movie tells the true tale of the San Francisco area killings in the mid-1960's that spawned a nationwide manhunt for the killer. It also focuses on a journalist's obsession to discover the killer's identity.

Present location: at home in Bend, OR
Mileage this week: 8 miles (hiking/running)

Happy 19th Birthday to Sarah!

Have a great week, and God bless!

deb & Ben

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