Monday, April 09, 2007

Weekend Movies

Thought I'd follow up my TV post with some weekend movie reviews--since I'm in an 'entertainment' frame of mind. With the kids out of school the last (two!) weeks, I got to see a couple kids' movies--I'll start there (Grandma took them to see Meet The Robinsons, so I missed that one, but it got a thumbs up from my kids, ages 6 & 7).

Well, the reviewers universally panned it. Yeah, it's predictable, yeah, it's formulaic, and no, it's certainly nothing new. But hey, I like Ice Cube, and I find it particularly amusing to see him playing a 'dad' in a family-friendly movie (sometimes he'd say something, and I'd get this weird deja vu, remembering his rapping days--the NWA hardcore stuff--now he's a family guy?!). Anyway, maybe it was just the right timing for me, since we're currently going through home repair issues, I don't know, but I was perfectly diverted for a couple hours. I thought it was pretty funny, the kids thought it was pretty funny. It wasn't THAT bad.

Oh my gosh, I *loved* this movie. I thought it was so interesting, so different...and exactly the kind of fantasy that appeals to kids. It's definitely what I call a 'quiet' movie--fairly slow developing plot, no out-there revelations, cool but low-key special effects. The 'message' was a good one, but they weren't beating you over the head with it. My kids loved it, though my *very* sensitive 7-yr. old got a little upset at a couple parts (scary Orcs running people through or Gollum trying to kill Frodo doesn't upset her--that's clearly 'fantasy' to her, but kids seemingly in peril or being bullied really gets to her). Both kid actors were particularly good, IMO, and Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) as the hippie-dippie science teacher was a particular stand-out performance. I read the reviews (somewhat mixed) and my favorite quote was from the Boston Globe: "True to the emotional reality of its young characters and young audience and flattering the latter into thinking way outside the box. There are worse things to teach than intellectual ambition." So true! I definitely give it two thumbs up!

I also saw a new-to-me movie on cable this weekend--THE INSIDE MAN, with Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster (what a cast!--as if that's not enough, Christopher Plummer and Willem Dafoe were in it, too!). It's directed by Spike Lee, but he didn't write it. It's more of a genre-flick--a bank heist turned hostage situation, but with some really interesting twists, terrific acting, intriguing plot. It's one of those movies that I was *still* thinking about the next day. Very clever, very smart. I liked it a lot! I will confess, though, that I'm one of those (rare?) females who doesn't find Clive Owen attractive. Part of it might be the roles he chooses (CLOSER, anyone?! Blech!), I don't know, but he just doesn't do it for me. That said, *this* was a good role for him. Definitely thumbs up.

Oh, but the best part of my movie watching experience?! The trailers!! Talk about whetting my appetite! Saw the trailer for Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, which leaves me positively salivating--I *cannot* wait for that movie! I mean, I'm literally counting down the days. And I also saw a trailer for SPIDER MAN 3, yet another movie can't wait to see. Even the trailer for the new FANTASTIC FOUR movie looked pretty good.

Any upcoming movies you can't wait to see?!


Anonymous said...

hey thanks for the reviews...i really want to see the Last Mimzy now. where do you watch reviews before seeing movies? I usually browse the web. I always watch Ebert and Roeper online while I'm at work: It's ok cuz I work with Disney, so they actually encourage me to watch it. How cool is that? Anyway, I can't wait to see Harry Potter and I know it will get 2 thumbs way up!

Kristina Cook said...

Anon, I read reviews at! It's a site that gathers reviews for movies, so you can read them all in one place! And then there's a rating--the 'tomatometer' analyzing the percentage of positive reviews vs. negative reviews. It's great!

Eve Silver said...

I'm in deadline hell right now, but as soon as I surface I'm dying to see The Shooter. Fantastic Four looks amazing...and of course the next Pirates of the Caribbean.