Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Time to...Review the Queue

The Queen - This movie with Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II was nominated for two Oscars (Best Picture, and Mirren winning Best Actress) and Aaron STILL refused to watch it with me. Flat out. No options available. And so, it was the first movie that I watched on my laptop while scrapbooking. Not the best situation, but better than the wrath of Aaron for holding up our Netflix queue!

I liked it - it's definitely a character study, following the Queen and Tony Blair in the week following Princess Diana's death, and how both of them tried to deal with it, both privately and publicly.

Unfinished Life - Okay, as soon as you tell anyone that Jennifer Lopez is in this movie, they tend to shut down. But really, it's pretty good. A redeeming factor is that Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman are ALSO in it. Lopez is a single mom who returns with her tween daughter to her former father-in-law's ranch (that would be where Redford & Freemen step in).

The big strength of the movie is its themes of forgiveness and redemption. And, as I told someone else, Lopez isn't playing herself this time (Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan, etc.).

Dreamgirls - No shocker here, but Aaron also refused to watch this one with me. Another one for the laptop and scrapbooking. Beyonce is stunning in this film, and it's easy to tell why she signed on - sooo much glamour and fashion! But everything I'd heard about Dreamgirls was about Jennifer Hudson's singing, since she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress with a resume filled with American Idol acclaim - but not even as the winner!

Anyway, she was amazing. I never would have guessed that she was such a newbie to Hollywood - and her character is pretty central, at least to the conflict of the show.

Twilight - Yeah, yeah, I watched it. I figured it was easier than suffering through the book, which I have a kind of personal boycott against. It was pretty predictable, and a little over-dramatic, but okay overall.

Quantum of Solace - WHAT the heck was the plot about? We were pretty lost. After the movie was done, we tried to piece things together and make sense of it all, but still came up a little empty. Oh well, hopefully the next Bond movie is better.

Run, Fat Boy, Run - This one starts the series of films added by Aaron without my approval. Most of them have been okay, and this one was probably one of our favorites. I especially laughed during the scene where the blister gets popped. Yeah, it's pretty much as gross as it sounds - and the blister is REALLY BIG. I felt like I got more out of the movie because of my brothers' running experience. Thanks, boys!

Rachel Getting Married - This was a rather depressing one. But interesting because it's such an intimate look at 3 days in the life of a family with plenty of issues. I liked being able to sympathize with both "sides" - Rachel, the older sister getting married, who's wrapping up a graduate degree in psychology, and her sister Kym (Anne Hathaway, in an Oscar nominated role), out of drug rehab for the weekend.

On the one hand, I can sympathize with Rachel - she's been putting up with Kym's crap her whole life, and really does deserve to have one weekend where everyone revolves around HER for a change. But on the other hand...Kym's had a WHOLE LOTTA issues, and weddings are pretty much one of the most stressful family situations - all kinds of baggage comes out under that kind of pressure, even for mostly normal families.

Henry Poole is Here- The low point in the queue. Aaron thought it was going to be a comedy, and it wasn't. Not really even the so-called "black comedy" kind, which I've never really gotten anyway. (I think it means that it's not laugh out loud funny, but also not a tragedy? That sounds right - in Shakespeare a play is considered a comedy if not everybody dies - not if it's truly funny.)

Penelope - Probably our favorite on this end of the list! Christina Ricci is so darn cute, pig nose or not. Also, I never really got James McAvoy as a romantic lead (Atonement? Never saw it, but still didn't get him in that role...) but NOW MY EYES ARE OPEN. Also, I just read that he plays Jane's love interest in Becoming Jane, which I also have yet to see. Mostly because I have a feeling I'll be watching it on the laptop while scrapbooking.

Lars and the Real Girl - Okay, yes, it's about a guy who buys a life-sized sex doll and then falls in love with her, pretending that she's real. But no, there is no perversion other than that. In fact, the doll "stays" at his brother and sister-in-law's house to make things extra chaste. It's another movie that makes mental illness a little more relatable.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Three hours of my life went into this movie. I love Cate Blanchett, and of course I don't mind looking at Brad Pitt either (even though he was really only THE Brad Pitt for about a third of the movie...). And I freely admit that I cried. Watching him physically as a kid but mentally elderly just did me in. Hormones. We'll blame it on hormones.

But as my brother Aaron pointed out, Pitt pretty much the same expression throughout the entire movie...poor guy. He never looked really elated or anything...just rather sad throughout.

This was yet another Oscar nominee, for Best Picture. It seems that this portion of our queue has been fairly recognized by the Academy - but we are still waiting for the big winner, Slumdog Millionaire. Netflix keeps telling us it'll be a "short wait" and sending us other movies - and yes, we know we could have gotten it from the video store about 3 months ago. But hey! We've been busy watching people run a marathon with 3 weeks (total!) training, girls fall in love (and lose their pig snouts!), families reconcile with each other, and a vampire fall in love with a very pale girl from Arizona. We've been busy!


Noel said...

I counted three movies in the list which are in common with our queue. I will leave it up to the readers imagination to guess which three.

Kim said...

I got Slumdog from the Moorhead library for free! We really liked it. The atmosphere didn't seem "abnormal" as we lived in that part of the world for 10 months. It captured a bit of the commotion but none of the odors.

Ruth said...

Did you know that the all the music in Rachel Getting Married was recorded live? those musicians in the background are actually PLAYING the score. Pretty amazing.and i loved the groom's dinner (before the dinner)with all the artists and weirdos.

i also loved that you don't really know what she did till the middle and then you're like, whoooooah. yeah. i hate her too. but i don't. but i do.

SUCH a good movie, i loved it.

Aaron said...

Quantum of Solace was pretty decent, I thought. It was kind of telling that not a lot of knew what the bad guy was doing wrong (aside from killing some folks) because nowadays what he did is just called "being a shrewd businessman".

AJ said...

Definitely saved money on the script writing for James Bond.

I have liked the small studio comedies in general.

Rachel Getting Married was not worth the time though the emotions expressed and induced were wrenching.

Noel said...

I enjoyed the new Star Trek movie tonight with the spouse of Book Club member CB. Talk about non-stop action....