Mini Reviews: Movie Marathon Edition

Mini Reviews: Movie Marathon Edition

I am intensely phobic of both shopping and crowds. Therefore, on the long American Thanksgiving weekend, I usually hide in my house avoiding both.

Now, I could spend this time catching up on my reading or—gasp!—blogging, but invariably, I watch movies. I miss a lot of flicks the first time around because if it’s not playing at the single screen theater within walking distance of my house, I probably can’t be bothered to go to the mall theater (remember the shopping phobia, above) to see a movie. Here’s a roundup of what I watched and what I thought. 

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John Carter - Disney 2012

When ads for this movie first appeared on television, my mom called me and semi-hysterically asked me, 

“What the hell is Tim Riggins doing fighting dinosaurs while wearing a gladiator outfit?!”

After watching John Carter, I still can’t answer that question. But, I will say, the terribleness of this movie has nothing to do with Tim Riggins aka Taylor Kitsch and everything to do with the horrendous writing, poor editing and confusing plot. Furthermore, Tim isn’t even the worst actor in this movie—that title goes to McNulty from the Wire aka Dominic West who brings “mailing it in” to new, previously-unseen, heights. 

Strangely, I do not regret watching this hot mess of a movie. (Also, how awesome is the Spanish version of the movie poster?)

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50/50 - Summit 2011 

I have a client who worked with Joseph Gordon-Levitt on 3rd Rock from the Sun (I loved that weird comedy, by the way) and she told me that even back then, everyone on that show knew that JGL would be a star, that he had that intangible thing. He certainly brings it in 50/50, which is one of those movies that strikes a balance between heart-warming and humorous. It’s also one of the better portrayals of male friendship I’ve seen in a long, long time. Some folks may be bothered byt the language in this movie, because Seth Rogan’s character isn’t the most articulate in terms of being able to express himself—but it makes sense for his character arc. 

I definitely recommend 50/50 if you haven’t seen it yet. 

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The Green Zone - New Wave 2010 

I was never a fan of Matt Damon until he went all bad-ass in the Bourne movies and now I’ll watch most anything he’s in—except, of course, We Bought a Zoo. Despite that it’s a war movie, The Green Zone is very much a classically-styled thriller in the best of ways. The cinematography is outstanding and I was really gripped the entire time. It’s interesting to me that this movie is considered by many to be politically controversial, because I didn’t view it that way at all—the situation is laid out very plainly, and the reality of the situation is disturbing, but that’s a function of the near history, not any heavy-handedness.

This was my husband’s favorite that we watched over the weekend. 

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The Descendants - Fox Searchlight 2011

I watched The Descendants on Thanksgiving night after my husband and dogs had gone to bed. I’d planned on semi-watching it (it was on HBO) and finishing reading Holier Than Thou (yes, I read and watch television at the same time—doesn’t everyone?). I immediately abandoned my book as I was sucked into the drama and a surprising comedy of this movie. George Clooney was fantastic as an emotionally stunted middle-aged Hawaiian and Shailene Woodley was absolutely fierce as his troubled 17-year old daughter. 

I loved this movie so much that I made my husband watch it with me again on Saturday night. 

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Moonrise Kingdom - Focus Features 2012

Moonrise Kingdom is such a Wes Andreson film—if you like his movies, you’ll like this one. It has a definite The Life Aquatic vibe to it, because it’s very surreal and is less comedic and more quirky than some of his other movies, such as The Royal Tenenbaums. I think book lovers in particular will enjoy Moonrise Kingdom because books play an important role in the movie. 

Amazon / iTunes / IMDB

The one movie I didn’t get to watch that I wanted to check out this weekend was Ed Norton’s The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, which was just released on iTunes, etc. I’ve been a fan of his movies since The Brothers McMullin, and this one looks like it’s very much in that vein. 

Did you catch any good flicks this weekend? I’d love to add more good ones to me “to-watch” list. 

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