Archive for ‘Movies’

February 24, 2013

Live Blogging The Oscars: Let’s Do This Seth MacFarlane!

Tonight is possibly my sister’s favorite night of the year: Oscar Night!  She has seen 36 of the nominated movies, where as I have seen less than 10…I’m guessing this may affect the amount I picked correctly on my ballot tonight.  As the night goes on, I”ll be sharing my fairly random picks, commentary on the glitzy fashion, and judgements on the quality of acceptance speeches (you know you judge these, too!).  I’m hoping the night will live up to the hype.  Apparently there are a lot of performances packed into the presentation, and of course, Seth MacFarlane is hosting.  It should be an interesting night ; )

oscars seth macfarlane

7:07:  I can’t decide who is best dressed!  I really like Jessica Chastain’s dress.  Kerry Washington’s was pretty, but it doesn’t seem as fancy to me as the others for some reason.  I don’t love the gray of Amy Adams’ dress, but the simple styling (effortless hair, dangling diamond earrings, etc.) was perfect.  Stacy Keibler just walked up in this black/gray/white sequin dress that fit beautifully!

Stacy Keibler Oscars 2013

7:14:  I TOTALLY guessed the red slippers awhile ago when they said it had a bunch of pieces to it.  That was kind of a letdown.  I was hoping they would actually surprise me.  No Oscar mysteries next year ABC.

7:18:  Does anyone else think Kristin Chenoweth is a horrible host?  I feel like she’s made a lot of celebrities feel awkward and just kept talking about how short she was….no one cares.

7:22:  I also think Nicole Kidman looked fabulous.  She even coordinated with the Oscar billboards behind her.  I think I may be in love with form-fitting sequins.

nicole kidman oscars 2013

7:24:  ABC is going crazy trying to fill in these last 5 minutes.  I feel like they are literally pulling celebrities out of their chairs in desperate need to talk to someone.

7:30: Ooooooooo PRETTY!  So many lights on the stage!

7:31:  I’m kind of sad they didn’t do a little montage or comedy intro like they usually do, but they did just announce that the theme is music in film.

7:32:  So far I am not impressed with the jokes.  Please get better ASAP.

7:34:  Oh no.  A joke about the Chris Brown violence with Rihanna….why Seth MacFarlane?

7:35:  I like the shout out to Tina and Amy!

7:38:  Wow…I don’t know what to say about that musical number.  Did they really pre-tape audience reactions to that?  All the ladies were wearing different dresses.

7:39:  Channing Tatum is on stage and not doing a Magic Mike bit????  REALLY?  I’m shocked.

7:42:  LOVE Joseph Gordon-Levitt with Daniel Radcliffe!  They’re so cute dancing ❤

7:46:  Now they are mixing Disney songs with Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt!  Better : )

7:47:  My pick for Supporting Actor (completely random) is Christoph Waltz.  I’ve only seen Silver Linings Playbook out of the movies the nominees are from.  Let’s see who wins.

7:50:  Christoph Waltz wins Best Supporting Actor!  Hahahahaha!  I’m already 1 for 1.  Yes, I am already getting cocky.

7:56:  I am not a fan of Melissa McCarthy’s dress.  The fabric doesn’t look very expensive.

7:57:  My pick was Paperman.  It was the only one I saw out of the bunch.

7:58:  Paperman wins Best Animated Short!  2 for 2!

7:59:   I only saw Brave and Wreck It Ralph out of the Animated Movies.  I heard others were better, so I picked Paranorman.

8:00:  Brave wins Best Animated Film!  My first loss.  I should have stuck with Pixar.

8:01:  Here is a montage of a bunch of movies I have not seen…Oh!  It’s Little Q!  I want this girl in my 4th grade class!

8:05:  I like the lighted silhouettes of The Avengers.  Where is this spiel going?

8:07:  My pick for cinematography was Anna Karenina (haven’t seen).  Life of Pi wins for Best Cinematography!  Now I am down to only a 50% average.  Laaaaame.

8:08 Is anyone else distracted by this man’s copious amounts of white hair?

8:09:  I picked The Hobbit for visual effects.  I’ve actually seen that one!

8:10:  Life of Pi wins Best Visual Effects!  I did hear that movie was incredibly pretty.  Now I am down to 2 out of 5 correct picks.

8:11:  OMG.  That was awkward.  Not only do they play music to get you to shut up, but they play threatening music to get you off the stage.  I like Nicole Kidman’s consoling nod to the group that was played off.

8:16:  Love Jennifer Aniston’s red gown!  It’s simple and stunning at the same time.

8:17:  Anna Karenina is my pick for Costume Design.  The Hobbit is my pick for Make-Up and Hairstyling.  Fingers crossed!

8:18:  Anna Karenina wins Best Costume Design!  Back to 50% with 3 out of 6.  This lady also did Pride and Prejudice?  Love that movie and it’s costumes!

8:19:  Listening to The Hobbit music play while they announce the film nominees makes me want to go buy the soundtrack!

8:20:  Les Miserables wins Best Make-Up and Hairstyling!  Sigh.  Back below 50%, with 3 out of 7.

8:21:  The sleeves make Halle Berry’s dress look too matronly.  If she turned that dress into a halter, she’d look much younger.

8:22:  I bet my dad is loving this James Bond montage.  I will be looking out for the Goldeneye scenes where I have killed people off in the N64 video game ; )

8:27:  I really thought they were going to do a compilation of songs there.  Are they going to continue the James Bond stuff throughout the night instead?

8:31:  That Scandal preview was awesome!  It had a very James Bond vibe.  I love that show.  I’ll try to embed the commercial soon.

8:33:  Buzkashi Boys is my pick for live action short.  I saw the kids featured on the news a few days ago, and how they got to come to Hollywood for the Oscars.  Curfew wins Best Live Action Short!  Oh well.  At least I had heard of one of these.

8:35:  I very randomly picked Redemption for Documentary Short.  Inocente wins Best Documentary Short!  I am now down to 3 out of 9  -_-

8:40:  More movies I have not seen- Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty.  This must be the dark and intense group of movies.

8:42:  “I feel like we might have to call him Benjamin Affleck.”  That got a chuckle out of me.  Why are we talking about the films now?  I feel like this belonged at the beginning.

8:43:  I picked The Gatekeepers for Documentary.  I don’t even know what it is about….

8:44:  Searching for Sugar Man wins Best Documentary!  I don’t know what this is about either.

8:49:  I like the color of Jennifer Garner’s dress, but  really want to cut off that back poof.

8:50:  Amour seems the obvious choice for Foreign Film (my pick), but I’d be happy with Kon Tiki!  My kids just learned about the history of this journey in class last week : )

8:51:  Amour wins Best Foreign Film!  4 out of 11.  Maybe I can crawl my way back to a better percentage of correct picks?

8:52:  Wait?  The orchestra isn’t really there?!?!?  #mindblown

8:53:  Ooooo, movie musical review of the past decade.  Bring it on Travolta.

8:54:  Oh man.  Chicago.  This brings back a lot of memories from high school.  I think the whole drama department was obsessed with this movie.  I wish they were performing Cell Block Tango right now instead of All That Jazz.

8:56:  I don’t think Catherine Zeta Jones was singing live…thoughts?

8:58:  Jennifer Hudson, on the other hand, I believe IS singing live.  I think I’m one of the few people that really dislikes this song.  Sorry to the people who love it- I just find it loud and annoying.

9:00:  Did anyone else catch that standing ovation with the Asian lady clapping her purse?  Haha!

9:01:  Fact: Hugh Jackman becomes more attractive when he sings.

9:02:  I still have no idea what Les Miserables is about.  These people sound great, though.  Just kidding- Russell Crowe just started singing.

9:03:  Helena Bonham Carter is in this movie?????

9:04:  I like how when they all sing, you can hear Crowe (the worst singer) over everyone else.

9:05:  Every time I type Les Miserables, I have to think to myself “Miz-errr-ahhh-bless” to spell it correctly.

9:09:  Only Zoe Saldana could wear a belt with an Oscar’s dress and pull it off.

9:10:  Sadly no one cares so much about the scientific awards…

9:11:  Wow, I’m actually really impressed with the Ted special effects on stage right now.

9:12:  I picked Les Miserables for Sound Mixing….Les Miserables wins for Sound Mixing!  This was well-placed after that big performance.  5 out of 12!  Side Note:  What is the difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing???

9:14:  I picked Skyfall for Sound Editing.  Go James Bond!

9:16:  There’s a TIE!  I like how Mark Wahlberg clarifies that he’s not joking.  Zero Dark Thirty AND Skyfall win Best Sound Editing!  I’m totally counting this as a win.  6 out of 13!  I need the next one to get back up to 50% accuracy!

9:17:  I guess to be a sound editor you need to be a dude with long, blonde hair.  At least this guy doesn’t have lipstick on his upper lip.

9:18:  Haha, I like The Sound of Music joke.  Now I feel like watching that movie again.

9:19:  Christopher Plummer is getting OLD.  I don’t think i could match him with his character from The Sound of Music.

9:20:  I picked Anne Hathaway for Supporting Actress (she had to sacrifice her hair people!).  OH.  I forgot Sally Field was in Lincoln.  I couldn’t remember what she was nominated for.  I really should have seen more of these.

9:22:  I love Helen Hunt’s necklace!  It’s so sparkly!

9:23:  Anne Hathaway wins Best Supporting Actress!  I love you Anne Hathaway, but I do kind of hate your dress….

Anne Hathaway Oscars 2013

9:29:  Yawn.  No one cares about The Academy’s new museum…well at least not tonight.

9:30:  The college students are dressed really nicely- I love some of those black dresses!

9:32:  Sandra Bullock- why is your hair so boring???  Just straightening it is not enough for the most elegant night in Hollywood!

sandra bullock oscars 2013 hair

9:33:  I picked Zero Dark Thirty for editing, but Argo wins Best Film Editing! 

9:35:  Jennifer Lawrence’s dress looks great on stage.  I like how it poofs out at the bottom.  It’s a nice contrast from the many straight dresses.

9:36:  Adele mentioned on the red carpet that this dress weighs about 13 kilograms (28 pounds!!!) and it was hard for her to take deep breaths when she was performing.  She looks stunning, though.

9:40:  Okay, I think we have nine categories left and less than an hour of planned run time…they must be going over.  The ones left are the two writing, two music, production design, director, lead actor/actress, and picture.

9:43:  Yeah, I think Nicole Kidman has my favorite dress of the evening.

9:44:  This is the only grouping that has a movie I’ve seen before: Silver Linings Playbook.  Wow, they just gave away the ending of it in the montage.

9:47:  What was with the creepy watery floor and hand grabbing scene in the Amour montage?

9:48:  Two movie franchises collide- Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart!  Radcliffe is perfect, Stewart is awkward as always.

9:49:  I picked The Hobbit for production design.  This is it’s last chance to win something!

9:50:  Lincoln wins Best Production Design!  Damn.  Well Peter Jackson, you didn’t really get credit until your third LOTR movie, so maybe that will hold true for The Hobbit.  Did that guy just say he’s married to Adele???  Okay, well your wife is so cool I will allow you to win over The Hobbit.

9:51: Salma Hayek looks like she is choking in that collar.

Salma Hayek Oscars 2013

9:57:  Let’s knock out some of these awards.  We are running out of time, and I’m sure Jennifer Lawrence is still starving (she said this on the red carpet earlier).  I wish I could send her snacks.

10:02:  Somewhere Rachel Berry is ecstatic to see Barbara Streisand singing.

10:08:  No I did not miss that instrumental Titanic interlude : )

10:09: Renee Zellweger looks like she can’t walk very well.  I like how they are all talking normally and then Catherine Zeta Jones uses her fancy presenter voice.

10:10:  My pick for music score was Life of Pi.

10:11:  Life of Pi wins Best Original Score!  Yay!  Another one I completely guessed correctly.  I’m up to 8 out of 17.

10:12:  I picked Skyfall for best song.  Who would root against Adele???

10:16:  I guess the world agrees with my logic.  Skyfall wins Best Original Song!  Back to 50% accuracy- 9 out of 18.

10:17:  Adele’s so cute in her acceptance speech.  Maybe she is only scary powerful when she sings?

10:23:  I have Django Unchained for Original Screenplay and Silver Linings Playbook for Adapted Screenplay.

10:24:  Argo wins Best Adapted Screenplay!  Well, Ben Affleck is probably happy.  I on the other hand, just lost some ground on my accuracy of Oscar picks- 9 out of 19.

10:26:  Django Unchained wins Best Original Screenplay!  YES!  10 out of 20!

10:31:  Sorry if the commentary is lacking.  I’m getting tired and thinking about my 6:30 am wake up call tomorrow.  Hurry up famous people!

10:33:  I picked Silver Linings Playbook for Director.  That movie hasn’t gotten much love tonight.  Also, Jane Fonda’s dress is REALLY yellow.

10:34:  Life of Pi wins Best Director!  I’m disappointed I lost, but I love Ang Lee for making Brokeback Mountain many years ago.  I’ll let this one go Ang Lee….but just this once.

10:36:  Ang Less just said the only word I know in Chinese- Thank You!

10:37:  We’re going to commercial AGAIN???  Now I’m getting pissy.

10:39:  They just came back with “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”  : )

10:41:  I have Naomi Watts for Lead Actress.  I LOVED The Impossible, so I had to back it here.

10:42:  OHHHHHH!  That old lady in Amour just got slapped!

10:43:  I feel like crying just watching the clip from The Impossible.  But…Jennifer Lawrence wins Best Actress!

10:44:  Hahahaha, I love that she pointed out that she fell.  That’s a great way to make us all feel comfortable about it.  Way to recover!

10:45:  Bradley Cooper looks like he will about fall out of his seat in excitement listening to Jennifer Lawrence’s speech.

10:47:  I did not see Lincoln, but I have it picked for the Best Actor category.  This category is chock full of important people.

10:48:  Daniel Day-Lewis wins Best Actor!  The audience seems happy about this.  As am I- 11 out of 23!  I still have a chance at 50%!

10:50:  So Daniel Day-Lewis is a comedian now?  I would also like to see Lincoln with Meryl Streep as the title character!

10:52:  C’mon Argo for Best Picture!  I want my 50%!

10:53:  Oh man!  They just brought in the First Lady!  I am still loving her bangs (I cut mine first!!!).  I wonder if she really is speaking live??

10:55:  That was kind of too serious for a Seth MacFarlane hosted event…

10:56:  OOOOOOO!  Michelle’s going to announce it!  Argo wins Best Picture!!!!!!!  My final total was 12 out of 24.  Not too bad, and much better than I expected ; )

10:57:  Love the comment about the “three sexiest producers alive.”  I actually did not know Clooney was involved in this movie….I need to pay attention to things more.

10:59:  Ben Affleck is talking so fast- like that one teacher from Saved By the Bell.  Awwwww!  Jennifer Garner’s reaction is so sweet : )

11:00: Okay.  I’m ready for this ending performance.

11:01:  Is this seriously the “big” number at the end of the Oscars???

11:02:  Nothing says lame like when credits are scrolling while you sing.  I wonder why they pushed Kristin Chenoweth so much tonight.  I liked her before, but after today I’m kind of over it.

11:03:  I bet Jennifer Lawrence is like OMG PLEASE STOP SINGING SO I CAN EAT!  I feel the same way Jen- just replace eat with sleep.

Well that’s a wrap folks.  Hope you did better than me on your Oscar ballots and possibly won money over it in work contests!

January 24, 2013

The Impossible: Why You Need to See It This Weekend

I saw The Impossible over winter break with my mom. I was trying to find an excuse to see a movie at AMC’s Fork and Screen theaters, and the day before I left, this came out as one of the options. It had been on my list to go see, and I have to say it was pretty fantastic. Here’s the trailer below to give you some background. I don’t want you to feel as if I’m spoiling anything major- a lot of plot points are already in the preview- but if you like to go into a movie knowing anything, than feel free to skip my review.

The Impossible is based on the true story of a Spanish family vacationing Thailand when the 2004 tsunami hit the country. The film starts with the family on the plane and a short collection of scenes of their vacation to sort out for the audience who’s who and the relationships between the parents and three sons. Pretty soon, though, it’s the day of the tsunami. As an audience member, you just feel this sense of dread as you wait for it to happen. The wind picks up, electricity goes off, the ground shakes a little, and a swarm of birds starts heading away from the beach. You have about as much time as the family does to realize this is it just as the wave hits.

the impossible wave

The screen goes black when the wave is actually going to hit the family, and then reappears as Naomi Watts, who plays the mom, is clinging to a tree in the midst of rapids screaming as loud as she can. She sees her oldest son, Lucas (played by Tom Holland), rush past her as the rapids carry him away. She immediately lets go and swims after him, and the next 10 minutes is torture as you watch the two get so close and then separated and then so close again. Watts gets impaled by branches, Holland gets violently pushed underwater and bangs his heads on loose objects, and you, as an audience member, pretty much wince every two seconds and start drawing your knees into your chest as a coping device.

impossible mom and son

This panic eventually subsides as the pair are finally able to reach each other in the water and find land (still flooded, but at least able to stand in). This is when Lucas starts becoming the hero of the whole movie. He recognizes early that his mom’s injuries are life threatening and that he will very quickly need to become the caretaker. He watches over his mom and summons up immense emotional and physical strength to get her to safety.

The dad, played by Ewan McGreggor, doesn’t appear until about halfway through the movie. Instead of doing side by side story lines, the movie goes back to the beginning (right after the wave) to show you what became of the dad and the other two boys. All three are together and relatively unharmed, but the dad feels the need to keep looking for Lucas and his wife.

impossible dad and kids

The final act of the film then flips around from Lucas to the dad. Lucas is trying to save his mom and also come to terms with the fact that he may become an orphan. The dad is shown searching through hospitals and dead bodies on his quest to find his remaining family members. He breaks down a few times thinking his search might be in vain, especially one poignant scene while on the phone with his dad. I thought it was interesting to show the different viewpoints of the tragedy and how various rescue efforts were handled. I’m pretty sure any doctor who survived did not sleep at all that week.

Warning: This movie is extremely stressful and emotional. My mom cried through a lot of it. I didn’t because I had more knowledge of the true story behind it, and I kind of felt too much panic to give into crying. My mom mentioned it reminded her of Titanic (the scenes post-iceberg), which I agree with. It balances compelling characters with this catastrophic event setting in a way that keeps you engaged with the film the whole time. I never felt as though they spent too long on action sequences because even those were motivated by characters.

the impossible naomi watts

Naomi Watts has received a lot of praise for her role in the film (she’s nominated for an Oscar). She is the heart of the whole story, and seemed to basically get the crap beaten out of her in this film (I can’t wait for this to come out on DVD because I would love to see “making of” footage!). However, I thought Tom Holland was just as excellent, if not even more central to the story line. This kid has a LOT of screen time, and does some pretty amazing things for a 10-year-old. I kept thinking of my fourth graders, and if they would have been as brave as this character if faced with the same situation. It’s pretty crazy.

Anyway, please go see this movie over the weekend. It hasn’t gotten a ton of publicity, but it is incredible. It will be one of those films that stays with you for a long time, that gives you that rare sad and happy ending, and makes you appreciate life and the loved ones you share it with.

January 21, 2013

Excelsior! A Review of Silver Linings Playbook

On Sunday, I finally got to see Silver Linings Playbook.  I had planned to see this movie from the first time I saw previews for it, and then became even more intrigued when it started getting so much attention in awards season (it is currently nominated for a lot of Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay…so yeah, it’s important).  However, my sister saw it and decided I wouldn’t like it.  She is *pretty* good at guessing how much I will like a movie, so I took her word for it and didn’t see it over break.  THEN, I saw about 20 Facebook posts about how much everyone liked it and decided to risk going against Katie and see it this weekend.  Luckily, I didn’t regret this decision.

silver linings playbook

Silver Linings Playbook pretty much follows the story line presented in the trailer.  Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a guy who was just released from a psychiatric facility following an incident where he beat up a guy he found sleeping with his wife.  Pat decides he needs to do whatever he can to convince his wife he is better so she will come back to him.  He does this by working out, losing weight, and doing his best to stay calm and avoid shouting outbursts (which happen a lot).

During this journey, he reconnects with some old friends and family, and meets Tiffany (played by Jennifer Lawrence), a young widow who lost her husband after a car accident.  Tiffany is pretty damaged like Pat, and has similar problems with not controlling her emotions and not having any filter when she talks.  They become friends after a bit, and Tiffany agrees to help Pat win back his wife if he helps her compete in a couples’ dance competition.  As expected, Pat becomes more grounded and reliable by focusing on this dance competition, and both he and Tiffany show signs of falling for each other despite working on separate goals.

silver linings playbook dance

I think that without the dance competition aspect, I wouldn’t have liked this movie as much.  I liked seeing the practice montage (I love movie montages), as well as the final routine.  Chris Tucker is in the film as Pat’s friend from the psych facility, and he is hilarious as he helps Tiffany and Pat practice and insists Pat be “more black” when he dances.  The audience at the theater was cracking up at this.  I think people were happy to see Tucker back in movies again since this is his first film since Rush Hour 3 in 2007.  My favorite part of the film was directly after the dance performance, but I won’t ruin it with details for those of you who want to see it.

chris tucker silver linings playbook

All the characters, even the most minor ones, are all a little odd.  Pat’s parents, played by Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver (both nominated for their supporting roles), are good examples of this.  The dad is obsessed with the Eagles football team, and shows a lot of OCD behavior when the games are on (remotes have to face a certain way, each game has to be taped, etc.).  His gambling over the games’ outcomes adds a little subplot to the movie and ties in points where Pat has to reconnect with his family, too (instead of just the women in his life).  I’m not quite sure how the mom puts up with her son and her husband’s offbeat behavior, but she does provide stability in the movie (and always looks a little frazzled to make her believable, haha).

silver linings playbook robert de niro

This movie is not one of my all time favorites, or even one I would need to see again, but I still liked it.  It’s different from a lot of films out right now because it is a bit more realistic.  People get into fights a lot, and the victories aren’t so wondrous and magical like you’d expect from a movie.  They are just simple moments of joy to bring a few characters just enough happiness to be content with life.  I suppose this sums up why the movie has “Silver Linings” in the title : )

January 1, 2013

10 Reactions to The Hobbit

Today I finally saw The Hobbit.  Most of my friends and family know I am a huge Lord of the Rings Fan- I read each of those books in middle and high school before each movie release : )  But The Hobbit?  I kind of skipped over that book and never went back to it.  Fortunately, Peter Jackson couldn’t help himself and ended up returning to the franchise to make a film for this shorter prequel.  I bought the book a couple of months ago and slowly made my way through the first six chapters (the part I was told the movie covers).  Then I ventured out today to the theater with my brother in law, Dan.  Here are my 10 most important reactions to the movie.

1. Dan asked me after the movie was over “So, what did you think?”  One of the first things I said was “I’m pretty sure that crazy rabbit man was not in the book.”  Hahaha.  Was anyone else REALLY concerned that those wolf things would devour the rabbits???  During that entire chase scene I was like PLEASE DON’T KILL THE BUNNIES!!!!  I also am not entirely sure how Radagast planned on leading the orcs away because it seemed like he kept going closer to the group…..


2. Kili is easily the most attractive dwarf.  By like a billion attractive point difference.  All the other dwarves are silly, wise, and homely, and then Kili walks in and you’re like…how are you related to any of these other people???  I think we will secretly discover that he’s Aragorn’s brother in a lost appendix.

3. I really enjoyed the sad and dark dwarf hymn at the beginning (you know….the one that is mostly humming that they sing before leaving Bilbo’s house).  I can not tell you a single word of it, but I’ve been humming it dramatically the whole day.  I also liked the little musical nods to the Lord of the Rings score : )

4. I had a strong urge to throw things at the screen when Saruman showed up.  I didn’t know he was in the movie and I was like EEEEEEVVVVIIIIIILLLLLL!!!!  the entire time he was talking.  When Galadriel and Ganadalf had their own little convo in their heads and completely ignored him, I said a silent Yessssss! in my head.  No one cares about you Saruman.  Go away.


5. Elrond came off super wimpy in this installment.  Besides being able to read weird moon writing, he was pretty much useless and had to call in people with longer hair to manage his affairs.  Apparently without Arwen to boss around or a king to scold for not destroying rings, he just hangs around and hunts stray orcs.  YAWN.


6. Did anybody else’s heart completely warm when they saw Frodo in his opening LOTR outfit?  I all but hugged myself in the theater- so happy to see what felt like “deleted scenes” from Fellowship.  I mean, now we know all kinds of things like who *really* put up the No Admittance sign!  It was all very revealing.

frodo hobbit

I painted the shot of him reading by the tree when Gandalf comes so when he runs off in the beginning I was like “He’s going to be in my painting!!!”

Frodo Painting

The painting I made based off the Fellowship of the Ring shot.

7. As soon as Balin was pointed out, I immediately was like “Awwwww, you’re dead now….WAIT, who is watching Moria????”

8. I highly enjoyed Bilbo’s comment to Gandalf about Radagast “Is he a very great wizard, or is he more like you?”  I kind of have that thought sometimes like what CAN you actually do Gandalf?  I mean besides a brief blinding light, breaking a rock, starting pine cone fires, and whispering to butterflies, he doesn’t really do much except ponder things in this movie.  Even in LOTR he doesn’t seem to have any big magical powers- just bravery and wisdom.


9. I know this movie is supposed to be about Bilbo, but I think we can all agree, at least for this first installment, that Gollum totally stole the show.  He had all the best snarky lines in the film, was in the scene that felt most true to the book, and was the strongest tie to the Lord of the Rings films for fans like me.  Good job Andy Serkis.

10. And finally, just to drop some knowledge on you, the elf king who totally ditches the dwarves….


is none other than Ned from Pushing Daisies:


I know.  MIND BLOWN.

Let me know what you thought of the movie.  I know almost everyone has seen it by now!

August 3, 2012

20 Movies to Look Forward to Before 2012 Ends: Part 2

Yesterday I started listing all the movies we still have to look forward to this year, even though Summer blockbusters have come to an end.  Like yesterday, I’ve listed all the movies by release date, included a brief description, and embedded the trailers for you to check out the movies yourselves.  Enjoy the rest of the list and let me know what movies you are looking forward to this year!

November 9th

Skyfall: The next big film in the James Bond Series.  I don’t even remember what the last one, Quantum of Solace, was about, but I’m sure I will end up seeing this one anyway.  I would try to explain the premise, but you can just watch the trailer for yourself.

Anna Karenina: For all you period piece and book lovers- this is the movie for you.  I’ve never read Tolstoy’s novel, but I know it’s about a woman who is married to a government official while having an affair with a Count.  She considers leaving her husband to be with her lover, but has to deal with the backlash of Russian society in doing so.  This movie has the same lead (Keira Knightley) and director (Joe Wright) as one of my top favorite movies- Pride and Prejudice.  This makes me think I may just like it ; )

November 16th

Breaking Dawn-Part 2: This is the final installment of the Twilight series, so non-fans should be happy it has come to an end.  I’m a fan of the series, but even I’m ready to move on after this.  In this last movie, Bella deals with becoming a vampire, the Cullens prepare to fight for their family against an army of vampires, and Jacob *finally* gives up his crush on Bella- in favor of her daughter instead.  Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

November 21st

Silver Linings Playbook: Two recovering mental cases, played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, find solace in each other despite their obvious quirks.  I haven’t heard much about this movie, but I found the trailer endearing enough to add to my movie list.  Besides the leads, the move also has a strong supporting cast, so it may just be a hit.

Life of Pi: I still remember reading an excerpt from this book in high school.  I thought it was so intriguing, but I never ended up reading the whole thing.  Perhaps I might just have to grab a copy before this movie gets to theaters.  In Life of Pi, a young man gets stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger (upon more research, it seems other animals are with them, too) after a ship carrying his family and their zoo animals sinks.  The story follows their struggle to survive in the middle of the ocean.  The trailer already looks beautiful.  I’m hoping it’s a good adaptation for fans of the book.

Rise of the Guardians: I’ve been seeing trailers for this animated movie for awhile.  The story follows how Santa, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman have to team up to fight off an evil spirit that threatens children around the world.  It sounds kind of weird at first, but the trailer makes the movie seem more like an animated movie for adults (like Shrek– which had a lot of humor for the over 12-year-old crowd).

December 14th

The Hobbit-An Unexpected Journey: Do I really need to convince you to see a Peter Jackson directed prequel to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (three of the greatest films ever created, in my humble opinion)?  Yeah, didn’t think so.  This is another book-turned-movie I need to read.  I made an effort to read all the individual Lord of the Rings books before their films, and I’ve heard The Hobbit is a much quicker read (apparently it’s written as a kid’s book).  What I do know about The Hobbit is that it follows the story of Bilbo, including his big adventures with Gandalf and how he came upon the One Ring.

December 21st

This is 40: This is a sort-of-sequel to Knocked Up, only the story follows Debbie and Pete (the sister of Katherine Heigl’s character and her husband).  The couple is struggling with getting older and tries to stick to some resolutions to improve their lives.  Knocked Up is definitely not one of my favorite movies, but this movie looks funny enough to make the trek out to the theater.

Monster’s Inc 3D: Just like Finding Nemo, I’m really excited that this movie is coming back to theaters.  I think it is even more exciting because the new Monster’s Inc movie-Monster’s University– is coming out next summer.  This will be a nice refresher for those who haven’t seen the movie in awhile before seeing the prequel about how Scully and Mike met at college.

December 25th

The Great Gatsby: Okay, I’ll admit it.  Besides hearing the title before, I know absolutely nothing about the plot of The Great Gatsby.  However, I was so excited to hear Baz Luhrmann was directing (because I love Moulin Rouge!) and that Leonardo DiCaprio was starring in it (Leo is usually a sign of Oscar nomination potential).  Check out the artsy trailer for yourselves, and try not to immediately want to buy a flapper dress afterwards.

August 2, 2012

20 Movies to Look Foward to Before 2012 Ends: Part 1

Summer blockbuster season is over, but don’t let that get you down.  I went through all the upcoming movies through the rest of 2012 to pick out 20 that I think are worth checking out (they’re listed in order of release date).  These movies show off an eclectic taste, so I’m sure there are at least a few that will peak your interest ; )  I embedded all the trailers for you to judge the movies for yourself.  I’ll do the first ten on my list today, and the next ten tomorrow.  Enjoy!

August 3rd

Celeste and Jesse Forever: What’s not to like about Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones?  This movie is about a couple who is in the process of getting divorced, but tries to maintain a close friendship anyway.  They inevitably find themselves jealous and unsure about their decision to get divorced as they meet new people.  I think this looks funny and relatable, and as I already mentioned, I love the leads.

August 15th

The Odd Life of Timothy Green: This is a slightly odd premise for a family-friendly film- a couple who can’t conceive a child writes down everything they would want their child to be, buries these notes in a box, and a child magically appears in place of the box.  I’m worried there will be a sad ending about the child having to leave the couple at the end of the movie, but who knows?  Jennifer Garner seems very endearing as the mom, so I might give it a shot despite the obvious warning signs of a tearjerker ending.

September 14th

Finding Nemo 3D: This movie was absolutely majestic in 2D, so I can’t imagine how good it will be in 3D.  This is definitely one I will promote to my class since they were newborns when it first came out.  Even if your kids have seen it on DVD, I would suggest letting them experience it in theaters come September.  But if you’re enough of a fan, you won’t need me to convince you ; )

The Perks of Being a Wallflower:  I haven’t read the book this movie is based on, but most speak very highly of it.  A lonely high school boy makes friends with two misfit seniors while trying to deal with his dark past.  It looks like a pretty quirky coming of age story, and I’m excited to see Emma Watson play someone outside of Hermione (plus if you see in the beginning of the trailer, Nina Dobrev is in the movie, too!).

September 28th

Looper: I heard Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in this, but when I watched the trailer I thought- oh, I guess I heard wrong.  Then I realized he plays the main guy you see in nearly every shot of the trailer.  He just has had some great make-up done to make him look like a young Bruce Willis.  Make-up artists, I salute you.  Looper is about a group of assassins that travel back in time to take out their victims.  When a looper realizes he himself is being hunted, he has to figure out a way to survive as his present and future self collide in the same time period.  Sounds exciting-bordering on confusing-but any movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt is worth looking into.

Hotel Transylvania: There are several animated movies on this list I’m excited about- this one comes out first.  An overprotective vampire father builds a hotel for monsters to keep his daughter safe from people.  His plan works well until his daughter gets rebellious just as a teenage boy stumbles upon the hotel.  As expected, chaos ensues.  I laughed a lot during the trailer- I think the characters are hilarious.  Hopefully the whole movie is just as good.

Won’t Back Down: This is my *favorite* of this whole list- and yes, I may be a bit biased because I’m a teacher.  Two mothers (one is a teacher) from a low-income neighborhood work together to transform their school into a place where all students can succeed.  I love that this is about the parents taking action, and not just teachers.  Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis play the moms, so you know this is going to be awesome.

October 5th

Pitch Perfect: Ok, yes.  This looks like it will have the cinematic value of say The House Bunny or Dodgeball, but hey.  It could be funny, too.  It’s about a college girl who gets roped into joining an all-girl acapella group.  She helps them update their boring set lists, and in exchange I’m sure they help her become a “better person” or whatever.  I think the highlight will be Rebel Wilson (from Bridesmaids), who has every snappy one-liner in this trailer.

October 26

Cloud Atlas: This movie is so epic it needs a five minute long trailer.  I can’t begin to explain what it is about, but I’m intrigued overall by the theme of past and future selves intertwining with the same people and events.  There’s a huge list of stars in the film, most notably Halle Berry and Tom Hanks, and it already has a 2 hour and 44 minute run time.  I hope it lives up to the hype.

November 2nd

Wreck-It Ralph: Gamers are going to love this movie!  A video game villain decides he wants to be the good guy for a change, and starts jumping into other games to try out his new lifestyle.  A lot of memorable video game characters will make appearances throughout the film, as you can already see in the support group scene in the trailer.  I’m sure the numerous promos during the Olympics coverage have already got you pumped for this one.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post for the second half of this list!

March 12, 2012

Kindred Spirits (When It Comes to Love)

About a few months after I got back from Russia, I saw the trailer for Like Crazy (see end of entry).  The movie is about a girl from the U.K. who falls in love with an American guy in college, and after violating the terms of her visa to stay in the US for a summer with him, she is deported.  The rest of the movie follows the pair as they struggle and find happiness through their journey to reunite with each other.  Sometimes they are together, but a lot of times they are apart or with other people.  Obviously, this plot tugged a bit at my heartstrings, and after nearly a year of waiting, I was able to watch it on DVD this past weekend.

I figured it would just be a relatable movie, but oh no.  It let me find the one movie character that is almost an exact copy of how I am in relationships.  My dear Anna, you are my kindred spirit when it comes to romance.  Here’s just a few reasons why:

1.  I would (and have) written a guy a letter as a way to get his attention.  I absolutely love writing and usually tow a fine line between quirky and truly caring when I write letters.  I should totally steal the idea of leaving one on someone’s car someday.  That took guts, but I admired it just the same.

2. Anna makes Jacob a beautiful scrapbook of their love story when she is about to leave.  I have done this TWICE.  Once for Ben, post-break up, when he was leaving.  This was in mid-high school, so I don’t remember it perfectly, but I know it opened with a goodbye letter that was very difficult to write.  The second scrapbook was for Nikita, which you can see in my old entry here.  I get very inspired to write and create such books when I feel really emotional about something- as does Anna.

3. I’m not super affectionate when in public places, but I love to be a little daring occasionally if the mood strikes and will kiss someone like in the picture below.  I found this especially cute in the movie because it was right after her parents drove away, which made it more amusing.

4. Even if it will make me look pathetic, I will reach out to someone if I miss them.  I will send that “I miss you” text just as she did in the movie, and then regret it when I wait for the same response that will never come.  I’ll never be like the guy who starts to type “I miss you” and then change his mind halfway through.  If you feel it, you say it.

5. In relation to number four, I suck at playing it cool.  When Jacob calls Anna she pretends she’s fine and then calls him back a minute later to admit she’s not and misses him A LOT- that’s so me.  I can’t make myself pretend like I don’t have feelings.  Even if I could make the words come out like that, it would be all over my face.  You may like it or hate it, but you will always know what I am feeling.

6. No matter how comfortable I am, I would never stay with someone I couldn’t completely love.  It may be the safe choice and guarantee you won’t die alone, but there is a reason I am nearing 24 and am still single.  I can’t settle for safe.  And neither could Anna.

7. I truly believe it is always better to lay your feelings on the line.  I admire Anna’s character so much for the phone call she made where she said she would never find what she had with Jacob with anyone else.  That even though she knew he was with someone else and moving on, she made that one last grand gesture.  I have done that before, too.  Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but I’d rather know I did everything I could than sit alone with my pride wondering what could have been.

So here’s to you, Anna, and the actress and writers that brought you into existence.  You reminded me to be true to myself, and that in doing so, both happiness and suffering will be sure to follow.  I can only hope that happiness wins out in the end and tips the scale.

P.S.- Do yourself a favor and download Ingrid Michaelson’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Dead Hearts” by Stars.  They are both in the trailer embedded below, and are quite beautiful.