Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Transporter (2002)

We had low expectations for this movie, like it might be another XXX. (That is the kind of movie that I would not ordinarily watch voluntarily, but my brother-in-law made me. He said it was the worst movie ever and so we must see it. I think there are probably worse movies, but I haven't been able to name any yet.) The Transporter turned out to be entertaining and had great Jackie Chan-style fight scenes. It's also generally a good thing when the French inspector is played by an actual French person, from France.

Night at the Museum (2006)

Jon and I took the kids to the drive-in to see this, and I thought it was delightful. The kids loved it, too, though they have not reached the age of discerning film-viewing yet and love pretty much everything that appears on a screen with moving characters.

I think my favorite line was when Owen Wilson, the tiny cowboy, says to the tiny Roman soldier/leader guy, "I ain't quittin' you!" Although, after taking a look at the quotes page on imdb.com, there are a lot of funny lines. That was just one that made me laugh out loud. (The kids didn't get it, of course, but that's as it should be.)

A Cinderella Story (2004)

I felt compelled to watch this (I was at Ivy's and I'd already watched all of their episodes of The Office and it was on TV) because I know Hillary Duff is famous and I don't know why she's famous. I still don't. She was pretty boring. So was the movie. Although I think Daniel liked it a lot. (Hee hee!)

However, I did enjoy Jennifer Coolidge, who plays the wicked stepmother.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

I didn’t particularly enjoy reading this book, but it did give me a lot to think about: how secrets affect relationships (badly); how you can’t protect your loved ones from tragedy and sadness; how things are always changing, and as much as you’d like to capture moments in time with family or friends, it just doesn’t work; how easily people misunderstand each other; how difficult it is to really know someone. I think it would have affected me differently at another time in my life, but right now, when my oldest kids are on the verge of their teen years (sort of) and I’m starting to almost think of myself as middle-aged (yikes), it was a difficult story. It made me appreciate so much what I have, though, and that’s a good thing.

About halfway through the book, I found myself just wanting to get it over with—to see if the ending was as depressing as the rest of it, or if maybe the characters would get wiser. They did seem to learn something and become better people, so it was worth it to finish. There was a hopeful feeling at the end, and one of the characters especially showed everyone else how to take things in stride and be happy for the good things, mourn with your friends and family when needed, and move on. So I guess I liked it, in the end. Not a ringing endorsement, but I think it was a good book.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Illusionist (2006)

I'm not really crazy about the main actor, Norton,(he looks like a little weasel and he played a bad, weasel-like guy in "The Italian Job") but I did really like this movie. It was entertaining and had a fun plot. I sort of guessed a lot of the movie's plot twists, but not all so it was still surprising. Jessica Biel is so beautiful in this movie that I wasn't even sure it was her. I had to look it up on the internet to make sure it was the same girl that is on that show "7th Heaven" that I can't stand. It was! But I really liked her in this movie. Great ending (of course or I probably wouldn't have liked it). :)

Eragon (2006)

I didn't like this movie. Hopefully the book is better. But I don't really have any desire to read it. That's okay though since I'm not really the intended audience. Everyone else I've asked (my kids and their friends) seemed to like it fine. The actor playing Eragon is really cute, though.

Catch and Release (2006)

I like Jennifer Gardner, but hated that yucky guy (Fitch) she gets together with. Ew! I never did start to like him, though I'm sure I was supposed to. I thought he was creepy and disgusting (thanks to his gross sex scene in the very beginning of the movie AT A FUNERAL!!). I don't like that she gets together with him, when she totally should have fallen for the really great friend, Dennis. He was so nice, and truly in love with her. Instead, the stupid girl chooses Mr. Sleaze-bag, seemingly based on pure lust, and sticks with him. So disappointing. Did I enjoy watching it? Yes, mostly because my friend took me to the movies in the middle of the day and that is fun no matter what. The movie also kept me guessing because I couldn't believe the direction it was going would be the one it ended with. (Weird sentence, but you know what I mean.) The movie should have developed some great sympathetic background story for Fitch (great name to go with the great(NOT)guy) if they wanted me to like him.

Deja Vu (2006)

I went to see this movie with a friend at the late showing. It sure kept me awake! I thought it was really a fun one to watch with a lot to keep you guessing. It had some good twists and turns in the plot. I think it's better to know nothing about a movie before watching it. I didn't know anything about this and so it was all surprising. Very unrealistic and had a lot of little things you say, "But wait..." to, but getting past all the geeky science stuff, and accepting it as a sci-fi...it was pretty cool. Some gross dead body stuff. But otherwise, a fairly clean movie. Go see it.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Trust me. With cable and a remote I'd be wasting even more time.

  • Anger Management (2003)—pretty crude but also funny. Jack Nicholson is delightfully annoying.
  • The Laws of Attraction (2004)—I liked Pierce Brosnan as Remington Steele, and that's about it.
  • Bringing Down the House (2003)—it made me laugh.
  • Must Love Dogs (2006)—I like John Cusack. Diane Lane was good in it. But it didn’t do much for me.
  • The First Wives Club (1996)—kinda funny.
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)—I don’t like Matthew McWhatever (I believe I’ve mentioned that a time or two) and Kate Hudson is also sometimes annoying. But some of her antics while trying to lose him were hilarious (using the paws of a stuffed animal to hug him and pat his face, for example).
  • Tristan & Isolde (2006)—better than I thought it was going to be. That James Franco is cute but not much of an actor. I think he has two facial expressions—neutral and anguished. But it was a decent movie (apparently with a lot of historical inaccuracy, according to imdb.com). Entertaining.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham

I loved this book. It’s different from anything else I’ve read—three stories in different time periods and genres involving similar characters. It’s weird, especially the science fiction part, but the writing is great and I got sucked into every one of the stories.

A little warning: if you don’t like bad language, you might not like it. It's not excessive, but it's hard to ignore.

The Legend of Zorro (2005)

Definitely a kids’ movie. They hated all the kissing, but they loved the unrealistic sword-fighting.

The Prince & Me (2004)

Of course this targets teen girls, and they probably like it fine (I think Julia Stiles and Luke Mably have great chemistry in the movie), but it wasn’t one of the classic teen flicks, like 10 Things I Hate About You or Clueless, that appeal to a broader audience. Some of it was okay, but I really could have done without the computer-generated butterflies during the “romantic” moments.