Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

I got kind of tired of seeing things from the ball's perspective, but this was an okay movie. Jon said that the class issues made it an interesting story, and he was right.Otherwise it would have been pretty dull. I'm sure golf is exciting to some people, but not necessarily to me. It's a true story, though, and that made it more interesting.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In-flight Entertainment

I discovered on our nine-hour flights between Denver and London that there are only certain movies that are suitable for viewing on the tiny, 5"x5" screen in the seat in front of you. They should be entertaining but not great, because you want to be entertained, but you don't want to watch anything that might become a classic on a tiny screen a foot from your face with mediocre headphones for the sound. Also, nothing with sweeping scenery or detailed costumes. In fact, maybe something you wouldn't go out of your way to watch otherwise. Here's what I watched:

Mad Money (2008): fit the in-flight entertainment requirements perfectly. I like Queen Latifah. I think I'd like to be called Queen something.

I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007): In spite of having one of the worst movie titles ever invented, this movie wasn't bad. I kind of enjoyed it. I had never heard of it before, and nobody else has ever heard of it either.

Later: I'm remembering more good stuff about this movie: good music, including "I Wish I Looked a Little Better" by Sparks; plentiful mockery of Hollywood; several hilarious moments; Jon Lovitz as the amusing ex-husband.

The Bucket List (2007): This was much better than I thought it would be.

Hanging Up by Delia Ephron

This was my other vacation novel while we were in Europe, and it was entertaining. I liked it. I kept imagining Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton, and Lisa Kudrow as the characters in the book, since they starred in the movie. They seemed to fit pretty well.

State of Fear by Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton's novel about a global warming conspiracy was my entertaining escape fiction while we were in Europe. Kind of a guilty, over-the-top pleasure, I admit, but definitely fun.

Beauty and the Beast: A Latter-day Tale (2007)

Jon hated this movie from the other room, where he was trying to work while Ivy and I watched it. He kept yelling at us about how terrible the argumentative dialog was. Ivy and I enjoyed Jon's response to the movie more than we enjoyed the movie.

The Water Horse (2007)

The historical elements in this movie are surprisingly good and informative. Good story, too.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

P.S. I Love You (2007)

Wow. If I'd paid attention to the real plot of this, I don't think I would have rented it--too sad and painful. But it's really a very good movie, and I'm glad we saw it. Strangely enough, we laughed more during this movie than we did during 27 Dresses, because it has some great comic elements. It's a painful movie to watch, but the ending is hopeful and at least somewhat happy. Definitely recommended, but not if your loved one is away on a business trip or anything like that.

27 Dresses (2008)

Pleasant and mildly entertaining. The best thing about this movie was the believability of the characters. The hero and heroine who hate each other at the beginning of the movie but end up together at the end is not a new concept in a romantic comedy, but in 27 Dresses, I thought their antagonism was particularly realistic. Instead of their differences being overcome by their physical attraction or whatever, these two actually seemed to complement each other. I could believe that they would be better together than apart, which seems unusually thoughtful for a rom-com, though probably accidentally so.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

I was so eager to read this novel--it seemed like exactly the kind of thing I'd love--but I struggled to keep interested through the first half of the book. The second half picked up a lot, and I thought the ending was good--entertaining and suspenseful. It's possible that my expectations were too high, because it's well-written and has some very good historical parts. Anyway, I think I'd recommend it, if only to get some other people's reactions to it.

Just Like Heaven (2005)

Jon and I saw this first at the drive-in when it was new. We liked it fine the first time, and it was still entertaining the second time, though nothing special. At the drive-in, we noticed during the closing credits that the film had apparently been playing slowly--we could tell because "Just Like Heaven" by the Cure sounded a little slow and weird. I felt better after seeing it at the right speed. Not that it made any difference, really. I mean, we didn't notice until the very end. But whatever. I was happy to hear "Just Like Heaven" at the right speed anyway.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

This was the second time I've seen this movie, and it's a pretty amazing story. I'd like to read the book someday, which is by Frank Abagnale, the guy who actually did successfully pretend, at a young age, to be a PanAm pilot, a pediatrician, and a lawyer, cashing millions of dollars worth of fraudulent checks. It's a fascinating story.

Vitus (2006)

An excellent film in Swiss German about a child prodigy and his creative ways of coping with the pressure he feels from parents, teachers, etc. We watched it with the kids, and aside from a little dialog that's probably too mature, it was great. Recommended.