We've been talking about movies for 20 years. We've been talking about discussing them on the Internet for almost that long. Two opinionated women have fun talking movies.
I really like Family Guy, but I don't particularly care for Peter Griffin. I love Stewie and Brian, but Peter goes over my line for decency. Not just over. Puke-fest over.
I first met Karl Urban about 15 years ago, when he was a virtually unknown actor from New Zealand. I soon found out, though, that the guy took chances on stage. I saw him do impressions, mostly of Elvis, and strip down to his shorts. Just to entertain us.
If you read all the news about The Hobbit, Peter Jackson's take on a small children's tale, you'll know that much has been added to the book to make it a trilogy. Yes, we're in The Lord of the Rings territory now, with the capabilities of expanded versions and 3D trolls and... oops, no spoilers, eh?
There's something quite special about discovering a small film, a movie that none of your friends have mentioned, whose ads don't blow away the newspaper pages. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those films. I must say, however, I've read many a quick review, which has told me this is definitely a film to see. There's even some veiled Oscar talk.
I saw my first James Bond movie in 1962. Every Saturday I would go to the Village Theatre in Coronado for the matinee, never having any idea what was showing. I would just go, get my Flicks and a Coke, and sit down. I saw a lot of turkeys, as you can imagine, but I also saw some gems like Wizard of Oz ("What?! A black and white movie?!) and Dr. No. Skyfall is as good as those early Bond films, if not better. And better than the first two Craig Bond films, if I may. Casino Royale was awfully good, showing us a young, untried Bond killing his first spy. Quantum of Solace was as much a mystery as the title. Skyfall, although its title is a mystery, is a perfect gem, and the meaning of the title is eventually revealed. Our Bond is self-assured in this third version, although he still has his issues. He apparently has an orphan issue, as this movie reveals, and it's through his relationship with M (played stunningly by Judi Dench) that we learn about this. M has a few issues, too, and it's great fun to get a tease of her history with MI6. Javier Bardem is our laughing hero this time, and although he's quite colorful (and rather persistent), he's kind of a retread of so many other villains in, if not Bond history, comic book history. In fact, think Joker Light and you'll be there. I highly recommend Skyfall. It's not only entertaining, it will stay with you days if not weeks later. Thumb's up.
Frankenweenie is a beautifully crafted stop-motion animated film about a boy who brings his dog, his best friend, back to life after a tragic accident. It's Tim Burton all the way, and the result is much too scary for pre-teens. Teenagers might get a kick out of it, certainly, and adults (like me) who grew up on horror and sci fi movies will surely enjoy the frequent references to these old movies. We kept poking each other in the ribs, calling out names. "The Birds! Godzilla! Bride of Frankenstein!" Of course, the kid is Viktor Frankenstein, the next door neighbor's girl's first name is Elsa (after Elsa Lanchester, who inhabited the Bride of Frankenstein), and the homages go on and on. However, it's a big long in the set-up, and only really gets rolling when the school kids figure out how to put together their project in the school science fair by bringing their own beloved dead pet back to life. There's no Disney ending here, beware. There's no moral to the story. In fact, there's no end at all, really. It's a terrific little idea once more destroyed by the fact that a movie needs to be 90 minutes or more, and thus is highly repetitive. Still, if you love those horror homages, you'll love Frankenweenie. And you certainly have to appreciate the artistry that went in to making this movie. Thumb's up.
Anonymous is a richly staged movie about a theory as to who really penned Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. The drama becomes a drama only because the screenplay weaves the succession of Queen Elizabeth -- and the Essex rebellion against her -- into the story.