Archive for November, 2013

We’re in the home stretch, Thanksgiving is just days away and as people are preparing to trample one another to save a few bucks, we offer you another movie we’re thankful for and like the rest, this one comes with a story…

My mother had a strong hand in developing my love of film, by which I mean she was responsible for driving me to the video store so I could paw over the new releases. Weekends were the best. Weekends meant we rented more movies and could stay up later but Ma had a rule: we could get whatever we wanted but she got to pick out one film we watched as a family. That meant I could see any of the latest action packed, bad guy busting, alien chasing, two hour long, adrenaline filled, partial nudity having, nightmare inducing slugfest that I wanted but I would have to sit through something (usually an everybody cries at the end chick flick) that ma wanted to see and my mother loved Julia Roberts. I can’t tell you how many times we sat through Mystic Pizza or Steel Magnolias but her favorite was Pretty Woman. In case you’ve never given it a watch, heres how it goes.

Once upon a time there was a successful business man named Edward who went for a drive, got lost and hired a prostitute. At first Edward just needed someone to listen to him but of course there was some sex, I mean he paid her three grand for a week. He gives her some spending money and sends her out to shop while he’s trying to close a big deal. They laugh, they learn from one another and of course theres that moment when we’re led to believe theres no happy ending for this good hearted street walker but of course Edward rides in and our hearts are warmed.

Before I wrap this up I want to share with you the original plot for this film. In the beginning it was titled 3000, as in the three thousand dollars for a week with a drug addicted hooker with a foul mouth. Both characters were horrible people and at the end of the week he dumped her back on the street where he found her, so it was based more in reality. It went through many rewrites before it became the “happy hooker finds love” story my mother loved and I’m pretty sure she would have never let us watch Pretty Woman if it hadn’t.

This film was one of my moms favorites and I’ve watched it with her numerous times. I don’t hate this film but can’t say I share her love of it. The reason I’m thankful for Pretty Woman, its the last movie I remember watching with my mother before she passed away. Ma gave me an appreciation for Dramas and Rom/Coms and I’m thankful for that, till next time friends, stay entertained.

-D

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Films I’m thankful for.

I love Batman, plain and simple. I love the darkness and how relatable the character is on a personal level and plus, he’s just so damn cool. I have loved all of the various adaptations of Batman for as long as I can remember. I grew up with the various 90’s animated series and the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher films from the 80’s/90’s were a huge part of my youth. Those films were just a few of the things my older brother and I actually agreed on in those days

When Christopher Nolan began his Batman series, naturally i was skeptical. When I finally saw Batman Begins, I saw that he approached it with and attached to it a gritty sense of realism that had previously evaded the character’s cinematic adaptations. For that I was very grateful. He brought a real world sensibility to the character that made you believe he could really exist. I was immediately in love with this new way of looking at Batman. Then in 2008, The Dark Knight shattered my, and undoubtedly many others as well, expectations of what Batman/Bruce Wayne and his interactions with the Joker could be. This was due in no small part to an incredible performance by Heath Ledger.

By the time The Dark Knight Rises rolled around in 2012, I was filled with nervous anticipation. I was eager to see what Mr. Nolan had in store and sad to see it go all at the same time. Nearly three hours later, my mind was sad but could not have possibly been more satisfied. Nolan very skillfully put the series to rest while giving all of the characters a fitting ending, and making the audience shed a few tears along the way. The film saw Batman facing his greatest foe yet and having his body nearly pushed to the limits of mortality in the process. Another thing Nolan did is give us yet another villain to love.

Im very thankful for this film (series) mainly because it portrayed my favorite comic character exactly the way I’ve always wanted to see him. The films also gave the public a reason to really see Batman in a serious light. I’m thankful for having such an amazing, moving, and inspiring tribute to my favorite hero. Im also thankful for having yet another thing that my older brother and I can agree on and talk about.

-Heath

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Also not a part of the ongoing November series.

Let me start by saying that I love ridiculous, over-the-top action films. All of those Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis films from the 80’s are some of my favorite films. Obviously not for great concepts and scripts, but just for being so bad ass. Tons of guns, ammo, explosions, crashes, and thwarting terrorist plots…how could it get any better? Judging by the previews, this movie fit the bill so naturally, it got my attention.

The White House/president are the targets of a terrorist plot. The body count rises pretty quickly, the president is taken hostage and the Speaker of the House, played by Morgan Freeman, is placed in charge. Disgraced former Secret Service agent Mike Banning makes his way into the White House soon after the attack begins. He loads up on ammo and starts kicking ass. Long story short, it lives up to the reputation set by all of those awesome action films from the 80’s and 90’s.

I loved this movie plain and simple.  It doesnt have the best script and the plot is kind of recycled but it is still good. I got to relive a little of my childhood while watching this movie. Looking up to Gerard Butler the same way I did Schwarzenegger and Stallone in most of their films. For an explosive good time give it a shot.

-Heath

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Just a heads up before we get started, this isn’t a part of the “Movies We’re Thankful For” series.

I will admit, I went into this film with a healthy, and justified in my opinion, bit of skepticism.  I mean let’s be honest, giant robots fighting giant aliens to save the world? Sounds a bit ridiculous especially for a director as respected as Guillermo Del Toro. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised. Dont get me wrong, this is total B-Movie fodder but with a huge budget and solid actors thrown behind it which makes for a totally different experience.

Long story short, a giant rift opens beneath the ocean in the…you guessed it, Pacific Rim. The rift acts as a bridge between our world and that of a race of aliens evidently trying to destroy our world. There is no shortage of ridiculous concept here and large amounts of robot vs. alien action isnt doing much to help that fact. That’s not to say this film isn’t a ton of fun though. Del Toro helps to bring it back down to earth and keep it from being too wacky.

It’s not quite high concept, but sometimes it is nice to have some mindless fun. This film provides plenty of that and then some. Not the best acting, script, or most original concept but I loved it. It was a just over two hour escape from reality that kept me entertained. Give it a shot if you want to watch a film that you don’t have to think too much about.

-Heath

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“Keep Moving Forward”

A motto of Walt Disney and the driving theme behind Meet The Robinsons, three words reminding us that theres no sense dwelling in the past, the future is waiting for us and the only way to get there is if we keep moving forward.

The wife and I first gave this a watch in theaters in 2007 and it quickly became a favorite of ours. It was date night, we had just left our favorite sushi place and were discussing what to do next. I asked the same question I always do, “wanna see a movie?” and she answered in her usual way, “wellll, whats playing?” We went through our usual back and forth: can’t stand her, well what about, no way Brad Pitt is in that, we could watch, meh… And then we spotted Meet The Robinsons and in 3D no less. We both love Disney’s animated movies so we were sold, we grabbed the tickets and refreshments and kept moving forward…until we found our seats. By the films end we had both laughed and shed a tear or two, damn you Rob Thomas with your touching lyrics capturing the moment.

If you’ve never given this film a chance heres what you’re missing: Meet The Robinsons tells the story of Lewis, an orphan with a knack for inventing who longs for a family of his own. After his latest failed adoption interview, he decides to invent a memory scanner so he can search his memories and see what his mother looks like in hopes of finding her. After a mishap at the science fair involving Wilbur the time traveling teen, The Bowler Hat Guy and his mechanical bowler hat Doris, Lewis decides to give up inventing. Back at the orphanage Lewis heads up to the roof where Wilbur is waiting to rebuild his confidence or if that fails give him a ride to the future where he actually Meets The Robinsons. A food fight, some singing frogs, a dinosaur and an awesome chase later and we wrap it up with a happy ending.

“These twists and turns of fate”

Meet The Robinsons is one of my all time favorite animated films, it has a great story, beautiful animation and a wonderful soundtrack featuring Rob Thomas, Rufus Wainwright, Danny Elfman and The All-American Rejects to name a few. It connects with us on a personal level and even teaches us that in order to move forward we need to let that shit go. For the above mentioned and it possibly being my favorite movie memory that I share with my wife, I’m thankful for Meet The Robinsons. Till next time friends, stay entertained.

-D

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Forrest Gump

Posted: November 16, 2013 in Movies, Op-ed, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was sit on the couch with my mom and eat popcorn and watch movies. Many films that we watched on those lazy days have gone on to become some of my favorite films as I’ve gotten old enough to really understand them. Forrest Gump came out at a time in my life when I was way too young to understand just how deep it was but like many other films, I knew it was special and that I liked it.

It’s a really heartwarming film that anyone can relate to in some way or another. Even before I really understood all of the subtle, and not so subtle, tones in the movie I always loved watching it. It’s another one of those movies that really grew with me over the years, with me gaining a deeper understanding with each viewing. I still to this day pick up nuances and references when I watch it. The older I get it seems that the sad moments become more meaningful as well.

As I have said before my mom is solely responsible for my love of film. She always had a knack for letting me watch films that were outside of my realm of understanding almost knowing it would be beneficial. It is something for which I’m incredibly thankful as well. Exposing me to more adult oriented films, not porn get your mind out of the gutter, helped me to gain a better understanding of the ways of the world at a young age which, to me, is invaluable.

Heath

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This movie has been around and been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Much like it is for many other people, it is very special for me. This is one of the first movies that I really remember watching WITH my mom and not just dragging her/being dragged to. My mom is pretty much the main reason I am as big of a cinephile as I am and this movie is the main catalyst in sparking that obsession.

Even from a young age I knew that there was something special about this movie. There were so many deeply rooted themes and sentiments that were completely lost on my eight year old self but nonetheless, I knew it meant something. Over the years I have viewed this film countless times and it is a different experience every time. I always pick up some new nuance here or meaningful look there but, it never gets old.

I always have and always will love this film. It is a permanent entry on my all time top ten favorites list. I am very thankful for this film and to my mom for letting me watch such an inappropriate film for an eight year old way back when it was first released on VHS. This is one of only a handful of films that she and I actually agree on. I am also incredibly thankful as well that we have that to discuss and bond over. Till next time friends…

-Heath

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