Friday, December 31, 2010

The Back-up Plan

Directed by Alan Poul, CBS Films, 2010. Starring Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Loughlin.

Well, if you like chick-flicks you might like The Back-up Plan but I didn’t care for it. Except for some eye-candy with Alex O’Loughlin shirtless I was a little bored.

I did find the main character’s (Jennifer Lopez) best friend – Mona played by Michaela Watkins - to be a nice break from the lack of chemistry between the two main characters. Mona brought in some funny, and somewhat scary but true reality of motherhood.

I would recommend watching this on a lazy afternoon if you like chick-flicks but you might need a back-up plan just in case.

Review: 3 out of 10

Rating: PG-13
Length: 106 Minutes

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Open Road

Directed by Michael Meredith, Old Lot Entertainment, 2009. Starring Jeff Bridges and Justin Timberlake. Along with Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson and Harry Dean Stanton.

I am a lot like Ellen Degeneres on American Idol when it comes to critiquing. I just don't like to bash a film if I didn’t like it. There has got to be some redeeming qualities. So here is my recommendation for The Open Road.

With the impressive list of actors, specifically Jeff Bridges (yes, another one of my favorites) I really tried to like this movie but I just couldn’t. The acting was okay, the story - a bit formulaic, but honestly I just didn't care for the characters; and when a story is heavily based on a character driven storyline – you must give me something that makes me want to like them or feel for them or understand their predicament. The Open Road didn’t.

Now I am not saying a story that is formulaic doesn’t work – heck, a lot of movies out there today are rehashing tried and true themes but The Open Road just didn’t deliver this time.

Justin Timberlake gave a decent performance and Jeff Bridges’ character reminded me a bit of his Crazy Heart character but it fell short at really pulling us in and making us care about these two. This father/son relationship story just didn’t work even though everyone did their best with what they were given.

Michael Meredith wrote and directed this film.

So I am not recommending this film unless you have 90 minutes to kill or you have to see everything Jeff Bridges or Justin Timberlake makes.

Review: 3 out of 10

Rating: PG-13
Length: 90 Minutes

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Directed by Duncan Jones, Liberty Films, UK, 2009. Starring Sam Rockwell & Kevin Spacey.
So my first post is about Moon - a movie that I never heard of until I started going through my cable’s movie channels a few days ago thinking about this blog. I saw that Sam Rockwell was in it and Kevin Spacey (one of my favorites!) and thought to myself – “I never saw anything about this movie.” I was intrigued. So I set my DVR and the next day, while recovering from some back pain, I watched the Sci-fi movie.
I recommend this one. Sam Rockwell is great – as he usually is in most of his roles. Kevin Spacey plays the voice of a computer, Gerty, and that’s all I will say about that. There are no other characters to comment on since this is almost a one man movie.

The story is unique although the set design reminded me of Space 1999. You don't have to be a fan of Sci-fi to enjoy this film. To me this was a character driven movie where the main actor has to do double or triple duty. Sam Rockwell succeeds in this role quite well.
Duncan Jones – wrote the original story and directed it. And while researching him I found out he is David Bowie’s son. Cool little factoid.

Review: 7 out of 10

Rating: R
Length: 97 Minutes

Recommendation: Worth your time.

Why this blog?

I am a movie buff, lover, and fan…whatever you want to call it. I LOVE MOVIES! I know I am not alone here but there may be a few things that sets me apart from other fans and why I decided to start this blog...
FIRST: I am tired of the previews telling me the whole story before I get a chance to see the movie. Yes, I actually turn the channel or look away now so the movie isn't ruined for me. Too many previews these days give away all the punch lines, the funniest jokes, and in some cases, the ending just to try and bring people to the theatre that first weekend. Well, I see movies. I see a lot! On average, at least 3 a week so there is no need to entice me - I will see the movie.

SECOND: the movie critics out there don’t appear to have the same taste in movies as I do – or at least my mind is a bit more open to allow the fantasy of the story to take me away without me wanting to hack up every aspect of the film and compare it to a handful of brilliant films that have been produced over the last 80 years. Meaning – I don’t mind the cheese or the cheap thrill or the guilty pleasures that movies want to evoke in us as audience members. On the other hand, that doesn't mean I like every movie I see.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: I am affected by movies. Movies inspire me in my every day moments. In fact, I have written a memoir lately and the introduction is about how movies have influenced my life and how they inspire me to try something new or overcome a fear or make me so paranoid of what is in the ocean that I no longer go in. (Yes, Mr. Spielberg I am talking to you!) I compare life to movies. I sometimes say things like a character I like or from a scene I remember. No, I am not crazy but when I like a movie – it sticks with me, sometimes forever. I cry in movies, I laugh, and I hide my eyes during some scenes so as not to have nightmares later. Movies are my passion; and hopefully my passion will help you weed through the plethora of films out there so you may too have time to break out of your reality for 90 minutes or so.
So with that being said – I am starting this blog to review movies from a fan’s point of view. I must warn you: I did not go to film school; I did not study writing in college and I do not think my opinion is better than yours. Movies, for me, are my escape, my refuge from the daily beatings of boredom, repetition and the not-so-glamorous life that most of us live. (Don't get me wrong - I love my life. I just like to take a break from it from time to time - that's why most of us have hobbies, right?)
Another difference with this movie review blog – I will not be seeing every movie out there right now, before it opens or even opening weekend. This year I have vowed to not spend much money on my movie obsession (for personal reasons) so I have decided to max out my queue and my DIRECTV movie channels DVR to its fullest. Yes, from time to time I will break down and see a matinee – there are just some films I am not willing to wait 6 months. So most of these films will be out there for everyone to see when they want to queue them up, download them or take their date to the movies.
Do me a favor: I would like to hear from you – the other movie fans. Recommend some of your favorites. But I beg you –– DON’T TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT THE MOVIE! Just let me know you liked it. The fact that someone likes a film is all I need to know.
Also, please feel free to disagree with me on my movie likes and dislikes. I promise I will not give detailed points about the movie and spoil the story for you because I know what I like/don't like might not be in tune with what you like/don't like. Simply I will let you know if an actor was compelling, the story fun or if an original plot was used. Perhaps I might mention something about a movie set. I am, in fact, a professional interior designer and it is in my nature to comment on those things. However, I am clueless about fashion but if something catches my eye I might say something. But in general I will just give my recommendations to see it or not.
This blog, to put it simply, is for us fans. I am sure I will develop some sort of rating system as this blog evolves so you can simply log on, check my opinions and then form your own if and when you see the movie. I am like you and I see the majority of the movies at home but from time to time I might recommend seeing something in the theatre for that extra special escapism that only the movie theatre can provide.
One last point: although I said I love movies – I don’t love all genres and don’t view all of them. For example, I am not a huge fan of foreign films (with the occasional exception). Also, I have children (now 9 & 11) and I do drag myself to see some of the children’s movies out there but not all of them. Also, horror movies are usually not on my radar because they scare me too much. Laugh, I know. It is silly for a grown woman to be afraid of movies but as you will see, movies are my refuge, as I stated before, and a story that scares the heck out of me isn’t that relaxing (or good for sleeping well).
So, without any further explanations –for now- let this blog begin.