Monday, December 29, 2008


Part of our Christmas ritual at my daughter's house is watching movies. Here are the ones I watched when I was there with short reviews:

Hancock - It was funny and exciting. Pretty good. Will Smith really did the down and out drunk well and made the changes effectively. I didn't recognize Charlize Theron for a while for some reason. She's able to change her appearance in different movies, but I should have known who she was.

Disturbia (which I kept calling Disturbo) - Definitely disturbing! David Morse plays a creepy, scary psycho so well. Shia Labeouf is cute and believable as a geeky teenager until he kisses the girl next door. This was really good with all kinds of suspense in it.

Baby Mama - Surprisingly better than I expected. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were funny and serious. It was light entertainment and just what I needed after "Disturbo"!

27 Dresses - Hey, I have teenage granddaughters! What do you expect? This was pretty good even though I don't like Katherine Heigl so much. It was predictable but had its moments.

Then after I got home, I watched these Saturday night and Sunday:

Juno - I know, it's taken me this long to get to this one. Quirky and touching in an odd way just as I expected. I liked it and thought the cast was excellent. Diablo Cody got an Oscar for the screenplay, and Ellen Page was rightfully nominated. I can't imagine anyone else delivering those lines and giving that performance the way she did. I liked it. I've read Diablo Cody's blog after she was nominated and during the next movie, which has been interesting.

There Will Be Blood - Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis got an Oscar for this, which happens most times he makes a movie. He gave an excellent performance, but I hated this movie. Hated it. His character had no redeeming qualities at all and made greedy bastards look good. I'll probably blog about this later because it goes back to America's history of violence, greed, fear, and ruthlessness. I can understand reasons for making that movie now about oilmen. His character said he always saw the worst in people, and we saw that, too.

Rendition - This is the one with Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Meryl Streep where Reese's character's husband was detained and tortured by our goverment for being Egyptian. Jake's character worked with the CIA and Meryl Streep was head of intelligence. What makes this so unnerving is that it happens, has happened, and we hope never happens again. I'll post separately about this one, too. Definitely thought-provoking and terrifying.

Sioux City - Lou Diamond Phillips plays a doctor who was adopted from his Sioux mother when he was four by a Jewish couple. We discover during the movie why she gave him up when he visits the reservation where he was born and meets relatives and a woman. It's actually fairly mediocre and predictable but has its moments. Some great scenery and the landscape is beautiful, too. (sorry, can't help myself)

The Bucket List - I always enjoy watching Morgan Freeman. He and Jack Nicholson played off each other so well in this. It must have made an impression because I dreamed about seeing Morgan Freeman in an airport waiting room. I waved to him and smiled, which he returned. He came over to talk to me, and I kept being interrupted by Mother and other people I know. Then there were all these little kids around, and I said I had to get away from them because I'm a retired teacher and just can't deal with that now. He laughed and then looked at me the way he can do. I said he must be thinking about something he would like to tell me. He nodded and told me that I wasn't taking care of myself as well as I should be. I know that, but when Morgan Freeman tells you, it takes on new meaning! LOL OK, OK! I get it!

I have HBO On Demand and planned to watch True Blood but was too late. They'll show it again, but since I missed it, I watched movies on there. I'm going to watch House of Saddam before they take that one off later on this week.


Beth said...

oh how I miss my HBO!!! WAH!

I loved Juno. I just saw it this past Thanksgiving while at Rae's. It was really cute and I loved ellen Page.

and I will watch Morgan Freeman read the stinkin phone book! Love that man!

Berry Blog said...

My word you talked about Juno so many months ago I can't remember. I am truly addicted to movie watching, and you do it by spasms. so you got to it after all.
I liked your list of takes on the movies,good guide.
xoxoxo charlie

Joy said...

I'll watch them at the movie theater unless they are on DVD.

I know! I kept Juno and There Will Be Blood for ages!

ell said...

I still haven't seen Juno and feel a little guilty (considering I'm a Canadian and it stars someone with my name and all). I miss the days when one of my sons worked at a video store and would bring home all the latest releases for free.

There Will Be Blood wasn't an easy movie to watch - certainly not enjoyable. However, I liked its examination of different types of evil. Who was more evil, the Daniel Day Lewis character or the baby-faced preacher?

I also think it's telling that most people watching the DDL character search for a redeeming quality that isn't there; and maybe that was the point. Some people are just mean, angry and no holds barred nasty. Yet most of us want to believe there is something good in others even if it's covered in a veneer of anger and violence. I remember thinking there must be a back-story to all his anger, but maybe not.

Joy said...

Excellent point, Ell. Yes, both had no redeeming qualities, and it was a character study in different types of evil, as you said. Thanks for the thought-provoking comment.

Mark in DE said...

Wow, that's a lot of movies! I have Disturbia/Disturbo right now, and plan to watch it tonight. I wasn't that crazy about Juno. I found the Juno character to be so precocious that she was annoying.