Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Great Debaters

Why are all the really good, uplifting movies the ones you never hear about? This was a great movie. It sounds like a movie theme we've seen a million times--a teacher/coach takes the underdog kids and makes them into champions.... And you're right--that was the basic premise. But there was so much more. A teacher (Denzel Washington) at a small college in Marshal, Texas builds up an award-winning debate team that goes on to compete against Harvard's aces. The movie also explores the social climate of Texas during the depression, including day-to-day insults, slights, and persecution African Americans and the working poor had to endure in the 1930s. The acting was incredible by some unknowns but Denzel Washington makes almost any movie worth seeing. This is not a movie for kids. There is some racial violence and it makes you face some unpleasant moments in American history. Have kleenex available.
(This is Gayle's review, but Jessica concurs.)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dan in Real Life

I'm probably going to be the only person to say that I really did not like this movie. Dan in Real Life is about a newspaper columnist who writes about family. His wife has been dead for four years and he's raising 3 girls on his own. While on a family vacation with his whole extended family he meets someone and falls in love with her, only to find out that it's his brothers girlfriend. So, the whole movie is his struggle with that during this reunion. It's just awkward and I hate awkard movies. I enjoyed the relationship that he had with his three girls and I loved his big family, but there were too many awkward situations for me to enjoy the movie.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Zoie got this for Easter. She had seen it in the theater with her aunts, but I hadn't seen it. We watched it Monday (and Tuesday). It was cute and cheesy. There were a couple of things in the show that would have been better for my four year old not to see (Giselle getting out of the shower, and then falling onto the guy while she's wearing only a towel). That stuff doesn't go any further, but I thought it would have been better to leave that out of a kid's show. They could have come up with something else to make the guy's girlfriend upset with him.

Anyway, overall it was cute, and Zoie really liked it. She was kind of scared of the witch though.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Jane Austen Book Club

Has anyone seen this movie? I just saw a trailer for it and I thought it looked really cute. If no one else has seen it, I say we all get together and watch it! Well it looks like you'd have to find a bunch of girls to watch it with, anyway. Hehe.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

27 Dresses

I went and saw this movie the other night with a couple of friends. I'd heard some good reviews (from friends/family) on the show, but was skeptical since the one preview that I saw seemed a bit racy. It is a story about a girl who is always a bridesmaid, never a bride. And then her boss (who she's in love with) and her sister get together and it's just killing her.

I really enjoyed the movie, and have wanted to see it again. Part of this feeling could be due to being with friends, and we had the theater to ourselves. It was fun to laugh and talk during the show, without worrying about other patrons. It'd be better if you could get it edited (for some language and "adult situations").

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

North and South

When my mom told me the title for this movie, I assumed it was based on the Civil War, but it is not. North and South is based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell that is set in 19th Century England. Produced as a TV production by BBC (I love BBC productions, so I was won over almost immediately), the movie has 4 segments. It is the story of a middle class southerner who is forced to move to the industrial north. It shows the harshness of the industrial revolution, juxtiposed with the goodness of people. If you loved the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, you will love this. My mom bought it, but I think it is available from Netflix.

Let me know what you think of it if you find time to watch it. I LOVED it.

(On a side note, BBC also produced Wives and Daughters, also by Elizabeth Gaskell, so if you have lots of time, it is worth watching as well. However, North and South was my absolute favorite!) I want to read both books now, but with a one-year-old, that hasn't quite happened yet.

Monday, March 3, 2008


So I know Ratatouille has been out for a while, but we just watched it again, and I remembered why we loved it so much. The animation is so fun, and the story is incredibly original. (Although when I actually think about having rats in the kitchen, it does sort of gross me out.) My niece and nephew LOVE the movie (although the part where he gets washed down the sewer sort of scares them). We bought this one for Connor, anticipating that he will love it in a few years.

Any other opinions?

License to Wed

Matt picked this up the other night too. I'd been a little curious about it when I saw the previews a long time ago, but you have to be so careful with Robin Williams (he can be quite dirty). I will say it was better than I expected it to be, but that doesn't mean it's free from some language and ideas. Matt seemed to like how lots of characters from the TV show The Office are in it. That doesn't do anything for me, but there you go.

Sydney White

A lady at the grocery store was returning this at Red Box and told me it was really good. So, Matt picked it up, and, well, it wasn't great. It's not a high school movie (you know the type), but not far off since it's about college and sororities. Beautiful blondes are the mean ones. It's supposed to be like a modern day Snow White. There were funny parts, but it was kind of stupid funny. Sort of like a Legally Blonde type show. Anyway, I mentioned it to Tarah, and Tarah--take it off Netflix if it's not too late. It wasn't a total waste of time, but there are so many better options.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Kingdom

I got this from the library because my husband wanted to see it. I didn't realize it was rated R until Mike told me but I have to admit that it seemed less offensive than Juno which was rated PG-13. I think that violence gets a harsher rater for some reason over raciness. Anyway, there is a lot of violence but it was a really interesting story. It's not action all the time, just a real interesting look into the Middle East.

Bourne Ultimatum

We've had this from Netflix for about a month (we don't watch movies very often anymore!) and finally got around to watching it last night.
I've enjoyed each of the movies in this trilogy, and this one was no exception. Although I have to admit I fell asleep through part of it. But that didn't have anything to do with the movie, and everything to do with having a newborn.
I won't spoil the ending, but it was a good one. Finally answered some questions. I like what the blond-haired lady did for Jason.
So, I'm a pretty lame review-writer, but it really was a good movie. :)