Monday Movie Rundown ~ Inherit the Wind #moviereview @meganslayer

Monday Movie Rundown Banner This week I thought I’d talk about an oldie but goodie movie I’ve seen a couple of times, but haven’t watched recently until this past weekend. Inherit the Wind is a must-see movie.

In the movie, which takes place in the early part of the twentieth century, a teacher was taken to task for teaching evolution in school. Now today this would seem ridiculous. We’ve all learned about evolution. We learn science. But all those years ago, the church was the thing and the only way children were taught until secondary school. Science was considered…questionable. Can you imagine questioning science? But arguing that creationism was real…it happened. This movie tells a version (it’s a thinly veiled version of the debates between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan and the teacher is based on a real person, John Thomas Scopes – hence the references in the marketing material about the Scopes Monkey trial) of the trial involving that teacher and those who wanted to bring him down.

Besides seeing actors I know from other situations – Col Potter from MASH is there, Darren from Bewitched, Mr Roeper from Three’s Company as well as Gene Kelly – there is the fantastic speech given by Spencer Tracy most of the way through the film, was very taxing on Tracy and done in one take. When you consider it was done in one take and all at one time…it boggled my mind.

Although the players in the movie aren’t real, they are based on real people. This movie is one to watch more than once and to discuss. Why? The moral of the story is when we fear something and don’t take the time to try to understand, we just might be hosing ourselves over.

Monday Movie Rundown – X-Men – Days of Future Past – the Rogue Edition

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I didn’t join the X-Men fandom until later in the game. I didn’t rush to see the first three movies. In fact, I saw them completely out of order. But this post isn’t about which of those movies was better or what order to watch them in. This one is about X-Men – Days of Future Past, primarily the Rogue Edition. 

I loved X-Men First Class. I thought the writing was snappy and it had a very James Bond flair to it. That was the point, but unlike some, I got it right away. I saw it because I have a thing for James McAvoy. Hey, at least I’m honest. I loved it and devoured the rest of his films.

So when I found out about Future Past, I had to see it. I did. In the theatre, all by myself. It was a great time. But there were moments in the movie that didn’t quite make sense. I kept thinking, why did that cut happen? They were going some where…why didn’t they finish?

It took me a while to hunt down the Rogue Edition of the movie. When I did, all of those pieces I thought made no sense did. The extended pieces with Quicksilver and the better explanation between Kitty and Bobby were great. I recommend viewing both versions of the film, but this one IMHO was better.

Monday Movie Rundown ~ The Lego Batman Movie

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I watched quite a few movies this weekend, but the one that stuck with me for this post was the Lego Batman movie.

I wanted fun and this movie was that. Yes, it’s one gigantic product push, but I didn’t care. I liked the lesson in the movie–you have to allow people to help you from time to time and family comes in all different forms.

It was funny, silly and not at all a normal dour Batman movie. I’m glad I saw it. Will Arnett makes a great Batman and Michael Cera made a good Robin. They played off each other well and like I said, it was fun. If you want a movie that will whisk you away for a couple of hours and will entertain the whole family, then this might be the movie for you.

Monday Morning Movie Rundown ~ The Conspirator

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I like my share of older movies and the one I’m talking about today isn’t new. But it’s not old. It’s new-ish. At least it is compared to some of the movies I tend to watch.

This week I watched The Conspirator. First, I’m a history buff, so the movies that have a true story running through them (notice I didn’t say are the true story because this is Hollywood and they never get it 100% right) are interesting to me. I know this isn’t completely factual, but I like how movies like this inspire me to go to the library to learn more–which I did.

Second, I could listen to James McAvoy read the phone book and I’d be perfectly happy. Yes, he’s one of my favorite actors. That said, I didn’t realize he was in this film until I got the copy from the library. As Frederick Aiken, he’s quite good. I appreciated him having a Northern accent–hey, he could still read the phone book and I’d be happy, no matter what accent.

I also liked Robin Wright. Most people see her and think of Jenny from Forrest Gump, but I can say for me she became Mary Surratt. I wasn’t watching actors, but it felt like I was there.

Now this is a depressing movie. Truly. You know the president dies. That’s in all of the history books, but when the people behind the scenes are presented, it puts a different spin on what happened. It’s awful no matter what, but these people were people, too. I liked how the director, Robert Redford, ensured each character was human, rather than demonized.

If you want a movie that will make you think and possibly want to learn more about the Lincoln assassination, then The Conspirator might be the film for you.

 

Monday Movie Rundown ~ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I’m a tad late on the post today, but here’s my thoughts on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

I’ve watched all of the Harry Potter movies and I’ve loved them. This movie is in the quirky vein of those movies, but it’s not quite the same. I like how the other films tackled awkward characters and misfits. This movie does, too. The beasts are upon first viewing, misfits and dangerous. Once they’re true abilities are seen, they’re seen in a different light. Isn’t that how humans should be seen, too? Despite what we believe on the outside, we’re unique on the inside.

I had one quibble with the movie, though. One of the characters was, in my humble opinion, treated rather unfairly. I wished for a different ending with him, but it didn’t happen. Did this take away from the ultimate enjoyment of the movie for me? Yeah, a little. But the swirling colors, the imaginative characters and creatures as well as the plot made up for that quibble.

If you’re looking for an offbeat, quirky movie that’s equal parts intriguing and fantastic, then this is the movie for you.

Monday Movie Rundown ~ Doctor Strange

Monday Movie Rundown BannerI’m all about the Marvel Universe. There isn’t a movie, short feature and bonus clip. When I saw there would be a movie about Doctor Strange, I had to see it. Now, I have to admit, I’m not up on the comic books. Never claimed to be. I like the comics, but I was never a comic book reader. So when I watch the movies, I go by what the studio gives me for a story line.

So onto the movie. Talk about color and texture! The whole movie is a kaleidoscope of color and it works. I didn’t like Steven Strange to begin with. The guy is a jerk. But as a character should, he grows. I liked seeing the change from being a brilliant neurosurgeon to not being able to use his hands. No, I didn’t want him to get hurt, but I liked how it forced him to be more. I enjoyed the way the filmmaker showed his neurotic desire to fix himself. Tilda Swinton is just about the only actress I can think of who can be female, yet asexual at the same time. She was fantastic.

I also liked Rachel McAdams’ character. How she kept up with Strange and even when she had to move on, she still believed in him. What I liked best was her ability to stand on her own–she didn’t need him. She was a brilliant doctor in her own right. Kudos.

If you want the next piece in the Marvel universe and a fascinating story (No, I’m not giving too many spoilers), then this is the movie for you.

Movie Review ~ The Edge of Seventeen #moviereview #movie #review

Monday Movie Rundown BannerWouldn’t it help if I had the review posted? I think so. Chuckle. I’ve tried to catch a few of the newer movies lately and this week, I watched The Edge of Seventeen.

If you haven’t caught this flick, then you might want to. In the same vein as the John Hughes movies, this one is intelligent, while still being teenish.

Let’s face it. Growing up is hard. Puberty is harder. Some of us flow right through it and others…it’s like a series of potholes with bald tires.

Nadine feels invisible. Who hasn’t when they were in high school? Her older brother is the jock. Popular and handsome, he can do no wrong. Then there’s her best friend. Krista is the only one who understands Nadine. Then Brother and Best Friend merge.

I’ve been in Nadine’s situation. I wasn’t exactly popular during my teen years. I had a quirky sense of style and doing things. My friends seemed to keep pairing off with guys while I was the perpetual fifth wheel. In this respect, Nadine was very real to me.

There are twists and turns for Nadine which are great and believable. I won’t spoil it, but this is a movie worth sticking it out. Nadine’s growth is pretty cool.

The standout performance for me was Woody Harrelson. I’m used to him as Woody on Cheers, so to see him in this role…it wasn’t a stretch, but I like how he–like many of the other characters–prove they are more than anyone believes them to be.

If you’re looking for a movie with teen angst, laughs and a few tears, then this might be the movie for you. Recommended.

Monday Binge-Worthy TV ~ Soap! #television #billycrystal #soap #soapopera

Monday Movie Rundown BannerI thought this week instead of the movie rundown, I’d switch over to the small screen for a week. I’ve never been very good at binge watching, but there are some shows that have to be binged. I’ll pepper a few more in from time to time, but the first binge-worthy show is Soap!

I love soap operas. Even though they’re over the top and somewhat silly at times, that’s what makes them fun. How far out can the story line go? How far fetched? Then there’s the concept of going from the plausible to the completely impossible.

Soap! manages to encapsulate all the fun of the soap operas, while keeping the sheer impossibility and improbability. The characters are funny, have moments of intelligence and not so much, but they’ve always got heart.

I think my favorite characters are Mary and Jodie. For all of her insecurities and foibles, Mary Campbell never stops trying. She overcame alcoholism, had an alien baby…oh and has a step-son with a doll. She never loses her sense of humor or realism. Then there’s Jodie. I loved him, too. He’s trying to find his place. He’s gay, but his heart leads him in different directions. Oh, and he becomes a father.

For the late 1970s, this is pretty advanced stuff. Yes there are the quintessential horrible jokes and the comments that would never get past the censors these days, but if you take the show in the context of its time, it’s a riot. I loved every moment. The only thing I wish? There would’ve been more episodes!!

 

 

Monday Movie Rundown ~ Guardians Of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Monday Movie Rundown Banner

I love the Guardians of the Galaxy. I loved the first movie and while I’ve never read the comics, I was entertained. Totally.

That said, if you didn’t watch the first movie, then you might want to before catching Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2. There are bits and jokes that will make more sense if you’ve seen the first movie…first.

Still, this is a strong movie. All of the characters are fantastic. I laughed and teared up a bit. Chris Pratt delivers as Peter Quill. He made me feel for the guy and cheer for him, even when I kind of wanted to club him. Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan really steal the movie, though. Their performances shine. I love the dynamic between Gamora and Nebula. The director, James Gunn, allowed them to be brutal while tender and it worked.

If you want a movie that will guarantee laughs, make you think and make you want to see it again, then this is the movie for you. I’m ready to see it again!

 

Monday Movie Review ~ All This, and Heaven Too by @MeganSlayer

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I love old movies. Honestly, the older the better. I’ve got a love of old Hollywood, too. There’s something fantastic about the dream factory.

When I stumbled on an old Bette Davis movie, All This, and Heaven Too, I had to tune in.

I love Bette Davis. There’s a certain power and provocativeness in her performances and this book was no exception. She’s playing a young governess for French children and falls in love with their father. Now this would actually translate well into modern day storytelling because there have been plenty of stories where the husband runs off with the babysitter. The difference is the innocence. During the time of this story, the 19th century, I’m sure men ran off with the babysitter, but it wasn’t as blatant. It wasn’t discussed. Davis plays this role with that innocence. As a person, she wasn’t the innocent, but she portrayed it well. I felt for her throughout the movie. I felt how hard she tried to hide her desire for the Count and how much she knew it was wrong, despite him pushing the envelope.

Charles Boyer plays the Duc de Praslin, a man in a tough place. His wife, although still with him, is estranged from him. The scandal of them separating is too much for her. But she’s a taskmaster and cold to her children. She’s even colder to him. It’s a wonder he’s put up with it for so long. When Davis comes into his life, she’s a breath of fresh air. She helps save the Duc’s son and helps the children feel wanted again.

But this isn’t a sweet and wonderful story. Not all the way through. What Davis has to endure isn’t pretty. The Duc, after finally getting fed up with the Duchess, does something horrible. When she’s not seen for a while, the scandal gets out. Davis is eventually outted for her liaison with the Duc. Where she’s put in jail and on trial, he keeps the kids. It doesn’t have a pretty ending and let’s just say, he doesn’t pay as much as she does for the ‘crimes’.

It’s a great movie, but long, so be sure you’ve got time to watch it, but strap in for an interesting ride. It’s worth the time.