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 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.