Friday, September 16, 2016

Bridget Jones's Baby (R/122 Mins.)


Once you get past the crap accent, this is a pretty fun movie.  Not expecting that for an opener?  Well, I just thought I’d get it out of the way.  Deep breath.  Moving on.  Bridget Jones’s Baby is about…Bridget Jones’s Baby.  Or really, what happens leading up to that grand event.  This appears to be the final installment in the series and if you liked the first two, you have a pretty good chance of liking this one and a 50-50 chance of liking the ending. You’ll see what I mean. Just sayin’.

Bridget is alone…again.  One of her friends decides to take her out of town for a few days of rest, relaxation, and stress relief.  Or so she says.  She definitely got the stress relief, if nothing else. In the form of Jack Qwant.  A few days later, who does she run in to at a party but Mr. Darcy.  And bing, bang, boom.  More stress relief.  Well done, Bridget.  Oh!  Not so fast.  One of those encounters left her with a little more than a nice afterglow.  The rest of the movie consists of both men trying to wrap their heads around the situation all the while trying to win Bridget.  Well done again, Bridget.  Just plan on laughing.  A lot.  And, if you’re like my cousin, there might also be some crying.  And this was her second time to see it.  Big baby.  Just kidding.  Love you, C!

As most of you already know, Renée Zellweger plays the part of Bridget Jones.  While she’s not exactly one of my favorite actors, she wasn’t terrible.  Well, except for that one little thing mentioned at the beginning of my post.  She did have her moments though.  At least most of the people in the theater thought so.  At times, the laughter was so loud, you couldn’t hear what was being said.  And that’s a good thing, right?  Bridget spends the movie dealing with body and hormonal changes, two men fighting over her (poor dear), a mother who’s running for office…in the 1950s, fighting to keep her job, and all the craziness that ensues.

Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy.  And a nice Mr. Darcy he is.  I loved him in this film.  Except for one part. Then, I didn’t like him so much.  BUT!  He so made up for it later on.  Mr. Darcy is still struggling with his feelings for Bridget and making a big old mess of things.  Granted, she’s not helping the situation very much.

Patrick Dempsey is Jack Qwant, millionaire and dating website guru.  And one of the men trying to win Bridget.  Mr. Darcy and Jack are the 50-50 I was talking about earlier.  Depending on who you want Bridget to end up with.  I didn’t much like Jack.  But he sure was nice to look at.

BJB earned its R-rating mostly because of the language.  The favored word began with an F and it was thrown around quite a lot at the beginning and finally tapered out about halfway through, thank goodness.  I’m not quite sure of the import of the word to the film but they sure did like it.  There was brief nudity and a few sexual situations (duh!).  The labor scene was one of the more intense ones that I’ve ever seen.  One scream/holler/yell seemed to go on forever.  Other than all that, it’s not too bad. 

If you liked the first two movies, you’ll probably like Bridget Jones’s Baby.  If you like Renée, Colin or Patrick, you’ll probably like BJB.  If you like rom-coms in general, there’s a decent chance you’ll like it.  I definitely wouldn’t take my kids.  There’s a very small, cute something to see after the credits so stick around for a bit.  Where else do you have to be anyway? 

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Light Between Oceans (PG-13/132 Mins.)



What would you do for the love of a child?  What would you do for the happiness of your child?  Not the everyday “I want this.  I want that.” happiness, but true, to-the-core happiness.  Having never been blessed with children of my own, I found myself asking these questions while watching The Light Between Oceans.  Not out loud, mind you.  That would be rude.

Let me start by saying that this film will be nominated for at least one Oscar.  Maybe more.  It’s just that kind of movie. It was very well made and well written.  The scenery was amazing.  The actors were pretty darn good.  And it just about tore me in two.

The Light Between Oceans is based on the novel of the same name, written by M. L. Stedman.  It’s the story of a couple who tend a lighthouse on the small, and fictitious, island of Janus off the coast of Australia.  For anyone who loves lighthouses like I do, you can just imagine how enthralled I was with the lighthouse and its little island.  I want to go there.  And I still haven’t really started talking about the movie.  Tom was a soldier who served during World War I and all he wants now is a job and some solitude.  Fortunately for him, an Australian town needs a temporary lighthouse keeper.  Perfect!  Time passes and the temporary job becomes permanent, Tom meets Isabel, they eventually wed, and Isabel moves out to the island with Tom.  How lovely. 

But!  All is not sunshine and roses for our little couple. Sometimes, life can be cruel.  While Tom continues to mind the light, Isabel seems lost.  Until the day a boat carrying a small baby washes ashore, changing their lives forever.

While this sounds like it might be barreling its way towards a happy ending, just hold your horses.  You should know right now, if you haven’t already seen the trailer, that while this movie does have a happy-ish ending, it takes a lot to get you there.  I want, so very much, to be able to tell you more, but the trailers already give too much away. 

Michael Fassbender is Tom Sherbourne.  I loved Michael as Tom.  I pleaded with him to do the right thing and, when he did, I hurt for him.  I understood his initial need for solitude and then his desire to do anything to make Isabel happy, while struggling with his own conscience.  It was safe for me to sit in my seat in the theater and say what I would have done, but I do wonder.  Would I really have?  Would I have really put anything above the desires of a loved one?  I have no idea.

Alicia Vikander is Isabel.  I liked her when she was happy.  I felt horrible for when her world fell apart.  I completely disliked her when she forced Tom to choose.  Granted, she was a tad off her rocker at that point so it was easier to realize why she did what she did, but still.  Even when her world seemed sunny side up, she never seemed to feel like what she was doing was wrong.

Rachel Weisz… Oh, dear Hannah Roennfeldt, my heart broke for you.  Rachel portrayed Hannah beautifully.  I just wish she’d been given a little more screen time. I want to know what happened during that two years.  What was she doing?  What was going through her mind?  And finally, when her patience (I'm guessing) was rewarded but she considered someone other than herself, my heart was broken again.

I wish I could explain her better than that, but it would give away too much.

I had to look up why The Light Between Oceans received its PG-13 rating.  It was for “thematic material and some sexual content. “  I know that doesn’t tell you much but I’m not going to either.  Even if not for the sexual content and what they’re calling thematic, I wouldn’t recommend this for young children.  They won’t like it.  My apologies to the producer, director, writers, etc. but you know it’s true.  I doubt their own children would sit through this film without major fidgeting unless they’ve never seen any other kind of movie, ever.

Except for the fact that the drama never seemed to end, I did like this movie.  I would say “enjoyed” but that seems cruel, given the topic.  The only real problem I had with the film is that it seemed to have cut out quite a bit and dragged on some things that didn’t need to be.  I was left with more questions than I started out with.  Like, what on earth happened to Tom and Isabel?  What was the rest of their life like?  What did Hannah decide to do?  How did Tom and Ralph become such good friends (I really would have liked to have seen more with just the two of them)?  What happened to Bluey?  Why did Lucy-Grace do what she did at the end?  Besides the fact that her mother raised her to be a good, kind person, I’m guessing.  I really do hope the book explains all of this.  It’s definitely high on my to-be-read list.

If you like a good drama, go see The Light Between Oceans.  It won’t disappoint.  Well, except for all the questions above.  If you appreciate good movie making, you might give it a shot.  If you know what kinds of movies win Oscars and usually like what is chosen, go see this. It’ll be on the list.  Now, I’m off to find the book.  Happy viewing!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Jason Bourne (PG-13/123 Min.)


Let’s get a couple of things over with quickly.  I liked this movie.  I hated the camera work.

Matt Damon delivers, yet again, as Jason Bourne.  He’s tough yet vulnerable.  Kind yet unforgiving.  And the guy can take a hit.  Over and over and over again.  Jason is still trying to figure out who he really is and a LOT of people get hurt in the process.  The collateral damage alone is insane. 

I’ve liked all the other Bourne movies so I was excited about seeing this one.  I got to watch it with three people this time.  Well, besides the couple hundred others in attendance. I brought Leanne, her husband, The Polack, and my new person of interest, Dodger.  We all have different movie tastes but we all enjoyed this film.  However, I have no idea what movie the lady behind us was watching.  She laughed her way through a good portion of it and I don’t recall one funny part at all.  Granted, we’ve sat by her before and can pretty much rest assured that she’s going to find humor in the most inane things.

Let’s move on.  Most of you who are going to see Jason Bourne already know how well Matt Damon does as the title character so there’s really no point in me prattling on about him.  He’s good.  We like him.  Next!

Tommy Lee Jones.  I like him.  I like him a LOT!  I did not like him in this.  At all.  I wish I could go more in to why but it would have to include spoilers and I don’t feel like spoiling it any more than I have to.

The character I understood the least was Heather Lee, played by Alicia Vikander.  She is some type of computer specialist who gets herself added to the “let’s hunt down Jason Bourne” team much quicker than you’d think she would.  Who is she really?  Why does she progress so quickly in the CIA?  Whose side is she on?  Is she good?  Bad?  Ugly?  Just kidding on that last one.  And I never really understood her motives for anything.  Again, so many spoilers.

Now about that camera work.  As mentioned at the beginning, I hated it.  I didn’t just not like it a little.  It made me angry.  During each fight scene, the cameras had to be up close and personal and move crazily around the combatants.  I’m not saying they should have stayed perfectly still and forced a third person point of view of the fight.  That’s no fun.  But!  Making us become a part of the fight wasn’t pleasant either.  If you get motion sickness, this may knock you off kilter a little bit.  I don’t know how many times something was grabbed to use as a weapon and I not only missed where on earth they got it but also, exactly what they grabbed.   I just couldn’t keep up with the fight scenes and it became increasingly frustrating throughout the film.

Having said all that, I’m beginning to think maybe I liked Jason Bourne just on principle.  I liked the others so I decided I was going to like this one.  Everyone else around me seemed happy with it though.  The laughing lady even clapped at the end.  No idea.

If you like the other Bourne movies, give this one a shot.  If you haven’t seen the other Bourne movies and you like action films, rent them right away then go see this on the big screen.  I want to see this one again to see what I missed the first time around.  No need to hang around after the credits unless you just want to. 

P.S.  Does anyone here know whether or not a SWAT van can really outrun a Dodge Charger?  Just curious.