Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Unbroken (PG-13/137 Min.)


As badly as I'd like to write a long, long post singing the praises of the movie Unbroken I'm going to have to keep it short.  Why?  Because if I don't, I'll end up sharing the entire story.  I took Mack with me to this pre-screening and she said that she liked it better than Lone Survivor.  I don't think the two can be compared.  They're just too different.

Unbroken is the true story of Louis Zamperini, a brother, a son, an Olympian, and a soldier.  While serving in the military during WWII, his plane crashed into the ocean leaving just Louis and two brothers-in-arms alive and afloat in rafts until they, well...two of them, were found by the Japanese Navy.  Not exactly who you want to find you if you're an American in WWII. 

 
How did Louis not only survive 47 days at sea and time in prison camp but also manage to conquer his aggressors?  You'll have to watch and see.

The movie starts in the air over the Pacific during the war.  I was expecting Unbroken to begin with Mr. Zamperini's life as a child, then teenager, then Olympian, etc. but we learned about his early years through well-placed flash backs.  I thought this was very well-filmed and would recommend it for that alone.  Let me warn you now, though.  This is a very tense movie.  Louis just couldn't catch much of a break. I hurt for him.  I nearly had a panic attack for him when he was locked in a very small "room".  And I wanted to beat the snot out of the bad guy for him.

I won't break down each actor's performance as I thought they all did well.  Jack O'Connell made me forget he wasn't really Zamperini and Takamasa Ishihara, the "bad guy", made me want to never see him in a movie again.  He was just creepy and evil.

There was not much reason for the rating on this movie except for the brutality.  I believe, at the most, we heard three cuss words.  If that many.  If there were more, they fit the scene so well as to go unnoticed.  I mean, sometimes, you've just gotta cuss.  After seeing what all Mr. Zamperini and his fellow POWs went through, I'm surprised there wasn't more.

I believe that this is a good movie and would recommend it to most adults.  It's too much for young children and teenagers.  I would strongly advise parents to watch it before letting your child/children go.  I know this is not what the movie people want me to say but I would not recommend seeing this on Christmas day.  It should be a day of peace.  Go see it on the 26th and spend the 25th pursuing lighter entertainment or, better yet, spend it with loved ones if you can.

Merry Christmas and happy viewing!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rudderless (R/105 min.)


Music is life.  Music is healing.  Music is everything.

What would you do if you lost a child?  What would you do if you lost a child in one of the most horrible ways imaginable?  What would you do if, after their death, you discovered that the bond you once shared had still been a big part of their life?

I’ve been waiting for this movie for a couple of years now.  A gentleman (as opposed to “this guy”) I’ve known since at least 7th grade, maybe longer, co-wrote the screenplay with one of his friends.  And William H. Macy.  Pretty cool, right?  My acquaintance with said “guy” has nothing to do with why I’m giving this a positive review.  Despite my anticipation for the release date, I was really REALLY hoping the movie wouldn’t suck because, although I’d give an honest opinion, you can probably imagine how uncomfortable that would be.  I can just picture this Facebook comment on his wall, “Hey, man!  How’s it going?  Your movie totally sucked pond water!  Hope all is well. Laters.”  Yeah.  I’m just not seeing it.  So, you can understand how relieved I was that this film wasn’t just good.  It went beyond.  If this movie doesn’t touch your heart in some way, you might want to check your pulse.  Let me warn you though, this film does bring up a difficult topic that is making the news much too often lately.  It questions your sympathies and begs the question, “What would I do?”

Following is the summary of Rudderless as told on IMDB:

“A grieving father in a downward spiral stumbles across a box of his recently deceased son’s demo tapes and lyrics.  Shocked by the discovery of this unknown talent, he forms a band in the hope of finding some catharsis.”

I don’t entirely agree with that summary but it’s just semantics.  It does have a basic truth.  The father IS grieving. The CDs are given to him.  He does play the music in the hope of finding some catharsis.

I’ve always believed in the healing power of music. If you can’t find someone in your life to share what you’re going through, you can always count on finding a song that proves that someone, somewhere has been through the same and completely understands.  Or a song will come along that stops you in your tracks.  The raw truth and beauty in it speaks to you in ways you never imagined and you have to just pause for a moment and go, “Whoa!”  Or, music can be an oh-so-valuable bridge between you and a loved one; a connection that was somehow broken can be made whole again.

Billy Crudup is Sam, a father who is struggling with the loss of his son and the circumstances surrounding that loss.  I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of pain a parent would feel.  His son’s CD’s and lyric book are dumped on him and ultimately change his life.  I liked Billy as Sam.  His orneriness was endearing, his pain was easily felt and his breakdown nearly did me in.  You can’t believe how glad I was that no one was sitting around me.  And very glad that I hadn’t gone to the showing that was viewed by several of my past classmates.  I was an absolute mess.  I did find it odd that only one person seemed to know/figure out who Sam was.  Apparently these characters watch as much news as I do.

Anton Yelchin is Quentin, a musician who hears Sam sing and convinces him that they would sing well together.  You may recognize him as Chekov from the new Star Trek franchise.  Granted, he no longer looks twelve years old.  Anton’s Quentin also messed with my emotions.  I cheered for him, I felt for him and I wanted to smack him.  If you’re a good actor, that’s pretty much how it should be.

Has anyone ever noticed that it’s difficult to not cry with Felicity Huffman?  She’s one of those people that can just break your heart.  Imagine her character (Emily) losing her son.  My heart hurt. It hurt bad.  And it was just the briefest of moments. 

I liked Selena Gomez’s character, Kate, the first time I saw her. You’ll want to just hug her and let her cry it out.  Later on…not so much. I’m willing to bet that people will eventually either be for her or against her.  I just happen to be the latter.  I don’t think what Kate did was right.  I wish I could say more but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.  Some people will disagree with me.  Obviously the writers disagreed because the movie would have ended differently had they done things the way I would have been more comfortable with. But, that’s half the fun of movies; being able to see both sides even though one of those sides is only in your mind.  And who wants to go to a movie that stays in your comfort zone?  If a movie doesn’t transport you out of your own world for a couple of hours then it is not doing its job. But, I digress.  Please don’t read this as I didn’t like Selena’s acting.  To the contrary.  She also made me feel. 

I could go on and on about the other actors/characters but it would be alot of what I’ve already mentioned.  They were all well-chosen.  I don’t think there was anybody I would have replaced. Okay, so maybe one more character description.  I do feel that I need to mention Del, played by Laurence Fishburne.  As mentioned in my last post, I love a good old crotchety teddy bear.  Del is a good good man who believes in seeing both sides of every story.  He is the friend everyone should have.  And despite his grouchy demeanor it is oh so obvious that he loves his wife.  Could you guys find me a Del, please?

And speaking of being taken out of my own world, it wasn’t long at all before I left the theater and was transported to…Oklahoma.  Which sounds really odd because I do actually live in Oklahoma.  And not far at all from the lake we saw so much of.  But this wasn’t my Oklahoma. It was Sam’s and Quentin’s and Kate’s and Emily’s and Del’s.  I became a part of their lives.  I can ask no more of a film than to do just that. 

Now let’s break it down:

Through most of the movie I kept waiting for something to happen to validate the R rating.  There were no sex scenes. No nudity.  The closest they came to it was the main character peeing in the lake but even then everything was kept covered.  We saw a couple people smoking joints.  There was quite a bit of drinking but a good portion of the film happened in a bar so you kind of have to expect it.  The only violence we actually witnessed was a fist to someone’s eye though we did see the emotional damage one brief moment of violence can cause.  And for most of the movie the cussing was kept to a minimum.  Yes, the big words were used but not often enough to earn that rating.  Then why?  Because the last quarter of the film decided to make up for the lack of cussing in the first three-quarters.  That is the only reason I can think of. 

I do feel that I need to say that, in one instance, the cussing was almost validated.  There is a reason I don’t watch the news and the reporter who received her comeuppance is exactly why.  They just can’t seem to get that the last thing any person who is grieving wants is for some stranger to stick a microphone in their face and ask them how they feel.  How dumb are you?  How would you feel?  It is none of your business and certainly none of my business.  If they want to share their story they’ll hold a press conference. Until then, leave them alone!!!  Sorry.  I’m finished.

I know some people may avoid Rudderless because of the rating and I really hate that because it is such a good movie.  While I try to steer clear of people who believe the F-word should be a well-used adjective, I still want to encourage everyone to go see this.  It has a good message.  The music is great and hits nearly every emotion on the spectrum.  The actors are wonderful.  I got to see lots and lots of my beloved Oklahoma.  And finally, it’s just a good way to spend a couple of hours.  Would I watch this movie again?  Absolutely!  As a matter of fact, I’m doing so tonight.  Join me, won’t you?



P.S.  If you live in the OKC area and would like to go see Rudderless, it is showing at the AMC Quail Springs.  If you live outside of the OKC area, check out this site to see if it's showing at a theater near you: http://www.rudderlessthemovie.com/#theaters. If you aren’t able to get to the theater, you can also check it out on demand and on digital HD.  You can buy it here: http://j.mp/iTunesRudderlessYou can also buy or rent it on VUDU or Amazon. 

P.P.S.  The soundtrack is also available on iTunes.  Just a warning to parents.  There is “language” in some of the songs too.  I do believe that this is one of the albums that allows you to buy each song individually so, if you’re screening what your child/teenager listens to, and you like the music, pick what you feel is okay for them.  I don’t know how many times I’ve already listened to “Home” and “Hold On” though there’s not a song on the album I don’t like.
P.P.P.S.  I don't have any pics yet for this post but will update it as soon as I do.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Best of Me (PG-13/117 min.)



It appears that Nicholas Sparks has out-Nicholas-Sparks’d himself with this one.  Had this been the first of his films I’d ever seen, I would’ve been a weepy mess.  Fortunately for me, it wasn’t.  I only teared up a little bit, thankyouverymuch.  

"The Best of Me" is the story of Dawson and Amanda, young lovers separated by tragedy only to reconnect 20…correction…21 years later, after the passing of a mutual friend.  If you’ve ever read a Nicholas Sparks book (the covers of which have been laughingly described as “White People Almost Kissing”) or seen any of his movies you know that someone is not going to survive.  It’s like the expendable crew member on Star Trek except that viewers actually care when you pass.  My apologies, expendable crew members, but you know it’s true.  If you’ve not read the books or seen the movies then you may not have already been made aware of the impending doom for at least one character.  I would apologize for a possible spoiler but I just can’t.  I was flat-out irritated by the end of the movie, having not read the book in advance.  I really wish I had.  It was just overkill…pun intended.   Enough of that.  The love story itself was sweet without being disgustingly so.

Despite that, it was as well-written/filmed as any of his other movies.  In a good way.  I love love LOVED that James Marsden (Dawson) finally won a leading role.  And I’m not just saying that because he was born and raised in Oklahoma.  Not that that hurts my feelings either.  He was not difficult at all to watch in his film.  He and Michelle Monaghan (Amanda) played well off each other.  Luke Bracey and Liana Liberator were also convincing as young Dawson and Amanda.  


The way Liana talks reminds alot of Clare Bowen who plays Scarlett O’Connor in the hit TV series Nashville.  I’m just sayin’.  I truly liked all these characters.  They seemed like genuinely good people.  However, I adored Tuck, played by Gerald McRaney.  I always enjoy seeing a crotchety old teddy bear.  He practically stole every scene he was in. When young Amanda went to him after disaster struck, my heart just hurt for the both of them.

One of my favorite “characters” in "The Best of Me" was Tuck’s house and garden.  I know that sounds odd but there were times in which I was aiming so much of my attention at the wonderfulness of both that I was distracted from what was actually happening in the scene.  I thought I was going to be ill when part of the garden was intentionally hurt and then again when it was overgrown.  If my Gma L was still alive she’d feel the same and would probably want to hunt the place down to see it all for herself.  And don’t even get me started on the boat dock.  My feet would be absolute prunes all the time if I had access to that.  The entire area was a tribute to lazy, warm days.


I took Mack with me to see this movie and, unfortunately, a few things happened that kept us from getting altogether absorbed in the story line.  She told me that I’m not allowed to mention that she about came out of her skin a few times so I’ll just say that she said to write that there were “several random loud noises.”  Each time it happened we both got the giggles.  Many apologies to the people sitting around us.  We also kept getting pulled out because of little mistakes that we just HAD to discuss right then.  For instance, Dawson mails what looks to be several hundred dollars cash without sealing the envelope.  I’m sure it got safely to its destination.  After Dawson breaks into someone’s garage, he starts fixing a car that’s parked in it.  Apparently he was THAT bored!  Or maybe he decided that was how he could pay the person back for “borrowing” their shelter.  A car dies in front of a long line of other cars (and right in front of Dawson’s truck).  Dawson and his friend push the car out of the way and Dawson starts to work on it but they never go back to move his truck.  Whoops!  And it takes less than a minute to fix.  It didn’t need to be moved in the first place!  Finally, Dawson left his Physics book inside Amanda’s car.  You’re probably thinking, “Big deal.  People leave stuff in cars all the time.”  I meant IN the car as in under the hood.  Oopsie daisey!  I know these are little things but they’re big enough to be distracting.  Isn’t that what editors are for? 
 
I have a feeling I’ll be headed to iTunes soon to buy the soundtrack, if available.  I thoroughly enjoyed the music and wouldn’t be surprised at all if Irving Berlin’s family ends up with a nice, fat royalty check from the number of downloads of “What’ll I Do?”  While I would like to be able to say that I actually recognized that song, I didn’t.  It received a big shout out in a couple of scenes.  They also played a song I hadn’t heard in ages; “All I Want” by Toad the Wet Sprocket.  If I’d never heard this song before I would think it had been written specifically for this film.  It’s only briefly heard though and, in my opinion, in the wrong scene.  It would have been perfect in any of the garden scenes with grown-up Dawson and Amanda. 

And now, for the break-down:

Except for the young tap dancer who sat down the row from us I didn’t see many teenagers or children at the pre-screening.  She seemed to take it all in stride but a few things happened which would cause me to agree with the PG-13 rating.

Sex/Nudity – Yes.  The important parts are kept strategically covered though.  If you’ve seen the trailer, you probably saw the scene in which Amanda is floating on her back in the water.  A couple of things were “fixed” so that they weren’t seen by the television audience.  That’s the worst of it as far as nudity.  The sex wasn’t graphic but you definitely know it’s happening.  I know I should have been happy for the couple doing this but I couldn’t get past the fact that they shouldn’t have been for one very important reason.  

Drinking/Drugs/Smoking – Yes.  I don’t recall actually seeing anyone smoking but I saw what I’m sure was meant to be scars from cigarette burns.  Just the thought…  Grown-up Amanda and Dawson drink wine and beer.  I thought we were going to see underage drinking, but nope.  We didn’t see anyone doing drugs but there was a drug bust.

Cussing/Swearing - Yes.  There was more than I’d like but it could’ve been alot worse.  The most used was $#!+ but I believe there was more swearing than cussing.  God and Jesus were mentioned quite often and while I’m sure He/They enjoy a good shout out, I believe we all could’ve done without.  It’s just not necessary.

Violence – Yes.  We saw child (okay…teenager) abuse.  One of the good guys got a nasty beating.  That one hurt me.  And guns played a big role in the film.  

I keep wondering if it’s written in Nicholas Sparks’ contract that he has to make his readers cry and then I’m reminded that the man sells many copies of each book he writes.  Obviously people just need a good cry.  I just hate knowing that someone is gonna kick it and I have to wait until the end to find out who.  At that point I am highly invested in the characters’ lives and don’t want to learn that any of them die.  His books make me willing to believe that something like the book/movie “Misery” could really happen.  If you haven’t seen it and you like Stephen King or Stephen King-type stories, run to your nearest video store and rent it.  It’s so good.  And super creepy.  But back to “The Best of Me”.  If you like Nicholas Sparks movies you’ll probably like this.  Guys, you should already know that this is a chick flick…big time.  One of my younger cousins posted on Facebook that she really liked it.  She also mentioned that she dragged her husband to it but didn’t say if he liked it or not.  If you’ve never seen a Nicholas Sparks movie or you have and have no clue what’s going to happen, take Kleenex.  Don’t be like me.  I know I sound jaded but, just once, I wish Nicholas Sparks would write a love story that has a completely happy ending.  Is that too much to ask?

And, just so we end on a good note. 


You're welcome.

Monday, June 9, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (PG/102 Min.)

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 has thrown the sequel standard out the window. I would almost venture to say that it was better than the first. This is the story about the power of love, forgiveness and true friendship. I'm ready to see it again.

I went to Saturday's pre-screening and, as you can imagine, a lot of children came to see this show. But, as with the showing of Maleficent, as soon as the movie started you'd never have known any munchkins were in the room at all until something funny or sad happened. They were completely engrossed. It's not surprising at all, really. The animation was captivating and the movie started with a dragon race. What's not to love? My favorite audience participation moment? One character kissed another and several children yelled, "EEEWWWWW!" Just you wait, kids.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 picks up 5 years after we first met Hiccup and Toothless. Instead of joining in the fun of the dragon races, our daring duo is off mapping their world. I know that doesn't sound terribly exciting but anything must be exciting with a dragon for a friend. Along the way, they run across a band of dragon trappers and then discover a cave full of hundreds of dragons who are protected by a mysterious dragon rider. All parties must join forces against the evil Drago to prevent him from controlling the dragons and, therefore, mankind. And, in the middle of all this, Hiccup has to figure out who he really is. No pressure.

If you liked the different characters in the first movie, you'll like them in the sequel. I think you'll also like the newcomers and strongly dislike Drago. He's just a no good, stinky, poo poo head. Sorry for the language. I couldn't help myself. As far as the dragons go, after Toothless, I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite. How fun must it have been thinking up all those critters? I especially liked the ones that belonged to the little old lady in the village. They reminded me of my cats.

This movie has a little bit of everything in it. It's got action. It's got cute, little baby dragons. It's got villains. It's got romance (minimal). It has super-cool, ginormous dragons. It's got a big battle scene. It's got drama. More than I wanted to see but well-done just the same. I will warn you now that one of the dragons and one of the good guys dies in this film. I very nearly came undone. If I hadn't been so worried about being laughed at by the guy who was sitting next to me, I may have bawled for a moment or two. Most of the people in the theater, children included, gasped when both happened. The only reason I mention it at all is so you'll be prepared ahead of time in case your kids wonder what on earth just happened. I'm hoping that I took it to heart more as an adult than a child would because of the things that happened leading up to this scene. Hiccup's reaction, though understandable, hurt almost as much as the loss. I'm getting all sniffly just thinking about it.

Please note that the above-mentioned sadness is just a small part of the movie. They don't give you much time at all to grieve before you're thrust back into battle. After a short, funny scene that is. I was so grateful for that.

If you liked the first film, go see the second. If you haven't seen the first film, rent it and then go see the second. This isn't one you'll want to jump into without knowing the background of the different characters. I would love to be able to go this weekend so I can help it at the box office but my mom is visiting and we'll be off doing various mother/daughter things. Maybe some of you can go twice to make up for my absence. No? Didn't hurt to try. There is no need to stay through the credits unless you like looking at the names. If you do, it's worth it. Some of them are doozies!







Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maleficent (PG/97 Min.)


To date, my all-time favorite movie in the history of ever has been Sleeping Beauty. Yes, I do mean the 1959 animated movie. It has true love. It has magic. It has fairy godmothers. It has singing. It has the coolest villain ever. It has dragons!!! What's not to love? Though this movie will always hold a place in my heart, it may have, quite possibly, dropped down to second place in my esteem. I loved Maleficent. LOVED IT!!! I just saw it a few hours ago and I'm ready to see it again. I was ready to see it again right after it was over. I AM seeing it again tomorrow night. I think that's a valid amount of time between viewings, don't you? I'm actually listening to the soundtrack as I type. Loved that too.

Maleficent is the basic story of Sleeping Beauty but with a twist as we get to see the tale from the villain's point of view. Simple. To the point.

I'm finding it difficult to tell you what I liked about this movie without telling you what happened. I'll start with the special effects. So good! Faerieland was amazing. And its inhabitants? Beautiful! Even the little squishy guys who like to sling mud. Literally. Not politically. The writers deserve tons of atta-boys/girls. This could have so easily gone cheesy but it didn't. Could you guys please tackle the Wonder Woman movie problem? Apparently cheese is a big reason it hasn't been made yet. But back to Maleficent... I almost forgot the costumes. Well done, wardrobe department! This movie needs to win awards.

I've liked Angelina Jolie since I first saw her in Hackers but now it's going to take quite a lot to even begin to knock her off my list of favorites after this film. No one else could have played Maleficent. Did she even have to audition? Did the powers-that-be know it had to be Angelina all along? Was anyone else even considered? This was a definite no-brainer. She played this role beautifully, from her chiseled cheekbones to the horns atop her head, to her deep, villainous laugh. I just can't say enough good things about her. Everyone else paled in comparison to Angelina. But that's as it should be, right?

Elle Fanning was cast in the role of Aurora. While I thought she was well-chosen, my friend Mack didn't agree. She thought Amanda Seyfried would've been better. We agreed to disagree. Neither one of us could think of anyone else who could've taken Elle's place so I win by default. Elle was one of at least four Aurora's in this movie. There was baby Aurora, toddler Aurora, tween Aurora and, finally, 15-year-old Aurora. My favorite besides Elle? Toddler Aurora. Why? Because she's the only child who could be found to play opposite Angelina Jolie's Maleficent. For those of you who don't already know, the studio had trouble finding a child who wasn't afraid of the star in full costume. Who did they find brave enough to share a scene? Angelina's own daughter, Vivienne. Perfect! And what a cutie pie!

There were too many characters in this movie to talk about each one so I'm going to move on to why this film received a PG rating. There was no cussing. No nudity. No sex. No drinking. No drugs. So, why the rating? That rests solely on the violence. There is a battle scene and a couple of skirmishes but the blood was kept to a minimum. The only blood I recall seeing was from a couple of scratches. Nothing gory at all. If you think your child can handle the Lord of the Rings series, they can definitely handle this. A good portion of the audience consisted of children and they were hooked from the get go. Except for a giggle from the young girl a few seats down from me, you wouldn't have known there were any kids in the theater at all. As soon as the movie started they settled down and that was that. A young boy sat in front of me and I don't think he moved during the entire film. I'm not making light of the violence at all. People do die in the movie. I just want to give you the basic facts so you can make decisions for your own young ones.

Was there anything I didn't like about Maleficent? One scene in particular was almost exactly like the animated version except for one slight change. I understand why they had to do it but I didn't care for it much. Other than that, I don't think I found anything wrong. This is a well-written, beautifully made movie.

I am definitely going to see this again...tomorrow night. And who knows how many times after. Guys, if you think this is a chick flick, you are so wrong. There were a lot of people of the male variety, both young and old, at this film and they seem to have enjoyed it. Enough action scenes were included to keep it interesting. Unless you just absolutely hate fairy tales, go see this movie. Even if you do hate fairy tales, go anyway. You just might enjoy it. I wish I could be there when my parents and niece see Maleficent. I know PT and my dad will like it but I feel pretty confident in saying that there is one scene that'll cause my mom to start clapping. I almost did that very thing. She is so fun to watch movies with because her filter isn't quite as strong as mine and she does the things that I wish didn't embarrass me when I do them (I think that made sense). She's just a very happy person that way.

Nothing happens after the credits. They do begin them with a song from the animated movie but sung by Lana Del Rey so you might want to stick around a bit for that. Enjoy!

P.S. Harry Potter fans may have issues with one of the fairies. Because Imdelda Staunton does such a good job of playing Dolores Umbridge in HP, I can't picture her as anything else. But, can you really blame me? Stephen King, during his review of the book, called this character the "greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter." And that's saying something.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Million Ways to Die in the West (R/116 Min.)


Let me begin by saying that I knew absolutely nothing about this movie save for the actors who took part in it. I didn't watch the trailers. I didn't read any synopses. I didn't look to see who wrote or directed it. I wanted to see it based solely on who was in it. BIG MISTAKE!!! HUGE! I will never ever never do that again.

For those of you who feel the need to comment about what a poor movie critic I am, let me cut you off at the pass. If you liked Neighbors or This Is the End or Ted (I'm told), you'll probably really enjoy A Million Ways... If you thought any of those movies were crass, stay far, far away from this one. There. If the comparison to the movies mentioned above made you decide that you definitely are going to see A Million Ways then you can just stop reading now because the rest of this review will, more than likely, make you mad. And then you'll send me rude yet anonymous comments which I've decided not to post. Now, if you disagree with me and feel like politely telling me why, I'll be more than happy to share that with the general population. I might even share the rude comments if the commenters don't hide behind anonymity. Own it, people! As always, if you cuss at me, I most definitely won't post your comment. Woo! Sorry for the tangent. Just wanted to get that out of the way. By the way, I took my friend Mack with me and she didn't think it was as bad as I did. So, to each his/her own.

Back to the movie. A Million Ways to Die in the West is the story of a sheep farmer named Albert who will never be mistaken for a gunslinger...or a sheep farmer. I've seen some summaries label him as cowardly but if you know you can't hit the broad side of a barn with a gun (or the bullets in one)but can talk your way out of getting shot I see that as a good thing! But that may be just me. Anyway, poor Albert has been dumped by his girlfriend, Louise, and he's decided that life in the West pretty much sucks without her. Along comes Anna, wife of the notorious (dun dun daaaaaa!) gunslinger, Clinch. Anna takes a liking to Albert and a friendship ensues.

That's the very basic plot. So much more happens but I'm trying to keep this relatively short. The acting wasn't bad considering what they had to work with. I think I enjoyed the cameos more than the main actors.

As for the rating, I wish theaters could enforce a no children at R-rated movies policy. I still can't believe there were kids at this screening. Some parents are going to have some explaining to do. There was cussing and cussing and more cussing. We got to hear people having sex. Loudly. We got to see way more body fluid/waste than I EVER wanted to see. Poor Mack very nearly got puked on. I truly couldn't help it. It's bad enough to hear someone have explosive diarrhea. I most certainly don't want to see it. I'm trying to remember but I really don't think there was any nudity. Shocking! The only "parts" we saw were sheep parts and though no one wants to see that, I'm glad that's as far as they went. There was drinking. There were drugs. There was racism. There were several jokes aimed at Christians. If it could be insulted they pretty much did it.

For those of you who are wondering what others in the audience thought of this film, I'll say that most of the laughter sounded uncomfortable. There was one woman who would, on occasion, yell things like, "That's hilarious!" Most of the racist jokes fell flat. Thank goodness. The girl next to me, who decided to join in the dancing during the town dance scene, really enjoyed the kissing. Any time anyone locked lips I heard, "Aaawwww!!!" She was such a joy.

I will not go see this again. As mentioned before, if you liked those other movies, you'll probably like this. If you didn't, you won't. If you do go see this, stay through the credits. There's a very short extra.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PG-13/142 Min.)



A lot of people say that the sequel is never as good as the original movie. This held true for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I enjoyed the first movie so I was excited about the sequel. I have to admit, it was a bit of a letdown. Now, before anyone gets their knickers twisted, I’m not saying Spidey 2 was horrible. It just wasn’t great. Has everyone I’ve talked to who saw the movie last night agreed with me? Absolutely not. A couple people said they loved it. My advice, if you’re reading this, is to read other critiques to help make your decision. Or ignore it altogether and go with your gut.

In Spider-Man 2, Peter is struggling to keep his promise to Gwen’s dad while continuing to date Gwen. Gwen is trying to be understand but it’s not always easy. Max Dillon, an electrical engineer for Oscorp, is feeling a tad invisible and grasps at the knowledge that anyone might need him for anything, much less remembers his name. After a terrible, but predictable, accident, Max becomes Electro and being cranky with the world in general and having super powers does not make a good combination. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn, owner of Oscorp, dies of a not so great disease (genetic, of course) and leaves the company to his son, Harry. Unfortunately for Harry, not only does the disease start showing up in his own body but the powers that be at Oscorp want him gone. Another not so great combination. So much stuff to fit in to nearly two-and-a-half hours. And we felt every minute of it.

Why didn’t I like it more? I hate to say it but a big reason was the acting, which kind of confuses me. I liked both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the first movie so why didn’t I like them in the second? Was it because of the writers? Or the director? I have no idea. The movie opened with a lot of silly lines. It got to be tedious. It was too comedic and people stopped laughing after a while. Then Emma just didn’t seem to have the same oomph she’s had in other films. She just wasn’t the Emma we’ve grown to know and love. The only acting I cared much for was that of Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro. He didn’t get to talk much so that may be why. He didn’t have many lines so maybe his writer decided to make them count. Who knows?

I almost forgot to mention what I did like about Spidey 2.  I thought the special effects were neat-o.  Especially Electro.  I've always thought the Spider-Man effects were cool but it's expected now so it's easily overlooked.  The one effect I thought was seriously overused was the slow motion.  They wanted to make sure that no detail slipped by us.  I would have liked it more if they'd used it less.

The only reason I can think of that this received a rating of PG-13 was the violence. The cursing was limited. I only recall one scene in which alcohol was imbibed. The film does include a few death scenes that are a tad emotional. The transformation scene was kind of creepy. There were several fight scenes but none of the very young children in the audience seemed to be much affected by them. The blood was kept to a minimum so no gore. Yea! While I think the rating was deserved, the fighting was no worse than any other of the recent super hero movies.

If you liked the first Andrew Garfield Spidey movie, I’d give this one a chance. You just might like it better than I did. If you weren’t that thrilled with the first, I’d skip this one. It’s definitely not better. Unless you just like reading the credits, there’s no reason to stay. No teaser trailers on this one.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Million Dollar Arm (PG/2 hours)



Disney hit one out of the park with the new movie Million Dollar Arm; the story of J. B. Bernstein, the sports marketing professional who went to India in search of cricket bowlers who could be trained to be baseball pitchers and signed with a Major League team. The winner in the India competition won $100,000 US and the runner-up won $10,000 US. They both then were flown to the US where one of them would eventually win $1Million US. At least that’s what we were led to believe. I don’t recall any mention of this after they left India.

If I could change one thing about this movie it would be how blatantly predictable it is. They made it very evident which two young men were going to America. We knew how things would end up for J.B. and who would direct him to make the changes he needed to make. Granted, this is somewhat based on a true story but I’d never heard of it so they really shouldn’t assume that we already know what’s going to happen. If you don’t know the story, try to ignore the fact that the ending is pretty much guessable and just let it all unfold.

Despite knowing who was going to win the competition in India, I was glad they showed a little of the personal background of both young men. One had a big family who lived in a teensy tinesy house. The other helped his dad after he was injured. The dad. Not the young man. And even though they were competing against each other and a very large sum of money was on the line they showed good sportsmanship. Their families’ response to their leaving was another testament to the character of these men. It was hard for me to see them leave and I was just watching the movie.

Then! They got to America! Talk about culture shock! I lived in England and then Belgium for a few years but I had a familiar-to-me community to fall back on. I can’t imagine how daunting it must have been to have never left home before and suddenly move to another country, leaving your family and basic support group behind. I get that a lot of people do this very thing but usually it’s planned on their part. Or maybe more time elapsed than the movie let on.

I’m reluctant to talk about the movie itself too much more since there’s a good chance I’ll give away more than I intended. I think the acting was well done. I was so caught up in the movie that I didn’t consider where I’d seen the two young men from India before. One was Pi in Life of Pi. Another was in Slumdog Millionaire. So, now you won’t have to wonder. You’re welcome.

Believe it or not, this movie is rated PG. Betcha didn’t think they made those any more. The breakdown is fairly simple. No sex or nudity. The language, though completely unnecessary, was limited to a couple of non-religious references to God (as in “Oh my God”) and one Hell. That’s it. Alcohol was consumed. I can’t remember if there was any smoking. Sorry. There was no violence and the only stomach-turning thing that happened was in direct correlation to alcohol consumption and overeating.

If you like baseball movies, I highly recommend Million Dollar Arm. If you like underdog-type movies, same goes. This is the second movie in a row that I called my mom afterwards and told her to go see. Once again, it’s sport related so that’ll make her want to see it but I know that she would enjoy everything else about it too. There were a lot of young kids at this showing and, except for the ones that sat next to us, they seemed to enjoy it. The ones next to us had ants in their pants so they weren’t still long enough to like or dislike it. Nothing happens after the credits but they do show pictures and video during all of it so you may want to stick around for that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Draft Day (PG-13)

First things first, Kevin Costner was in a movie that lasted less than 2 hours!!! I didn’t believe it was possible. I mean, I know it’s been done before, but how long ago? Sorry about that. I feel better now. Last night I went to the pre-screening of Draft Day and really really liked it. Come to think of it, it’s been a while since I saw a movie I flat out didn’t like. Is Hollywood getting better or am I somehow avoiding those films? Hmmmmm.

Draft Day is about…Draft Day. Genius, right? It’s basically the 12 hours leading up to the NFL draft pick and a few hours shortly after. It’s about the freak-outs, the close calls and the last minute wheeling and dealing before the professional football team powers-that-be select their newest team members; with a little bit of personal life thrown in for good measure. Sonny Weaver, Jr. is the General Manager for the Cleveland Browns. He has the opportunity to choose a really good player for his franchise. At the same time he has to deal with the death of his father and the affect that had on his mother along with some overwhelming news in his relationship. He’s having kind of a rough day.

I have never really been that into pro football. No idea why. I just prefer college. In every other sport I like either/or. Having said that, I have never, in my life, intentionally watched a draft pick. It’s been on in the background when I’ve been at a party or two but, even then, I didn’t pay much attention. My goodness, though. The drama! I now want a job with a professional football team that would enable me to attend a Draft Day. How exciting would that be? And I would like to take a quick second to say that I did catch that Oklahoma was briefly mentioned at one point in the movie. Well, of course it was. Every team needs at least one Okie. Our boys are just that good.

I’m not going to ramble on like I usually do about the actors. There are really only three I want to mention. The rest are important but there were too many people in this to dissect them all. Kevin Costner is Sonny Weaver, Jr. He played him well but it was typical Kevin Costner. You pretty much know what you’re going to get no matter what the movie. Jennifer Garner is Ali, Cleveland Browns exec and Sonny’s girlfriend. I love her character in this movie. She has spunk! And don’t step on the underdog when she’s around. You’ll be missing parts. Finally, Griffin Newman is Rick, the brand spanking new intern in the GM’s office. He is a lesser character in Draft Day but he was fun to watch. He was the comic relief in several instances and, though being the low man on the totem pole, he knew when to stand up for himself. I silently cheered for him during one scene in particular. Whoops! I lied! There was a fourth person I wanted to talk about. Chadwick Boseman. I loved him in 42 and he’s back this time as a football player. In one of the scenes he almost made me cry. During a football draft movie! What on earth? He’s beginning to be one of those actors whose films I will see just because he’s in them.

On to bigger and better things. I love how this film was made. It almost felt like an exciting documentary. My favorite part about how the movie was put together was the split screen affect. So cool! Anytime two people were on the phone with each other, we got the split screen. But! This was better than normal split screens. In some cases, part of one person’s body would come to the foreground and overlap into the other person’s screen. Hard to explain but fun to watch. I know, it’s the little things.

Draft Day received its PG-13 rating for language alone. There was no sex or nudity. The closest it comes to it is Jennifer Garner’s naked back in a shower in the way background of a scene. No violence except tackles. A little drinking. No drugs. So, how bad could the language have been? This breakdown is for those parents who want the opportunity to decide just how much they want to allow their kids to hear. I may have missed a few but this is basically what we heard:

A$$ - 3 times
S#!+ - this one was the winner with at least 14 utterances
GD – came in second with at least 10
God, Jesus, Jesus Christ and Hell were mentioned a total of 11 times and not in a prayerful manner
The F-bomb was dropped twice
A few of the “minor” naughty words were spoken but not many

So, much tamer than, say, 21 Jump Street or August: Osage County.

I would recommend Draft Day to anyone who is a football fan, be it a college team or pro. It was nice to be able to call my mom afterwards and tell her that this is a movie she’d actually enjoy. She doesn’t care for blood and violence so she mainly sticks to RomComs. That woman does like a good sports movie though. And, sitting with her during a real sporting event? It’s definitely an experience. Draft Day does delve into Sonny’s personal life a bit but they don’t linger on it too much. Just a glimpse here and there. This was a fun movie that I will definitely own when it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray. Enjoy!

P.S. Nothing after the credits for this one. The credits were fun to read though. It was almost a 50/50 split between actors playing someone and all the As Himself/As Herselfs.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Caught in the Middle


 
Okay, so I've decided to start writing book reviews. What? Are you wondering if I do nothing but sit around and watch movies and read books? Well, no. But I wish I could. I'm actually writing this review out of order. This one is about the third book in a trilogy by Regina Jennings. The first book was Sixty Acres and a Bride. It's the only other book I've reviewed thus far. Love in the Balance is the second book. I didn't write about it yet because I didn't know, until very recently, that I was going to decide to start actually reviewing books. I will get to that one but I want to move along to the final book in the trilogy, Caught in the Middle, since it has only just been released.

Let's talk about the author's style first. Regina writes with such an economy of words. I've read several authors who take a page-and-a-half to describe someone's demeanor or what a certain scene looks like. Regina sums it up in one sentence and you can still completely picture the person's countenance or the lay of the land. "The trees still held their summer hues, patches of green spotting the golden prairie." It's straight and to the point but still literarily pleasing. So, basically, her books are more story and less drawn-out commentary. Despite how this may seem, this choice of styles does not leave her books lacking. Just the opposite. It leaves room for so much more enveloping (I think that's the word I want to go with) story without ending up as a 2000 page book.

Now, let's see what's in store for us, shall we:

"She wants the freedom of the open plains
He wants the prestige of a successful business
And the baby just needs someone who can change a diaper.

The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life’s next victory for Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected—Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.

Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She’s only in town to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees—and leaves Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person she knows in town, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.

But being in town means Anne’s forced to act and dress for polite society—and it’s not going well. Meanwhile, Nick’s work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with Anne isn’t helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others’ expectations—can the pair find their way to love?"

If you read the first two books in the series, you'll already be cheering for Anne. She's led a rough life and deserves a little something or someone to call her own. I was quickly dragged in to this book and wanted to become one of her champions. It was so easy to feel her fear, her anger, her confusion, her despair and, finally, her joy and happiness. This was yet another book in which I dreaded getting to the end but I just couldn't wait to hear how things turned out for poor Anne.

In this, as in Sixty Acres, Regina brings all of the characters to life. I hurt for Anne, encouraged Nicholas, wanted to get down on the floor and play with Sammy, wanted to smack Ophelia, and would oh-so-gladly become the daughter-in-law of Mrs. Puckett's dreams. And I can't not mention Reverend and Mrs. Holland. I wanted to hate them the minute I heard of them. Wanted to, but couldn't. Every person was so vivid that I could almost swear that I know them personally. If I swore. Which I don't. I could also clearly picture each and every scene she described. I experienced a train robbery, a man's desperate rush to save his wife and baby, local politics, time spent having to live off the land and learning to live in polite society again. Each experience flowed in to the next with apparent ease. My eyes' inability to stay open was the only thing that kept me from finishing Caught in the Middle in one night.

My only problem with this book is that it struck a personal chord in me so my emotions were pretty raw at times. In one particular scene I had to put the book down because the tears just wouldn't stop. Is this something I would consider a negative about Caught in the Middle? Not by a long shot. If a book doesn't affect your emotions in one way or another, you're either reading a text book or an instruction manual or it just was not well-written. I will continue to read any book Regina writes because I know that, within minutes, I will be swept away to another place and time only to be dropped back to reality at the turn of the last page. And even then it takes a little while.

This book could probably stand on its own but I highly recommend reading the first two in the series before delving in to Caught in the Middle. Regina does explain, in this book, some little things that you would have learned from reading those but they do give you more background. And you should because they're both really good.

P.S. Following is a picture of Regina at her book signing. My apologies for the blurred picture. I was laughing at something she said or did. You might recognize the dress from the beginning of this post. It's the dress made for the book's cover art. I wonder how many authors can say they not only have the clothing made for the book's cover but can actually fit in to it. Not many, I'll wager.





Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Divergent (PG-13/139 Min.)



Benefitting from another pre-screening pass last night, I went with Mack and our friend YaYa to the showing of Divergent. First of all, I loved the casting. Second of all, I haven’t read any of the books in this series yet so I’ll have to ask my niece – who HAS read the books - what she thought. Poor City of Bones didn’t even get a viewing from her because the actors chosen so did NOT fit what her imagination conjured from the books. Hunger Games: Catching Fire almost met the same fate due to the choice for Finnick but I talked her into going anyway. Was kind of sorry I did. So depressing! And I liked movie Finnick okay but I have to agree with PT and say that he was definitely not book Finnick. I seem to have lost track…again.

Divergent is set in a very run-down and over-grown Chicago in the future. I love love LOVE how they made this look in the movie. The set people deserve major props. Get it?... Props?... Never mind. The populace is divided in to five factions; Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. Everyone is born into a certain faction but the teenagers are tested to see which faction they are most suited for and then given the choice of which faction they would like stay in/move to; which begs the question of why they need to be tested if they get to choose anyway. To be “Divergent” is to have a test result of Inconclusive. In this case, our heroine (not the drug!) tests well for several factions. This is a huge no-no in good ol’ Chicago. Apparently Divergents think for themselves and cause trouble. Or so the Erudite would like everyone to believe. So, things tend to go a bit downhill for our heroine when others discover what she really is. So not cool.

I liked this movie a lot but, and I hate to say this, I didn’t become immersed in it. I wasn’t part of a faction. I wasn’t welcomed into society. I was an outsider looking in through the entire film. For those of you who think I’ve lost my mind, I have gone to movies in which I was so completely absorbed that I took no notice of anything else going on in the theater. I became part of a different world for those two hours and had to almost give myself a shake when I was dropped back down in to whatever theater in OK. Or CO. Or whatever other state I’m in at the time. I want to blame others in the audience last night for this. I really do. There were quite a few who have never been taught how to act in public. However, if the movie wasn’t lacking in some small way, would the audience really have distracted me that much? Who knows? I liked it enough that I’m going to see it again. And probably again and again as the other movies come out.

To those of you who have already read the book, be prepared. Mack informed me of some major differences between the book and the movie as we were leaving the theater. One of the changes she explained had me completely baffled. Why would they do that? It sounded like the book version would have been just fine left as is. I used to always read the books before the movies came out but too many films have been ruined for me that way. I know PT (my niece) is going to have a few words to say if the movie makers went overboard. Maybe I can convince her to add to this post with her own take on it.

Let’s talk people now. I don’t recall thinking that anyone should not have been cast for their role in Divergent. I did find it difficult to accept a couple of the actors as bad guys but what can you do? Shailene Woodley is our heroine, Tris, formerly known as Beatrice Prior. I wonder if the author was alluding to anything when choosing that surname. I could just be over-thinking things. Having only gotten to know her in the few episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager that I’ve seen, I didn’t have much on which to judge Shailene. Yes, I know you shouldn’t judge, but work with me here. Even just seeing her in the trailer for Divergent, I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out but I liked her. I really did. She seemed like the young and courageous teenager she was supposed to be. She could be serious about her training one minute and acting like the young person she is the next. I definitely could not have gone through what Tris did in this film. The first jump? Would NEVER have happened. I’d’ve been pushed. I’m just sayin’. The only thing I found laughable about her character was when she yelled at the people shooting at her. Really? Is that how it’s supposed to work?

Theo James is Four (his name, not his age), our hero and a leader in his faction. Granted, he has to take a back seat to our heroine on several occasions but that’s how it’s supposed to be. In the story. And sometimes in real life. Four becomes Tris’ champion early on. I wanted to hug him for that alone and then…he took off his shirt. My apologies. I only mention it because YaYa and I caused a bit of laughter around us at the theater when that happened. You see, Four has a ginormous tat on his back and he asked Tris is she’d like to see it. YaYa and I answered for her. A little louder than we meant to. Whoops. But seriously, Four is just good people.

Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn are Tris’ parents, Natalie and Andrew. We don’t see much of Andrew so that’s all I’m saying about him but Natalie is well worth mentioning. Unless she makes a drastic change in her style, I will always be a huge fan of Ashley Judd. Her face shows so much emotion that it’s difficult to not be empathetic when watching her. Natalie's sadness at the loss of her children is oh so evident but she’s not out of the picture yet. Oh no! There’s more! Okay, I will mention Andrew again. These people love their children. They are the definition of real parenting. Be there for your children, raise them right, let them make their decisions, make sacrifices to help ensure happy lives and let them go. Granted, the latter is more pronounced in this particular society than in most I know of in reality but still…

Kate Winslet is Jeanine, head of Erudite and Queen of the Universe. Or so she apparently thinks. I never can make up my mind about Kate. My strength of ardor wanes on a movie to movie basis. Sorry, Kate. I strongly disliked her in Divergent but, then again, we were supposed to. Jeanine and the other Erudite’s (and some in the other factions???) are displeased with Abnegation since the people of Abnegation basically run the government. Now, we can’t have that, can we? She is also strongly opposed to any Divergent. When you’re head of Erudite and self-proclaimed Queen of the Universe, that poses a bit of a problem for Divergents, as you can imagine.

Jai Courtney is Eric, jerk extraordinaire! I had such a hard time placing Jai. I was positive I’d seen him somewhere before and knew he played a good guy. I was right. He plays Jack McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard. I liked him in the latter and I liked to hate him in Divergent. I have to admit, though, he looked pretty good in Divergent. Tats and a funky haircut served him well. Looks aside, Eric is a bully and I hated to see Jai like that. I know actors need to be able to play all sorts of roles but my favorites should only ever be good people. Right? His character really bothered me. He was supposed to be a protector but was just the opposite. Every once in a while I thought I caught a spark of sympathy in him but I must have been projecting how I wanted him to be.

I’m going to end the character descriptions with Jai. There were several more I would like to discuss but I’d like this post to end sometime soon. Let’s talk about how Divergent earned its PG-13 rating.

Sex/Nudity – Nope. The worst it gets is Tris stripped down to pants and a bra but she quickly covers up.

Drinking/Drugs/Smoking – Nope. Not that I could tell anyway. Some people are injected with a mind-controlling substance but it wasn’t voluntary so that doesn’t count. That made sense to me anyway.

Cussing – Yes. There were only two, maybe three, cuss words in the ENTIRE FILM!!! How refreshing! Unfortunately, they really weren’t “needed” in the scenes in which they were uttered. They were just insults and not used during times of extreme peril which is really the only time I’m somewhat okay with it. This could have been a cuss-free film. How frustrating.

Violence – Yup. The faction that Tris chose exists to protect the city. To do that, they must know how to fight and fight they do. It’s part of their training and part of their lives. Some of the sparring/fighting is between members of the opposite sex. Parents may need to explain to their children why it’s not okay for boys to hit girls and vice versa. Boys shouldn’t hit boys and girls shouldn’t hit girls either, for that matter. The sparring matches were rough on me. I admit it. Also, there were several implied gunshots to the head. They spared us from actually seeing it happen but if your imagination is functioning you don’t need the visual and that’s just as bad. Several people do die but the blood was kept to a minimum. Having said that, the shoot-‘em-up scenes were nowhere near as bad as Hollywood is making the norm. If you would let your child see Hunger Games, you’d probably let them see this. Rue’s death in HG is still one of the most traumatic movie deaths I’ve ever experienced. If you haven’t seen Hunger Games yet…whoops.

Squidgy moments – I am not thrilled with the thought of needles. It’s a fact. Unfortunately for me and to the amusement of my friends, I had to cover my eyes any time a needle came into view. What’s worse than my dislike of needles? Needles in the neck! I REALLY had to cover my eyes several times because of this. Ick! We get the point already! So to speak.

I did like Divergent and will go see it again. If you haven’t read the book yet, I’d see the movie first if I were you. The only people I wouldn’t recommend this to are young children because they just don’t need to deal with this kind of drama yet. I also wouldn’t recommend it to people who don’t care for violence in film. For those of you who are rolling your eyes at that statement, I’m thrilled that those people still do exist. We still need kind souls in the world. Especially in this day and age. So, anyone who is even remotely interested in this movie should give it a chance. Nothing happened after the credits at the pre-screening so no need to sit through unless you feel inclined to do so.

P.S. Today’s PSA: I do realize that this viewing was free but that does not negate the fact that everyone in that theater came to see a movie, not listen to/deal with the people around them. We especially did not go to listen to the person cluck like a chicken at the top of her lungs for the hour before the movie started. Got old quick. We also did not go to feel the back of our seats constantly kicked or grabbed. These actions are rude. If you are someone who thinks it’s okay to act like this, think about how you feel when the same is done to you. And finally, if you need to unwrap whatever you are consuming, don’t stretch the moment out. Get it over with, for the love of Pete! Okay, I’m done.