Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Goodbye to the Olympic Games

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

YouTube Preview ImageAlthough I only watched the competitions now and then, I enjoyed the Olympic Games in London hugely. By all accounts, they were especially happy and friendly, and I think you could sense that even from the TV screens. (more…)

Going to the Movies

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

memorial ribbon for batman Way back in 2005 my husband surprised my son and I with tickets to the midnight showing of Batman Begins. My son, only 10 and not allowed to stay up that late on a regular basis, was completely and totally thrilled. We were on vacation and as a result got to see the film on a Super IMAX screen. The experience was just amazing. Seven years later it is still a special memory.

By the time The Dark Knight came out our town had built an IMAX, so I took my son to a midnight showing of that movie as well. He was excited about being able to see both films on an IMAX at midnight and started talking about seeing the third movie the same way before we were even seated for the second one. Needless to say, I bought tickets for Dark Knight Rises back in June to ensure that he was able to see all the premieres at midnight in an IMAX theater. It was a silly thing to be excited about I guess but we are a family of nerds and movie buffs and this is the type of thing that makes us happy. In order to guarantee good seats Michael got there by 8:30 pm. He had a fellow fanatic seated next to him (duh) and the two were able to pass the time discussing all the films they mutually loved as well as their expectations for this one. Anyone who has been to a midnight showing knows this is not just your typical movie outing. The fans are beyond excited. Many dress in costumes. The atmosphere is festive and jubilant. (more…)

AAR at the Movies: Brave

Monday, June 25th, 2012
YouTube Preview Image

My love for Pixar movies has built very gradually – I was a relatively late bloomer, since the early ones didn’t impress my socks off.  But “The Incredibles” was a revelation, and ever since the new Pixar movie in June has become a must-see.  (I made an exception for “Cars 2″ – I’m not paying any kind of money for that.)  So when “Brave” came out this weekend, I made a beeline for Cineplex.  All in all, I’m not disappointed, but I’d definitely consider this one of the “lesser” Pixars.  I’m still waiting for Brad Bird to come back. (more…)

Re-watching Old Favorites

Thursday, June 21st, 2012


While on vacation I had the chance to watch a couple of films that were favorites from the 80′s. Both are movies I loved enough to have seen multiple times, going so far as to own them on DVD. Both are films I haven’t picked up in at least (gulp!) eight years. It was funny the different reactions I had to each.


AAR at the Movies: The Intouchables

Monday, June 4th, 2012
YouTube Preview Image

This weekend, I saw “The Intouchables”, a movie that has, perhaps inexplicably, become France’s #2 grossing film of all time, and that finally landed in North American theatres this week.  I loved it, and I also think it’s a good film.  But I can also see why American critics have been alternately scoffing, miffed, grudging, and downright appalled. (more…)

Summer Movies Preview

Thursday, May 10th, 2012
YouTube Preview Image

When it comes to movies, summer used to mean two things: Harry Potter and Pixar.  Now that Harry Potter’s over, I’m left with just Pixar.  I would call it religious, the way I unfailingly see the new Pixar every June and look forward to their new short, but I did skip Cars 2.  And I don’t feel I’m missing much.

This year’s Pixar is Brave, which is unusual because a) it features actual humans (the only other full-length films that did so were The Incredibles and Up), and b) the protagonist is a girl!  It seems quite fairy tale-ish, about a Scottish princess and bears and lots of humour, and features the voice talents of Kelly Macdonald (love her) and Emma Thompson.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Other movies that caught my eye: (more…)

You Bring Out the Bad Girl in Me!

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
YouTube Preview Image

I am not for sure, but I think I just came across this song accidentally on youtube.  Since that time it has become a daily recurring ear worm which has resulted in me watching this scene ten times more than I ever watched the whole movie.


Battle Royale: The Original Teen Survival Arena Film

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

battle royale

The Hunger Games have been all over the news lately. In one of the many articles a critic discussed Battle Royale, a year 2000 Japanese film about a class of teenagers forced to fight to the death in an arena. The writer pointed out the similarities between the two films. The greater violence of Battle Royale was emphasized, a fact which drew my husband like a magnet. We watched the movie one rainy Saturday night and I have to admit to being disturbed on many levels. But mostly, I was impressed – because much of the heart that I felt was missing from Hunger Games (the movie) appeared in this movie.

In the future, the Japanese Government finds itself with growing numbers of disenchanted youth. Disrespectful in school, violent in some cases, they represent to the adults a break down in society and the culture they have always known. In retribution and an attempt to hold some form of power over these kids the Battle Royale Act is instated. Battle Royale is a fun little game played every year in which a random class of young people is chosen to fight to the death in an arena. Each person is given a back pack with a weapon but don’t be fooled, there’s nothing fair about the fight. Some backpacks contain frying pans, others machine guns. To add some spice two ringers are added to the field called transfer students. One ringer is a former winner being punished for attitude, reminding the kids that they are never safe from vengeance. The other is the equivalent of what the Hunger Games called a career – a seasoned, trained fighter who likes to kill. Everyone on the island has only three days. If at the end of three days more than one person is alive, all are detonated and no winner is declared. (more…)

Easter Parade

Monday, April 2nd, 2012
YouTube Preview Image

I’m a sucker for Irving Berlin Musicals. Easter Parade stars Judy Garland and Fred Astaire as they sing and dance to 17 terrific Irving Berlin tunes in a story that is as sugary sweet as Easter candy. When professional dancer Don Hewes (Astaire) is ditched by his stage partner Nadine (Ann Miller) one day before Easter he makes a vow: he will dance his way to fame with a new girl and have her ready to shine in time for next year’s Easter Parade. Enter Hannah Brown (Garland), a dancer quite different than Nadine but quickly able to prove to Astaire that she has just what it takes to put him back on top.


Happy Hunger Games!

Monday, March 19th, 2012

YouTube Preview Image

If you’ve refused to watch the trailers or read any of the articles found on news stands regarding this film, this post will contain spoilers. If you’ve watched the commercials/trailers, you’re good to go.