Tag Archives: Movies

Prepping for the Oscars

moviesLast month Dabney talked about her resolution to go to one movie a month. I go in streaks with movies. I’ll go for months, sometimes years, without seeing any current films in the theater. And during those periods I’ll only catch the occasional movie on TV. Then, a movie will come out that reminds me how much I love movies and I’m back on track, watching at least one movie a week, or more, in the theaters.

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AAR Goes to the Movies: Source Code

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiBVUulE_wo[/youtube]I went to see Source Code, director Duncan Jones’s second full-length feature, lured with the promise of a time loop, one of my favorite science fiction plotlines ever. What I got was an excellent film: Lots of excitement (after all, a train explodes repeatedly) but no over-the-top action, a clever plot with only smallish inconsistencies I was able to live with, very likeable protagonists, a sweet romance, and lovely images.

A man (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up on a Chicago commuter train as from a one-minute nap. A woman (Michelle Monaghan) whom he has never seen before, but who apparently knows him well, is carrying on a conversation with him. When he escapes to the train’s toilet, he sees a stranger’s face in the mirror. After eight minutes, the train explodes, killing the man and all other passengers. Continue reading

Midnight in Paris


Buzz has quietly been growing for Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s latest romantic comedy.  Summer blockbusters don’t tend to appeal to me, so when my friend suggested we see a movie the other night, I chose Midnight in Paris.

The movie stars Owen Wilson as Gil, an American aspiring novelist in Paris with his spoiled fiance and her parents.  He loves it; they do not.  He pines for the artistic inspiration, the intellectual discussions, and the company of the “Golden Age” of 1920s Paris, when F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and other writers and artists gathered.  Little does he expect to actually join them.

If you aren’t familiar with the art and literature of this era, you won’t understand half of this movie.  I caught a fair amount of the jokes and allusions, and my friend (an art history major) got even more.  It’s not particularly accessible, but it is charming and romantic and funny and quirky.  It’s a marvelous cast, with some truly scene stealing cameos by Adrian Brody, Allison Pill, and Carla Bruni (yes, Mrs. Sarkozy herself).  The entire movie is gorgeous (it’s Paris, after all) and the costumes exquisite. In a lot of ways, it’s typical Woody Allen- lots of long shots, dialogue that is at times utterly natural and witty, and at times a bit clunky.

It’s far from a blockbuster film, but if all of the sequels and action flicks aren’t doing it for you, check out this one.

In Praise of Geoffrey Rush

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY10ZL9eORg[/youtube]LinnieGayl recently wrote about Colin Firth in The King’s Speech. Now that I have seen the movie as well, I would like to talk about Geoffrey Rush. In The King’s Speech, he plays Australian-born speech therapist Lionel Logue, who successfully treated George VI (played by Colin Firth) for his stammer. If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend you do so; it’s a wonderful, intimate depiction of a very troubled man and the friendship that slowly develops with his therapist. It also gives fascinating insights into the family life of the Windsors in the 1930s. Continue reading

Costume Dramas

costume-dramaUntil a few years ago, I was a huge movie fan. In addition to watching lots of movies via my Netflix subscription, I’d go to at least one current movie a week in the movie theater. That all ended when illness, work, and other real life problems got in the way. Well, finally, after nearly a two year absence, my love of movies is back!

It started a few weeks ago when I went to see The King’s Speech. Within days of seeing that, I finally went out and saw the latest Harry Potter movie, and have been scouring reviews for other ideas. Any suggestions?

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Move over Mr. Darcy?


For years, whenever anyone would mention Colin Firth, I would instantly conjure up images of him as Mr. Darcy, in the wonderful BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. This is my perfect version of P&P, and Colin Firth is my image of Mr. Darcy.

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Animated cartoons

HortonI’m not quite sure why, but the days before and just after Christmas are the perfect time for me to watch animated cartoons (is that the right term to use?). Somehow it’s the perfect moment to snuggle under a woolly blanket on the sofa, pick up the remote, and start watching a cartoon on the TV or from a DVD. There may also be some Christmas chocolates involved … Continue reading

Happy Halloween!


I love spooky movies, especially old black and white films from the 1950s or earlier. Now I’m not talking about slasher films; those just aren’t for me. But give me a good old Vincent Price or Borlis Karloff flick and I’m a happy camper. I know they’re corny, but they just make me smile. And they’re so unrealistic, that they don’t make me lose any sleep.

However, for some reason, on Halloween, nothing seems quite as spooky and scary to me as Macbeth. I’ve seen the play in person several times, but love watching clips from various versions on YouTube. This clip from the Orson Welles version is one of my favorites. (I know I’ve posted this earlier at our previous site, but this just says Halloween to me.)

How about you? Do you like scary movies? If so, what are some of your favorites?


Julie and Julia

julie and julia

Last night, my dreams were filled with wonderful food. Good bread, fish coated with a buttery sauce, delicious cakes, the perfect roasted chicken, and did I mention, butter. Yes, I finally got around to seeing Julie and Julia.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I found the parts about Julie’s blog, and her efforts to cook 524 dishes in 365 days interesting. I didn’t eat before going to the movie, and some of the dishes she made had my stomach rumbling. But for me, the best parts of the movie were the sections about Julia Child. Continue reading