Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Going to the Movies (Possible Spoilers ahead)

My husband and I love to watch movies together.
Before we had kids, we would go out to movie theaters for date nights pretty regularly.
After kids, not so much. Maybe once or twice a year if that.
But now that our kids are getting older, we are finding time to go either with them or just on our own.

In the last six weeks, we have seen six movies - three of them in the theater and three at home. So I just want to share a little review of some of these movies. I have tried hard not to spoil anything for those who haven't seen them yet. But just in case, if you are still waiting to see any of these movies, you may want to skip that review for now!

First up...

Wonder
Ok this first one, my husband and I didn't actually see together. My daughter and I have been reading the book together and a little bit on her own. She loves this book and really wanted to see the movie. So over Thanksgiving weekend, the boys went to see Justice League (on my list, too!) and we went to Wonder. I'm so glad we did. It was great to have a movie date with her and we both loved it. I honestly thought the cast was fabulous. Jacob Tremblay in the lead role was so believable and sweet. Plus, you can never go wrong with Julia Roberts in my book. I'm a huge fan, and I felt such a connection with her in this role as a mom. Plus, you have Owen Wilson for comedy relief and I had to say he would make a pretty cool dad. I thought Izabela Vidovic was perfect as Auggie's sister, too. Her story was just as powerful as Auggie's in my opinion because she loves her family but feels on the outside at the same time due to her parents needing to be there for Auggie. In addition, she is struggling with the loss of a friendship, while finding love and new interests at the same time. Noah Jupe as Jack Will, Auggie's new best friend really showed how tough it is to want to stay loyal to friendship but at the same time feel pressured to give in to the crowd a little bit. Without giving too much away, I loved that he realizes the error of his ways, and friendship wins.

At times, it could feel a little preachy or as if it was  purposefully trying to tug on our heartstrings. And I'm not a huge fan of that at all. But because I found the rest of this movie and it's message so fantastic, I was able to look past those moments which actually led to some discussions with my daughter later that I really enjoyed.

Wonder = 4 1/2 our of 5 stars for me


Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I was pretty excited about this one! My husband, son, a friend of my son's and I all went to see this one together. My daughter isn't into Star Wars like her mom, and opted to hang out at a friend's house instead.

I have loved the Star Wars saga since the first movie came out when I was a little girl. I am such a Star Wars geek and even have a Pinterest board titled Star Wars Geek Girl.
Lol, lame I know! But love it so much.
Seeing Return of the Jedi in the movie theater all those years ago is still one of my favorite Star Wars memories!

And when this movie started with the usual logo pop up and blare of the theme song, I got goose bumps!
I love that they have continued the story line. I really do love the new heroes. And at first I loved having the old characters back. But it's all so tragic really. I mean, Return of the Jedi was such a happy ending. Our heroes deserved their happy ending! But here we are all these years later, and Luke, Leia and Han have anything but a happy ending. It's a little depressing actually. And they are right back where they were during Star Wars a New Hope. The bad guys are winning!

My husband and I both agree completely that Kylo Ren just does not do it for us as a villain. He just comes across as a weak whiny brat. In fact, it almost seems at times as if those serving under him, are laughing at him. Nothing like the fear Darth Vader used to strike in the hearts of everyone who came across his path.That dude was seriously scary to me back then. And the final battle between Luke and Vader in Return of the Jedi, is one of my favorite fight scenes ever. But Kylo Ren just comes across so blah. And don't get us started on Snoke. He doesn't even look real and is not even worthy of being the big boss!
My theory though is that Kylo Ren just has to get worse. And by worse I mean more evil.
After all younger Anakin Skywalker in those first three movies, was much more annoying than anything. And he definitely had his fair share of temper tantrums even after he married Padme. But he turned into Darth Vader eventually, so I guess there is hope for Kylo Ren. Only time will tell.

And Luke (Mark Hamill) whom I had the biggest crush on in grade school, wasn't much better at first in this movie. He seemed to have just as many petulant tantrums as Kylo Ren. "No, I won't train you, Rey." "Yes, I'll train you." "No I won't go back." "Yes, I'll help". He just could not make up his mind.
But for all the faults, there were still many memorable and exciting moments. And some pretty funny one liners and jokes in true Star Wars humor. So as much as I wish some things could be different with this new series and movie, I still look forward to the next one!

3 1/2 out of 5 stars


Bright (on Netflix)
Next up is a sci fi, fantasy, action, mystery with a little bit of political commentary in the mix. This movie kind of couldn't make up it's mind what it wanted to be. But I love Will Smith and I thought Joel Edgerton did a great job in his role as the Orc cop buddy.
It was pretty loud, a little violent and kind of hard to watch in a few places. But I was hooked on the story overall wanting to see how it ended.
I generally like Will Smith in his roles, but his character was a little to cynical and jaded at times. Almost like they felt they had to keep hitting us over the head with it until the end when of course ultimately he softens a bit.
So much social commentary though with a little bit of a unique twist as far as elves and orcs. But really I found it a little uncomfortable how they tried to make orcs appear to fit into a racial category that already exists. It just did not come across as authentic at all.
 
On the plus side, it has a happy ending so I think for that reason, liking Joel Edgerton, and the elves fighting skills, I will give it
3 (instead of just 2 1/2) out of 5 stars.



 The Circle
Another watch at home movie for the two of us, except this time on Amazon Prime. Can I just say we both hated this movie. Like really hated it! I mean with Tom Hanks (one of my favorite actors ever) and Emma Watson, how could you go wrong. But it did in so many ways. There was a little bit of good build up and mystery, but the ending was just so stupid and only a little satisfying that the "bad guys" got put in their place. And maybe it was just hard for me to see Tom Hanks in a not so nice after all kind of guy role. But frankly, I thought the dialogue was terrible and didn't help Emma Watson. I just didn't find her character very likeable at all, so it seemed odd that she would end up kind of saving the day. To say any more would just pretty much ruin the story I think, but not my favorite Tom Hanks movie. And I've seen them all. Well, except Turner and Hooch. Big slobbery dogs, not my thing.

1 star out of 5 and only because well Tom Hanks.



Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
We watched this one at home on Netflix. Finally! We'd been wanting to see it for awhile and were finally able to fit it in over the holiday break.
Loved it! I loved the first one, so I'm glad to say I liked the second one, too.
I mean the story line was a little bizarre, but really everything about these movies is bizarre. But in a good way to me.
So many one liners that cracked us up. It's pretty funny in an often inappropriate way on so many levels, but we just roll with it. :)
And it's actually very sweet in parts when it comes to talking about family. The whole family doesn't have to be blood, to be real family rings pretty true here.
I love movies with ultimately feel good happy endings and a fantastic soundtrack. I am definitely a classic rock kind of girl, so it's fun seeing how they used those types of songs in the movie.
Also, Chris Pratt is his usual cool self, and Groot steals the show in several scenes. But really the whole cast is pretty fantastic.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

 

The Greatest Showman
And last but not least, is the most recent movie we went to at the theater. I was looking forward to this one a lot, and thankfully my husband was ok going with me. Although I don't think it was high on his list of must see's. But it seemed to have a Moulin Rouge feel to it and we both ended up liking that one. Plus, we take turns picking movies to see and it was my turn. Hey, if I can sit through Last Man Standing on date night, he totally can make it through a musical, right? lol

Anyway, there has been a lot of hype around this movie, and I will admit I was a little disappointed. I mean I think Hugh Jackman, Zendaya and the rest of the circus troupe were pretty amazing. I wasn't too crazy about Michelle Williams, and maybe it's just because she doesn't seem a musical type of actress to me. Also, I am not a huge Zac Efron fan, but I thought he did a pretty great job in his role as P.T. Barnum's partner, Phillip Carlyle.

The intro number was definitely an attention grabber. But the first part of the movie moved a little slowly to me as they set the groundwork for when the circus actually started to come together.
Probably one of my favorite things about this movie was the choreography. I thought it was brilliant. Especially the musical number "Rewrite the Stars" with Zac Efron and Zendaya. It was really beautiful watching them dance around in the air. And the scenes with the circus troupe were always well choreographed. Huge props to the choreographer.

But the movie kind of let me down in a few areas.
I thought the musical numbers didn't always seem to flow well. And it seemed at times that the story could have been told better without a whole song and dance. When Michelle Williams started to sing Tightrope, my husband and I turned to each other and said "another musical number?"
Ironically I did find myself listening to the soundtrack on Spotify the next day. So the songs were definitely in my head long after the movie.

I've seen a few complaints that the movie was not true to the characters. And that P.T. Barnum was a greedy, selfish narcissist. Actually, I thought the movie portrayed him like that quite a bit. He wasn't always the most likeable character and seemed to put his dreams first before all other things. I'm not sure if in real life he did ever come to the realization that people are more important than things or money, but of course the movie gave us that happy ending.

Where I thought the movie completely failed, was it's interpretation of Jenny Lind, the singer known as the "Swedish Nightingale". I guess for dramatic purposes they felt it was necessary to portray her as a selfish homewrecker. And from everything I have ever read about her, she seemed anything but that in real life. In the movie, she falls for P.T. Barnum, makes a move on him and then is so upset at his rejection, tries to ruin his business and life! Seriously? She was actually known for being a philanthropist. And the rumor is actually that she split from working for him because he was just too over the top. I thought it was just terrible how they made her character completely unlikable. Talk about poetic license and not in a good way. A real disservice to turn someone of good character into the complete opposite.

So despite it's flaws, I did find many things to like about this movie. But instead of being 4 or 5 stars
I can only give it 3 1/2

And that is it for movie reviews here at the Scrapbook Treehouse!
Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think?

2 comments:

  1. We LOVED Wonder and Guardians!! The rest of the family saw Star Wars (I am not a fan! LOL!) -- and I have heard horrible things about The Circle -- so I haven't even wanted to see it! Brookie wants to see Showman BADLY .... we will see if it will work out this weekend! :)

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    1. I definitely think Showman is worth going to see, but with all the hype I just felt a little disappointed.
      And The Circle is not worth it!

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