|Caroline Bonarde Ucci [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
We haven't been to the theater in a while, but the ads for this one (calling it one of the best Bond films ever) drew us out. We agree that it's one of the best Bond films, but we've never been huge fans of those. This was your basic action film, only it was pretty smart, well-acted, and part of a well-known franchise. The movie acknowledged Daniel Craig's rapid aging, so is it possible that this might be his last Bond movie? If so, he went out well. This movie was so much better than Quantum of Solace. It was about as good as Casino Royale. Our only complaint was that it was too long. It should have stopped at two hours. Javier Bardem's bond villain was great. He can bring the scariness. If you like nonstop action and James Bond, you'll like this movie. We're sure this isn't news, but we thought we'd throw in our agreement with everyone else anyway. The bond girls were almost insultingly thin though. Skin on bones. It sends the message that because Bond is the ultimate man who only enjoys the finest women, the finest women are all size 0.
Movie grade: A-
Machine Gun Preacher
We were forced to watch this, and we aren't happy. Why don't people just let us pick the movies when we watch instant netflix? We know what we are doing. We have an entertainment blog. Ughhh. This movie was about a drug addict who found God and started fighting for Sudanese orphans. There was much mention of Kony. For an inspiring story laden with plot points that should have been touching (orphans, heroism, fatherhood, redemption, faith, and a strong marriage), the movie was emotionally barren. Also, it couldn't decide between having its main character being a vengeful, manly bad ass with a machine gun and having him be a brave, loving Christian who believes everyone is a child of God.
Since the movie was based on the book written by Sam Childers, the main character, the movie made us wonder if Sam was torn between being seen as a strong hero and actually giving glory to the deity he claims to worship. It's difficult to get rid of a love of violence and a view of power as the ultimate good when trying to move into a peaceful religion (see: the crusades). Sam is struggling with that. The movie doesn't reflect reality either. It, and Sam Childers, are controversial because of lies and neglect. In view of the whole truth, this movie just ended up depressing us. It wasn't well made and the characters were flat. It got boring and trite quickly. We should have known not to watch a Gerard Butler movie (only 300 was tolerable).
Movie grade: D-
This star-filled movie about the stock market crash would have benefited from writer Aaron Sorkin. This could have been the financial "Social Network," but it ended up not being as clever. As a result, it wasn't that entertaining. It was nice to see Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany Penn Badgley, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci and Demi Moore do something different. If this is what happened in 2008, we're ready to storm Wall Street too. However, we doubt it was that cut-and-dry and evil. Certainly greed was at work, but we think this movie gets its good reviews because of its message rather than its actual quality.
Movie grade: C+
We finally watched the Japanese movie that so resembles The Hunger Games...in basic plot device only. This movie has more central teen characters, less emotion, less message, and more teen drama. It's also a lot funnier. That painting at the end had us reeling with laughter. Our favorite character was obviously Mitsuko. If you like violence and action, and you also don't mind a laugh with the two, or if you're a teenager, you'll like this movie. We'll stick with Katniss, but this was fun.
Movie grade: B