Monday, March 31, 2008


Shannon: Laurie asked for a review on Atonement b/c she is reading the book...I am guessing she wants to know if it was good and if she should see it when she's please comment if you've seen it and tell us what you thought. Also--try not to spoil the ending for her, if possible! :)

I loved Atonement! I thought about it for several days and wanted to talk about it too. For me--that's usually a sign of a movie that I liked. So....overall I rate Atonement a 9.

3 Reasons why it wasn't a 10:
1. Well it almost was a I'm going to have to be picky here...probably the #1 reason is I don't really like Keira Knightly (not even after Pride & Prejudice or Love Actually). Also, she was so thin in this movie that it was distracting.
2. Nor do I really like James McAvoy. But he was entertaining and overall I thought both of them did a great job.
3. The war scenes dragged on.

3 Reasons why it wasn't a 5:
1. The story was so moving--and for me the movie was enough--I didn't feel like I needed more information or deeper explanations. I thought it really explained things well, and things were resolved in the end. Even though I've heard from some book readers that it needed more, I don't agree.
2. The costumes were so amazing--Keira's green dress motivated me to shop--and I found an amazing silky green shirt--not quite the same but definitely more suitable for me to wear. :)
3. Everyone was really good and the scenery was amazing.

Would I recommend it? Yes--but there are definitely some shocking parts so if you're leary, read some more reviews where they give some spoilers so you know what to expect.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Bank Job

Shannon: On Saturday, Shiloh and I went to see The Bank Job. I knew 3 things about this movie before seeing it: 1) It stars Handsome Rob from the Italian Job, 2) Eric Bana's wife in Troy is also in it, and 3) it's a heist. was again proven to me that many times it is better to go to a movie knowing nothing about it b/c I don't have any expectations and it isn't difficult to meet expectations when they are low or non-existent.

Overall, I rate The Bank Job an 8.

3 reasons it didn't get a 10:
1. It was shockingly naughty--which isn't the end of the world for me but when it seems unnecessary, I don't like it.
2. I didn't develop an emotional attachment to it at all.
3. There was a good love scene....that apparently got completely cut in the editing process! Lame!

3 reasons it didn't get a 5:
1. This is Jason Statham's best movie--he was fab! And he was hot!
2. Saffron Burrows was awesome! She looked about 10 feet tall w/all her amazing 70s outfits and coats (turns out she actually is 6 ft tall)
3. It was a helluva lot of fun! And a true story to boot!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Christy's TV Tuesday Post

Why am I excited about TV this week? Two names: Eli Stone and GEORGE MICHAEL. That's right, you read correctly: GEORGE MICHAEL. Are you watching Eli Stone? Well, you should be.

I first came to know of this show because my first true love, GEORGE MICHAEL was in it. Eli Stone is about a lawyer, named, well, Eli Stone, who has auditory and visual hallucinations. His first auditory hallucination involves the song Faith, by GEORGE MICHAEL (ok, I will stop using capital letters now. I will assume you understand how excited I am). Eventually, Eli Stone learns he has a brain aneurism which is causing him to have these hallucinations. Through an acupuncturist, Eli learns he may be receiveing these visions from God and he must use the law to help people.

For the first few episodes, George Michael songs are prominently feautred and serve as insipiration for Mr. Stone. What is not to love about this concept?! And this week, the episode that I have been longing for has arrived: George Michael, HIMSELF, (sorry, couldn't resist) will be an actual guest star. I haven't been this excited since 1987 when Faith won R&B Album of the Year. Not a fan of George Michael? Well, no worries (not everyone has a refined taste in music) Johnny Lee Miller as Eli Stone is incentive enough. He is yet another example of how the best actors on TV right now are all British.

Johnny Lee Mill not enough? Still- don't worry, he is surrounded by an excellent cast including Victor Garber, Loretta Devine and Natasha Hendstrdige. Trust me- I am never wrong when it comes to TV shows. You can thank me later.

Hillary's TV Tuesday

I got hooked on a show that was steamy and suspensful the first season so I kept watching . . . season 2 got more and more corny and stupid and uneventful but I kept watching because I WANTED to see how it all turned out (plus the writers strike made me watch lots of stupid shows). Just as I was about to quit the show completley, October Road delivered a season finale that was phenomenal!! I mean, who knew that big tough Eddie Lateka (left with Janet) would get the crud kicked out of him and that Janet would be the one to cheat. But, I knew all along that Big Cat was responsible for Eddie's beating - Hannah is in for a serious train wreck there. I did sort of think all along that Aubrey would end up with Ronnie but for him to come out with his feelings at Hannah's engagement party and then they kiss in public?! wow. This might just be the thing to drive Nick back to his world tour with U2. I still love physical Phil and Pizza Girl, that is too cute. If you love this kind of drama and some good flash back 80's tunes (the last scene was set to REO Speedwagon's "Roll with the Changes" now playing) you NEED to tune in - next season that is.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Horton Hears a Who

Hillary: (I doubt Shannon and Christy will lend their comment to this one) I give it a 4 or 5 overall. This movie is WAY too long and gets boring in the middle. Thank goodness Chubs was fussy so I walked the halls with him in the stroller for a while in the middle.

Luckily I made it back to the theatre in time for the ending though, it was fab! During the rest of the movie I kept thinking who cares about the city on a speck! But once they started singing and making their music, they totally won me over. The kids did really enjoy the movie, it was fun to see Carol Burnett revise her Miss Hannigan role as the kangaroo.

In Bruges/Away From Her

Hillary: I loved In Bruges! Well, now that I have some distance from it. I am careful about the violence I see because I do not like it even in the name of art. Because this is filmed "In Bruges" I took the chance, and it was a hard-core movie. Not as violent as say Braveheart (which I turned off) or say, The Departed. In The Departed, the violence overtook any enjoyment for the movie itself so I didn't like it at all. However, the clever storyline, the funny dialogue and beautiful scenery was enough to overcome the violence and the dark tone of In Bruges. The side stories were hilarious like the midget with the prostitutes and the chick Colin Farrell hooks up with that has a job supplying drugs to an American movie set. I usually don't like European movies degrading Americans because let's face it they would be speaking German if not for . . . and they wouldn't have that much of an economy if we didn't visit and lend our technological advances . . . but I digress, the only Americans in the movie were the midget (excuse me L.P.) and some fat tourists that have a heart attack climbing the church bell tower. That was funny, I have to say. I laughed out loud in the movie and was shocked to the core. I especially loved the juxtaposition of the fairy tale setting of Bruges and the dark nature of the storyline :).

Who would I recommend this movie to? Well, Christy - and I took my husband and I can't think of anyone else that may enjoy the material enough, I give it a 7 or 8 overall.


We bought this movie On Demand a few weeks ago. I'd heard so much good about it and I really wanted to see it - I turned it off because what I had stored on my DVR seemed more interesting and enjoyable. It was really slow at first and I didn't have the patience that night . . .

Vantage Point

Shannon: Being an avid watcher of Ebert & Roeper (or really Roeper and whoever his guest is of the week), I was leary of Vantage Point because they said the rewinding and starting over again and again was a little much. But I reeeeaaaaalllly wanted to visit my old friend, the movie theater, so I went for it.

And I have to say that the rewinding was a little annoying--but only the actual way they did the rewinding made it seem repetitive...every time they showed a different perspective, I learned something new and liked the movie more.

Overall I rate Vantage Point a 7.

Why it didn't get a 10:
1. I can't feel good about rating this movie higher than the Other Boleyn Girl! haha
2. It was simply a "this happened, then that happened" sort of tale and it has to be a little deeper for me to really love it.
3. The CARNAGE! Hardly anyone survived and I have to wonder if that is really necessary.

Why it didn't get a 3:
1. The ending was really fabulous! Mostly the fact that with each perspective, they revealed a little more, until you knew everything and then it was just over. They didn't have to explain or have a narrator to wrap things up.
2. Every good movie needs a little eye candy and there was lots in this movie....Edgar Ramirez was my fave.
3. I was reminded one reason why I love movies....William Hurt was just amazing and I loved him as the President. But sometime during the film, it hit me that he was the pathetic dad in Into the Wild and I just hated him in that! Truly an amazing contrast!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Night Movie Time

Christy: Well, its a Friday night in spring and there 'ain't nothing in the theaters! What is a movie lover to do? Besides posting on her movie blog, this movie lover turned to Netflix. I watched Away from Her staring Julie Christie. (I am still trying to catch up on films from the Oscars) Julie Christie was nominated for her role as a woman with Alzheimer's.

After about thirty minutes I was ready to go to my room and cry for a while, but then I toughened up and watched the rest of the film. The movie is a heart breaker- Julie Christie was brilliant and the actor who played her husband, Gordon Pinsent, well, I might start crying just thinking about him. Their performance was a tribute to the realities of marriage and the heartbreak it must be when, after 44 years of marriage, a spouse begins to forget.

I give this movie a 9- the acting was wonderful and it seemed a realistic portrayal of the challenges of Alzheimer's , but it didn't stay with me like a 10 would. 10 movies stay in my dreams- maybe Away from Her was too painful! Finally, Sarah Polley? Who knew she was so talented? As the writer AND directer of this film, Ms. Polley showed a light touch and never made this film melodramatic.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In Bruges

Shannon: Just before going to see In Bruges, I mentioned it to some people (who shall remain nameless) that said everything from "What is In Bruges" to "Oh that's that movie w/Colin Farrell and that other guy!"

That other guy? Excuse me? SINCE WHEN IS RALPH F
IENNES EVER THAT OTHER GUY?! If there is one thing In Bruges solidified for me it's that Ralph Fiennes is an amazing actor!! He has long since been on my top ten (see biography posting on my favorite movies for an explanation as to why) and any idiot can see he is a good actor. I mean who else could pull off Count Almasy, Chris Marshall and Lord Voldemort in one lifetime? (Check his IMDB movie list for more info). BUt alas....he's done it again in this movie! Comedy, darkness, everything!

The movie was good--I liked it and did not regret going. But it was shocking, and sad, and dark. I would give this movie a 6. And I would recommend it w/hesitation--I definitely don't think it is for everyone.

3 Reasons why it wasn't a 10:

  1. The killing is pretty brutal
  2. So is the language
  3. Even though there were amazing shots of Bruges--it still didn't do the city justice!

3 reasons why it wasn't a 3:

  1. Ralph Fiennes (duh). The other 2 main characters were fab too!
  2. The ending did provide a resolved-ish type of feeling.
  3. It was so clever, unexpected and funny!! I still crack up when I think of Colin Farrell saying "If I'd grown up on a farm and was retarded, Bruges might impress me. But I didn't so it doesn't." hahaha Bruges is truly one of the most amazing places I've ever been so how could I do anything but laugh at this hilarious comment!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

Shannon: The minute I learned Eric Bana would be the King in this movie, I bought the book to read it beforehand....that was a year ago and sadly I must report that I only finished 250 pages before seeing the movie. :( I am not one of those people who always likes a book better than a movie--I can usually appreciate them independently. And that is pretty much the sitch w/the OBG.

Overall, I rank this movie a 7.

3 reasons why it wasn't a 5:
1) The costumes were soooooooooo amazing! The sets & props (including horses) were interesting to look at and it seemed very appropriate for 16th century England (but Christy will have to be the real judge on this issue).
2) The Boleyn children TRULY delivered! Scarlett was the weakest (but the girl just plain can't act--so knowing that--it wasn't such a bad effort)....the other 2 were fab!
3) The ending had a happy resolve. I don't need everything to be happy and rosy--but it must at least feel resolved--and I loved the way this one ended.

3 reasons why it wasn't a 10:
1) There wasn't enough of Eric Bana (duh! when you have someone like that--why wouldn't you put him in every scene? :)
2) It moved sooooooo fast--even after reading some of the book I felt it was a bit difficult to connect or like the characters.
3) There wasn't any good music. They missed a great opportunity here to incorporate some rockin' tracks for the jousting, and some amazing "take my breath away" ballads during the naughty stuff.

Hillary: I would have to agree with much of what Shannon said, I would give the movie a 6 or 7 . The scenery and castles were beautiful to look at (was it just me or was it REALLY brown for England? I've been there in the winter and it was still very green and lush, I almost didn't believe they filimed :) this on the English Countryside). I DID read the book in about a week before the movie and the book is completley FAB. It is probably one of my top 10 fiction favs so if you are going to choose, read the book!

The OBG tried to hard to hit all of the events, they should've narrowed their focus a bit so we could savor the relationships and the emotions. I loved Natalie Portman's performance she makes an excellent biotch, Scarlet was actually very sweet as Mary and she is the exact visual equivilent to my Mary in the book. I was VERY disappointed that they left George's character out of the movie so much. First of all because I LOVE Jim Sturgess as much as Eric Bana (but who are we kidding, this movie is about the ladies) but also because that relationship was so pivotal, tender, and twisted. The opening and closing scenes with the children playing in the field was beautiful and an effective way of portraying the bond between the three Boelyns without giving the history.

The music was a downer (that is a HUGE part of the experience for me), I have posted the song I recommend for the last scene as Ann is getting her due and Mary is going to get the children at the castle, you can imagine her emotions as she must be devasted and relieved because of the love/hate relationship with Ann and she knows she will be free from threats to her children, etc. I LOVE when historical movies feature modern music it's the juxtaposition of the old and the new (I was dying to use that word somehow :) that enhances the emotion of the moment when the head comes off!!!

Christy: The Other Boleyn Girl? I give it a 4. While I completely agree with Shannon- Eric Bana should be in every frame- I thought the movie was slow. Or maybe I it was boring for me because I just kept thinking, "When is Eric Bana going to come back?" I think Scarlett Johansson also contributed to the boring element- she still hasn't quite convinced me she is any good. On the the other hand, Natalie Portman was good as a conniving Anne Boleyn. And Eric? Sigh. He is too good for the part written for him!

While the tawdry details are mostly true, the history teacher in me wanted to remind the audience that it was in Henry's best interest to break from the Catholic Church. The English never liked those Italian popes in their business. Besides, think of all that money that Henry could get when he confiscated all the church land!

The costumes were excellent and I thought that showing how precarious life for a woman was at that time was the best thing about The Other Boleyn Girl. Even if a woman was wealthy, it did not save her from being a pawn in the greedy games of men. It was a little hard to believe that a man as powerful and arrogant as Henry VIII would have let himself be manipulated by someone like Anne. As a woman, was I supposed to be proud of Anne's manipulation of a king? Well, no matter how I feel about it, Anne certainly paid the price.

Hillary's Biography

Why am I qualified to analyze movies on this blog?
#1 I took a film class in college (because of the guy I wanted to get close to and it worked! temporarily)
#2 In that film class I watched and analyzed The Graduate.
#3 In high school I saw the Elephant Man at least 3 times (the scene where they poured alcohol in his hole of a mouth to get him drunk really stuck with me).
I do love movies but I do not waste time on bad movies. I research them before hand to try to better my odds at seeing movies I will like. That is one reason we "mavens" want to share experiences at the theatre so you can say goodbye to spending 2 hours and $10 on crappy movies.
When I'm not in the theatre, I am a mother to three kids (one of them is REALLY cute) and I have my own little commercial property management company which keeps me busy.

Movies in which I consider a "10"
Moulin Rouge (all time fav)
Garden State
In America
The Saint (I love anything set in Europe and with Val Kilmer, this had both!!)

Movies from 2007 I would consider an "8" or "9"
High School Musical 2

Movies at a "5" (well maybe a "6")
27 Dresses
No Reservations
Music and Lyrics
Many other pretty good romantic comedys.
This is a recommendation.

Movies at a "1"
Wedding Planner
Prob a lot of blockbuster action movies, but I don't usually see those.
First Daughter (walked out)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Shannon's Biography

I love movies! But going to the movie is only part of the experience...the anticipation beforehand AND the discussion and analyzation afterwards are just as important to me in order to enjoy a movie.

A little more about me....for years I have collected my movie ticket stubs and I consider them an amazing journal of memorable experiences! I label them on the back so I can remember who I went with. By day I work at Stampin' Up!...and by night I play and stamp and blog.

My favorite movies (all of which I consider a 10) of all time are:
*The English Patient
*Moulin Rouge
*Bride & Prejudice
*Almost Famous

To give an example of my rating scale from the movies I saw in 2007 (which by-the-way was a total bummer of a year for movies)...

10: Juno (the humor, the quirkiness, the cleverness...I saw it in the theater 3 times)
5: 3:10 to Yuma (even though it starred Russell Crowe, in the end, it was still just a western)
1: Because I Said So (lame lame lame!!)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Christy's Biography

Movies are my life. Ok, not really. In the real world I am a high school history teacher who loves movies, but in a fantasy world I would review movies professionally. I place the blame of my movie addiction on my mother. I remember Saturdays where my mother stopped me from doing chores and sit with her to watch South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof or It Happned One Night.

In high school, I would come home from school to watch old movies on TCM and AMC. My favorite actors were Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell and Myrna Loy. It probably goes without saying, but my friends thought I was a little weird.

When I was a freshman in college I took a film class and loved every minute of it. Watching at least two movies a week for class? My dad was suspicious; I was in heaven. College also introduced me to foreign films and a entire new world of film was opened up to me. Oh, and I also became a film snob!

These days, as the price of movie tickets rise, and home entertainment systems can make going to the movie theater a chore, I still can not walk away from the movie experience. What kind of a review will I be? To help fill out this biography a little more, here is a list of my all time favorite movies:

* Auntie Mame
* The English Patient
* The Matrix
* L.A. Confidential

Also, I offer some examples of my rating scale from movies I've seen within the last year:
*10 (perfect): No Country for Old Men
*5 (a good time filler): Sweeney Todd
*1 (those are two hours of my life I can't get back): Transformers (I just can't take moralizing robots)

So! This is me and my movie thoughts in a nut shell.