Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a movie all 3 of us saw fairly recently--so here are our different perspectives....

(Shannon) I had really high expectations of this movie--so as usual, when I have too high expectations, the movie did not quite measure up. Overall I would rate Miss Pettigrew a 6.

3 reasons it wasn't a 3:
  • The actors were all pretty much amazing. Job very well done--very interesting to watch!!
  • The costuming and period-ness of the movie was so great!
  • Amy Adams

3 reasons it wasn't a 10:

  • I don't really have a desire to see it again
  • I didn't attach to it at all emotionally
  • It was good, but that's about it.

(Hillary) hmmmm it appears I liked this movie so much more than Shannon. This is the best new movie I have seen in 2008. The storyline is fresh and the writing has the perfect balance of corny humor and genuine emotion. I love Amy Adams, she reprises her roll as Giselle in Enchanted in many ways but it's perfect for DeLyssia Lafosse! Just her character's name cracks me up. The leading men were adorable and loveable, and the sets were fabulously 1930's. Francis McDormand was amazing; normally her rolls don't excite me because she plays harsh characters but here she is warm and sad.

Miss Pettigrew has a sweet surface story but it moved me with a reminder of the plight of unmarried and destitute women prior to the women's movement. DeLyssia LaFosse had no choice, if she wanted to progress in her career, she was forced to use her sexuality. Miss Pettigrew didn't have that option so she became homeless. As much as I dislike Gloria Steinem, and I believe the women's movement had some negative effects on families and society, I can't deny the gratitude I feel for her and the choices her efforts have given modern women.

Miss Pettigrew gives us a typical fairy tale ending, but it was handled in a believable way and it was quite satisfying.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why I Love Foreign Films (Christy)

Saturday I had the opportunity to see the film The Counterfeiters and I was reminded once again how much I love movies from other countries. The Counterfeiters won the Oscar for best foreign film and is about a counterfeiter who worked in a concentration camp forging English pound notes and the American dollar to fund the Nazi war effort. This film had a bare bones quality about it, which is something foreign films do so very well. American audiences, generally speaking, like their films laid out for them- they don't want to figure the meaning out for themselves. In The Counterfeiters, the director laid the facts out for the audience to interpret. The film was simple and devastating, as Holocaust movies can be, but was never over the top- especially when portraying events in the camp. The events speak for themselves and a good director does not need to embellish them. Many friends of mine say they don't like foreign films because they "don't like to read at the movies". If you don't watch foreign films, then you have no soul (cinematically speaking). Seriously- you are missing out and probably do not know what movies are capable of. Now, I don't mean to say that American films can not achieve the full potential of this art form, I am just saying it can be rare. You don't know how much color affects story telling until you watch a Chinese film. You don't know a love story until you watch a movie from France or Italy. And don't get me started on those directors from South of the Border (Cuaron, del Toro, Inarrito- please add the appropriate accent marks as I don't know how to put them in!) Luckily for us, they are making films in the U.S. And Germany? Well, with The Counterfeiters, they have won the last two Oscars for best foreign film (Run, don't walk, and rent last year's winner, The Lives of Others. I give it an 11)

Go see The Counterfeiters - I give it a 91/2. If that is your first foreign film, I hope it is not your last; and if you are an experienced foreign film watcher, then you will know what I am talking about!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

TV Tuesday

Shannon: Even though it's Wednesday, I have to post this fabulous (or maybe not so fabulous depending on which show you like) news. Below is a list of TV shows, when they will be returning, and how many new episodes for each)...the pictures tell you which ones I am most excited about. :)

Boston Legal (returns April 8, 6 episodes)
Brothers & Sisters (returns April 20, 4 episodes)
Desperate Housewives (returns April 13, 5 new episodes and a two-hour finale - 7 hours total)
Lost (continues its current 8-episode run, then returns with 5 episodes April 24)
Grey's Anatomy (returns April 24, 5 episodes)
Samantha Who? (returns April 7, 6 episodes) Ugly Betty (returns April 24, 5 episodes)CBS
The Big Bang Theory (returns March 17, 9 new episodes)
CSI (returns April 3, 6 new episodes)
CSI: Miami (returns March 24, 8 new episodes)
CSI: New York (returns April 2, 7 new episodes)
Cold Case (returns March 30, 5 new episodes)
Criminal Minds (returns April 2, 7 new episodes)
Ghost Whisperer (returns April 4, 6 new episodes)
Moonlight lives on (returns April 11, 4 new episodes)
NCIS (returns April 8, 7 new episodes)
Numbers (returns April 4, 6 new episodes)
How I Met Your Mother (returns March 17, 9 new episodes)
Rules of Engagement (returns April 14, 6 new episodes)
Shark (will shoot 4 new episodes, return date unknown)
Two and a Half Men (returns March 17, 9 new episodes)
Without a Trace (returns April 3, 6 new episodes)


Gossip Girl (returns April 21, 5 new episodes)
Reaper (returns April 22, 5 new episodes)
Smallville (returns April 17, 5 new episodes)
One Tree Hill (returns April 14, 6 new episodes)
Supernatural (returns April 24, 4 new episodes)
The Game (returns March 23, 9 new episodes)

House (returns April 28)
Bones (returns April 14)
'Til Death (original episode airs March 25; returns April 16)
Back to You (original episodes air Feb. 26, Feb. 27; returns April 16)


30 Rock (returns April 10)
My Name Is Earl (returns April 3 with 1-hour episode)
The Office (returns April 10)
ER (returns April 10)
Law & Order (returns April 23)
Law & Order: CI (will make new episodes, but for cable's USA Network)
Law & Order: SVU (returns April 15)
Saturday Night Live (Feb. 23; Tina Fey hosts)
Scrubs (returns April 10)

Returning next season:
ABC: Dirty Sexy Money, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice
Fox: 24 (Returns January 2009)
NBC: Heroes, Chuck, Life, Friday Night Lights

There's no clear info yet on whether these shows will return this season or next – if at all: October Road (ABC), Women's Murder Club (ABC), The Unit (CBS says the show is "on hiatus"), Cane (CBS says the show is "on hiatus"), Las Vegas (NBC), Aliens in America (CW; new episodes shot last fall air starting March 2), Prison Break (Fox)

Say goodbye to these shows: Big Shots, Carpoolers, Cavemen, Bionic Woman, Journeyman, Girlfriends.