Hannah Montana: The Movie

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by ldw

Okay … I’ll say it.  I LOVED this movie.  I even cried a little!

So this movie is about Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) who is secretly the mega superstar Hannah Montana.  Unfortunately for everyone in her life, Stewart has allowed her secret mega super-stardom to go to her head.  She acts entitled around her family and friends and even in front of the media.  She ruins her best friend, Lily’s (Emily Osment) birthday.  She fights for a pair of shoes again Tyra Banks (not sure why anyone would go against Miss Banks … I love you, you feisty woman!)  So to get her head back on straight, Miley’s father, Robbie Ray (Billy Ray Cyrus) “kidnaps” her and takes her back to Tennessee where she grew up before her mother (Brooke Shields) died.  Robbie hopes that once Miley is back in TN she will reconnect with who she truly is.  There is romance, costume changes, the standby “I need to be two people in two places at one time” shtick, great moments of love and tenderness, and all the other things you expect from a Disney movie.

Miley Cyrus was great – better than when she’s on Disney channel – as Miley Stewart.  Emily Osment was (as always) amazing as Lily (I love her and can’t wait to see what else she does).  Lucas Till was decent as Travis Brody but nothing extremely noteworthy.  No one else was any good (except Tyra and Vanessa Williams).

Disney did well with this movie.

Rating: * * * 1/2

Hannah Montana The Movie

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Marley And Me

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by ldw

Okay this movie was talked big – it didn’t fulfill for me.  I didn’t care about the characters and I didn’t care about the dog – until the end.  I’ve seen two dogs put to sleep and it isn’t fun.  I didn’t enjoy seeing it again (even though it was a movie).

Jenifer Aniston and Owen Wilson worked well in their roles but I dislike them both so I had a hard time getting around that.  I don’t think their performances were very good – in fact they weren’t even regular good!

There isn’t much more to say … it was a romcom so the directing, acting, soundtrack, etc isn’t something to nominate for an Oscar

Rating: *

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Seven Pounds

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , on July 28, 2009 by ldw

A lot of movie critics and viewers disliked this movie … I loved it!  Was it a little deep and dark for a Christmas Day release?  Yes!  But it was a great movie – good job Will and Rosario!

So Tim Thomas (Will Smith) caused a traffic accident that killed seven people including his girlfriend so he has decided to make the lives of seven people – strangers – better.  First he gives part of his lung to his brother (Michael Ealy).  Then he gives a liver to a social worker (Judyann Elder).  He gives a kidney to a hockey coach (Bill Smitrovich).  Then he donates bone marrow to a young boy with cancer (Quintin Kelley).  He gives his house to a woman and her children so they can get away from her abusive boyfriend (Elpidia Carrillo).  His eyes to a meat salesman (Woody Harrelson).  And his heart (figuratively and literally) to a woman named Emily (Rosario Dawson).

Tim pretends to be his brother – an IRS agent – and uses this to meet all the people he helps.  Tim has a plan.  He is going to help these seven people but the end goal is to commit suicide.  I mean, you can’t really donate your eyes or your heart to someone if you still plan on living!  The only thing Tim didn’t plan on was falling in love again.  He falls in love with Emily and even considers turning back on his plan but in the end he decides that she’ll be better off with his heart in her body instead of in her hands!

Rosario was beautiful throughout the entire movie – even when she was sick in the hospital bed!  I don’t think she’s ever looked so great or acted so well.  Will was also great.  He should continue doing dramas and stop trying to make superhero movies.

The movie was directed and filmed softly and almost serenely.  It was filled with light colors and yellows and lots and lots of beauty!  It was great.

Great movie!

Rating: * * * *seven_pounds

The Lucky Ones

Posted in Movie with tags , , , on July 6, 2009 by ldw

In this movie three soldiers have a chance meeting on their way home from Iraq and have a little adventure.  Fred Cheaver (Tim Robbins) is finally 0ut of the army and ready to get back to his life with his wife and son.  Unfortunately she’s left him and wants a divorce and they can’t afford to send their son to college so he is going to put off his education for the army because they will give him the money he needs for school.  Colee Dunn (Rachel McAdams) is on her way to meet the family of a fallen soldier who was in love with her.  She just wants to give his guitar back to his family, but he finds out that her loved one was a father and in some ways a liar.  T.K. Poole (Michael Pena) was shot in Iraq and just wants to make sure his “manhood” still works before getting back to his girlfriend.  He’s willing to use a prostitute to do it.  Everyone calls him lucky but he’s very cynical and dark about life and the future.

These soldiers are thrust together because of an organization error that left many soldiers stranded in NYC.  So these three share the last rental car at the airport and drive across the country to their respective destinations.  They form a weird bond that helps each of them deal with the issues they encounter.  They are there when Cheaver’s wife drops the divorce bomb, when Colee’s dreams of finally having a family fall short, and when T.K. gets his first post-shot “happy dance.”  They support and encourage one another as soldiers and friends do.  And they are there when each of them go back to Iraq (Cheaver reenlists so his son can go to college).

This movie was beautiful.  The storyline was deep but simple so you could easily follow and invest in it.  You deeply cared about each of these soldiers and their lives.  You wanted them to succeed and fulfill their dreams.

McAdams, Robbins, and Pena were perfect for this movie.  They embodied their characters masterfully and really made you feel like they cared for each other.  It was McAdams best role yet!  The casting director should pat themself on the back and the director should be proud to have created such an environment that these three actors could become someone else.

You don’t have to agree with the war to support our troops and I think this movie showed that personality and  affection well.

Rating: * * * *the lucky ones

17 Again

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , on June 17, 2009 by ldw

In this movie Zac Efron plays the 17 year old verson of Matthew Perry’s Mike O’Donnell in this comedy about seeing your life for what it is and loving it even if it isn’t what you thought you wanted!

I think this movie has been made an meager 300,000 times since the creation of moving pictures but it was still cute (and for 75 cents you can’t say no).  So Perry is married to his high school sweetheart because they were pregnant at 17.  He gave up his dream of playing basketball to be with the girl he loved but after two kids and 20 years of marriage he is over it all and blames his wife, Scarlett (Leslie Mann) for his lack of drive in life.

When Mike is overlooked – again – for a promotion, he is fired for getting upset and finds himself wandering through his old high school.  He is met by a crazy janitor (Brian Doyle-Murray) who later puts Mike through a vortex that makes him 17 again (movie title!).

Now with the help of his best friend, Ned (Thomas Lennon), Mike has to figure out why he gets this second chance at life.  In the process he becomes friends with his own son and helps him make the basketball team, helps his daughter see her own worth is not found in boys but in the love of her family and friends, and rekindles his love for his wife (who was about to divorce him).

So he’s in “the big game” once again and has a scout there to watch him play but Mike chooses Scarlett over his dreams.  This releases him from the vortex of life and he returns to his older self.  YAY!

The cheese factor asside, this was a cute movie.  I mean it is obviously about Zac Efron but I thought Lennon was a great supporting role for Efron!  They have a fight scene  that is really well done and fun to watch.  I’m still not sure what blind person desided that Efron is what Perry looked like as a teenager (or vise versa), but other than that is was a good cast that did well.  I even like Sterling Knight and Michelle Trachtenberg in this movie (neither are amazing actors …).

Rating: * * 1/2

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Quantum of Solace

Posted in Movie with tags , , on June 12, 2009 by ldw

This is the newest James Bond movie and Daniel Craig is still hot!  In this movie Bond is out for revenge for the death of his lover from Casino Royale.  But he won’t admit that he’s out for revenge and this makes him a little extra volatile.

There’s something about a group called The Quantum and Bond fights a bunch of bad guys and kills even more and drives fast cars and boats and battles a fire or two.  And on and on goes the action but I don’t really remember the point.   Something about M being attacked and terrorists and a cute girl out for revenge against her parents’ deaths.  I don’t know.  I mean Jame Bond movies have never been one for great story lines and depth of character or plot but I thought this installment was even worse than others.

Daniel Craig is a great James Bond and I love Dame Judi Dench as M (not every role she has is good but this one works for her).

It’s a great action movie that keeps you guessing as the hero and baddies are running through the congested streets or racing in boats that probably shouldn’t be able to go that fast.  The action scenes are built well and are done without the need of “shakey cam.”

I’d watch it again but not because it builds up my spunk for life or vocabulary or anything but because it’s a good movie to watch with friends when you want something simple and fun.

Rating: * * 1/2

Quantum of Solace

Taken

Posted in Movie with tags , , , , , , on June 6, 2009 by ldw

Liam Neeson plays the estranged father of a spoiled girl named Kim (Maggie Grace).  Bryan (Neeson) is a retired government secret operative agent (aka spy) who is trying to reconnect with his daughter.  In order to keep her in his life he goes against his better judgment and allows her to travel to Paris with a friend.  Once in Paris Bryan’s greatest fears are realized when Kim and her friend Amanda are kidnapped by sex slave traders.

Bryan has a 96 hour window to find the kidnappers and save his daughter before all traces of her are gone!  He calls in every favor he has and uses all the skills he’s mastered over a life time as a career killer.  He even shoots a good friend’s wife to get answers!

There are some great car chases and fight scenes that keep you on your toes.  The entire concept of being kidnapped to become a sex slave makes my skin crawl and as a woman I watched the movie thinking “Never will I travel overseas!”  But it was a great movie.

I wish Maggie Grace could do a movie where her acting is more than blubbering and awkward standing … I mean I loved her in LOST (still upset Shannon was killed off!).  Liam Neeson once again performed wonderfully as the doting killer father!

Rating: * * * 1/2

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