Friday, December 3, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

I love Harry Potter and have been hooked on the series since I read the first book in November of 2001.  I was a little late starting the books, but I was quickly hooked on them and read them all several times since.  I have all of the movies on DVD and I even picked up the Ultimate Editions of the first four movies on Blu-ray.  While I have felt the movies have had issues, I still go see them.  I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:  Part 1 on opening day.

This is not the movie to start with.  This movies - like the books - really build on what has been established earlier in the series.  The movies should be watched in order.  I also think that people should read the books since they are much better.

I’ve had issues with some of the previous Harry Potter movies because of things that have been left out.  I really had problems with the last two movies because of explanations being left out that really are needed for things to be set up properly.  There are still a few things left out of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:  Part 1, but I do think the adaptation is pretty good.  This movie does seem to be aimed more at fans of the books.  Things that were left out of previous movies are mentioned or even shown.  I could see people who haven’t read the books being confused about a few things.

The plot has Harry, Ron, and Hermione going off to try to track down the horcruxes while Voldemort and his followers take over the magical world.  This is one of the longer movies, but that was necessary to deal with everything properly.  A lot happens in the book, and it would have been a huge mess if it had been cut down into one movie.  I do think the pace moves along fairly quick, though it slows down every so often when certain things happen.  There is a decent amount of action, mostly provided by magical fights.  It does seem like some of the little magical things that have been done in the previous movies are missing, and that is disappointing for me.  I like those things.

The characters of Harry, Ron, and Hermione have really grown and developed over the course of the series.  They face very different things in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.  They are older now and facing more danger.  Their friendship is strained in ways it never has been before.  I really like these characters and am very happy with how things have been handled for them.  I love that the cast has stayed the same for all the movies.  They just wouldn’t have worked as well if the parts had been recast.  Rupert Grint gets a bit more to do in this one which is nice. 

I am wondering how a few things will be handled in the last movie, but overall, I really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.  Fans of the movies and books should give it a chance.

I did get a review posted on Epinions after seeing the movie in the theater.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Unstoppable

I became interested in seeing Unstoppable after seeing the trailers for the movie.  The movie looked interesting and I do usually like Denzil Washington.

Unstoppable is actually inspired by true events that happened in Ohio in 2001.  I did read some about the real incident after seeing the movie and it seems like several things have been changed for the movie.  I’m sure that was done to make things more exciting.  The setting was also changed to Pennsylvania.

At a rail yard, a worker is moving a train.  He jumps off to change a switch and then is unable to reboard the train.  It is assumed at that point that the train is just coasting.  It turns out that some lever slipped, allowing the train to build up speed.  Connie Hooper is in charge at the rail yard and she starts trying to find a way to deal with the train.  Conductor Will Colson and engineer Frank Barnes are working together for the first time that day.  Will hasn’t been out of training that long and he does make a few mistakes.  They barely miss a collision with the runaway train.  When other ideas to stop the train fail, Frank and Will put their own plan into motion.

I really enjoyed Unstoppable and found it to be a very entertaining movie.  The pace moves pretty fast after a slower start, though that is expected since the movie only covers a matter of hours.  The runaway train provides a decent amount of action for the movie and there are some suspenseful scenes as well. The way that things work out is somewhat predictable, but that doesn’t keep the movie from being entertaining.  During some scenes, usually ones involving some kind of action, jerky camera work turns up.  I hate that and don’t think it adds anything to a movie other than making it harder to tell what is going on. 

There are several characters in Unstoppable and the movie does jump back and forth between them throughout the movie.  There really isn’t much character development, but that doesn’t bother me since the movie is entertaining.  Will and Frank probably are developed a bit more than the others.  They have a few issues at first, but they end up working well together.  Denzil Washington and Chris Pine do well with their parts.  Connie is trying everything she can think of to deal with the situation.  Rosario Dawson is fine in the part.  Other workers for the railroad turn up every so often, though none of them are really that developed.

Overall, Unstoppable is a well done, entertaining movie. It has a decent amount of action and I think it deserves to be seen.  Fans of Denzil Washington should definitely check it out.

I did get a review posted on Epinions.

Unstoppable

Kiss the Girls

I have seen Kiss the Girls several times since it first came out to rent.  I had it on VHS and I now have it on DVD.  I have also read the book by James Patterson that the movie is based on.  I really enjoy the movie and think it is worth watching.

Police detective and psychologist Alex Cross travels to Durham, North Carolina after he niece goes missing.  It turns out that several young women have vanished in the area and the local cops are basically clueless.  Soon after Alex arrives, Kate, a young doctor, is taken from her home by a man who calls himself Casanova.  Kate is able to escape and she ends up working with Alex to find the other women and stop Casanova. 

I did read the book before seeing the movie originally.  It has been a long time since I last read the book, but from what I remember, the movie stays fairly close to the book.  The book is actually the second to feature the character of Alex.  The first book, Along Came a Spider, has also been turned into a movie, but it was done after this one.  I have lost track of how many Alex Cross books there are.  I gave up reading them several years ago.

I do think that Kiss the Girls has a decent mystery.  There is some suspense to several scenes.  The subject, dealing with women being abducted and held against their will, is a bit upsetting.  The book goes into way more details about what is done to the women.  Some of the things are just hinted at in the movie.  Violence does turn up in some scenes, like when Kate is attacked and taken.  Some of what happens may be disturbing to some viewers. 

The characters in Kiss the Girls are interesting, though several of them aren’t that developed.  Alex is likable and Morgan Freeman does well with the part, though I did picture Alex younger when I read the book.  Kate is a very strong, determined woman and I did think that Ashley Judd did well with the part.  If I remember right, this was one of her first big parts.  Casanova is just seen in shadows and wearing a mask for much of the movie.  He is heard speaking, and he has a creepy voice.

The DVD that I have of Kiss the Girls doesn’t have any extras.  I don’t know if there is another version with extras.  I also don’t know if the movie has been released on Blu-ray.

Kiss the Girls has a few issues, but it works well overall as a decent suspense thriller.  Fans of Morgan Freeman should check it out.

I did get a review posted on Epinions.

Kiss the Girls

Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb

I continue to pick up the new In Death books by J.D. Robb when they come out.  The series is now up to 31 books.  The series is set in the future in New York City and follows homicide detective Eve Dallas on her various investigations.  Things tied to her personal life, like her marriage to Roarke, also turn up.  I just finished Indulgence in Death, the newest book.

Eve and Roarke are celebrating their second anniversary with a trip to Ireland when the book begins.  Unfortunately, Eve can’t avoid death even on vacation since a dead body is found.  She doesn’t investigate, but she does offer some help since the local cops aren’t very experienced with murder investigations.  Once back home, Eve quickly gets a new murder case that is a bit odd.  The first murder is followed by others that are also at least somewhat bizarre. 

Indulgence in Death follows the murder investigations.  It doesn’t take Eve long to tied the murders together since there are similarities.  The mystery is interesting, though some of the previous books in the series have had stronger mysteries.  Some violence pops up every so often, but the book isn’t as violent as many of the previous books have been.  The plot is interesting and very entertaining.  People who have enjoyed the previous books in the series will more than likely enjoy this one as well.

Since this is the thirty first book in a series, the characters are very well developed by this point.  The main story does stand alone very well, but there are a few references back to events from earlier books.  One case in particular is mentioned several times, mostly because a book about it has just been released.  I do think it is best to read these books in order so that everything will make the most sense. 

J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts, so people who like books by Nora Roberts may also like the In Death series.  The mystery tends to be stronger in the In Death books and they are more violent at times. 
Indulgence in Death is another very entertaining book in the In Death series.  Fans of the series should definitely pick it up.

I did get a review posted on Epinions.

Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Due Date

I really like Robert Downey Jr. and I’ve been seeing more of his movies in the last few years.  I wanted to see Due Date after the first time I saw the trailer.  While the movie isn’t going to appeal to everyone, it is really funny and entertaining.

Due Date gets rather crude and rude at times, and it definitely deserves the R rating.  That is going to turn a lot of viewers off.  This is not a family friendly movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it is really entertaining.

Peter is flying home from Atlanta after being in town for business.  His wife is very pregnant and the due date is just a few days away.  Peter first encounters Ethan outside the airport.  That brief meeting causes Peter some trouble.  Things only get once one the plane and the men end up thrown off and put on a no fly list.  Since his identification and money are left behind on the plane, Peter can’t rent a car and is stuck driving across the country with Ethan.  The men face several complications while Peter remains determined to get home before the baby is born.

There are definitely similarities to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles in Due Date.  I can also see a few similarities to National Lampoon’s Vacation.  I don’t mind the similarities because there are other things that are different and help to make the movie more unique.  The main plot isn’t the most original, but some unique situations pop up every so often.  I think the movie ends up being very funny and entertaining.  Other people may feel differently.

Several things that happen in Due Date are crude or twisted in some way.  Some of those things are funny in a twisted way.  I could see some viewers being turned off by things that happen during the movie.  This one definitely isn’t for everyone.  People that don’t mind crude humor should give the movie a chance.

The characters, while not as developed as they could have been, are really entertaining.  The way that Peter and Ethan interact is wonderful.  That dynamic drives the whole movie, and it if hadn’t worked, the movie wouldn’t have worked.  Robert Downy Jr. and Zack Galifianakis are wonderful in their parts.  They work really well together.

Due Date works as a funny, entertaining movie, though it isn’t for everyone.  Fans of the cast should give it a chance.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

Due Date

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Ever After

Nora Roberts is one of my favorite authors and I pick up her new books as they are released.  I recently read Happy Ever After, the final book in her Bride Quartet series.

The Bride Quartet is about four friends who run a wedding planning business together.  Each book has been focused on a different one of the friends and a relationship they have started.  Every Nora Roberts book that I’ve read has had some romance in it, but most of them have also had a mystery of some kind.  The books in this series don’t.  They are straight romance, like the first books she wrote.  Since there isn’t any mystery, some people could be disappointed.

Parker serves as the wedding planner for the clients of Vows, juggling all sorts of things for the brides.  She is always taking calls from them, even in the middle of the night at times.  Work has been the main focus of her life for a long time.  She starts to go out with Malcolm, a mechanic who is also one of her older brother’s best friends.

Happy Ever After does build on what has happened in the previous three books.  Some things from those books are brought up again, so I do think people should read the books in order.  The plot is more simple and straightforward and that might bother some readers.  I didn’t bother me since the story is still entertaining.

Weddings come up a lot in Happy Ever After since the women have a wedding planning business.  A few different weddings take place during the book, and a few complications do pop up.  The complications are entertaining at times.  All kinds of details about running a wedding planning business come up and it is easy to see that Nora Roberts did a lot of research for the book.

The characters are interesting and likable overall.  Parker has been in the first three books, though not as much since other characters were the main characters in those books.  I really like the characters overall, though a few of them can be a little annoying every so often.

Happy Ever After is a very entertaining book and it makes a strong conclusion to the Bride Quartet series.  Fans of Nora Roberts should give this book, and the series, a chance.

I did get a review posted on Epinions.

Happy Ever After

Airplane!

I like spoof movies when they are done well.  Unfortunately, many of them aren’t that great.  Airplane! is probably the best spoof movie I’ve seen.

Ted Striker is a former pilot who is still trying to get over his experience in the war.  His girlfriend Elaine can’t handle his problems any more and tells him she is leaving him.  She is a flight attendant, and Ted over comes his fear of flying to get a seat on her flight.  She tries to ignore him, but once passengers and members of the crew get sick, Ted has to try to land the plane.

Airplane! is definitely spoofing disaster movies.  I did read that it was basically a remake of the movie Zero Hour!.  I’ve never seen that one, so I have no idea what has been changed for this movie.  The plot of Airplane! is fairly simple, though it makes for an entertaining movie.  The things that happen may be a bit silly or over the top, but they manage to work overall for the movie.  There is a decent reason for why Ted has to take over flying the plane.  There is a hint of believability to what is going on.

There really isn’t any mystery to the plot of Airplane! and most of what happens is predictable.  The plot could have been a little stronger, but it still makes for an entertaining movie.  Most of what happens is silly.  Those silly things add humor to the movie.  Some of the humor is a bit dated now, but the movie is still really funny.  The humor works much better than what is done in most of the newer spoof movies.

The characters aren’t developed a lot, though they still manage to be entertaining.  The cast does well with their parts.  This is one of the few movies that I’ve seen Robert Stack in. 

Airplane! is a bit silly, so it won’t appeal to some people.  The movie is really funny and I do think it is worth watching.

I did get a review posted on Epinions.

Airplane!

Time After Time

I first saw Time After Time on tv several years ago.  Since I remembered liking the movie, I decided to pick up the DVD when I found it on sale.

H.G. Wells has some friends over, including doctor John Stevenson.  He shows them his new invention, a time machine.  The police arrive because Jack the Ripper just killed someone in the area and they are checking all the houses.  Everyone is shocked when evidence is found that shows that John is the killer.  John disappears and H.G. figures out that John used the time machine.  H.G. was able to follow after him, and he ends up in San Francisco in 1979.  He meets Amy, a woman he develops feelings for and who ends up trying to help him deal with the situation with John.

From what I read about the movie after watching it recently, I learned that Time After Time is sort of based on a book and a short story.  The character of Amy was given the same name as H.G.’s second wife.  While it is clear that the story if fictional, it is interesting that a real person is one of the main characters.  The idea that H.G. would build a time machine and use it is intriguing.

There isn’t much mystery to what is going on in Time After Time since it comes out fairly early that John is Jack the Ripper.  H.G. does struggle to find John in the future and the police are stumped by the murders.  A few women are murdered during the movie, though not much is shown and the movie really isn’t that violent.  There are a few surprises and a little bit of suspense in a few scenes.

The characters don’t receive a lot of development in Time After Time, though I still think they are interesting.  This is one of the few parts I’ve seen Malcolm McDowell play that wasn’t at least somewhat twisted.  I didn’t recognize him at first.

Time After Time is very entertaining and I think it is still worth watching.  The effects are dated looking, though not that bad considering when the movie was made.  Some of what happens is a bit odd, but it makes for an entertaining movie.

I did get a review posted on Epinions.

Time After Time

Red

I have liked Bruce Willis for years, so I do tend to check out his new movies.  I first got interested in seeing Red a few months ago when I saw the trailer.

Frank Moses is a retired CIA agent who seems to be having a little trouble fitting in with a normal life.  He only decorates for Christmas once he realizes that all his neighbors have decorations out.  Sarah Ross works for the company that handles his pension and he keeps finding excuses to call her.  Late one night Frank wakes up and discovers that a hit squad is there to kill him.  After handling the men, Frank goes to see Sarah, convinced that she is in danger because of his contact with her.  He basically kidnaps her, though she ends up helping him.  Frank also gets in contact with Joe and Marvin, men he’s worked with before.  They come up with a plan that involves former MI6 agent Victoria. 

Red is based on a short series of comic books.  I haven’t read them, so I don’t know for sure how much has been changed. 

The plot of Red is interesting and it makes for an entertaining movie.  Things do start off a little slow while things are set up, but it really doesn’t take that long for more to start happening.  There are a lot of action scenes in the movie.  Those scenes do go a bit over board, but they are entertaining.  The pace is fairly fast, though things aren’t rushed.  Violence is in several scenes as well, though it isn’t as graphic as it could have been.  I do think there is a good amount of humor, mostly added by things characters say and do.  Marvin adds the most humor.  The man is clearly missing most of his marbles. 

I like the characters in Red and find them to be very entertaining and interesting.  None of them are that developed, but they are interesting.  The cast is wonderful, though Bruce Willis has played similar characters before.  Helen Mirren is wonderful as Victoria.  She does really well as a tough character who is really good at killing people. 

Red is a little over the top, but it is fun and entertaining.  Fans of the cast should give it a chance.

I did get a review posted at Epinions.

Red

Monday, October 25, 2010

You Again

I’ve come to like Kristen Bell in the last few years, especially after I started watching Veronica Mars.  I was interested in her new movie, You Again, after seeing previews and seeing who else is in the movie.

Marni was the target of a bully in high school that made her life miserable.  After high school, Marni made some changes and how has a successful career.  She is horrified when she learns that her older brother is marrying Joanna, the girl who bullied her in high school.  It gets worse when Joanna acts like she doesn’t know Marni.  Convinced that Joanna is wrong for her brother, Marni decides to try to stop the wedding.  Marni’s mother Gail and Joanna’s aunt Ramona went to high school together, but they haven’t seen each other in years.  It seems they have lingering issues as well.

I managed to enjoy You Again overall, though it isn’t going to appeal to everyone.  Some people will be turned off by the fact that the movie deals with bullying.  Some flashbacks are used to show what happened when Marni was in high school and some of those scenes aren’t that pleasant.  Joanna was downright cruel, which unfortunately, I think is fairly accurate with how some teenagers act.  The movie chooses to deal with the serious subject of bullying in a more humorous and lighthearted way.  That may bother some people, especially with the real life bullying incidents that have happened recently.

You Again ends up having the female characters act like unreasonable idiots with how they deal with things.  It makes sense that Marni isn’t happy about her brother marrying Joanna or the fact that Joanna acts like she doesn’t remember her.  The way that Marni chooses to deal with that makes her look like a manipulative witch.  Joanna handles things badly, deciding to make little digs to try to put Marni down instead of dealing with things like an adult.  Gail and Ramona don’t deal with their issues any better, ending up in a fight that puts them both in a swimming pool.  Instead of trying to deal with problems, the woman act like jealous idiots.  The men, even though they are in much less of the movie, are made to look like the only calm, rational people around.  At one point, Marni’s father actually sends her and her mother to their rooms.  The movie does not portray women in a good way, and that is bound to upset some people.

Even though the women act like idiots, they still manage to be entertaining.  Their antics do add some humor to You Again.  Much of the humor is more silly in nature, but I do think it manages to work overall.  There are a few really funny moments in the movie, though other things that are intended to be funny don’t really work.  The plot isn’t the most original since other movies have featured characters that have been miserable in high school.  Having Marni’s tormentor marry her brother is a bit different, but the movie is still very predictable overall.

There really isn’t much development for any of the characters in You Again.  The characters are interesting enough, though it is a bit hard to like many of them.  I did think the cast did a good job with what they had to work with.

Overall, You Again has issues, but it can be entertaining overall if it isn’t taken seriously.  Fans of the cast may find something to like about the movie.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

You Again

You Again

Associated Content

I first heard about Associated Content, a website where people can post articles or reviews about all sorts of things, several years ago.  I did look at the site a bit at that point, but I didn’t join.  I’ve thought about joining off and on over the years.  As part of my effort to expand my writing a bit, I finally decided to go ahead and join Associated Content at the end of September.

I write as Marie Dragonfire as Associated Content.  I am still getting started there, so I only have three articles published at this point, with another waiting to be published.  I had hoped to have more published there by now, but an illness in my family did cut into the time I had for writing this month.  I do have ideas for more things to write about there and I want to get to where I post several new articles there a week.  I’ll probably have to work up to that, especially since I’ll be getting busier in the next several months, but that is my plan.

So far I have posted articles about a few television shows on Associated Content.  I think I will continue to do that.  I like that I can post about individual episodes or the show in general there.  I also want to try to post other entertainment type articles, probably with movies since that is what I am most comfortable writing about.  I may branch out into other things every so often, though I haven’t decided what just yet.  From what I have seen there so far, it does look like it is possible to write on just about anything there which is nice. 

Even though I have decided to join Associated Content and I hope to publish new content there regularly, I am still a member of Epinions - dragonfire88 - and have no plans to stop posting reviews there. 

Feel free to visit my Associated Content page or Epinions page.

Marie Dragonfire at Associated Content
dragonfire88 at Epinions

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Naked Heat by Richard Castle

Naked Heat is the second book by Richard Castle featuring the character of Nikki Heat.  This book, along with Heat Wave, are a bit unique because they are closely tied to the tv show Castle.  Richard Castle is actually one of the main characters on the show.  After meeting detective Kate Beckett during an investigation, Rick decides to base a new character on her and gets to tag along on her cases.  So far in the show and real life, two books have been released.

The main characters in Naked Heat and Heat Wave are definitely versions of the characters in Castle and some of the situations from the books have been pulled from the episodes of the show as well.  I love that aspect of the book and think it makes it more entertaining.

Naked Heat picks up a few months after the first book ended.  Nikki and Jameson Rook, the reporter who followed her around to write an article, haven’t seen each other in a while.  Nikki is less than pleased with the article and that is why she ends the relationship they had started.  Nikki starts investigating the murder of a gossip columnist and Jameson is involved because he was working on an article about her.  Jameson convinces Nikki to let him work with her again.  While working on the case, they also deal with their issues.

The main focus of Naked Heat is the murder investigation.  The mystery in the book is interesting even though it could be a tad stronger.  There is a bit of suspense in some scenes and while a few things that happen are predictable, there are surprises as well.  Since the victim isn’t that well liked, there are a lot of suspects at first.  The case ends up a bit more complicated as more things happen. 

Nikki and Jameson are the main characters in Naked Heat.  They are clearly versions of Kate and Rick from Castle.  They are likable, interesting characters and I really enjoy reading about them.  Some of the other characters have also been based on characters from the show.  There isn’t a version of Alexis though.  Several other minor characters turn up over the course of the book through the investigation. 

Naked Heat is a very entertaining book that is worth reading, especially for fans of Castle. 

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

Naked Heat

Castle - The Complete Second Season

I started watching Castle in the spring of 2009 when the show began airing.  I was quickly hooked on the show and continue to watch it.  I have the first season on DVD and I picked up Castle - The Complete Second Season when it was released.

Castle is an hour long show that airs on ABC.  It is about an author, Richard Castle, who ends up tagging along with homicide detective Kate Beckett.  They first meet when someone starts killing in ways that Rick used in his different books.  Once the case is solved, Rick manages to arrange things so that he can keep going along with Kate and he intends to base a new character, police detective Nikki Heat, on her.  Kate is really annoyed, but they end up working well together.

When Castle - The Complete Second Season  starts, Rick’s book Heat Wave is about to be released.  The book actually did come out in September of 2009.  Kate is really upset with Rick during the first episode of the season, but she gets over it and they continue working together.  Every episode features a different case that Kate investigates.  Many of the murders are somewhat bizarre or twisted, like a person dressed as a vampire being stabbed with a wooden stake.  The murders do add some mystery to the show, though the mysteries aren’t overly complex.  They are highly entertaining.  Some violence turns up every so often, but it generally isn’t that graphic.  Humor is used in every episode, usually through something that Rick says or does.  I think the humor works to make things more entertaining. 

The main characters remain the same in Castle - The Complete Second Season.  The characters are definitely one of the strong points for the show and one of the reasons why it is so entertaining.  I especially love Rick’s daughter Alexis and his mother Martha.  Alexis is delightful and it is so nice to seen a teenager in a series that isn’t a brat or highly annoying.  The cast is wonderful, especially Nathan Fillion.  I started watching the show just because of him since I adored him on Firefly.  There are a few little references to Firefly during the second season.  The best one is during the Halloween episode when Rick is trying out a costume he claims is a space cowboy.  It is Mal’s outfit.

Castle - The Complete Second Season has a few interesting extras, including a blooper reel that is pretty funny.  The DVD set is great for fans of the show.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

Castle - The Complete Second Season

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mork & Mindy - The Complete Third Season

Mork & Mindy is one of my favorite shows even though it has been off the air for years.  Unfortunately, the episodes don’t air on any stations and the final season still hasn’t been released on DVD.  I do have the first three seasons on DVD.  I recently watched the episodes in Mork & Mindy - The Complete Third Season.

Mork & Mindy is basically about an alien named Mork from the planet Ork.  He comes to earth to observe and makes friends with Mindy and ends up living with her.  Most of what happens in the episodes is tied to Mork learning something new about humans.  He knows more by the third season, but he still has a lot to learn. 

The fact that Mork still ends up in some rather odd situations is a big part of what makes Mork & Mindy so entertaining.  The show is hilarious and I think the humor has held up well.  I was laughing out loud during every episode when I watched this set.  Most of the humor comes from the odd things that Mork does.  This show is what really launched Robin Williams’s career.  I’ve read before that he was allowed to improvise a lot of stuff and I noticed things in almost every episode that he probably did improvise.  That works really well for the episodes and helps to make things more entertaining.

The cast changes slightly in the third season of Mork & Mindy again.  Mindy’s dad is bad more often, which I think is a good thing.  I missed him when he wasn’t around more in the second season.  Remo and Jeanie aren’t around as much, but that doesn’t bother me since they weren’t my favorite characters anyway. 

Mork & Mindy - The Complete Third Season doesn’t have any extras, which is disappointing. Despite that, the DVD set is still a must own for fans of the show.  I just wish the fourth and final season would be released.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

Mork & Mindy - The Complete Third Season

The Town

I recently went to see The Town, the newest movie directed by Ben Affleck.  I really enjoyed it and do think it is one of the best movies of the year.  It is definitely worth watching.

The plot for The Town may not be the most original overall, but there are surprises here and there throughout it.  Several things happen that I didn’t expect, so I don’t think the movie is predictable at all.  The plot is interesting and ends up making for a highly entertaining movie about a group of men in a Boston neighborhood who rob banks and armored cars.  Things do get a little complicated as the movie progress.

There is a good amount of action to what happens in The Town that includes a few very well done chases.  The action scenes are done well and help to keep things interesting.  Violence does turn up in a few scenes, and some of the violence does get more graphic.  The violence might be too much for some people.  A bit of romance is added in as well through a developing relationship between two of the characters.  There are a few brief sex scenes that don’t really show much.  This isn’t a family friendly movie.

The Town is the second movie that Ben Affleck has directed.  He did a wonderful job, just like he did with Gone Baby Gone.  I think he should have a long career ahead of his as a director.  I really do believe that if he keeps making movies this good, he’ll get a best director Oscar someday.  In addition to directing, Affleck also wrote the screen play and stars in the movie.  He has gotten a lot of flack over the years for some of the movies he’s been in, but I think he has started turning that around with the roles he’s had in the last few years.  He does very well in this one.

The Town is based on the book The Prince of Thieves.  I haven’t read it, so I don’t know how close to the book the movie stays.

The Town truly is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.  It is definitely worth seeing.  I am pretty sure that I’ll eventually add it to my movie collection.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

The Town

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Third Season

The Big Bang Theory has been one of my favorite shows since it began airing.  I was quickly hooked on it and I’ve picked up the DVD sets as they have been released.  I pre-ordered The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Third Season and I watched all the episodes in just a few days even though I’d already seen them a few times. 

The Big Bang Theory is my favorite show on now and I think it is the funniest show on as well.  I enjoy other comedies, but none are as consistently funny and entertaining as The Big Bang Theory.  Yes some of what happens is rather bizarre, but I think it works for the show and helps make things more entertaining.  Every episode makes me laugh numerous times.

The Big Bang Theory is about a group of friends, four of which are intelligent scientists and nerds.  The fifth friend is Penny, the pretty waitress living across the hall from Leonard and Sheldon.  The guys have set times to play certain video games and go to the comic book store.  They can have long conversations about movies and movie characters.  Science stuff comes up at times as well.  It sounds believable, but I have no clue how accurate it is. 

The characters are the strongest part of The Big Bang Theory.  They are all different and have their own little quirks.  That helps to make things really entertaining.  The cast is wonderful in the parts.

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Third Season has a funny gag reel and two other extras featuring cast members that are interesting.  The DVD set is a must own for fans of the show.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Third Season

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nanny McPhee Returns

Since I really enjoyed Nanny McPhee when it came out a few years ago, I was interested in seeing the sequel, Nanny McPhee Returns.

The plot for Nanny McPhee Returns is a lot like the plot of the first movie.  Things don’t seem as original, but the movie is still entertaining overall.  I do think it is worth watching.  Even with the similarities to the first movie, there are differences, so it isn’t like this movie is a carbon copy of the first one.  There is another single parent having to deal with children that are a bit out of control and Nanny McPhee shows up to help.  The situations that the characters get into are a bit different.

The humor is more gross and crude in Nanny McPhee Returns, something I could have done without.  Children will probably like that type of humor.  I did think the movie was funny overall, though some of what happens is more silly.  There is a bit of magic to what is going on, something else that I enjoyed.  The movie is set during a war, and things do get a bit darker for a while.  A few serious things are dealt with, though the movie is more light hearted overall. 

The characters of the children are harder to like for a while because of how they are acting.  They do become a little more likable as the movie progresses.  Nanny McPhee is the best character and I love Emma Thompson in the part. 

Nanny McPhee Returns was released in the spring of 2010 in England as Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.  I have read that Thompson, who wrote the screenplays for both movies, plans a third movie with the character.

Nanny McPhee Returns isn’t quite as good as the first movie, but it is still entertaining overall and is worth seeing.

I did post a longer review on Epinions after seeing the movie in the theater.

Nanny McPhee Returns


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Veronica Mars - The Complete Second Season

I first heard about the television series Veronica Mars several years ago when it was still airing. I didn’t pay much attention to what I heard about the show at that point and I didn’t watch at that time. Since then, I’ve read and heard more about the show and I decided to pick up the DVD sets when I found them on sale. I recently finished watching Veronica Mars - The Complete Second Season.

The second season of Veronica Mars picks up a little while after the end of the first one. Some things from the first season do carry over into this season, so it is best to watch the episodes in order.

Once again, Veronica deals with several mysteries in these episodes. Some are rather simple and easy for her to resolve and others are more complex.  Just about all of them are entertaining in some way. There is one that runs through the entire season and is dealt with in some way in several of the episodes. That is resolved by the last episode in the set.

The same main group of characters in back. The characters are more complex and all of them have flaws. That makes them more believable, but it is also harder to like some of them at times, including Veronica.  I continue to think that Kristen Bell does a good job with the part.

There are only a few extras on the DVD set. Despite that, I still think the set is worth getting, especially for fans of the show. The second season is very entertaining and definitely worth watching for people who liked the first season.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

Veronica Mars - The Complete Second Season

The American

I like George Clooney, so I’m usually willing to give his movies a chance.  I’ve seen many of them and have enjoyed most of them.  I decided that I wanted to see The American, mostly because Clooney is in it.

I did enjoy the movie and think it works as a thriller, it is different from what I expected based on the trailers.  Once again, the trailers for the movie made it seem like a completely different movie.  Even though it was different from what I expected, I still enjoyed it and think it is a well done movie worth seeing.  It probably won’t appeal to some people though, especially people expecting a movie with more action. 

Things progress slowly through most of the movie.  That allows some tension to build, and while it works, some won’t like the slower approach.  There is a bit of action in some scenes, but the movie is far from action packed, something else that could disappoint some viewers.  The plot is fairly simple, but it is interesting and entertaining.  George Clooney ends up with the most to do since his character is in almost every scene.  This is one of his better performances.  The other cast members do well with their parts too.

The American is based on a book called A Very Private Gentleman.  I haven't read the book, so I have no clue what has been changed for the movie.

Overall, I really enjoyed The American and think it is worth seeing, especially for George Clooney fans.  People just need to be prepared for the fact that isn’t an action packed movie.

I did get a review posted on Epinions after seeing the movie in the theater.

The American

Summer Movies 2010 - July and August

I am continuing to talk briefly about the movies I saw in the theater during the summer of 2010.  This post is about the movies released in July and August that I saw in the theater.

The Last Airbender is based on an animated series that I’ve never seen.  Things do develop a bit slowly, though a lot of what happens is setting up things for more movies.  I enjoyed this one enough to see more of them, though I have no idea if they will made or not since this one didn’t do that great at the box office.  The character development isn’t that great, something that is disappointing.  There are interesting action scenes and some cool looking effects.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a really fun movie that I loved.  Unfortunately, it didn’t do that good at the box office.  The plot is very entertaining and interesting, and I do think things are left open for a potential sequel..or even a movie franchise.  I have no idea if that will happen though.  I loved all the magic stuff and think the effects are done well, with several of them looking cool.  The characters are interesting even though they could have been developed a bit more.  This is one I definitely plan to add to my movie collection.

Inception is the most original movie I have seen in ages.  It is different, and while I think that is part of what makes it such a wonderful movie, some people aren’t going to like it.  The plot seems simple at first, but things get more complex and things are left in a way that allows the audience to decide for themselves something very important.  The cast is wonderful and the characters are complex and highly interesting.  There are some amazing visuals in the movie, but the movie is dependent on special effects.  Christopher Nolan is an amazing director.  The man is a genius and definitely one of the best directors working.

Salt is a decent action movie staring Angelina Jolie.  The plot is interesting and developed enough, though there are a few things that don’t work as well.  The action scenes are done really well, but a few things go over the top and make things less believable.  The characters are interesting, though there isn’t enough development for most of them.  Fans of Jolie should give this one a chance.

I wasn’t sure about seeing Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, but I’m glad I did.  The best thing about it for me is that there was a new Loony Tunes cartoon before the movie.  I love Loony Tunes, so that made it worth seeing the movie for me.  I saw the first Cats & Dogs and liked it ok, though it wasn’t a favorite.  With this one, there is more focus on the animals and humans don’t do much.  Most of what happens is silly, but the movie ends up being pretty entertaining overall. 

The Other Guys looked like it would be funny, so I wanted to see it even though Will Ferrell can be annoying sometimes.  He was more restrained in this one, though he still has a few annoying moments.  Overall the movie is really funny and definitely worth seeing.  The plot is fairly simple, but it works.  Mark Wahlberg does a great job and show that he can do comedy.

The Expendables is a very entertaining action movie.  Sylvester Stallone is getting a little old for this type of movie, but he still manages to make it work.  The plot isn’t overly complicated and it makes an entertaining movie.  The action is intense at times, especially later in the movie.  Some of it is over the top, but it is cool to see.  The cast works really well together too. 

Summer Movies 2010 - June

I am continuing to discuss the movies I saw over the summer of 2010 briefly.  This post will cover the movies that were released in June.

Killers is a bit different from what I expected, but I managed to enjoy it overall.  I was hesitant about seeing it because of Katherine Heigl - I just don’t like her that much.  I decided to see it anyway.  I was entertained overall, but the movie does have issues with the plot and characters.  Fans of Heigl or Ashton Kutcher may find something to like about it.

The A-Team is based on the popular television show that aired in the 1980s.  I watched the show all the time.  The show was over the top, but it worked was entertaining.  I was a little surprised that this movie didn’t do better.  I loved it.  It was a fun action comedy type of movie.  The cast is great in their parts and the plot is entertaining while also serving as basically a origin story, telling how the group came to do what they were doing.  I would definitely go see another movie, though I don’t know that one will be made.

Toy Story 3 is one of the rare sequels that Pixar has made.  It is also a third movie that is just as good as the first - something that is incredibly rare.  It was one of the most anticipated movies of the summer and ended up being one of the biggest.  The plot continues the story that began in the first movie and the characters have new adventures.  I think the movie stays true to the first movies and what has been established about the characters really well.  The animation is absolutely amazing and the 3D effects work to enhance things in a subtle way.  The movie is fun, touching, and highly emotional.  Animated plastic toys have more heart and produce more emotion than most human characters.  Yes, the movie made me cry.  The movie is absolutely wonderful and definitely one of the best of the year.  The animated short, Day & Night, that plays before the movie is one of the most creative that Pixar has done.

Marmaduke is another of the movies featuring real animals made to look like they are talking.  This one really wasn’t one I was that interested in seeing, but I saw it anyway.  There are a few cute moments, but it isn’t that great and I don’t think I would have missed much if I had skipped the movie.  There is some humor, but most of it didn’t work for me.  Children will probably enjoy the movie more than I did.

The Karate Kid is sort of a remake, though several things about the story are different from the earlier version.  The name doesn’t exactly fit since kung fu is used instead of karate.  The story, while not overly original, is very entertaining.  There is a decent amount of action to what is happening.  Jaden Smith does a really good job in the movie and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he has a long acting career.  I haven’t seen all of Jackie Chan’s movies, but this is probably the best acting I’ve seen from him.  The movie is definitely worth seeing.

Knight and Day looked better from the previews than it ultimately ended up being.  It is an entertaining movie, but it could have been a lot better.  The plot is interesting and mostly fun, though it didn’t seem to be as developed as it could have been.  The action scenes are entertaining, though some of them go way over the top.  This one was only ok for me.

Summer Movies 2010 - May

Summer tends to be packed with a lot of movie releases, including several that the studios hope will make buckets of money.  At times, there are too many movies being released at the same time to have any chance of keeping up with, and summer seems to be the worst for this.  The summer of 2010 wasn’t any different.  There were a lot of big movies released.  Some of them lived up to expectations or even passed them while others didn’t do as well.

At any given time there are usually a few movies out that I’m interested in seeing.  The summer has had more movies that I’ve been interested in the last few years.  I managed to see several of the summer movies I was interested in, though there are some that I’ll have to wait for DVD to see. 

I have decided to share a little bit about the movies of summer 2010, starting with May, that I was able to see in the theater.  I have posted longer reviews for these movies at Epinions and I will include the links.

Iron Man 2 came out the first Friday in May and it was expected to be one of the big movies.  I loved Iron Man and had been looking forward to the sequel for a while.  This one isn’t quite as good as the first movie, but it is still very entertaining and definitely worth seeing.  The movie also continues to add to the foundation that Marvel is laying for future movies.

The Losers is based on a graphic novel series that I had never heard of.  I was interested when I first saw a trailer and ended up going to see it.  The movie is very entertaining and I think I will probably add it to my movie collection at some point.  The plot and character development could have been a bit better, but it is still very entertaining and worth watching for a fun action movie.  I do think it is sort of like The A-Team, so it isn’t the most original.

The Backup Plan is a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez, which is probably enough to turn a lot of people off.  The plot is a little different, with a woman falling in love after deciding to have a baby through artificial insemination.  The movie is very predictable and silly overall, though it is fairly funny at times.  Some of what happens is gross and didn’t need to be included.  The movie is entertaining, though not a must see.

Shrek Forever After is the fourth movie in the Shrek series.  While I have enjoyed the previous movies, I didn’t think they were as great as a lot of other people.  I do think this one was better than the third one, though the plot was far from original.  Several things were very much like what happened in the earlier movies.  I did see this one in 3D.  An early image was really well done, and one of the best uses of 3D I’ve seen.  The movie is cute and entertaining overall and I’ll probably add it to my movie collection.

Robin Hood (2010) is very different from every other version of the story I’ve seen, including the animated Disney version.  A few elements are still the same, but a lot is different.  The movie is entertaining, but with all the differences, it seems odd to call it Robin Hood. 

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is another movie based on a video game.  I’ve never played any of the Prince of Persia game.  I’m not even sure how many there are, though I have heard of them.  I think the movie works as a fun, entertaining action movie.  The plot works well and helps to make things entertaining.  I could have done without the snakes that kept popping up though.

I've Gone High Def

I watch a lot of stuff on television and also watch a lot of movies on DVD.  I don’t know a lot about the newer televisions, but I did know that I eventually wanted one, especially after my mother and step-father got an LCD television a few years ago and I had the chance to watch things on it. 

I started looking at the televisions more in the spring of this year.  Even though I didn’t know - and still don’t know - a lot about the televisions, I knew that I wanted to get a 1080p one if I was going to spend the money on one.  I kept looking and I ended up getting a Vizio 32 inch LCD television.  I didn’t need a new television, but since I had the extra money at the time, I decided to splurge.  I also decided to get a Blu-ray player, something else I didn’t really need, but I had been wanting. 

I’ve had the new television and Blu-ray player for several months and I’m very happy with them.  Everything looks wonderful on the television.  I’m still amazed at times how good things look.  I do watch DVDs with the Blu-ray player, but I have started getting some Blu-rays.  Some older DVDs that I’ve watched look better played on the Blu-ray player.  I have picked up a few movies on Blu-ray that I already had on DVD, and so far, I’ve been happy with the ones I’ve doubled dipped on.  North by Northwest is absolutely amazing on Blu-ray.  That is a must own Blu-ray for fans of the movie.

I do think getting a high definition television and Blu-ray player is well worth it for people who love movies.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sherlock Holmes - DVD Release

I first saw Sherlock Holmes in the theater.  I loved the movie so I decided to pick up the movie on DVD when it came out. I picked up the Blu-ray that also has a DVD copy of the movie.

I think I've seen some other movies featuring Sherlock Holmes, but I can't remember much of anything from them.  I think the story for this version is original, though I don't know for sure that it wasn't in one of the short stories or books.  I think the story works very well and is interesting and entertaining.  There is a decent amount of action throughout the movie without things getting too violent.  There is some comedy too, usually in how Sherlock and Watson interact or react to certain things.  The cast, especially Robert Downey Jr. is wonderful.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

Sherlock Holmes

Maverick

Maverick is based on the television show.  I'm not sure I saw the show, though I did know things about the characters before seeing the movie version.  Anyway, the movie version is really good and has a great cast.

The plot seems fairly simple at first, dealing with Maverick trying to get to a big poker game and get the last of the entry fee he ends.  He keeps ending up in complicated situations though, something because of Annabelle, sometimes because of marshal Zane Cooper and other times by his own fault.  Maverick is a con man, though he does have his own sense of honor about what he will and will not do.  As the movie progresses, more things happen, making it more complicated.  There is some action and a good amount of comedy.  It is a fun, entertaining movie that is definitely worth watching.  The cast of Mel Gibson, Jodi Foster, and James Garner are wonderful in their parts.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions recently.

Maverick

Facts of Life - The Complete Third Season

I loved The Facts of Life when it originally aired.  Unfortunately, the reruns haven't aired that much over the years.  I've found it on a few different stations over the years, but it was never on that long.  I picked up the DVD sets that were out last year.  One DVD set has the first two seasons and the second set has the third set.

The main group of characters is firmly established in the third season.  The girls have issues dealing with each other, but the dynamic works better than when there were more girls during the first season I think.  Some things tied to school are brought up, though the girls usually aren't shown in class.  They each have to deal with different things over the course of the season, and their friendship is tested a few times.  The plots are mostly self contained and resolved by the end of the episodes, though there are a few two part episodes.

I'm glad that I have the third season on DVD even though there are no extras for the set.  That is disappointing.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

Facts of Life - The Complete Third Season

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Veronica Mars - The Complete First Season

Veronica Mars is a television show that I've heard about for years before finally watching it.  I had read a few positive reviews of the seasons on Epinions.  In the last few years, I've heard more about how good the show is on a movie board I joined.  Earlier this year, I tracked down some episodes online.  I really enjoyed them and decided that I wanted the DVD sets.  I tracked down a sale and got all three seasons.

Veronica Mars is a wonderful show about a teenager, Veronica Mars, who works with her father Keith in his detective agency.  Even though the main character is a teenager and much of what happens is tied to high school in some way, this show isn't just for teenagers.  I actually think it is more for adults than teenagers because of the different subject matters that pop up every so often.  The show is set in Neptune, a fictional southern California town.

Most of the episodes have a mystery of some sort that Veronica works on and solves by the end of the episode.  The season also has a few season long mysteries that Veronica is trying to solve.  The main one involves the murder of her best friend, Lilly Kane.  Keith was the sheriff at the time of the murder.  People in Neptune, especially the Kane family, weren't happy with how he handled the investigation and it wasn't long before he was recalled.  After that, Veronica lost her popular friends at school, they had to move to a small apartment, and Keith's wife left.  Someone was arrested, but Veronica doesn't believe he is the killer, so she does her own investigating.  She is also trying to find her mother during the season.  The mystery elements work very well to the make episodes entertaining.  Time is also taken to deal with other issues Veronica has, like with her friends and love life.

The characters are all interesting, though not all likable.  A few of them are jerks, but that works for what is going on.  None of the characters are all good or all bad, which makes them more believable.  Even Veronica has some flaws.  Kristen Bell is wonderful in the part.  The rest of the cast does well with their parts too.

I'm very glad that I decided to start watching Veronica Mars.  I loved the first season and will probably start on the second season before long.  It is too bad that such a good show was canceled after only three seasons, though it is probably lucky that the show had the chance to last that long.  I have a feeling if it had been on a different network, it may not have lasted as long as it did.

I did get a longer review posted on Epinions.

Veronica Mars - The Complete First Season

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Princess Bride

I don't remember now when I first saw The Princess Bride.  I do remember wanting to see the movie after seeing the trailers when the movie first came out.  I'm not sure when I first saw the movie, but I have seen it many times and I love it.

The plot is very entertaining, telling what I consider a fairytale story.  It has things set up like a grandfather is reading the story to his sick grandson.  They pop up every so often throughout the movie.  That works for what is going on.  The characters and situations are interesting and make for an interesting movie. The cast all fit their parts really well.  Some parts of the story are predictable, but that doesn't keep the movie from being very entertaining overall.  The movie is definitely worth watching.

I got the movie on DVD several years ago.  Since then, one or two new DVD versions have been released with new extras.  My version does have a few extras on it that are entertaining. 

I recently got a longer review posted on Epinions.

The Princess Bride

The Sound of Music

I really like musicals, though I didn't like them as much when I was younger.  I avoided watching The Sound of Music for years before I had to watch it during choir in 8th grade.  I loved the movie and have watched it many times since then.

The movie is based on the true story of the Von Trapp family.  From what I have read, things were changed for the movie.  Sometimes that did add a bit more drama to what was happening.  Even with the things that were fictionalized, the movie is very entertaining.  It works well as a family friendly movie, though it could be a bit long for children.  The movie does deal with serious things, like the lead up to World War II.

The music is wonderful and even though it had been a few years since I last saw the movie, I still remembered the words to most of the songs.  Having characters break out in songs works a little better with this movie since it is shown that Maria loves music.  She uses music and songs as a way to teach the children things, so it flows a bit better when they start singing.  Julie Andrews is wonderful as Maria and I did like Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp.  The children are all fine, though some of them don't act as well as others.

There have been a few different DVD versions of the movie released. Unfortunately, the one I have doesn't have any extras.

I did post a review of the movie at Epinions.

The Sound of Music

The Bounty Hunter

I decided to go see The Bounty Hunter last week.  The previews looked like the movie would be entertaining, so I decided to give it a chance.  My expectations weren't that high, which may be why I ended up enjoying the movie overall.

The plot for the movie is fairly simple, dealing with a bounty hunting having to take his ex-wife to jail.  The two of them don't have the best relationship, so that causes problems.  Some other conflict also pop up.  That does add a tiny bit of mystery.  The plot could have been stronger, but I still think the movie is entertaining overall.

Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler handle their parts fine, though there isn't really anything about either performance that stands out.  Both of them do show off a bit of skin, though neither of them are fully naked.

This isn't one of the best movies I've seen, but it is far from the worst.  I don't think it is as bad as many others seem to think it is.  I think the movie is entertaining overall.  Fans of the cast might find something to like about it.

I did get a review posted on Epinions.

The Bounty Hunter

DVD Releases 3/23/10 - The Blind Side

I'm know I'm a bit behind with this, but I still wanted to post about.

I saw The Blind Side while it was still in the theater, before there was all the Oscar hype about Sandra Bullock.  I really enjoyed the movie, including Sandra's performance.  I don't really like sports, but I was interested in seeing this movie from the first time I saw a trailer.  Some scenes are a slightly sappy, and some liberties were taken with the true story, but overall it works as a very entertaining movie.  It is definitely worth seeing, especially for fans of Bullock.

I thought that Sandra gave an amazing performance in this movie.  Every year I watch some of the award shows, mainly the Golden Globes and Oscars.  This year, I was very happy to see Sandra win several awards for her wonderful performance.

So far, I haven't added the movie to my DVD collection, though I probably will at some point since I did enjoy it so much.

I did post a review of the movie on Epinions after I saw it in the theater, giving the movie five stars.

The Blind Side

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shutter Island

I went to see Shutter Island recently.  I was intrigued by the trailers I saw, though I wasn't completely sure I wanted to see the movie.  I'm glad I ultimately decided to see it.  I do think it is a very good movie and it may end up being one of the best movies released in 2010.

The movie is based on the book by Dennis Lehane.  I haven't read the book, though I am thinking about it now.  I don't know first hand how close the movie stays to the book, but I have heard that it is very close.  I know of at least one person that thinks the movie is too much like the book.  Even without having read the book, I still thought a few things were a bit predictable and I did figure out something very early.  Despite that, I still really enjoyed the movie.  I may even pick up the DVD once it is released.

Shutter Island has a very creepy atmosphere and vibe.  That comes across in the previews I've seen and I even thought that the movie might be more of a scary movie from the previews.  There is suspense to what is going on, but I don't think the movie is scary.  The pace is a bit slower, but that allows for enough time to properly introduce the characters and situations while also slowing building the tension.  There is some mystery to what is going that helps to make the movie more interesting and entertaining.  I think the cast does a wonderful job with the parts, especially Leonardo DiCaprio.

I do think a few things could have been handled a little better, but Shutter Island is very well done and a wonderful movie that is worth seeing.

I did post a longer review of Shutter Island on Epinions.  I would have rated the movie 4.5 stars there if I had the option.  Since I didn't, I decided to round to 5.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Movie Theater Experience

I watch a lot of movies in different ways.  Some I watch on television on the various channels I get and some on DVD from my ever growing DVD collection.  I also see many movies in the theater.  I'm lucky that the theater here that I go to still has fairly low prices, though they have been slowly creeping up in the last couple of years.  There is just something about seeing a movie on the big screen that I like despite the drawbacks.

For me, the biggest drawback is having to put up with all the other people in the theater, many of whom are rude idiots who disrupt everyone even remotely near them.  When did it become acceptable for people to talk all through a movie or send a gazillion text messages, disrupting anyone who has the misfortune to be sitting anywhere near them?  I just don't get people who do this and I find them horribly irritating.  Why pay to see a movie if you are going to do nothing but talk or send text messages through the whole thing?  I fail to see the point of that and it seems like a huge waste of money.  Rudeness seems to be accepted anymore and I for one am tired of that.  When I go to the theater, I'm paying to see a movie, not over hear conversations or be blinded by cell phone screens.  People who can't be quiet or can't go a few hours without sending a text need to stay out of movie theaters and stop ruining the movie theater experience for others. 

I am frequently annoyed by people talking in the theater.  I don't mean someone who whispers something to the person they are with a few times.  That doesn't bother me.  I'm talking about people who carry on full conversations in loud voices.  I've had the misfortune to be in a theater with people who are practically yelling to the person next to them to be heard over the movie.  Theaters are not the place to have conversations.  Theaters are not the place to talk loudly on a cell phone about what you want to eat for dinner.  Theaters are not the place to send numerous text messages or go online using a cell phone.  Some people may not agree with me on this, but I also feel that theaters aren't the place for young children who can't sit still and watch a movie without talking constantly or running up and down the aisles.  When I was a child, my mom didn't take me to a movie in the theater until I was 6 or so.  By that time, I had the attention span to watch a movie without disrupting everyone else in the theater and I knew to be quiet.  Children that are allowed to talk constantly through an entire movie in the theater grow up to be adults who refuse to be quiet in the theater.  It is just common courtesy, which is severely lacking in all aspects of life, to be quiet in a theater.

I still love going to see movies and I'm trying not to let the rude idiots ruin things for me.  I'll still be going to the theater and giving my movie theater evil eye to people who won't be quiet.  Unfortunately, that doesn't work that often, but I still do it.

To quote Shepherd Book from the wonderful Firefly, there is a special hell for people who talk in the theater.  People who tend to talk during movies may want to stop and think about that next time..and zip the lip.

Cop Out

I decided to go see Cop Out earlier this week.  I tend to like Bruce Willis movies, but I don't like Tracy Morgan, so I really wasn't sure about going to see it.  Morgan just annoys me in everything I see him in and I don't find him funny at all.  I decided to see Cop Out despite him being in the movie. 

I did enjoy the movie overall, but it is far from great.  The plot is sort of interesting, and while there are a few unexpected things that happen, I still found other things to be predictable.  Action turns up every so often, but I wouldn't consider this to be an action packed movie.  The violence isn't too extreme, but the language is.  This is definitely not a movie for kids.  The characters aren't that developed and they could have been more interesting.  Seann William Scott turns up in a few scenes and I was disappointed that he wasn't around more.  Fans of the cast might find something to like about the movie.

I did post a longer review on Epinions.

Cop Out

On Epinions, I can't give movies half stars, so I end up either rounding up or down.  With Cop Out, I would have gone with two and a half stars if I had the option.  I decided to go ahead and round up since I did enjoy the movie for the most part even though Tracy Morgan annoyed me constantly.  I do think the movie would have been better if Seann William Scott had been in it more.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors.  I have seen and enjoyed most of the movies that he has made with Tim Burton.  When I heard that they were making a new version of Alice in Wonderland, I was interested even before seeing any trailers.  I headed out on opening day to see the 3D version of the movie.

I loved the movie and will more than likely see it again in the theater and I'll add the DVD to my collection.  I really liked that there is more of a plot to this movie than there was to the Disney animated version.  In that movie, Alice just sort of wonders around and meets a few odd characters.  With Burton's version, Alice still interacts with odd characters, but there is more purpose to what is going on.  I also liked how it is set up like Alice had been there as a child, forgotten things, and was back as a young woman.  I know that some people aren't happy with the fact that the plot isn't more like the Carroll books featuring Alice.  I think the plot works wonderfully and makes for an entertaining movie.  The visuals are amazing and give the movie a unique look.

Johnny Depp is great as Mad Hatter.  This version of the character is still a bit wacky, but he also has moments of sanity and clarity.  He is much more than a loon who drinks tea and that makes the character much more interesting.  He does have a bizarre look, but that manages to work for the movie.  The Red Queen is in control, and she is not nice to anyone.  Helena Bonham Carter is great in the part.  The White Queen is the sister of the Red Queen.  The White Queen is much nicer than her sister, though she is missing a marble or two herself.  Anne Hathaway does well with the part.  White Rabbit, March Hare, Cheshire Cat and Tweedledee and Tweedledum also turn up.  I really like how Cheshire Cat is done.

I did post a longer review on Epinions.

Alice in Wonderland

House Bunny

When House Bunny came out in theaters, I was only slightly interested in seeing it eventually.  My interest wasn't great enough to warrant heading to the theater and forking over cash.  Not that long ago, I spotted the DVD fairly cheap and I almost picked it up, but something stopped me.  Now that I've seen the movie, thanks to one of the Encore channels I get, I'm very glad I didn't give into the momentary urge to get the DVD.

The plot has a tiny bit of potential that quickly goes no where fast while Anna Faris prances around barely dressed most of the time.  She does get naked at one point, though she is only shown from behind.  The role does show off a sexier side of Faris.  Sexual remarks are made and a few things shown are very suggestive, but there aren't any actual sex scenes.  Faris's character is sort of likable, but she is so stupid that she becomes irritating.  The jokes fall flat most of the time and things just aren't that entertaining or interesting.  I was watching the clock waiting for it to end.  

House Bunny isn't the worst movie I've seen, but it is far from the best.  Fans of Anna Faris may find something to enjoy about the movie, but I wouldn't count on it.  The movie is available to rent and own on DVD and Blu-ray.  It has been turning up on the Encore movie channels and it could be an On Demand option with some cable and satellite providers. 

I did post a longer review of House Bunny on Epinions.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

HBO

I've had HBO for a few years now and I really like the channel.  Most of the time, I can find a movie on one of the HBO channels that I am interested in watching.  Since I've had HBO, I've seen several movies that I was interested in that I missed while they were in the theater.  I've watched some movies again that I love and I've even watched some that I wasn't really interested in before but watched because there was nothing else on that I was interested in at that point and gotten hooked on a few of the original shows.  Now that I have a DVR too, I'm able to see more movies and shows that I'm interested in.  I just need more hours in the day to watch everything.

I Love My DVR

After hearing about DVRs and TiVo for years, I finally got a DVR a few months ago.  I quickly came to love it and don't know how I managed so long without one.  I no longer have to miss my favorite shows when I have to work or have errands to run.  I can record movies from HBO that I want to see when I'm doing other things when they are on.  I absolutely love having a DVR.  My only problem now is finding enough time to watch everything I record.

Welcome to Movie Enthusiast Corner

I have been writing reviews on Epinions.com since 2001, mostly about movies, books and television shows on DVD.  I decided to start this blog to go along with the reviews I post on Epinions.  My user name there is dragonfire88.  I use the name Marie Dragonfire on a few other sites as well.

I started a site where I could share the links to all my reviews, arranged by subject.  I thought that would be a more user friendly way for people to find all my reviews.  As I post new reviews on Epinions, I add the links on this site.

Since I'm just starting, I'm not completely sure what all I'll post about yet, but there will be things about movies, television shows and books.  The posts will vary in length, depending on what I'm writing about.  I may write about other things every so often, but I'm sure that I'll mostly be writing about movies, television shows or books.