Coming Soon

November 19, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

The Harry Potter series is one of the highest grossing film series in history. There is no doubt that the newest film would be any less successful than the previous six. Of course the acting was great. The characters are exciting, relatable, and enjoyable. The directing and writing is just as excellent as the rest. But this film stands out from the rest, because of its intensity. This one is by far the most action-packed film of the series. It also has more heart-wrenching scenes than any other film. There are moments when the whole theater gasps or catches their breath at the same time. A few minutes later the silence of sorrow can be felt in each seat. Then you are back to the downhill-drop back into the action.

I had heard that this film had more scenes focused on the plot line and less about the magic. This is somewhat true. There is a much greater emphasis on the plot line, but that’s probably because of the large quantity of material to fit into these two final films. I don’t think this will hinder any viewer opinions. The die-hard fans will love it, but younger children might have a harder time following the detailed plot.

Overall, I am extremely impressed with this film. We all know any film in this series will be great, but this one really got me excited about the series. I hope it will do the same for others. It is exactly what the final (part 1) of a series should be. It is summing up everything we have been taking part in for almost ten years. I believe anyone can enjoy these films. Even though it is a little bit more difficult if the background knowledge is not there. I believe this two part finale will put the icing on the giant, money-making cake that is the Harry Potter film series.

November 15, 2010

Morning Glory

I had very low expectations for this seemingly typical, lackluster comedy about a young TV producer who tries to accomplish her dreams against all odds. This appeared to be a potential money-maker but nothing special. Throughout the entire film I continued to be pleasantly surprised.

First, the writing was very impressive. The humor in this film was different than the comedy that you see in the usual comedic drama/romance. I cannot quite place what makes this humor so special, but it adds a great element to this film. Perhaps it stems from the fact that it's based on the real life charade that is morning new shows. The quick witted one liners are humorous and realistic, because the ploys used to boost ratings are ridiculous but effective. It seems to be true that ridiculous stories get higher ratings on morning air shows more than actual news. This real life absurdity fuels the creative, unusual writing in this film.

Second, Rachel McAdams plays a character distant from the characters she has played before. This character is well developed and quirky in a way you can't help but love. She demonstrates mannerisms that are very unique, funny, and lovable. She has always been an excellent romantic actress, but this is an enlightening change of pace. Props to her and the writers for creating this character. 

Lastly, the relationship that develops between McAdams' character and Harrison Ford's character is phenomenal. Again, I think this is rooted in reality. It is a masterful mash of father-daughter/mentor-
protégé- type relationship with a mix of admiration tied in. The writer/director added in a romantic interest and storyline also, but I found the McAdams-Ford relationship much more realistic, natural, and fulfilling. This relationship advanced and strengthened the plot more than any romantic bond could have.

Overall, I was again surprised by the witticism and realistic situations integrated into this comedic "drama". I was very skeptical and really enjoyed this film, so I would recommend it for most people. It looks like a chick flick but in reality it is geared towards anyone with a dream or who likes to see the underdog work towards the impossible goal!

My recommendation: See It!

November 13, 2010

Out On DVD

Weekly trips to the theater have left me with limited cash so, I am opting to share my DVD rental recommendations with you this week. I realize there are many people who rent movies more often than actually going to the theaters, so hopefully this helps you with your rental choices!!!

Top DVD New Releases

Shutter Island-Martin Scorsese plays with your mind and Leo gives a great performance
Toy Story 3- probably the best animated film of the year!
Sex and the City 2- they went a little too far trying to create the shock factor but still very entertaining
Date Night- how can you go wrong with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell
The Ghost Writer- interesting drama about a politician with a big secret, it has you full of questions throughout but the ending provides a surprise!
Alice in Wonderland- Tim Burton's twisted mind is evident in this rendition of the classic 
Valentine's Day- romantic comedy about the variety of opinions of Valentine's Day
Brooklyn's Finest- an emotional action movie about three police officers in Brooklyn

Law Abiding Citizen, The Hurt Locker, and Up in the Air are films I think many people missed the first time around. I loved each of them!

November 8, 2010

Due Date

Due Date is the newest film from the director of  The Hangover. While the hype of The Hangover was used to gain viewers, I was skeptical. There's no way another movie could live up to that kind of hype. However, I was surprised at the creativity and humor that this film produced.

My greatest fear was that Zach Galifianakis's character would be too similar to his character in The Hangover. The writers did an excellent job of using Zach's quirky charm and creating a unique character. This provided the right amount of humor without being too similar to the previous character.

Another surprise was the warm and fuzzy moments that were intermingled in with the humor and outrageous antics. This was unusual for a comedic film, but the producers mixed in these heart-felt moments appropriately. It was quite a surprise to see Galifianakis in a role that required this kind of acting also, but he was yet another surprise.

The comedic high jinks were taken to a bit of an extreme, but overall, I was surprised that this movie was not a complete copy of the director's previous success. It was full of many surprises. I would definitely recommend this movie, and it would be a great in theater choice! I think this is one of the best comedies of the year. 

November 3, 2010

Waiting for Superman

Waiting for Superman is a documentary about the sad state of affairs in the public schools in the United States today. It shows the struggles of a handful of families in extreme urban areas as they try to make good education a priority. As an educator I knew this film would be interesting and emotional to me. I thought that I would recommend it to other teachers and anyone interested in documentaries. I have discovered the opposite. Any one who will be living in the US throughout the next 10 years, any one who is planning on raising children in the US within the next 50 years, and any one who cares a tiny bit about the shape of the US in the future needs to see this film.

Most people know that the education system in the US has been less then desireable for sometime now. Many polititians and reformers have said they are going to change this system, but so far each one has come up at a loss. But this problem is much more than most people know. Even I, as a member of this entity, did not fully grasp the horrors that many face when dealing with the education system and the horrors that will come in the future if changes are not made. This film shows the extremity of the problems in our education system and puts a face on it. (Lucky for them that face is a bunch of children that just want to learn and make their lives better).

This film is out on limited release, but it should be in a theater near you. Make the effort to check it out, because the message is very important. As a movie critic, it is also very well made. The directing is well done. The graphics used are perfect to illustrate the information and data shown. And the kids are cute.

I am slightly bias because of my profession, but I would recommend this film to everyone. Wait til Redbox has it if you want, but put it on your list of movies to see.