Lincoln and the Hobbit in the Land of the Impossible


It as been a month of movies for us. The weather has been mostly bleak, with our Valley inversion pressing down the clouds and the mood. But, my mood can be immensely cheered by a movie. I love going to the movies. I might love them more at home on Netflix if DISH network was not so slow, stopping to buffer and sputter at the worst times. At home, I tend to get very, very sleepy if I sit still, but the lightening of my wallet at the movies causes me to sit up and pay attention.

One of the most anticipated movies for us was The Hobbit. A couple of years ago, while on holiday in New Zealand (that’s how they say it: “Holiday”, which sounds so much more festive than a vacation) we visited Hobbiton, the site of much of the filming of the movie. We squatted to peer in Hobbit houses and walked where Bilbo walked. It was such fun to see how the sets were developed and maintained – down to the replacement of sunflowers and cabbages to match yesterday’s scenes and the application of yogurt to the fences to make them look lichen-covered. Watching it in 3D was a nostalgic return to the set for us. Gollum is so creepy, yet so pitiful, I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. And the song of the dwarves is still echoing in my head. Lovely set up for the next two installments, though the wait is long.

Lincoln did not disappoint and I thought Tommy Lee Jones as Stevens was fabulous. Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln were equally good. I loved the thoughtful, simple way that Lincoln determined to be the President that would end the evils of slavery. A great movie about a great man.

The Impossible was somewhat disappointing to me. It told the true story of one family’s amazing survival during the disaster, but though the disaster scenes were believable and sobering, the constant “Jaws-type” music from the first minutes would have been better left until the actual disaster. I think that normalizing the vacation anticipation and ordinary-ness of the family would have made a better cinematic experience.

Next up: Silver Linings Play Book

Published in: on February 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review Where God Left His Shoes

Watching this movie, a Sundance winner, during the holidays was kind of a downer, but I’m aware life isn’t all twinkling lights and flannel sheets for everyone. This move reminded me of Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith. The movies are similar in their theme of a down-on-their-luck family, but to be fair to each film, the comparisons should probably stop there. The actors in both did an excellent job and the luminous eyes of the nine-year-old boy in this film could out-star even Will Smith.

What I liked about Where God Left His Shoes is the way it serves up flawed people and shows the exponential way that bad things can happen very quickly, both through our own choices and what life throws our way. Not everything is wrapped up neatly in the end, but the viewer is left with a lot of things to consider, not the least of which is how we can help people just like the family in the film.

Published in: on January 3, 2010 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Movie Review

The Bucket List Jack Nicholson, the actor I love to hate, and Morgan Freeman, whom I love to love whether he is Driving Miss Daisy or narrating for penguins, are a great team for this funny, yet touching movie. These two older men, unlikely roomates in the hospital through no choice of their own, find comfort and friendship in learning to accept their impending deaths. Carter (Morgan Freeman) has a Bucket List, a list of things that he wants to do before he kicks the bucket. Though Edward (Jack Nicholson) initially scoffs at Carter’s list ambitions, he comes to see the wisdom and hope embodied in Carter’s outlook and he begins a list of his own. As their treatment allows, they then set out to fulfill the dreams they have, from racing cars to reconciliations with loved ones. I’ll admit to a few tears and I must say that the movie has been on my mind for days as I think about my own Bucket List. My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Published in: on February 9, 2008 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment