Monday, January 21, 2013

Two For One Movie Reviews

This week I saw a couple movies and since I don't have the energy to write lengthy reviews, I am going to combine them into one extra lazy post. Both of these movies were not high on my priority list to watch so I waited for them to come out on DVD fist.

The first movie was Midnight in Paris which was directed by Woody Allen. It's about a writer played by Owen Wilson who is on vacation in Paris with his fiance and her family. During their visit he has some strange encounters each night at Midnight as he is transported back to the 1920's and is able to hang out with artists like Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Elliot, Dali, Picasso, and others.

It was a fun idea but the film sort of lost my attention as time went on. If you are a fan of the 20's and enjoy the concept of  being able to interact with famous historic figures from another era, then you would probably get a kick out of it. Owen Wilson had a good performance in it and was able to avoid the usual surfer dude role he often plays. Rachel McAdams was also in a different role than usual. Her character was so unlikable that it was hard to believe they would ever be engaged to each other . I give Midnight in Paris 7.0 stars for being a pleasant movie.

Crazy Stupid Love was the other movie I saw. It had a great cast of Steve Carell, Julia Moore, Kevin Bacon, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Marissa Tomei. It is about a man (Carrell) who is dumped by his wife for another man. He moves out and meets a womanizer (Gosling) who mentors him and teaches him how to change his image and pick up women. It also featured several side stories about love and various relationships and is woven together so all of the characters end up having inter-related relationships that take place throughout the movie.

I thought this movie was pretty entertaining but due to the subject matter there are plenty of sexual references so I wouldn't classify it as a family film unless your idea of a family film is sitting next to your parents and feeling very uncomfortable during the movie. Crazy Stupid Love addresses the concepts of love, jealousy, rejection, and forgiveness. It has several funny parts that made me laugh and overall had a good message. I give it 7.7 stars.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Help

I recently watched The Help on DVD and really liked it. It takes place during the civil rights movement and is about a young white journalist who decides to write a book which gives an account of the many black women who worked as maids in the South in the 60's.

At first many of these women were reluctant to share their experiences for fear potential backlash if their employers and others in the community found out who they were and what they had said about the families they worked for. Eventually they get to a tipping point where many of them were willing to come forward and have the courage to share their experiences so the book could be published.

I thought all of the performances were good, but Bryce Dallas Howard really did a good job of being an insensitive, racist, and shallow Southern belle. I watched this movie with some of my kids and they were in total disbelief that people treated each other that way and they asked me if segregation was real. I told them it was not only real, but the events in the film took place only 45 years ago.

One thing I liked about this movie is that it didn't paint all white people as being villains, nor did it make one or two good white people saviors to the black community. The film also focuses on a white woman who is not accepted by her upper class peers and shows how she experienced much of the same rejection and belittlement by those who felt they were superior to her.

I give The Help 7.9 stars. Some people might feel it is a sugar coated Disney movie since it is not as dark and gritty as many civil rights movies, but I think it was still quite good. It deals with a serious topic but there are several light hearted moments so it wasn't too intense and it was also less of a chick flick than I expected it to be!
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