Category Archives: Movies

Ta-Da! I’m a Geek!

You guys! I’m so excited to announce this because I get to embrace my dorkiness for a cause!

Introducing, one of the newest movie reviewer for Geeks Under Grace:

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Now, I have an excuse to go to movies or stay up late.

Please stop by their website for reviews on movies, gaming, tabletop games, music, comic books, television, and all things within the geek realm.  I wanted to make sure to share their mission statement with you, so you can understand my excitement:

The mission of Geeks Under Grace is to:

EDUCATE Christians on how to safely consume pop culture from our worldview.
EVANGELIZE geeks with the message of the Gospel by building bridges between Jesus and the geek community.
EQUIP Christians and churches to reach geeks with the Gospel.
ENCOURAGE Christians as they grow into a deeper relationship with Christ.

Stellar, right?

I’m working on my first “real” post, a review for Guardians of the Galaxy, but was able to squeak in abbreviated predictions for 5 films coming out this month. Cut me some slack, I was writing on my phone’s notepad from a campsite on the Oregon coast.

Click on the image below and be whisked into a magical adventure of geeky Christian awesomeness, rolled up into one convenient website.

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Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

AH!!!! My brain just imploded, then exploded. After I cleaned up the mess, I read the blurb again. Cue the

heavy breathing

What is so amazing and wonderful? Let me show you the bit from Wikipedia:

“On September 14, 2015, it was reported a new film was in development by Walt Disney Pictures. The film will take place 20 years after the first, featuring a standalone narrative based on the remaining seven books in the series. Rob Marshall has been hired to direct, while John DeLuca and Marc Platt will serve as producers.

On April 25, 2016, Disney confirmed that Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda will star in the sequel as Mary Poppins and Jack, a street lamplighter, respectively. It was announced on May 31, 2016, that the film will be titled Mary Poppins Returns and take place in Depression-era London, 20 years after the original film. It is set to be released on December 25, 2018. The cast will also include Meryl Streep as Mary’s cousin Topsy, Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks, Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks, and Colin Firth as William Weatherall Wilkins, the president of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. Dick Van Dyke has confirmed he will appear in a cameo role for the film. In December 2016, it was announced that Angela Lansbury had joined the cast in an unspecified role.

Filming is expected to begin on January 31st, 2017.”

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THAT WAS TUESDAY!!!!!

You know that I’m not a particular fan of remakes. But I am hoping this sequel is every bit as extravagant as the original. Please, please, please have Julie Andrews as a cameo!!! I’ll be the one crying when she’s on screen.

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Suicide Squad

Saw Suicide Squad over the weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this flick since the first trailer released last year.

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This flick could’ve easily fallen into an “R” rating. There were plenty of times for more explicit violence or the “F” bomb. I mean…it’s a movie about the worst of the worst. Suicide Squad reined in just enough to earn its rightful “PG-13” rating.

 

There are some fantastic songs integrated into the film that are completely opposite of Enya (and I like her, folks): Creedence Clearwater Revival, Twenty One Pilots and Eminem, just to name a few. And it works. The soundtrack split my taste halfway, even the clean version. But someone who likes rap will enjoy it more than I do.

 

It’s no secret that I love a good comic book movie. But this film surprised me! I avoided reviews before settling into the X.D. theater. I wanted to give the plot an unadulterated chance. And I don’t automatically like “the bad guys” in a movie. Growing up, I was a steadfast Marvel girl, firmly rooted in the heroics of X-Men.

 

So what surprised me?
 

My empathy for the characters. The further the film advanced, the more my heart resonated with the true desires of the members of the Suicide Squad. As their truest dreams are laid bare by the Enchantress, I was captivated by their basic desire to be…normal.

Normal

Don’t mistake my empathy for cheering for the bad guys. Deadshot’s unrepentance for being an assassin and Harley Quinn’s manic obsession to please the Joker really pushed/pulled my sense of justice and my personal wish for their redemption. But neither were satisfied.

 

There were a couple of lulls in the movie, where backstory tumbled in and clogged the plot. Overall, I was swept into the story and still can’t believe how happy I was with the ending.

 

Don’t take your kids who are sensitive. Lots of violence (guns, fatal karate chops, baseball bats, etc.) and I think the cursing was literally counted and fell right at the “one-more-and-it’s-rated-R” line. Harley’s shorts? They defy physics.

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My favorite line: “You’re ruining date night!” In fact, most of my favorite moments are with Harley. Jared Leto’s Joker is both mesmerizing and terrifying—and I liked him.

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There’s an obvious set-up for a sequel (DC, you credit copycat, slipping in an extra scene).

Dear future director, Batman speaking in a breathy, grumble sucks. Stop it. I don’t even know if I can bring myself to watch the Justice League, even with the promise of Aquaman.


Jane Like Tarzan

Thing 1 and I went to see “The Legend of Tarzan” yesterday. I have to admit, I was both excited and apprehensive after reading both positive and negative reviews from professionals and people I know. But I bit the bullet and braved the 101 temperatures.

Tarzan

(There are lots o’ posters for the movie, but I like this one best)

This rendition of Tarzan is NOT a Disney spin-off, and you shouldn’t bring anyone who is frightened by violence and blood. Or anyone who will blush like a maid with a shirtless dude, because Tarzan no like shirts.

Alexander Skarsgård takes the lead role, with Margot Robbie playing his Jane. Both actors are superb. They were children raised in Africa (he by gorillas and she by her English-teaching father in a neighboring village), transplanted to England and forced back to Africa. While Jane embraces the idea, Tarzan is less than happy, since he knows he’s headed back as a political pawn.

Accompanying the pair is George Washington Williams, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

SLJ

He is the sole misstep of the movie. While the entire cast wrap you into the story, Mr. Jackson sounds nearly identical to many of his other movie and commercial roles, right down to the unnecessary swearing and crude comments. Seriously…I half expected him to look at the camera at some point and say, “What’s in your wallet?”

Tarzan and G.W. Williams motor down to Africa to see if King Leopold II is enslaving the men there to mine diamonds, which the King is doing. The King’s right-hand-man, Leon Rom,  kidnaps Jane in order to deliver Tarzan to the leader of the tribe who guards the diamond mines. The only problem is that Rom has no idea that Tarzan will do anything to protect the ones he loves—and he loves Jane above everything else.

There is no sex shown in the movie, but it certainly portrays the electric current between the married Jane and Tarzan. An obvious passion flows between them and, as a married gal myself, I like the way it was handled—enough to make me believe it and stopping short of a cinematic romp.

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Yes, there is lots of CGI, but it help blends the story. I mean, we all can pick out a man in a gorilla suit. At one point, Thing 1 leaned over and whispered, “Is it wrong that I’m thinking of ‘The Lion King’ right now?” So, there are a couple of cheese ball moments too.

Over all, I give “The Legend of Tarzan”  a couple of thumbs up for not only a good story, but a believable love story woven into plot, holding it all together.


Love and Friendship – Movie Style

I love to go to the movies. Even better? I love to go see a Jane Austen flick on the big screen. So when my friends and I decided to go see “Love and Friendship,” I was a happy camper.

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This ditty is based on Miss Austen’s novella, “Lady Susan.” Being a lover of all things Austen, I was ready for new fodder. I’ve seen every version of “Emma” and “Pride and Prejudice” there is, along with the other lesser known movies. Jane Austen always seemed to touch on the fact that women of her time were little more than chattel or social pawns to climb the ranks in society. If you didn’t have the money, you weren’t much use to anyone.

 

Such is the case for Lady Susan Vernon. She may have the right name and connections, but she is broke and couch surfing at relatives. Her only hope rests in marrying off her eligible daughter to finance their lives.

 

Kate Beckinsale, in the lead role, nails the self-serving woman who digs her charms into the much younger Reginald DeCoursey, loaded with land, family and money. All the while, she strings on a married man and casually flirts with the outlandish Sir Martin.

Kate as Susan

Director Whit Stillman uses much of the original language. It takes a bit to get used to, even with a charming British accent. That said, he never loses the humor Jane Austen intended–right down to the miraculous pregnancy announcement.

 

Enjoy the breathtaking cinematography and costumes. But if you’re expecting lackadaisical dialogue, you should skip. Full eyes and ears on this one, folks.


Sliding Down The Looking Glass

Over the weekend, had a chance to take Thing 2 to Alice Through The Looking Glass. I’m an unabashed Tim Burton/Johnny Depp/Danny Elfman fan. Yes, there have been a few missteps (*cough – the Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were just plain freaky), but as a whole, I see “Burton” and say, “Let’s go!”

Alice

Imagine my disappointment when Burton was NOT the director.

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Cue overpriced popcorn, caffeine to keep my eyelids open and and empty theater. Except the three dudes who brought in their own waters and…oranges. I guess they want to be healthy.

 

Quick rundown: 113 minutes and rated PG. Heavy on the CGI (how else could Wonderland come to life) and lean on plot.

 

Well, here are my highlights:

  1. Working in Alan Rickman’s voice as Absalom. (insert my sigh here…such a magical voice)
  2. Sacha Baron Cohen in a dramatic role and NAILING IT!
  3. Andrew Scott’s cameo, sounding just like Moriarty from Sherlock.

 

I had my own opinion coming out of the theater and Thing 2 summed it up perfectly: “It was busy.” There were lots o’ subplots that lead, inevitably, to the ribbon-tied ending. At times, it was chaotic with a side of neon colors.

 

Then there is the politically correct way for explaining the Red Queen’s nasty outlook on life…it wasn’t her fault. Blech.

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Here’s the deal: keep yer money in your wallet. IF, and that’s a big if, you want to throw down a few bucks, wait until you can rent it. Try not to be as offended as I was when the end credits started to roll and P!nk started playing. (caveat, I even LIKE P!nk and couldn’t stomach the abruptness of the song)


Grumpy Super Heros: Civil War

As a young girl, I looked for ways to earn money because I had an agenda. Stuck in a small town (and I mean small…there were four in my 8th grade class), I lived for the new comic books that came into the equally tiny general store. My first job as the church janitor at twelve funded my subscription to The Uncanny X-Men. So it’s not a far cry to say I love comics made into films…especially ones by Stan Lee.

 

This weekend, I headed to Captain America: Civil War. I know the special effects were going to be good—they had to live up to the other Avenger movies and stand-alone movies. Truth be told, I didn’t follow the Avengers growing up. I just want a good story…a good, alternate universe filled with alien and technology goodness. Captain_America_Civil_War_poster

Here’s my own rendition of the plot: Super hero friends get grumpy and fight with cool powers because they each believe they are right and the others are wrong.

 

Sounds like a rumble during a kindergarten recess, right? Minus the whole, “I have laser cannons on my hands!” “Well, I have ninja assassin skills!”

 

Ya’ll need a juice box and nap mats.

 

However juvenile the plot basis, there are some serious, underlying adult themes: What happens to friendships when friends can’t see eye to eye? Adult or teenager, we all have our rules and beliefs—our lines in the sand. When someone you admire pushes your back into a wall, how will you react? (without telepathy and vibranium-steel alloy shield thingy).

 

While I liked the movie overall, it wasn’t my favorite Marvel flick. There are a few plots holes, but I’m picky about my Stan Lee-ness. But countering the missteps are the inevitable jokes and onion-layered plot—the fine balance between a friend’s opinion and a misconception.

 

This isn’t a movie for anyone looking for Pride and Prejudice. Lots o’ fighting. A bit of swearing (baby Spidey shouldn’t have cussed, but that’s my humble opinion). More fighting and shooting and crashing thing-a-ma-gigs. Crude comments. Aaaand, more fighting.

 

Huzzah to the addition of Ant Man to the group! His lines were some of my favorites. Wasn’t too jazzed on Spider Man barging in, or his ability to seemingly age backwards. Black Panther was the favorite of both Thing 1 and 2. Yep, took my spawn to the movie since they’ve seen every other Avenger and X-men based picture. What can I say? I raise them to be nerdly.

 

And it wouldn’t be a real Marvel film unless there are TWO clips in the credits. It’s so disappointing when people get up before the very end. Seriously people, you need to chill and wait it out.popcorn


Second Star to the Right…

Last night, I introduced Thing 1 and Thing 2 to my favorite version of Peter Pan. The aptly named “Peter Pan,” released in 2003 stars Jeremy Sumpter in the pivotal role, with Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy Darling. Rounding out the cast are Jason Isaacs as Mr. Darling/Hook, Olivia Williams as Mrs. Darling and Lynn Redgrave as Aunt Millicent. I won’t bore you with a plot run down because if you haven’t watched or read any version Peter Pan, you may have just crawled out from under a rock.

dvd picThe two unknown, young actors slipped into their roles and solidly possessed them. Formerly suffering from a cartoon or female interpretation, Peter Pan finally gets a fresh actor to peel back the layers of the only boy who will never grow old. This film gleans closer to J.M. Barrie’s book and Peter is not as carefree as he pretends to be. His cocky smile and mischievous nature coupled with his messy hair and dirty hands lend to the boy’s adventurous nature. But the film isn’t Peter’s story…it is Wendy’s.

 

In this version, Wendy is on the cusp of becoming a Victorian woman, forced out of sword fights and story-telling and into her own room. So when she sees the handsome boy, offering her adventures, luring her from the window, it is in her nature to hesitate and be responsible.

peter-pan-movie-screencaps.com-2753“Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you’ll never, never have to worry about grown up things again,” Peter whispers into Wendy’s ear. Her expression is one of enchantment and wonder. Who wouldn’t want to have to leave their troubles all behind?

 

Wendy and her brothers, clad in only their pajamas, fly off to Neverland, in its full Technicolor glory. Thing 1 thought the colors were over-the-top until she was reminded that it was an imaginary land that was run by a boy who flew. Suddenly, cotton candy colored clouds made sense. (all hail the alliteration!)

 

Peter Pan’s nemesis, Hook, takes on a much more adult role in this version. He is old and bitter. That said, he is the one who ultimately discovers Peter’s secret…but I’ll get to that in a few paragraphs.

 

Throw in a fabulously jealous Tinkerbell, Lost Boys who are lovable but clueless and Tick-Tock, and the storyline follows pretty closely to the cartoon Disney version, with the exception of Wendy. On the precipice of becoming an adult, she is head over heels with Peter. For all of her feelings toward the boy, he resistant to admit anything on his part:

 

   Wendy: I think you have, Peter. And I daresay you’ve felt it yourself. For something… or… someone?

   Peter: Never. Even the sound of it offends me.

[Wendy tries to touch his face, and he jumps away]

   Peter: Why do you have to spoil everything? We have fun, don’t we? I taught you to fly and to fight. What more could there be?

   Wendy: There is so much more.

   Peter: What? What else is there?

   Wendy: I don’t know. I guess it becomes clearer when you grow up.

   Peter: Well, I will not grow up. You cannot make me! I will banish you like Tinkerbell.

   Wendy: I WILL NOT BE BANISHED!

   Peter: Then go home. Go home and grow up. And take your feelings with you!

 

And with this, Peter Pan is distinctly not a cartoon. He is a selfish boy who wants it his own way or none at all. Wendy finds herself in Hook’s company and he is more than ready to treat her as an equal, in the form of Red Hand Jane, the pirate storyteller.
When Wendy, her brothers and the Lost Boys are captured by Hook and Peter comes to their rescue, we are given another glimpse into Peter.

 

   Captain Hook: She was leaving you, Pan! Your Wendy was leaving you. Why should she stay? What have you to offer? You are incomplete. Let us     now take a peep into the future, shall we? ‘Tis the fair Wendy. She’s in her nursery. The window is shut.

   Peter: I’ll open it.

   Captain Hook: I’m afraid the window is barred.

   Peter: I’ll call out her name!

   Captain Hook: She can’t hear you…

   Peter: No!

   Captain Hook: She can’t see you.

   Peter: Wendy!

   Captain Hook: She’s forgotten all about you.

   Peter: Stop! Please! Stop it!

 

The irony of Hook telling Peter that Wendy would forget—just like Peter had coached Wendy before they flew away. Unlike the neatly wrapped cartoon version, Peter deflates before the viewers. And with a pop of revelation, you realize: he loves her.

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I’m sure you can guess the ending because you’ve seen it before. But do yourself a favor and watch this version and its conclusion. If you’re hit hard in the feels like Thing 1 and Thing 2 were, you’ll agree P.J. Hogan did a wonderful job directing.


Multiple Offender

Hi. I’m Sarah. And I’m a multiple offender. I like to read my favorite books over and over. Same with movies. Even music videos.

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Why do I watch/listen what I love over and over? Because I love great stories. Sometimes, it’s just comforting to know Gilbert and Anne will end up together. Or that Luke and Leia kiss each other in front of her future husband.

lukeleia(Courtesy of furiousfanboys.com)

 

There is something about a set of lyrics or a certain quote and it connects with your noggin (or soul, if you’re deeper than I). I present to you, some of my favorite quotes:


 

“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?” ― (Anne Shirley) L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

 

“What do you despise? By this are you truly known.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

 

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” – (Lloyd Dobler) Cameron Crowe, Say Anything

 

“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” ― Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

 

“I’m not a psychopath, I’m a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research.” ― Sherlock Holmes (“Sherlock” TV series)

 

“Into the garbage chute, flyboy!” ― (Princess Leia) George Lucas, The Star Wars Trilogy


 

These aren’t for resale value, so don’t be a chump and try to rip them off for your own work. Plus, there are copyright laws. Expensive and timely laws. And I could fill pages and pages with fantastical quotes!

 

What are some of your favorite quotes? What movies or books are your multiple offenders?


Three Broke Models…The Original Bachelorettes

So Thing 1 and I try to catch a classic film once a month. Last month, “How to Marry a Millionaire” graced our “we-are-the-last-family-to-not-own-a-huge-flat-screen” television. I cringe to admit that I’ve never watched a Marilyn Monroe film all the way through. She’s such and icon, a historical enigma, and so I figured this would be good break-in. Thing 2 hopped on the opposite couch and joined in for the Cinemascope wonder. Take it away, Wikipedia:

 

“The film stars Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall as three gold diggers, along with William Powell, David Wayne, Rory Calhoun, and Cameron Mitchell. Betty Grable received top billing in the screen credits but Marilyn Monroe’s name was first in all advertising, including the trailer.”

How To Marry a Millionaire

Of course, these ladies are all models by trade. The film jumps in like a good book, in the middle of a plot, where Schatze (Lauren Bacall) rents a penthouse from a man on the run from the IRS. Pola (Marilyn Monroe) and Loco (Betty Grable) are her lucky roommates. They sit on the balcony and get down to the nitty gritty of how one of them needs to marry a millionaire. Simply put, it’s a business deal. Snag a rich guy, live the life of luxury. Easy.

 

Not so much. Fantastic clips show furniture disappearing, pawned to pay for groceries. Schatze simply explains it away to her target. I mean, who wouldn’t agree with a knock-out living in a penthouse that she sent her furniture for cleaning?

 

Schatze finds herself pestered by Tom, a man who paid for the groceries when Loco “forgot” her wallet. Schatze wants none of his attentions, as he isn’t who she is hunting. She’s a woman on a mission and turns down his offer of marriage, clueless to the fact he is a multimillionaire.

 

Pola is the comedic relief and Marilyn did a great job of portraying the extremely nearsighted model who hates to wear her glasses because, “Men aren’t attentive to girls who wear glasses.” She falls for a grifter and ends up on a wrong plane due to her lack of eyewear, where she meets “quite a strudel” sitting next to her. It was a pleasure to hear that line delivered in typical, breathy Marilyn style.

How To Marry A Millionaire 3

Loco tries to find her millionaire, but ends up head over heels for a poor, yet ruggedly handsome forest ranger. Her storyline is almost boring and both of the spawn and I agree that her acting was somewhat flat.

 

Pola and Loco both end up getting hitched to their men over the weekend. Maybe in 1953, it there were wedding chapels everywhere. They both come back to the penthouse, where Schatze is about to marry her millionaire, a man twice her age. And just before the ceremony, she announces that she can’t go through with it because…she’s in love with Tom, the grocery dude. Tom happens to be at the wedding and so they get hitched on the spot.

 

The film ends up at a burger joint, all three couples at the counter. Schatze jokes with the other two men about their net worth, which are tiny. Tom pipes up and says he’s worth 200 million, which everyone takes as a joke—until he pulls out a $1,000 bill and tells the chef to keep the change.

 

Do they even make $1,000 bills? Yes…yes, they did!

 

If you have a couple of hours to kill, this is a decent classic. I would not put it in the realm of “Roman Holiday” or “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” but it’s worth a single watch, especially for Marilyn Monroe’s silly role.

 

As, a LOVELY footnote, Wikipedia as says: “In 2007, Nicole Kidman bought the rights to “How to Marry a Millionaire” under her production company Blossom Films, and is set to produce and possibly star in a remake.” Well, maybe it’s just taking a long time to cast the film…


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