Interstellar (2014)




With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history: traveling behind this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. Source: Official Movie Website


A friend of mine and Cathy’s gave us some free tickets to view a movie at Arclight Cinemas and our first choice was Interstellar. We finally went yesterday to the theater on Nash, off Rosecrans. The courtyard was beautiful, decorated with poinsettias for the holidays. The lobby of the theater was just as gorgeous with a stylish bar, a tile-wall-poster of Exodus: Gods and Kings, and a gift shop. Of course, the placement of the gift shop is right next to the deconstructed ticket counter. I found a Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer tote bag and a Cat in the Hat lunch pail that I really wanted, but decided to wait until after the movie before I made the actual purchase, as I really don’t need more “stuff.” Fortunately, we went to an morning screening, so being forced to choose our seats was not as annoying as I find that practice to be. The popcorn was just made and DELICIOUS!

Now I am not super cerebral and movies involving time (travel, etc.) confuse the hell out of me, but I was able – despite all the theoretical dialogue – to grasp a basic understanding of what was happening, therefore, loving it. While it was not what I expected – sci-fi action – the suspense of some scenes was enough to satisfy my inner-movie goer. Yes there may have been some holes in the theories/plot, but Matthew McConaughey’s and Anne Hathaway’s performances covered that up.

I think I may have to move to the South and find me a husband down there because that slow, southern, voice is sexual hypnosis to me and Matthew just does it for me. The cast was a wonderful surprise including, Topher Grace, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Matt Damon, and Elyes Gabel, from one of my favorite television shows: Scorpion.

I had seen the director(?) on a morning show and he was saying how he had been inspired by Star Wars(?) and 2001: A Space Odyssey; the latter was very evident and super fantastic! At the end of the movie I heard the term: Tesseract, and that just validated all my sci-fi viewing to date. One thing I found very odd was the robot construction, whose design I did not find to be very functional, but they got the job done!

With a runtime of 170 minutes, I held it the last hour or so because I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Visually fascinating! Thought provoking!

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Moonrise Kingdom (2012)


Moonrise Kingdom is the new movie directed by two-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore).

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tell the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp, Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl. Source: DVD Cover


I think this movie was on my list because of the swarthy Jason Schwartzman and the boyish Edward Norton – though my attraction was born out of my viewing of American History X. I was actually surprised to see the rest of the cast, whom I could readily identify.

The story was okay with a quirky sense of humor, which is always hit and miss with me. This time it missed. I kind of got into it, but did not find anything terribly funny.

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Margin Call (2011)

Margin Call



Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, MARGIN CALL is an entangling thriller involving the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When an entry-level analyst unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster. Source: DVD Cover


I don’t live in the world of finance well, so this movie was Greek to me; maybe that is why I missed the roller-coaster ride of suspense I thought this movie was going to provide.

I might have added this movie to my list because of the all-star cast: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Penn Badgley, Demi Moore, Jeremy Irons.

I might have added it for any one of my attractions to Paul Bettany, since The Da Vinci Code; Zachary Quinto, since Heroes; Penn Badgely, since The Stepfather, which I could’ve sworn I’d seen, but for which I don’t have a review; Stanley Tucci, since…memory crash or more recently Simon Baker.

Considering my level of disappointment and knowledge for the lack of propensity for male body exposure, I am inclined to believe it is the first reason.


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Rodrigo Santoro: I Love You Phillip Morris

I love the name and the body that is Rodrigo Santoro! Thi is him in I Love You Phillip Morris.

Rodrigo Santoro


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Jim Carrey: I Love You Phillip Morris

I’ve never been seriously attracted to Jim, but as Steve Russell in I Love You Phillip Morris, I lowered my expectations and actually found him attractive.

Jim Carrey


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I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

I Love You Phillip Morris



Jim Carrey stars in the wildly outrageous tale of a spectacularly charismatic con man’s journey from small-town businessman to flamboyant white-collar criminal, who repeatedly finds himself in trouble with the law an on the lam – all in the name of love. Co-starring Ewan McGregor, I Love You Phillip Morris is the unbelievably true comedy from the creators of Bad Santa that’s being called “the best performance of Carrey’s career” (Village Voice).


This marks the beginning of trying to clear out the movies from my Movie Reviews Coming Soon list at right. What happens is that I see a preview, I am intrigued enough to list the movie for a future viewing and then I when I go to the DVD store, I see something better because I have already forgotten what was on my list. Such is the case with this movie, which I had continually thought was about the cigarette company.

OMG! I loved this movie, reminding me of Bernie. Steve’s first secret is what I identified with the most. From there it was pure laughs. The kicker came at the end of the movie, which I never even suspected.

Jim Carrey was looking good in this movie, as was Rodrigo Santoro…mmm, mmm, mmm! Jim Carrey’s performance is not his normal silly character, and very convincing for this role.

Pleasant surprise!

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The Giver (2014)

The Giver


SYNOPSIS: Official Movie Website

The haunting story of THE GIVER centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he beings to spend time with The Giver (Jeff Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community’s memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community’s secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined – a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all – a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before.


Very interesting despite – what seemed to me – a lot of holes in the story. Maybe this is a good thing because it helps the pace of the movie. Then again, this movie made me think whether an ideal society without emotion is better than the chaos emotions can cause in a world of non-conformity. I suppose I feel cheated that such a thought-provoking movie had such a transparent frame. A perfect analogy are the bicycles: while one would think a steel frame would be more reliable, the ones in the movie, which appeared to be a thin sheet of wood/plastic, worked just as well.

Brenton Thwaites was easy on the eyes.

I understand the meaning of the desaturation filming technique, but found it unecessary and a little confusing, especially when dream sequence footage begins to be introduced. I would have liked a little background on how the “community” came into existence and how/why one person – the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) – came to into rule. I would have also like a little background on the solution to save the world came about or a logical explanation or history of why no one previously, having been chosen to be The Giver, had never attempted the feat previously, considering the – what seems to me – the obvious change in insight that one person would experience. And what about people outside the perimeter? How do they figure into the picture. Their presence only makes “the community” see more cultish in nature, which would indicate a more sinister underlie.

Entertaining and thought-provoking.

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Cantinflas (2014)



SYNOPSIS: Facebook

Cantinflas is the untold story of Mexico’s greatest and most beloved comedy film star of all time!


Growing up, I remember my parents always going out to see the latest Cantinflas movie because they found him so funny. They had rented this movie, I saw it and decided to borrow it for a viewing so that I might learn more about this character and decided for myself whether I found him as funny.

Despite the language barrier, I think I might find this character funny in movies of his native tongue because his comedy is based on logic. I also found myself becoming very attractive to Óscar Jaenada. As for the movie, it is an overview of Mario Moreno’s (Cantinflas) life from a vaudeville theater sweeper to his international renown. There appears to be a second plot about a director Michael Todd and his ability to get Around the World in Eighty Days made. Of remark, are the dips in the personal life of Mario, which made him very human to me.

Alright movie, but a little confusing.

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A Madea Christmas (2013)

A Madea Christmas


SYNOPSIS: Official Movie Website

MADEA gets coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas but the biggest surprise is what they’ll find when they arrive. As the small, rural town prepares for its annual Christmas Jubilee, new secrets are revealed and old relationships are tested while Madea dishes her own brand of Christmas Spirit to all.


I saw that mom and dad were watching this and realized I hadn’t seen this movie, so I borrowed it because I just love Madea.

This movie was hilarious, especially with the casting of Larry the Cable Guy and Kathy Najimy. And what a shock to see Lisa Whelchel (Blair from Facts of Life); she still looks every bit as beautiful as the young girl, on whom I had developed a crush. Larry the Cable Guy and Madea and Tyler Perry should work together more. The scene where they were talking and could not understand each other was hilarious!

I also like this movie because it seemed to move along more rapidly than other Tyler Perry movies. The story about reverse racism was interesting and I was kind of surprised to see such a story coming from Perry.

Loved it!

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Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain

Steve, Judy & I

It must be over 25 years since I’ve been on a roller coaster or at Magic Mountain. I was hesitant to go because of my diabetes complications with my feet, but need to know if my love of roller coasters had waned. I was also hesitant because the last time I went to an amusement park, I could not ride a ride because I did not fit in the car. How embarrassing! I must comment that most of the cars were quite small for my girth, leaving me feeling squished most of the time.

We started out with breakfast at Marie Callender’s. There was an excellent buffet, including some yummy menudo!

When we arrived at the park, Judy and Steve, being thin and small were all about walking from the car to the entrance. I would have preferred the tram, but went along. Our first stop was X2, which I had been dying to ride, but it was closed due to wind. The second ride I was looking forward to – Green Lantern: First Flight, broke down just as we were at the foot of the final staircase. The picture above is from Tatsu, which was a wild ride. Upon boarding, you are in a seated position. I was having a problem with the shoulder bar locking, but finally managed with the help of a park attendant. Then the cars are rotated ninety degrees, placing you in a face down position with the track above you and out of sight; that really played with my head. I was freaking out the whole ride, thinking I would fall out. SCARY!

About halfway around the park, I my feet started to hurt, but I pushed on. During the whole visit, I experienced cotton mouth. I think that may have been a result of no insulin shot in the morning and two pieces of pie with breakfast. I was able to find water fountains throughout the park to relieve the cotton mouth, but my legs and feet only progressively got worse. By the end of the day, I felt like a ninety-year-old.

Out of all the rides we rode, I did not fit on Riddler’s Revenge or Apocalypse. The embarrassment was minimal and perhaps because of my body aching from all the walking. In retrospect, I wish I had not fit on Full Throttle, the newest ride. You are in a car in a seated position – no shoulder bar. You are shot out of the station into a 360 degree loop. While in line, I had noticed a delay in the middle of the loop and when I was in that situation that delay seemed like an eternity, especially because I felt like I was falling out! There is another part of the ride where the coaster goes backwards and once again I had the sensation of falling out. The final sensation came at the end of the ride where the cars go over the 360 degree loop and the ride ends on the descend.

That falling out sensation is my farewell to roller coaster riding, unless I lose some weight before my next visit to an amusement park. Surprisingly, we did not have to wait long for any ride, walking the maze right up to the boarding station in my instances. Love that!

We ended the day back in Marie Callender’s where we dined an then went home. I am so sore today, but had a good time with my old high school friends.

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