Saturday, December 30, 2006


This isn't usually the kind of movie I would go see, but I vaguely remember putting Oscar-nominated movies on my list of movies to see last year, and this one had a best actress nominee. I transferred my list to Blockbuster Online, forgot to prioritize the movies at one point, and got Transamerica in the mail. We finally got around to watching it today and it was a decent movie, if you don't have any strong prejudices against transsexuals. Felicity Huffman did an impressive job, and K didn't even realize it was a woman playing the role until I pointed it out. He was hesitant to believe me even then.

I felt sorry for this character for most of the movie, and I felt sorry for the actress for being manly enough to get this role. Even more impressive than the movie was the interview with Felicity Huffman in the bonus section of the DVD that showed that she was actually a pretty and feminine woman.

Made me laugh: Yes.
Made me cry: No.
Made me think: Yes.
Watchability: I'm glad I saw it, even if I wasn't that excited about it beforehand.
1-10 rating: 7.5

Monday, December 25, 2006

Flushed Away

Full of British humor and set in England, Flushed Away seems to be more popular in England, where it can still be found at many cinemas, than it is here, where we had to drive to the far side of the metroplex to find it on Christmas day.

K and I were amused and entertained by the movie, which was cleverly done and full of references that only adults would get (and some that only the British or those who have spent time there would get,) but Layth was attentive for the whole thing, aside from a few moments of restlessness in the third quarter.

I particularly liked the singing slugs, who shared my propensity to erupt into song over just about anything. Keep an eye out for the mime. I thought he was great!

Made me laugh: Yes.
Made me cry: No.
Made me think: No.
Watchability: I really enjoyed this and will probably buy the DVD for Layth.
1-10 rating: 9

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Pursuit of Happyness

The trailers for The Pursuit of Happyness made it look like a great "feel-good" movie, so I armed myself with tissues and sat down to enjoy watching Will Smith interact with his real-life son. I did enjoy that, but until the very last minute of the movie, that was about all I enjoyed. Will Smith gave a great performance, but this movie was really depressing. There were a few light moments, but they were brief, and just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for this poor man, it did.

At the very end of the movie, we finally get to see him experience a very powerful moment of happiness, but it is just that, a moment. I wanted to see all the great things that followed that happy moment, not to go straight to the credits!

Made me laugh: Yes.
Made me cry: Yes.
Made me think: Yes.
Watchability: Somewhat inspiring but sad, and not something I'd want to put myself through again.
1-10 rating: 6

Friday, December 22, 2006

Inside My Heart: Choosing to Live with Passion and Purpose

I liked this book, though I'm sure it had a lot to do with the fact that I already like Dr and Mrs Phil, as I call them. I hesitate to criticize, but I do think she can be a tad unrealistic at times in her belief that any of us can achieve anything we set our minds to. I do think we can do a great deal if we set our minds to it, but there are some unfortunate people with unfortunate circumstances that need the help of others before they can help themselves. That's what I think, anyway, but I wasn't paid to write a book of my opinions, so maybe not.

In any case, I was inspired by the book, and inspiration is a good thing. It's obviously aimed at women, though, so guys, I don't think you'll get much out of it.

Made me laugh: Yes.
Made me cry: No.
Made me think: Yes.
Readability: Easy to read if you already like Dr Phil, as it provides a little insight into his life. Also easy to put down and put on hold for a while.
1-10 rating: 7

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

From a Buick 8

I enjoyed this book. It was creepy enough to satisfy my Stephen King cravings without being so scary I couldn't spend the night alone in my own home. I accidentally discovered through IMDB that there's a movie in the making. I get more scared by the movies than I do by the books, probably because of the scary music and sudden loud noises that movies use to scare you, so I'm not likely to pay to see it, but if it comes to television, I'll give it a try.

Made me laugh: No.
Made me cry: No.
Made me think: No.
Readability: I could hardly put it down, and finished it fairly quickly.
1-10 rating: 7

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Holiday

I've been looking forward to this movie for weeks. I wasn't disappointed! I don't think I stopped smiling except for maybe one scene that just wasn't meant to be funny. I've loved Kate Winslet for a long time, and she was great. I liked Jude Law better than I've ever liked him. I'm not a big fan of Cameron Diaz or Jack Black, but they were likeable enough. The ending wasn't as satisfying as I'd have liked, but it was nice enough. Eli Wallach added a lot of character to the movie. He was so cute!

Made me laugh: Yes.
Made me cry: Just a little.
Made me think: A little.
Watchability: Definitely a chick flick, but I loved it. I could stand to watch it again.
1-10 rating: 8

Favorite quote: "I should be the leading lady in my own life!"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

There was so much publicity surrounding this movie, especially concerning the lawsuits, that I had to see what the fuss was about. I went with my husband and father-in-law and sat there with my downturned mouth, completely prepared to disapprove of the whole thing. I knew it would be politically incorrect, and that it would make fun of people, and that it would make some people look bad.

I laughed until I cried.

There were certainly scenes I disapproved of, and though I sat through some of those with my hand hiding my dropped jaw, I still laughed. We laughed all the way home, remembering one scene or another. (For the record, I'm still laughing days later!) On the other hand, I wouldn't say this film is for everyone. Borat can offend a lot of people. I was completely prepared to be offended, though, so maybe that helped.

Made me laugh: YES.
Made me cry: Only from laughing too hard, though there was one scene that came close!
Made me think: Yes.
Watchability: I'm so glad I saw this, and I'd definitely go see it again!
1-10 rating: 9

Monday, December 04, 2006

Casino Royale

This wasn't a must-see for me, because I don't see the point of going to a James Bond movie that doesn't have Pierce Brosnan in it. For most of the movie, I was just silently picking Daniel Craig apart. He was too blond. His ears stuck out too much. He acted like a mischievous kid who was just going to do whatever he felt like doing. He wasn't cute enough. All of this from one who is usually pretty good at not judging people. I just want Pierce back!!

Ok, aside from that ...

If you really actually care about the plot in James Bond movies, you might want to plan on seeing this one twice. There were several times when I thought I might be missing something, and though I initially blamed this on my internal Pierce vs. Daniel rant, it turns out that Justin missed a thing or two as well. There were three scenes that really stuck out in my mind: a very poignant shower scene (not at all what you'd expect from a shower scene,) the fascinating attempt to save oneself from a heart attack, and a drowning scene (for reasons that are obvious to those who know my story.) Oh, and one of the first action scenes that has a guy who jumps around like a gazelle ... I'd probably rent the DVD just for the behind-the-scenes scoop on that one. I've since learned that the style of movement used in that scene is called Parkour, and the guy doing the jumping in the movie is Sebastien Foucan, who had a lot to do with the development of the style.

Made me laugh: Yes.
Made me cry: Yes, but I wouldn't expect it to have that effect on everyone.
Made me think: Just about Pierce, really.
Watchability: If you especially like Daniel Craig or especially dislike Pierce Brosnan, you'll probably like this far better than I did, but it was ok.
1-10 rating: 7.5