Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jumper - Movie Review

Saw Jumper this weekend. The movie is eighty –eight minutes long.

The movie is about a boy, David, who at age fifteen learns he can teleport. This begins his life of traveling around the world and fighting those who try to stop him. That’s just about the whole movie – my shortest summary ever.

I loved it for the first seventy-five minutes; before I realized this was the whole movie there was no way they’d add a plot, climax and resolution in thirteen minutes. The whole eighty-eight minutes was what another action movie would fit into twenty maybe thirty minutes top. Needless to say its slow. So let’s discuss the good first. Jumper is packed with great fight scenes and graphics. The idea behind a jumper is a great one. I mean who wouldn’t want the ability to pop around anywhere in the world with the blink of an eye. But one of the things with this jumping ability that bothered me is the fact they just jump wherever they are at the time. It’s not a great way to not be discovered. You think they’d pull a Superman and wait until they’re in a phone booth to pop out. Hayden Christensen(Anakin) plays David but Jamie Bell defiantly shows him up. Plus that accent doesn’t hurt anything. Rachel Bison is so-so. At least she’s nice to look at. If you do go watch the movie pay attention and see if you can find the hidden lightsaber, it’s like a seek and find.

If I had come right home and written this review on Saturday or Sunday I think the review would have been much more positive. After having more time and one boring four hour meeting to think about it I’m not so sure about my opinion anymore. The movie keeps you interested because things blow up and people disappear and reappear on awesome places like the Sphinx. But really I’m not sure what the plot was because nothing was resolved in the end. In fact I’m not quite sure what the point of the movie was unless it was a set up for a sequel.

It’s not like its XMen with some epic battle between good and evil. I’m not even sure we’re really told which side is good or bad, besides the obvious – cool ability usually means good. The story line is really under played. Guy has cool power, guy loves girl, girl gets kidnapped, guy fights dude, guy saves girl. That’s about what you’re going to get with Jumper. Trust me I didn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know if you’ve seen an action movie in the last five years. The previews also talk about a war, but I think a war takes more than two people fighting another side.

After watching the movie and discussing it with my fellow movie goers it was discussed that quite possibly the reason the movie was so weak is because they plan to make it into a television show. This could be a great reason for the lack of story line or closure. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if a series does come to be. Of course if it does become a television show it’s going to have to have one hell of a budget, as well as a long list of sight locations.

So anyway this was probably the most worthless review I’ve ever written and that’s saying something because most of my reviews aren’t very helpful. (I don’t want to include spoilers and get hate mail over it). I can’t tell you how I feel because I’m still deciding. I won’t be spending the money to buy this movie when it comes out but I’m not mad that I spent time seeing it either. So if you want to see Jumper go, otherwise don’t. Helpful aren’t I?

“You Live in a cave…” “It’s a lair!”

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Undomestic Goddess - Book Review

So I just finished Sophia Kinsella’s Novel “The Undomestic Goddess”. I must say I think it was fate that I ended up reading this right after finishing “Tuesdays with Morrie”. The Undomestic Goddess does what Morrie could not. Many times after reading a chapter I felt excited and a little inspired to take a deeper look into my own life and the person I want to be. This book had me examining my situation in the ways I had hoped “Tuesdays with Morrie” would. I’m even thinking about making a cake…maybe.

“The Undomestic Goddess” is a novel about a London lawyer, Samantha. She finds herself in a situation where she is blamed for a multi million dollar mistake and ends up losing her position. After which she takes to the country to learn about all life has to teach her and meet a few friends along the way. In the end will Samantha return to her lucrative position in the city or maintain the simpler life she has been introduced to.

I ended up with “The Undomestic Goddess” by chance when I received it free from the buy two get one table at Barnes and Nobel. I decided on it because a good friend said Kinsella’s other novels are good, the cover was a nice yellow cover and I figured I might be able to relate to the Undomestic part. That’s right I judge books by their covers, often actually.

This is a great story that some may relate to more than others but everyone will feel some connection to Samantha and the decisions/fears she has. Kinsella writes Samantha as every woman, sure she’s a top notch lawyer with a brilliant mind but in her thoughts she’s still a fourteen year old girl gushing over a crush. My favorite aspect of the book was the wonderful conversations Samantha had in her own head. I mean who hasn’t carried on a conversation with themselves over every day issues? Thoughts full of self doubt and decision making inability.

The writing and feel of the book is very relaxed making it a quick and easy read that emerges you in the story. If you want a book that will provide an opportunity for self examination put down “Tuesdays with Morrie” and pick up “The Undomestic Goddess”.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie - Book Review

Just finished reading Tuesday’s with Morrie.

Tuesdays with Morrie is about a man; Mitch, who comes back to his past to visit a college professor; Morrie, he had 16 years earlier. During their time together in college Morrie, taught his student Mitch about the meaning or life and not rushing after the things society says we must. Of course after a few years out of college Mitch becomes one of those society fools Morrie had warned him about. Mitch returns to his past after learning Morrie is dying from ALS. The two spend Tuesdays together where Morrie gives us his insights on marriage, money, forgiveness, and death.

I really had high expectations for this book. I’ve heard great reviews from friend.. In fact it was on the New York Times best seller list for FOUR years. So it had to be amazing right, a book that would change my life just like it had changed millions of others. In the end it turns out… not so much.

Overall it is an OK book that provides a space for its readers to reflect on their own lives. To think about where you are and where you want to be. Most of this thought has to be done on your own since the chapters are very short and don’t provide much actual insight. In fact if you’ve ever sat down and really thought about any of these topics you already know what’s in the book. Its not as if Morrie provides some huge thought on each topic that no one has ever considered before. Marriage is good, but something you have to work at. Don’t waste time being angry with people. That’s pretty much as deep as Morrie gets on life’s topics. Hopefully things we all knew but probably just don’t practice as much as we should.

At least it was a quick read; although, not one I’ll read again.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fool's Gold - Movie Review

We saw Fool’s Gold this weekend with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. I loved them in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days so I figured I might like them in this as well.

The movie was so much better than I expected. Honestly I didn’t go into the theater with high expectations so it wasn’t hard to do, but I still really enjoyed it. In fact I think I’ll buy it when it comes out.

The movie is about a treasure in the waters of the Caribbean and the search to see who will find it first. There’s good guys, bad guys, and as always the comic relief guys. The movie has been criticized for being dramatically dumb; but I ask, what do you expect? You have a movie staring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey with previews expressing the movie as more of a comedy than a factual documentary. I mean come on in one preview McConaughey says he learns to fly a plane on the Playstation. Any realistic action film isn’t going to express that in a preview as a main scene. People going to the theater to see this should expect to get a comedy. And in addition one of the main characters is named BiggBunny (one word) again it’s not Passion of the Christ here.

Sure the characters are extremely exaggerated but that’s what makes it funny. A dumb rich girl being dumb, confused foreigners, and a rapper with a rabbit they’re all plays on our society today. And of course there is a happy ending. Get over it or stop watching movies.

I’ve also read Fool’s Gold is very similar to Into the Blue but being that I feel asleep in the car when Into the Blue was playing last summer I can’t tell you if that’s true or not. Some have even gone as far as to criticize the posters for being too similar. I guess if two main characters standing next to one another on a poster is strikingly similar then, yes they are.

Also I would like to express at this point in time that while I haven’t done any research myself please don’t buy a boat and head to the Bahamas in search of treasure. I’m sure the movie is based on some small random factoid but the rest is sure to be highly fictional. Just as in The Titanic, Da Vinci Code, and National Treasure. Movie makers take a small piece of history add on a lot of false information, a little passion, and make a whole new story line in order to increase ticket sales. Even after that Public Service Announcement I’m sure someone out there will believe its all true and spread the crap to all their equally dumb friends. Don’t let that be you.

All in all Fool’s Gold was good and if your looking for a funny no brain cells needed movie you should make time to see it.

“If we don't go after that treasure, it's going to haunt us for the rest of our lives and you know it. You really think I'd lie about something like this?”

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More 2008 movie releases

Continued from Yesterday…

Iron Man - May 22nd
Obviously this one is for Matt. Iron Man is another movie based on a Marvel comic one thing I think we’ve seen enough of. But I let Matt throw in a few movie choices of his own : ) So I guess we’ll go see this one.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - May 22nd
I am so excited for the new Indiana Jones movie to come out. I can only hope it meets my high expectations, but with Harrison Ford and Sean Connery both returning, I think it will.

Get Smart - May 29th
If you love good comedy then you’re probably like me and can’t wait to see Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 return. Steve Carell will be playing Max and although I’m honestly not a huge fan of his work I do think he’s the perfect person for this role.

Sex and the City: The Movie - May 30th
After I finished watching this series I said I didn’t want and wouldn’t watch a SATC movie, but not I feel like enough time has passed that I might make it over to the theater for this one. I just hope they don’t muddy up the story line with crap. It should just bring the girls (with their previous significant others) and answer any questions they may have left us with. No break ups – death or any crap like that.

Mama Mia - July 25th
I haven’t heard very much about the Movie Mama Mia. In fact I didn’t even know this was going to be a made into a movie until I saw it on MovieWeb. One of the reason I use this amazing site. I LOVED the play when we saw it last year so we’ll probably go see the movie just to compare. Besides you can never get enough ABBA.

X-Files 2 - July 25th
Another movie I didn’t even know was being released until I visited this site. I need to see more previews before making a decision on whether or not to see this one. I want to know the topic and who will and will not be reprising their roles before making a judgment.

Where the Wild Things Are - October 3rd
So I don’t really know if I’ll actually go see this movie; the whole cartoon thing, but I wanted to acknowledge a movie about one of my favorite childhood books.

Harry Potter: and the Half Blood Prince - November 21st
So I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan but just like with the books I figure I’ve read/watched this many I’m better off just finishing them all. I like to imagine this is how many of us feel about old Harry and that’s why they do so well.

So that’s more movies than some will see and many less than others, but I think it’s a nice list for Matt and I to aspire to. I’m sure I’ll add some to the list later in the year once their previews actually come out. Others may even get taken off if their previews don’t look so good once they air. And sadly, even though these are the movies I want to see I know chances are high that life will get in the way and I’ll miss a few.

What movies will you make sure to see during 2008?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Movies I want to see in 2008

So every year around this time I spend a few hours on Movie Web looking at movies and their synopsis to decide which ones I want to watch during the year. It is now that time for the movies of 2008. So here are the movies I plan to see in the new year.

One Missed Call - January 4th
Obviously this one has already been released but sadly I haven’t seen it yet. I love a good scary file as long as it doesn’t get too gory and it makes me think. Hopefully I’ll catch it soon.

Eye - February 1st
Again this movie is already out but it looks very interesting. Again hopefully not too gory but if I hear it isn’t I hope to make it to the theater to see this one soon.

Fool’s Gold - February 8th
This movie wasn’t on my original list, but after seeing previews for it I think it looks pretty good. Having Matthew McConaughey in it is only a plus in my book. If it comes to the cheap theater we’ll go see it.

Vantage Point - February 22nd
Another movie not on my original list. I still don’t know too much about the plot behind it but from the previews I think I might like this one. Even if its only a rental.

Dr.Seuss – Horton Hears a Who - March 14th
So I’m not normally one to see a cartoon especially after what happened with The Bee Movie and a theater full of screaming children (not my favorite thing). This one looks really cute. And I figure we can borrow my sister so this time maybe we’ll fit in to the crowd a little more.

The Ruins -April 4th
I’m not really sure I want to see this movie but I heard how good the book was for a whole week in Puerto Rico so I’ll read the book first and if I enjoy it we’ll go to see the movie. I’ll need to borrow it from someone first (hint hint)

The Happening - May 13th
There still isn’t too much information out about The Happening but from the cover art I kind of thought it looked good. Yes, it’s true I do judge a movie by the posters. It seems it will be another movie about the end of the world and how people deal with it. There have been quite a few end of the world movies made recently maybe it’s a sign….

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - May 16th
At first this movie wasn’t going to make my cut but I figure if I have some free time we’ll see it. The first one wasn’t as horrible as I expected so maybe this one won’t be either.

To Be continued...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Michigan Renaissance Restival

So we went to the Michigan Renaissance Festival way back in October but since I’ve had 100 over things to update and freak out about I hadn’t gotten to this one until now. But here it is my review of the Michigan Renaissance. It’s a small hike to Holly, Mi so we woke up early to miss the crowds. Apparently the crowds had the same idea and we ended up all arriving together.

While crowded the fair was still fun. We didn’t take the dog because I wasn’t sure how he’d do with all the people and other animals, but I actually think it would have been a good learning experience for him to be in the atmosphere. Plus if he had been there I could have bought him more fair goodies since I would have known his sizes. The one item I regret not buying was the dragon wings being sold by many vendors. They were bendable and flexi in cute colors. They weren’t your typical fairy wings they were very trendy. I wanted to get the dog some so he could truly be a bat dog but I wasn’t sure on his size. And a pair for me would have looked amazing with the horns I selected that day. I would have had the best Halloween costume. I will defiantly pick some up next year.

I also got my previously mentioned horns at the fair this year. I had purchased a pair many years ago at my first fair but during a move misplaced them. I couldn’t find a replacement pair anywhere which is why we went back this year. At first we searched all over and I couldn’t find anything like I wanted. Everyone was selling oddly shaped ones with bright colors. I wanted a natural more realistic pair like my original ones. Just as I was about to give up Matt spotted them at one of the shops. They were just what I wanted and cheaper than all those other imitation horns.

While there we also purchased the most delicious kettle corn. Not that typical microwave crap the real deal from a tent popper. It’s the best stuff ever, in my opinion better than Boy Scout popcorn, but shhh, don’t tell Matt I said that. We might go back next year just for the corn and bring an extra bag home with us.

As always the acts were very funny. We were only able to catch two. One the Zucchini Brothers were great – enormously funny. The two work really well together and put on a great act which is good for them because as they explain, they have no other marketable skills.

We were also lucky enough to see the Birds of Prey demonstration. It was very interesting to see the birds and their different hunting techniques. To have the birds fly over your head, perch in a tree and then come when called was exciting. Almost as exciting as when they completely ignored their trainer and did whatever they wanted.

We went during the Shamrock and Shenanigans weekend which was the only disappointment. I was so excited to see some cultural festivities but besides the bag pipes; which Matt loved, there wasn’t much going that I’d call Shamrockie. Over all the day was fun and should you get the chance to visit a festival near you make sure and go.