Movie Reviews and Such

It’s been a while since I updated some of the movies we’ve seen lately so I think it’s time to catch up.

“42” starring Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some bad language.  It’s the story of Jackie Robinson’s first year in the major leagues and the courageous decision of Branch Rickey, played by Harrison Ford, to sign the first black player in the major leagues.  The movie is entertaining, funny at times and often disturbing.  It’s hard to watch some of the things that happen, knowing that these events were very real and reflected a dark time in our history.  It’s one of the wonders of the movies that they can entertain us while also challenging and informing.  A must go, even if you aren’t a baseball fan.

“Olympus Has Fallen” starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett is rated R for strong language and violence throughout the movie.  Lots of killing in this movie as terrorists take over the White House and hold the president hostage.  I have to say that I enjoyed the action, but I was highly perturbed at the story.  Almost every decision maker in the movie claims to be strong and then gives in to the terrorists.  It was frustrating to watch one leader after another give in to unjust demands.  Wait for the DVD at best, probably just put it on your Netflix queue in about a year.

“Parental Guidance” starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott (from “That Thing You Do”) is rated PG.  This movie is hilarious as it contrasts new parenting and old parenting while also delving into the complicated relationship between parents and their grown children.  Lots of laughs and a sweet movie with no bad language.  WOW.  It’s hard to imagine seeing a funny movie with no bad language.  This is a must go, and if it’s not showing it’s a must rent or buy.

“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey is rated PG-13 for some sexual content, a drug related scene and some language.  I know it didn’t receive rave reviews, but I loved this movie enough to see it twice and laughed the second time as hard as the first.  Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi are Las Vegas magicians who have the same routine for a decade.  They are challenged by Jim Carrey who plays a cross between Criss Angel and David Blaine.  The stunts are hilarious and the ending scene left me in tears.  It’s goofy for certain, but there is a great theme to the movie and a quiet moral to the story.  Also, Alan Arkin is great as the old magician.  You need to see this movie.

Other movies I’ve seen:  “Django Unchained” – Not for the faint of heart. Loads of violence and offensive (but true to the period) language.  “Les Miserables” – Get ready for singing.  “Oz the Great and Powerful” – Odd movie but entertaining.  “Admission” – funny, date movie.  “Safe Haven” – Definitely a date movie, buy your wife the book.

Speaking of books, I just finished reading “The Great Gastby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It’s a classic that I probably read, or should have read, in high school though I don’t remember doing so.  I wanted to read it before the movie came out next month.  It’s a great story with a few twists in it.  I’ll have to admit though, the writing is on a different level than most of the fiction books I’ve read so it takes a little getting used to the vocabulary and the style.  It is a good read that I’d recommend.

“The Overton Window” by Glenn Beck is a modern day Factional book (a fiction based on historical facts) that will really get you to thinking about current events and how they are used by media and the government to move our culture.  It’s a page turner that had me eager to read “just one more chapter” all the way through.

“Killing Kennedy” by Bill O’Reilly is much like his previous volume, “Killing Lincoln” as it dives deep into the presidency of JFK.  I learned some things about historical events and how they fit into the overall narrative of Kennedy’s life.  It’s a compelling story with lots of interesting tidbits from his private and public life.  I recommend it highly.

Summer Movie Reviews

So the summer is officially over and I haven’t caught you up on the movies we saw this summer. With Courageous coming out this weekend I wanted to get some brief summaries out for you. We saw some good ones, some very forgettable ones and a couple of regretful ones. In no particular order, here we go:

The Help
Probably the best overall movie of the summer. A great story about the civil rights struggle in the Old South in the 60’s. Funny and disturbing all at once. Go see it.
Horns UP for Entertainment Value
3 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

Crazy, Stupid, Love
Not as good as I’d hoped, but I do love Steve Carell. Some very funny moments but also a lot of crude humor.
Horn’s UP for Entertainment value
0 pulpits out of 5 for Christian thought.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Highly entertaining take on the planet of the Apes series. I loved the homages to the original movie. Lots of action, intriguing explanation of the “how the first one came about”.
Horns UP for Entertainment Value
2 pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

Cowboys and Aliens
Best action movie of the summer. I loved it, lots of fun and a great take on the alien movie genre combined with the western genre. Love Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.
Horns UP for Entertainment Value
0 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

Bad Teacher
Horrible. Don’t go, please. Crude, gross, extremely disappointing.
Horns WAY DOWN for Entertainment
-5 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

The Change-Up
Barely better than Bad Teacher. Not that funny, disappointing movie that I thought had a good premise.
Horns DOWN for Entertainment Value
0 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

Larry Crowne
Excellent movie. Entertaining, subtle, funny. Of course Tom Hanks is great as is Julia Roberts. This movie was not highly popular but is an enjoyable evening. Nice to see a funny movie without the crude jokes.
Horns UP for Entertainment Value
1 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought