Tag Archives: Movie Reviews
Post by Mark T. Locker.
I don’t often watch action movies. When dialogue comes second to the hand-to-hand combat and shooting, I’m generally not interested. But sometimes, it’s exactly what my brain needs. Especially a movie like Taken. One of those “you just messed with the wrong guy” movies. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is a retired spy for the U.S. Government. Knowing all the bad things that happen, he is reluctant to let his somewhat estranged teenage daughter travel to Europe with no adult companion. Turns out his Spidey Sense was spot-on. Not an hour into her trip, his daughter and her friend are snatched while he is on the phone with her. “Good luck” says the kidnapper when Liam Neeson warns him not to take his daughter or else. He should have heeded the warning!
It’s a pretty formulaic movie. He was married to his work for too long. His daughter loves him but he doesn’t understand that she’s grown up. His ex-wife is fundamentally fed up with his ways. We all know that she’ll be changing her tune when his skills, which have removed him from his family, save his family in the end. I hear there is a Taken 2. Apparently his daughter is extremely takeable!
Totally fun movie to watch on a rainy night. Because those bad guys just messed with the wrong guy.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Well, we have had a sick kid in the house. I suppose for the child, the best part about having strep throat is that you get to lie around on the couch all day, slurping popsicles and watching movies. Although I miss the old days of wandering the video store, hoping a copy of that new release will drop through the slot while you browse, in these situations I am exceedingly grateful for instant streaming movies. And so we can pick something on the fly and keep an unhappy little boy distracted from his woes for the next 98 minutes. I’m not sure why he chose the middle movie in the trilogy. I can’t be sure he ever even saw the first one. And the penguins are BARELY featured in this one! And we all know the penguins are hands-down the best thing about these Madagascar movies.
The plot is pretty whatever. The lion Alex finds himself, against all odds, reunited with his parents. Not surprisingly, there’s a bad lion trying to create a rift and steal the pride. The hippo finds love and realizes he only likes her for her body. The lemur does some stuff. The zebra acts silly. An old lady beats the holy heck out of the bad lion. The end.
Pretty harmless, less annoying than some of the other stuff out there and happily low on toilet humor. See it. You’ll be okay and your kids might thank you.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
I had completely forgotten about this movie. We just rewatched it last week. I first saw it when it came out I don’t remember when that was. 2009? I enjoyed it. It’s very Wes Anderson. If you have seen more than one of his movies then you know what I mean. I happen to like his aesthetic so it’s okay. This may be the only movie he has done that is based on a children’s book “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” was written by Roald Dahl and first published in 1970. We have seen other Dahl novels turned into movies, most notably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but also James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, Matilda. Probably more I can’t call to memory.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox has a feel that is very different from these other adaptations. I grew up watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and nothing can ever touch that (except the song “Cheer Up, Charlie”. You can touch that.) Aside from that, I think this one is my favorite. It’s got a great subtle humor and an attention to detail which is pretty incredible. And it’s all done in old-fashioned stop-motion animation! The story is basically about a fox who used to steal chickens for a living but when he learned he was having a child he changed his ways. But deep down, a fox is a wild animal. And he can’t resist going back for one last big steal. But the men he goes up against are almost as determined as Mr. Fox is. The question is: Who will one? May the most Fantastic be the victor.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
It’s not often that I get to take my kid to the movies. His great-aunts are gracious enough to usually suffer through those base, slapstick-laden cringefests, providing Mom and my with a couple hours of quiet time. But when Mom is nowhere to be found and kid is LITERALLY bouncing off the walls, heigh-ho! Heigh-ho! It’s off to the local cinema we go! Today we are “enjoying” the Disney movie “Frozen”. It’s about a girl, a princess (naturally) named Elsa. She has a magical ability to create snow and ice. But when a playtime escapade with her little sister Anna ends in near-disaster, Elsa is forced to keep it all in. And she can’t. So she is forced into isolation. ANYWAYS fast forward, she loses it and plunges the whole place into eternal winter. Whoopsy! Interestingly, the marketing for this movie carefully avoids letting on that this is a movie about sisters and their relationship and lots of singing. My boy is not bothered by that and I don’t think the term “girl movie” crossed his mind. It’s got a silly magical snowman and the music is actually kind of catchy. (I’m going to look up this one song as soon as I finish this.) It’s based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale “The Snow Queen” so you can’t go wrong!
You can’t actually watch it in bed YET. It comes out on DVD in March. But if you have a kid, boy or girl, then you will probably end up watching this with them sooner or later.
Post by Mark T. Locker
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I rarely find the time to watch movies anymore. Once the boy is asleep, I feel pressured to maximize the two hours I have until my own bedtime and I rarely want to commit a full two hours to a movie. A couple 22-minute television shows seems much more within my grasp in the evenings.
I was recently introduced to this show, which I think is only available on Hulu. “The Booth at the End” features Xander Berkeley, who is one of those actors you see everywhere but can’t quite put a finger on. In that respect, he is the perfect character for this tantalizing and unusual show. His character, who is never named, sits all day, every day in a diner in the—you guessed it—booth at the end. People learn one way or another about this man and come to visit him, each with a wish. He can make whatever they want happen but it always comes at a certain cost: they must first do something for him. A nun wants to hear the voice of God like she used to. The man looks in his notebook and says that to hear God again, she must become pregnant. An old woman wants her husband to come back from Alzheimer’s. The notebook says she must plant a bomb in a crowded place to accomplish this. The characters are complex and as tortured as you might hope they would be. Some do what they are asked, some are forced to weigh the value of one life against another.
It’s easy to get sucked into this incredible show. It’s easy to get angry, or relieved, when watching these people weigh their options. A definite must-watch.