Movie Review: The Green Lantern

So, after several days of all three of us living on top of each other, I finally made a command decision: It’s time to go see a movie, and get out for a while.  We went to see The Green Lantern.

I felt a little dodgy about paying to see this in the theater, as it got some seriously bad reviews. My favorite movie website is Rotten Tomatoes, and the reviewers were pretty merciless when assessing this movie. I usually don’t listen to reviewers because they have a tendency to be stuck-up sticky beaks when it comes to things that I like. However, I’ve learned to listen. I took a bath on the admission price for Skyline, after having waited to long to see it and was bitterly disappointed.  It was just about the only thing playing that we could all agree on, so we went anyway.  I am pleasantly surprised to report that we enjoyed it. And, I’ve figured out why the reviewers hated it so badly.

The Green Lantern was originally a comic book story, and the movie really reflects that. If you’ve ever read a comic book, you know that there isn’t terrible amount of dialog, and much is implied in the pictures. One of the things that people complained about this movie is the lack of terribly meaningful dialog. Well, all the information you need is either stated or shown. The visuals are stunning. It’s a good bit of escapism. I won’t give any of it away, as I think it’s worth going to see for yourself, but I will say it’s a good  one to grab for a matinée. This is nothing that will blow you away and make you feel like you want to run directly back to the theater and see it again, but it’s worth seeing on the big screen.

I’ll give this one a good solid thumbs up!

You have all the weapons you need…now fight!

I just got home from taking the boys to see Sucker Punch.

When I asked the boys what they thought about it, Younger Son said: “Hot girls with weapons. What’s not to like?”  I asked Older Son what he thought, and he indicated that it was “pretty good”, but that was only because there are hot girls with weapons. This is what I get for asking teenage boys what they think about a movie with hot girls kicking ass like hot knives through butter. Not only that, but there was lots of good explosions and other interesting special effects.

What did I think about it? It was a different movie, very existential and layered with symbolism; a story that is actually stacked about three stories deep, almost an Inception style concept. My favorite part of the movie was this recurring phrase: “You have all the weapons you need…now fight!” I like this theme. I like it a lot.

Another theme that ran through this movie was that you never know when help will arrive, or what form it will take. You must keep your eyes open and think on your feet.

I don’t know that it was worth paying theater rates, but it would definitely be a good rental. While this movie displays a lot of violence and cruelty, it also has an interesting undercurrent of empowerment in the face of adversity…albeit in a cheese-tastic sort of way. And, while I tend to be a lover of happy endings, this one had a mixed ending. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that it’s not going to be the ending you think it might be…or should be. It’s certainly not the ending I would have chosen, but it did work.

I’ll give this movie one big thumb up, out of a possible two. Good movie, but not worth the theater charges. Make this one a rental.


Movie Review – Tron Legacy 3D

Tonight, I took the boys out to see Tron Legacy. Older Son came grudgingly. He didn’t think it would be terribly interesting, but by the time the movie was half over, I looked at him and saw that he was sitting forward in his seat, head on his hand, completely absorbed. I usually have trouble with Younger Son giving me a running commentary throughout a movie, but he was so involved in it that he didn’t utter a peep. Two hours went by like nothing.  It almost goes without saying that the special effects were outstanding…but I have to say that they were more than that. The visuals were absolutely stunning.

The story itself was pretty basic, but the transition from the original movie was smooth enough. It’s not anything terribly cerebral, but it is a good story, and they put a good ending on it.  It appears that they ended the movie just right so they could make a sequel if they chose.

This was definitely worth the money you have to pay to see a movie on the big screen these days, so make sure you see this on the big screen. It will still be a good movie as a DVD or Blue Ray, but you will lose a lot of the impact that the big screen gives this movie.

Here are two trailers, one from the original movie, and one from the new one:

Confessions of a Snack Smuggler

Today Mom and I took all of the boys to see Despicable Me.

Everyone of us liked it, and we ranged in age from 8 to 64. There’s a little something in it for everyone. I think my favorite part of the movie had to be The Minions...I’ve got to find myself a mini minion for my new desk!  You can get the gist of the story from the trailer, so I won’t go into it here, but I will say that it’s worth going to see in the theater.

Speaking of seeing movies in the theater, what the heck is up with the high-priced tickets!? It’s now $9 for an evening adult ticket, and $6.50 for a matinée ticket, all ages. When we moved here in 1998, it was only $5 a ticket and $3.50 for a matinée. Yeah, I know that was a long time ago, but gee whiz.

Not only are the tickets to get in outrageous, but the snacks and drinks are so cost prohibitive that I’ve had to take up smuggling in order to support my moving-going habit. That’s right, I said it. I’m a snack smuggler.

Last night the boys and I went shopping at Wally World in preparation for our big movie day. They have a whole section in the Candy Isle labeled “Movie Candy”. No joking, I picked up enough movie candy to feed three people at three movies for just $12. That wouldn’t completely buy snacks and drinks at the theater for three people going to one movie.  Today, before we left, I emptied out my big shoulder bag, and stuffed it full of enough snacks and drinks for the six of us. I have to admit, my bag looked like carry on luggage by the time I got it stuffed full and zipped up, but it did the job.

Should I feel guilty for not having purchased the exorbitantly priced snacks and beverages at the theater? No, I don’t think so. It’s not illegal. Until they enforce any “no outside food or drinks” rules, I’ll be packing my own. That will probably happen right after they enforce the “no on under 17 allowed without a parent or guardian” rule. Yeah, like that’s going to happen any time soon.

Drowning in Testosterone only looks harmless in the picture.

I’m a single mother, raising two boys ages 17 & 15. Generally speaking, our house is a veritable testosterone swamp. It’s all about video games, sports, boys clothes, and boys stuff… and boy issues. It’s so pervasive that when I recently renovated my bathroom, I found myself  leaning to a more masculine decor than I might otherwise have liked. My basement has become Older Son’s personal Man Cave.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not a girlie-girl. I don’t like pink or yellow, unless it’s on flowers, and I sure don’t dig flower prints on my furniture. I don’t care for lace much, and don’t even think about trying to get me into a dress…unless it’s that really cool wine-colored celtic dress a dear friend gave me some years back (It rocks, thank you Hel’wyse!). As I child, I spent way more time climbing trees, riding my bike, shooting a BB gun and playing catch with my Dad than I did playing dolls.  Oh, I tried the whole hair and make up thing between the ages of 15 and 22, or so. Turns out I’m allergic to all that gunk that women put on their heads, so I decided just to go natural and quit trying to swim upstream. I itch less and it turns out it’s a very much cheaper way to live. I don’t know how some of these women support their make up/hair habits.

So, given that I am a tom-boy (still) at the age of 41, why would I have any problems with living and breathing in a testosterone-laden atmosphere? I guess it has to do with the lack of balance. I don’t get out with my friends much. I do work with a lot of women, but that doesn’t really count. These last two weeks, just about every time I go out with my boys, I’m meeting my Dad and my Favorite Nephews to go to some neat cultural thing. Not that I don’t want to spend time with them, but I’m starting to feel the lack of not having enough women around. My one fleeting moment of estrogen-wrapped fun this week was my Friday lunch with my friend Brea. It only lasted about 20 minutes or so, but we laughed, and chatted, and it was nice (thanks again for the bracelet!).

So, tonight the boys and I were to pick Dad and the Nephews up and go to the Dakota Territory Air Museum. They had some special shindig going on, with lots of vintage airplanes. Uff-da…another testosterone-soaked activity. I just couldn’t take it any more. So, when we arrived at Mom and Dad’s, I gave Older Son the keys to the van, packed Dad and the Nephews up in the back with Younger Son and wished them a good time. I stayed with Mom while they were gone and it was nice. We chatted awhile, and I helped her out with some stuff on the computer. There were no loud noises, no exhortations on why one aircraft/tank/weapon/ship/video game/computer game is better than another. There was also no arguing (I swear to the Gods my kids argue some times like old ladies fighting over who gets the better bingo card) and there was no COPS on the television.

After they all came back from the aircraft show, I took my boys out to supper and we picked up some movies. The one we watched tonight was called “Whip It”, directed by Drew Barrymore, which is a new release in video stores right now. It’s all about women’s roller derby. I loved it! So, I got to spend time with Mom, and then watch a good movie (it really was good…go rent it) about a girl who is coming of age and trying to be tough enough.

It was a good evening. I think the only thing that would have made it a spectacular evening is if Hel’wyse could have joined in. We miss you, honey!

Movie Review: Invictus

I just got done watching Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, and directed by Clint Eastwood.  It’s a fascinating look at some of the ways Nelson Mandela went about trying to bring a post-apartheid South Africa together after he was elected President – namely inspiring the country’s Rugby team to win the world cup.

Here’s one of the trailers:

I liked this movie, and think it is worthwhile to see. The acting is a little stiff at times, but the story is a good one. If you haven’t seen this, make time for it.

Two thumbs up!

Robin Hood, new twists on an old story

Just this morning, I finished a book by one of my new favorite authors, Stephen Lawhead, called Hood.

It’s the story of Robin Hood, but taken from quite a new vantage point in history.  In this book, Lawhead puts forward the idea that the Robin Hood myth actually originated in Wales, not the forests of Nottingham. Without giving anything else about this story away I will say that it’s excellently done, and I encourage you to give it a read. If you are a rabid reader like me, you will appreciate that this story is not completed in one book, but three. Lawhead also has several other series out as well. These will keep me busy for a long time!

Speaking of Robin Hood, I’ve heard quite a few complaints about Russell Crowe’s new movie of the same name. The complaints seem to stem from the fact that the movie diverges from the “original” story that we all know and love. I saw it and LOVED it. Part of the reason I liked it so well (ahem… aside from the fact that Mr. Crowe is just delicious to watch…) is that it took a well-worn story and really sent it in a new direction. It is truly what I would call the story before the story begins. It gives good insight into how Robin Hood might have come to be as a character. It gives a more three-dimensional human face to the story than what I’ve seen before, as does Lawhead’s version.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of the Robin Hood story as we’ve come to know it. However, there is something very tantalizing about knowing more. Admittedly, I am a story junkie, and I will read most anything that is written well. I like a story that grabs me from the first page and doesn’t let go, even at the end. It’s what comes after and before that really puts my imagination in high gear.

Something interesting to note about the “original” Robin Hood story is that is an amalgam of many stories generated over a long period of time. Lawhead discusses this at the end of Hood, and it’s something that was taken into consideration in the making of the newest Robin Hood movie. I watched an interesting documentary on The History Channel which tells about the evolution of the story. It’s a fascinating piece that’s well worth making time to watch.

If you could put your own spin on the Robin Hood story, where would you take it?

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