Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Movies

My movie-watching of late has been somewhat curtailed because of Mi Vida Loca, but I did manage to sneak in a couple of good ones in January.

The first was Letters to Juliet, rated PG and starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave. This movie was completely different from what I expected.  It was like a literary novel made into a movie.  Sophie is engaged, and the stress of work and planning a wedding has taken its toll on her and her fiance, Victor.  They decide to take a romantic trip to Italy to shake off some of that stress, but Victor turns it into a wine-tasting extravaganza all over the country, leaving Sophie to find her own entertainment.  She stumbles upon a house that was built in honor of Shakespeare's Juliet, and discovers that women from all over the world write letters to Juliet and tuck them in crevices in the wall of this house.  Then a small group of women, hired by the city, gather up the letters and answer them - at least, those with return addresses.  Sophie is immediately taken with this idea and begins to help with these letters, and this sets her on the adventure of a lifetime.  This movie takes a unique storyline and combines it with beautiful cinematography to make an enjoyable film that was clean and I would show to my young teenage daughter. 

My Gripes:  First, I never really believed Vanessa Redgrave's character.  When she finally receives the answer she's looking for, she doesn't even look all that happy.  She should be elated, over the moon, but she takes it all in stride, and it's a pretty disappointing anticlimax.

Second, something very unkind is said to Sophie, and she never gets a decent apology.  There should have been some serious groveling going on - if it had happened to me, there's no way I would have been locking lip with the dude before the movie was over, and yet, she locked lip. Sorry ... that ruined the romance for me.  I still liked the movie, but it needed some groveling. 

My Score:  7 out of 10.  Some groveling would have brought it up to an 8.

The other film I watched was Knight and Day, rated PG-13 and starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.  I had heard such mixed reviews on this one, I wasn't sure what to think, but I'm glad I decided to try it out for myself.  I loved it.

Tom Cruise is a secret agent named Roy, and Cameron Diaz is June, the woman he chooses to help him smuggle an important object through customs.  She ends up on a wild ride dealing with agents and guns and shootouts and all kinds of things she wasn't prepared for - all she was trying to do was go home for her sister's wedding.  

This movie did have a lot of shooting in it, earning its PG-13 rating because of it.  There is one F-word, and one line of dialogue with sexual reference.  Frankly, I was surprised there wasn't more.  The humor throughout the film was what really caught me off guard.  I knew it was a spy movie, but I wasn't expecting it to be so stinkin' funny.  I laughed out loud several times while watching it.

I lent this disk to my mother, but I wouldn't show it to my young teenagers.  Maybe after they get a little older.  It's a personal parental preference thing, but I am a little more tight-fisted with movies than my kids would like me to be.

My Gripes:  Well, I'm not too big a fan of the F-word.  But I really enjoyed the movie and didn't have a whole lot to gripe about beyond that. 

My Score:  9 out of 10.  


Shari said...

Thanks for the reviews. I haven't seen either one, so now I'll know what to try next time!

Rachelle said...

I liked Letters to Juliet because it was so clean and that is rare! Agreed with your gripes though. And glad to hear about Knight and Day since I never know what to think about Tom Cruise movies these days. Think I'll try it out.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I loved Vanessa Redgraves' storyline. Even more so when my mother informed me that it's actually fairly similar to her real-life love story with Franco Nero, the man who played the actual Lorenzo opposite her. I guess they fell in love when they did Camelot decades ago, and even had a son together, but life drove them apart, and then they got married just a few years ago. She says they're really that sweet together. Just thought I might mention that tidbit! :)

Tristi Pinkston said...

Lisa, I loved the storyline too, but I just didn't see her looking happy. She's just standing there, next to him, and ... nothing. Squat. Nada. I would have liked to have seen a little joy or ... something.

But it was a very sweet story.

Karlene said...

I just saw Knight & Day. And I get the Knight part, but Day?? What did I miss?

Also I agree that Diaz was pretty boring in this movie.

You know the part where they go, "With me, without me?" I just used that in my SS lesson yesterday, but changed it to "With God, Without God." It seemed to work...

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