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Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday—The Movie Corner

Sunday, January 13 — Don't miss it!
4 movies & the start of awards season!  (No Spoilers)  

If you're looking for light fun with well known stars and very little substance, these first two movies are for you!

Parental Guidance starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler & Marisa Tomei  ★  ★  ☆  ☆  ☆

What's not to love about these stars?  Individually, I love each one of them.  All three are comedic geniuses, and I can't think of a single movie they've done where I haven't loved their performances.  Except for this one.  Oy!  It's frustratingly miscast and poorly written.

The plot is a mediocre updated version of the old, I Love Lucy, schtick where the beloved main character keeps getting into horrendous jams despite serious real life consequences.  It's trite and unlike other family comedies done by well known comedians turned actors (e.g. Mr. Mom (1983) starring Michael Keaton and Parenthood (1989) starring Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen), this movie lacks the cohesiveness that it takes to make the audience care about the characters or the story.

It's a disappointment, but I heard one 4-year old in the theater cracking up during the poop song.  If you're the parent of children under the age of five you might enjoy the movie.  Otherwise...not.

The Guilt Trip starring Barbra Streisand & Seth Rogen  ★  ★  ☆  ☆  ☆

Barbra Streisand is so great that I'm giving this movie 2 stars.  Seth Rogan...I like the guy, and he is naturally funny.  But, he can play only one character, the smart, cynical, humorous stoner, and that's it.

My daughter is a chemist, and I found him difficult to believe as a struggling, entrepreneurial chemist.  Barbra Streisand is sweet and funny as Seth's mom.  She nails it when she confronts her drunken offspring and finally taps into the way that many mothers of young men feel these days, i.e. underappreciated and undervalued by their grown sons.

Wait until this movie comes out on Netflix, and watch it on a rainy afternoon while you're cleaning out a drawer.  Otherwise, save your 12 bucks and go see Argo if you can still find it in a theater.  My money is on this movie for an Oscar nomination.      

Argo starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin & John Goodman  **Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture, Drama  ★  ★  ★  ★  ☆

All I can say is that it's a great suspense movie based on actual events.  From IMDb...

"After Iranian militants stormed and took control of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 taking 56 Americans as hostages, six Americans managed to get away and took refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. After two months of the Canadians putting their lives on the line everyday, the CIA and the US State Department try to come up with a plan to get their people out. Tony Mendez is an "ex filtration" specialist who proposes that they pose as a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a science fiction movie called Argo."

GREAT movie!  See it in a theater if you get the chance.  Otherwise, it's totally worth the price of a rental.  

Life of Pi starring Suraj Sharma & Irrfan Khan **Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture, Drama  ★  ★  ☆  ☆  ☆

Like Hunger Games, but with a tiger.  This movie gets 5 stars for special fx.  Seriously, it exemplifies state-of-the-art, absolutely stunning 3D graphics.  I wouldn't be surprised if the movie receives an Oscar nod for special effects.  But, like The Hunger Games, the story made me want to throw my empty popcorn bucket at the screen when it concluded.  Sheesh.

Superb acting, though.  I'm not a fan of over-the-top moralistic teaching movies, and this one does just that.  But, the special fx are amazing...    

It's Awards Season!!  For a quick preview...

The Golden Globes — Hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler — Sunday, January 13

Click HERE for the complete list of Golden Globe nominations

Academy Awards — Hosted by Seth MacFarlane — Sunday, February 24

Nominations this week!  Thursday, January 10