Tag Archives: AMC Stubs card

2012 Movies: Likes and Dislikes

Love those superheroes!

Love those superheroes (“Marvel’s The Avengers”)!

Most people we know will see a movie every few months or wait for the DVD to come out via Netflix.

But the Mister and I aren’t “most people.” We love seeing films on the big screen, usually AMC’s as we exercise its Stubs card. In 2012, we parked our carcasses in the plush seats 50 times. That’s a lot of indentions!

So does that make us experts when it comes to picking which movie will win the Oscar for best picture? Absolutely not (but I’ll bet “Lincoln” takes home the gold statuette). But that still won’t stop me from listing my selections for the year’s best and worst flicks that we did see (we tend to avoid the scary, ultra-violent, and just plain dumb movies, especially if they star Adam Sandler or Seth Rogen). I know what I like and dislike.

Drumroll, please!

John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Ben Affleck in “Argo”

John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Ben Affleck starred in “Argo.”

The Best 2012 Movies

1. “Argo.” With a plethora (my 25-cent word of the day) of wonderful movies, it’s really hard to pick a favorite. But what I really liked about “Argo” was how surprised we were at how well the story was told. Yes, even with Ben Affleck as the lead actor. If you didn’t see it in the theater, be sure to rent it.

2. “Lincoln.” Although it’s too long and tends to drone a bit, “Lincoln” is a great history lesson. Daniel Day-Lewis, who likely will win the Oscar as best actor, makes you believe that he really is Abraham Lincoln.

Eddie Redmayne

Eddie Redmayne

3. “Les Misérables.” Amazing singing, especially by Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks, as well as a compelling plot makes this a must-see for those who love musicals. Unfortunately for the Mister, who I dragged to this, it amounted to a $6 nap.

4. “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It’s nice to have a movie that works well for younger and older audiences. The acting was great, as was the story.

5. “Flight.” Denzel Washington. Enough said!

Honorable Mentions: “Marvel’s The Avengers” and “Looper.” I’m a sucker for superhero movies, possibly because the Flash is my animated husband. “The Avengers” was fun to see with my guys, especially on Mother’s Day. As for “Looper,” I loved the acting by Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well as the plot.

“The Expendables 2”: Truly a dud

“The Expendables 2”: Truly a dud

The Worst 2012 Movies

1. “The Expendables 2.” This was possibly the worst flick I’ve ever seen! Bad, cheesy acting, ridiculous violence, and the dumbest storyline ever. Avoid, avoid, avoid!

2. “The Expendables 2.” Yep, it was that bad!!

3. “This Means War.” What was Reese Witherspoon thinking when she signed on for this creepy flop?

4. “Fun Size.” It just falls flat. All the good scenes were in the trailer.

5. “Jeff, Who Lives at Home.” Good cast, but the bad language ruins it.

What do you think of this list? Got your own faves and flops? Comment away!

Movie Madness

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a bicycle messenger in “Premium Rush.”

Just because I haven’t written a movie review since August 20 doesn’t mean that our family hasn’t seen any films. The evidence? Our soon-to-be worn-out AMC Stubs card.

Between the end of August and yesterday, we’ve mostly enjoyed “Sparkle,” “Premium Rush,” “The Words,” “Trouble With the Curve,” “Looper,” “Won’t Back Down,” “Here Comes the Boom,” “Argo,” and “Flight.” Two flicks not included in that list? “Fun Size,” which we saw with the boys when we visited our older son in San Antonio (meh), and “The Expendables 2,” which just might be the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Ever! Save yourself the agony and don’t even rent this dud.

Bruce Willis talks to his younger self (Gordon-Levitt) in “Looper.”

Here’s what we learned during those 11 weeks:

1) Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“Premium Rush” and “Looper”) is great in any movie as long as that awful Seth Rogen isn’t involved.

2) Bruce Willis (“Looper”) is wonderful as long as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone (“The Expendables 2”) aren’t involved.

3) Schwarzenegger and Stallone still can’t act.

4) “Won’t Back Down” deserved a better fate. It didn’t do well at the box office, even though it was a worthwhile movie with fine acting by Viola Davis (who will earn an Oscar one day) and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood (as her father) star in “Trouble With the Curve.”

5) We love baseball movies, so we thoroughly enjoyed “Trouble With the Curve.” Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood shone in this daughter-misunderstood father account. I even liked Justin Timberlake in it, but mostly because he’s so cute.

6) The Mister and I saw “Flight” yesterday. I was so glad I had him to hold on to during the realistic, scary plane crash. I hate to fly, so that didn’t help my mindset at all! Although a little too long as well as easily earning its R rating (nudity, drugs, drinking, and many f-bombs), “Flight” is excellent, mostly because of Denzel Washington, who plays the flawed pilot. It really makes you think.

7) Without a doubt, “Argo” was the best movie of the bunch. We were on the edge of our seats the entire time. We almost forgot that Ben Affleck really can’t act . . . almost.

Bradley Cooper. ’nough said!

8) Bradley Cooper’s eyes are so mesmerizing that anything he said or did took a back seat in “The Words.” And in every other movie he’s been in. With this latest flick, as a writer, I was able to relate to his character’s conflict (passing off a manuscript he didn’t write as his own).

In fact, Cooper wrote this blog post!

(Just kidding!)

Movie Triple-Header

There are lots of British stars in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

The Mister and I put the old AMC Stubs card through its paces last weekend, as we enjoyed three movies together. Our sons joined us for one of the films . . . let’s see if you can figure out which one (it won’t be hard).

First up was “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” featuring a bunch of wonderful British and Indian actors. Even though there is a love story between two attractive youngsters, Dev Patel (the hotel’s part-owner and manager) and Tena Desae, the flick definitely is skewed towards the older generation. The main cast of Brits are all in their 60s and 70s. There probably wasn’t anyone younger than age 45 in the theater (especially at an early matinee)!

All of these aging Brits are facing retirement, some with little money. All are drawn to (Jaipur) India’s Marigold Hotel, which is misrepresented as almost palatial in its brochure when it’s as rundown as they all are.

Maggie Smith sheds her Professor McGonagall persona.

I especially loved Judi Dench (as always) and Maggie Smith in this movie, which was delightful. You’ll exit the theater smiling.

“Men in Black 3”

1969 and present Agent Ks sandwich Agent J.

Yep, this is the one our sons were anxious to see . . . us, too. We’ve enjoyed the MIB series so far, and we weren’t disappointed by this most-recent effort.

Agent J (Will Smith) travels back in time to 1969 to try to stop Boris the Animal (Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement) from killing his partner, Agent K (a very aged and tired Tommy Lee Jones). J deals with the younger K, amazingly played by Josh Brolin, who nails the future K’s mannerisms.

My only gripe (and it’s a big one) with “MIB 3” is that a subplot involves the hated, hated New York Mets, who overcame my beloved Chicago Cubs’ huge lead, not only winning their division but also the World Series in 1969. No Cub fan needs to be reminded of those dark days.

Otherwise, this is a must-see for MIB fans.

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting”

A bevvy of pretty actresses are expecting babies.

All women who are or have been pregnant know one basic truth: “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is THE must-read maternity bible. Still, it’s hard to believe that a movie was made based on Heidi Murkoff’s manual.

The just-okay flick follows five couples as they navigate the murky waters of having or adopting a baby. The best character was breastfeeding advocate Wendy, superbly played by Elizabeth Banks, who discovers that it’s tough to feel that elusive pregnancy “glow” when you’re so big that you’re zoned as a condo, and nothing feels normal. I could so relate to her experience . . . times two!

The dudes group, led by Chris Rock, was a nice touch, as the dads bonded with each other and their kids. But overall “What to Expect” is one for the Netflix queue.

Movie Mania

Walter, Mary, and Gary travel to Hollywood.

During the long Thanksgiving weekend, we really gave our AMC Stubs card a workout. We saw four movies . . . but only one together. That one, “The Muppets,” was everyone’s favorite.

I especially liked seeing the Muppets together once again, because I have such great memories of the “Muppet Show,” which originally aired on TV in the late 1970s and early ’80s. So corny and cute! In the movie, the gang reunites to stop an evil oilman, Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), from tearing down the long-abandoned Muppet Theater to drill for oil.

Helping the Muppets are Walter, his brother Gary (Jason Segal), and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), who live in Smalltown. Even though Walter and Gary are related, Walter is a muppet (genetics gone rogue!) who yearns to be part of the “Muppet Show.” Can dreams come true? As long as you can sing about them, they can!

Two thumbs up!

“The Descendants”

The King family: Dad Matt and daughters Alex and Scottie

While “The Muppets” was marvelous, “The Descendants,” which the Mister and I saw, was meh. Even though it starred my second husband, George Clooney, I didn’t enjoy this family drama. George plays Matt King, an emotionally absent husband and father, who has to step up the parenting when his wife suffers a severe injury in a boating accident.

As usual, the foul language turned me off, especially when it came from the girls playing Matt’s daughters, Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller. Really, Hollywood moguls, just because a movie is rated R doesn’t mean the f-bomb is necessary in the majority of its scenes. How about working on good plot and character development instead?

“The Descendants” definitely is Netflixable.

“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1”

Bella and Edward pose for an unusual wedding portrait.

My final flick was “Breaking Dawn Part 1.” I’m an admitted Twihard, really enjoying the Stephenie Meyer’s books. For the fourth time, my older son accompanied me; he so enjoys making snarky remarks about the movie in my ear.

Meyer’s fourth book is divided into two movies, just like the final Harry Potter novel (although there truly is no comparison in terms of writing and filming). In Part 1, human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and hunky vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) get married and, amazingly, are able to consummate the deal. Which, of course, improbably results in Bella becoming pregnant with what could be a vampire child.

I truly enjoyed “Breaking Dawn,” despite the wooden acting of  Stewart and Pattinson. The last 20 minutes or so when Edward delivers his daughter and then tries to save Bella’s life had me on the edge of my seat . . . even though I knew what would happen. And the absolute final scene? Wow!

I was surprised to see so many young girls in the audience, by the way. “Breaking Dawn” definitely is not for young teens; the birth scene is too graphic. And be sure to stay for the credits, because there’s a creepy teaser for part two.

By the way, my guys saw “Jack and Jill,” with both my sons thinking it was a hoot and a half, while the Mister was mildly amused. Why did I stay home? Two words: Adam Sandler. Ugh!