Tag Archives: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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!)

“50/50”: That’s How Much I Liked/Disliked the Movie

Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) tries to comfort Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).

Dear Seth Rogen and Julia Roberts: Before you make any more movies that I might like, please call me. I want to talk you out of ruining them for me. Thanks.

The Mister and I saw “50/50” yesterday, which was an apt title for me: I half liked and half disliked the film. “50/50” is an odd dramedy, peculiar because it’s about a young man, Adam (well-played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who has a rare form of spinal cancer. The 50/50 really refers to the odds he has of survival. Usually, there’s nothing funny about cancer and the potential of death.

The movie is based on the real-life health issues of comedy writer Will Reiser, a cancer survivor who wrote the screenplay. Unfortunately for me, Reiser’s real-life best friend is none other than the foul-mouthed actor Seth Rogen. I don’t think Rogen is the least bit funny, so I’ve avoided seeing his movies. But the storyline for “50/50” seemed compelling, so I temporarily set aside my Rogen aversion and hoped he could be ignored.

Guess what: He couldn’t be. That was disappointing. And so was the film’s rampant drug use.

Katherine (Anna Kendrick) is Adam’s young therapist.

Despite my Rogen funk, there was plenty that’s appealing in “50/50.” I especially liked how we see what kind of person Adam is right from the start when he refuses to run across a deserted street until he has the signal. This was a character we could relate to . . . unlike Rogen’s, who uses Adam’s cancer to try to score with women.

Anjelica Huston plays Adam’s worried mother.

Anna Kendrick does a nice job as Adam’s inexperienced therapist, while Anjelica Huston is wonderful as his mother (some of the scenes between mom and son left me weepy). Once again, Bryce Dallas Howard plays the woman we’d all like to give a tongue-lashing, following up on her turn as the hated Hilly Holbrook in “The Help.” Here she’s Rachael, Adam’s increasingly conflicted girlfriend. I also enjoyed the relationship Adam forged with two older chemo compatriots, Philip Baker Hall and Matt Frewer.

I finally appreciated the Rogen character near the end when he showed his true colors. But Reiser should’ve picked someone other than his real-life bestie for the part, because I think he would’ve toned down the profanity for another actor. The Mister said that Rogen probably thinks the f-word is an everyday adjective, verb, and noun. But we don’t.

And was all that cussing necessary? Not at all. I’ve complained about this before, but I fear it’s falling on Hollywood’s deaf ears. In the real world, people use decent, nonvulgar vocabulary . . . well, at least they do in my social circle (unless I’m alone in the car and driving behind idiots).

Will you like this movie? The odds are 50/50.