Tag Archives: Josh Brolin

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.

It Takes True Grit to Watch “Gulliver’s Travels”

A new and improved “True Grit?”

Want to know the best reason for a movie like “True Grit?”

It makes you realize what a mediocre flick “Gulliver’s Travels” is. What a contrast!

“Gulliver’s Travels”: A giant disappointment

As per our family Christmas tradition, we saw a movie last Saturday morning. The vote was for “Gulliver’s Travels,” which I went along with, because I figured my sons would enjoy it. And I was right . . . they thought it was great. As for the parental units? Well, the Mister fell asleep about an hour into it. I settled for Timexing it every now and then.

Jason Segel and Emily Blunt lead the pointing brigade.

“Gulliver’s Travels” should have been a lot of fun in a nonsensical, implausible way. But it was a little too boorish and boring. Yes, I know it got raves when it was part of a reward (along with movie food) on this past season’s edition of “Survivor: Nicaragua.” But can you really trust what Naonka (aka the season’s villainess) says?

Probably the most-unbelievable part of the movie was that Amanda Peet’s perk and pretty travel editor character would fall for Jack Black (aka mailroom worker Gulliver). Tiny people on an island seem much more plausible!


The best reason to see “Gulliver’s Travels?” There’s a cartoon short starring lovable Scrat from “Ice Age” before the main feature. I love that little guy!

Jeff Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn.

The next morning the Mister and I cleaned the bad movie taste out of our mouths by seeing “True Grit,” a remake by the Coen brothers. We’re not big Coen brother fans, but we figured we’d give this one a try. And we’re glad we did!

“True Grit” is a wonderful western! It tells the story of Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfield), who wants to avenge her father’s murder at the hands of Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). She hires U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to track Chaney down, insisting that she travel with him. Joining the duo is Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon).

Hailee Steinfield is magnificent as Mattie Ross.

The true star among all these wonderful actors? Hailee Steinfield! She’s actually a 14-year-old girl playing a 14-year-old girl, and her maturity and acting skills are terrific. She’s the reason the movie is so good.

If you have to choose between which flick to see, make it “True Grit.” Unless you’re in need of an expensive nap.