Tag Archives: Tommy Lee Jones

A Cornucopia of Movie-Going

Bella and Edward continue in love forever.

During holidays, we love seeing movies. This recent Thanksgiving break was no different.

First up for me and my older son (he of the snarky, clever commentary) was “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.” As continued from last year’s first part, Bella’s transition from human to vampire is explored, and the family prepares for the arrival of the nasty Volturi. I did like the somewhat-controversial twist at the end; it was a brillant addition to the plot.

Long story short, this flick is purely for Twihards who need to wrap up the series. Bella and Edward will live forever together. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to endure them and their band of wooden actors any more.

Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis: Possible Oscar winners again?

“Lincoln”

Usually we see a movie Thanksgiving morning, but this year we instead sweated out our Houston Texans’ overtime win against the Detroit Lions. Sweet! So the next day I dragged the Mister to see “Lincoln.” All I can say is “wow!” It’s definitely another Steven Spielberg masterpiece.

“Lincoln” is mostly about the struggle to pass the 13th amendment to abolish slavery by the U.S. House of Representatives. Earning probable Oscar nominations are Daniel Day-Lewis as not-so honest Abe, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones as crusty Thaddeus Stevens. All delivered masterful performances.

My warning to future “Lincoln” goers is to make sure you’re fully awake, because the droning music will do its best to put you to sleep. Caffeine is a must!

Vanellope and Ralph become friends in a Sugar Rush game.

“Wreck-It Ralph”

When your kids love video games, seeing “Wreck-It Ralph” is a natural. I figured that the boys and I would really like it (and we did), while the Mister wondered if the fine folks at the AMC Theater would frown upon him bringing his pillow (he did end up enjoying it, though). It’s hard to beat the eternally important message that it’s best to just be yourself.

James Bond and M are together again.

“Skyfall”

Before my older son returned to UTSA yesterday, we finished our moviethon (well, at least it was for me) by seeing the too-long, new James Bond movie. The guys are big fans of both the films and some of the video games. I usually tag along to see how hot the actor playing Bond is (Pierce Brosnan, yes; Daniel Craig, no!). Oh, and I enjoy criticizing the ridiculous though thrilling chase scenes and massive destruction.

“Skyfall” had plenty of action but not much sex for a change (the kid says it’s because Craig is ugly, so women aren’t attracted to him; could be the case, I suppose). Javier Bardem was an interesting villain, and the plot centering around him and his relationship with M (Judi Dench) wove an intriguing storyline.

But did the movie really need two hours and 25 minutes to tell the story? The editors needed to do a better job with “Skyfall.”

As for the best flick of the four I saw? Being a history buff, I’d have to give the nod to “Lincoln.” It was just right on the money!

“Hope Springs”: Yes, It Does!

Arnold and Kay show their dysfunction by how they sit on a couch.

This has been a banner year for movies that are targeted for the oldies but goodies set (which includes the Mister and I). First, there was “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in May.

The newest flick aimed at us aging baby boomers is “Hope Springs,” which the Mister and I saw last Saturday morning. At an early matinee where we (just above and below age 60) were among the youngest in the audience. This definitely was the canes and walkers group. In fact, it seemed like we were at a nursing home’s movie of the week.

“Hope Springs” is billed as a comedy. While there were many funny lines and lots of laughter from the white-haired crowd, this really is more of a dramedy.

Kay (the incomparable Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones, who can play curmudgeons in his sleep) have been married 31 years and are stuck in a rut with a dysfunctional, noncommunicating marriage. Kay timidly tries to relight the spark, but Arnold has blocked all his emotions. So Kay pays for them to go to a week-long intensive couples counseling in Maine.

Steve Carell is out of the “Office.”

Steve Carell ably plays Dr. Bernie Feld, the counselor who tries to help Kay and Arnold remember why they fell in love in the first place and push them out of their rut. As you can imagine, there’s plenty of awkwardness and cringeworthy moments with the couple trying to complete their intimacy lessons. Even though all of it is tastefully done, this PG-13 flick is not for younger teens.

In fact, “Hope Springs” might not appeal to anyone who hasn’t hit age 45 or so. But it really is great to have movies that explore themes interesting to those of us who are older and have been married a long time . . . without any swearing.

Hope springs that we’ll see more of these and less of the awful Seth Rogen f-bomb-fests and Adam Sandler idiot-of-the-year excuses for films.

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.