It has been a trying summer at Chez MerryKarma, but I really have not forgotten my two readers out there...
To get back into the groove of more regular posting, I have movie reviews to share.
DVDs I've watched recently:
The Men Who Stare at Goats, starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. It is adapted from a novel by Jon Ronson. McGregor plays a war reporter who meets up with the characters of a former platoon of New Age soldiers. This group would try to find ways of peaceful combat by using extrasensory perception skills. It was quirky and pretty funny.
Rock and Rolla is a quirky mob movie by Guy Ritchie with Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Jeremy Piven, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Thandie Newton. A lucrative real estate deal is about to go down in London, and all the players are vying for a piece of the action. It was good.
Sherlock Holmes is another Guy Ritchie movie. Robert Downey, Jr. plays Holmes, Jude Law plays Dr. Watson, and Rachel McAdams plays “the girl.” It was a good adaptation of the comic book series by Lionel Wingram, based on the characters originated by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired is a documentary about the unlawful sexual assault on a minor charges that were brought against Roman Polanski in 1978. Since that time, he has not lived in the United States. Granted, the judge in the case treated him unfairly, but a crime was committed. It was interesting.
Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt and Giovanna Mezzogiorno are the players in a love triangle in Love in the Time of Cholera. Basically, Bardem and Mezzogiorno’s characters are star-crossed lovers who spend practically their whole lives apart, waiting for the time that they can be together. It was kind of dumb, actually.
Religulous is a documentary following Bill Maher while he travels around the world asking religious leaders and regular people about their views on religion. It was interesting.
Defiance is based on a true story set during WWII. It is about three Jewish brothers (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell) who help a large group of people hide from the Nazis. It was good.
Clint Eastwood directed and starred in Gran Torino, about a Korean War vet, Walt Kowalski, who catches his Asian next door neighbor trying to steal his car as part of a gang initiation. By Asian custom, the teenager is forced to make up for his misdeed by being Kowalski’s personal slave. It was a very good movie.
Mongol tells about the early years of Genghis Khan. The acting was really good, the story was interesting and the cinematography was lovely. I really liked this movie.
I did manage to go to the theater a few times:
Winter’s Bone is about a back-woods girl standing up to the community’s code of silence to find her meth-cooking, bail-jumping father before the sheriff repossesses the family’s home in exchange for the bail money. It was very dark and powerful. The conditions in which this family live are appalling. There were many good performances, especially by Jennifer Lawrence who played the teen. I liked this movie.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is a documentary giving insight into the Queen of Comedy’s life. On the outside, she appears to have it all, but as abrasive as Joan can be in her acts, she is just as vulnerable and insecure as the rest of us. It was interesting.
Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is a psychological thriller about a guy who can insert himself in another person’s subconscious. This talent is a weapon in the world of espionage, and it got him in trouble in the past. Ellen Page plays a very talented dream architect who helps him try to reclaim his reputation. It was complicated, but very well written. I liked it.
The Kids are All Right is a really cute movie about an unconventional family, starring Mark Ruffalo (and y’all know how I feel about Mark Ruffalo), Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson. The lives of a lesbian couple with two kids are turned upside down when their son finds his biological father. Me likey!
Eat, Pray, Love, starring Julia Roberts, James Franco, Javier Bardem, Richard Jenkins and Billy Crudup, is based on the Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir about taking time out of her life to find out what she really wanted and needed. It was good, but I didn’t think it was anything to write home about.
The Switch is a silly, but very funny movie with Jennifer Anniston and Justin Bateman. They play two long-time friends who become tied forever when Justin’s character, accidentally switches his genetic material with the sample intended to impregnate Jen’s character. It is definitely worth seeing.
Going the Distance, with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, is about a couple in a long distance relationship. It was cute overall, but the crass language and antics of these people who are supposed to be thirty-something is more suited to twenty-something year old people.
Since it would never do to sit still too long, my next big project is to change wallpaper and window treatments and to have the entire house repainted inside and out. Stay tuned for details...