November – February is “movie season” in my book, as opposed to the usual summer Blockbusters. While I don’t particularly like TV (except for UNC sports and my guilty pleasure of “The Bachelor”), I do just love a good movie. It’s my favorite form of complete relaxation, a 2-hour escape into another world. This time of year is especially good for me as Hollywood releases its contenders for the Academy Awards in the months leading up to the Oscars. Since I’m not a film aficionado, I generally like to see what “the experts” consider award-worthy movies and try to figure out why some movies or actors or film scores are generating buzz.
Here are some movies we’ve seen in the past couple months and my thoughts on each:
With essentially only two actors (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), and set entirely in space, it’s impressive what the directors did. This movie completely took me into it (sure helped that it was a 3D and Imax viewing) – physically and emotionally.
There were times when I was literally out of breath, squirming as far back as my seat would go, or ducking under debris flying right at me. By the time it was over, I told Rob it felt like we were physically on a roller coaster for the entire duration of the movie.
This movie also captured me emotionally. I grew up wanting to be an astronaut and being so curious about the vastness of our universe. Watching the dangers come to life during their space walk and attempt to return to Earth was hard to watch because I had wanted to be in their moon boots for years.
The technology used to create this film was incredible. The actors (notably Sandra Bullock) were amazing, since most of the movie she was just talking to herself. If you can handle a bit of a thriller, check this one out.
Saving Mr. Banks
Rob and I both went into this movie thinking it would be a happy, warm-fuzzy film about the making of Mary Poppins into a Disney film. Not so. Ms. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, writes straight from experiences of growing up with an alcoholic father and a weak mother and an aunt who comes to save the parents. As an adult working with Disney to create the movie, Ms. Travers is impossible to please, but it becomes evident that her frustrations (to put it mildly) are derived from the terrible memories of her childhood. Ms. Travers’ experiences are heart-wrenching, and I will never watch Mary Poppins the same.
At the same time, it was very interesting to watch the dynamic between Mr. Disney and Ms. Travers and there were definitely some light-hearted and comical moments. It’s also a good reminder that you never really know why little things might set people off and to be sensitive to others’ anger. While Walt Disney was not a perfect person, I’m so impressed by his legacy of bringing so much happiness to so many people. This is definitely one to see if you go into it knowing it’s not a fluffy movie. And the cast is incredible.
Also not a fluffy movie, though a good dramatic-comedy. This one is all about con artists in the 1970s in New York and New Jersey. Once caught, the only way they can gain immunity from the FBI is by to set up an elaborate sting operation on corrupt politicians for the FBI to catch.
There are lots of twists along the way, with several comedic reliefs. It was, at times, confusing to keep up with (I suppose they make for good con artists, then) but the 70s hair and clothes were enough to entertain me. Great casting and a good one to catch, but not crucial. Unless it wins Best Picture.
I love a good Disney film. And this was among one of the best new ones I’ve seen in years. Without giving too much away, it was atypical of your run-of-the-mill “damsel in distress” type of Disney film. It really highlighted the bond of two sisters, which was especially touching because I can relate to that sisterly bond.
Another fun part? One of the sisters was basically me… from the strawberry blonde hair to being the younger sister to the dramatic personality. Rob kept poking me throughout the whole movie because everything she did reminded him of me. But all the characters were so fun to watch – I laughed throughout the movie and loved how they personified the reindeer and snowman. This movie was great for adults and kids alike. The songs and voices were incredible (Idina Menzel of “Wicked” stars as one of the sisters). Plus, we needed a carefree laugh this week and “Frozen” was it.