Monday, June 30, 2008

Gene Siskel, I'm Not

I was at a drama meeting the other night and my fellow members were talking about movies they'd seen recently. Pretty much the only movies I see are on DVD and have Disney somewhere in the title. I may never be up on the latest releases (you might recall the last non-kid movie I saw in the theater was Titanic), but I will happily provide you with reviews of really old movies right here on Because I Said So. If you like to watch movies before they're 10 years old, you might want to skip this. If you live in a cave like me and only see movies when they come out on DVD and feature things like animated cucumbers, this is for you.

We recently watched National Treasure Two: Book of Secrets. The older kids and I all really liked it. Of course, we loved the first one too. I don't think little kids would get into it, but it's a good one for the family. Besides, it has Nicholas Cage and Justin Bartha who are, you know - cute.

LET'S ALL GO TO THE LOBBY...

Orville Redenbacher sent me some popcorn. Oh, wait a minute. Orville himself didn't send it to me. Is THE Orville Redenbacher still alive? I'm thinking no. If he is, I doubt he'd think of sending me popcorn in the hopes that I'd talk about it on my blog. Actually, it was the folks who do promoting type stuff for Con Agra who sent it to me. Just wanted to clear that up.

Anyway, so I got this popcorn and we had it for movie night. I actually do use my hot air popper to make popcorn for the kids pretty often. It's inexpensive and it's far healthier than a lot of packaged snacks. When my kids have friends over after school, they always ask for popcorn as a snack. In all fairness, I generally buy Orville Redenbacher popcorn because I bought some generic kind once and I couldn't believe how small the kernals popped. Remember those old commercials, "My gourmet popping corn pops up lighter and fluffier...."? Well, it's true.

But check this out - Natural Popcorn - they now have microwave popcorn without the artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. It comes in lots of yummy flavors too! Cool, huh?

Ok, so back to movies. We also watched The Spiderwick Chronicles. Soon after we started the movie, we realized it was a little too scary for small kids. We sent Clay and Lex to bed because I didn't want to get up 50 times during the night to listen to their nightmares them to have bad dreams. The movie was pretty good. Kinda predictable, but worth renting. Savannah liked the books better.

This had the kid from Willy Wonka in it. But not the good Willy Wonka with Gene Wilder; the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp looking and acting especially creepy and strange. And my kids looked at me like I was an idiot because I didn't believe them when they said that kid was playing both brothers in the movie. Actually it was dark in the room because we always have to turn off all the lights and drag out every pillow and blanket when we watch movies for some reason. But if the lights had been on and I'd been able to actually see, I know they would've looked at me like I was an idiot.

Let's see, after the next batch of kids went to bed, we watched Jumper. It's about this guy who can teleport to different locations just by thinking about it. Meanwhile, another guy tries to chase him down and kill him because he believes that no one but God should have the power to be in all places like that.

At first he uses this power to rob banks and travel the world. OK, he's just a kid; he'll learn, I thought. I kept waiting for him to realize that he had this gift and should use it for good. You know, he sees a live broadcast on the news of a person standing on a building waiting to jump and he teleports there and rescues him. That kind of thing. But it never happens. He never changes. When it was over, I kept thinking, "What's the point? That was stupid." Joe liked it though. Then again, Joe and I almost never agree on movies or TV shows because I have taste and the stuff he likes is asinine.

With my awesome powers of perception, I was able to figure out that the guy in this movie is the same guy who played Darth Vader. Or maybe not so much Darth Vader, but Anakin. Anakin? That's his name, right? Well, he played some guy in Star Wars. And it only took me like 45 minutes to realize this. How 'bout that for astounding talent?

Another couple movies I recently watched were Flywheel and Facing the Giants. These DVDs were sent to me by Provident Films. Flywheel was a little slow moving at first and you could tell it wasn't some big budget Hollywood film. Despite that, it drew me in and I attentively watched the entire picture. Not only that, but I teared up a couple times during the movie too! The movie itself is an obvious message of God's love and turning your life over to Him. But what intrigued me most about this movie is that it was shot with a $20,000 budget of unsolicited donations! Not only that, but the cast and crew was solely comprised of volunteer members of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA. The Kendrick brothers (one of whom also stars in the movie) got the idea to make the film after seeing the results of a survery which said "movies and television shows are more influential in American culture than the church." You can read more about that HERE.

Then I watched their second movie, Facing the Giants. I really enjoyed this picture. It was your typical "underdog football team turns around and wins big in the end" kind of movie, but with a Christian twist. This picture also stars Alex Kendrick; this time as coach Grant Taylor. He's the coach of a losing football team, his car is falling apart, money is tight, he and wife are having problems with infertility, and he is close to being fired from his coaching job. At this point, he starts praying and changes his focus and good things start to happen. His team changes, their playing changes, their attitudes change, the small kicker gains confidence, and disrespectful kid has a change of heart and apologizes to his father. They start winning games, the coach gets a raise and unexpected gift of a new car.

I've got to warn you though - have a box of tissues nearby. You'll definitely tear up over this one. But there are well timed moments of humor throughout the movie too. The banter between the assistant coaches made me laugh out loud. I'm looking forward to seeing their new film, Fireproof, that will be in theaters this September.

And finally, I got to escape for an evening last week and see Sex and the City with my friend, Jen. I don't get HBO and had just watched some of the cut reruns of the TV show so I wasn't sure I'd really like the movie, but hey, it was a night out of the house! I actually really, really liked it! I laughed, I cried, I left the theater and wanted to move to New York with my four best friends. I just love the way they show the incredible friendship between these four girls.

So, there you have it. Mediocre reviews on a couple movies that have been out for months. You can't get this kind of quality at those other blogs.

Remember also, that you have until Monday, July 7th, to answer the questions on yesterday's quiz. Just please leave your comment on yesterday's post so I don't have to search all over for entries. Thank you! Oh and if you saw the post when I first wrote it and were overwhelmed with the TWENTY hard questions I had, never you fear. I modified it a bit and now it's only 10 multiple choice questions. I don't expect anyone to remember everything and know the answers to all the questions, but have fun with it and take a guess! I've got some awesome prizes donated by some awesome people for you to win!

38 comments:

MrsBubblehead said...

Oh hey ~ I love the idea of giving us movie reviews ~ our family usually wait for the guys from At The Movies to tell us whether or not a movie is worth watching & we just do DVD's as well ~ I can say that we have you beat & say The Bourne Identity in the movie theater!! My sis gave me movie tickets for my birthday that year & watched the kids!!

Cloudsters said...

Hullo, we're adjusting to only-on-DVD movie life following the birth of our son, but as a supplement we've also treated ourselves occasionally to those boxed sets of TV shows. We're watching Northern Exposure right now (Season Five), for instance.

The only thing is, you need to have some discipline, otherwise you end up watching an entire season over one weekend, which is terribly expensive and seems to dilute the enjoyment after a certain point...

MamaNeena said...

I am so glad you got to see Sex and the City. It seems like all girlfriends need that escape for a little while.

Irishmama said...

Dawn - Speaking of movies........My DVD of Better off Dead arrived just in time for the holiday weekend. I just can't wait to watch it with my kids so we can all walk around saying, "sorry I blew up your mom Ricky".

Have a great holiday weekend.

sila-lumenn said...

...because I have taste and the stuff he likes is asinine...

I thought I was going to fall out of my seat laughing! That is so me and my better half. He is completely unable to watch any movie without explosions or robots or space ships.

rachel said...

The kid in Spiderwick was Freddie Highmore. He got picked to play Charlie in Willie Wonka because of his performance in Finding Neverland, which also has Johnny Depp. Oh, and Kate Winslet from Titanic.
My ultimate favorite movie is August Rush. It has Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell (that girl who played Felicity), and a seriously cute guy with an Irish accent. I cried the first time I saw it. Major chick flick. Savannah would probably like it.

VanderbiltWife said...

I know some people who got to see Fireproof at the SBC convention last month and said it was awesome. Looking forward to it!

Ariel said...

Thanks for the reviews! I always find it interesting to see what other people thought about various movies that I've seen. I'm agreeing with you on Shooter... not a huge fan.

Shelly S., Nebraska said...

Hi Dawn,
My husband and I love the Kendrick brothers films! I am so glad you mentioned them. I totally agree that there is too little "faith in real life" kind of stuff in Hollywood, and movies are a great way to reach people. Both of those movies are great for men who need more "surrender"...to allow God to lead them in life a little more...or even just to remember to pray about their decisions. It was fun to watch them with my husband and then allow the conversation to flow.

BTW, I have to mention that I LOVE the way you quote "classic" movies on your blog! As one who lives with a guy who can quote movie lines all day, and encorporates them into his daily conversation, I get a kick out of reading you do the same thing.

Here are a couple of my favorites I am sure you can name:

"You broke the seat, you broke the seat!...It's impossible, how do you break a car seat?!"

"This here's our pride and joy, Snots." (great for when your toddler has green worms coming out of her nose)

"Do you have a kiss for Daddy?"

"Do you know the street value of this mountain??!!"

Have a great day and keep typing!
Shelly

Allison Hill said...

That's funny--my brother is getting his MBA and is currently in Minneapolis doing his internship with Con Agra and up to his neck in popcorn! Well that and the occasional Slim Jim.

BarbJ said...

A friend of mine said basically the same thing about Jumpers - "I kept waiting for him to learn his lesson and use his power to do GOOD, but he never did. It was a testiment to self-centeredness!!"

DH and I rarely see movies in the theater because we are too darn cheap! By the time we pay for the gas to get there (the joys of rural living!), tix, popcorn, drinks - it's $40 for just us and over $50 if we take the kids!

Nicky S. said...

My hubby and I try to go out and see movies once in awhile..but we have Blockbuster online and we love it! Because of it, I've seen all the oldies but goodies. Ya know..stuff like Ghostbusters 1 & 2and all of the Indiana Jones. But then we do see the new ones as well. We rented Spiderwick but still haven't seen it. Also loved National Treasure 1 & 2. If you get the chance, take the kids to see WALL-E. It's really cute and I think it was trying to teach us a lesson about over indulgance.

Oh and I also saw Sex and the City! It was so awesome. I cried several times. Especially at the parts were..oh I can't tell you..then everyone will know..

Anywho, I gots to get back to work. Have a great day!

Coffee Bean said...

I love the scene in Facing the Giants where the coach has the kid blindfolded on the field with the other kid on his back... it really speaks to me spiritually.

Arah said...

so, did you watch all those movies on movie night? I can hardly make it through one.
Thanks for the reviews. I haven't seen all of those movies yet. We like old skool movies and lately we like documentaries and mockumentaries...Best in Show is one of our favorites.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,
Orville is gone- don't know for sure when he passed. I only know this because I live in his hometown of Valparaiso, IN. We honor Orville and his popcorn every year with the "Popcorn Festival". It is September 6th this year. Lots of fun!

Veggiemomof2 said...

Jumper was ok, but I really don't care for movies that are left blatantly open for a sequel!

Ashley B. said...

Hey Dawn,
The guy in Jumper was Hayden Christiansen..he is so cute! haha. He was also in Star Wars, The Virgin Suicides, and Life as a House, which is a really good movie. My husband watched the Spiderwick Chronicles, he said he liked it. I was too busy washing dishes! I was still wondering if that kid had a twin until your blog! I'm kinda sheltered too I guess.

Janet said...

Your review of Jumper reminded me of our thoughts on Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon (7 or 8 years ago). This guy finds a formula to become invisible and we thought it would be a great way to explore the psychological mindset of what would you do if you were invisible? The guy started out as such an abysmal ass that it was no surprise when he resorted to criminal behavior almost immediately. Very disappointing; don't bother with it. Elisabeth Shue should be ashamed that she was in it.

dedekae said...

Thanks for the reviews, but I hardly ever get to watch movies we are always at the baseball or softball field. We do make it to the drive inn every once in a while though. I want to watch Facing the Giants, I had heard it was good.

Tina in Ohio said...

Next time you're checking out older movies pick up Bella. Talk about tugging at your heartstrings!
Tina

Rick said...

Orville Redenbacher died at his home in San Diego, California, while he sat in his hot tube. His last kernel had popped.

http://organizeddoodles.blogspot.com/

Kyddryn said...

My little guy loved the National Treasure movies, and when he's not insisting that he's going to be a "paloncologist" when he grows up (what, he's going to study fossilized cancers??), he fluctuates between archaeologist and historian. Or astronaut. Or, you know, whatever employment butterfly flits through his head at the moment.

Orville is, sadly, long gone. Did you know he engineered his popcorn (the old-fashioned way, with cross-pollination and such, not the weird, Sci-Fi channel, grow a third leg if you eat it way)?

Re: Jumper - I read the books many years ago (each when it first came out, in fact, which just makes me SUCH a geek!), and they were much better. Much, much better. In the books, the kid does grow, mature, get it. I have read them several times, I enjoyed them so much - they're well written and fun. I know why Gould re-wrote them into the latest publication (the book now on shelves is NOT the original!) - to suit Hollywood and give continuity to the script - but I don't have to like it. Gould's other books are worth a read too - because I know you have all that spare time to fill!

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

Manic Mom said...

Popcorn is pimping its way through the blogs!!!! And I'm going to the movies tomorrow and eating me some!!!!

Michelle said...

I have to ask how many hours you spent in front of the tv watching movies. Were all those one after the other?

And if it makes you feel any better, the only movie of the ones you listed that I've ever even heard of was Sex In The City, not that I've seen that one either!

Britny said...

thanks for the movie reviews. I didn't really care for jumper either. My boyfriend and i saw in it in theater. I fell asleep towards the end. Oops The new Indiana Jones movie is a good one.

Mandy said...

I LOVE the movies! In fact, we just went and saw Wall*E. It was good, but didn't keep my 4 year old's attention like Kung Fu Panda did. KFP was AWESOME! Thanks for the reviews. I did want to see Jumper, now maybe if I'm bored on one of the day's it comes on TNT or something.

korkie said...

Mmmmmmmmmm....

I have GOT to come out of my cave now and then.

Never heard of any of the movies you reviewed.

HeathSaw said...

I was not a big fan of Jumper either. My husband and I both fell asleep, turned it off, and never finished it. Like you, I kept waiting for him to do something I could respect with his talent.

Sex and the City was great! I never get to go to the movies but that one I saw with my younger coworkers. We had a great time.

Joy said...

Thanks for the movie reviews. I'll be checking some of them out.
-Joy

Christine said...

I am laughing my tushie off here, because, I just saw Sex and the City, this past weekend, with my bff Jenn (yes, 2 n's). Too bad my name isn't Dawn! I love it also, and did see every single episode on HBO, but, even if you didn't, you can definitely follow along. Thanks for the movie reviews! WE actually do get out, in the summer, as there is a drive in near us, that just opened up a second screen. So, for about 22 bucks, DH and the 3 kids pile in the car for a night out at the movies. It is pretty cool!

Anonymous said...

just a stupid question, maybe SSO material. where do you rent your movies from?

Blinds said...

Do you ever get a babysitter (or 2) to come over so you and your hubby can go out?

Mystii said...

You have meetings for drama? OMG... LOL all I have to do is read my email at times to find drama!

I loved National Treasure Two. We went to Hollywood Blvd to watch it. What an amazing experience! If you haven't tried to have a night out with your hubby there, you should add it to your list of things to do. It's a wonderful way to watch a movie!

We rented Jumper from Redbox (you know, those little kiosks outside of many Jewel/Osco stores where you can rent a movie for $1?) Totally improbable but a good movie. Now I may have to see if I can find the original books.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday weekend!

- Mystii

Margee said...

Okay, first of all--The Titanic was the last no-kid-flick I saw too! Maybe because my eldest is also 13. Also, did you know that you can put regular popping kernels into a brown paper lunch bag and put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes?

Dawn said...

OMG, I love Facing the Giants! Our family can watch it over and over again and I'll cry every stinking time.

Thanks for the review on Jumper. My 18yo told me I should watch it but, after reading your review, I think I'll pass...unless I see it on cable and nothing else is on.

Donna said...

love Facing the Giants......our church kids summer program was based on that movie last year....the boys really dug doing the Death crawl EVERY WEEK......

Patty said...

Margee is right. You put the popcorn in the bottom of a brown lunch bag, fold it over and watch it go. Much cheaper and you don't have any of the artifical junk in it.

Pieces of me said...

OHH Dawn, get your hands on a copy of the bucket list. It's not a kids movie, although the older 2 might like it. But WARNING it contains some swearing. Keep your box of tissues close. It is awesome and even got my Burly manly man to shed a few.

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