by Amy K. Bredemeyer
I've decided that I should do more movie reviews. I've been working on this throughout the past month, and now that it's no longer November, it seems more than appropriate to post.
At midnight on November 14th, I was seeing the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. On Thursday, November 20th I went to see Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Friday the 21st brought on Bolt and Little Women (1933 version). Also saw Role Models the night before Thanksgiving.
Quantum of Solace is not my favorite of the 007 movies, but then again, I am not the fan that some are. I couldn't believe it had been two years since Casino Royale came out. I don't really care for Daniel Craig as James Bond... her's not nearly attractive enough for his alleged appeal to be believable. The storyline is decently intriguing, and my favorite scenes are those with Judi Dench (as 'M.'); she never ceases to pull off a breathtaking performance. My major nitpick: to fully understand the final scene of the film, you must be familiar with the last James Bond film. And as it neared 2am, there was no way I could even vaguely recollect what took place two years ago. C'est la vie.
Madagascar 2 was cute. Not as amazing as the first one (which was 3 years ago already!), but still a funny storyline. It was a little too Lion King at times, which was surprising. Alex (the lion) meets his family, has an evil uncle, gets exiled, and returns to save the pride and become King. Gloria (the hippo) comes into adulthood, wishing to mate. But, like animated movies do, she ends up falling for the sweet, kind gentleman Melman (the giraffe) instead of the 'hunk' Moto Moto (another hippo). Marty (the zebra) first finds himself in wonderment of other zebras, then despair as he realizes he's not as unique and special as he had thought, then content for being who he is. The monkeys and the penguins are not features enough in this film, and loveable/annoying Mort (the mouse lemur) makes strange appearances throughout the film... audiences often forget he exists, and suddenly he's back on the screen for a short segment, only to disappear again for another twenty minutes.
The best part: there's going to be a third installment, where the animals return to New York's Central Park, set to open in 2011.
Bolt, Disney's 48th animated feature, is about a little dog who starts off truly believing he has superhero qualities. After being separated from his co-star/owner, he sets off on a cross-country expedition to find her. A pessimistic alley cat and a daredevil hamster get caught up in the whirlwind along the way. Bolt sadly discovers that he is not a real "superdog," but with the help of his friends is able to find Penny once again. The movie was hilarious, particularly when Rhino (the hamster) tries extraordinary things. I could probably watch it a couple more times, but it's no 90s animated classic.
Upon arriving home from Bolt, I turned on the "free on-demand" movie channel and found Little Women to be an option. Since Rachel (a la Friends) adores the book, I figured I should become more familiar with this classic. Unfortunately, I did not find it to be very interesting, and believe it would be more accurate to call the book/movie Let's Screw with Jo. Louisa May Alcott may have based the book partially on the life of her and her sisters (Jo is based off of her own life), but seriously, Jo (short for Josephine) really got the short end of the stick every time. The only other downside to the film: it ends rather abruptly.
So, let's recap the events. When it begins, Meg is 16, Jo is 15, Beth is 13, and Amy is 12. Meg is vain (although Amy kinda is, too), but learns that looks are not everything. Jo keeps her aunt company, but apparently nobody really likes the aunt, so it's more of a chore. Dad (who is off fighting for the Union Army) gets wounded, so Jo sells her hair so Mom (Marmee) can go visit him. Beth contracts scarlet fever from a neighbor baby and almost dies. Jo now stays to care for Beth, and Amy goes to keep the aunt company. Meg gets engaged to a neighbor's tutor, and Jo is upset. Jo falls for Laurie (the neighbor), but since Beth might like him, she ends up going to NY to allow Beth and Laurie to be happy (Beth is Jo's favorite sister). But, Beth dies. The aunt takes Amy to Europe (Jo was supposed to go, but after Amy started visiting the aunt, the aunt liked Amy better). Amy falls for Laurie and they get married. Jo ends up with a professor who convinces her to write less abrasively.
Maybe the novel is better, but the movie was bad/sad.
I was pretty against seeing Role Models, but after both my brother and my best friend said it was so funny they had each seen it twice, I caved and and went with a small group to kill some time on Thanksgiving Eve. It was bad. Really bad. It bothers me to see a ten-year-old curse so much and have such an obsession with breasts. Wheeler's personality is no better, and so this duo ruined the movie. Paul Rudd's character was slightly better, but still rather unbelievable. The only parts of the movie that were enjoyable were the "Lair" scenes, although they are painted in a very negative light for the first half of the film. Kudos to Danny (Rudd) for understanding the importance of the RPG to Augie, and striving to create a country on the day of the "final battle" of the season so that Augie could participate. Still, a waste of money and time, when I could have been watching my choice, Four Christmases. Oh well, I imagine I'll be reviewing that before long anyway.