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message 1: by Reggia (last edited Jun 11, 2012 10:01PM) (new)

Reggia | 2256 comments ...or watches them at home.

Seen anything good lately? or awful? Please tell.

message 2: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Metz | 83 comments We don't go to many movies. We went to The Hunger Games and liked it. We went to The Avengers and though there were some little things I could have picked at, it was a fun action movie.

Most recently we rented Act of Valor. My Dad was in the military (as was my husband's father) and both of us served. We have family members going way back. You can tell they aren't actors. It felt more like some journalist had a spycam and you had a front row seat to what was happening. It had a different feel to it. It sort of fell in the middle of movie and documentary. You could certainly tell the difference with them being real Seals. It felt so much more real than a movie, but more polished and interesting than a documentary. The way they moved, the silence of those big guys in heavy boots . . . How skilled they were at all they did . . . and then showing the bonds between them and their families, the sacrifices they willingly make. It was moving. Too often we only hear bad things about our soldiers.

message 3: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2256 comments Charly, I feel the same way. Very occasionally, I will attend the discount theatre.

Thanks so much for sharing, Margaret. Your review had me adding Act of Valor to my to-see list.

I've been watching Lost in Austen in bits and pieces on Netflix. Basically it's Pride and Prejudice made into a time travel which causes many twists and turns of the original story.

message 4: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Metz | 83 comments Lost in Austen in funny - as long as you don't try and look at it as a purist. I enjoyed it. I didn't go to a theater to see it though. Most of the time we wait to see movies until they are available to rent and then we download them and watch them at home. It's a lot cheaper and more comfortable.

message 5: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2256 comments Funny but P & P is never something I'm a purist about. I enjoy most attempts at retelling the story; I think there's something so classic about the theme that it just works again and again (kinda like A Christmas Carol).

message 6: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Barb and I very seldom go to the movies, because of the high cost. We'll occasionally rent some movies from our local Food City outlet (they have an unbeatable deal, five movies for five nights for $5.00, if you rent older ones), and I'll rarely check one out from the library where I work, if it's one I'm specially motivated to see. (I've got my eye on John Carter, which isn't cataloged yet.) We also own probably around 300 films on VHS or DVD, mostly bought when our girls were growing up; but we don't often take time to watch them now.

Last week, I did take time to watch the David Lynch adaptation of Frank Herbert's SF masterpiece Dune, which I'd picked up for $1.00 at our local flea market last month. In the view of fans who've watched all three adaptations, this is the best; and I think Lynch does it as faithfully as he could within his time constraints. But it's a very difficult novel to adapt to the film medium, and really needs a miniseries to do it full justice, IMO.

message 7: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Barb and I rented the first Twilight movie on DVD a few years ago, and liked it. Unlike me, she didn't go on to read the books; but we did see the next movies at the local theater as they came out, until last year when we weren't able to see Part 1 of Breaking Dawn. :-( But we were able to buy a copy later on DVD, and I finally got to watch it recently.

Of course, this is a violently controversial series, which arouses rabid partisanship on both sides. We seldom hear people say, "Well, I didn't personally like it, but to each his own;" we're more likely to hear, "It's the vilest abomination in human history; it should be purged from the face of the earth, and every miscreant who praises it should be flogged!" (The pro-Twilight frenzy in some quarters comes close to this level, too.) So commenting on any of the films is a charged and dangerous undertaking. :-) Obviously, I'm a fan (though not one who'll unfriend you if you aren't!). From that perspective, I liked the movie quite well, as I did its predecessors (they're very much of a piece in quality). It's a good, accurate adaptation of the book, allowing for the differences in the art form (Meyer's role as the producer ensures that). The messages of the book come through well in the movie.

If you're a Twilight fan and haven't seen this installment of the film series, it's worth your time. If you're in the other camp, this movie won't change your mind. If you've never been exposed to the series at all, Breaking Dawn isn't the place to begin. Whether you start with the books or the movies, the installments need to be taken in order to fully understand the characters and the situation.

message 8: by Werner (last edited Aug 12, 2012 05:56PM) (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Last Christmas, I gave Barb a DVD of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time; but until recently, neither of us have had time to watch it (which is fairly typical of movie-watching in our household in recent years). But when I was staying home recovering from my surgery, I had more time on my hands, so finally got to watch it. It's a sword-and-sorcery, action-adventure movie, with a plot revolving around a magic-endued dagger, so whether or not it would appeal to you would depend a lot on your attitude toward that whole genre.

Despite not having a huge budget by modern Hollywood standards, big-name stars (except for Ben Kingsley), or a lot of hype, it's actually a pretty well-made film of it's type, IMO. (It should be classified as fantasy; the nominal ancient Persian setting is actually ahistorical enough to be functionally a fantasy world.) Or maybe I should have said "Because of" rather than "Despite;" without the usual Hollywood crutches, the moviemakers here had to resort to good storytelling and credible acting. :-)

message 9: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2256 comments On the Twilight series, I have yet to read or watch but I admit I have heard a fair amount from mostly its lovers. Hmm, your commentary kinda reminds me of the herb cilantro: seems to be a love or hate thing with nobody voting in neutrality. :p

message 10: by Lunar Lunacy (last edited Sep 01, 2012 11:54AM) (new)

Lunar Lunacy I rarely go to the cinema, it can be a really unpleasant experience. Screaming children running up and down the aisles, someone kicking the back of your seat, people talking on their phones during the movie... I did recently watch Brave though, which was quite nice.

message 11: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Metz | 83 comments My boys were big fans of Prince of Persia -- the video game. So they were upset in the departures from the storyline in the same way we normally get over how Hollywood treats books. It was a good movie though.

I wanted to watch Brave but money is tight so we're waiting for it to be available to rent online.

message 12: by Werner (last edited Sep 04, 2012 09:40AM) (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Since I'm not into video games, I didn't learn that Prince of Persia was inspired by one until I'd already watched it. So comparing the two wasn't a factor for me, though I can see how it would be for fans of the game.

I've seen several commercials for Brave, and I think it looks pretty good. My wife would probably like it too, but we'll also wait to see it (in our case, for the DVD).

message 13: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1752 comments Hello, again, everyone!
I watch quite a few movies.

Werner, I saw John Carter and disagreed with the critics who slammed it. I thought it was fun--on the level of Prince of Persia or Stargate.

I've seen Brave and thought it was delightful and lovely for girls. I saw Dark Knight Rises and thought it was pretty good. If you like really quirky movies with a thing for weird nostalgia, you might try Moonrise Kingdom--but it was just *too* quirky for me, aside from the Bruce Willis and Edward Norton scenes. I saw the remake of Total Recall, and it was okay sci-fi if you don't think about it too hard.

message 14: by Werner (last edited Sep 12, 2012 02:44PM) (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Callista, that's encouraging, because I liked both Prince of Persia and Stargate (the movie that inspired the TV series --actually, I was a fan of the series, too, but didn't get to watch it much in the later seasons).

Total Recall is an adaptation of a short story by Philip K. Dick, "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" (which I haven't read, so I can't judge how faithful the adapting is; but it does exhibit Dick's trademark reality bending). I've seen the original, starring Arnold Schwarznegger, but didn't know there was a remake. When I first watched the original on TV, I liked it quite a bit, because of the blend of action and a powerful, positive message (that it's our choices, not our memories, that define who we are). Unfortunately, when I picked up a used VHS of the unexpurgated version, I found it seriously marred by a LOT of gratuitous obscenity and other bad language (which had been edited out on TV). I wound up tossing the tape into the trash. :-( Hopefully the remake is an improvement on that score --though as it's coming from today's Hollywood, I wouldn't bet money on it!

message 15: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Metz | 83 comments We watched John Carter recently as well. I thought the previews looked pretty dumb, but I was wrong. The movie was fun - much better than I expected.

I haven't seen any of the others. Brave is on my want to see list - and possibly Dark Knight Rises as well. I always wait until we can rent them online for cheaper. Especially with my husband being unemployed, dollars much be stretched.

message 16: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1752 comments You don't have a theatre that does second-run movies for $1.50 or $2, Margaret? That's too bad. Though if you have a place that rents for $1, that's even better.

message 17: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Back in the 90s, there was a theater in this area that specialized in second-run movies, and had discounted prices for that reason. All of our girls were young and still at home then, and we'd often go to the Saturday afternoon matinees as a family outing; it was easily our favorite theater! Alas, they closed it because they felt it wasn't making enough money. :-(

message 18: by Margaret (last edited Sep 14, 2012 04:39PM) (new)

Margaret Metz | 83 comments Nope - no second-run theaters around here. Of course, I live in a smallish town with only one theater - surrounded by even smaller towns. To get someplace bigger we'd have to travel 45 minutes to an hour. If they did have a theater like that, we'd eat up the savings in gas.

We used to like going to the matinees (back when they charged only 1 - 3 dollars for a showing), but it's only a dollar cheaper than the evening times now -- and that just doesn't save enough.

We don't watch a lot of movies, but renting saves a lot and we can pause, re-watch parts - and even watch it multiple times if we want to. Sometimes we never end up seeing a movie until it's on TV. We may miss the parts they took out for time, but it's as close to free as we can get.

message 19: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1752 comments BTW--back to Total Recall. It wasn't as if I had a particular fondness for the Arnie version; I don't remember most of it, probably for the best. But I was curious about the new one, which I think is rated PG-13 for 1 brief, gratuitous SF-genetically-engineered-nudity scene, some swearing, and a lot of violence but not gore.

Has anyone else watched Hugo (based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which I haven't read)? Visually, it was nice, but I was underwhelmed by the story.

message 20: by Bridget (new)

Bridget (bawidget) Hi all! I just joined the group and am an avid moviegoer. Just saw the Hobbit on Christmas day and thought it was alright. Peter Jackson made a lot of parts more action packed than they were in the book (which I am re-reading).

Something about it was lacking though...I don't think Peter Jackson has the same love for this story as he does for the trilogy. Was it just me? The CGI on the Goblin King was just not on the same level as other monsters designed by WETA.

message 21: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Metz | 83 comments Callista - I have been wanting to see Hugo. It did look . . . visually appealing. I'm sorry to hear the story wasn't great though.

I watched The Hobbit. It was very good. I don't think I'm as in love with this story as the trilogy though. I read The Hobbit a couple times - I've read the trilogy at least five or six. I found myself liking the parts of the movie with the familiar trilogy characters the best.

message 22: by Nicole (last edited Jan 17, 2013 10:24AM) (new)

Nicole | 1752 comments Well, Margaret, you might love Hugo. I seem to be in the minority by being unimpressed.

I have seen The Hobbit (Part 1), too. I didn't love it as I loved Lord of the Rings. Somehow, it seemed louder and weirder, but with a lot of deja vu. However, I did like Martin Freeman's performance as Bilbo and Richard Armitage's performance as Thorin--I found them both very likable and sympathetic. And I always like Ian McKellen as Gandalf.

I saw Les Miserables recently. I liked parts of it, and it was visually impressive. I seem to be in the minority (again) by really liking Russell Crowe's performance as Javert. I have finally put the book on my to-read list, as I'm more curious than ever about everything that got left out.

message 23: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2256 comments I just looked that up... it does sound interesting.

message 24: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1752 comments I've seen the previews for Winter's Tale, and I'm intrigued; but I haven't read the book.

Saw Saving Mr. Banks this week and enjoyed the performances.

message 25: by Werner (last edited Jan 31, 2014 06:44AM) (new)

Werner | 2116 comments On Wednesday night, I watched Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), starring Brendan Fraser, on DVD. Though the premise is that Verne's book was secretly based on fact, it's not an attempt to re-tell it. Rather, it follows what happens when Fraser's character, a present-day geology professor, peruses a copy of the Verne novel that belonged to his brother Max (also a scientist), and finds notes that he thinks might shed light on Max's disappearance ten years previously. He and Max' 13-year-old son head off to Iceland to investigate.

Plausibility isn't a strong point of this film, to put it mildly (starting with the fact that humans couldn't fall "thousands" of miles in the time they do here, would starve/thirst to death long before they landed, and wouldn't land in one piece, even with a "water-slide" effect). The "science" half of the science fiction equation strikes even a layman like me as dubious; and if you're looking for great psychological depth in a movie, this isn't the place to find it. However, it's well-acted, and written with some nicely humorous touches; so if what you want is good clean adventure for about an hour and a half of escapist "brain candy," this actually might fit the bill pretty well! :-)

message 26: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments A week ago today, I watched the 2012 claymation film ParaNorman with my grandkids on DVD. (I'm just getting around to posting about it now; sorry for the delay!) It's a kid's movie about a pre-pubescent boy with an inherited ability to see ghosts, who gets caught up in trying to save his small New England town from a 300-year-old witch's curse. Frankly, some of the gross or inappropriate humor isn't particularly child-friendly, IMO. For adults or teens, though, it has some very good messages, and enough humor that's more cerebral in nature to actually be enjoyable. I laughed out loud in places --though I didn't roll on the floor. (Inside joke, for those following a different one of our threads. :-) ) The claymation technique is also handled quite well (or, at least, I think so).

message 27: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Over the weekend, I watched the 1981 BBC/Time-Life TV production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream ( ), which is the common read this month in another of my Goodreads groups. This is part of a series of quality productions of every play Shakespeare wrote (we have the entire set, distributed by Ambrose Video, on VHS at the library where I work). It's a well-done production of its type; Helen Mirren stands out as Titiana, IMO.

message 28: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments I'd forgotten to mention here that earlier this month (well, actually a bit of late September, too), over a couple of weekends, I re-watched the 2000 BBC/A&E adaptation of Lorna Doone ( ). I'd watched it back in 2000 when it first aired on TV; but since I was almost finished reading the novel for the first time, I wanted to judge the fidelity of the adaptation to the original. This isn't as close as is usually the case with adaptations of classics by the BBC and A&E; I'd rate it as no more than 65% or so --following the original in essential plotting and characterization, but with some significant changes, omissions and deletions. Some of the differences are artistically for the better, though, and it's a very enjoyable viewing experience in its own right, if you like historical movies with an action component.

message 29: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments On one of our other threads, I recently mentioned my wife's liking for Christmas-themed movies. Naturally, she's in moviegoer's heaven around this season! This year, I've watched a couple of Hallmark Channel's new Christmas movies with her: A Royal Christmas ) and Christmas Under Wraps ( ). They're both well-done movies of their type, IMO --good, solid entertainment with some low-key constructive messages.

message 30: by Werner (last edited Dec 21, 2014 11:07AM) (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Good one, Charly! :-)

message 31: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments I totally believed that you were telling the truth about what was said, Charly. (I just thought it was cute!) :-)

message 32: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments :-)

message 33: by Werner (last edited Jul 04, 2016 04:20PM) (new)

Werner | 2116 comments My grandkids got the DVD of the Disney animated movie Frozen (2013) for Christmas, and I watched it with them last night. (It's inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Snow Queen," but I don't know how closely it follows the original; I really need to read some of his work sometime!) I definitely liked it; it has serious messages at its core that are relevant to the real world, the plotting and characterizations are excellent, and the art work is outstanding.

Here's the imdb link for further information: . The film won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for best animated feature film, as well as a second Academy Award for the musical aspects.

message 34: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1752 comments Frozen has very little in common with "The Snow Queen," but I preferred Frozen. It was cute, and--as you said--had good messages. Especially for girls.

I saw Exodus and found it quite draining.

message 35: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments The only significant flaw with Frozen is the scene where some of the characters are chased by wolves, which tends to reinforce popular misconceptions of wolves as ravening monsters eager to devour humans. It's true that hungry wolves would be quite likely to chase a caribou (that's just part of the food chain), but healthy wolves don't attack and prey on humans. And nobody in the film suggests the distinction.

Andersen probably uncritically shared the popular prejudice against wolves; nothing he'd have been apt to have heard or read as a 19th-century city dweller (who probably never saw a wolf) would have enabled him to know any better. But from your comment, Callista, I'm guessing that the scriptwriters made that scene up out of whole cloth; and if they'd done some minimal research, they could have known better!

Was the Exodus movie you saw the recently-made newest one, which has been banned in Egypt?

message 36: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 747 comments Callista, my son saw Exodus and found it disappointing.
Werner, my 18 yr old daughter loves Frozen and has seen it numerous times, including the Japanese dubbed version. The music from the movie seems very well loved by a lot of people too.
I'm currently watching Hamlet. I think I've seen it about 4 times now.

message 37: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Janelle, which movie version of Hamlet are you watching? (It's actually been filmed quite a number of times.)

message 38: by Nicole (last edited Jan 13, 2015 06:54PM) (new)

Nicole | 1752 comments Yes, Janelle, which Hamlet?

Yes, I saw the Exodus that was banned in Egypt. Not surprising, as the Egyptians don't come off looking very nice in it--but this isn't news to people familiar with the story. I thought the acting was very good--but the main reason I saw it was for Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton. I agree with people who say Sigourney Weaver had a nothing part. I've also liked several of the director's, Ridley Scott's, films; but somehow, overall, it just didn't work for me.

Werner--I, too, am sensitive to wolf prejudice! I did think that scene in Frozen was silly. I think there's a similar one in Beauty and the Beast. (There's also a silly wolf sequence in the last Bourne movie.)
I don't recall any wolves in the original story, but I could be wrong. The original story is a Christian parable; the ice shards in the heart are very obviously sin. It isn't about sisters; it's about a boy and girl who are friends. I honestly don't know why Disney bothered saying Frozen was based on it.

message 39: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments That's Hollywood for you! Usually, their so-called "adaptations" of works by deceased authors would be a joke, except that they aren't funny. :-(

message 40: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 747 comments Callista, I'm watching the Hamlet starring David Tennant.

message 41: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1752 comments I haven't seen the Tennant Hamlet yet--but I do like him as an actor.
If you want a film that stays pretty true to the original work, the almost 4-hour Kenneth Branagh is the Hamlet to go for. :)

message 42: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) | 747 comments Ok thanks Callista

message 43: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Last night, I watched the movie adaptation of Cornelia Funke's novel Inkheart, starring Brendan Fraser and Helen Mirren, on DVD. Not having read the book, I can't speak to how faithful the adaptation is. Considered in its own right, though, it's good fantasy adventure, with a moral vision, strong storytelling and well-drawn characterizations. (Here's the imdb link, for anyone who's interested: .) Obviously, the premise (some people have an inherent power to bring characters and objects from a written book into our world, simply by reading aloud about them) is wildly implausible. But it can function successfully as a metaphor for the power of storytelling and storytelling to, in effect, create a world, and bridge the gap between the two worlds.

message 44: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2256 comments Wow! that looks intriguing for sure -- thanks for sharing, Werner.

message 45: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments You're welcome, Reggia! If you watch it sometime, I hope you like it.

message 46: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2256 comments I almost never watch any movies because I don't know what is out there. Now and then, someone will mention a movie but I always forget about it, lol, oops! So I've decided to make a Favorites tab for movie suggestions. :-p

message 47: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Barb and I own four episodes of the A & E miniseries Horatio Hornblower, starring Ioan Gruffudd, on VHS (they're undoubtedly available on DVD as well.) I re-watched one of these last night, after several years, and enjoyed it as much as I did the first time.

Having only read Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, I can't say how faithful the adaptations in this miniseries are to Forester's novels as a whole. (I hope to finish reading Young Hornblower: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, Lieutenant Hornblower & Hornblower and the Atropos this year!) But these films are good entertainment in their own right, if you like action adventure set in the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

message 48: by Reggia (new)

Reggia | 2256 comments I found myself very interested in the miniseries years ago... have always meant to get back to it and watch in entirety.

message 49: by Werner (last edited Jan 05, 2016 04:58PM) (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Last week, Barb and I watched one of her favorite Christmas movies, A Princess for Christmas ( ), but I forgot to post about it here at the time. (This was my first time for watching it.) It's a Hallmark TV movie, made in 2011, and stars Katie McGrath, Sam Heughan (who's now better known as Jamie in the Outlander miniseries) and Roger Moore, who was then in his 80s but didn't look it. I thought it was a well-done drama of its type, with a romantic thread; it looks at the tragedy and folly that's part of life, but retains its optimism in the face of those and has some good messages.

message 50: by Werner (new)

Werner | 2116 comments Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) is generally thought of as a "martial arts movie," and it is that, but it's much deeper psychologically and richer thematically than the usual run of such movies (as well as having considerably higher production values). Made in China (the DVD version has an option for dubbed English), it's an adaptation of the fourth novel in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy by 20th-century Chinese novelist Wang Dulu. (I don't know if any of the books have been translated into English; but if and when they are, I want to read them!)

Last summer, I picked up a used copy of this on DVD, and watched it for the first time last week. It brings the physical setting and culture of 18th-century China to vivid life, and boasts wonderful cinematography (for which it received one of its four Academy Awards); the plotting is complex and serious, with nothing predictable about it. The main characters are very well developed and nuanced, with complex interrelationships and believable conflicts on various levels, and the cast (headed by Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh) portrays them wonderfully.

Martial arts action is central to the story here, mostly with edged weapons (and the main characters are supposedly trained in the "mind over matter" mental disciplines of a fictional sect, which allow them feats of jumping and balance that would normally be impossible). But it's not a gore-fest; there's actually relatively little killing, and the relationships and choices of the characters are as much or more the focus as their fighting ability. It offers serious life lessons and social messages (often at odds with traditional Chinese ideas.) Personally, I was very impressed with it!

Here's a link for more information: .

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