May was busy in a way that made movie watching difficult. Finding chunks of time for cinematic entertainment amidst the last weeks of college and my subsequent graduation, numerous baseball games, clinical site visits, school concerts, and a camping trip over Memorial Day weekend proved next to impossible. If a nasty virus hadn’t high-jacked Ace’s body and knocked him flat for about a week and if heavy rain hadn’t sent us home early from the camping expedition, I probably wouldn’t have watched a single movie. As it turned out, I was able to squeeze in three flicks. And they were all viewed with at least one of my kiddos – a definite bonus. Be forewarned, however. My reviews might be shaded rosier than reality because of the happy environment in which I experienced the films. (I love being with my kids.)
- The Adventures of Tintin (2011) starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig with Steven Spielberg directing. Watching Tintin began as an act of desperation. After four days of “house arrest” due a relentless fever and debilitating headache, Ace was on the edge of insanity. After popping some Tylenol, his headache subsided enough to make screen viewing bearable. We took a look at the Comcast On Demand offerings and quickly settled on Tintin, even though we knew nothing about it (meaning no pre-determined expectations). WOW! Take one brave and resourceful hero, add a clever pup, a hapless sea-captain, and some really evil bad guys. Mix in a little high seas adventure, a few pirates, three treasure maps and a lost pile of gold and jewels. Make the action non-stop and wrap it all up in gorgeous CGI animation, and suddenly, a sick day becomes pretty darn interesting. A very fun movie! (4/5 stars)
- We Bought A Zoo (2011) starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church. A day after we viewed Tintin, cabin fever had infected Lovey and me as well as Ace. We Bought a Zoo was our drug of choice to relieve the boredom. Supposedly, the movie is based on a true story. A family with no experience purchases a run-down zoo in need of some tender loving care. With the help of the zany staff, they get the animal park up and running and in the process grow closer as a family. There’s nothing earth-shattering here. It’s a just solid, heart warming tale that satisfied us in our moment of need. When the movie was finished, we all decided to put a visit to the real zoo (Dartmoor Zoological Park in southwest England) on our bucket lists. I guess the movie served its real purpose then, didn’t it? (3.5/5 stars)
- The Avengers (2012) starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow. Because severe thunderstorms ruined our Memorial holiday camping trip, we decided to see The Avengers as compensation for missing our ghost tour in Gettysburg. We went all out, traveling the extra miles to the theater with the comfy, high-backed, partially reclining seats and paying the extra dough to watch the action in 3D. The Avengers is the epitome of a summer blockbuster – very appealing
superegossuperheroes struggling to overcomes their significant differences to conquer a powerful demigod and his legions of repulsive aliens who are trying to destroy earth. And all is accomplished with a great deal of and understated humor. I wanted to clap and sheer when the movie was finished. We’ve seen the individual movies for each Avenger, so it was fun to see them all working together. Which Avenger do I like the best? I couldn’t possibly choose. Captain American is so clean-cut, honorable, and muscular. Iron Man’s intelligence and orneriness are an irresistible combination. And Thor? He’s a god, for crying out loud – and a compassionate, benevolent one at that. What isn’t to like? I prefer Bruce Banner when he isn’t green, but as the Hulk he was instrumental in defeating the bad guys. Nope, I won’t be choosing. I loved them all. Bring on another helping. One serving wasn’t enough. (4.5/5 stars)
I’ve watched 22 movies since the beginning of the year. That’s not too bad. I’m only three movies behind where I would have liked to be at the end of May. What I said about this summer concerning books holds true for movies as well. I think I’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch up and even get ahead. Buddy is still pestering about seeing The Hunger Games. Snow White and the Huntsman is on everyone’s radar (even Hubby’s). And One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is lying on the desk beside me as I type. I think summer is going to be a culture consumption bonanza.