A Day Late and a Dollar Short Movie Reviews: The Avengers

I am well aware that every other human being on the planet has already seen this movie. Twice. Thanks for pointing it out. I’m a little behind, but does that statement surprise anyone? Yeah, probably not.

Husband and I celebrated our anniversary with a big pizza, a long walk, and a movie. I let him pick. Sort of. I did not want to spend my one movie date a year watching Prometheus (Sue me. It looks too much like Avatar, and I didn’t like that one, either. Or Smurfs. I guess I have a thing about blue movies.), so I narrowed it down to three. The other options were Snow White and one I have since forgotten and therefore must not have wanted to watch in the first place. Husband chose The Avengers.

Let the record show that I’ve never been one for super heroes. Not since the rabies scare when Wonder Woman let me down, and I landed in the emergency room. There’s a blog in there somewhere, but the pain is just too real right now. Wonder Woman’s complete absence from The Avengers along with a recommendation from my daughter, who also eschews hero movies, was enough to get me in line to buy a ticket. It was a good choice.

There’s enough action to make it exciting, but not so much blood that I was totally grossed out. I have low tolerance for graphic violence. I don’t like to pay $10 to sit with my eyes covered through half the film. The special effects were great without being over-the-top. I have little patience with “Hey, look what we can do!” CGI. Transformers, I’m talking to you, here.My dog could have kicked Big Bad Guy’s (see how little of an impression the movie made on me? I can’t remember the villain-bot’s name!) tail in the time that it took for him to completely transform. *yawn* 

Anyway, back to our show. The dialog in The Avengers is pretty funny without being totally cheesy, and best of all, I didn’t have to see any of the tie-in movies in order to understand what was going on. Score! I’m a fan now, though, and I’m catching up as fast as the library can get me the others. I’ve got Hulk in my hot little hands, but at the moment he’s competing with the Olympics for my attention. (I now invite you to imagine Hulk competing in the Olympics. Wasn’t that fun?) And then I have to get on the waiting list for Iron Man 2. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

I loved the movie. But I still have some questions.

Why does anyone think that a coffee shop with glass walls is a good place to hide from alien invaders who are clearly hell-bent for tesseract, as though they  become suddenly invisible with a cup of Pike’s Place in their hands. Maybe they do. I don’t know. I gave up coffee, and I’m as bitter about it as day old grinds.

Why do alien invaders always head for New York City? Is it the whole Ellis Island thing? Granted there’s a huge concentration of human-kind for those whose ultimate goal is world domination, but there’s no place to land, New Mexico is prettier, and face it, it’s not that much of a coup. Those people are hiding in coffee shops, so they weren’t that hard to out-think in the first place.

Why were there only three fat people in the whole movie? We’re a bigger chunk (yeah, I get it) of the population than that, and the movie is in New York City. There are bakeries on every corner, and yet most of the people in the movie including the extras have clearly never eaten at one. Mmm-hmmm.

Whatever. Those are minor things, and I can get over them. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the sequel next summer. Will you?

 

I don’t understand him, but I heart him.

 

My Bone To Pick, Volume I

 

I like watching movies with my kids. Who wouldn’t? A cold, rainy afternoon simply begs to be spent under the covers watching a treasured classic. As I dust off the old favorites, I’m finding I get a lot of questions. And some of them are a little hard to answer. I am at a loss as to how I should explain the following:

***Spoiler Alert***

The Road to El Dorado – This is an older DreamWorks production (2000AD) with stylized animation and a fabulous Hans Zimmer soundtrack. A star-studded cast, it’s well-acted and often funny. It’s rated PG. For human sacrifice. Thumbs up, DreamWorks.

Toy Story III – A continuation of the story of Buzz and Woody. Except this time, they’re abandoned by their beloved Andy and are eventually taken to an incinerator where the characters say goodbye to one another in  anticipation their fiery end. Sweet dreams, pumpkin.

Thomas the Tank Engine – The stories are charming. The creepy trains with fixed, frozen expressions who move only their eyes are not. It’s like Chucky on wheels. I have nightmares.

Horton Hears a Who – Adorable CGI adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale. That taught Squish the word “boob.’ Thank you for that. While I am fully aware that contextually, the word is used to mean “idiot,” his Sunday School teacher is not. Plus it made me cry. I’m not sure how to explain to Squish that I am tearful because the Whos are making a last, desperate attempt to let the world know of their presence before they are boiled in oil.

Finding Nemo/Bambi/ The Fox and the Hound/ Up/Cinderella – What does Disney have against mommies? Why are they killed off within the first ten minutes? The Red Shirts on Star Trek last  longer than Disney mothers. And I don’t know of any Red Shirt that was eaten by a barracuda. Disney writers, work out your mother-issues with a psychoanalyst, not a story line.

Disney’s Snow White – Grimm’s fairy tales were just that. Grim. But Disney animates it and adds adorable animals, wonderful music, a slapstick troupe of dwarves. And a huntsman assigned to cut out Snow White’s heart. If Disney can create friendly woodland creatures, why couldn’t they smooth over that tricky bit of plot? Maybe have the huntsman chase down Snow White and ground her from the Wii?

Lady and the Tramp – Precious tale of the unlikely friendship of two dogs from different sides of the track. And backyard breeding. Lady has Tramp’s puppies? Way to promote responsible pet ownership, Disney! Get the Lady spayed, and for heaven’s sake, neuter that Tramp. He might not be such a Tramp after the ole chop-chop. And what’s with the boy pups looking like dad, while the petite little girls look just like their moms? What is Disney trying to teach our children about genetics? Stop, already!

If this were a Disney film, I'd have about five minutes left to live.

 

Getting Our Groove Back

Yes. It's an oscar. Maybe not the kind you're thinking of, but I couldn't find a license-free image of the statuette. I'm learning to work with what I have.

 

I love movies. There was a time in my life when I not only had heard of every Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, I had actually seen most of them. The kids are getting older now, and I’m determined to get that movie-buff groove back. On a whim, I decided that 2011 would be my year. My goal was to see every Best Picture nominee from the year. I’m here to review for you the ones that I have seen to date.

Three things you should know about me:

1) I embarrass easily. I prefer movies with no potty mouth and little to no skin, and certainly no dirty parts. And graphic violence makes me hide under the blanket. Movies about nuns or puppies tend to get a thumbs up for me. A movie about nuns with puppies are sheer bliss.

2) I do not read the blurb on movies or books. I don’t like spoilers.

3) There may be spoilers in this post. Please proceed with caution.

And now, without further ado, a review of the Oscar nominees my husband and I have seen so far.

Toy Story III – We’ve seen all the others. Aww. Andy’s all grown up! Wait! Mom, you moron! You just threw out Buzz and the gang! What’s wrong with you? OPEN THE BAG before you take it to the trash! Sorry. I got carried away. Okay, cute bear! No, wait! Evil bear! Psychological warfare! Are they going to melt and die?  Can toys die? Where are my dollies? I need to get them out of storage and tell them I love them forever and always.

The King’s Speech– Beautiful story, wonderfully acted. It always makes me feel good to see Bellatrix LeStrange being nice to people. I wonder if the Dark Lord told her to. Standing ovation. That was great!

Inception –  Whoa. What just happened? Wait. It’s happening again. Is it real? Am I real? Good, fun stuff. Popcorn was a little too salty.

The Social Network – Mark Zuckerberg is a real turd and Facebook is trying to take over the world. And then we watched the movie.

The Kids Are Alright – Hmm. Interesting. No, wait! Did you have to do that? Ugh, no! My eyes! MY EYES! What are they doing? No, really. I don’t get it.  Make up your mind! Him or her? And put your clothes back on! The kids may be alright, but one of their moms is kind of messed up.

We still have a few on our list that we haven’t seen, but I’m not sure I’m going to.

127 Hours seems too long for me.

True Grit is a cowboy movie, and I’ve already seen one of those. Woody nearly got killed.

Winter’s Bone sounds a little violent. Or dirty. Or cold.

Black Swan is next on the list. I think it’s about ballerinas, so it can’t be bad, right?