Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#129 He Goes to the Movies

Hubby and I came up with a new tradition for our little family of two last year.  Any holiday that Hubby has off of work, we go to the movies.  This wouldn't work based on my days off, since teachers get every holiday known to man, and then some.  It's been fun so far, although we cheated and didn't go on Easter, but I'll explain.

The idea sparked when we were at the movies last summer on the Fourth of July.  We loved how empty the theater was and how, at least at our theater, the tickets were just a pinch cheaper than normal.

In the past six months, I have seen more movies in the theater than in the last three years.  I'm not too great about reviewing movies, that's usually my older brother Justin's strong suit, but here's a rundown of the movies I've seen on stock market closed holidays from November, 2013 to April, 2014.

Thanksgiving Day: Frozen

I'm a bit of a Hunger Games geek and was planning to see Catching Fire on Thanksgiving as soon as I knew that was around the time it would be released.  Then my brother, Jonathan, invited himself to sleep over on Thanksgiving night.  I tried to interest him in going to see Catching Fire by putting on Hunger Games after the parade on Thanksgiving morning.  When twenty minutes into it Jonathan was falling asleep, I decided I couldn't make him suffer through Catching Fire. even if he had interrupted my original plans.

"Let it Go" might have been the award winning song that Idina Menzel rocked with her easily recognizable pipes, but to me, the unrealized star song was "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?".  I may or may not have wiped a tear or two...or three thousand...away when I heard it the first and second time.  If you have a sibling, if you love them, if you miss them--you'll relate with this song.

The story was better than most of the old school Disney movies where romantic love conquers all.  In this case, good conquers all.

Black Friday: Catching Fire

My one complaint against The Hunger Games and Catching Fire is that those who haven't read the books are several steps ahead of any other viewers.  Hubby went to see both with me, despite his complete lack of interest, and had several questions.  Thank goodness he isn't like me and had the patience to save his questions for the end.

Aside from the required reading to have an in-depth understanding of some of the elements of the nation of Panem, I find both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire to be fantastic cinematic reproductions of Suzanne Collins' trilogy.  The arena created for the Quarter Quell (75th Hunger Games) is matched accordingly to the book, and the costumes of those living in the Capitol, as in the first movie, are provocative and have a captivating quality about them.  The actors portray their characters well, however, I personally think they could have found a handsomer Finnick.  That, of course, might just be preference.    

Christmas Day: The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

Let's start with the biggest let down about this movie: I didn't realize there was a planned THIRD part.  When we went to see the movie, I was a few chapters away from finishing reading The Hobbit for the first time.  When I realized that the producers had planned a third part, I was upset.  I might have even shrieked a little in the theater.  Especially considering that the final part that remains could easily be settled in less than an hour of film.

While I love the actors, and find the graphics and other cinematic elements that I have no vocabulary for to be fantastic, it irks me to no end when a movie changes parts of a book drastically.  Drastically, as in, adding love stories that never occurred, adding events and actions that wouldn't make sense, and misplacing dialogue and actions to different days and times.  It took a lot of willpower for me to not whisper to Hubby ever single difference I spotted.

New Year's Day: American Hustle

We needed a movie for New Year's Day.  Hubby and I were both interested in American Hustle, but normally we wouldn't go see such a movie in theaters.  But because of our new holiday ritual, we saw it.  Like The Hobbit, there were incredible actors in this film, although Hollywood played up Jennifer Lawrence's role a bit too much.  Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper both amaze me with their ability to play such diversified roles.  Christian Bale isn't one of my favorites, but he played his part well.  Yet even with a great cast, this movie was really not worth my time.  It is much to do about nothing.  A long story to get to an almost ordinary ending.

Easter Break: Divergent

Hubby and I took an impromptu trip to Cape May during my first two days off of work for Easter break.  We were spending the day in Cape May and by late afternoon had made reservations to stay the night.  We had the clothes on our back, our car, and my purse...and I couldn't have been happier.  After shopping, walking up and down the beach, and eating at our favorite restaurant "Oyster Bay", we decided to liven up our night even more by going to a late showing of Divergent.

My friend, Danielle, got me hooked on the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.  Like Hunger Games, it is set in a dystopian society where citizens live in one of five factions based on a test they take upon turning sixteen.  While the structure of the society and its citizens was intriguing, I found the writing to be consistently poor.  This translated into the film, which by the last thirty minutes had me actually rolling my eyes in boredom.  The book, at least, kept me captivated and wanting to stick it out until the end.    

Hubby had the same complaint as he had for The Hunger Games.  If you hadn't read the books, the factions didn't make any sense.  It was difficult to understand which faction upheld what value, and which people belonged to which faction.

I felt the acting was as poorly played as the characters were written, and was horrified that they left out essential details to the story line.  I left thinking that Divergent would have worked much better as an HBO series.

Easter Break: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Easter Day is a tough holiday to go to the movies, especially when Easter Monday has been taken away from you due to snow days.  On Easter, we have church, then lunch with my family, and then dinner with Hubby's family.  The earliest movie we would be able to get to would be 8:00 pm.  Since we had already gone to see Divergent and had plans to see Captain America the next day with friends, we decided our Easter movie would get a technicality.   

I love Marvel movies.  I never read a single cartoon growing up, but I find the movies fascinating.  Although my favorite so far has been Iron Man the other Marvel characters have all kept my intrigue.

Captain America: The First Avenger had me a little confused, what with Captain America ending up being frozen for seventy years in the end.  My first question in these comic-book-made-movies is always, "Did this really happen in the cartoon?"  The Winter Solider was packed with so much action and excitement it didn't feel like a movie pushing two hours.  For a movie based on an super human like Captain America, I thought there was an odd abundance of car chase/crash scenes.  I'm not complaining though, because they certainly had me on the edge of my seat.

The only thing that I couldn't suspend reality for was to imagine that the woman Steve Rodgers had loved over seventy years ago could have still been alive, even if she was on her deathbed.

I'd like to imagine that I will not wait six months until I review another movie, but the truth is, it will probably be November before I update you on my ventures in the cinematic world again.

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