Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Victoria and Abdul

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

After a taking a walk and practicing yoga, Lorene and I decided to go to the movies. We looked up the theaters close to our flat and looked at what was playing. Thank you Google Maps and the internet for making this so easy. We found two theaters within walking distance and settled on seeing Victoria and Abdul.

At the box office, the ticket seller told us there were two ticket prices; 100 rupes and 200 rupes. The 200 rupe tickets were further from the screen and it turns out these assigned seats were cushy, soft, wide and reclining. It was more comfortable than being at home in my Lazy Boy and far more soft and cushy than anything I have been on in weeks.

Before the movie started the Indian flag came on the screen and the words “Please stand for the national anthem” flashed across the screen. About halfway through the movie stopped, lights went on and there was about a five minute intermission. Looked like just one of the 15-20 of us in the theater went to get popcorn.

It was a fun movie to see while *IN* India. The opening shot is of Abdul with the Taj Mahal in the back ground. Early in the movie he tells the Queen about the history of the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort which we just learned a few weeks ago from our Gate 1 Travel tour guide.

Recent Movies

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Watched two movies on DVD last night and that got me thinking of the movies I’ve seen lately. Movies that make me think and spark conversation are ones I like the best.

1. Up in the Air – Saw this on my birthday with friends and we all liked it. Had a few issues to discuss – honesty, job/career choices, and choices we make as far as relationships and jobs.

2. Valentine’s Day – Saw this on Valentine’s Day. Full of all different kids of love: long term, new, child/parent, crush, affair, and the love of friendship.

3. Edge of Darkness – High body count and severe acts of violence. Mel Gibson plays a father in pursuit of his daughter’s killer. I’m a bit tired of this rogue/vigilante justice plot … and not that fond of Mel Gibson.

4. Sex in the City – This movie, to quote one of my coworkers, is “Dorky”. I couldn’t agree more. It was way too long, way too stupid, and I can’t believe I watched the whole thing. That’s two and a half hours of my life I won’t get back.

5. Diggers – I think the film maker thought “if the whole cast smokes and uses the f-word that’s a film“. Only 90 minutes long, this movie pretends to explore the “a tight-knit group of friends, who try to maintain their small-town way of life in the face of enormous changes in 1970s Long Island.” I would add “by smoking cigarettes, abusing drugs and alcohol and only using profanity to yell at each other.” Thumbs down.

6. The Dead Girl – The story of a murder from the perspective of ancillary people associated with The Dead Girl. Actually, maybe this is better described as snippets of the lives of the people associated with The Dead Girl. We see a bit of the life (and the struggles) of The Stranger, The Sister, The Wife, The Mother, and finally, The Dead Girl.


Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Over the Memorial Day weekend we watched a couple of movies. Both were, I thought, good enough to recommend.

Red Eye – Has a female hero. There are a few ridiculous laugh out loud parts – but part of watching a movie is suspending belief.

Tell No One – It’s in French so you have to work at it (reading the subtitles). The story is complicated and kept me interested to see how it all fit together at the end.

Michael Moore in Ann Arbor

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Michael Moore spoke Thursday at the Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor. Originally part of the Art and Design (A & D) Distinguish Speaker series sponsored by Penny Stamps, it also became the world premiere of his new movie, “Slacker Uprising”.

To see the schedule for this year’s lecture series go here:

At times, Moore was funny, other times he was angry, and at other times he cracked himself up (and a good number of us missed the joke – either sports related or policically related). His message is definitely to oust Bush from office and to keep McCain from occupying the oval office. He had a lot of negative things to say about Bush/McCain, the US past, and, at least in the first 50 minutes, nothing to say about Obama. I had a commitment that evening and couldn’t stay until the end. Maybe he was getting to that … although, it was unclear what his point was, other than political. He didn’t talk about art, his movies, or even the movie that was to show at 8 PM after his talk.

The crowd is often heavy on the U of M student side at the A&D lectures. I think some of them are required to be there for class credit and others come as part of some sort of art passport project. I was surprised Moore didn’t gear his talk directly to the 20 something crowd – it seems like his movie is geared towards that. Or, again, maybe he did after I left. It seemed like a good number of the students I could see from my vantage point were more interested in the incoming/outgoing text messages on their phones than what was happening right in front of them.

From what little I know about his movie, I think he’s spoken to the college age demographic group before. “Slacker Uprising” looks like (from the trailer) a series of his talks on college campuses or to groups of 20-somethings. You can get a free download of the entire movie at this coming week. He’s giving it away free. At least check out the trailer and see what you think.

Thumbs down

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

I tried watching “I’m Not There” last night and was bored. I just didn’t get it. I quit and went to bed.

Thumbs Up

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Thumbs up for Juno. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen a good movie. Everything I watch on DVD lately is a ‘thumbs down’ so it was nice to watch something that was witty and well done. I liked all the characters, or at least thought they were well played, and that the movie didn’t cop out at the end with some totally unrealistic ‘Hollywood-Happy-Ending’. Thumbs up.

Thumbs Down

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Ugh. Thumbs down for I Am Legend. It had me for the first 55 minutes. The beginning intrigued me. I wanted to know more. Then, I just wanted to know how much time there was until the end. I was so disappointed. Thumbs down.

Jesus Camp

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Jesus Camp follows several young children in the Evangelical church as well as Becky Fischer, pastor and camp leader. Kids, and it seems, families attend a summer camp where the kids will get their daily dose of evangelical Christianity. Through interviews with Fischer, the children, specifically Rachel, Tory and others, Jesus Camp illustrates the un-nerving and scary  beliefs, teachings and activities of this group of Evangelical faithful.

This is a scary film on several levels. This film shows some of the activities inside the camp – kids in ‘church’ crying and preaching. One clip after another we see children driven to tears. The message the kids get is certainly far from “fair and balanced”. Not once did other beliefs come up. In fact, Becky Fischer is certain that her way, the Evangelical way, is THE right way. The interviews with her show her single minded conviction and that in itself is scary. There is a mighty number of Evangelical Christians that have voting power.
This is a must see for any and every parent sending their kid to Bible Camp or Jesus Camp. And for anyone in America who votes. It’s well worth the 90 minute investment.

The Prestige – Thumbs Up

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”.”

I really liked The Prestige. It twists and turns up until the very last minute of the film. This is a pay-attention-to-every-detail kind of movie. And I like that kind of film – one that makes you think about the whole movie afterwards, putting the pieces together to make sense of it.

The Good Shepherd – Thumbs Down

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

With a run time close to three hours, The Good Shepherd doesn’t win any awards from me. Watching it last night was a test of my patience. Either I just didn’t get it, they didn’t tell the story clearly enough, or, perhaps it was all those code words the agents were using. I didn’t get the translation manual. There were several parts completely unexplained – I didn’t know who was responsible for what and why.

Maybe that’s the point. A lot of backhanded things being done for some unknown reason by a lot of unlikable characters. Save your three hours for something else!