Saturday, March 29, 2014

Noah meets Transformers surprises movie-goers

Movie Title:   Noah
PG-13, 2 hours 19 minutes

Grade:  D  -   for Don't waste your hard-earned money on this piece of garbage

In a Nutshell:   

Oh, Hollywood.  Why?  Has anyone in Hollywood actually read the Bible ? You have the ability to make movie magic, but you really messed up this one.  Who knew there were rock people/Transformers in the Noah story?  I guess I missed that part when I read the scriptures. 

Movie critics are singing praises for this film for being an epic and fresh take on an old tale, but the rest of us, especially those who actually know the story, are seriously disappointed and even a bit alarmed.  At one point during the movie, I leaned over to my husband and said “I really hate this movie.”  In fact, it made me angry.

Hopeful Christians and Jews are flocking to the theater, only to be shocked at the bizarre depiction of Noah as an environmentalist whose sole purpose was to protect “the innocents” (animals) so that God could have justice by destroying man and the wicked world.  The trailer for this unbiblical fantasy film looked so promising and certainly didn’t reveal the strange elements that are making movie-goers shake their heads in frustration.  The recent release of Son of God makes the religious community that eagerly wants to support “good” films declare “two strikes in a row.” 

In a recent interview, writer/director Darren Aronofsky was accused of taking some liberties with the story.  Self-proclaimed atheist, Aronofsky, responded “You cast Russell Crowe as Noah and you’re taking some liberties!”  But it goes much deeper than actor choice.  Aronofsky completely changed the story.  By the way, Aronofsky is the director of the award-winning Black Swan which earned over $300 million.  His creative interpretation of the Bible story comes out of innovative art, not faith. Oh yeah, and clever marketing to make more millions.

Uplifting theme:  The Creator is a god of mercy, not justice alone.

Things I liked:
  • I thought the touching scene where Noah assures Ila (the lovely Emma Watson) that she belonged in their family was really sweet.  He said to her “Please don’t forget you’re a precious, precious girl.”  Of course, later he wanted to kill her and her babies…Noah is portrayed as a lunatic, crazed on bringing God’s justice to the world and to his family, something I definitely did not like.  I have a much different view of what a prophet of God acts like.  Rage, violence, short-sightedness, drunkedness, and murderer are not included in the list of qualities I expect from one who walks with God.
  • Who doesn’t adore Anthony Hopkins?  The audience giggled every time he talked about his craving for berries.  His supernatural ability to touch Shem’s forward and make him instantly fall asleep was odd, as well as a skill I wish I had when my children were younger.
  • The film was made in Iceland and New York with beautiful vistas.
  • I thought the glowing strip of fabric that each prophet wrapped around his arm and passed down to his son was interesting because it looked like a snake skin, providing a reminder of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and a constant reminder to obey the commandments of God.
  • I liked it when the first water drop fell from the sky on to Noah’s blue/green eye, making it look like a flood around the planet earth.
  • The rainbow at the very end was very subtle, but a gentle reminder that God will never flood the earth again.
  • I liked the interesting animal that gets killed by Cain’s descendants at the beginning of the movie.  Apparently, that creature’s kind never made it on to the ark.  (wink)
  • The Bible doesn’t tell us much about Noah’s wife, but can you imagine how much manure she must have shoveled? She had to have been an extremely hard worker, supportive wife, and loving mother to put up with everything they must have gone through during their epic trek.  Jennifer Connelly does a terrific job and is a mother of three sons in real life.  I thought it was funny that we don’t know her name, so the writer’s named her “Naameh” (pronounced Nawmay)…kinda looks like the word “name”, right? Lame.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Soooo many things were not scripturally correct.  I started making a list of all of the inaccuracies, but finally gave up because the list was too long. If you’d like to find out what really happened in the story, you can start by reading Genesis chapters 6 to 9.  Of course, we don’t have a lot of the details, so some of the ideas that were included in the movie are thought-provoking.  For example, how do you keep that many animals from eating each other for over a year in tight quarters?  I liked their idea of creating some kind of incense that would put the creatures into a form of hibernation. And no, Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t appear and say he’s @#$! sick and tired of all the snakes on the $#!#$! ark.  Ha ha
  • Noah was quick to recognize dreams and miracles from God in the beginning, yet couldn’t see the tender mercies of God during the remainder of the movie.  Lame again.  Naameh asks Noah “Did God speak to you?” and he answers “I think so.”  I envision prophets having a much closer relationship with God than the kind depicted in this film where Emo-Noah is so uncertain and seems to stumble upon a vague directive from the Creator of the universe after his grandfather makes him drink some kind of hallucinogen.  More lame.
  • I believe the scriptures are true and so I believe the story of Noah.  God literally baptized the earth with water and His protective hand was over the righteous family of Noah the entire time.  I hated all of the crazy turmoil inside the ark that included Ham’s desire for revenge, an evil stowaway, and how everyone wanted to kill Noah.  I picture something infinitely more peaceful as God lovingly cared for the prophet’s family every step of the way.
  • Noah’s sons were married, so all of the drama about barren Ila and Noah not allowing his other sons to bring girls on the ark was inane and annoying.
  • I thought Naameh’s home pregnancy kit was ridiculous.
  • The rock people (The Watchers) would have been cool in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers , but they were laughable in this one. 
  • It was hard to feel badly for Ham’s girlfriend when they only knew each other for about two minutes.  Their first date was hanging out in a ditch with a bunch of corpses.  Classic.  I would have liked to see more character development so we could have had time to care about her.
  • I was kind of surprised that more time wasn’t spend on the disaster movie nature of the film, showing us more detail on what was going on outside the ark as the flood waters arrived.  Then, my D grade for this movie could have a double meaning for Disaster.
  • The liberal slant about the descendants of Cain who industrialized the world and raped it of its natural resources reminded me of being preached at in Ferngully: The Last Rainforest .
  • Did anyone even notice Nick Nolte in the film? 
  • This film could have been so awesome if  Darren Aronofsky had actually wanted to tell the story of Noah.  He didn't and it wasn't.  The end.

Inspiring lines:
  • “Is this the end of everything?”  - Ila   “The beginning of everything.”   - Noah
  • Tubal Cain, the wicked king barks “I have men at my back and you stand alone to defy me?”  I loved it when Noah confidently declares “I am not alone.”
  • Ham defiantly yells to his father “Do you want me to be a child?”  Noah challenges him “I’m asking you to be a man and do what needs to be done.”
  • “I see my sons.  All they desire is love.  Isn’t that all we need to be good?”  - Naameh
  • “You chose mercy.  You chose love.”  - Ila says to Noah
  • “He chose you because you saw the wickedness of man and knew you wouldn’t look away.  But there is goodness too.”  - Ila says to Noah about why God chose him to prepare the ark.  She provides a lot of insightful lessons in the movie and wraps up the theme quite nicely in the end.  Yay Hermione Granger!
  • “May you walk along side the Creator in righteousness.”  - Noah’s father gives him this counsel at the beginning of the movie.  It’s great advice for all of us, don’t you think?
  • “Strength comes from the Creator.”  - Noah
Did you know?
  • Countries like Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain notified Paramount Pictures that they will not release this film.
  • Director Darren Aronofsky jokes that they ran out of money, so they weren’t able to film a whole lot of the fish and creatures under the waters.

Tips for parents:  Children may become confused about what the real story of Noah is because of so many nonsensical elements in this film.  Be prepared for violence, blood, infanticide, some discussion of sex.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Delivery Man now out on DVD

Delivery Man came out on the Big Screen several months ago, but today it finally hits the DVD market on your local store shelves.  If you missed it, now's your chance to catch a heart-warming movie.

Movie Title:  Delivery Man
PG-13, 1 hour 43 minutes
Grade:  B+

In a Nutshell:  A feel-good movie by Ken Scott, this film is based on the true story of a sperm donor who discovers he has fathered 533 kids.  Less than a year before this one hit theaters, Ken Scott made a similar French-Canadian film entitled Starbuck which hardly anyone in the U.S. saw, but was a hit with our northern neighbors.  Cue Vince Vaughn for box office magic.  There is a sweet and goofy charm to both movies that will leave you smiling.

Uplifting theme: 
  • First of all, having kids really does make you better, as Vince Vaughn’s character David Wozniak says.  The film is not only about children searching for their father, but a father searching for meaning in his life.
  • As the tag line for the movie says: “You’re never quite ready for what life delivers.”  We all have heartaches and joys along the way.  The lesson is to learn from them and become better each day.

Things I liked: 
  • The movie asks some good questions that are worth discussing about adoption, donors, paternity and privacy.  Should adopted children have the right to know who their parents are since they never signed an anonymity clause?  What do YOU think? I'd love to read your comments below!
  • How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Series fans will love seeing Cobie Smulders in the role of Emma.
  • The misty-eyed sentiment is schmaltzy, but it still worked on me.
  • Look at the kids’ expressions right after Vince says David was his lover.
  • The likeable character Vince Vaughn plays has a heart of gold, despite his immature actions.  Thankfully, we get to watch him “grow up” and discover what’s truly important in life.

Things I didn’t like: 
  • Where are all of the mothers of these 533 children? 
  • So many films today treat fathers as invisible or irrelevant, so I must say that it’s nice to see one where fathers truly matter.  And they do.
  • I wouldn’t say this film is a straight out comedy; it’s more amusing than hilarious.

Tips for parents: There is some content that warrants caution for parents of younger children: 1 F-bomb, some other milder profanity, drug use and masturbation are implied, and two men kiss briefly on the lips.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Little Rascals Save the Day goes straight to DVD this week

Grade:  C+
PG, 98 minutes

In a Nutshell:   
This family flick goes straight to DVD release on March 30, 2014.  The Our Gang franchise began in 1922 and my mother was actually named after Darla because her mother thought the Little Rascals were so darn cute. Also known as Hal Roach’s Rascals, the series was the first of its kind to film black and white children actors together.

Little Rascal fans will be pleased to see more mischief, clever inventions and kid shenanigans as they try to raise money to save their grandma’s bakery.  They all call her “Grandma” (Doris Roberts who is surprisingly terrible in this), but I think she’s actually supposed to be Spanky’s relative.   

Teens and some parents will be bored and roll their eyes, but little children and nostalgic grandparents should get a kick out of it.  “And how.”

Uplifting theme:
  • In the wise words of Grandma “A good leader has to be also a good listener, because you can’t just give orders; you have to inspire.”
  • Grandma also said “You have your friends…that’s what’s important.  Not until you all come together do you become something wonderful.”
Things I liked:
  • Alfalfa (Drew Justice), Darla (Eden Wood), and Spanky (Jet Jurgensmeyer) were all adorable.  Sadly, the others were forgettable.
  • I loved Cecil’s smile.  Wait until you see who Cecil is. 
  • I also thought it was cute to put the fish in the rinse cycle.
  • Little kids will get a kick out of the slapstick comedy provided by Sergio (Brian Stepanek)  and Officer Kennedy (Lex Medlin from Heroes the Complete Series Blu Ray ).
Things I didn’t like:
  • This version has the flavor of the 1920’s Rascals we all know and love, but oddly mixes in some modern elements that don’t quite fit, such as Waldo, the child villain, (played by Grant Palmer II) who has an iPod and a kid-sized Hummer.  Other modern cars are seen on the streets next to old-timey buildings, as if the director (Alex Zamm) couldn’t decide in which era he wanted to film. 
  • I liked the 1994 version so much better.
  • Buckwheat is usually one of my favorite characters, but in this version he disappeared into the background without much charm.
  • The comedic talents of French Stewart, Mindy Sterling, and Greg Germann were underutilized.
  • There isn’t much of a plot, but it’s still harmless fun.
Funny lines:
  • “I’m not bossy.  I just tell people what to do.” – Spanky
  •  “We’re older than we look.  Why, I’m almost 9.”  - Spanky
  • “Sounds like a moose trying to sing.” – Porky
  • “What should we have for dessert?” asks Stymie.  “More!” replies Mary Anne.
  • “That’s a lot of cute, little…people.”  - Big Ray
  • “Simmer down, Hot Sauce!” – Spanky
  • “I don’t like him.”  “Me neither.”  Me threether.” – the kids
  • Waldo asks “What kind of girl are you?” and Darla replies “The kind of girl who doesn’t like cheaters…and who has a brown belt in karate.”
  • A German choreographer tries to get Darla and Waldo ready for their talent show performance when he says to them “I want to see a little more ‘I’m a Pre-Teen Idol…worship me!’ and a little less ‘I’m your next President…vote for me.’”
Things to look for:
  • Look at the marquee at the theater in the movie and you’ll notice it advertises a Hal Roach Film Festival.  The MC of the talent show is Leo McCarey (played by Robert Torti), one of the men who worked for Roach and directed many of the Rascals films.
  • Kids will like the style of the rolling credits.  About half-way through, there is a short clip of Waldo’s new tree house.
  • Keep watching until the end of the rolling credits to see Cecil smile again.

Tips for parents:   No bad language, but a tiny bit of rude humor.  Of course, there is no parental guidance and the kids are always free to roam around and get into trouble.  Where ARE their parents?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Divergent movie review

Movie Title:   Divergent

Grade:   B

In a Nutshell:   
This planned trilogy is starting off with mixed reviews, despite its popular book by Veronica Roth.  The Hunger Games and Twilight fans will enjoy another heroine who can kick butt and fight the system while finding time for romance.  Shailene Woodley has been successful in supporting roles, but this is the first time her performance carries an entire film.

I think the ideas are interesting and Director Neil Burger creates a dystopian setting that has holes, yet is still intriguing.

Uplifting theme:   Tris declares “Don’t try to define me.”  The movie is about independent will and finding ourselves.  Jeanine Mathews (Kate Winslet) explains “The system removes the threat of anyone practicing their independent will.  Divergence threatens that system.  It won’t be safe until they’re removed.”  Teens often question where they belong, as if there is only one place that they have to find to be “home.”  This film takes a stab at showing we are multidimensional creatures that need to dance on many floors in order to find balance.

Things I liked:
  • I’d love to play Capture the Flag with that glow-in-the-dark flag.  How about playing Paint Ball with those guns that shoot darts that make you feel like you’ve been really shot?
  • This movie is full of dangerous stunts that make you want to stand in line to try.  For example, I love that gigantic zip-line that goes through the city.  Do you think Universal Studios will build one if this movie does well enough?  I won’t be jumping onto moving trains any time soon though.
  • I thought it was interesting to watch the fears some of the characters had.  Four explains that most people have 10-15 really bad fears.  He has...four.  When Tris can’t run away and her feet move slowly in mud during her “fear evasion” sequence, it reminded me that I had that same recurring dream when I was a little girl.  It’s a terrible feeling to not be able to move forward, whether trying to escape danger or making progress on a goal.
  • I thought it was an interesting concept that when people in the movie were injected with a certain serum that their thoughts could be controlled.  Isn’t that called alcohol? 
  • I love Shailene’s thick, beautiful hair.
  • Cool double infinity mirrors and other special effects.
  • Who doesn’t love Ashey Judd?
  • I’d like a blue jacket with the stylish neckline that Jeanine Mathews wears.

Things I didn’t like:
  • The ending was disappointingly predictable, but I haven’t read the books, so I’m hoping there are more interesting things to come.
  • Many of the characters were one-dimensional.
  • Those in the Dauntless faction run during most of the movie, yet they’re never out of breath.
  • Tris tells Four “I don’t want to go too fast.”  The very next thing you see is her in bed near him.  Huh?

Interesting lines:
  • “My mother says there’s an art to losing yourself.” – Tris
  • Tris sees the fear in Four’s eyes as they climb up and states “You’re afraid of heights.”  He reveals “Everyone is afraid of something.”
  • “Are you even human?” – Four says to Tris as he watches her climb a tower with ease.
  • “This isn’t real.”  What an empowering sentence you can say to yourself when you have fear.  Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do.  One of my favorite quotes by Franklin D. Roosevelt is “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” Later, Tris says “Don’t think.  Just jump.”  I’m wondering if we’ll see that tagline on basketball shoes soon?
  • “I think human nature is the enemy.”  Jeanine Matthews   What a terrible thought.  Human nature is what makes us all fantastically flawed, interesting, and wonderful.
  • “There is a certain beauty in the resistance, but it’s a beauty we can’t afford.” – Jeanine Matthews
  • In Divergent , kids who leave the nest aren’t allowed to go back.  Thankfully, in our world they can.  In this troubled economy, we’re seeing an increase in “Boomerang Kids” as college graduates return home to save money while trying to pay back student loans.  How wonderful that families can pull together and embrace returning kids to get support.  On another level, it’s a great thing that we CAN reinvent ourselves and not be pigeon-holed into one thing in our lives.
  • “We train soldiers, not rebels.” – Eric
  • “Trust the test; it will tell you where you belong.” – Tori  

Tips for parents:  The language is clean, but there are a lot of dangerous stunts you may need to remind your kids NOT to try.  An interesting dinner conversation with your family might be to ask everyone which faction they would want to join if they had to choose.  Check out this fun Infogram MTV made and check out the Harry Potter comparisons.

In case you need to catch up on reading the series...

Muppets Most Wanted Steals Laughs From All Ages

Movie Title:  Muppets Most Wanted
PG, 1 hour 52 minutes

Grade:   A-

In a Nutshell:   If you love the adorable Muppets franchise, then here’s another installment of fuzzy fun, filled with clever gags, infectious songs, slapstick comedy, and celebrity cameos that will make audiences of all ages laugh out loud.  There is a Muppet for everyone’s taste and seeing them all together is always a treat.  You’ll even get to see some baby Muppets in this one, sure to evoke an “aww!” from the girl you’re sitting next to in the theater.

Funny Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell sing and dance as main characters in the movie, as well as Tina Fey who plays Nadya, the head guard at the Russian Gulog in Siberia.  Add to that list of surprising triple threats Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, and Jermaine Clement!  (Triple threats in their case refers to “singer, dancer, murderer.)

The versatile voice talents of Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Matt Vogel, Bill Barretta, and David Rudman bring all of the lovable Muppets to life.  The fun flick is written and directed by James Bobin.

Right now there is a cute animated short featuring Monsters University “Party Central” that plays right before the Muppets Most Wanted. 

Uplifting theme:  Constantine points out in an ironic sneer that the audience will “learn a heartwarming lesson.”  We’re reminded in this movie to appreciate one another and not take our loved ones for granted.

Cameos that are so fast you might miss them:

Things I liked:
  • The opening scene is a clever song that pokes fun at itself and Hollywood sequels, almost as an apology for what you’re about to watch.
  • The Muppets traipse all over Europe, featuring the National Treasure Museum in Berlin, the Prado Museum in Madrid, the Tower of London in England (home of the Crown Jewels and good manners), and the Irish National Bank in Dublin, Ireland.
  • I thought it was hilarious when Nadya licks her prisoners in the cold Gulog and then sticks them on a frozen wall to torture them. 
  • I loved “The Big House” musical number in the Gulog.  Tina Fey Fantastic.  Listen carefully for the voice that comes out of the solitary confinement box.

Things I didn’t like:
  • It didn’t have quite enough of the feel-good, tear-jerk moments that made the earlier Muppet movies so magical.
  • I always wonder how many advertising dollars are spent on product placement, like when Fozzy the Bear eats a Subway sandwich.

Funny lines:
  • “You know what helps at a time like this?  A walk in the fog in a deserted canal.” – Dominic
  • “It’s not easy being mean.” – Constantine, the “most dangerous frog”
  • “I did not know it’s a crime to steal the show.” – Miss Piggy
  • “I have Netflix account with search words Prison Escape.  I have seen every prison escape movie on earth…even ones in space.”  - Nadya 
  • “I’m sure Kermit’s not planning some comedy heist bit.”  Fozzy    Walter agrees “Yeah, those never work.”
  • Sam, the CIA agent, asks the French Interpol agent “Did you see anything?”  Poking fun at the relaxing lifestyle of the French, the Interpol agent (Ty Burrell) says “Nothing.  It’s my lunch hour.  It lasts 6 hours.”  Later he says “Time for my annual 8 week vacation.”
  • “As the saying goes: The show must continue in a timely fashion.” - Constantine

Funny song lines:
  • “Everybody knows that sequels are never quite as good…we’re waiting for Tom Hanks to make Toy Story number 4.”
  • “All we need is a half-decent plot…” 
  • “The lovers, the dreamers, and cheese…” - Constantine

Did you know?
  • “Evilin froggen” is how you say Evil Frog in German
  • Miss Piggy’s little dog is named FooFoo
  • The Muppets get a 5 “Jamon Serrano” review when they perform in Spain.  Jamon Serrano, Sliced Ham - 8 oz is the most famous ham in Spain.  The Muppets perform like hams on stage…appropriate, don’t you think?  I lived in Spain twice and ate a lot of it!

Things to look for:
  • Pretty red China plates in the restaurant scene
  • Beaker’s unexpected, exploding cupcake
  • Piggy’s cute hairdo in Berlin
  • Flamingos dancing the Macarena instead of the Flamenco in Spain
  • The entire audience in the theater in Spain wears either red or black
  • The funky black hats that the police wear in Spain are really what they wear!
  • I love Ricky Gervais’ Burberry coat that he wears in Dublin
  • The banner hanging at the Gulog show says “Annual Gulog Review. Don’t riot.” 
  • Hen who wears a fancy hat at the British wedding
  • Wall-E is in the audience at the British wedding
  • Stay seated for the cute fireworks and gags while the credits are rolling.
  • Giant pink Muppet in the train station and at the wedding
  • Signed picture of Celine Deon in Piggy’s dressing room
  • The crown made out of forks in the Prison King wears in the Gulog
  •  Walter has quite a wardrobe of knitted shirts in the movie.  Check out the watch he wears in one of the scenes.   Yes, of COURSE, you can buy one just like it.

Tips for parents:  This is a “safe” movie for all ages to enjoy.  Yay.

By the way, the train the Muppets ride on says “Robert Stevenot”….does anyone know why?

If you missed the 6th sequel in 2011 with Jason Segel, you'll enjoy that one too!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Veronica Mars fans celebrate KickStarter success

Movie Title:   Veronica Mars
PG-13, 1 hour 48 minutes

Grade:  B+

In a Nutshell:   

Who says you can’t go home? Thanks to Kickstarter, fans of the Veronica Mars TV show finally get to watch a new, extended “episode” of their favorite fast-talking teen-detective, all grown up. The first couple of minutes of the movie sum up the entire Veronica Mars series so newbies can try to keep up.  It even shows screenshots from the original show that ended 7 years ago.  Fans are LOVING the movie.

Snarky Veronica (the talented Kristen Bell who no one knew could sing so beautifully until Frozen came out) is soon to graduate from Stanford law school and begin a “grown up lawyering job”, creating a new life after leaving Neptune, California.  Veronica’s ex-boyfriend, Logan (Jason Dohring), is now an officer and a gentleman, but in a heap of trouble, drawing Neptune’s “very own Angela Lansbury” back to her home town to help him solve a crime.  Upon seeing him in uniform, Veronica tells him “You should only wear this.  Ever.”  Later he sees her dressed in her old high school attire and says the same to her.

Fans will love this movie.  Those being introduced to the characters for the first time will catch on quickly and enjoy the “who dunnit.”

Uplifting theme:   
  • Keep a taser in your purse.  (wink)
  • Sometimes we leave to find ourselves, only to realize we were in the right place all along.

Things I liked:
  • Kudos to Kristen Bell for being featured in two movies in only a few months.
  • Tina Majorino’s new grown-up do looks good on her.
  • I wish I could spit out clever one-liners as fast as everyone in the movie.

Things I didn’t like:
  • That’s pretty convenient that the murder happens around Veronica’s 10 year high school reunion so we can see the old gang again.  About attending the event, Veronica moaned “I circled that date in my calendar ten years ago and vowed to skip it.”  Interestingly enough, everyone wore black at my ten year reunion too.  I think the whole evolution of high school reunions is fascinating.  I missed my 5 year reunion and heard that everyone just got drunk and trashed the hotel.  At my 10 year reunion, some of the social lines began to blur and everyone was trying to prove to everyone else that they were successful.  At my 20th reunion, everyone talked with everyone and began really opening up, sharing their failures and lessons learned in life.  At my 25th reunion, it was a big love-fest and celebration of life with everyone hugging and kissing a lot.  I hate to admit I’m getting this old, but at my last reunion (30 years), everyone got drunk and trashed the hotel again.  Ha ha
  • I knew for certain that I was missing out on some inside fan jokes since I had only seen a few episodes of the original TV series on UPN years ago.
  • Who dates a guy named Piz?

Things to look for:
  • Logan’s beach house ON the beach rocks.
  • Movie reference to The Accused in the bar scene on Karaoke night.
  • Perez Hilton web site
  • The Jean Genie clip with James Franco.  James Franco is the new Kevin Bacon; we’re all only 6 people away from him.
  • It was fun to see Eden Sher taking a break from her role as Sue Heck, the geeky teenager with braces on the TV sitcom The Middle.  In Veronica Mars, she plays James Franco’s assistant
  • Keep watching after the credit rolls for more footage of James Franco trying to put on jeans…but wait, there’s even more at the very end.

Funny lines:
  • “New me?  People say I’m a marshmallow.” – Veronica
  • When being stopped by the local police, Veronica’s dad explains: “It’s the Neptune way…protecting and serving the highest bidder.”
  • “Wow.  Two beers?  That’s how long it takes for you to get surely?”  - Veronica talking to black friend
  • “Stay out of the brownies, unless you want to go on a long, strange trip.” – Dick  The attorney says “A little free advice: murder suspect should avoid proximity to narcotics.”   Dick says “Medicine Man, I got my card…chronic depression.  You wouldn’t think, huh?  Mmmm…I can feel my self worth coming back right now.”
  • The attorney says “Facts are important.  Yes, but lucky for us, they’re not the end-all, be all.”  Classic attorney, right?
  • “What do you expect?  They’re Canadians.” – Logan
  • “It’s a one-time deal.  A farewell tour, if you will.  Then again, did you ever hear the one about the junkie who was satisfied with just one more taste of the good stuff?  Neither have I.” – Veronica
  • “What’s the largest capacity memory stick we own?” asks Veronica.  Her dad quips “Aw, you wrote that on my first Father’s Day card.
  • “Deputy Sacks, kudos for rocking the stash til it came back in style” snarks Veronica to a 70’s looking cop in Neptune.”
  • “I really don’t think you should trust her.  She seems kind of skeezy.” – Andrea Estella
  • “As it turns out, I am too legit to quit.”  - Veronica
  • “I appreciate you keeping it PG-13 for me.” – Logan
  • “Come back to me.”  “Always.”  - (No spoiler alert)  Fans will appreciate this scene in a deeper way than newbies.

Tips for parents:  Talk & clip of a sex tape, profanity, 1 F-bomb, murder, shootings, inappropriate sex talk.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Single Moms Club movie review

Movie Title:   Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club

Grade:   C

In a Nutshell:   It’s a fact: women need each other, whether single or married.  We just do.  The women in the audience I joined laughed and loved this chick flick.  Were they single moms?  I don’t know, but they seemed happy to escape their own lives and celebrate the common and crazy threads that tie women together. 

Unfortunately, the acting was not very good and the plot was terribly predictable, but there were some powerful truths and gentle words of encouragement along the way for women who struggle with life in its many forms.

Uplifting theme: 
  • No matter our different backgrounds, we all battle with problems and need one another to survive and thrive.
  • There is nothing stronger than a mother’s love for her children.

Things I liked:
  • Terry Crews is over-the-top funny in every movie.  The sign on his truck cracked me up: “Body & Booty by Branson.”
  • I always enjoy outtakes at the end of a movie, especially comedies.

Things I didn’t like:
  • It’s both narcissistic and brilliant brand marketing that Tyler Perry puts his name in all of his movies.
  • In most of the scenes, all of the moms wore super high heels.  As if.
  • Zulay Henao is sexy and sultry, belonging more in a porn movie than one about moms.  Did Tyler Perry create this movie for moms or the men who would be dragged along to the theater with them?
  • Struggling single moms don’t usually have such nice houses.  I’m just sayin…
  • All of the single moms end up with a man.  Is that the message Tyler Perry really wants to tell women at the end of the day?
  •  It felt a bit more like a sitcom than an actual feature film, and I won’t be surprised if we end up seeing a variation of this on the small screen next season.  

Funny lines:
  • Looking at her son’s homework, she asks “Did you do your homework?  Is that right?”  - Lytia  (Cocoa Brown)
  • There were actually quite a few funny lines, but many of them were too inappropriate to list here.

Inspiring lines:
  • Hillary asks Lytia “How do you do it?  How do you be a single mom?”  Lytia answers “You can’t think about it or it’s overwhelming.  You take one snotty nose and one dirty diaper at a time.”
  • “My grandmother used to say a woman’s purse is a reflection of her life.” – May.  It’s kind of true, but certainly doesn’t paint the whole picture.  It’s a glimpse of a woman’s priorities on-the-go.
  • “Divorced 4 years.  We’re good people, just not good together.” – T.K.
Best line in the entire movie:
  • “You don’t have to be good at starting over.  You just have to be good at letting go.” - Peter

Tips for parents:   Discussion about a daughter’s period, inappropriate sexual innuendos.