Friday, February 28, 2014

NEBRASKA

Movie:  Nebraska
Time:  1 hour 50 minutes
Jan's Rating:  C+

Jan's Opinion:  I have now seen all the movies I wanted to see that are up for an Academy Award.  There are three that I have no interest in seeing.  My husband and I rented this movie last night and we both agreed it deserved a C+.  Do not know why the movie is up for an Academy Award.  It stars Bruce Dern and June Squibb, who both did a good job acting but not an Oscar-worthy performance.  In the movie, the two of them are married, and getting up in years. He has the beginning of Alzheimer's disease and she nags him to death, wants to put him in a nursing home. He received one of those letters from Publisher's Clearing House telling him he may have won a million dollars, so he wants to go to Nebraska to claim it. He lives in Montana. His son tries to tell him that he hasn't won anything, that they are just trying to sell him magazines, but he insists he won, so his son drives him to Nebraska, thus the rest of the story evolves.  Also, the movie was in black and white, which depicts the time period, but I prefer color, no matter the time period.  My opinion might not be shared with others, but just telling you how my husband and I felt about the movie.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

DALLAS BUYER'S CLUB

Movie:  Dallas Buyer's Club
Jan's Rating:  A
Time:  1 hour 57 minutes

Jan's Opinion:  I didn't have the opportunity to see this movie when it was in the theaters so my husband and I rented it from Time Warner last night.  This is another movie taken from a true story.  Ron Woodroof, played by Matthew McConaughey, is an electrician and rodeo cowboy.  He doesn't live a very clean life.  He is not gay but drinks any kind of alcohol he can get his hands on, does drugs, and has unprotected sex with any woman who is willing. He knows he is ill but ignores it until he ends up in the hospital and the doctor tells him he is HIV Positive.  After cursing out the doctor, he leaves the hospital.  He then takes the diagnosis seriously and reads up on the disease.  When he learns that the United States has a lack of medicines, he goes to Mexico where they introduce him to alternative treatments and he gets better.  He then goes back to the States and starts his own business selling these alternative "vitamins".  Jennifer Garner plays the role of his doctor and agrees with him that the United States is not doing enough.  I'm going to leave you hanging here so I don't spoil the whole movie for you.  Go see it.  It's a little bit dark but the acting is brilliant.  You no doubt heard that Matthew lost 47 lbs. for this role.  He certainly did not look like "Sexiest Man of the Year", which was his title in recent years.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LABOR DAY

Movie:  Labor Day
Jan's Rating:  B+
Time:  1 hour 51 minutes

Jan's Opinion:  My friend Laura and I saw this movie today and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was a little slow in the beginning which is why I gave it a B+ instead of an A, but overall, a very good movie.  Kate Winslet plays a divorced woman who lives with her son in a run-down home on the edge of town.  Her husband left her years ago for his secretary.....gee, imagine that....certainly not an original plot.  I think the son is in 6th grade in the movie, but he looks more like he's 13 years old.  Anyway, he and his mother are in town shopping one day when they meet an escaped convict, played by Josh Brolin, who "convinces" them to take him home with them.  The man has been in prison for a murder he says he did not commit; thus begins a romantic relationship between him and the boy's mother.  There is more involved with the boy's feelings and a surprising ending.  Treat yourself to this movie.  I think you will enjoy it.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

PHILOMENA

Movie:  Philomena
Jan's Rating:  A
Time:  1 hour 38 Minutes

Jan's Opinion:  Yesterday was my sister Judy's 70th birthday so we went to lunch and a movie to celebrate. We saw "Philomena" and we both loved it.  Philomena, played by Judi Dench, was an Irish Catholic and had gotten pregnant out of wedlock when she was a teenager.  She was sent to live with the nuns to have her baby, then had to stay for four years to work off the cost of living and giving birth there.  The nuns sold her baby and she spent years looking for him.  She hired a man played by Steve Coogan to help her find her son and most of the movie is centered around their mission to find her child, now 50 years old.  It was well done and thoroughly enjoyable, so I recommend you see if if you haven't already.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS

Movie:  Captain Phillips
Jan's Rating:  A
Time:  2 hours 15 minutes

Jan's Opinion:  I didn't get a chance to see this movie on the big screen so we watched it at home last night and we both enjoyed it very much.  This was probably Tom Hanks' best acting role ever, especially at the end.  As you probably know, this movie was taken from a true story that happened in 2009 about pirates who took over a cargo-carrying ship.  The pirates had guns, the men on the ship did not have guns.  The pirates were given many chances to take money and leave but they wanted "millions" and that wasn't going to happen.  The Navy brought in the Seals and you don't mess around with those guys.  The head pirate is serving 33 years in a prison in Terra Haute, Indiana, the others were all killed.  The movie kept you on the edge of your seat a few times.  If you haven't seen it, give it a try, I think you'll like it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

BLUE JASMINE

Movie:  Blue Jasmine
Jan's Rating:  C-
Time:  1 Hour 38 Minutes

Jan's Opinion:  I had not planned to see this movie because I am not a fan of Woody Allen (writer and director of this movie) but I do like Cate Blanchett and since she is up for an Academy Award for Best Actress, opposite Meryl Streep, I decided to rent the movie last night to see if I liked it as well as Meryl Streep in August:  Osage County.  I have to tell you, I was disappointed and glad I didn't pay $8 to see the movie.  Cate Blanchett plays the role of  "Jasmine" who is married to "Hal", played by Alec Baldwin.  Well, Alec Baldwin is an investor (a crooked investor) and uses his clients' money to invest to make himself wealthy.  Hal and Jasmine live in a world we can only dream about.  Then Jasmine finds out that Hal has been cheating on her for years, and there is nothing worse than a woman scorned.  She reported him to the FBI and not only did her husband go to prison, but they lost everything they had, then her husband hung himself in his prison cell.  He also lost all her sister's money.  Jasmine has a nervous breakdown, can't cope with being poor, so goes to live with her poor sister.  I won't tell you the rest and ruin it for you.  However, if you read my blog, you know how I hate movies that leave you hanging at the end.  This movie had the worst ending of any movie I have ever seen.  If Woody Allen wanted me to pick my own ending, he should have given me a discount on the movie.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

Movie:  August:  Osage County
Jan's Rating:  A+
Time:  2 hours 10 mins.

Jan's Opinion:  My friend, Laura, and I saw this movie today and we both enjoyed it.  I am a huge fan of Meryl Streep's acting abilities and this movie was no exception.  She was absolutely brilliant.  She seems to be able to take any character and turn herself into that role and make you believe she really is that person (if that makes any sense).  Julia Roberts was excellent in her supporting role as well.  The movie was a bit depressing but had funny places too.  I have seen dysfunctional families before, but this is probably the best example of one.  I don't want to tell you more and ruin it for you, but make sure you see it before it leaves the big screen.