Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Move Mania Part II-Reviews

This summer I've watched a lot of movies on DVD. Well, actually I watched the movies after they were transferred from DVD to Stewart's iPad so I could watch them on the way back from BlogHer earlier this month. Here are reviews of some of them.

Date Night

Filled with non-stop laughs and outrageous situations, Date Night (released August 10, 2010 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) follows Steve Carell and Tina Fey as a sensible, loving couple with two kids and a house in suburban New Jersey. Their typical date nights include a run-of-the-mill evening with little to no romance, but one night they decide to reignite the spark by going to Manhattan's hottest new restaurant---without a reservation. I really wish I watched this film in the theater. It's one I could see would be hilarious to see when you're in a crowded theater filled with couples on dates. The scenes with Marky Mark, I mean Mark Wahlberg, walking around shirtless would have been funny with the women in the audience ooing and ahhing. I really enjoyed watching the FOSTERS! (you'll get the punctuation when you see the movie) run around New York City, even though a lot of the situations couldn't happen in real life. It is a parody so even though it goes over the top, there is a hint of truth to so many of the scenes that you can't help but laugh if you've ever lived in or visited Manhattan. The restaurant that is so full of itself that it thinks it's doing you a favor by letting you eat there--been there done that. I could also relate to a lot of the references to the old married couple without much time or energy for romance, because that's generally any couple's life with multiple kids under five years old. If you are looking for a fun movie with enough genuine emotion to make it worth your time, check out Date Night soon.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Based on the best-selling illustrated novel by Jeff Kinney, the family comedy Diary of a Wimpy Kid (released August 3, 2010 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) chronicles the adventures of wisecracking pre-teen Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), who must somehow survive the scariest time of anyone's life...middle school. Convinced it's the "dumbest idea ever invested." Greg considers junior high school a place rigged with hundreds of social landmines, not the least of which are wedgies, swirlies, bullies, lunchtime banishment of the cafeteria floor and festering piece of cheese with nuclear cooties that he must overcome to become popular. His diary or "journal" chronicles his thoughts, tales of family trails and tribulations and (would be schoolyard triumphs. I thought it would be interesting if I had an actual middle school age boy review this movie, so I asked my friend's son Caleb (age 9) if he would like to guest post on my blog. Without further ado, here is Caleb's internet writing debut:

After having read the whole series, I watched the movie of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Overall I liked the movie more than I disliked it.
I liked the Cheese Touch scenes because we still play it at school. I enjoyed Greg and Rowley as Safety Patrol members because they looked cool in the suits. A funny part was when Patty Farrell was having an apple fight in the Wizard of Oz play with Greg and the other "trees."
I'd like to say more but, on to the unliked! I didn't like the woods on the Halloween scene because it creeped me out. Ms. Irvine, aka the alien, was a bad scene because the sky and the sound effects had little detail. "Bikeball," as I like to call it was the wrong scene. Rowley broke his leg, not his arm. He broke his leg in the book, and the arm in the movie.
Well, that's my report on Diary of a Wimpy Kid! I would give the movie a three stars out of five. Thanks for reading this!

Letters to God

Letters to God (released August 10, 2010 by Possibility Pictures and Vivendi Entertainment) is the heartfelt and inspiring story of what happens when one boy’s journey touches the lives of his family, friends and community.  An intimate, moving and often funny story, the film follows the path of Tyler, a young child with a terminal illness, who through his battle becomes a warrior for hope and a champion to everyone around him.  Surrounded by a loving family and community, the young boy takes comfort in prayers written as letters to God.  These letters find their way to a conflicted postman who is at a crossroads in his life, searching for meaning.  Featuring moving performances from Robyn Lively, Jeffrey S.S. Johnson, Tanner Maguire, Bailee Madison, Michael Bolten and Ralph Waite, the film is a stirring “tribute to faith, hope, and love through the eyes of a child” (TBN). Letters to God received the highest Dove Approval Rating and an endorsement from the Parent Television Council.

What really drew me into the film was the fact that it was based on a true story. Tyler's real life father wrote the screenplay after Tyler passed away. It is a fictionalized version of his life, since the real version is a bit depressing with someone stealing money out of Tyler's cancer fund. The acting and dialogue at times verged on cloyingly sentimental but because you know that it is driven by something that actually happened, it's understandable. At the end of this film I was crying buckets, tears would not stop streaming down my face, which is a real problem when you are a six-hour flight with no tissues and the captain has directed the crew not to answer service calls due to turbulence. The message of hope this film conveys is definitely worthwhile. It made me think how grateful I needed to be that God has blessed me with two healthy boys. Any parent who has nearly been driven insane by their kids' antics should watch this film to realize how good they have it that their kids are alive.

I did not receive compensation for this post. I received DVD copies to facilitate my review.

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