101 in 1001 update: Watch one new movie every other week

101 in 1001 challenge 72) Watch one new movie every other week

I don’t have cable TV and I watch just a few TV series online. Since TV series end in May and don’t start back until September, I’ve got a three-month window in the summer where I can find a little time to watch movies (and catch up on my 101 in 1001 challenge). I saw movies that made me cry, laugh, yawn and gag. I won’t list everything I saw but I’d like to highlight some of the best (and worst). If you have any movie recommendations, I’m all ears!

Invictus movieInvictus
The VERY BEST movie I watched so far this year. Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mendela during his first year as President of South Africa. The movie showcases Mendela’s efforts on reconciliation (the key word) across the country. Using the mediocre South African rugby team as a platform for his ideology, he aims to make the team successful in time for the Rugby World Cup. This is a true story of courage, hope and conviction. Nelson Mendela is one of my favorite heroes and I’m glad I now know this little part of his history. The title of the movie comes from the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. Mendela said he read it very often during his 23 years of imprisonment to give him the strength to go on. You’ve probably heard the last two lines most often:
“I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

The Descendants movieThe Descendants
This movie can appear quite depressing at first but it’s hard to be cheery when you deal with brain trauma and life support issues. George Clooney is a husband facing his wife’s end of life decisions and trying to be a father for his girls he hasn’t been close to in years. To lighten up the mood, there are some very, very funny moments in, and the ending is bittersweet but full of hope. If you saw this movie, I’d love to hear your impression of it.

Coco before Chanel movieCoco Avant Chanel (Coco Before Chanel)
Although I’m French, I didn’t know much about Coco Chanel’s early life before I watched this movie. Now I can see how she became such a strong, fascinating woman. Her mother died when she was very young and her father abandoned Coco (originally Gabrielle) and her sister at an orphanage in their early teens. Yet she managed to become the most successful French businesswoman in history. Audrey Tautou does a great job at portraying Chanel too.

Green Lantern movieGreen Lantern
Besides enjoying the Batman movies with Christian Bale, I’m not a fan of superhero movies. I usually find them too dark or too serious when it comes to portraying grown men wearing funny costumes. That’s exactly why I really liked Green Lantern. It is light, fun and funny. And I think that’s why the superhero movie fans didn’t like it. Ryan Reynolds is such a smart ass in this role. Imagine him trying to guess how to turn on the power of the green lantern by guessing he should yell “To infinity and beyond!” at it. Now that’s my type of superhero movies!

Puss in boots moviePuss In Boots
This is now one of my kids’ favorite movies and I see why. Although I didn’t like the Shrek movies much, which were funnier for grown-ups than little kids (mine got bored), this movie is A LOT better. It’s full of adventure, suspense, humor, and twists and surprises, and you get to learn about each character pretty well. It’s definitely one of those movies you can watch over and over and enjoy every time.

And now, here are a few movies I wish I didn’t watch because I can’t get back those few hours of my life.

Bridesmaids movieBridesmaids
I have no idea why this movie had so much success at the box office. People said it was the female version of The Hangover, which wasn’t that great in the first place. But this movie is worse, a lot worse. Unless you enjoy watching gross bathroom humor for two hours. The main character was so pathetic, I wanted to flush her head down the toilet by the end. Or flush my head, I’m not sure. If it weren’t for the brilliant Melissa McCarthy stealing the show, I would have barfed from yawning too much.

Inception movieInception
If you’re smart, you know this movie was crap. If you think you’re smart, you probably loved it. Again, I have no idea why so many people loved this movie. I’ll give a lot of credit to the special effects. Tey were excellent and blew my mind away. But there was no story to support them. Nothing made sense, with the writers trying to make things appear more complicated to make you believe it was a smart movie. And to enjoy this movie, you have to believe you can invade people’s dreams to steal their secrets. I have a good imagination but this was a joke. Whatever happened to blackmail? If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t feel guilty about skipping it.

As a final note, I wanted to say I finally started watching the first season of the TV series Grimm and I’m hooked! I originally thought it was about the real Grimm brothers but the story actually takes place in present times, with a twist. Monroe is my new favorite TV character. He really has the best lines. This series actually reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where not every bad guy was bad and my favorite character was Spike (the most sarcastic vampire ever!). If you’re a fan, I want to hear all about it (no spoilers, please). If you haven’t watched it, give it a try. NBC still has all the Season 1 episodes available online.

13 responses to “101 in 1001 update: Watch one new movie every other week

  1. Watch a new movie every other week? Now that’s a challenge that would be a piece of cake for me. I love going to movies. It is my favorite short escape. I, too, loved The Descendants. So much depth and realism to it and such fantastic acting. And I also loved Puss in Boots. Antonio Banderas was made for that role. And finally, glad to see I’m not the only one who didn’t care too much for Inception. I thought Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio was better.

    But alas, I do enjoy potty humor, and I liked Bridesmaids. I also loved the movie Wanderlust which recently came out on DVD. It’s raunchy, but Paul Rudd reduced me to tears, especially in a naughty seen where he talks to himself in the mirror. That’s not a spoiler in case you want to see it. But if you don’t like raunch, I wouldn’t recommend it. But I will see pretty much anything with Paul Rudd in it, so I watched it twice. :)

    Fun post!

    • I meant to say Paul Rudd reduced me to tears from laughing so hard; not because the movie was sad. Which it isn’t. :)

    • Oh, I just watched Shutter Island and I really liked it. I just can’t understand why the boss in Inception would hire DiCaprio’s character when you know how messed he really is and how fast he could ruin the plan. It just made no sense. And now that I see your comment, I forgot to mention Beginners on my list, which you recommended and I enjoyed watching, even though it was a little depressing.

      After Bridesmaids, I think I’ve had my share of raunch humor, so I’ll stay away from it for a while. It’s hard to find smart American comedies, but they’re there if you look hard enough. I recently rewatched The Proposal and it’s just hilarious every time.

      • I also recently watched “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” with Ewan McGregor (he was in Beginnings) and Emily Blunt. It’s a sweet, low key film, but I really liked it. Kind of a pleasant movie like Miss Potter (with Renee Zellweger), which I also really liked. Different story lines, of course, but they both just made me feel good and sweet afterwards. No raunch there. :)

      • Oh, I want to see that movie (and skip the book) but they don’t have it at my library. I think I have to look for it out of the circuit. I don’t have Netflix so it can make finding less popular movies a little harder.

      • I rented “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” from a Redbox, and I bought the “Miss Potter” DVD, because I wanted to take it with me when I visited my mother to have her see it as well. It’s worth tracking it down. In fact, I should watch that again. Was really fun to see a woman take on the publishing world way back when. And she did it in such a low-key fashion.

      • I think Miss Potter is waiting for me at the library. I heard it was really good so I’m looking forward to it.

  2. Thanks for some great suggestions and honest reviews, Milka! We don’t have cable either…and only watch a few shows here and there…but we do have streaming Netflix (the cheaper plan) and so we can see 1000’s of movies and TV series and BBC Masterpiece Theater, etc…I LOVE popcorn and reward myself several times a week with a big bowl of airpopped popcorn and a good movie…and put my feet up for an hour or two for a well-deserved rest. :) :)

    • My boys are the ones who ask for popcorn once in a blue moon. They’ll ask to watch a movie and suddenly they’ll scream, let’s have some popcorn! This reminds me, I’ve got to buy some more because I’m almost out. Sorry about the “honest” reviews, but I don’t have a lot of time to watch movies, so they have to be good!

  3. You’re really rocketing through this challenge. I still have around 50 to watch on my challenge so I’m really interested in your reviews. The Coco one and Invictus sound good. And I’m sure the kids would be up for Puss in Boots.

    So thank you!

  4. For the most part, I agree with you:

    Invictus ~ TERRIFIC
    Inception ~ TERRIBLE
    Descendents ~ INTERESTING
    Bridesmaids ~ ACK!
    Puss in Boots ~ I liked SHREK much better.

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