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!
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.”
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.