It all comes down to trusting the reviewer, I feel. So, I am going to tell you about
several movies I was discouraged about, disinterested in or would not recommend
to a friend. I used to really like getting Siskel and Ebert’s annual movie review books.
My father knew how I liked to study and read about current movies, along with
looking up older ones, too. This was a guaranteed Christmas book for several years
in a row, along with a few others from my parents. I still have “S & E’s” final review
compilation from the last year they were both alive together.
I wish I could ask them what they think about, “Gone Girl.”
I went to see the movie last night that had been given ‘rave reviews.’ Which is why
I started this post using the suggestion either you have come to know me and would
believe me. Or you may wish to still try one of these movies. They are not all from
2014, but no endings or many surprises will be revealed. I feel knowing some of the
facts still won’t necessitate my having to give you a *Spoiler Alert.*
My youngest daughter and I went to see the movie, “Gone Girl.” We paid an exorbitant
amount of $9.75 each for this. I could not wait until it came to our local Strand Theatre
which is showing two family shows and one that I am not familiar with. On the “CBS
Sunday Morning Show,” yesterday they featured the author, Gillian Flynn, along with
Ben Affleck and the director, David Fincher. The author emphasized she would still
continue writing but felt this was her ‘shining moment.’ She was enthusiastic with her
having her book on the Best Seller List since 2012. Ms. Flynn was pleased with the
excellent director and outstanding cast following her script/screenplay. It was exciting
to listen to her confidence. It is always nice when someone’s life falls into place. It gives
every writer hope for their own being well-received. She had other books do well, but
this movie is something she felt possibly would be her “best” book in her entire life.
I started getting ‘pumped up’ for later that evening.
I left the library and waited until my youngest daughter called, since she had gone
into Martini’s Restaurant to work. Knowing if it were ‘slow,’ she would be ‘cut from
the floor.’ (Server slang for being sent home with lack of tables to wait on.)
We met in the middle, she driving from east side of Columbus, my heading south
from Delaware. I expected the snacks to be priced high, so I put a candy bar and a
bag of Smart Pop, Cheddar Cheese flavored, in my purse. I NEVER do this to the
local movie theater. I don’t feel any twinges of conscience for this action at the Rave
Cineplex. We did not make the matinee show, which would have been only $5.
We started chattering, as we ‘hit the ladies’ room’ before entering the theater. Then we
watched a slew of advertisements for television shows on the big screen. We saw several
good promotions for Diet Coke and movies that were coming soon. We did not see any
trailers for the next two on our October list, (“The Judge” and “The Best of Me.”)
I will say that as we left “Gone Girl,” someone told us it was exactly like the book. If you
loved or liked the book, go ahead and watch this movie. If you did not read the book nor
know the plot, I recommend you stop, look it up, and think about how you want to feel
after you leave the theater. We both, (Felicia is 28 years old and I am 58), felt it was
depressing, had no redeeming value nor were any of the three main characters ones
we cared about. Yes, that includes Ben Affleck! We liked the character of the female
police officer in charge of the investigation of the missing woman, we also got teary-
eyed, because there is a very nice sister of Ben Affleck’s character.
We compared this to the overwhelmingly sad and horrible feelings we felt when we
finished the movie, “Prisoners.” Again, that movie had great actors and actresses, Hugh
Jackman and Terrence Howard included. If you enjoyed that particular movie, then
you may enjoy this one. (But I will wonder if you would please tell us WHY you liked it?
in the comments’ section.)
Another movie we had watched, so excited because of the leading male actors and the
(again) positive reviews was Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
We were so thankful we picked that out of the Redbox, which cost only $1 plus tax.
We watched the beginning, really liking the characters, including the inept one, Jonah
Hill, who is usually funny. By the middle of this long, seedy, and terrible movie with
excessive (but not amusing) debauchery happening, we resorted to fast-forwarding
it to the end. You really would not be exaggerating if you said you needed to take a
shower afterwards. We hoped to find some redeeming value. If you know the true story
behind this one, you will know there is a slightly ‘good’ ending.
It was NOTHING like the pleasant plot with some amoral acts, but mainly fun pranks
while major laws were being broken in, “Catch Me If You Can.” In “The Wolf of Wall Street”
movie, laws are broken, which isn’t what upset us. My youngest daughter and I hated the
fact Leonardo DiCaprio’s character claims, while narrating scenes, when he saw his future
wife, he said he fell in love with her and would treasure her always. His character and
Jonah Hill’s character both went overboard on drugs and prostitutes. (All of this was
included in the advertisements or movie trailers, but we had hoped it would be BEFORE
he got married and had a child with the woman he claimed was ‘the love of his life.’)
I am not going to be a fan who recommends, “Saving Mr. Banks,” either. The title is
misleading, the age group I would suggest seeing this is far higher than 10-12 year
olds. It is like “Bambi,” with its ‘out of the blue’ death and attempted suicide scenes.
It is a forced movie, with wonderful acting by Emma Thompson playing P.L. Travers
and Tom Hanks, as Walt Disney. The scenes of P.L. Travers’ childhood are immensely
tragic. You wonder what kept her going through her life, motivating her to write such
great books. My favorite character is the chauffeur played by Paul Giamatti. I think my
fellow blogger, “Belsbror,” mentioned this months ago, taking his daughter to it and
getting up to leave before it ended.
I watched the awful “August: Osage County” movie on Friday, having been on a long
library ‘wait list.’ Again, like “Saving Mr. Banks” and “The Wolf on Wall Street,” this
was nominated for Academy Awards for Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, along with
“Best Picture of the Year.” If you enjoy Tennessee Williams’ plays and movies, some
which have been entertaining but very dramatic and highly emotional, then you are
in for a ‘treat.’ This was the style of the writing by Tracy Letts, who won a Pulitzer
Prize in 2008 for the book. Otherwise, I guess I had hoped it would be like a country
edition of “On Golden Pond.” That movie had dramatic performances but I actually
liked a couple of the crotchety characters. I did not relate or like ANY of the main
characters, especially disliked Meryl Streep’s character, who has cancer. I felt the
audience should at least feel sympathetic towards her (but I didn’t). My favorite
character was the unassuming Native American, played by Missy Upham, who is
hired to be the family’s housekeeper. In a mean comment, during the course of
the movie, Meryl Streep’s character calls her an “Injun.”
I may have to tell you in this conclusion, that I am not a fan of the “Twilight” movies,
along with the “Hunger Games” books or movies. My good friend, Diane S. and I
got up and left during the premiere of the first “Hunger Games.” She had a daughter,
at the time, ‘stuck’ in Africa for almost 4 years. She had been trying to adopt a boy
who she had fallen in love with as a baby, when she was a volunteer there. When the
12 year old African American character gets shot by another young person, in the
first movie, Diane burst into tears. I have never seen it nor the other ones since then.
It is a shame, since I do like the main character’s actress, Jennifer Lawrence. I would
highly recommend you see her in the complex but funny movie, “Silver Linings Playlist.”
or the dark and realistic movie she is in called, “Winter’s Bone.” Also, she does well in
the Oscar nominated movie, “American Hustle.”
It makes me think of the melancholy song, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” sung by
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in 1972. (More recently performed by the group,
“Simply Red,” in 2009.) You know some of my opinions but we may have to agree
to disagree, on some of my negative reviews of some ‘popular’ movies. If you wish to
give your opinions, I do embrace freedom of speech and do not like censorship.
Please let us know about any or all of the above movies, which I could not find any
redeeming qualities. I am discouraged by this discovery, believe me!