Category Archives: Terence Howard

Movie Opinions Vary

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner and a movie

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During my favorite summer of 2012, I enjoyed meeting men in parks,

coffee and ice cream shops. All part of my online dating experiences

that I would not trade a moment of! But my most favorite form of

dating is dinner and a movie! It is not recommended as a first or

second date, since the second half of the date you are in the dark

with a person, of the opposite sex, who is nearly a stranger!

This is not always the best way to build rapport in the beginning of

a relationship. There are sometimes where you may feel awkward,

for example, if the movie is rather risque and embarassing. Or if it

is extremely juvenile and raunchy in its humor, but you cannot help

bursting out laughing, possibly louder than your date, even spraying

Diet Coke out of your nose or mouth due to the sudden impact of

a well placed zany joke!

Although, I did try this before; movies on a first and second date,

recently, with my summer six weeks of dating the younger man. Our

most fun times were those meals and movies we shared. The least

fun times, awkward moments were the way the Indians’ game went

“down.” And the other more intimate disaster, that ended that dating

situtation altogether.

When the whole scenario was suggested again,  by the “new Mark,” I

could not resist saying, “Yes! Let’s do this!” (Ever ignoring past history

of mistakes!)

Mark and I had a pleasant time on our first “coffee date” that turned

into a Greek Sunday dinner at Opa’s Restaurant. Then, a few nights

later, I heard from him again. He called to say that he was going to

be busy over this past weekend (the first weekend in October) on

both Friday and Saturday. He asked, would I mind having another

Sunday dinner and this time, follow up with a movie?

We still are in the very new form of dating, not a lot of information

has been covered. I am a “rambler” and he is reticent. I have been

trying the questioning approach but then after awhile, I worry that

he may feel I am prying.

So, then, my mouth chews food, drinks dainty sips of my beverage

and listens as the restaurant buzzes around us with many strands

of conversation.

We chose “1808,” a nicer local restaurant, located across the street

from the Strand movie theatre. Very convenient to eat and leave his

car parked in same place, to walk to see the movie after dinner.

I ordered my “usual” pecan crusted chicken salad, this sometimes

varies, as almond crusted chicken salad. I am now doubting which

one I had…

Hmm. Must depend on the chef’s choice of nuts? Or if the kitchen

has only one kind, that is the way it is listed on the daily menu?

Anyway, this large, but reasonably priced salad, comes with a

delicious maple vinaigrette. Usually, people order “bread service”

but I did not even suggest it. Mark ordered the fish of the day. For

the life of me, not sure what it was… it was the special of the day, too.

I think my brain gets frozen or overloaded on dates. My nerves are a

little shot and frayed… Don’t give me a “test” because I would fail!

We chatted about his busy weekend. I shared that I had seen a

movie with my daughter, had borrowed seven from the library and

had seen most of them. The movies I chose were a “mixed bag,”

including comedies and serious ones, too.

The funny movie that I enjoyed most was, “Dark Shadows.” I have a

fondness for Johnny Depp, also the actor in the t.v. show, “Elementary”

is in this movie as the husband to Michelle Pfeiffer.

One of the more serious movies I shared with my daughter, that was

heartwarming, was “People Like Us.” It was about a man who was not

close to his recently deceased father who had been a famous musician.

The mother, wife of the famous musician is played by Michelle Pfeiffer,

the young man is played by Chris Pine and there is a woman, played by

Elizabeth Banks, whose son is left money by the musician. Chris Pine’s

character is requested by his father in his will to pursue and find the

woman with her son. It is a tale of humanity and redemption. We

enjoyed it, along with a beautiful song, called, “Dotted Line” sung by

Liz Phair, as the movie ends, credits roll.

I imparted these thoughts to Mark, since I like to analyse movies.

He was a good listener. I then asked what are some of his favorite

movies?

I was hoping to let him talk for awhile, since our food had arrived

and I am a slow salad eater. I have been known to eat for an hour,

when consuming a large salad! This broiled chicken with nuts was

delicious and I really wanted to savor it.

We had under an hour to get to the movie, at this point in time.

We had chosen the only adult movie that seemed like good actors

were in, along with a serious theme. I guess we could not go to

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” huh?

Mark had suggested going to the movie called, “Prisoners.” The

actors in it were Maria Bello, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal,

Viola Davis and Terence Howard.

(Terence Howard is a favorite of mine, since the movie, “Crash.”

It was nice to see Viola Davis, since she was in “The Help.”)

Mark shared that he likes the Star Trek movies, with Chris Pine in

William Shatner’s role as Captain Kirk. He likes some of the same

British movies, such as “The Constant Gardener” and also, knew

my youngest daughter’s and my favorite Christmas movie, “Love

Actually.” He is not a fan of “Bridget Jones’ Diary” nor “Notting

Hill” and surprisingly, for a serious man, did not ever see “Pride

and Prejudice.” I mentioned that Donald Sutherland is excellent

as the father and that its a family story that includes romance,

history and interesting plot twists, too.

I asked what other movies in the science fiction genre did he enjoy?

Mark informed me that the reason he liked the newer “Star Trek”

movies it was because it was a remake of the t.v. series more than

the fact it was sci-fy. I asked did he like the Sherlock Holmes two

movies with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law in them? The plot has

some WWI references and Germany in the second of the movies. He

had not seen them. I was again thinking seriously and trying to pull

some comments out of him. I asked his had he seen “War Horse” or

the “Die Hard” newest movie. Neither have been seen by him. I was

being met by silence. But he had said he liked movies, over the cell

phone. I came up with another way to find out his likes in movies.

I asked him what was the last movie he had seen?

He could not remember. I dropped the subject.

We talked about his children that are in their twenties and that

was nice to hear that they had a family dinner, they also do like

to play games. They did not play games this weekend, but do

like cards and board games. One is already in his career and his

daughter attends a state college in Ohio. His ex-wife lives in an

older neighborhood here in Delaware and he has bought a smaller

house in a more newer neighborhood. I told him that my last home

had been in Lexington Glen, brief synopsis of where ex was and

how we had decided to sell the house, etc.

The “Prisoners” movie is sad, regrettably. I was not prepared for the

emotions of it, there is a very disgusting, horrific part where one of

the protagonists that you really like, is not nice at all. I was dismayed.

During the whole movie, I would have liked an arm around me. It was

intense and disturbing. I would not recommend watching it with

someone you don’t know nor really paying money to see it. There are

so many other movies out there, better choices. I, unfortunately, had

not read even one review!

We had both agreed ahead about the time and the movie, itself. No

one could be “blamed” or upset at the choice. We left the theatre in

silence, I was not even wanting to discuss the ending. He did ask me

which direction I thought the director could have gone to let us know

how to feel in the end.

I don’t want to sound discouraged. I do think we enjoyed our meal and

the movie has an  “open-ending.” This is what I call a movie that makes

you decide how it will end. You could go either way, a happy ending,

but it seems unlikely. The tone seemed to reflect an unhappy ending.

That would just put the ‘nail in the coffin.’

Mark walked me home and we gave each other a hug. He will call soon,

later in the week, he said.

I did not write anything for a couple days, it is Tuesday after all. I was

not sure if it was the movie, the prying conversation out of a very nice

but quiet man, or what was a little “off.”

We did not cover religion, politics nor sex. We stayed on safe ground

and relatively pleasant but dry conversation. I am smiling with my

best foot forward still in place.

Here was my best summary of the second date with the chemist

from PPG named Mark.

Dinner and a movie, plus a hug.