Monday, December 18, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

If you like Spelling Bees, you will like this movie. Although "Akeelah and the Bee" is a little cheesy, it stays just enough unpredictable to keep you interested and rooting for Akeelah. I watched this film on a 15 hour car ride home from Florida and I did thoroughly enjoy the viewing experience. I have to admit that some of the scenes were moving and I may have teared up a little. Emotional confessions aside, it is a film worthy of all the critics praise this year and those kids can spell.

The Upside of Anger

"The Upside of Anger" showcases Kevin Costner in yet another baseball role, but this time he is a retired baseball player that likes the drink a little too much. I loved this movie. It came out a while ago and I remember that it got very little marketing, but this is a great film. It is about a family's struggles after their husband/father leaves them. Joan Allen plays the wife/mother who, having once been a very happy person, is now VERY angry. The movie focuses on her interactions with her four beautiful daughters and their family friend. This movie mad me laugh, sad, and happy all rolled into one and I love that! It's a very realistic portrayal of life without the hideously dark and artistic portrayal that I get so sick of.

The Pursuit of Happyness

"The Pursuit of Happyness" is a decent film with an excellent cast. I did enjoy the film, but felt that it was a little long at a run time of 117 min. The story was touching, but it was really predictable. Without a doubt, the acting was superb and believable with Will Smith playing a man struggling to create a real life for his son. Ever since I saw "Six Degrees of Separation" I knew that Will Smith was an incredible actor and this piece is another example of his ability. While I did enjoy this movie, I will have to recommend it for DVD rental. There's really no need to see it in the theater and I may have liked it more if I had been in the comfort of my own home.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stranger than Fiction

"Stranger than Fiction" is a funny film following a boring and regimented man who works for the IRS. As he performs his daily menial tasks he begins hearing narration of his own life. The film progresses as he attempts to determine who is doing the narration and begins to examine his own life at the same time. Working as an IRS auditor has few perks and some funny scenes ensue as he attempts to perform a job that he begins to realize has very little appeal to him. Will Ferrell's interactions with his fellow castmates is right on and all of the performances are believable and revealing. It's amazing to see the correlation between film and writing and the depth of study into literature and writers is excellent. This film shows an appealing humanity and smart humor that everyone will enjoy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Casino Royale

I have to admit that I have seen every James Bond movie. I used to watch the marathons on TBS during summer vacation when I was in elementary school. (Marathons also watched include...Elvis musicals and Frankie Avalon beach movies.) Casino Royale has changed the texture of the Bond genre. Gone are the tired cliches of the classic James bond movies, we now get to see a little bit into the mind of James Bond (He has a mind?) and begin to understand his motivations. I have to applaud the film makers in picking this particular book as a platform for the new James Bond, Daniel Craig, it allows Bond to start over in film and in person.

I have read the book, and while the film is different, I didn't like it any less. Daniel Craig brings a realness to James Bond that hasn't been seen for a long time. It was great to see all of the cheesiness removed and a physically fit and young guy play the lead! I highly recommend this film to all Bond and non-Bond fans.