New Section for a New Year – Amazing Adaptations!

ImaginaryCreature

Lest anyone get the idea that I’m going to be writing about only GOOD movies here:

Amazing (n.) – causing great wonder or surprise.

Synonyms: surprising, astonishing, blindsiding, dumbfounding, eye-opening, flabbergasting, jarring, jaw-dropping, jolting, shocking, startling, stunning, stupefying

–Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2013

So my plan is to amaze, to stupefy, to dumbfound you with the absolute wonder that is the American media.

Let’s hope we all survive…

First up:   Scents and Sensibility

Anne Hathaway is awesome

les-miserables-review1

If you’ve been under a bridge for the last year, you might not be aware that the long-anticipated (for me, at least), mostly faithful, feature film adaptation of Les Miserables hits theaters this Christmas.

Lately, I’ve been avoiding gossip rags and entertainment news since they tend to SPOIL EVERYTHING, so I didn’t hear the buzz from the premiere until I heard about Ann Hathaway’s visit with Matt Lauer.  Sadly, discussion of Ms. Hathaway’s heartfelt performance as Fantine is not what got my attention.

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Beautiful, Wretched, Magnificent Holiday Movies

It’s that time of the year, folks: the time when ABCFamily, Hallmark, Lifetime, and others devote large swaths of programming time to cheesy holiday movies.

They feature just about every actor you can imagine, picking up some cash during off years.  Neil Patrick Harris and Rob Lowe have done a bunch, including the one they appeared in together.

Oh Clarissa, you can do so much better

If the Jesus isn’t your thing (and it definitely isn’t mine), don’t worry.  Even the options with “Miracle” and “Angel” in the title rarely feature that dude.  He gets a mention sometimes in the ones with dying kids, but otherwise you can weed out the religion with a brief glance at the summaries.

Mostly, they are of the magnificent cheese variety.  Love Actually, while an excellent film on its own, has a lot to answer for.  These clumsy imitations feature mediocre writing, phoned-in acting by big-name cameos, and location fudging that makes ER‘s “Brownline Subway” look like high art.

My holiday confession:  I’m addicted to them.

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10 Cent Review – Super 8

super 8

Thought provoking family sci-fi film about loneliness and alienation (pun intended)

Super 8 was not the best movie of 2011.  Super 8  may not have even been the best alien movie of 2011 (I hear great things about  Attack the Block which I still have to see).  It was, however, the best live-action, family film I’ve seen in a very long time.  Heartfelt performances (can someone give Kyle Chandler the awards he deserves?), geeky childhood enthusiasm, and small town desperation combine to create something special.

3 1/2 Alien Thumbs Up