Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Oops! Is it the 16th already? My first week of vacation off school and I've lost track of the days...

Since it's the summer vacation time off school, we've been going to see a lot of movies as a family.  Doesn't hurt that the kinds of movies we like are coming out "fast and furious."  (Yes, we thoroughly enjoyed the latest, Furious 7 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2820852/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_6 , for what it was: a big, dumb, semi-plotless kind of movie with lots of improbably stunts and things blowing up.  Plus I've got a soft spot in my heart for Vin Diesel now, since he was so notable as "Groot" in my favorite movie last year, Guardians of the Galaxy  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2015381/?ref_=nv_sr_1.

What have we seen?  We recently re-watched all 3 of the Matrix movies, to get us in the mood for Jupiter Ascending, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1617661/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 which really was as dumb as the critics said.  And since the main thing I like about the Matrix movies is getting to swoon over my man Keanu, and he was notably absent from the newest Warchowsky siblings movie, even I didn't like it.  The female lead was dumb, always making stupid decisions that got her into more trouble, so the dog-eared (literally, he had the ears of a dog) hero could show up to rescue her over and over again, in the nick of time.  Sigh.  Haven't we had enough of that 1950s-style trope yet? I don't read or write books with TSTL (too stupid to live) heroines like that, and I try to avoid movies with them because I tend to yell at the screen. And who, once you find out you're really an alien princess, is going to happily return to earth to your job as a maid, cleaning the toilets of rich folks?  Ew!

But on a totally positive note, the most recent Mad Max movie was fabulous!  I never really enjoyed the old ones much, but then I'm not much of a Mel Gibson fan--plus they were kind of silly and now appeared dated.  But the latest installment is great! Mad Max: Fury Road http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392190/?ref_=nv_sr_1 is much better than the originals.  Charlize Theron is arguably the star of the movie, despite Tom Hardy doing a great job as Max.  She's helping a group of women being held by the despotic tyrant who cruelly tortures everyone around him, including keeping the young, nubile women to rape in order to produce more children for his ego, while he has other women hooked up to milking machines like cows, to provide breast milk, since he won't let anyone have any water. What I find amusing is that some male critics hated that Max is objectified by being used as a "blood bag" for one of the tyrant's fighters, since they're all dying of diseases caused by their polluted environment and ill-health. But they have no problem what-so-ever with women being used as "sperm receptacles" and "cows".  But the women prove to be equal or better than the men in this movie, and the end is great, especially since there isn't a romance between the two leads, but instead, there is mutual respect and admiration.  And there are lots of car chases and things blowing up.

We also saw The Kingsmen on DVD.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802144/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
This has women only in supporting roles, but the story is entertaining, and we all thought it was a better Bond-movie than the current ones coming out.  Colin Firth was much more convincing as a genteel super-spy than Daniel Craig will ever be, and Samuel L. Jackson was a very convincing evil genius.

And speaking of spy movies, go see Spyhttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt3079380/?ref_=nv_sr_1  I can' rave enough about how great this movie is.  It's a combination of an excellent spy story, with a comedy, done as only Melissa McCarthy can do it. The director,  Paul Feig, understands how sick many women are of seeing movies that star only men, with females relegated to being eye candy and prizes to be fought over, or victims needing to be rescued.  Instead, not only does Melissa do an excellent job as a spy, with no cheap jokes at the expense of her girth, but her BFF helps out in the caper, and her boss, the head of the CIA, is a woman who tells her she's selling herself short by not being out in the field.  The head "bad guy" is a woman also, and she's supercilious and snarky, but manages to infuse her character with tiny touches of warmth and humor.  And the eye candy?  Jude Law, who has made a career of that, as well as Jason Statham, who plays a caricature of his normal roles.  I loved this movie, and I know as soon as it's available, someone in my family will own it!

Last is the big, dumb, silly, Jurassic World http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369610/?ref_=nv_sr_1.  When the trailers for this first appeared, we knew we'd be there seeing it, even with low expectations, because...dinosaurs, right?  And we got lots of dinosaurs, so that part of us that wants to imagine interacting with those huge, fascinating creatures, was happy--hey, who wouldn't want to ride a baby stegosaurus instead of a pony?  There is practically no plot at all, and the romance, such as it is, is stilted and pretty much unbelievable.  But Chris Pratt's arms have never looked better, and he plays up the "tough guy with a heart" role very well. If you like dinosaurs, and enjoyed the previous movies, you'll love this one.  Just don't go expecting much, and it'll match your expectations.

That wraps up my recent movie experiences. The summer is still young.  My family is eagerly anticipating Antman,  because they're huge comic book-movie fans.  Me, not so much.  The premise, that a hero can be the size of an ant, yet have superpowers, seems kind of lame to me.  But I'm sure I'll be dragged along to see it. 

So how about you?  Seen any good movies lately?  Did my reviews make you want to see any of the flicks, or are you a more serious kind of movie-goer? I won't be offended.  Husband and I stopped watching Birdman http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2562232/?ref_=nv_sr_1 as a rental, about half the way through, because  since we didn't like any of the self-absorbed characters, we had no interest in seeing what was going to happen to them.  But we loved 47 Ronin http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1335975/?ref_=nv_sr_1 , again with Keanu Reeves. No wonder we never watch the Oscars...they never pick any of the movies we like. 

 My recent romances have been spy novels.  If you want to read about an older couple falling in love, my latest book, Her Last Resort,

has a retired CIA agent trying to repair her relationship with her adult daughter, while falling in love with the ex-KGB agent who owns the resort they're staying at in upper Minnesota.  All the while, someone is trying to kill her, and she's not used to accepting help from anyone for her problems.
Find out more at my blog: http://www.fionamcgier.com.

And I promise to be on-time with my post next month!



Tina Donahue said...

I want to see the new Jurassic Park one. Damn, I loved those movies. I adored Avatar. Have seen it like 15 times and never get tired of it. I know a lot of critics said the storyline was cliched, but I super enjoyed the love story. :)

Fiona McGier said...

The dinosaurs were worth the cost of the movie and the popcorn! Lots of them, all kinds of them. And the velociraptors were surprising. We've watched all of the movies a few times, so we enjoyed the nods to the old ones. One son said it really needed Jeff Goldblum, to be a better movie. But then he thinks Jeff Goldblum or Nick Cage needs to be in every movie to make it better.

I liked Avatar also. I love stories with aliens.