First, the big news....I went to see TWO movies at a theater! That's more trips to the theater than I usually make in a year! Woohoo! I went to a little independent theater with my neighbor and saw:
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Wow. I mean really, wow. My book group read the book this past winter (if you haven't heard of this series yet, you must be living in a cave - oh, many of us do live in caves much of the time, don't we?) Anyway, it's a series of 3 fast-paced, suspense thrillers written by Stieg Larsson, a Swede who delivered the 3 manuscripts to his publisher, then died soon after. I finished reading the second book, The Girl Who Played with Fire, this weekend and plan to borrow the third from my mom next weekend. The books are well-written and so compelling, you can hardly set them down (the subject matter is quite violent, but if you like thrillers, these are some of the best). The movie (in Swedish with English subtitles) was just as good - they did a great job translating the book to the screen, and the actors were perfect. Now that I've finished the second book, my neighbor and I might just have to go back next weekend to see the movie version of that, too!
- Mother and Child is an independent film that won a bunch of awards, including one at the Sundance Film Festival. It's about three different women whose lives have all been affected by adoption. Annette Bening plays a woman who got pregnant at 14 and was forced to give her baby up for adoption. Thirty-seven years later, she is still haunted and obsessed by the daughter she never knew. Meanwhile, her daughter, played by Naomi Watts, is a successful lawyer with some major commitment issues who was also deeply affected by the fact of her adoption. A third woman, played by Kerry Washington, can't have children of her own and is going through the process of adoption. It was excellent and very well-acted (Samuel L. Jackson and Jimmy Smits also star in it) - definitely sad in parts, though. Ken thought it sounded like a "chick flick" and was happy to miss it!
- Star Trek with the kids. Another wow - great movie! Ken and Jamie have been dying to see this since it came out in theaters last year. Ken is a huge Star Trek fan from way back, and Jamie loves science fiction and has enjoyed some of the older Star Trek movies and TV shows (good sick day distractions!). This new movie is a prequel, following Kirk and Spock during their early years in the Academy and on their first assignment. It was really well done, with amazing special effects and excellent acting. The casting was perfect, and it was fun for Ken and I to see each of the original cast members show up as 20-somethings! When it ended, we all applauded, and Jamie said, "I want more!"
- We also watched Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which Craig had bought in the mall last week with a gift card. We're all big fans of the book series, and Craig is the only one who saw the movie in the theater (his class went to see it). It was very good, and we all enjoyed it. If you haven't read the books, it's an exciting adventure featuring Greek gods in modern day, with lots of action, suspense, and humor. Craig and his friend watched it again Saturday night when he slept over!
- Ken and I watched Everybody's Fine, a recent DVD release starring Robert DeNiro as a father who recently lost his wife. His four kids are all grown and scattered across the US. He feels sort of lost without his wife, who always kept in touch with the kids, and tries in vain to get the whole family together. He finally decides to set out himself to visit each of his kids - surprise! DeNiro was great in the movie. It's sad at times but also uplifting in the end.
- Finally, with summer TV showing all reruns, Ken and I took Toni's advice and got the first DVD of the TV show Mad Men from the library. We've watched a few episodes so far. It's easy to see why it's won so many awards and accolades - the acting is excellent and the depiction of 50's life is compelling. We're liking it OK, but it's hard to feel any empathy for any of the characters. Were people really this cruel to each other in the 50's?? All the men are cheating philanderers, and all the women are nasty to each other. Interesting show, though. We plan to watch more.
Have you see any good movies lately?