Monday, April 13, 2015

Movie Monday 4/13

Last week was an extraordinary week for us, movie-wise. My husband and I were camping at the beach and the weather was pretty much the worst imaginable - low 40's and raining for days! So, instead of lying by the campfire in the evenings, we went to the movie theater not once but twice!! It was a real thrill for us. We shared popcorn (not Paleo, but a nice treat) and enjoyed the warm, dry theater and two good movies (plus another on DVD when we got home):

First, we saw The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at the theater. We both loved the first movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, for its humor and sense of joy, and though reviews of the sequel said it wasn't as good, we enjoyed it just as much. The same fabulous all-star cast is back, including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, and more, as residents of the now-fixed-up-but-still-shabby-chic hotel. Dev Patel (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) is also back as the indomitable Sonny whose disposition matches his name. Now, Sonny is preparing for his wedding and is also in negotiations with a large corporation for a franchise for a second hotel he wants to open nearby, based on the success of the first. He's told that an anonymous guest will come to check out the hotel. When the handsome Richard Gere arrives, Sonny assumes he is the reviewer. The expected farcical comedy follows but with the same warmth and sense of heart of the first movie and the same humorous yet honest exploration of aging. This movie even comes complete with a Bollywood-type musical production. We left the theater with big smiles on our faces - a guaranteed feel-good, uplifting movie and a lot of fun.

The next night, we went back to the theater to see Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent, based on the series of books by Veronica Roth. As you might guess, this one was pure action and suspense. Tris, played by Hollywood's latest hot new star, Shailene Woodley) and Four are back as their dystopian community organized by factions begins to break down. War seems inevitable, and much of the movie is about deciding who to believe and who to follow, as the displaced Dauntless faction searches for a place to belong and Tris tries to make peace with her Divergency. This movie is pretty much nonstop action, with lots of running, fighting, jumping, and chasing, but it is all set within an interesting and unique dystopian plot. There is plenty of suspense here, and we enjoyed rooting for the good guys.

After getting home from our cold, wet camping trip, we were happy to be back on our couch and recliner, respectively, to enjoy another good movie. We had a free rental from Redbox, so we watched Interstellar, a movie we've both been dying to see since its theater release and that our college son loved. Interstellar is set in a dismal future, where nonstop dust storms are ruining the world, the only crop that will still grow reliably is corn, and there is a worldwide hunger crisis. Most people have to become farmers and are just barely hanging on. Matthew McConaughey plays a father who trained as an astronaut before the space program was dismantled and is now a reluctant farmer. He has a son and a daughter whom he loves and is particularly close to 10-year old Murph, his daughter. That makes it especially hard when an opportunity comes up for him to journey deep into space on a long-term mission to basically save the human race. He goes, along with a group of scientists, including one played by Anne Hathaway, to find another planet that humans can survive on. This is an epic movie covering generations about topics as far-reaching as family, the future, the human race, and the nature of time. My son and I both loved it and were especially moved by one surprise element. My husband enjoyed it for the most part but thought it was a bit too long (it is long, at just under 3 hours) and complicated. I loved every moment of it and found it suspenseful, moving, and thought-provoking, blending science fiction with a family drama.

So, we had a great movie week! Have you seen any good movies lately?


Unknown said...

Sounds like a great way to spend the rainy days. I loved the Divergent books, except of course for the ending. Bummer. Should have seen it coming. I have yet to see the movie though. My daughter has seen the movies and I had bought her the books then needed to read them myself. Perhaps I need to rent them from Redbox when they have the first 2 and have a movie day on the next rainy day. Thanks.

Sue Jackson said...

So funny - someone else just mentioned the disappointing ending to me this weekend - I honestly don't remember it! ha ha I do remember that I liked the 3rd book best of all 3 because it finally explained everything - how the society came to be that way, etc. So, don't tell me! I'll wait for the next movies :)

Unknown said...

I enjoyed "Interstellar" and "Insurgent" too. Am looking forward to the Second Best Marigold Hotel.

Sue Jackson said...

Hope you enjoy it! It's such a fun, uplifting movie!