Monday, September 14, 2015

Movie Monday: Hot Pursuit & Shaun the Sheep

Hope you had a good weekend! I was still very sick, so we stuck with some light, fun movies this weekend (I also comforted myself with old Glee episodes!) - nothing too taxing to the brain here, just some good laughs:

My husband and I watched Hot Pursuit Saturday night, a light, fun movie. Reese Witherspoon stars as Officer Cooper, a rookie cop who was pretty much born into the job and wants to live up to her father's great reputation in the department. So far, that isn't going so well, as she's responsible for turning their last name into a verb as in "You really Coopered that one." She has finally been given a real assignment out from behind a desk, to serve as a female escort for Daniella Riva, the wife of a Columbian drug dealer played by Sofia Vergara. Riva's husband is scheduled to testify against a big drug lord in Dallas the next morning, and Cooper must make sure his wife stays safe until then. Things go awry right away, though (as they tend to do in these movies!), and Cooper and Riva find themselves on the run together, along with Riva's suitcase full of shoes. The running joke is that they are an oddly mismatched set: tiny, by-the-book police officer Cooper in her spotless uniform and tall, voluptuous break-the-rules Riva in her tight dress and stiletto heels. The movie is as titled, one long chase, as the odd couple try to avoid both angry drug dealers and bad cops. It's mildly amusing and has some funny moments, though there is nothing too spectacular here. Many of the jokes are predictable, with Reese's height and Sofia's looks and/or age the butt of most of them. But Reese is at her most adorable and Sofia is...well, classic Sofia (aka Gloria from Modern Family), and the two do seem to be having fun together. Perhaps the producers were trying to recreate the success of The Heat, the girl cop-buddy movie starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy from a few years ago, but that movie had more depth to it and was funnier. Hot Pursuit is a light bit of cotton candy, escapist fun.

Sunday night, we actually got our 17-year old son to watch a movie with us, a rare occasion these days! We watched Shaun the Sheep, the latest movie from Aardman Animation, with our son and his girlfriend. This was another bit of light fun for a sick day, with plenty of laughs. If you are unfamiliar with Aardman, they created the amazing Wallace and Gromit claymation series (4 30-minute shorts), as well as the feature-length movie Chicken Run and the hilarious TV show, Creature Comforts (both British and American versions). We are long-time fans of all of these at our house! Shaun the Sheep is a character from one of the Wallace and Gromit episodes (A Close Shave) - his name is a play on words, as in "shorn" - seen here in his first feature-length movie (though the character already has his own TV cartoon show). Like Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep begins in a quiet barnyard in England. The farmer, his dog, and the sheep are all a bit tired of the same old routine, so when the sheep spy an ad on the side of a bus to "Take a Day Off," they come up with a plan to keep the farmer from his usual routine for a day, while they relax in the house with snacks and TV (a very funny scene). Things go wrong, though, and the farmer ends up in the Big City down the road with amnesia, so the sheep (and the dog) take off to rescue him. Hilarity ensues as the animals try to disguise themselves, find their way around the city, stay away from the evil Animal Control man, and find the farmer. Like other Aardman projects, this movie is funny and very, very clever, filled with more sight gags than you could possibly spot in three viewings or more. There are no words spoken in the 90-minute film - the humans speak in a sort of Peanuts-style garble - but it manages to tell a story beautifully without them. We all enjoyed it and laughed a lot, though all agreed it wasn't quite as good as the original Wallace and Gromit series (what could be?). A great choice for kids that will amuse the grown-ups in the family, too.

Have you seen any good movies lately?


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