Author: Maureen

Light Side or Dark Side? Star Wars on Blu-ray

To buy Star Wars on Blu-ray or not to buy–that is the question we currently face. A review from the Toronto Sun declares the Complete Saga set “nerd heaven.” Writer Bruce Kirkland goes on to say, The revelation is how splendid each of the originals looks in high definition. The Lucasfilm team has done a painstaking restoration….

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Movies to Watch When You’re Sick

Whenever one of my sisters or I was sick, Mom would let us watch a Christmas movie no matter the month. White Christmas was usually the number one film of choice. Nothing like Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby to lift the spirits. Today, I reinstated that tradition when I came down with a cold–this time I chose

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Happy Shark Week!

Just when you thought nothing could be more relaxing than a day at the beach–Shark Week arrives. The annual Discovery Channel summer special promises to terrify and enthrall viewers with close, sometimes fatal, shark encounters–reminding us all that the beach isn’t always as tranquil as it seems. Living in California means occasional trips to the beach.

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Spotlight: Alan Rickman

Known to many as the dreaded Professor Severus Snape of Harry Potter fame, actor Alan Rickman is a prolific performer with a history in film and television extending back to the late 1970s. He’s one of my favorites (LOVE his velvet voice!). We realized recently that we own eight of Rickman’s films, the breadth of which

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Blockbuster Summer

The era of blockbusters began in summer of 1975 when a little beach movie directed by a 20-something unknown made audiences everywhere afraid to go in the water. Since the release of Jaws, blockbusters have been a Hollywood mainstay. Many are forgettable, few are truly epic, but most are just plain fun to watch.

This summer is a great one for movie fans, with blockbusters opening nearly every week from May through August. With so many cinematic treats to choose from it’s hard to resist shelling out the bucks at the box office. Here’s a Married to the Movies recap of the films in theatres so far and a look ahead at those to come.

2011 Blockbuster Reviews and Previews:

  • Thor: Surprisingly well-crafted, this superhero epic brings us one step closer to the much-anticipated Avengers film. Check out our earlier review.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: Still getting over the disappointment of the third Pirates film, so this flick goes on the wait-to-rent list.
  • Super 8: The critics love it, but friends are giving this Steven Spielberg-J. J. Abrams collaboration mixed reviews—putting it on the rent list.
  • X-Men: First Class: A classy prequel to the X-Men trilogy with great acting, awesome special effects, and poignant drama.
  • Green Lantern: The critics hate it, but we think the latest DC Comics hero to hit the big screen is worth the ticket price.
  • Cars 2: We’re huge Pixar fans, so it saddens us to say that this is the first of their films to disappoint us. We actually walked out of theatre talking about what went wrong and how we would have told the story differently. The biggest flaw: making hickseed Mater the Tow Truck the star. He’s a novelty, not a leading…car. As Dr. Sci-Fi put it, it’d be like making Kramer the star of Seinfeld. Sigh. Logically speaking, we knew Pixar had to stumble at somepoint—but we secretly hoped and hoped they would beat the odds. But don’t get us wrong: kids will love it and it will make bank.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: The most recently released blockbuster—we’ll be seeing it tonight with our college pals. We highly doubt this metal-crunching, gear-grinding action flick will surprise anyone with a good storyline—but, hey, it’s about the robots, not the plot.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: Probably the most anticipated movie of the summer. We’ve already purchased our tickets and you can bet we’ll will pay tribute to Harry’s last adventure in an upcoming post.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger: A superhero taking down Nazis? Sign us up!
  • Cowboys & Aliens: The title says it all—oh, and it’s starring Harrison Ford. (Yes, Daniel Craig is there, too, and, yes, he’s the new Bond—but is he Han Solo and Indiana Jones? Enough said.)

How about you? What makes your list of must-see movies this season?


Top 10 Movie Dads

Let’s face it–Hollywood gives dads a bad rap (Darth Vader, anyone?). According to moviemakers, dads are the root of all inner turmoil and dysfunction.

But in honor of my dad–who is awesome and who taught me how to spit sunflower seed shells, throw a baseball, and appreciate the outdoors–and all the other great hard-working fathers out there: here’s our list of stellar movie dads.

Happy Father’s Day!

#10: The Great Prince of the Forest — Bambi

Okay, so he doesn’t say much, but whenever Bambi needs him most his dad shows up to save the day.

#9: Caractacus Potts — Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Dick van Dyke’s scatter-brained inventor faces parenting alone; but despite his poverty, brings joy to his kids’ lives in the form of an awesome magical car that flies and transforms into a boat.

#8: The Father in Swiss Family Robinson

He doesn’t really have a name, but I love the leadership and authority displayed by the dad in this classic Disney movie. Extra points for building the coolest tree house EVER.

#7: Captain George Kirk — Star Trek (2009)

I think he gets less than 20 minutes of screen time, but, as Captain Pike, points out: Jim Kirk’s dad makes good use of his time–saving not only his crew, but his wife and newborn son. (Of course, he wouldn’t have died if J. J. Abrams hadn’t pulled the whole time-warpping black hole thing.)

#6: Mr. Incredible — The Incredibles

Many of us view our dads as heroes, but Bob Parr is literally a superhero! Sure, he’s a bit distracted at first, thinking of his glory days, but a little world-threatening mayhem helps him truly value his family and become the dad his kids need.

#5: George Stanley Banks — Father of the Bride

How many dads can relate to this–the overwhelming madness of wedding planning and the bittersweet moment of giving the bride away? And let’s be honest, George Banks has every right to flip-out over the wedding costs. We crunched the numbers and it turns out the mula shelled out for Annie Banks’ nuptials could have paid my college tuition.

#4: Marlin — Finding Nemo

He may be just a little clown fish, but this dad faces sharks, deep-sea monsters, and a jellyfish forest to save his son from the horrors of Darla the Fish-Killer.

#3: Mufasa — The Lion King

I don’t think my generation will get over this movie dad’s tragic death scene. It’s almost as traumatizing as the death of Bambi’s mom.

#2: Guido Orefice — Life Is Beautiful

And speaking of dads who lay down their lives for their kids, how can you not cry as Roberto Benigni’s plucky Jewish-Italian protects his son’s innocence in a Nazi concentration camp.

#1: Chris Gardner — The Pursuit of Happyness

So you might ask why I ranked Chris Gardner over Guido. It’s because The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a true story. There is no way you can’t root for this guy to make it against all odds. And I love the fact that they used Will Smith’s own son for the role of Gardner’s trusting kid.

So who makes your list for best movie dads?

Shakespeare’s Superhero

Tonight we faced a choice: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides or Thor. With the price of tickets being what it is, choosing a movie is something that must be done judiciously. We weighed the options. Thor had a shorter running time and, most importantly, a 78% fresh rating on POTC 4, on the other hand,

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Chaucer’s Nightmare

Don’t ever watch Rock-A-Doodle. EVER! It’s the worst animated feature film ever made. We just groaned and cursed our way through it out of morbid curiosity. (Yes, cursed. It was so bad that salty language was all I could think of to say–I’m controlling that urge in this review.) In case you’ve never heard of

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Royal Wedding

It’s wedding bells for Prince William and Kate Middleton! Millions tuned in to watch his parents tie the knot. (And I sincerely hope and pray that William and Kate enjoy the happy, healthy marriage that Charles and Diana did not.) But few probably remember the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II to Prince Philip–but Hollywood paid

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Us vs. Scott Pilgrim

Netflix delivered Scott Pilgrim vs. The World to our doorstep today. So after a long afternoon of intense spring cleaning, we grabbed dinner-to-go from The Hat (yum) and settled in to watch said film. And I gotta say–not a huge fan. The graphic novel/video game effects were entertaining. The overall editing/scripting/style took some getting used

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