Currently browsing the "fantasy" tag.

The Age of Adeline

The Age of Adeline is a satisfactory romantic drama that is best enjoyed by those who can suspend all sense of logic and tolerate a bit of an ‘ick’ factor for reasons that are implied if not fully explored, or exploited, onscreen. More on that later. The lovely and talented Blake Lively plays Adeline Bowman, a young widow and mother in San Francisco who stopped aging after a freak car accident in the 1930s. An overlong voiceover narration explains, in flashback, how it all happened… something about a confluence of events involving water, lightning, and shifting molecular structure. Anyway, to avoid being labeled a freak or subjected to secret government testing, Adeline goes on the run for decades – constantly moving, and changing her identity, to hide her bizarre immortality from the world, including potential suitors. And there are plenty of those, because whatever name she goes by, Adeline presents as a beautiful old soul with a soft, lilting voice, a throwback wardrobe, and a phenomenal knowledge of modern history (go figure). The only one who knows Adeline’s secret is her daughter, who ages at a normal pace and could easily pass for Adeline’s mother or grandmother.

Oz the Great and Powerful

The consensus on Oz the Great and Powerful seems to be that it’s neither great nor powerful. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing. I actually liked it well enough for what it is – a simple, entertaining prequel to a beloved classic. Don’t over think it. You can’t dare to compare this fantastical flick to the original Wizard of Oz. For one, there’s very little singing (bummer). And two, there’s no Dorothy. But hey – this is the wizard’s backstory. The film is colorful and quirky – much like its star James Franco – and doesn’t take itself all that seriously. So, if you can forgive a few potholes along the Yellow Brick Road, you may actually enjoy this journey back to Oz.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild is probably not a movie for Mainstream Chick. It isn’t a straightforward narrative. It is more a modern fable, which some have compared with The Tree of Life for its blend of fantasy and realism. It is a simple little story though, and extremely well told. At its center is a little girl named Hushpuppy, played by 6-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis. She isn’t the usual cutesy kid. She is self-reliant and defiant, has a rich inner life and is filled with wonder about everything around her. She and her Dad live in the wild Louisiana bayou on a sliver of land of they call The Bathtub. They are poor as can be, existing in the middle of squalor, but the film doesn’t care about their poverty. It is all about their love of the life they have that is slipping from their grasp. It is about their hold on their normal.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

Yes, I was indeed among the masses who helped Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part One reap nearly $140 Million at the box office in its opening weekend. And I make no apologies. I read the books and liked them (for the most part). I saw the first three movies in the series. The first one was quite bad; the second one was better; the third one was quite good. And now, the fourth – well, it’s definitely weak. But it doesn’t really matter. Once you’re sucked into the franchise, you have no choice but to see it through (thus the boffo box office numbers for this penultimate installment of the franchise). My only hope is that Part Two somehow manages to provide a more satisfying conclusion than the book itself, which was my least favorite of the bunch.

Monte Carlo

To steal (and paraphrase) my favorite line from Monte Carlo, it’s like the “Sisterhood of the Traveling de France”. If you don’t get the reference, you’re probably way outside this movie’s target demo.

Midnight in Paris

I’m not (book) smart enough to fully appreciate Midnight in Paris, but I would certainly encourage fans of the literary and art world of the 1920s to check it out. The movie presents an interesting, somewhat whimsical Woody Allen-ified twist on the time travel genre.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One

Okay, I must confess. I’m a rather ignorant muggle when it comes to the Harry Potter franchise. I haven’t read the books, and I don’t think I’ve seen all the movies. But I don’t live under a pop culture rock, so I can definitely understand and appreciate their appeal. And I can attest – with a certain amount of confidence – that the penultimate Potter flick, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One will satisfy most if not all of the HP fans, young and old, and leave ‘em wanting (and waiting) for more. Unfortunately, they’ll have to wait eight friggin’ months! Part Two doesn’t hit theaters until July. And therein lies the movie’s only real flaw. HPATDH Part One draws you in from the very first frame, cruises along at a steady clip, and ends – abruptly. No fair! What am I supposed to do now? Read the book!?

Hereafter

The trailers and marketing for Hereafter are very misleading. It’s no more a “Matt Damon movie” than Babel was a “Brad Pitt flick”. In fact, until Damon’s character makes an appearance, you could easily mistake Hereafter for some sort of independent foreign film. It’s very much an ensemble effort, spearheaded by director Clint Eastwood, and it features three diverse plot lines that ultimately converge in a somewhat contrived but generally satisfying way.

Charlie St. Cloud

I see dead people. Or, at least, I see Zac Efron seeing dead people in the fantasy romantic drama Charlie St. Cloud. The movie is part Ghost, part Ghost Whisperer and part Sixth Sense, so it’s fairly easy to stay one step ahead of the dialogue and plot, with just a few exceptions.

The Last Airbender

As a rule, I’ve stayed away from M. Night Shyamalan movies ever since The Village. But since The Last Airbender didn’t seem to be a typical Shyamalan flick and because I had a seven-year-old boy asking me to take him, I broke my rule.