Monday, August 03, 2009

Monday At the Movies: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Monday's Movie is hosted by Sheri at A Novel Menagerie.

Sometimes I watch bits and pieces of movies. Friday was like that. My back was bothering me, sitting up was impossible, vacuuming like I planned was out of the question, shoe shopping didn't sound so good, and so I staked out a place to lie down in the living room while the animals and television kept me company. I should have read a book, I know. But I wasn't quite in the mood for that. And so the television and I got cozy Friday afternoon.

Movie: Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Directed By: Stephen Herek
Writers: Neil Landau & Tara Ison

From Netflix:
Thrilled to have Mom out of their hair, four siblings are ready to celebrate when she departs for an extended tour of Australia -- until, that is, their elderly babysitter shows up. As luck would have it, though, the woman dies on her first night. Not to worry: The eldest of the pack (Christina Applegate) quickly falsifies a resumé and lands a job as an executive assistant with a clothing company.
I missed the first half hour of this film this time around. It was actually a re-watch for me. I saw the movie several years ago when I was on a Christina Applegate kick and I've seen bits and pieces of it again over the years while flipping through the channels. It's funny, sometimes, the movies that we stop and linger on. They aren't always the ones we might expect. This is certainly not one I would think would catch my attention again, but it did.

One of my favorite comedy bits in the film is when Christina Applegate's character is being lectured by her oldest brother about how neglected he feels, not to mention all the responsibilities she's left him with while she goes off to work every day. It's a stereotypical argument you might hear between a working outside of the home spouse and a stay at home spouse. And I love how Applegate's character reacts to her coworker's attempts to seduce her. She may not know what she's doing in the corporate world, but she does know how to stand up for herself and think on her feet.

This movie would never make my favorites list nor is it one that belongs in my DVD collection, but it was fun to revisit--and to giggle at the sight of all those huge shoulder pads.

Movie: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Directed By: Colin Strause & Greg Strause
Writers: Shane Salerno

From Netflix:
Prepare for more mayhem as warring aliens and predators return for Round 2 of their no-holds-barred slugfest. This time, the intergalactic creatures do battle in a small American town, throwing local residents into harm's way. To save the planet, the humans must oust both types of unwelcome guests. This sci-fi sequel features tons of spectacular action sequences full of nifty new gadgets and gooey monster gore.
I confess that I am not a huge horror movie fan. All that blood and gore makes me burst out laughing rather than make me squirm. Psychological thrillers, on the other hand, are a different matter entirely. I have never actually seen a Predator movie. And while I liked the last Aliens movie, the ones before it made me a bit sleepy. So, why, you ask, would I sit through Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem? Good question. I can't say I have good answer. It was on. None of the other HBO movies looked good and so I thought, why not?

While I did catch this one from the beginning, I missed parts here and there as I wandered about the house visiting the animals in their various rooms, letting the dog out and then back in, and heating up my lunch. I don't feel I missed anything significant in the meantime.

I am really not sure what to say about this film. I had trouble telling apart the Predator from the Alien during the battle scenes. Colorado is a beautiful state, and I was sorry to see that it was targeted by these ferocious aliens. Lucky for the town, Reiko Aylesworth playing Kelly was home on leave from the military. She can really kick butt. She'll never be an Ellen Ripley though.

Does it make me want to go back and watch the first Aliens vs. Predator movie? No, not at all.

Movie: August Rush (2007)
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
MPAA Rating: PG
Directed By: Kirsten Sheridan
Writers: Nick Castle & James V. Hart (screenplay); Paul Castro & Nick Castle (story)

From Netflix:
After cellist Lyla (Keri Russell) and guitarist Louis (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) share an enchanted night together, circumstances rip them apart, and the child (Freddie Highmore) produced by the union is raised by an opportunistic stranger (Robin Williams) who nurtures the boy's musical talent. Determined to find his parents, the boy -- known as August Rush -- relies on music to draw his mother and father to him. Terrence Howard co-stars.
I missed the first half hour of this movie earlier in the day. HBO was reshowing it on a different channel later that afternoon, and I caught 20 minutes of what I'd missed in the first viewing. Maybe someday I'll see the first 10 minutes.

Talk about a feel good movie. I watched the ending twice. In one day. Even so, I did not think this was a great movie, merely just a good one. I can't quite pinpoint what I did not like about it, other than I do not feel the movie and its characters were as fully developed as they could have been. Still, it was an enjoyable movie--the best I watched that afternoon. I loved the way the writers and director wove the music into the story. There is one scene in particular that especially mesmerized me, The one where Freddie's character is walking down the street, taking in all the city street sounds. Suddenly it's no longer just noise, but music.

I like Robin Williams, but he often has a habit of overdoing the comedy. He was perfect in this film, however. He was easy not to like, and yet I couldn't help but feel sorry for him too. I got the impression his character had a sad history--one that had turned him into the man he had become.

I can see myself watching bits and pieces of this one again when I come across it. And while the movie itself won't be added to my DVD collection, the soundtrack already has made it into my music library.

The Monday Movie Meme is brought to you by The Bumbles.

This week's movie topic is all about Reunions...
What are some of your favorite reunion type movies?

When Harry Met Sally (1989) - This is one of my husband's favorites, and after he introduced it to me, it became one of mine as well.

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) - This is one of the best reunion movies ever. Okay, so at least one of the most fun. I love the soundtrack anyway.

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) - You know I had to work this one in somehow. This is the final movie in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I cry every time.

Grosse Point Blank (1997) ~ Who can resist John Cusack? In this film, his therapist convinces him to return home for his 10th high school reunion. While he's there, he can take care of a little business too, assassinating his latest target. If he runs into his old flame, even better.

The Princess Bride (1987) - When true love is involved, nothing can keep them apart.

© 2009, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.
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  1. The Babysitter's Dead is such a classic! Loved it! I own August Rush, but have never made it the entire way through. I keep falling asleep in it! Bad, I know!

  2. I don't think I've seen any of those movies all the way through. I wonder why? Obviously I got bored or fell asleep! I had a very difficult time with this week's Monday Movie Meme. I love Harry and Sally, but it didn't come to mind in the reunion category. I guess maybe it should have?

  3. August Rush is on my online DVD rental list. And I love watching Don't Tell Mom the Baby Sitter's Dead. But only when it's shown on TV.

  4. Nice variety! I haven't seen any of them. Legally Blonde was on for the 1,000,000,000th time Sunday; I love that movie but I've seen it so many times I could recite it!

  5. I loved the choices of August Rush and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. Don't Tell is a guilty pleasure and will always watch it if it comes on HBO and I have time to kill. August Rush is one of my favorite movies :)

  6. I can't believe I forgot Princess Bride, my kids and grandkids have watched that at least a hundred times. my Monday movie

  7. I can't think of any off hand. I'm sure there are many. I do love The Lord of the Rings. One comes to mind that is so funny is Twins with Danny Devito and Gov. Schwartzneger.

    Oh by the are taller than me. I didn't realize we were both vertically challenged. LOL I'm just a little less than 5'. But....I'm shrinking now.

  8. I have been wanting to watch August Rush...

  9. Three of your five "reunion" movies are on my all-time-favorites list, but I'm not sure I would have thought of any of them in those terms before. It makes sense, though.

    Westley: "Why didn't you wait for me?"
    Buttercup: " were dead."
    Westley: "Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for awhile."

    Sometimes reading a book just takes too much mental energy, and that's why we have TV :-).

  10. I'm in love with "August Rush"! The love story was so sweeping, and I absolutely adored Jonathan Rhys Meyers in his role -- so magical! It's definitely a "feel good" film, and really inspirational. I went out and bought it the week after renting it from Netflix!

  11. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem has Reiko in it? I loved her in 24! Maybe I will watch this just for her.

  12. You crack me up - feeling badly for Colorado in the Alien/Pred. movie! I love horror but those grudge match/monster movie type ones aren't my style. So thanks for the summary!

    The Princess Bride is such an awesome choice for the reunion theme! How could we have forgotten that one?

  13. I love all the Lord of the Rings movies and I also really like Grosse Point Blank.

    Great post and I hope your back is better!

  14. Sheri - The Babysitter's Dead is such a fun movie. I hope you are able to make it through August Rush. Maybe start where you left off next time. Or just watch that great ending. :-)

    Sandy - Haha! Some movies you really only can watch in bits and pieces, if at all.

    I struggled at first with the Movie meme too. I almost listed Return of the Jedi, but decided to stop at five.

    Michelle - I hope you will like August Rush! And I'm with you on the Babysitter's Dead movie--it's a perfect tv movie. :-)

    Marie - Hubby and I are going to see Legally Blonde, the musical this month. I can't wait! It's been awhile since I've seen the movie. I probably would have watched it if I'd known when it was on. LOL

    Lindsey - It just dawned on me that August Rush is a reunion movie too!

  15. Kaye - It's been seen about that many times in my house too. It's one of my husband's favorite movies. :-)

    Wisteria - Twins is a funny movie. :-)

    I'm actually about 4 ft 11 3/4 inches tall. But don't tell anyone.

    Lulu - I hope you enjoy it if you do watch it, Lulu!

    Florinda - My husband didn't get the When Harry Met Sally one at first. :-) The Princess Bride is such a great movie.

    And you're right; I don't know why I always feel guilty watching television. It's not like I sit there and watch it all day long every day.

  16. Writemeg - The love story in August Rush was a good one--it was very subtle in some respects. I just wish I had seen the first 10 minutes of the film to get the full effect. One of these days!

    Lenore - I only vaguely remember Reiko in 24, but I do remember her from Lost. :-) She's the main reason I kept watching AVP: Requiem.

    Molly (& Andy) - You'd probably be okay missing the Aliens vs. Predator movie. :-)

    I almost forgot about The Princess Bride. It came to me at the last minute.

    Myckyee - Me too. I really like Lord of the Rings and Grosse Point Blank. All very good movies. :-)

    And thank you for the well wishes. My back is still giving me trouble, but it's feeling a bit better tonight. I'm anticipating a full recovery soon.

  17. When Aragorn sees Arwyn.... sob. I bawl like a baby every. single. time.s

  18. Grosse Point Blank is one of my all-time favorites. I think this is the movie that made me fall for John Cusack.

  19. Love the Lord of the Rings - esp . the last movie!!

    Can I be devilish and suggest "Sexy Beast" as a favorite reunion movie? It's not a HAPPY reunion, by any lengths. But the movie is wonderful and there's a really strong, believable, and incredibly loving romance at the core of it. ("Do the job!")

  20. I loved August Rush - such a wonderful story.

    Does "Must Love Dogs" count as a reunion movie?

  21. Oh my gosh! Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead! Haven't seen that in a while.

    I don't think I have seen any of the Alien movies all the way through. Maybe the first one.

    Your list for Reunion movies is great. I can't believe I did not think of Romy & Michele's High School Reunion, but good one.

  22. I think I'm the only woman on the planet that has yet to read The Red Tent. It's in the TBR pile, I've just had too many things I "had" to read. One of these days I'm picking my own next read!

  23. I love the sound track to August Rush too. Great stuff. I've only seen the movie once, but I wouldn't mind seeing it again.

  24. Is your back OK now, Wendy? I sure hope it is. I love, love, love LOTR!

  25. Carrie (B&M) - I know! That is such a beautiful moment in the film.

    Charley - I think that was when I fell for him too, Charley!

    Clea - The Lord of the Rings movies are so good. I'll have to add "Sexy Beast" to my netflix list. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Ingrid - August Rush is a sweet story. :-) I haven't yet seen Must Love Dogs. I really need to.

  26. Rebecca - Don't Tell Mom sure brought back memories. :-)

    Romy and Michele's High School Reunion was fun--I listen to the soundtrack (both CDs) quite frequently. Probably more than I should.

    Lit & Life - I know what you mean about that "have to read" pile. :-)

    Suey - I've really been getting into soundtracks again lately. I seem to go through phases.

    Alice - My back is all better now, Alice. Thank you for asking. :-)


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