Monday, November 02, 2009

Monday at the Movies: Sick and Delirious

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

In my heavily medicated flu-haze last week, I took full advantage of my subscription to HBO. Or rather, it took advantage of me, considering I watched a couple of movies I probably would have avoided had I not been too weak and exhausted to move from my spot on the couch. I thought I would offer you a brief look at how I whittled away my time in my sick bed (or couch, as the case may be) in between my many naps.

Fred Claus (Comedy - 2007, rated PG; directed by David Dobkin; written by Dan Fogelman & Jessie Nelson) ~ Watching a Christmas-themed movie the week before Halloween seems a bit odd, I suppose, but who am I to argue with HBO's movie line-up? Fred Claus (Vince Vaughn) is the older and often forgotten brother of the famous Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti). All his life, Fred has lived in his brother's shadow. Is it any wonder than that he's turned into a bit of a Scrooge? Down on his luck, Fred visits his brother in the North Pole as the final preparations for Christmas Eve are being put into place. An efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) with a grudge is in town to determine whether this will be Santa's last Christmas or not. This was a fun family flick with a few sentimental moments and a sleigh full of laughs. I like Vince Vaughn in just about every role he plays and he didn't disappoint in this one. Rating: 4 Bags of Popcorn (Very Good)

Me, Myself & Irene (Comedy - 2000, rated R; written and directed by Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly) ~ A slapstick comedy about a Rhode Island State Trooper (Jim Carrey) who is used to letting people walk all over him. One day he reaches a breaking point, and his personality splits in two, releasing his meaner and less inhibited side. As he struggles to get that under control, he is assigned to accompany a fugitive (Renée Zellweger) to New York. That quickly turns into more than anyone bargained for when they both end up on the run from corrupt law enforcement officials. I am pretty sure I have seen this movie before, and, if I remember right, I didn't like it much then either. My sense of humor tends not to run in the direction of this type of movie. I just don't find watching people getting beat up in the name of comedy all that funny. Nor do I always care for Jim Carrey's over the top comedy acting (I really liked him in Liar, Liar, however). I did not fall asleep during it, so I suppose that must mean something. Rating: 1 Bag of Popcorn (Poor)

Lost and Delirious (Drama - 2001, rated R; directed by Lea Pool; novel written by Susan Swan & screenplay by Judith Thompson) ~ A heart-wrenching movie about young love, betrayal and the search for self. Sent off to boarding school after the death of her mother, Mary (Mischa Barton), is assigned to room with two older girls, Paulie (Piper Perabo) and Tori (Jessica Paré). Mary quickly discovers that Tori and Paulie are more than just friends. When Tori's sister finds the two lovebirds in a compromising position, Tori begins to do damage control, including spurning her friend Paulie and taking up with a boy from a neighboring boy's school. Paulie is devastated and her life begins to spiral downward as a result. Mary is caught between the two friends while at the same time struggling with her own issues of feeling abandoned by her father. Lost and Delirious was a sad movie and my heart ached for the three girls. Although I am usually very understanding about why a book or movie is ended a certain way, I wasn't too keen on the ending in this case. Rating: 3 Bags of Popcorn (Good)

Baby's Day Out (Comedy - 1994, rated PG; directed by Patrick Read Johnson; written by John Hughes) - Kidnapped by the world's three most inept villains (Joe Mantegna, Joe Pantoliano & Brian Haley), Baby Bink (Adam Robert Worton & Jacob Joseph Worton) foils his captors at every turn, leading them on quite an adventure. This is one of those movies that requires your total suspension of disbelief as the crawling infant wanders by himself into a cab for a cab ride, across busy streets, into the zoo, and all over a construction site. The kidnappers bumble their way along, often ending up with not-so-serious injuries that would have led to permanent deformities and possible death in reality. The Worton brothers were adorable as Baby Bink. I can only imagine how a new mother might feel, seeing an infant in some of those tight spots. Yikes! Did I like it? It had its moments. I just wish I could have gotten past how no one noticed this little guy as he scooted on all fours right by them. Rating: 2 Bags of Popcorn (Fair)

Miracle on 34th Street (Drama - 1994, rated: PG; directed by Les Mayfield; written by Valentine Davies, George Seaton & John Hughes) ~ Mara Wilson plays little Susan Walker, daughter of Dorey (Elizabeth Perkins) a successful businesswoman who works for a major department store. Susan, like her mother, does not believe in magic, much less Santa Claus. With the help of a neighbor (Dylan McDermott) and Kris Kringle himself (Richard Attenborough), all that is about to change. While this remake of an old holiday favorite will never live up to the original in my estimation, it is still a great family film, and a story I never grow tired of seeing every year. Rating: 4.5 Bags of Popcorn (Very Good +)

Have you seen any movies lately?

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

This week's movie topic is all about Mobsters ...
This weekend we saw lots of Trick Or Treaters dressed as Superheroes, Star Wars characters, Hobos, Fairies, Thomas the Train and even a few ghouls. But we never saw any mobsters. Maybe that is because it is tough to fashion a Tommy Gun out of a shoebox. But one thing is for sure, if a mobster rang our bell looking for a treat we would oblige ASAP. We've seen enough of their movies to know the kind of tricks they dole out. Share on your blog mafia movies that left their mark with you and then link back to The Bumbles. And don't forget to visit your fellow participants!

Eastern Promises (2007) ~ A suspenseful and complex movie about the Russian mob. Viggo Mortenson was outstanding in his role as Nikolai, divided between loyalty to his mob family and doing the right thing.

Road to Perdition (2002) ~ There was not much I did not like about this movie. It is about a son and father, about sin and redemption, as well as crime and punishment. Tom Hanks and Paul Newman are forces to be reckoned with in this film.

Pulp Fiction (1994) ~ I actually did not like Pulp Fiction the first time I saw it. However, when my husband made me watch it a second time, I could definitely see the appeal. It's extra violent and a bit silly at times, sure, but it is definitely memorable, not to mention one of those movies I just can't help but stop and watch whenever it is on.

What is your favorite mobster movie?

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  1. I had Pulp Fiction and Eastern Promises (yeah baby!) on my mobster list also! As for the movies you watched on your sick bed, I haven't seen one! I'll have to remember the Xmas one with Kevin Spacey (love him), but Jim Carrey has gotten to the point where he REALLY annoys me.

  2. My favorite mobster movie, besides the iconic Godfather, is definitely Goodfellas.

  3. Most memorable mobster movies: Goodfellas and The Untouchables.

    I did not fall asleep during it, so I suppose that must mean something.
    High praise indeed for a Jim Carey movie!

    Gotta love Vince Vaughn. There is something so appealing about him.

  4. I hope you are feeling well.

    What a mix of movies. I kind of don't like Vince Vaughn since I've watched Wedding Crashers.

    I wanted to watch Me, Myself & Irene but now I'm not so sure.

  5. I'm not much for mobster movies, but I did love Goodfellas.

  6. When I'm not feeling well movies are the only thing that I can handle.
    Didn't participate this week because I said I didn't like mob movies and then you pick two that I really liked! Road to PErdition and Eastern Prmoises. I've seen Pulp Fiction twice and tried to like it both times, but it's not for me.

  7. I haven't drafted my movie post for today yet. You have some good mobster movies here, I haven't seen Eastern Promises yet! I'm so happy that you listed it as my husband and I enjoy mobster movies. I've put this on my Netflix list!

    Great post!

  8. I didn't realize your movie posts were connected! Daytime TV is pretty bad and I think when your sick it's fun to watch movies you normally wouldn't!

    Miracle on 34th Street is my favorite Christmas movie although the original. The remake with Dylan McDermott is cute, the little girl is adorable, but the original with Natalie Wood is wonderful! Have you seen it?

    I hate to say it, but Jim Carrey bugs me. I'm just not a big fan. And I see the movie wasn't so good!

    I haven't seen Fred Claus yet. I think I'll save it to rent in December!

    Wonderful post! I hope you feel better!
    ~ Amy

  9. Oh, I forgot about Road to Perdition. Good movie! I've seen that and Pulp Fiction, but not the other you mentioned. Check out my list for a few comedic suggestions. ;)

  10. You saw some good ones. I guess the only good thing about being sick is you get to catch up on movies and/or books. Since you were too sick to read at least you saw some good films. I saw Adventureland this weekend and really enjoyed it!

  11. I can't believe HBO had X-Mas movies in rotation already! Hope you are feeling better. I didn't like Me, Myself & Irene all that much either but that was mostly because of Renee Zellweger who bugs the crap out of me. I did like his 3 sons in that movie though - I thought that side plot was quite funny. The Farrelly Bros. weren't quite up to par in that one.

    I've had Eastern Promises & Road To Perdition in our queue for a while now. We actually tried to watch Road to Perdition about 5 times in the matter of a few weeks. We rented it and it didn't work in our player. So I brought it back and got another one. It didn't work either so I realized the player was broken. So we brought the movie with us to my folks' and they had already seen it. So we never did watch it. Some day!

  12. pulp fiction seems to be making it on everybody's list that's in the know. I hope you're feeling better. Thanks for stopping by today.

  13. I'm so glad to know you're feeling better now. I haven't watch PULP FICTION and I really should watch it. Not sure when, though.

  14. I'll chime in about The Godfather (parts 1 and 2), Goodfellas, and Pulp fiction. But recently saw and recommend two very different movies: "Adventureland," which is a lovely coming of age movie set in a Pittsburgh amusement park, and "Cheri," with Michelle Pfeiffer playing the Colette heroine, a courtesan of "a certain age," who is basically given one of her colleagues almost-grown sons to groom... until it is time for him to be appropriately married off. Both quite good.

  15. Sandy - I love Kevin Spacey too. :-)

    Bookshelf Monstrosity - I almost put The Godfather. Have you read the book? It's really good too.

    Raidergirl - I don't know if I've seen Goodfellas or The Untouchables. If I have, it was when I was really young.

    Violet - I am feeling better, thanks. I take it you didn't like Wedding Crashers? I actually kind of liked that one, believe it or not. Sometimes it just depends on my mood, I guess.

    Don't listen to me when it comes to which comedies to watch or not watch. Really. I am not a big fan of comedy movies so I tend to be extra hard on them.

    Kathy - I haven't seen Goodfellas. Or if I have, I have no memory of it. I'll have to rent it and see.

    Stacy - Me too! I seem to watch more movies when I'm sick than at any other time.

    Pulp Fiction was a weird movie. It's kind of an acquired taste. Like coffee. And I never grew to like coffee so it's okay that you didn't grow to like Pulp Fiction. :-)

    Amy - I wasn't sure I would like Eastern Promises, but I ended up really liking it in the end. It's violent and there's a lot of foul language, but it was good. :-)

    I tend to watch some pretty silly movies when I'm sick. :-)

    I prefer the original Miracle on 34th Street movie too. I try and watch it every year.

    I was pretty harsh on some of the movies I saw recently. I am just not a big comedy fan so anyone reading my reviews should take that into consideration. LOL

  16. Heather - I nearly put Analyze This on my list, but decided against it at the last minute. I didn't love the movie, but it was fun.

    Kathleen - I hope to see Adventureland one of these days. I've heard it is good.

    More often than not, I end up watching more tv than I read when I am sick. My focus just isn't there. :-(

    Bumbles - I was surprised to find Christmas movies on already too. It seems way too early for that.

    I liked the three sons in Me, Myself & Irene too. They were the best part. :-)

    I hope you do get to see Road to Perdition one of these days. It's definitely worth watching.

    Kaye - It's a fun movie. :-)

    Alice - Just be warned that it is very violent and has a lot of foul language. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on it if you do watch it, Alice.

    Clea - I was just thinking about you! I read your article in Mystery Scene (I behind in my magazine reading). :-)

    I've been wanting to see Adventureland. I'll have to add Cheri to my netflix queue as well. Thanks for the recommendations!


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