Archive for ‘Movies’

January 3, 2013

“Les Miserables” a review

by thoughtfulconservative

The wife and I went to the theatre on New Years Day to watch “Les Miserables.” I have never read the book but we had seen the previous one starring Liam Neeson (a marvelous film) before, so was familiar with the story.

This movie, however, is based on the musical version, which is based on the famous novel by Victor Hugo. This means the actors are singing most of their lines (even Russell Crowe!). For some, this detracts from the movie, since the main characters are actors, not primarily singers. And there are times when the actors seem to be stretching for their notes. Maybe they could have been helped by lowering the score a note or two.

But it does not take away from the powerful story of the movie, an illustration of grace and law. Jean Valjean after his parole is shown grace by a man of God which transforms his life. He is relentlessly pursued by the policeman Javert, who has a firm belief in the law.

I thought all the actors did a great job in communicating this fascinating story. And musically they were more than adequate to the task.

Highly recommended for viewing.

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November 21, 2012

Lincoln – movie review

by thoughtfulconservative

Lincoln” is not a bio-pic  in the sense that the movie does not follow Lincoln through his life, or even his term as president. It could have easily been name “The Story of the 13th Amendment.”

Yeah, I know. Not as exciting. And again, not completely accurate. The film takes in more than the acts that led to the adoption of that critical amendment.

I admit, when I heard the film was a Stephen Spielberg creation, I was a bit skeptical. But from the credits, the film was based on the book by Doris Kearns GoodwinTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (on my list, but not yet read).

“Lincoln” covers his last four months in office. The Civil War is winding down, although the South is still resisting, the war is still taking thousands of lives.

The first thing I wondered was when did Daniel Day-Lewis get so tall? For some reason it continued to nag me throughout the film.

But Day-Lewis was brilliant in the role of Lincoln. I felt I was watching Lincoln. I don’t want to take anything away from the supporting actors; they were excellent in their roles.  And a lot of familiar faces, Sally Field, of course, David Strathairn, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, Gregory Itzin, Jackie Earle Haley, Bruce McGill, Tim Blake Nelson, too many to name.

But the film belongs to Day-Lewis. I felt as though I were actually watching Lincoln.

The movie does not paint Lincoln in the noble light that many who are only faintly acquainted with him see him. He is a politician, as any one who has ever risen to the highest office must have been, save, perhaps, Washington.

He used every trick in the book to get the Thirteenth Amendment through the House, ending, according to the movie, by being anything but “Honest Abe.”

The great lesson from the movie is that democracy (or a republic, if you will) is messy and not always a pretty sight.

It’s just a shame it took all those years and hundreds of thousands of lives to just say that all people were equal.

It is highly recommended.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
April 10, 2010

If you see one movie this year…

by thoughtfulconservative

Ever hear of Briargate Christian School? No? Well, it was called Wingate Christian School in the movie. How about Michael Oher? Ah, getting closer.

Yes, I’m talking about “The Blind Side” the movie that received a nomination for Best Movie and won Sandra Bullock an Academy award for Best Actress.

It’s a movie that connects emotionally. A poor black homeless kid gets taken in by a well-to-do white family. Southern family.

Kinda breaks all the stereotypes Hollywood tries to set up.

But the story is too compelling to ignore.

I get so wrapped up in the story….

Jae Head as Sean, Jr., captured the crowd.

There are few surprises; you could probably surmise the story line without even seeing the movie.

But if you want to feel good for a change and go see a movie where you don’t have to worry about what’s going to come out of an actor’s mouth or how much of their body you’re going to see, this movie’s for you.

And besides, it’s at the Silver Budget Theater–can’t beat the price.

October 4, 2008

“Fireproof” a review

by thoughtfulconservative

I admit I was a somewhat reticent about going to see the latest effort of Alex and Stephen Kendrick, film makers from Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, GA. I had previously seen “Facing the Giants” and had thought that the answers to the problems raised in that film were just a little too pat to be believable. Life’s problems don’t always turn out so easily solved.

I will also say that this is a Christian movie for Christians. That may not be how the producers conceived it since it is being shown in theaters, but that’s how it came across. Those who are not Christian will most likely not gain much from this movie, and may not even care for it much.

And the answers again are a little too pat for my liking, although certainly not as much as Giants.

This time Kirk Cameron, of Left Behind and, earlier, Growing Pains, is cast as Caleb Holt, a firefighter who is seen as a hero to everyone but his own wife, played by Erin Bethea. Their marriage is quickly going down the tubes and the couple don’t really seem to want to do anything about it.

Enter Caleb’s father who sends him a book called “The Love Dare” and challenges him to follow it’s instructions for 40 days.

I will say that this film is a vast improvement over “Facing the Giants.” Many of the supporting cast are  amateur actors, who nevertheless do an adequate job. Mr. Cameron is the one who gives strength to this movie. Ms. Bethea also turns in a good performance.

The story is compelling. There is action, drama, with humor mixed in so that one is not overwhelmed with the depression of watching a marriage fall apart.

It’s also nice to go to a movie for a change and not have to worry about what body parts I’m going to see, how many people are going to be blown into chunks of gore. And it’s nice to have a movie where the Christian character is not some crazy psychopath.

The church sure could use the message of the movie with divorce rates for believers matching that of unbelievers. And if someone is at the end of their rope in a marriage and takes the message of this film to heart, I believe it can change their lives and heal their marriage.

I’m just not sure there is an audience outside of that.

You can see more, including video clips and behind the scenes clips, at the movie’s web site.

October 4, 2008

Fireproof

by thoughtfulconservative

Saturday morning, the wife and I will be heading to the Marcus Theatres to see Fireproof. Our church has rented out one of the screens and we picked up the tickets from them.

I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Later that day we may head to downtown Waukesha for the Art Crawl.

October 3, 2008

Teammates say ‘The Express’ changes history

by thoughtfulconservative

A movie portrays history inaccurately?

Wow. Knock me over on that one.