Three movies to get you pumped for Independence Day

 

There is no shortage of patriotic movies that will have you chanting “USA!” by the end. However, there are certain movies that are specifically related to the Fourth of July and they deserve to be watched this weekend.

Below are the three movies that I feel MUST be watched tomorrow.

 
1776 Poster1. 1776 (1972, musical) – I was first introduced to this movie in my senior AP US History class (shout out to Mr. Midler!) and instantly fell in love. A History lesson in musical form? Be still my heart! The movies centers around John Adams attempting to get the Continental Congress to declare their independence from England and Thomas Jefferson’s efforts to write a pretty important document.

  • “Wait, don’t I know that actor from somewhere?” – John Adams is played by William Daniels…Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World!
  • Favorite quote – In discussing the nitpicking of the original draft of the Declaration of Independence – “They won’t be happy until they remove one of the F’s from Jefferson’s name!”.
  • Before you watch… – 1776 is surprisingly risque. There are references to sex throughout so if you have impressionable kids at home, maybe save this one for after bedtime.

2. Jaws (1975, Thriller) – While not an immediately obvious Independence Day choice, Jaws is most definitely a movie related to this holiday. In the small island community of Amity, beach tourism is vital to the town’s survival. A massive Great White shark threatens to cause the beaches to close on their most important holiday, THE FOURTH OF JULY. How many people have to die before the mayor agrees to shut down the beaches and hire someone to kill the shark?

  • “Wait, don’t I know that actor from somewhere?” – Richard Dreyfuss plays Hooper…you might remember him from a million movies, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Mr. Holland’s Opus.
  • Favorite quote – “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
  • Before you watch… – Exercise good judgment based on your Fourth of July plans. If you are heading to a New England beach on Monday…maybe save this one until AFTER the beach. Because even though this movie is over 40 years old, it will still cause you to pause before you go more than ankle-deep into the water.

Independence Day Poster3.Independence Day (1996, Science Fiction) – Duh. I can’t have a list about Independence Day movies without mentioning Independence Day. And remember, I’m referring to the original, not the newest movie. In Independence Day, our planet is under attack from aliens from an unknown world. Our country assembles a group of misfits to try and save the world.

  • “Wait, don’t I know that actor from somewhere?” – Margaret Colin from Gossip Girl plays White House communications director Constance. I’m assuming you know 95% of the rest of the cast.
  • Favorite quote – Will Smith, while dragging an alien through the dessert – “I could have been at a barbecue!” – Have fun yelling that line all weekend. I know I will.
  • Before you watch… – This is one of the greatest movies ever made. It will be on TV all day tomorrow, so turn it on! Everyone loves quoting watching this movie…and if they don’t? Get new friends.

So what do you think? Will you be watching any of these movies? Do you have another movie in mind for tomorrow? Let me know in the comments!

 


The Purge: Election Year

 

Something you may now know about me…I love horror movies. I will prioritize seeing horror movies above any other movie; this is my favorite genre.

So naturally, I had to see The Purge: Election Year. I’ve seen the first two movies in this franchise and I applaud the creators for their original and engaging idea. It’s hard to make a creative scary movie nowadays so I appreciate the effort.

Question time!

“What the heck is a Purge?” – The Purge is one night a year when all crime, including murder, is legal. It was put into action by the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) to eliminate crime during the other 364 days of the year.Thus far, most people find it successful.

“What is the movie about?” – The movie opens with a scene involving the beginning years of The Purge and a family is the victim of someone choosing to purge. One person survives and she later becomes a presidential candidate whose main platform is ridding America of Purge Night. Of course, people try to assassinate her and a familiar face from the previous movie tries to prevent that from happening.

“Do I have to watch Purge and Purge: Anarchy in order to “get” this movie?” –  Probably. You need to watch Purge in order to understand fully what the Purge is and how it affects America. You need to watch Purge: Anarchy to be introduced to one of the main characters. I suppose you could watch it without these prior movies, but you would enjoy it less.

“Wait…don’t I know that actor from somewhere?” – Immediately, any movie fan will recognize Joe the deli owner as Bubba from Forrest Gump. We made Bubba jokes for the duration of the movie. Also, any of my fellow Lost fans will recognize Juliet as the senator that everyone is trying to assassinate. Where’s Sawyer when you need him?

“Can my kids watch this?” – No! It never ceases to amaze me when I am watching these types of movies and there are children in the theater. Aside from the PREMISE of the movie, which involves killing for FUN, there is also excessive profanity from start to finish. Leave the kiddos at home!

Spend or Save? Save. Catch it on Redbox. It’s worth watching, but I did feel it ran a bit long (I HATE long movies) and I think the first two in this franchise were better overall movies. Do you agree?


Finding Dory

 

Finding Nemo came out in 2003…13 years ago. Stop and think about where you were 13 years ago. I was a senior in high school and I vividly remember watching Finding Nemo with my then-boyfriend (now husband). I LOVED that movie and now my three-year-old loves this movie. The circle of life. Oops, wrong movie! Naturally, I was dying to see Finding Dory. The family and I were out of town when Finding Dory came out so I’m a bit late to see it, but we ran over as soon as we got back home.

Finding Dory starts off ridiculously sad. Like, the first eight minutes of Up heart-clenching…especially if you are a parent! I looked at my husband and said “Why am I already crying?” Thankfully, the rest of the movie is full of callbacks to the original movie and cute little jokes at which my son belly-laughed.

Question time!

“What is the movie about?” – Dory is living with Marlin and Nemo at The Drop-Off, living a happy, though often forgetful existence. She suddenly gets a flash of her parents and her former life and decides she needs to find them. Marlin and Nemo sign up to help out, but of course chaos ensues and our protagonist gets lost…hence the name of the movie!

“Do I have to watch Finding Nemo in order to “get” this movie?” –  Wait…there are people in the world that HAVEN’T seen Finding Nemo?? If you are that one person, STOP what you are doing and go watch it! Now, if you haven’t seen Finding Nemo in a few years (likely those of y’all without toddlers demanding you watch it twice a day for two years) you don’t really need to re-watch it before you go. It stands on its own.

“Who is that voice?? It’s driving me crazy!” – Do you watch Modern Family? If so, you’ll recognize the voices of Ed O’Neill as Hank the octopus (ahem, SEPTAPUS) and Ty Burrell as Bailey the beluga whale.

“How was the Pixar short film at the beginning?” – By now, we just expect some amazing short film at the beginning of Pixar movies. I must say the short film that precedes this movie, entitled Piper, stole my heart. A sweet story about a baby sandpiper trying to learn how to feed itself whilst avoiding waves is so sweet. It is the best one I’ve seen in years. Do not miss it.

The overall movie was good. Not amazing and definitely not Finding Nemo level awesome, but we enjoyed ourselves.

Spend or Save? Spend. Hank the octopus is worth the price of admission alone, but feeling like a kid again and revisiting these beloved characters is priceless.


Spend Your Money/Save Your Money Movie Review: The Avengers

Holy guacamole it’s been a long time! I’m sorry everyone…honestly, there haven’t really been any movies that have drawn me out recently…this was the first movie I’d seen since The Hunger Games! *gasp* Anyway…the hubs saw this at the midnight premiere…then again the next night…then Saturday night I finally got to go. We still ended up having to wait in line for this movie for over an hour…ridiculous! Did anyone else have this kind of experience?

Let me preface this review by sharing with you my background with The Avengers. I had previously seen both Iron Mans (Iron Men?) and Captain America. I did not see Thor…the beginning was way too boring and I bailed. I knew nothing about Hawkeye…my impression of him was that he looked super lame from the previews… I have also never seen either Hulk movies. I was still able to very much enjoy this movie…namely cuz I love Tony Stark and his snarky comments🙂

Questions…ASSEMBLE!

“What is the movie about?” – An agency called SHIELD has control of an energy source called the tesseract.This gets stolen by a god named Loki…the brother of Thor, who wants to use the tesseract to open a portal and take over the world (naturally). Nick Fury assembles a team of superheroes to try and save the world!

“Is this movie part of a series?” – Well, technically. Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America all led up to this movie. And judging by the way the movie is performing, there will be definitely be more! Yesssssss! 

“Do I have to watch the other movies in order to “get” this movie?” –  I’m gonna say no…I think anyone will enjoy this movie. Now, if you’ve watched the other movies, you will get more OUT of it…you’ll get more of the story line and who the characters are…but I do think that someone can go in blind and still enjoy it. 

 

“Wait, don’t I know that actor from somewhere?” – Cobie Smulders from my favorite show How I Met Your Mother is Maria Hill…and I was wondering where scientist Erik was from until I remembered him from Mamma Mia and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

“Anything I should know going in?” – There are two clips at the end…one in the middle of the credits and one at the very end. The one in the middle will only make sense to you if you know your comics…I had to ask the hubby what was going on. The end one is super cute, but not really necessary to stay for🙂

“Anything that annoyed the heck out of you?” – I’m sorry but Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) just seems so LAME compared to the others with their super powers…there’s one scene where they are “assembled” and they’re all displaying their powers and she’s…loading a gun. *sigh*

The movie was so good. It was long (142 min) but I didn’t even realize it…I was laughing and enjoying myself the entire time. This is how movies are supposed to be!

Spend or Save? Without a doubt, spend. You will laugh (Iron Man is hilarious, as usual, but The Hulk! Hysterical!) and you will be fully engaged, especially at the end. Even Hawkeye does cool things, towards the end. Go ahead, spend your money…you will not be disappointed!


Spend Your Money/Save Your Money Movie Review: The Hunger Games

Miss me guys? To be honest, there really haven’t been any movies I’ve wanted to spend my money on…so I’ve been absent for a little bit…but I’m back! I have been waiting for this movie for a long time and after reading the book for the fourth time, the hubs and I headed to wait in line for the midnight premiere.

I loved this book. I had VERY high expectations for this movie…especially after watching the trailers…I will say that Jennifer Lawrence was great as Katniss…which is huge. As for the rest of the movie, well…read on

Question time!

“What is the movie about?” – In the not too distant future somewhere in time and space, the country of Panem is divided into 12 districts and a Capitol. As punishment for rebelling years ago, each district has to send one girl and one boy between the ages of 12-18 to participate in The Hunger Games. These participants are called tributes.  The Hunger Games pits each child against each other in an arena where the children have to survive and kill each other. The last tribute standing is the winner and they, as well as their home district, will be given food and money. Katniss’ little sister, Prim, is selected as tribute and Katniss volunteers to take her place in the games. The rest of the story details the process of getting to the games and how the tributes fare throughout.

“Is this movie part of a series?” – They have already started pre-production on the next movie. Keeping up with the recent Hollywood trend, this three book series will be divided into four movies, splitting the final book into two movies…which, in my opinion, is unnecessary, but they didn’t ask me. The remaining books in the series are Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

“Does it stay true to the book?” –  In a way, yes. It follows many of the parts of the books…much better than epic movie-adaption failures like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (still super angry about that one), but one of my biggest pet peeves is when Hollywood feels the need to ADD things to a movie that were not in the book. For example, in the movie, President Snow (the president of Panem) and Seneca Crane (the head Gamemaker) are in this movie throughout and are pinpointing Katniss as enemy number one, targeting her specifically in the games with events meant to kill her. This SO is not how it went down in the book, and I feel like it cheapened the games themselves…they are terrible on their own, they didn’t need an evil president behind the scenes making it worse by having him focus on one possibly rebellious girl. I have more rants about this, but to keep from posting spoilers for those who haven’t read the book, I’m gonna put my grievances in a separate post. Being a book purist as well as a movie freak is a hard life.

“Wait, don’t I know that actor from somewhere?” – Beyond the obvious faces of Stanley Tucci from movies like The Devil Wears Prada, Elizabeth Banks from 40-Year-Old Virgin, Woody Harrelson from Zombieland and Jennifer Lawrence from X-Men: First Class, a few other actors might jog your memory. Seneca Crane is played by Wes Bentley, who was the bad guy from P2. Peeta is played by Josh Hutcherson from The Kids are All Right and Gale is played by Liam Hemsworth (Thor’s little brother), probably best known right now as Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend.

“Anything I should know going in?” – I think that the violence is pretty toned down…the book has a lot of killing scenes and there’s probably 3-4 that I can remember from the movie…I also think the violence is hidden enough that younger kiddos might not even notice it. Also, if you are a person who gets motion-sickness, this movie is filmed with a little of a documentary feeling to it, so in the arena you’ll experience some bumpy camera shots. There were two times my husband had to look down for a few minutes to feel better.

“Anything that annoyed the heck out of you?” – Again, I have a few things I need to rant about, but I’ll do it in another post. There were no blatant accent problems here, so that was good cuz I sure was listening closely to Gale to see if the Aussie slipped out.

The movie was good. It was. I wish they hadn’t added the things they added, and there were some people, events that I really missed (Madge? Where are you?) but it was interesting and engaging and fun to watch.

Spend or Save? Absolutely a spend. This is gonna be a huge movie franchise, so might as well jump on board now…it’s a very interesting and different story and Catching Fire will be a great movie too, so I’m looking forward to where they take the series. My advice? If you haven’t read the book by now, go to the movie first. Watch it, enjoy it. THEN, get the book and read it. You’ll see what I mean. Happy Hunger Games!


Dissecting the Hunger Games Trailer

Is it March 23rd yet? No? Dang it. I cannot WAIT for this movie to come out…I’ve read the trilogy and am OBSESSED with the first book. It’s so well-written, such a great story and is one of those books you just can’t put down.

Now, I realize that not everyone out there has my same obsession. Many people are probably wondering what all the hype is about. Allow me to help. Watch the preview below. At different parts of the preview, I’ll give you some insight on what is going on…maybe this will help everyone to get excited!

:13 – Meet Katniss Everdeen. She lives in District 12, which is a part of Panem…a country that sprung up in a land formerly known as North America. The hottie she’s with is Gale…her friend…and maybe something more? They hunt illegally together in order to feed their families

:24 – The scary aircraft you see? That’s the police, essentially. They’re trying to catch people who are outside of the fences, trying to escape.

:33 – In Panem, every year there is a lottery of sorts…each district has to send one girl and one boy to The Hunger Games…these children will literally fight to the death until there is one left. The children competing are called Tributes. Whichever district the winning tribute comes from will receive food, money and other luxuries for a year. The woman calling the names is Effie Trinket.

:46 – Meet Primrose, Katniss’ sister. Prim is scared (naturally) but since she is young, she only has her name in the drawing once. Of course, Prim’s name is called…and Katniss volunteers to take her place. I’m not gonna lie, this scene gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME I watch it.

1:10 – Meet Peeta Mellark, chosen as the male tribute. Katniss is not thrilled with this since she kinda owes Peeta her life.

1:23 – The Capitol. This is where the rich people live. These people do not have to send their children to The Hunger Games.

1:26 – Each tribute has to be made beautiful…they have to try and make an impression on people because they can be sent helpful gifts while in The Hunger Games that can help them win. The more people like you, the more help you’ll get.

1:28 – Meet Cinna. He’s assigned to help Katniss with her look and her presentation to the audience. He comes up with concept of making her “The Girl on Fire”.

1:33 – Meet President Snow. He’s the bad guy. You won’t see a ton of him in this movie…but remember him for later.

1:40 – Meet Rue. You’ll fall in love with her. Sorry.

1:41 – Meet Cato. Big tribute. Katniss’ main competition.

1:42 –  The tributes get to train how to use various weapons and survival techniques before they actually enter The Hunger Games. At about 1:55 you can see that Katniss is awesome at archery…which is super important!

1:50 – Meet Haymitch…District 12’s only Hunger Games winner. He acts as a mentor to Katniss and Peeta. He’s also a drunk. So naturally, he’s played by Woody Harrelson.

2:09 – The Mockingjay Pin. The Mockingjay is a sign of rebellion to The Capitol. This pin that Katniss has will become SUPER important later on in the series…so keep an eye on it!

2:12 – Not gonna tell you EXACTLY what’s going on here, because I don’t want to give a major scene away, but this is a symbol of respect and is ALSO a very important part of the story and Katniss’ character.

2:17 – Awesome. The tributes each start out in a tube and have to stand on the platform until time is out. They don’t really show this, but the platforms are surrounding a pile of weapons, tools and other goods that can be beneficial to the tributes. The tributes have to decide if they want to risk going for something in the pile, or if they want to take off for safety. Can’t wait for this scene!

Can’t wait for this movie! Got questions about The Hunger Games? Ask me in the comments!


Best Picture Nominees: The Descendants

I can already tell I’m gonna get some flack for my opinions on this movie. One of my followers told me this was their favorite movie of the year…and I disagree😦 Good movie? Absolutely. BEST movie? Nope. More fun to watch than Moneyball? No way, Jose.

Question time!

“What is the movie about?” – Matt King is a lawyer living on the island of Oahu whose wife is in a coma after a boating accident. He has to reconnect with his daughters, figure out if he wants to sell a huge piece of land that he owns, and he discovers a secret that rocks his entire world.

“What other nominations did this movie earn?” – George Clooney is up for Best Actor, against his BFF Brad Pitt. I personally think this battle should go to Brad, but George will most likely get it. He just has more respect in Hollywood. Alexander Payne is up for Best Director and the movie is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

OSCAR BAIT CATEGORIES

  • Pretty person turned ugly – In a way. While we were watching this movie, I leaned over to my husband and commented that I was in no way attracted to George in this movie. He has a full head of gray hair, he wears boring “islander” clothes and he has a constant look of bewilderment on his face. Personally, I like my George in a tux, figuring out the best way to rob Andy Garcia. So, in a way, they did try to make George less dashing.
  • Actor pretending to have special needs – None here.
  • Set during a different time period – Not a different time period, but it definitely feels weird…does everyone in Hawaii really dress casually all the time? And decorate their houses like the 80’s threw up inside?
  • Based on a true story – This one I’m not entirely sure of. I think it’s loosely based on true events, but not really based on a true story.
  • High-concept story line that no one really understands, but pretends to so that they will appear intelligent – This is pretty obvious…father trying to keep his two daughters under control, dealing with a life-changing secret…nothing too high concept here.
  • Based on a best-selling novel – Yup, written by Kaui Hart Hemmings. Haven’t read it yet, but I may have to check it out!

“Will it win the Best Picture Academy Award?” – I hope not. I think this is a good movie, worth watching, but I do not think it deserves to win Best Picture. I have no desire to see this movie again, and I enjoyed Moneyball MUCH more than this movie. I even tend to like George Clooney more than Brad Pitt, but I feel that Moneyball was the more enjoyable movie. Sorry guys!

“Should I watch this before Oscar night?”Absolutely. There is going to be a lot of buzz surrounding this movie, and Clooney is likely to win an Oscar for Best Actor. Definitely add it to your To-Do list…watch this movie before Sunday night!