Name: Parental Guidance
Running Time (minutes): 105
Description: Old school grandfather Artie (Billy Crystal), who is accustomed to calling the shots, meets his match when he and his eager-to-please wife Diane (Bette Midler) agree to babysit their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents (Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott) go away for work. But when 21st century problems collide with Artie and Diane’s old school methods of tough rules, lots of love and old-fashioned games, it’s learning to bend – and not holding your ground – that binds a family together.
Stars: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei
Bette Middler overacts, kids are annoying.
Name: The Sessions
Running Time (minutes): 95
Description: At the age of 38, Mark O’Brien, a man who uses an iron lung, decides he no longer wishes to be a virgin. With the help of his therapist and his priest, he contacts Cheryl Cohen-Greene, a professional sex surrogate and a typical soccer mom with a house, a mortgage and a husband. Inspired by a true story, The Sessions, follows the fascinating relationship which evolves between Cheryl and Mark as she takes him on his journey to manhood.
Stars: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy
Genres: Biography, Comedy, Drama
I dunno… My first thought was: God, John Hawkes has a stupid voice, but in the end, I managed to appreciate it. When Cheryl and Mark started to love each other, I feared it would turn into a dramatic finale wherein Cheryl tragically ditches her husband and chooses to live with Mark, but that didn’t happen. Didn’t like how Helen Hunt kept mechanically dictating stuff into her recorded, did like Rhea Perlman’s thirty seconds of screentime. The ending was all right, I suppose, but I wasn’t really moved by the whole thing, not least because of Marco Beltrami’s unbelievably dull score.
Name: The Amazing Spider-Man
Running Time (minutes): 136
Description: Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy, and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr Curt Connors, his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Decided to give this a go after totally giving up on the terrible Toby Maguire movies.
Now THIS one was good! No Spider-Man whispering in that tortured voice Toby just can’t seem to drop. Garfield is so much better. Uncle Ben is better too, the villain is credible this time (no more stupid, childish hideous laughing)…
And Horner’s score is absolutely magical. Still wasn’t moved sufficiently when Ben died, but my goodness, this is so much better than Elfman’s perennial, comical, undramatic, annoymous, chaotic crap! What an awesome superhero theme!
Name: Shadow Dancer
Running Time (minutes): 101
Description: Set in 1990s Belfast, an active member of the IRA becomes an informant for MI5 in order to protect her son’s welfare.
Stars: Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson
Genres: Drama, Thriller
It’s a good story, but the way it was told just isn’t my thing. Hardly any music, let alone Irish music, a barely functional score, doom and gloom etc. Didn’t understand the ending either and it was really weird that the protagonist suddenly started kising the undercover agent fron no apparent reason. Also surprised how any IRA member could decide to turn against the IRA in two minutes.
Name: The Odd Life Of Timothy Green
Running Time (minutes): 102
Description: After receiving bad news from a fertility doctor, Cindy and Jim Green try to bury their dreams of having a child by writing out all the great traits their child would have and putting them in a box in the garden. During a freak storm in the middle of the night, they awake to find a boy named Timothy, with leaves growing from his ankles, standing in their kitchen calling them mom and dad. Cindy and Jim are thrown into the midst of parenthood and over the coming months, Timothy will teach them more than they could have imagined about being parents and raising a child, no matter how he comes into their lives.
Stars: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Well it was certainly a bit odd, reminded me of The Green Mile. I never really liked these stories about a normal world where one supernatural element comes in. Other than that, Jennifer Garner was mostly very good and Joel Edgerton was… awkward but had his moments. The score was nice and had some interesting effects where they reversed the sound of the flutes. Sometimes it did seem to be happy where it needed to be sad, and the film was clearly forcing a message down the viewer’s throat: that it’s totally okay to be different, which wasn’t done in the most subtle way. Seeing the parents go from imperfect to perfect was a nice process, but the way Timothy just comes and goes like that… Not my thing.
Running Time (minutes): 93
Description: Set in Scotland in a rugged and mythical time, Brave features Merida, an aspiring archer and impetuous daughter of royalty. Merida makes a reckless choice that unleashes unintended peril and forces her to spring into action to set things right.
Stars: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson
Genres: Animation, Action, Adventure
Och aye the noo. Mainly watched it because Patrick Doyle, one of my favourite film composers, wrote the music and because Emma Thompson is in it. Her Scottish accent is so juicy! Billy Connolly neverrrrr disappoints eitherrrrrr. It was obviously a children’s story, but I was feeling under the weather so just wanted to sit back and empty the brain. Mission accomplished.
I already knew the score, but hearing it in its proper context made it so much better and gave it much more meaning.