Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Week In Movies - By The Hammer of Thor

Soul Surfer (2011) I'm a sucker for a PG rated drama. I also like surfing movies. This is the true life story of Bethany Hamilton who was on her way to becoming a pro surfer when a shark chomped off one of her arms. In true inspirational sports story fashion, Bethany defeats the odds by learning how to surf again sans left arm. The cast is great including Helen Hunt (where's she been?), Dennis Quaid and a little friend of mine by the name of Craig T. Nelson. I'm couldn't care less about any of Craig T. Nelson's television work but I loves him in the movies! American Idol Carrie Underwood makes her film debut as a youth group leader. She's good although I found it hard to buy that while on mission trip helping tsunami victims Carrie's character was in full makeup, hair and dangling earrings. But we'll give her a pass because she's pretty! There's also plenty of amazing surf footage. At times the religious themes play a little too hard, and the dialogue panders on self-explanatory but overall this is a likable film with a simple message: No matter what your problems are - chances are there's someone else with a lot bigger problem than you.

Thor (2011) This turned out to be a really enjoyable popcorn flick. And I think this flick calls for the ushering in of a new movie rating. Thor is rated PG-13, but realistically it should be rated either PG-7 or better yet: PG-Boy. The movie responsibly contains zero in the sex department and only one brief utterance of "dumbass" by a background character, as far as profanity is concerned. There is plenty of action comic book violence, but none of it is bloody or graphic. Any boy that wants to see this movie - can handle it. And it was great fun. After defying his father, Thor is banished from his home and lands on Earth where he meets scientist Natalie Portman. Thor's time on Earth is humorous but not silly to the point where the film turns into a dumb comedy. The action sequences are tight. I especially enjoyed the scene where Thor single handed takes on an entire top secret military base. Thor is played by Chris Hemsworth who you can tell is having the time of his life. This is the film where I realized how good an actress Natalie Portman is. Without much to do she ends up being one of the highlights of this early summer blockbuster.

No Strings Attached (2011) Just a coincidence that I saw another Natalie Portman movie this week. Here she shines again with her great comic talents as she takes on a no-commitment (but all of the benefits) relationship with Ashton Kutcher. The minute this romantic comedy kicks into gear you know exactly where it's going to end but it's a fun ride along the way. Snappy one-liners keep the laughs rolling and great supporting performances by Mindy Kaling, Ludacris and Kevin Kline keep the scenes fresh. My wife and I watch alot of romantic comedies (because that's about the only place our movie tastes meet) and this was an above average entry.

Vegas Vacation (1997) Easily the weakest of the four Vacation movies, no matter what I'll always have a special place in my heart for the Griswold family. The final (to date) instalment in one of my favorite film franchises, Clark and family head to Las Vegas for another family vacation. Clark looses the family finances at the blackjack table, Ellen is romantically pursued by Wayne Newton, Rusty becomes a high roller and Audry kind of becomes a stripper - but this is rated PG so she's kind of just a go-go dancer. A neat side note, when the family goes to see Wayne Newton at the MGM Grand he's performing in the same showroom my wife and I saw Howie Mandel last time we were in town. You could pretty much see the table we sat at with a couple from Canada. Good times, eh? All in all, you simply can't go wrong with a Vacation flick.


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Ed South said...

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