Movies of the Week – January 28, 2013

Motley Monday

Our Movies of the Week selection spans any genre from any of the decades in film history, so don’t be put off if you see something in the list below that you’ve already viewed. It’s a collection of must-see’s for those who haven’t, and perhaps a see-it-again for those who’re looking to relive memories.

Action/Thriller/Suspense Flick

Phone Booth [2002]

Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) is a PR who puts on a confident mask for society’s sake so his stunted business ethics would produce fame and riches someday. But he couldn’t have guessed in a million years that his life will change for the worse. And all it took was for him to pick up a ringing public phone.

Soon, he’s cornered by a self-righteous caller (Keifer Sutherland) who knows too much about Stu for comfort. Throw in Captain Ramey (Forest Whitaker) who heads the negotiation part of the police department and you can be sure to see suspense, misunderstanding and just desserts come out to play.
Will Stu live to see tomorrow? Will real justice be served? Will all the misunderstandings be resolved, or will wrong man meet his end?

Chick Flick

When In Rome [2010]

Beth (Kristen Bell) is a woman whom Love has hurt. When she finds herself in Rome, attending her baby sister’s wedding, little did she count on a strange twist of fate that leads her to the Fountain of Love.

Drunk and sad and picking up the coins dropped in by desperate love-seekers, she didn’t know the legend behind the fountain. How the men the coins belong to feel drawn to her. What a coincidence that they all work in New York, where Beth holds a curator job in a major art gallery.

As she finds herself courted by men she has no idea about and later learns the legend behind the fountain, she’s at her wit’s end. Will she rebuff the men who find themselves inexplicably in love with her? When will the curse end and how? Is one of them really ‘the one’, or is he just another disappointment?

Also starring Josh Duhamel, Angelica Huston and Danny DeVito, this fun-funny movie is a treat.

Animation Flick

Despicable Me [2010]

In a colony that fits the mold of a happy and joyful neighborhood, Gru (Steve Carell) finds himself hating his life and all the things in it. Success is always out of his reach. Where plans to pull off the biggest heist of all is concerned, you can’t be too certain of anything.

Gru has set his mind on stealing the moon and making a true villain of himself. So, aided by his army of minions, he uses all sorts of wacky, weird and cool gadgets to realize that dream. Along come three little orphaned girls who find themselves looking up to Gru as they would a Dad.

This is all too much for an wannabe-villain like Gru to handle. Will he change for three children who love him? Will his heart find a way to live up to their opinion of him, which isn’t that of a villain but somebody good?

With other voice talents including Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews and Will Arnett, this golden globe nominated animation feature is a heart-touching action-filled bomb of entertainment.

Comedy Flick

Liar Liar [1997]

Fletcher Reede (Jim Carrey) lies for a living. Yes, he’s a lawyer and lies come so naturally to him, it’s like breathing. Not only does his son, Max Reede (Justin Cooper) find it difficult that his parents are divorced, he finds his dad always missing out on his life, from sports, school and also his birthday.

He knows his dad lies to him about why he’s late for everything in his life. So, when wishing for something before blowing the candles out, he wishes his father would never tell another lie. That’s when all comedy hell breaks loose as Fletcher realizes his ‘practice’ could use a lot more honing.

Will he get to the root of why he can’t lie in court or to anyone? Will he resolve the immense trouble he therefore gets himself into? And will he finally see the error of his ways and treat his son like any good dad should?

Fantasy Flick

Stardust [2007]

Set in the 1800s, Tristan Thorne (Charlie Cox) grows to learn there’s more to life than meets the eye. His love life is on edge as competition for the hand of the most beautiful girl in the village goads Tristan to want to prove himself.

When a shooting star passes by, the girl asks he get her that star. Blinded by love, he follows its fall and heads in that direction. Beset by a short wall, he doesn’t believe the legend that says to cross it was to enter another realm altogether.

Soon Tristan finds himself in Stormhold, a whole other world but so much like his own that he doesn’t even know he made the shift. In this realm, the star that fell holds hope for many people, just like it does for three witches. To attain their youth and renew their immortality, Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) heads out on behalf of her weaker witch-sisters to find the star.

Tristan gets to it first only to learn the ‘star’ is actually a beautiful angel-like being called Yvaine (Claire Danes) and her desperate desire to find a way back home. Ever the noble soul, Tristan promises to help. Will he and Yvaine find what they’re looking for in their own personal lives, or in each other? Will good triumph over evil using love as a weapon? What happens when Tristan learns his biological mother is actually from this fantasy world?

Many mysteries, thrills and superb graphics make this Hugo award winning movie an adventure to reckon with. Forming the icing on the cake are performances from Sienna Miller, Henry Cavill, and Robert DeNiro and with narration by Ian McKellen.

Musical Flick

Chicago [2002]

Sex, corruption, deception, murder and jazz. You’ll find all this and more in this memorable musical that’s earned the 6 Oscars it won. It follows the lives of two very different women, Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) and Velma Kelley (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who find their fates interlock over murder.

Both women find something to punish the men in their lives for and kill them for sins committed. In jail, they learn that only the best lawyer can get them off. Enter, Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) who’s charm and courtroom expertise has never failed him a case.

The songs say it all, depicting America’s low-down legal system and how murder is treated as entertainment than an actual crime. Also starring Queen Latifah, Dominic West, Christine Baranski and Lucy Liu, this stunning musical has got it right on all notes.

Horror Flick

The Silence of the Lambs [1991]

When Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) joined the FBI, she could never have known she’d meet someone like Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). When the daughter of a dignitary gets kidnapped by a serial killer, “Buffalo Bill”, she’s assigned the job of seeking answers through another killer.

Clarice soon finds herself meeting the twisted yet charming, the ingenious yet dark Dr. Lecter. He helps her get into the mind of the criminal whom newspapers were going on about as the man responsible for murdering many a young woman across the American Midwest.

Will Clarice find the killer in time and stop his rampage of blood-lust? Will Lecter’s shady character get to her until she makes a mistake she’ll regret forever? Will Dr. Lecter’s manipulations of the young agent help secure his escape from the asylum keeping his deranged mind from reaching out into society again?

This 5-Oscar-winner is a movie that simply can’t be forgotten.

Drama Flick

Music of the Heart [1999]

This superbly inspiring and heart-tugging true story (nominated for 2 Oscars) tracks Roberta Guaspari (Meryl Streep), a teacher who stands alone against the board of education after adopting a teaching-post at a school where under-privileged kids attend.

Being a violin teacher, Roberta wants nothing more than to give kids the chance to experience the life-changing effect music has on the soul. When she sees her students pay little to no attention in class and some of them quitting because their parents think music class is a waste of time, Roberta takes the reins into her own hands and works twice as hard to make people believe in her dream.

To do that, she has to start with the children in her class who soon begin to feel what she feels and find escape in the music of violins. But the System puts pressure on Roberta’s dream, making her almost give up on everything. After all, her personal life gets blunted, her love life enters complications and her job is at risk.

When the prestigious Tiffany School of Music hosts a program that lets kids perform, Roberta uses her past connections there to get her students a chance to show everyone how valuable Music has been to them. And thus unfolds a tale of such magical proportions, it’s sure to make you cry, laugh and remember that one person with a strong enough will can indeed move mountains.

Classic Flick [1968]

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

This outstanding Oscar nominated musical classic is something nobody should go without seeing. When the eccentric Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke) finds employment hard to come by for an inventor like himself, he retires to his dingy lab where he tries coming up with the next big thing.

With a father and two kids, a boy and girl, to take care of after his wife died the man holds himself in an optimistic light for the sake of his family. Now, an infamous racing car in its time finds itself at the dump, soon to be crushed into scrap metal. Potts’ kids fall in love with it and beg their daddy to get it for them.

Unable to afford it but also unwilling to see his children’s happiness be dimmed, Caractacus unintentionally joins a dance performance at a carnival nearby. His wacky yet in-sync moves earn the applause of the crowds and the troupe is willing to share their earnings of the day with him.

Potts purchases the car, locks himself away in his garage and transforms the vehicle into a beautiful functional machine. They christen it ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ because of the sound it makes. The family encounters Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes) and together they go on an adventure Charles Dickens himself will have been proud of.

Will Potts and Truly fall in love? Will the woman’s rich father, the owner of a sweets factory, accept one of Pott’s creations, the whistle-sweet, and give him a reason to woo his daughter’s hand? Will the children finally find a mother they love? This is a movie filled with twists, turns, memorable music and a story that’s truly inspiring.

Image Credit: Free Digital Photos

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