the avengers

So I’m kinda obsessed with The Avengers movie. I’ve seen it twice (the first time in NY during our trip, lol) and I need the blu-ray in my life pretty much right now.

Rob & I even spent a day of our Memorial Day weekend marathon-ing Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America. HEHE. Marvel’s strategy of developing individual characters in their own movies and building up to this point was right on.

Anyway, I’m not a movie critic. I’m pretty easily entertained. And I LOVED this movie. It had everything — humor, wit, action and heart.

PLUS THE CAST. They’re so awesome. ILOVETHEMSOMUCH. They all have off the charts chemistry with one another and I left the movie wanting to know more about the relationships between them all — Iron Man & Hulk (science buddies!), Black Widow & Hawkeye (wow, the sexual tension), Iron Man & Cap (love their banter), Thor & Loki (brothers!) and Cap & Thor (my personal favorite because of the eye candy – I’m shallow).

AND OF COURSE, JOSS WHEDON. You can tell that he loves the source material. And I loved that the script was infused with his signature witty dialogue (reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my all-time favorite shows).

Instead of analyzing the movie, I’m going to list my favorite moments/one-liners that made me smile (SPOILERS – BEWARE!!!)…

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happy hunger games

Ever since I saw The Hunger Games last weekend, it’s been on my mind. Seeing the movie rekindled my love for the book. Maybe it’s time for a re-read.

It definitely wasn’t a perfect movie and it didn’t elevate the source material but I think it did a great job of bringing Katniss’s world to life. I absolutely loved both Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss and Peeta respectively. Neither actor was exactly how I pictured when reading the book (Peeta in particular) but I rarely get hung up on looks so long as they get the character right. And I thought they did.

Some quick thoughts…

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end of an era

It’s here. HARRY POTTER day.

I was hoping to see the movie this weekend but we have a wedding, baby shower and birthday to attend so I’m not sure when I’ll have the chance. Hopefully soon.

I can hardly believe that after Deathly Hallows, Part 2, there won’t be any more movies to look forward to or obsess over.


I love the movies for bringing one of my favorite book series to life. And for introducing the world to Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson. Look how much they’ve grown!

Sorceror’s Stone

Chamber of Secrets

Prisoner of Azkaban

Goblet of Fire

Order of the Phoenix

Half-Blood Prince

Deathly Hallows, Part 1

I LOVE THEM. Thanks Leaky Cauldron for the pics. The inspiration for this mini picspam came from Hero Complex and their own slideshow of the actors through the years.

I also have to share this video of behind the scenes footage from the last days of shooting…

I’m seriously crying right now.

Thank you, Harry. (Yes, I stole that from last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly. No, I don’t care).

tangled + thor

Oh man. My house is an absolute mess right now. For 5 out of the last 8 weeks, either Rob or I have been traveling for work so there’s random stuff on every conceivable desk, table, or counter. Suitcases all over the floor in our bedroom. Not to mention a layer of dust accumulating everywhere. GAH. My BFF’s wedding is this weekend (!!!) after which life should settle down a bit. LET’S HOPE. 😀

Anyway, I managed to catch a couple of movies recently and enjoyed them so much I wanted to share my thoughts…


LOVED IT! The animation was stunning. It felt reminiscent of old school Disney movies. The only quibble I have is that overall the music wasn’t too memorable. But really, the characters and the story more than make up for any shortcomings.

What I loved most is that both Rapunzel and Flynn are well-developed characters on their own — and I adored them both.

My absolute favorite scene is the one pictured above when Flynn takes Rapunzel to see the lanterns and they sing I See the Light. (I had no idea Zachary Levi had such a great voice!).

Other great moments…
Any scenes with Maximus and Pascal. Two of the best sidekicks in the Disney verse!

Rapunzel finally leaving the tower and driving Flynn crazy by going back and forth (and back and forth) about being excited and terrified.

Flynn: “You were my new dream.”
Rapunzel: “And you were mine.”

Flynn’s ultimate act of sacrifice and love. *sob*

SEE THIS! Highly recommended.


Watched this yesterday in 3D and probably should have saved the money and watched the 2D version. I don’t think the 3D was impactful enough (like it was with Avatar) to justify the additional cost. Regardless, Thor was a great movie! Far better than the trailers make it out to be.

I’m not familiar with the story of Thor so I can’t say if the characters are true to the comic books. But I thought the storyline did a good job of introducing the characters and the world of Asgard.

The cast was solid as well. Chris Hemsworth impressed me — he has incredible screen presence and was able to pull off Thor’s arrogance and charisma with ease. He totally won me over when he arrives on Earth and demands more coffee by smashing his mug. BWAH. That was awesome.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki was the stand-out, though. I found him to be a fascinating villain. I didn’t agree with his actions but somehow I understood where he was coming from.

Natalie Portman as Jane didn’t have a whole lot to do in the movie but I always like her. I have to admit I’m a sucker for movie romances so while Jane and Thor only knew each other for a few days, I found myself rooting for them anyway.

Good start to the Summer Blockbuster season!

adjustment bureau

My heart goes out to the people of Japan. It deeply saddens me to see the destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami. But I know that actions speak louder than words so I’m going to make a donation to the American Red Cross to aid in the relief efforts and I hope you’ll consider doing the same (if not to the Red Cross, maybe to the humanitarian organization of your choice).

So Rob and I watched a matinee showing of The Adjustment Bureau today (thanks for the gift card Jason! :))…

I’d say it’s a solid movie. A little light in terms of the story but saved by the tremendous acting. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are so charming and radiant together that you can’t help but root for them to be together. John Slattery and Anthony Mackie round out an amazing cast.

ALSO. Very important. This movie is essentially a romance. It’s being marketed as an action thriller but it’s not. It’s definitely a love story — just with action elements.

The story revolves around the ideas of free will versus destiny. These central concepts ground the movie but there’s not enough detail to make it substantial. Even the ending came together too easily. Fortunately, the actors do such a fantastic job at selling the story that the happy ending feels satisfying nonetheless.


hp and the deathly hallows, part 1

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I sure did. 🙂 I didn’t take many pictures but I’ll try to post a holiday recap over the weekend.

So… this review (of sorts) is super late. But I wanted to write it for posterity. 🙂

I loved Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. I really, really did. The movie felt less like an adaptation (the way Prisoner of Azkaban was) and more of a faithful translation of the book but it worked. It was dark, intense and suspenseful when it needed to be yet it also had moments of humor to temper all the emotions.

I have to say that the trio is amazing. The producers really lucked out many years ago with the casting of Dan, Rupert and Emma. This movie features them so much and they delivered.

Cutting the rest for spoilers…
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the social network

When I heard a movie about Facebook was being developed I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes. I thought the idea was ridiculous. I imagined it to be a teen flick about friending, status updates, etc. I had absolutely no interest in the movie at all.

Then a few months back I learned that Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher were attached to write the screenplay and direct the movie, respectively. Hearing this gave me pause. I’m a huge Sorkin fan (The West Wing is one of my favorite shows and A Few Good Men one of my favorite movies) so I knew my first impression was mistaken. Not to mention that based on Fincher’s filmography (Zodiac, Fight Club, etc), this wasn’t going to be just another teen movie. It was going to be original, compelling, substantial…

And it was! I convinced Rob to see it last weekend!

THE SCRIPT IS AMAZING. From the opening scene, I was in awe of Sorkin. The dialogue is his trademark rapid-fire style that’s crisp, smart, and witty. It’s intelligent without losing its sense of humor. And it expects the audience to keep up — it’s not weighted down with any unnecessary expository dialogue.

I hope that The Social Network can overcome the reputation as “that Facebook movie” because the creation of the site is just the means of exploring the larger themes of friendship, ambition, motivation, and betrayal. The movie cuts back and forth between the present-day and flashbacks and tells the story from three different perspectives — Mark Zuckerberg (creator/co-founder), Eduardo Saverin (co-founder, original CFO before his ownership was reduced to nothing), and the Winklevoss twins (who had the idea for Harvard Connection and believe that Mark stole their idea for an exclusive social networking site). I found myself sympathizing with and understanding where everyone was coming from, especially Eduardo. If there’s a tragic party in this story, it would be him. He was just way out of his depth in the whole situation. I know the movie is a dramatization and I’m sure the creators took liberties (I’ve read that the character of Erica Albright doesn’t exist the same way she does in the movie — she’s essentially the reason Mark was motivated to create the site) but it’s so interesting to me how the basic facts of the story are true. How one young person has the ability to change the face of modern communication and bring so many people from different parts of the world together. And does so while simultaneously pushing his own friends away.

The performances from all the actors are also noteworthy. Particularly the two leads. I’ve never seen Jesse Eisenberg (Mark Zuckerberg) or Andrew Garfield (Eduardo Saverin) in any of their previous roles but I’m definitely looking forward to their next projects. Especially the latter who has just been cast as the new Spider-man. I was even impressed by Justin Timberlake (playing Napster co-founder Sean Parker)! I’m a fan of his music but haven’t thought much of his acting (being funny on SNL doesn’t really count) until now. Seriously, everyone was at the top of their game.

GO SEE IT. Highly recommended.

I’m putting some of my favorite quotes under the cut just in case you don’t want to be spoiled. I got a kick out these. 🙂
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iron man 2

Went to see Iron Man 2 on Sunday morning (10:45am showing!)… possible spoilers???

It wasn’t quite as fresh and original as the first movie but I still found it super fun and entertaining.

My biggest disappointment was, shockingly, Don Cheadle. Especially compared to the awesomeness of Robert Downey Jr. Cheadle played Rhodey so flat. And I normally love him in everything he does! It was like he was just reading lines from the script instead of infusing emotion and charm behind the words. I almost wish Terence Howard wasn’t so greedy to see what he would have done in the role again. He’s the reason why I love Rhodey and his friendship with Stark so much.

On the other hand, I really liked Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. I usually don’t care for her acting at all so I lowered my expectations accordingly and she pleasantly surprised me. Her big fight scene was cool too. A little “pose-y” but whatever. I know that was aaalllll for the guys. Heh.

I also thought Mickey Rourke was effective as Vanko but his death felt a little anticlimactic. It took all of 2 minutes of fighting with Iron Man and War Machine to go down? Some villain! Ehhh.

As mentioned, RDJ was awesome even though Tony was kind of an ass for most of the movie. His interactions with Pepper and Happy made me so… happy. LOL.

So yeah. Go see it! And stay until the end of the credits to see the teaser for the upcoming Thor movie (?).

Brief thoughts on other movies I’ve seen recently…

Julie & Julia
I read the book last week (it was… ok, not really what I expected) so when I finished it, I wanted to see how the movie compared. And I actually liked the movie FAR better than the book. Terrible, right? I feel like I should be totally ashamed. Books are supposed to be better than movies! The main reason I liked the movie so much was because they dedicated a larger part of it to Julia Child and Meryl Streep was amazing in the role. They also toned down Julie’s character (or maybe that was thanks to the charming Amy Adams) and streamlined her storyline a lot, which I appreciated because the book had too many random moments thrown in for no apparent reason. Although I still don’t feel like either the book or the movie adequately explained WHY Julie took on the cooking project in the first place and what her motivation was to keep it going.

Princess and the Frog
Liked it! Didn’t love it. But I think it’s a step in the right direction for Disney. It doesn’t reach the standard they set with old school movies like Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast but it featured likeable characters, awesome sidekicks, and a satisfying story. My only disappointment was the music! 🙁 None of the songs were very memorable. The only one that I remember is the Ne-Yo song that plays over the end credits but I think that has more to do with the fact that I’m a Ne-Yo fan. I wish Alan Menken hadn’t been replaced. His work in past Disney films really enhanced the movies and the songs stayed with me over the years — I mean, Beauty and the Beast and Part of Your World? Those are classics.

up in the air

So I did talk Rob (and my cousin) into watching Up in the Air last weekend and I liked it!


I think I liked it so much because I was intrigued by Ryan’s (George Clooney) job of traveling back and forth across the country to fire people. I mean, is there really such a job?! And I found it believable that someone who has this job would live a nomadic lifestyle as well — only living for miles and elite status, pushing friends and family away to avoid having a place to call “home.” I ended up really sympathizing with him as the movie went on. And I attribute a lot of that to George Clooney. Ryan probably wouldn’t have been as likable and charming a character if it weren’t for him.

Towards the end of the movie, I thought they were going for the whole “he gets the girl — and regains his life” ending and as much as I’m a romantic, it wasn’t true to life and I didn’t want the movie to go in that direction. I’m glad it didn’t. Life isn’t easy and I think that Ryan needed to learn that emotional connection doesn’t always happen when you want it to. So I was much happier that the ending was left… up in the air (haha, pun intended). That you weren’t quite sure where Ryan was headed. Was he going to revert back to where he started? Or was he going to move forward and regain his life? I hope it was the latter.

Aside from the story, I thought the acting was solid. Vera Farmiga was beautiful and strong as Alex. But Anna Kendrick’s Natalie Keener totally stole the movie! (She was also one of the best parts of New Moon). She really holds her own against the other two more experienced actors. In fact, my favorite scenes were the ones of the three of them drinking and party-ing in Miami. The casting department really did a great job with this ensemble. They’re so deserving of all their award nominations.

It’s not a movie for everyone but I really appreciated it and hope you will too!

avatar + new moon

I saw a few movies in the theatre recently (it’s been months)… so you get to read my thoughts on Avatar and New Moon. 😀

Back on New Year’s Eve, I went to see Avatar AT 9AM (!). Yes, you read that right. I’m pretty sure I woke up earlier that day than I do regularly for work. I honestly didn’t think that many people would watch a movie AT 9AM (!) but when we arrived around 8:30, the line to enter the theatre was winding around the building. Craziness.

We decided to see the movie in IMAX 3-D, which was a great decision but holy cow, it’s expensive! The ticket price is $16.50. Luckily we had discount tickets that made them $12.50 each but still. Maybe I’m just cheap.

I don’t remember the last time I saw a 3-D movie (maybe it was one of the 3-D shows at Disneyland?) but I know it’s been years. So I was not prepared when the lights dimmed, I put on my 3-D glasses and the 20th Century Fox logo on the screen practically jumped out at me. WOW.

So the movie. I wouldn’t say I LOVED it… as in I feel fan-girly about the characters or would buy the DVD to watch it over and over. But I did really enjoy it and appreciate it. It’s an *amazing* movie. Wait — it’s an amazing experience. Admittedly, the story is predictable and generic (reminds me so much of Pocahontas) but it’s so visually stunning (OMG, the floating mountains!) that it almost doesn’t matter. All the Pandoran details were incredible — my personal favorites were the seeds of Eywa and the Tree of Souls — that it really felt as if I was transported into that world. The only thing that kept taking me out of the story was the fact that the humans wanted unobtainium from Pandora. UNOBTAINIUM. I couldn’t help but giggle each time someone said that. I mean, seriously? Regardless, I highly recommend this movie. GO SEE IT!

I think I read somewhere that James Cameron confirmed he would be making a sequel. While I’d like to see if the humans really did leave the Na’Vi alone on Pandora (does anyone really believe that?!), I’d LOVE to see a prequel even more. Like how humans found Pandora in the first place and how initial contact was made with the Na’Vi. I guess it’ll be interesting either way.

I spent this past weekend with my best friends on our annual Girls Weekend where we gossip, eat yummy food, and go to the spa… this year we also decided to watch a movie. We were originally going to see Avatar since neither of them had seen it and really, it’s a CAN’T MISS kind of movie but when we got to the theatre, we saw a poster for New Moon and opted for that instead since it’s a chick flick and all.

I have to say upfront that I’m not a huge fan of the Twilight series. I read all 4 of the books and don’t understand the obsession. I’M SORRY! I tried, I really did. But I don’t like Bella at all and that really colors the story for me.

Back to the movie. I definitely think New Moon was miles better than Twilight. The bigger production budget showed. And it seemed like the acting was better. Despite better acting, though, Kristen Stewart actually made me dislike Bella even more. 🙁 She’s just so sullen that it makes it hard to root for her. I seriously wanted to reach through the screen, shake her, and tell her to snap out of it! It’s been over a year since I read the book but I don’t remember her being quite so mopey or so flat.

And because everyone always asks… for the record, in the books, I leaned toward Team Edward but so far in the movies, I’ve been Team Jacob. He’s so charming and likable (and darn it, I feel so bad for the guy) while Edward just looks bored. Come on, RPattz! Stop phoning it in.

Anyway, my favorite parts of the movie were all the Volturi scenes because they were so over the top (Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning as Aro and Jane were exactly how I pictured those characters) and pretty much any scenes that had to do with Emmett (not that there were many but Kellan Lutz is awesome), Alice, and Jessica. The only thing I didn’t like about the movie was the way Edward appeared to Bella when she was being reckless/crazy. It looked really cheesy to me. :/

So yay! That’s it. I’m interested in seeing Eclipse when it comes out later this year because I remember liking that book a lot.

I just realized that I have a 3-day weekend coming up (yay MLK) and I’d really love to watch another movie in the theatre. I’d forgotten how much better it is that way. I’m trying to see if Rob will watch Up In the Air. We’ll see. 😉