For the record, these reviews contain NO SPOILERS within.I'm actually going to start off with a dvd before I move on to those Now In Theaters:
Movie: The DaVinci Code
Starring: Tom Hanks, Jean Reno, Audrey Tatou, Alfred Molina, Ian McKellen
Synopsis: Famed symbologist Professor Robert Langdon is called to the Louvre museum one night where a curator has been murdered, leaving behind a mysterious trail of symbols and clues. With his own survival at stake, Langdon, aided by the police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, unveils a series of stunning secrets hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, all leading to a covert society dedicated to guarding an ancient secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years. The pair set off on a thrilling quest through Paris, London and Scotland, collecting clues as they desperately attempt to crack the code and reveal secrets that will shake the very foundations of mankind. (From Yahoo Movies)
My Two Cents: I actually read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed it. As I have a tendency to be seriously disappointed with a movie after I've read the book, I've decided that the best way to handle this in the future is to either watch the movie first, or wait until enough time has passed that I don't have a very clear memory of the book. I took the latter approach with this one, and it worked well for me. I thought the movie was very well done, and for as confusing and conplicated a book as this was, they did a fairly good job of translating it to film. The vital parts of the story were there, and having the book as background knowledge, I had no trouble following along and grasping it. However, my friend Shopaholic wasn't so lucky. She hasn't read the book, and was completely lost during several key parts of the movie. She's also not a Christian, so she doesn't even have the religious background to be able to follow the basic Jesus, Mary and Joseph ideas in the storyline, so I'm sure that added to the hindrance. That aside, I feel they did a fairly good job of developing the story in sync with the novel, and as a stand alone movie, I enjoyed it as well.
Tom Hanks was great as Robert Langdon, if a bit different from how I had pictured the character. Still, I was reminded that I actually am a fan of his work, and should watch more of his movies. I felt the rest of the cast was also well put together, but I wasn't particularly blown away by anyone, except for Silas. The actor who protrayed him was excellent in his role as the tortured, not-quite-evil, not-quite-pious soul. Overall, a good movie, but nothing spectacular.
Rating: I'd go with 3 1/2 out of 5 Martini Glasses on this one.
Starring: Hillary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Gina Gershon, James Marsters
Synopsis: A grieving young widow discovers that her late husband has left her a list of tasks revealed in 10 messages, delivered anonymously, intended to ease her out of grief and transition her to a new life. (Again from Yahoo Movies)
My Two Cents: I loved this movie. Yes, it's a sappy chick flick, but I like sappy chick flicks, and as far as sappy chick flicks go? This one was one of the best I've seen in a long time. It's very hard to write a review of this movie without giving anything away, and I make it a practice to NOT post spoilers in my reviews, so I'll keep it short. I've never quite gotten what all the hype about Hillary Swank is, but I thought she was wonderful in this movie as the grieving widow. I'd never really noticed Gerard Butler before (sorry Julia, I know that's blasphemy), but after this movie, I GET IT. I love Lisa Kudrow, and thought she was her usual cynical funny self in this, and loved it. I was tickled by the surprise of James Marsters (SPIKE) in this, small as his role was. I fell head over heels in love with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, again, as I had before when he played Denny on Grey's Anatomy. I laughed at the funny stuff, and boy did I cry. I cry very easily, for the record. But with this movie? I'm pretty sure I started crying about 10 minutes in, and I didn't stop until the end of the movie. Just when something would happen that would help me to laugh, and compose myself a bit...there it would be again, another tearjerking moment. Still, even with all the crying (perhaps because of it), it was a great movie, just bring tissues.
P.S. - I loved it.
Rating: I'm actually going to go 5 out 5 Martini Glasses on this one. I'll buy the dvd.
Movie: The Bucket List
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes
Synopsis: Two terminally ill men try to fulfill a wish list known as "The Bucket List" before each kicks the bucket.
My Two Cents: I wasn't even sure I wanted to watch this movie when I first heard of it. It seemed like a pretty morbid premisse to me, and another tear jerker, and I'd just watched PS I Love You, I didn't need another tear jerker. But circumstances and timing left this as the only viable choice on a night out at the movies, so we settled on it. I'm glad we did, it was actually a lot less morbid than I expected, and in fact, was quite uplifting and funny. Really funny. The combination of Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman and Sean Hayes (very much out of his "Just Jack" character), was a fantastic mix. The story was sweet, if bittersweet, and I shed a few tears, but not nearly as many as I'd expected to. (Again, I cry at everything). And the movie was beautifully shot, some amazing scenery and images. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Rating: I'll go 4 out of 5 Martini Glasses here.
Starring: Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman, Edward Burns
Synopsis: Jane is idealistic, romantic and completely selfless--a perennial bridesmaid whose own happy ending is nowhere in sight. But when younger sister Tess captures the heart of Jane's boss--with whom she is secretly in love--Jane begins to reexamine her "always-a-bridesmaid..." lifestyle.
My Two Cents: I had already mentioned in this post that I really wanted to see this movie because I was SO this girl. I've got about 20 less dresses than her, but man, am I the eternal bridesmaid! So I was giddy with anticipation at seeing it. The difference between myself and Jane is that she actually loves weddings...me? Not so much. The movie was most certainly 100% chick flick, and as such, there were several moments where I found myself wanting to slap Jane for her stupidity, her lack of a backbone, her inability to stand up for herself. This happens pretty much anytime I watch a chick flick, or read a chick lit novel, so I wasn't really put off for too long. Again, without getting into spoilers, I'll just focus on the basic stuff. The movie made me laugh A LOT. It was funny, it was silly, it was cute, and it was sweet. It also gave me a fantastic idea for my wedding, if I ever have one, but we'll leave that on at that. Katherine Heigl was great in it, James Marsden is adorable, Malin Akerman as Jane's sister was annoying (but she was meant to be, so I think that's a compliment to the actress) and the rest of the cast? Forgetable mostly. Yes, even Ed Burns, his character did NOTHING for me. The movie itself? Cute, funny, I'd watch it again.
Rating: As far as chick flicks go, we'll go 3 out 5 Martinis
And there you have it. Happy movie watching!