Letters To Juliet & My Grammy! Robin Hood VS. MacGruber!

Letters To Juliet & My Grammy! Robin Hood VS. MacGruber!

Wednesday 05-19-10

My yearlong Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man mission continues as the summer movie season starts to hit its stride as June approaches. Please check out my earlier bog posts to catch up. Now on with my further adventures:-) Today I planned my movie marathon at my favorite AMC Theater south of Atlanta. Its seems like its been awhile since I’ve been here. I know this theater like the back of my hand; I could walk it with my eyes close. As I purchased my movie ticket I got a free coupon I could use for free large popcorn and large drink or a free movie ticket. Since I can only use the ticket on a movie that has been out for two weeks, the coupon was worth more to me on the popcorn and drink since my movie ticket was only $5.00 since it started before 12 noon. A large drink and popcorn costs about 12 bucks.

The first movie on my marathon today was the romantic comedy Letters to Juliet starring Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Egan. This movie was sweet and fun. Amanda Seyfried plays an American girl on vacation in Italy who finds an unanswered “letter to Juliet” — one of thousands of missives left at the fictional lover’s Verona courtyard, which are typically answered by a the “secretaries of Juliet” — and she goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter. Amanda was great in the role, but Vanessa Redgrave whose character wrote the letter in question to Juliet was the one who stole this movie. Her character hit home with me too cause she reminded me of my step grandmother Hildegard on my moms side. I never new my mom’s mom cause she died four days before I was born. This hit my grandfather hard as you can imagine. About 3 years later he met Hildegard on a ski vacation in Europe. They both had lost their spouses and bonded very quickly and soon got married in a very romantic setting. In the early 2000’s both Hildegard and my grandfather died within a year of each other. Vanessa Redgrave’s character Claire reminded me so much of Hildegard I was reminiscing of my fond memories of her. I remember as a kid writing my own letters to Grammy Hildegard. She and my grandfather bought me my first typewriter and an early computer known as a Commodore 64, which I still have. A side note of fun interest about Vanessa Redgrave’s character, is that her long lost love in the movie is played by her real life husband Franco Nero. Their chemistry on screen is obviously translated from something real: -) Towards the end of this movie I realized I wish I were watching this movie with my girlfriend Jane. I know she would be enjoying this movie with me. This is when I knew I would be seeing this movie again with her soon.

The second movie on my list to see was another romantic comedy called Just Wright starring Queen Latifah and Common. Queen Latifah plays a physical therapist that falls for the basketball player (played by Common) she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury. This is what I call a “time released” movie. A basketball themed movie being released during the NBA playoffs is a smart move, in theory. However this movie only made about 8 ½ million opening weekend so I think it will be considered a flop unless it picks up over the next few weeks. I did enjoy this film. It wasn’t great but it was entertaining. My only problem was seeing musician turned actor Common play a romantic lead. I’m used to seeing him in badass action type roles, which I like him in. He’s in cool flicks like Terminator Salvation, Wanted, American Gangster and Smokin’ Aces. He needs a little more acting chops to pull off a romantic lead. He has cool charisma to pull it off with more practice. Queen Latifah was good in her role. She nailed her part. She’s charming and funny.

The third movie I took in today was my most anticipated one for this marathon, Robin Hood (2010) starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. Russell Crowe plays Robin Longstride, an archer in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion who fights against the Norman invaders and becomes the legendary hero known as Robin Hood. Now I must mention that I was skeptical about Russell pulling off Robin Hood, isn’t he a little old? Also when does this movie take place during the mythical Robin Hood lore? I’ll address these concern’s shortly. Going into this movie I avoided any spoilers if I could cause I didn’t want to have any more expectations. Ridley Scott is the director, so I knew the movie had to be in good hands from the start. Ridley Scott’s resume as a director is very impressive. From the start and throughout the rest of the movies I was very impressed with the casting, sets, costumes and look of the overall movie. Cate Blanchett in my opinion is one of the most beautiful actresses of our time. In addition she is also one of the most talented. She plays Marion Loxley. Now matter how much they tried to “dirty her up” in certain scenes, she still looked beautiful. SPOILER ALERT. Most Robin Hood movie plot lines somehow involve Robin Hood already an outlaw in Sherwood Forest and rescuing the Fair Maid Marion from the evil Sheriff Of Nottingham and Sir Guy of Gizborn or whatever. This is not that movie. This movie is a prequel of sorts. This movie revolves around Robin and his crew fighting for King and country and getting involved in a ruse before Robin becomes a “Hood”. My favorite part of the movie was the scenes that involved Robin and his “merry men”, you know Little John, Will Scarlet, Allan A’Dayle etc. Don’t worry, they are not merry and are not referred to as such :-) After the movie I made a quick visit to the bathroom and headed to my next movie. Outside the theater entrance to my next movie I was sending a text picture message to Jane, which included a movie poster to the upcoming flick Killers she expressed interest in seeing with me.  A woman named Toni who I recognized was in the same row with me in the theater while watching Robin Hood then approached me. She asked me what my opinion of the movie was. We both agreed that we liked the film overall and the direction it took with the different side of the Robin Hood story. After the movie I decided that the older version of Robin didn’t bother me even though I was used to seeing younger versions in past films. Besides his character is mythical, who’s to say he wasn’t older and wiser anyways:-) Toni then told me she was ready to see her next film, although she wasn’t sure what it would be. Like me she liked to get more than one movie under her belt per visit. If I see her again I think I’ll interview her.

The last movie of the day was seeing Iron Man 2 for the second time. I really liked this movie and I new I’ll see more than once. However, I realized after seeing this movie for the second time was one of my biggest pet peeves was realized after watching this movie. It’s when you compare a movie trailer you saw to the actual movie you just finished seeing. I hate when you see cool scenes in trailers that don’t make it to the theatrical version of the film your watching in the theater. Most times you get them in the video release later, but it bugs the fuck out of me when you don’t get the scenes you think were promised to you in the trailers. For you Iron Man 2 movie nerds there are two scenes you don’t see in the actual movie. The first one is when Pepper Potts kisses Iron Man’s helmet and tosses it out the back of the plane, and just as Iron Man jumps for it in a free fall he says “You complete me”. The other scene you don’t see is when Scarlett Johansson character Natalie Rushman is being instructed how to use Iron Man’s gauntlet energy blast hand by Tony Stark. You wont see these scenes in the theater. Those bitches better include them in the blu-ray.

Sunday May 23, 2010

Four days later I had an opportunity to squeeze in a quick movie marathon on a Sunday. There were two new movies opening this weekend and I didn’t want to wait till the middle of the week to see them. I had to work a quick 6-hour shift from 5am to 11am. I made plans to visit the smaller 14-screen AMC Theater near my work right after I got off. Although this theater seats are old school and not in a stadium theater set-up I like the free parking and theater set up. I also like the fact they set out free movie posters on a first come first serve basis near the concession stand. Before I left I snagged some The A-Team (2010) posters. Cant wait for that movie:-) 

The first movie I saw today was MacGruber, which is another SNL (Saturday Night Live) TV skit turned movie. This movie stars Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer. MacGruber is called back into action to take down his archenemy, Dieter Von Cunth, who’s in possession of a nuclear warhead and bent on destroying Washington, D.C. This movie was hyped in trailers as the “Best SNL movie since Wayne’s World” and the best action comedy since Beverly Hills Cop” I disagree with both of these claims. I didn’t have any high expectations for this film, which I’m glad I did. The movie was funny but very silly. Its rated R for language, gross out jokes and bare butt nudity, (you get dude bare butts not lady bare butt :-( ). If this movie were rated PG-13 it would have totally sucked. The r-rated humor is what kept this movie floating, somewhat. I would recommend this movie only for a video release, don’t waste your money for a theater ticket.

The second movie I saw was Shrek Forever After (2010) starring the vocal talents of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas. I saw this movie in 3-D. It was awesome just as I got out of the theater from which I just saw MacGruber, I walked across the hall and walked into Shrek Forever After in 3D. I brought my own 3D glasses from home so I was good to go. This 4th film in the series is supposed to be the last. I have to say I really enjoyed this final chapter where a bored and domesticated Shrek pacts with deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin to get back to feeling like a real ogre again, but when he’s duped and sent to a twisted version of Far Far Away — where Rumpelstiltskin is king. By far my favorite character in this series is Puss in Boots voiced by Antonio Banderas. The alternate version of Puss in Boots is very funny. I really enjoyed the 3D of this film. I would recommend seeing in 3D. If this is really the final movie of the series it was wrapped up with a nice bow. Personally I think it should be done too. Crap, I need to remember to get to a MacDonald’s to get my Puss in Boots collector’s glass before its too late!

The third and final movie of my movie marathon for the day was Iron Man 2, again, for the 3rd time. I know I’m pathetic :-). Haven’t gotten tired of this flick yet. Towards the end of the movie I was getting a little sleepy due to the sugar crash I was having. My girlfriend Jane gave me some Fun Dip candy yesterday that I hoovered most of during my movie marathon today. Nom nom nom, love that stuff!

Stay tuned movie peeps, more to come! – Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  56

  • February            2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 14

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