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Episode 30: On to 2013!

This week, Kari and Anna talk about some of the movies they’re most looking forward to in 2013.

Anna’s Picks:

Kari’s Picks:

In theaters now (25:00):

  • Zero Dark Thirty (trailer): A strong movie, with a strong cast and great plot, this movie really showcases one woman’s obsession to find Osama bin Laden. We both rate this movie a strong 5.
  • Silver Linings Playbook (trailer): Even though this puts Anna in the minority, she thought Jennifer Lawrence was the weakest part of the movie and thought her acting took away from the movie. However, after talking it through with Kari, she’s come to understand why she took such a dislike to Lawrence’s character. Unlike Anna, Kari loved the movie- it was dark, yet light; funny, yet serious; and she loved all the acting. Anna rates it a 3, while Kari gives it a 4.
  • Gangster Squad (trailer): Despite it’s awesome, this movie did not deliver. Full of terrible cliches and bad special effects, even Ryan Gosling’s good looks could not redeem it. Kari rates it a 1 (a point for Ryan Gosling) and advises you not to see it.
  • Les Misérables (trailer): Anna and Kari are both Les Mis virgins and after seeing this movie interpretation we cannot understand what the appeal of this musical/opera is. It is sooo long, and there is sooo much crying (by both the cast and audience). It was nearly impossible for either of us to form any attachment to any of the characters. If you love the play already, though, you will love the movie. (Here is a review of the movie from someone who loves it). Anna gives it a 1 and Kari gives it a 2– one point for Anne Hathaway, one point for Eddie Redmayne. (also check out this video of crying parents).
  • The Impossible (trailer): For Anna, the 1st half of the movie was the strongest part. Kari thought the whole movie was great. They both agree that actor who played the oldest son really stole the show. They both rated it a 4.

What’s on the horizon:

This weekend’s agenda:

[audio http://archive.org/download/TwoWomenOneMovieAndAMicrophone/2women1movieEp30.mp3]

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Episode 21: The not so mediocre mediocre weekend

Not every week can have amazing films coming out. It’s just not possible. So it’s nice to be surprised when you think you’ll be watching mediocre movies, but actually enjoy what you’re watching.

I’ll admit I didn’t get to the movies as much as I’d have hoped over the weekend but, in case you missed it, it’s Olympics time and I am glued to my TV. It was a struggle for me to tear myself away long enough to get to one movie so I knew a second wasn’t going to happen. We’re also keeping this episode short and sweet since we’re recording in the hour before the prime-time broadcast of the Olympics and Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are meeting for their final race… we do have a few things that take priority over movies.

News & Gossip:

  • Desperation is the key to Colin Farrell’s success article
  • What’s in store for the next installment of the X-Men franchise? article
  • Prometheus 2 to start off where Prometheus left off article
  • Fast and Furious Six has started production article
  • It’s official. The Hobbit will be three films article
    • Production diaries for The Hobbit link
  • More Catching Fire casting news article

In theaters now:

  • Step Up Revolution (trailer): If you like your movies low on acting but high on fun, this is the film for you! When the cast of a film is made largely of dancers you can’t expect the acting to be spot on. You also can’t expect a riveting plot to hold your attention. What you can expect is amazing dance scenes. I will freely admit that I have a real love for Step Up 2. Not so much for Step Up 1 or Step Up 3, but I’ve seen both of those and would watch them again if they were on TV. I was not expecting much going into Step Up Revolution but was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. To be fair I love a good choreographed dance number. The plot was laughable and the acting terrible, but the film was saved by the dancing. I honestly had a hard time sitting still in my seat. I rated it a 3 out of 5 (for the fun factor) while Anna rated it a 2.
  • The Watch (trailer): Anna enjoyed The Watch much more than she thought she would. Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughan deliver pretty standard performances but Richard Ayoade and Jonah Hill steal the show. Anna refused to spoil the film for me but it centers around a neighborhood watch group hunting down aliens in their neighborhood and CostCo. Anna laughed her way through the entire film and rated it a 3 out of 5. Sadly I was not able to see The Watch because I was too busy watching the Olympics.

What’s on the horizon:

  • Chasing Mavericks: October 26 (trailer)

This weekend’s agenda:

[audio http://archive.org/download/TwoWomenOneMovieAndAMicrophone/2women1movieEp21.mp3]

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Episode 19: The Favorites Episode

You know what, Anna? I’m pretty sure I can explain why we’re still single in two words: Jake Ryan.

It’s fun talking about the new movies that we see each week but honestly some of the movies I like to talk about the most are old favorites. I love being able to share a movie that I have loved with someone else in hopes that they’ll love it (or like it) as well. Anna and I took some time over the last week thinking about which films we love to watch over and over again. I have my standbys, movies that I watch every time they’re on TV, but I wanted to pick a couple films that you may have missed but should check out.

News & Gossip:

  • The 21 Jump Street sequel is in the works article
  • Daniel Radcliffe to star in a romantic comedy article
  • Matt Damon probably won’t be back for another Bourne film article
  • Interesting thoughts on why there should be a sequel to John Carter article
  • A plethora of Catching Fire casting news article
  • 10 overlooked films of 2011 article
  • on a side note this is an interesting article on why men should go see Magic Mike

Our Everlasting Favorites:

  • Kari’s first choice: The Last of the Mohicans – I wanted to link a trailer but honestly the trailer made for this in 1992 was pretty terrible compared to the masterpieces that are trailers today. When I think of the films that made me truly fall in love with the movies this one comes immediately to mind. For me it has it all: amazing performances, a thrilling score, drama, action, a historically relevant plot, and most importantly a beautiful love story. Daniel Day Lewis can be trusted to deliver a spot on performance and he certainly does as Hawkeye. I can watch him save Cora from being killed over, and over, and over again. This does not get old for me. I also appreciate the beautiful setting in which the film was shot. The locations were in North Carolina and honestly it looks like land that time has forgotten. I would love to tour some of the parks and locations where the film was shot, and only hope that they look as lush and vibrant as they did in the film. Not to say this is only a great love story, it also depicts life in The Colonies during the French and Indian war and if you are a fan of either history or war films you need to check this out.
  • Anna’s first choice: Sixteen Candles – John Hughes has the ability to capture life as an American teenager like no other. His films, though dated in appearance, have been able to withstand the test of time. Molly Ringwald, as Samantha Baker, lives out every teenage girl’s fantasy when the most popular senior, Jake Ryan, falls for her during her sophomore year. Her family is hilarious, the trials she goes through are excruciatingly embarrassing, yet through it all you can’t help but relate to her feeling of alienation and the awkwardness of being a teenager. I know if Anna had not chosen this as one of her favorite movies, I would have. This is a classic and should not be missed.
  • Kari’s second choice: Galaxy Quest – This is one of those films that you probably missed when it was released in 1999. I had the pleasure of seeing it in the theater… though the only audience members were myself and my friend. We laughed the entire way through the film and couldn’t believe more people hadn’t show up to see it. The film is about a cast of a science fiction television show (much like Star Trek) who have long since stopped filming, but continue to join together on the convention circuit. During one such convention a group of actual aliens appear asking for the help of the cast. With Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, and Sam Rockwell leading the cast how could this go wrong? It doesn’t. They are all hilarious and today, 13 years later, I can still chuckle as I remember some of the more memorable lines. If you like comedy, sci-fi, or Alan Rickman you should give this a watch.
  • Anna’s second choice: October Sky- This is one of the first movies Anna bought and she still owns it on VHS. Made in 1999, the film is set in the late 50s, in a West Virginia coal mining town. A slightly bookish Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) wants to escape the coal mining life desperately, but isn’t athletic enough to earn a sports scholarship. After he sees Sputnik, he’s inspired to build rockets and when he finds out that winning a science fair is a ticket to a college scholarship, he and his friends embark on a journey to build a rocket. However, at the heart of the movie is a story about a boy just wanted to make his dad proud. Homer and his father (Chris Cooper) have a very contentious relationship, as his dad wants him to give up the “foolish rockets” and follow him into the mine and Homer wants anything except the mine. But Homer still wants his father to be proud of him as he is his football playing brother. And Homer’s father does love him, but isn’t sure how to express it. It makes us both teary eyed every time we see it as we watch a father and his son try and connect and understand each other. This was Jake’s first big movie and his portryal of Homer hints at what a great actor he was becoming. Chris Cooper, as always, does a fantastic job playing his tough, but fair, father.

What’s on the horizon:

This weekend’s agenda:

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Episode 18: After a disasterous #17 we’re back!

I’m happy to be back in audio form this week after last week’s disastrous loss of our Magic Mike, Ted, and The Amazing Spiderman reviews. We have some fun news, one review, and what I think will be an exciting new topic: our favorite films. I’m excited to take a look through “the library” and figure out which two movies are so great that they deserve the spotlight for the recording and I hope to hear from you all on if you have favorites you’d like us to talk about or if you have categories that you’d like us to spotlight.

News & Gossip:

  • The most awesome bit of Catching Fire casting news yet! article
  • Mockingjay to be split into two parts article
  • R Patz as the next James Bond? article
  • Depp, Law, and more being being talked to for Wes Anderson’s new film article
  • Magic Mike 2? Say it’s so! article
  • Jason Bateman to make his directorial debut with Bad Words article
  • Which foreigners have the best American accents? article

In theaters now:

Savages (trailer): Oliver Stone’s new movie is quite violent. I thought I’d start with this as a warning. It was violent enough that Anna walked out before the end. Salma Hayek turns in an amazing performance as the head of a Mexican drug cartel trying to keep her organization from crumbling. Benicio Del Toro as her muscle is frankly terrifying. He plays an emotionless “savage” who relishes in killing  anyone seen as a threat to the cartel. Taylor Kitsch (Chon) and Aaron Johnson (Ben) play friends and business partners (maybe something more? I don’t know…) who share their lover, O played by Blake Lively. Their business is marijuana and they grow weed that is so good the cartel is trying to get them to teach their growers how to produce the same products, with disastrous results.  I would say (with some knowledge of the book the film is based on) that the relationship between Ben and Chon was one of the more interesting points in the film, although Anna disagrees. One thing we both agree on is how bad Blake Lively’s performance is. Frankly I can’t imaging what Ben and Chon find so fascinating with O and her narration of much of the film was in a sharp contrast with what was going on in the scene. Perhaps their relationship would have been more convincing with a different female lead. Overall I rated this a 3 out of 5 and Anna a 2 out of 5. To be fair I’m sure my expectations were much, much lower than Anna’s.

What’s on the horizon:

This weekend’s agenda:

  • This weekend we’re trying something new. Due to a lack of new films in theaters we will each be taking stock of our favorite, go-to films and we’ll be discussing those next week. Hopefully this will become a semi-regular occurrence, where we can revisit some of our favorites and hopefully introduce you all to some films that you may not have seen or may not have seen in quite some time.
[audio http://archive.org/download/TwoWomenOneMovieAndAMicrophone/2women1movieEp18.mp3]
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Episode 17: I love an R-Rated Weekend!

Sadly due to technical difficulties the recording of Episode 17 was lost and unable to be recovered. Hopefully you’ll still enjoy reading the articles we found interesting last week and will get some use out of the quick reviews of the films we were able to see.

It seems as if it has been a long, long time since we’ve been able to see multiple movies in one week that were all good. This was one of the best theater weeks that I can remember having in quite some time. I can’t say for Anna, but I would also go on the record and say that I had the best audiences in a long time in all of the films that I saw [Oh yes, I definitely had a great audience!]. My week started with Ted, moved on to The Amazing Spiderman, and finished with Magic Mike. I don’t think I need to go into which I found to be the most fun… but I will.

Magic Mike night was tons of fun! I got together with three of my friends for cocktails and cheese before the movie, which got us a little more in the mood for the spectacle to come. Normally I am not one for clapping during movies, but I had to really restrain myself from clapping, whistling, hooting and hollering, or whatever else one does during a strip show. I wanted to scream like a fan girl at a pop concert, and let me assure you I can do that quite well. I did manage to keep my cool, as did my friends, but it was tough work [I’m sure she wasn’t the only one partaking in cocktails before the movie. There were a few in my audience…].

Sadly I’m sure there aren’t any awesome male strippers in the Des Moines area… but if there are please do leave a comment. I’d be interested in your services for b-days, batchelorette parties, baby showers- basically any type of party-like environment where lots of women would congregate.

News & Gossip:

  • Jena Malone is Johanna article
  • The bigger the blockbuster, the bigger the biceps article
  • An economic comparison between Batman and Spiderman article
  • The Amazing Spiderman the first in a new trilogy? article
  • The Dark Knight trilogy will be in theaters June 19, 2012 AMC tickets Cinemark tickets

In theaters now:

  • Magic Mike (red band trailer): If you’re into having fun, you must see this film. It also probably wouldn’t hurt to be a woman- not that men can’t watch this too, they just might not enjoy it quite as much as the women. Channing Tatum is mesmerizing to watch when he dances. They could have made a two-hour film of only dance scenes with him and the other dancers (Tarzan would be the exception) and I would gladly pay $10.00 to watch it.  I had no idea that Adam Rodriguez from CSI: Miami would be such a good dancer, but he was. The story follows Mike as he tries to transition away from being a stripper to becoming a custom furniture builder. Along the way he takes “The Kid” (played by Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and teaches him the way of being a member of the Cock Rocking Kings of Tampa. I wish that the other dancers played by Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, and Matt Bomer had a little more dialogue and story. They really were basically filler for the dance numbers. Matthew McConaughey turns in a performance that was equally creepy and fun to watch [but mostly creepy, in my opinion]. There is a tiny bit of romance in the film, but don’t think that this is a love story, because it is not. Magic Mike is occasionally dark, occasionally hilarious, and an all around good time. Anna and I both rated it a 4 out of 5.
  • Ted (red band trailer): Mark Wahlberg plays maybe one of the most loveable losers ever in Ted. He is way, way too attached to his foul-mouthed, pothead teddy bear, but in an enjoyable to watch type of way. Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) was a normal teddy bear when he was gifted to John, but a childhood wish turned him into a teddy bear that could speak, eat, drink, and do basically anything a human could do.  I loved the relationship between John and his girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), and loved the interactions between Lori and Ted. This movie isn’t just a story about a man who can’t grow up, it’s about making the adult decision to be the person that you want to be with the people that you want to be with. This film kept me laughing from beginning to end and I would recommend it to anyone who loves laughter and/or foul-mouthed children’s toys. Anna and I both rated this a 4 out of 5.
  • The Amazing Spiderman (trailer): Andrew Garfield delivers as the new Spiderman. His performance is that of a younger, snarkier, more awkward Peter Parker. He does a great job of showing Peter Parker’s transition into Spiderman. There are quite a few articles floating around (article) painting a rather unflattering portrait of this reboot of the Spiderman franchise, but as someone who hasn’t read the comic books I say that this has been my favorite of the Spiderman films. I enjoyed this new origin story but agree with this article that there were some questions and plot points promised in the trailers that were not shown in the film, I think to the film’s detriment. I don’t know why the scenes were scrapped, but I think they would have made for an even more interesting film. There was also an almost criminal misuse of the great Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. They were not given the opportunity to shine as the amazing actors that they are. I did see this in 3D and would say that if you didn’t want to spend the extra money on the 3D ticket, don’t. The 3D effects weren’t as cool as they could have been and honestly I don’t think it really added anything to the film. All of this aside, The Amazing Spiderman was action packed and tons of fun. Both Anna and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

What’s on the horizon:

This weekend’s agenda:

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Episode 13: Skyfall is coming!

There are few things I enjoy more than sharing a good movie with someone who hasn’t seen it. I love to be able to read people enough to determine if they’d enjoy something or not and this week when Anna visited me I had the pleasure of sharing a frequently overlooked bit of comedy with her: MacGruber. I know what you’re thinking. MacGruber? How can that horrible SNL skit possibly make a seriously funny film? Well, somehow, they (Will Forte, Jorma Taccone, and John Solomon) did. I had mentioned that we should discuss the news that there is a possibility that there could be a MacGruber sequel, to which Anna let me know she’d never seen the first one; I had to remedy this. I understand you might think I’m crazy for liking this movie. It looks like it should be terrible, I admit this, but it’s not. I laughed during this film more than in quite a few other comedies during the last few years and I am an admittedly harsh judge when it comes to stupid comedies. I would just throw it out there that if you have previously discounted this film as just another piece of crap comedy please reevaluate your decision and add it to your Netfilx (or whatever service you use) queue and give it a go.

News & Gossip:

  • I can’t wait to find out what else is classic MacGruber article
  • The only thing that could make One Hit Wonder interest me is The Lonely Island writing the songs article
  • I never would have thought of pairing Zac Efron with Seth Rogan but after reading this article I’m wicked excited
  • Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy join up for a buddy cop movie article
  • Robin Williams might be The Angriest Man in Brooklyn article
  • How do we feel about Robert Pattinson playing Finnick Odair in Catching Fire? Not good. Not good at all. article

In theaters now:

  • Battleship (trailer): I (Kari) was genuinely skeptical when I heard that a film was being made out of the game Battleship and when the first trailers hit and it broke that it was going to be about aliens I almost wrote it off as being unwatchable. I’m glad I let my love of all things Friday Night Lights and huge summer blockbusters push me into seeing it. It’s a big summer blockbuster, don’t try to fool yourself into thinking it’s a piece of quality film making, it’s not. It’s a popcorn film, and I do love my popcorn films. I don’t need a lot of plot to make me happy when I choose my blockbusters. This is a great mix of Transformers and Independence Day without being too much of a copy of either film. I was never bored and I loved how they incorporated the game into the film. Taylor Kitsch and Jesse Plemons are very much Tim Riggins and Landry for all of you FNL fans and Rhianna didn’t do too bad of a job in her first film role. I would encourage anyone who loves big, over the top, blockbuster films to check this out. I rate it a 3 out of 5.
  • The Dictator (trailer): Anna was not overly impressed with The Dictator. While Sacha Baron Cohen is a great addition to films where he plays a supporting role, as the lead his humor can get old quickly. Many of the funniest moments were shown on the trailer, which can make a film that is only 83 min long seem much longer. To be fair, there are a lot of people that will find this humor quite funny, but if you’re someone who gets tired of the same old joke quickly this probably isn’t for you. Anna rated it 1 out of 5. Due to this horrible rating I have chosen not to see this.

What’s on the horizon:

  • Skyfall (trailer) November 9, 2012
  • The Great Gatsby (trailer) December 25, 2012

This weekend’s agenda:

[audio http://archive.org/download/TwoWomenOneMovieAndAMicrophone/2women1movieEp13.mp3]
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Episode 10: We want tickets for the Anti-Oscars!

Few awards shows are as entertaining as the MTV Movie Awards. They are a spectacle of bright lights, big explosions, and pop culture. The awards categories are absurd, yet completely relevant for the audience and I will be the first to admit that I love learning the nominees for Best Kiss and Best Fight. This year we’ll also get to find out who wins Best On-Screen Dirtbag, Best On-Screen Transformation, and Best Gut-Wrenching Performance. They aren’t the typical categories, but darn it I love them! Who doesn’t compare fight scenes in the various action films during the year or which kiss was the best?

I’ll admit that regardless of the competition this year I’ll be rooting for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 for each category in which it’s been nominated. Who will you vote for?

News & Gossip:

  • Don’t leave too quickly if you’re heading out to see The Avengers this weekend, there’s an extra, extra scene after the credits article
  • Mark Ruffalo has signed on to do six more Hulk movies article
  • Benedict Cumberbatch is Kahn article
  • Catching Fire has its director article
  • Brad Bird is attached to direct a Damon Lindelof screenplay article
  • Robert Pattinson is set to help bring down Saddam Hussein article
  • The Hunger Games has more nominations than Breaking Dawn Part 1 at the MTV Movie Awards article

In Theaters Now:

  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits (trailer): This stop motion animation film by the makers of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run have created yet another cute yet funny children’s film that adults can also enjoy. Hugh Grant voices the main character, Pirate Captain, who is on a quest to become the Pirate of the Year, and does a fantastic job. There are quite a few well known actors from both film and T.V. lending their voices to the film, but some are harder to guess than others. I went to this in 3D, but I would recommend going in 2D. The 3D effects didn’t really add much to the film. I’m pretty sure it would have looked basically the same in 2D and I would have saved the $3.50 surcharge. There were quite a few kids in the audience who seemed to really enjoy the film and as an adult I can say that I honestly enjoyed it too. I rate it a 3 out of 5.
  • The Five-Year Engagement (trailer): Anna and I had a bit of a disagreement on this one. Anna thoroughly enjoyed it while I may have enjoyed it more had it been a half an hour shorter. The run time on this relationship dramedy is rather long at just over two hours and although the chemistry between Jason Segal and Emily Blunt is great, the run time allowed for quite a bit of lag during the middle of the film. It centers on a couple who, shortly after getting engaged, move from California to Michigan for what was intended to be a 2 year commitment.  Time goes on and as two years turn into three, four, and five the discontentment Jason Segal’s character finds in living in Michigan eats away at their relationship. The film had an incredibly cute ending that does wrap things up nicely and really does make up for some of the lag in the middle. I rate this film 2 out of 5 while Anna gives it a 3.5.

What’s on the horizon:

This weekend’s Agenda:

[audio http://archive.org/download/TwoWomenOneMovieAndAMicrophone/2women1movieEp10.mp3]

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