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Gloria goes to the movies

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2009-01-16


I canít afford to go to many movies, and to be honest, it seems like few of them are worth going to. However, Iíll give you reviews of the movies I did see this year, in chronological order (or close to it):

Juno: A teenager becomes pregnant and after visiting a local abortion clinic and seeing a classmate protest against choice, she looks to the local newspaper to scout for prospective parents. This is one of those ďslice-of-lifeĒ comedies that make you laugh and cry. Diablo ďCandy GirlĒ Cody wrote the screenplay and won an Oscar for it. I guess you could say this movie has a pro-life message, but thankfully doesnít get all preachy about it.

Meet the Spartans: A spoof of 300, and it wasnít nearly as good as I thought it would be. But it was still kinda funny. I think the only reason why I remembered this movie is because I saw it the day after Valentineís Day and it was one of the few times this year that I actually did the ďdinner and a movieĒ date.

The Counterfeiters: An excellent film about prisoners in a concentration camp who are forced to counterfeit money. In German, with subtitles.

The Kite Runner: Another excellent film. I think itís in Farsi, with English subtitles. Heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time, it shows that in life, sometimes things work out, but not how you expected.

Indiana Jones and Ironman: I saw these as a double feature at a drive-in in Ohio. Indiana Jones had an amazing chase scene, and it was pleasant seeing Harrison Ford in the role he made famous 27 years ago. Ironman wasnít as bad as I thought it would be. I wouldnít want to see it again, but seeing the cars the Robert Downey Jr.ís character had was fun.

Get Smart: This was better than I thought. I never was a big fan of the original series, but Steve Carrell does a great job of the stupidly overconfident Maxwell Smart. I thought Anne Hathaway did a good Agent 99, but I thought she was a little young to be paired with Carrell.

Sex and the City: I wrote about this earlier this year, and I went out and got both the extended version and the theater version shortly after it was released. I saw this movie two and a half times in the theater, and Iím watching it for the third or fourth time on DVD since I bought it. Itís probably the most perfect film Iíve seen this year.

The Clone Wars: This wasnít something I chose to see. As such, about the only thing I remember is Jabba the Huttís baby goes missing. And thereís some teenage girl character who is supposed to help save the baby. Not something Iíd watch again.

An American Carol: I love a good parody, but this wasnít it. I expected funnier from the guy who did the Airplane movies and the Naked Gun series. The movie was a parody of ďA Christmas Carol,Ē with a Michael Moore-type character in the Scrooge role. It might have worked if they had parodied Gone With the Wind, since Scarlett OíHara rebuilt her lost fortune by dealing with Yankees, Carpetbaggers and other assorted riff raff, much to the chagrin of her fellow southerners. They condemned her for this, but despite her being ostracized by Atlantaís ďquality people,Ē she WAS one of the wealthiest persons in town. Michael Moore is ragged on for pointing out whatís wrong with America, but face it: thereís really no point saying USA is number one, when so much has gone haywire. Thatís like standing in a swimming pool with water up to your chin, but boasting that your hat isnít wet.

W: This movie didnít do so well, and I think itís because no one really needed confirmation that Bush is one of the worst Presidents this country has ever had. Yes, I know itís an Oliver Stone movie, and I know when Hollywood gets hold of a true story, cinematic license is taken, but if in real life Bush is just half as clueless and arrogant as his movie portrayal, itís no wonder our country is in the mess itís in. There are some unintentionally hilarious scenes. We caught it at Starplex, where theyíve doubled their price to $3. Robert called it a two-hour Saturday Night Live skit and fell asleep part way through it. I enjoyed it, but was shocked to discover it was only 9:15 p.m. when it was all over. It seemed much later.

Australia: This was our second choice when Valkyrie was sold out Christmas night. It was pretty good, sort of like a Gone With the Wind-type story set down under. Nicole Kidman ventures from England to Australia to save her cattle ranch. Along with having to drive her cattle to market, she falls in love with a cattle driver, and wants to adopt a half-Aborigine child, which of course causes scandal in late 30s/early 40s Australia. Gorgeous scenery and an uplifting story about a strong woman who does what she thinks is right.

Valkyrie: Spoiler alert! The plot against Hitler fails! Still, itís fun to see Tom Cruise in a Nazi uniform. Iím amazed they found enough people to participate in the plot. A good date movie, because the ladies can drool over Cruise, and thereís plenty of explosions and intrigue for the gents. Those who donít like Tom Cruise can enjoy the fact that he spends most of the movie wearing an eye patch over that pretty boy face of his.

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