Category Archives: Movie Review

Monday movie review: Pirates of the Caribbean 4

Today we decided to go and see the fourth Pirates movie. I loved the first three, although the original is probably my favourite. This was a slightly different story, as it didn’t involve Will Turner or Elizabeth Swann. The boy declared he was happy about that as they annoyed him immensely in the last film.

Penelope Cruz played Blackbeard the Pirate’s daughter, and she was quite good. Whoever played Blackbeard was okay, although his character wasn’t as evil as he could have been. The rest of the cast… meh. The story was okay – looking for the mythical fountain of youth – but the movie went on for too long. With about 20 minutes to go, I was hoping it would end right then. Of course they left the ending open for another movie, when they all run out of money and want some quick cash.

If you’ve got a bit over two hours to spare, go and see it.  There are worse movies you could waste your time on.  But honestly, I’d probably wait for DVD.


Movie review: Paul

Last year was a really bad year for movies (see: 2012 review).  Happily, this year we have seen a couple of good ones, including Paul, which we saw last week.

Written by the boys who did Hot Fuzz and Sean of the Dead, it’s the story of two friend from the UK who, after attending Comic-con, take a road trip through the USA to all the “alien” sites – Area 51, Roswell, etc.  In their first day on the road, they see a car crash and when they investigate, they find Paul, an alien who has been kept prisoner by the government since his ship crashed back in the 1950’s.  Paul has managed to contact his home planet and someone is on the way to pick him up, but on the way to the collection point he has to outrun the law, a bible-bashing shotgun-wielding crazy man, and two rednecks whose car the boys accidentally damaged at a truck stop, amongst others.

Jason Bateman is excellent as the FBI agent chasing Paul, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are understated and funny, and some classy cameos from Blythe Danner and Sigourney Weaver round out the great cast.  Classic references to the sci-fi genre, including Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Trek are so subtly done that it takes a moment to realise where you heard that line before.  All in all it was a very clever movie and certainly one of the better comedies I’ve seen in a few years.  I do recommend you see it.

Movie Review: The King’s Speech

I am probably the last person on the planet to see this movie, so this won’t come as news to anyone else.

Movie poster: The King's Speech

This was a FABULOUS movie.  I loved every part of it.  Colin Firth was extraordinary as the Duke of York, forced into becoming King when his brother abdicates the throne.  Geoffrey Rush was wonderful as the unorthodox speech therapist with – *gasp* – no formal training but a record of success.  Helena Bonham Carter as the Duke’s wife was understated and delightful.

If you are one of the three people left on this planet who has not seen this movie, I recommend you do.  It is well worth it.  It’s the best movie I have seen in a year at least.

Weekend Movie Review: Black Swan

black-swan-movie-posterThis weekend, the boy and I went to see the movie Black Swan.  I was quite looking forward to it as I’d heard it was a good movie.

Yeah, right.

The basic premise: Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina chosen to dance the role of the swan queen in Swan Lake.  Her paranoia and drive to be the best drive her slowly insane.  She thinks everyone and everything is out to get her, and she starts hallucinating all sorts of weird things.  A few spots were a bit gruesome, some were a bit raunchy, and it was altogether too long a movie.  Natalie Portman was good and she had clearly lost 45% of her body weight for the movie, and she obviously had some ballet training for the role.  However, as one of my friends said to me on FaceBook, this is the kind of movie you go see when you are happy and think your life is too perfect, and need to be brought down a peg or two.

Two hours I am never getting back in my life.  I will say, though, it was not as bad at 2012.  Quite.

Sunset and stuff


What’s the saying? Red in the night, shepherd’s delight. Red in the morning, sailor take warning.

Thankfully this was tonight’s sunset so hopefully that means we’re in for a nice day tomorrow.

Last night we went on a date 🙂  Dinner and a movie.  We ate Thai food at Lemongrass then went to see The Road.


This is not my favourite film. The more I think about it, the more I think it was a very, very good film. BUT it was dark and depressing and a little confronting. There were also some mild horror elements which caused me to not sleep so well last night.  Obviously it got to me.  Viggo Mortensen was wonderful as The Man.  If he hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar, he should be.

I much preferred No Country for Old Men by the same author but if you’re in the mood for some serious end-of-the-world storytelling (as opposed to that crap film 2012), you should go see it.  Be prepared to feel uncomfortable.

Monday Movie Review

It’s been a busy weekend in Tracey land and I am very tired.  Just as well Monday morning isn’t too busy this week.

On Saturday I went with some friends to have lunch at the new house of one of the girls.  In the country.  One hour’s drive from me.  It was nice but why in god’s name anyone would want to live that far from civilisation is beyond me.  And the children of one of the friends were there.  They are exhausting and I did not have as good a time as I would have if they weren’t there.  I don’t have children for a good reason: I don’t like them.

Anyhow, we left home at 11am and got back at 6pm and I was exhausted.

Sunday morning the boy and I went for a trip to Borders to buy some books.  Here is my pile:


You may be wondering why I haven’t read Bridget Jones’s Diary before.  Well, I have.  I loaned the book to someone and never got it back.  It’s one of my favourite books, WAY better than the movie (someone, please just stop Renee Zellweger from ever “acting” again and I will be happy) and I am going to enjoy re-reading it over my christmas break.

I have read another of Marina Lewycka’s books, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to that one.  Janet Evanovich writes greatly entertaining and silly books about a female bounty hunter in New Jersey; perfect christmas break reading.  I think the Eva Hornung book came out some time ago but I just noticed it and I’ll let you know what I think.

So after the excitement of getting all those books (plus a cookbook as a christmas present for one of my friends) the boy couldn’t find the book he wanted (something about visual design of information, buggered if I know what he’s on about) so we had a coffee and went home.

Then I headed out again to meet a friend for dinner and a movie.  We saw New Moon.  And we went to the gold class cinema which is definitely the way to go.  I have long legs and it’s nice to have a seat where you have enough leg room.  And they bring you food if you ask.  My friend did order a glass of wine and a coffee before the movie, to be brought in at specified intervals, but they never showed up so she complained and got her money back.

The movie?  Was okay.  Maybe I’m getting a bit old but the teen angsty Edward really annoys me, and he needs to turn his head sometimes or else he’s going to get a crick in his neck.  Bella is a self absorbed whiney angsty girl.  I can’t wait til they grow up and get over themselves.  I think that happened in book four.  So I’ll look forward to the movie version of that one.  Still, this movie was way better than 2012, and if you liked the book a lot you probably would enjoy the movie.

After all this we met another friend for dinner at Borsch, Vodka and Tears, a “modern Polish” restaurant.  My whole family is Polish so I’m well aware of what Polish food is; stodgy and tasty!  Anyway after a vodka cocktail which contained any number of tasty ingredients that I can’t remember now, we had delicious food and it was very very good.  I’ll have to tell my parents about this place; I’m sure they’d like it too.

And now it’s Monday morning and really, can I just go back to bed please?

Weekend Movie Review: 2012

Last night the boy and I decided to go to the movies.  Well, he decided to he wanted to go and I said yes.  We looked to see what was playing at our local and found only two movies that we’d even heard of: New Moon and 2012.  We went with 2012 because I didn’t think a teenage vampire flick was really to the boy’s taste.

This movie was made by the same man who did Independence Day, which is one of my favourite world-is-ending disaster movies, so I had high hopes for  2012.  Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed.

2012 Movie Poster

The basic premise: divorced father-of-two Jackson Curtis is spending the weekend camping with his two children, in an attempt to reconnect with them.  They travel to Yellowstone National Park to find the spot where Jackson used to camp with his former wife, but discover a fenced-off government installation in the same place.  Scientist Adrian somebody-or-other is there testing the temperature of the earth’s core, which apparently is turning liquid (first flaw: the earth’s core is actually liquid right now).  This liquification is caused by some type of neuron thing being sent out from solar flares from the sun, which are becoming bigger and bigger.  A scientist in India discovered it because the water in his well is now boiling.  The government decides to not tell the world, and meanwhile build four enormous “arks” for people to take refuge in when Armageddon happens.  In China, in the Himalayas, because obviously that’s the best place for them.

So yadda yadda the worst happens, faster than anyone predicted, the hero and his kids and ex-wife and her new boyfriend all drive to Las Vegas airport where they find a Russian tycoon and his Antonov 500 plane which just happens to be the only plane that can fly and they head toward China and the arks.  The plane crashes, they are rescued by a local monk whose brother works on the arks and has a plan to get them secretly on board, disasters happen, people die, there’s a moving speech by the scientist when one of the arks breaks and 100,000 people are about be left behind, the ark crashes into Mt Everest, our hero survives, and by this stage I just wanted everyone to shut up already and just DIE!

Honestly, the only good thing about this movie was that it eventually ended.

That’s nearly three hours I’m never getting back in my life.

Movie Review

Last night we went to the movies, for the first time in ages. We saw Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood. I really had no idea what the movie was about, but everyone I know who had already seen the movie said it was very good.

And they were right. it was a very good film. No fast-paced action drama romantic comedy horror whatever, just a very nice story with some classic one-liners.

The thing I didn’t realise? Was how old Clint Eastwood is these days. The man is 79 years old and in this movie, you can really tell. Of course, that was the idea but it is just amazing. I won’t give away the ending; suffice to say it was a little surprising but very appropriate.

You should go and see this movie if you haven’t already.

Sunday Movie Review

Today the boy and I went to see a movie at Imax in 3D. It was the Grand Canyon Adventure in 3D. I have never been so disappointed in a movie in all my life. Except maybe when I saw Johnny Pneumonic with Keanu Reeves.

The movie itself was only 40 minutes long (more like an episode of a television show really) but it seemed to go for hours. The music was naff, the narration was annoying, and what we thought was going to be a film about white water rafting turned out to be a 40 minute advertisement for water conservation. Hello, preaching to the converted in Australia! There was woefully little time dedicated to showing us the actual river itself, and way too much time showing the stupid man and his stupid daughter sitting by a campfire.

Do not go and see this film.