Category Archives: Movies

Tie it up with a bow

I have been an AMC Stubs member for three years.

During that time, I have spent $24 in membership fees. (The first year was free.) For that price, I have saved $274 on tickets, concessions and ticketing fees.

So yeah, it’s kinda worth it.

But look at what else AMC is going to give me — Carla, AMC Stubs member — when I go to see Mr. Peabody & Sherman in 3D!

steal their style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An authentic bow tie and glasses!

I know this is intended to appeal to the kids in the audience, but clearly I have never grown up.

Take your hands off my lobby boy!

Reason #873 I love New York City:

The 10:00 am showing of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was two-thirds full.

budapest lobby

Perhaps because we have all been watching the trailer for this beautiful, whimsical, fanciful film in theatres for almost a year.  And every time I’d think, “This looks so much better than the movie I’m getting ready to see!”

(Many of those times people in the theatre would clap, so I think they agreed, too.)

The best news? The film lives up to the trailer.  In fact, Budapest is, in my opinion, Anderson’s best movie to date.  The world he creates has the exquisite detail you expect and an amazing array of characters both real and remarkable.

But Budapest is a bigger yarn than Anderson typically tells.  While his Europe is a fictional one, some familiar dark elements surface that give its message more import.

And I want to go on record now — the film’s title song deserves an Oscar nomination. So does Ralph Fiennes, for a pitch perfect comedic performance.

Or should I say…on the nose, Lord Voldemort?

Stop and go

Now that the Oscars are behind us, we can turn our attention to movies that we’d never expect to see in contention…

But in some cases, might enjoy more.

liam non-stopThis week’s entry?

Non-Stop, starring Liam Neeson as a washed up air marshal on an international flight that is taken hostage via text message moments after take-off .

(Apparently the writers are fans of Pretty Little Liars.)

Not surprisingly, the conceit works here as well, as Liam battles blindly — every passenger and crew member a potential ally and/or enemy.  And if you’re a frequent flier like me, the scenes of airline passengers in peril — well, they’ll have you twisting in your seat a bit.

While this movie may not be Oscar bait, the script certainly drew its fair share of award-winning actors.

corey stoll non-stopWatch House of Cards on Netflix?  Why look, there’s Representative Peter Russo, who did you-know-what in Season 1 with a little help from Francis Underwood.

Wonder what is he plotting with those two gentleman?  Gonna have to see the movie and find out.

Julieanne non-stop And look who decided to sit next to Liam in business class — Oscar-nominated actress Julianne Moore.

She’s wearing heavy, horn-rimmed glasses and a scary-looking scar, but she’s not fooling anybody.

Or is she?
michelle non-stopAnd is that Michelle Dockery — Lady Mary from Downton Abbey — playing the part of a working class flight attendant? You know it.

Watch her serve drinks! Follow orders! Be manhandled!

lupita-nyongo- non-stopEven Lupita Nyonga, who is probably still grasping her brand-spanking new Best Supporting Actress Oscar, pops up from time to time on-screen.

This, my friends, is entertainment at its best.

No surprise

I watched the entire Oscars telecast last night, so I am sleepy today, but not because I was up late –

Because it was so BORING.

Where were the surprise winners? The endearing, incomprehensible speeches from dumbfounded winners? And no, I don’t count the garbled speech of presenters — like John Travolta and Harrison Ford — who can’t read a teleprompter.

I don’t watch awards shows to see actors deliver their lines. (That’s why I go to the movies.) I want some spontaneity. Some mistakes. Some signs of life and humanity.

Thank goodness Benedict Cumberbatch and I had some fun on the red carpet before the big snoozefest began.

benedict-cumberbatch-u2-lg

True romance

I didn’t read The Bridges of Madison County when it was published in 1992 — even though Oprah said I should — and the film of the same name three years later was too schmaltzy for my taste.

(Sorry Meryl.)

So no one is more surprised than I at how much I love — that’s love, love, LOVE — the Broadway musical adaptation that I saw today at the matinee.

bridges broadway

This is one of the most romantic shows I have ever seen performed on any stage.

Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale are simply amazing. O’Hara is a Broadway veteran; we expect her depth of character and beautiful voice.  But Pasquale, who I know from his many TV roles, matches her step for step, creating a relationship that is wonderful to watch.

And his tenor?  Fills the theatre.

The music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown are beautiful; the book by Marsha Norman a wonderful mixture of light and shade.

Did I mention I love it?  I simply cannot wait to see it again.

Most wanted

If you too are eagerly awaiting the Muppets Most Wanted sequel (coming March 21), perhaps this will complete your ensemble for the premiere!

image

Full disclosure — I saw it online at Toys R Us…so you may have to lend it to your kid (or pet).

Oh Kermie…

Giving credit where credit is due

We hear about bad customer service all the time.

I want to highlight some amazing treatment I received from Miranda, a live chat representative at Discover Card.

discover logoAs most of you probably know, I earn ‘cash back’ for using my Discover Card — a percentage of my monthly purchases.  I can take that cash back as money; use it to pay online purchases; or buy gift cards from partner retailers.

I am a movie junkie…so I buy AMC Theatre gift packs every time.

amc theatresFor $20, I get two movie passes and a $5 gift card for concessions.

In New York City, that’s a $40 value since our movies costs so much more.

It’s a great deal.

Recently I was using some of those $5 gift cards at my local AMC theatre concession stand, and they didn’t work. I tried one after the other…

Nothing.

I used the live chat feature at Discover.com and told Miranda my troubles.  When she found out that six of my $5 gift cards were sickly, she immediately sent me six complete AMC Movie Theatre gift packs.

That’s $120 worth of gift packets — $240 by NYC standards — for a mere $30 worth of bad cards for my inconvenience.  Now, that’s amazing customer service — above and beyond what I expected.

Thanks, Miranda. (I gave you a great evaluation.)

Payback’s a bitch

If you were a geek in high school like me — and perhaps still are one today? — this PSA by Internet film creater Jason Headley will definitely make you laugh…

In victory.

If you were one of the popular kids, well — this one’s for you.

 

Look at me

Shia LaBeouf, star of Transformers and Disturbia, is the latest member of Young Hollywood acting out for the cameras.

shia labeoufToday on the red carpet for the Nymphomaniac Berlin premiere, he sported a bag over his head that read, “I am not famous anymore.”

He also walked out of the press conference and appeared to have lost both weight and a tooth.

Sounds a bit Lindsay Lohan-Miley Cyrus-Justin Bieberish, doesn’t it?

LaBeouf has lots of company right now, it’s true.  But if you look back at pics from days gone by — before there were ‘red carpet moments’ –

bee bearderFolks did even more bizarre stunts to get attention.

(Those are bees.)

Scream and shout

The novel Fifty Shades of Grey did not become a best seller because of its subtlety and good taste.

(From what I’ve heard)

But I have to admit, the first poster for the movie — set to premier in 2015 — is remarkably restrained…

Fifty Shades poster…except for the lettering at the top, which I understand to be a direct quote from the book.

Did Mr. Grey shout it at Anatasia?  It certainly looks like it, in that large, all-caps font.  Everyone knows all-caps means somebody’s yelling.

But considering the film’s subject matter, maybe that was the producers small nod to all the screaming that lies ahead.

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge — know what I mean?