I haven't blogged about movies I have been watching lately. Tonight, I saw Forever Strong and decided it was time to catch up.
I will start with Forever Strong and work back a bit. This is a really good movie. Yes, it is a sports feel-good movie, but I like them, so it works. Besides, it is about a Utah team and I love all the familiar shots. I especially appreciate that the juvenile detention center he is sent to is in Provo, by my old house, and one of the hills he runs on (from the juvenile center) is now the street I live on, in Salt Lake City. He does some serious jogging in the movie. Aside from the Utah factor, the movie has a solid cast (including many Utahans who aren't annoying) and good acting. I appreciated how the characters were portrayed, and I felt like the setting and evolution of characters was developed well. This is a good movie that is motivating and inspiring.
Elizabeth I (HBO mini-series): I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys history or period pieces. It is two-part series starring Helen Mirren as Elizabeth I (not to be confused with her role as Elizabeth II in The Queen). It begins 20 years into her reign (which makes sense since Mirren, as fabulous as she is, couldn't pull off a young Elizabeth). But, she certainly pulls off Elizabeth 20 years into her reign until her death. The movie seems to get at Elizabeth as a person, with all the conflict and the character. I felt for her and all she went through to give her life to the Crown and her people. It captures her as a monarch but more as a person. Although this is an HBO series, it isn't sex-driven. It does, however, make sure that all the killing scenes are realistic. I found that I couldn't handle the torture and the treasonous executions. I had to cover the screen, fast forward, and press mute. Yes, I had to press mute. Even the sounds were a little much for me. But, from watching the making of the movie after, I found out that Mary Queen of Scots' beheading was actually tamed down a bit, which is hard to believe. I am glad that public executions and quartering have gone out of fashion in this part of the world. I haven't seen the Hollywood versions of Elizabeth, but I am interested in them. If anyone has seen them, I would like to know your opinion.
About a Boy: I have heard about this move for some time, and I finally watched it. Of course, I wanted to see it because I love Hugh Grant, even if he usually plays a jerk. Well, he didn't let me down in this one. He is a jerk, but then, as usual, he changes into a more redeemable character. I think this is a brilliant movie that exposes so much about human interactions and the potential for growth when you give someone a chance and offer sincere friendship. If you haven't seen this, then watch it soon. It does have a lot of British swearing in it, but if you are like me and still refuse to learn or acknowledge exactly what the meanings of such words are, then it doesn't quite have the same effect.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2: Yes, this is a girl movie. If you aren't a girl, I don't think you like this. And, maybe some of you girls won't like it either. But, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the first one as well, so if you didn't like the first one, you might not like this one either. From what I am told, it combines the rest of the books into one movie. It didn't bother me because I haven't read the books yet, but some people didn't like how it all fit together. I enjoyed the adventures, and I liked the character development. There were a couple of lines that really stuck out to me, so I guess I felt particularly connected to some of the story lines. It is a feel-good movie for girls and for anyone who has a close set of girlfriends.
Gidget Goes to Rome: I know most of you are reading the title and you can guess that the movie was less than spectacular. But, you are wrong, it is worse than that--it is wretched. I think I first saw this years ago. My roommate and I decided to watch it again the other night, thinking it couldn't be that bad. And, most of you know I am not opposed to overly sappy movies. But, this isn't overly sappy; it is just pathetic. I love the original Gidget, and even the presence of James Darren in this film couldn't save it from its own horridness. So, even if you think, I haven't seen that in years, I should watch it again. Don't. Don't do it to yourself. Don't even watch it to see Rome. If you want to see a good old movie with shots of Rome, watch Roman Holiday. I think one of the things that makes it so horrible is that they change the characters--much like the Anne of Green Gables Continuing Story, which is also horrible. You can't just change the characterization without spoiling everything that has already been done. So, if you are ever in the mood for Gidget, stick with Sandra Dee. The Hawaiian version is also no good. Remember, Sandra Dee.