Movies Over Winter Break

Since this is my last winter break as a grad student, I took full advantage of the time off to decompress (don’t worry, I’ve had my productive moments as well).  This translates to seeing a few movies.  Especially since there are always good movies in theaters during December.  In light of the Golden Globes last night, here’s what I saw over the past few weeks:

The Silver Linings Playbook

I enjoyed this quite a bit.  First of all, I like Bradley Cooper a lot, and I thought he was good in this.  He plays a man trying to recover from an extremely violent bi-polar incident, and turn his life around.  I found it funny and uplifting because he’s constantly looking for “silver lining developments.”  His love interest, Jennifer Lawrence, has similar goals to make personal improvements, and they end up making a cute pair.  I liked that is was set in Philly because I recognized some of the scenery.  It has story lines that go along with football and dance competitions.  Something for everybody!Bradley

Anna Karenina

This was a tricky one to track down.  I thought it would open in more theaters but it was kind of spotty.  I finally saw it several weeks after it came out.  It was a lot more artsy than I was expecting.  The film constantly made visual references to a stage, making the analogy that all of the characters were either pandering to or subject to a constant audience.  I enjoyed the story (I haven’t read the book) because it illuminated some significant double standards for men and women in relationships. I’m hit and miss with Keira Knightley films because sometimes I find her annoying, but I think she does pretty well with older period pieces like this one.Anna

Les Miserables

I saw this one on Christmas Day with everyone else in New Jersey I think.  The theater was Packed with a capital P.  But prepare to get mad at me.  It wasn’t my favorite.  I knew going in that I’m not a Les Mis person.  I’ve seen it live on Broadway, and it didn’t do much for me.  I’ve seen about 40 musicals live on Broadway, and I can’t say Les Mis is in my top 20.  Anyway, back to the movie.  I’m not so into three hours of the talking/singing thing.  I prefer having normal talking with intermittent songs.  That being said, I thought Anne Hathaway was fine, and Hugh Jackman was, as well.  I loved Eddie Redmayne, who played Marius.  I’ve actually seen him in the show Red on Broadway a couple years ago (he won a Tony for it).  He is cute and fantastic.  I would say Russell Crowe was underwhelming, but frankly, I’m not sure why they cast him in the first place so I wasn’t expecting much from him.  I think at the end of the day the musical is too overwhelming for me.  I find that the musical themes lack cohesion, and there are too many going on at once.  There are several instances when too many melodies are happening simultaneously and I can’t follow any of them.  I could talk about this for a long time, so I’m going to stop.Eddie!

The Guilt Trip

I’m not going to lie, I saw this one by myself.  I knew that I probably couldn’t talk any of my family or friends into seeing it, so I went on a quite weeknight when I was looking for some entertainment.  But, you know what, it was cute.  First of all, who doesn’t love Barbara Streisand.  She’s looking good.  And Seth Rogan played a cute, kind of bashful character in the movie.  It’s a cute mother- son bonding story, and it has a good balance of some real moments, plus positive developments and a happy ending.  It’s not something to run out and see at your earliest convenience, but it had a few good laughs and some cute moments.

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Wallflower Syndrome

This weekend I went to see the much anticipated Perks of Being a Wallflower.  It was a moving story about a freshmen boy who was not accepted by his classmates.  He was adopted into a group of seniors who were an “island of misfit toys.”  This movie was extremely thought provoking and I recommend it to anyone that wants to reflect on their own lives.  I have been reflecting on my own life and realize that I just might have suffered from Wallflower Syndrome myself at some point and maybe still do.

1.  Fitting In

It’s so difficult to figure out where you fit in.  I have a lot of different groups of friends and can’t say that I have one particular group that I fall into.  Right now, I have been struggling with the fact that I don’t have a significant other.  Most of my friends are in serious relationships or married.  While there are times where I wish that I had someone to share moments with, I have to remember that I fit in no matter what.  My friends like me for who I am, and my relationship status does not define me.

2.  Enjoying Life’s Moments

Don’t let life pass you by.  You can’t take the moments that you have with anyone for granted.  Last month, my friend’s 38-year old sister passed away and reminded me that life is too short.  If you want to make your life count, you have to take chances.  Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to make things happen.

3.  “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

This is the best line from the movie.  It might be hard to swallow, but it’s the truth.  I often wonder why I have not experienced falling in love yet.  I let this quote settle into my mind and think about the experiences I have had with others.  Maybe I don’t think I deserve love.  I look around and see that I have so many things to be grateful for.  Maybe I am scared of love because if I find it, my life will be perfect.  You can’t upgrade from perfect and that scares me.  I am scared of failure.  I shield myself from falling in love because it is the one thing that will make my life perfect.  And nothing is perfect.

Summer Movie Wrap Up

This summer I saw a lot of movies.  I would go through each of them, but I don’t think there is enough time in the day.  Here’s how I ranked them:

  1. Katy Perry: Part of Me
  2. Magic Mike
  3. Marigold Hotel
  4. Hit and Run
  5. Snow White and the Huntsman
  6. The Avengers
  7. Sparkle
  8. Rock of Ages
  9. Moonrise Kingdom
  10. To Rome With Love
  11. Hope Springs
  12. Ted
  13. The Campaign
  14. Men in Black 3

I really liked the Katy Perry movie which I realize is kind of random.  I do, however, love a good concert, and that movie was her concert with the added bonus of her dramatic personal life.  I found it interesting, entertaining, and inspiring because she is such a strong person.

Another notable good one was the Marigold Hotel movie.  It was a little slow, but good none the less.  And Hit and Run was an unexpected witty comedy for me.

My disappointments were The Campaign and Ted (I wasn’t expecting much from MIB3).  I thought they were both funny but not really my humor.  I might be older than I thought.  And Hope Springs was a lot more old people sex talk than I was expecting.  Oops.

The movie I’m looking forward to this fall is Pitch Perfect.

What were your favorites or least favorites from the summer?