Sunday, December 28

Movies: Ignoring the Reviews

A number of movies were reviewed this week in the New York Times and while I can't remember all of them, and I'm too Sunday-lazy to go look, here's my reaction:

Tale of Despereaux. The review was mostly positive, but neither the review nor the trailers I've seen reflect the sensitive and serious book I read, so unless my eight-year-old drags me to see it, I'm staying home. (Note: She's very good at dragging! She even got me to take her and a friend to College Road Trip last year - talk about really loving your kid! Ticket Taker: "You here to see Horton?" Me: "No, College Road Trip - you know, the best movie of the year?" Ticket Taker: "You just keep telling yourself that, lady." Really, I love my daughter; and, you know, at least the Raisinettes were good.) I do agree with the reviewer that the red hat makes Despereaux look more like a bunny than a mouse.

Bedtime Stories. Lousy review, but I'm still going. Adam Sandler deposited a lot of good will in the bank with Wedding Singer years ago - hysterical and moving - and he's still reaping the returns, at least with me. Plus, I only recently discovered "The Chanukah Song," I'm Jewishly grateful for it, and that hamster looks adorable.

Revolutionary Road. Not a good review, but I'm still going. I'm curious to see how Kate Winslet, whom I adore - yea for the occasional not-skinny movie star! - and Leonardo DiCaprio do together 10 years after Titanic, plus it looks dark-dark-dark in the way that other period piece Far from Heaven was, and I've been needing to indulge my dark side lately as an antidote to all this holiday cheer.

Marley and Me. Bad review, and I'm going to try hard not to see it even though I love Jennifer Aniston - go, Team Jennifer! - and my daughter says she wants to. My daughter cried buckets when the often-mean gorilla died in "Tarzan," the play, prompting all the adult strangers around us to get tears in their own eyes at the sight of her sorrow, so how are we going to get through the death of a cute dog???

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This is the real problem. The Times review was mixed in parts, but mostly the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. And I really like Cate Blanchett. And I really like Brad Pitt, even though I am devoutly Team Jennifer. Have I mentioned I'm Team Jennifer? I really am. But, but, but: the F. Scott Fitzgerald story that it's supposedly based on is one of my favorite short stories ever, I've read it several times, and everything I've seen about the movie bears no resemblance whatsoever to the story I love so dearly! Well, except for the title and the fact that the main character physically ages in reverse. But other than that? Nothing! And how in the world did they take this short story - did I mention that it's a short story and not a 500-page novel? - and turn it into a nearly three-hour movie??? But I still may go. Maybe. Because I'm curious about Curious and because my daughter wants to see this one as well. Maybe I could trade her: We skip the mouse/bunny and the dead dog in favor of seeing just what the hell Hollywood has done to Fitzgerald this time? OK, maybe I won't phrase it like that, but you get the picture. So...

QUESTION OF THE DAY: WHAT MOVIES ARE YOU GOING TO SEE NO MATTER WHAT THE REVIEWERS SAY?

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Oops, I forgot to mention: The first two books in THE SISTERS EIGHT series, ANNIE'S ADVENTURES and DURINDA'S DANGERS, go on sale tomorrow - please buy early and often!

24 comments:

Wendy Toliver said...

Oh, man. I could never see Marley & Me in public. Maybe at home when it's on DVD, but I'm such a pathetic crier and I've been warned about this one.

I don't really read the "big" movie reviewers, but our local paper reviewer and I are usually on a similar (if not the same) page, which is nice b/c I don't want to waste a few and far between movie night on a mediocre one.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Wendy, it must be great to have reviewer you're so in synch with. Of course now I'm wondering what exactly constitutes a "pathetic crier."

sweetmelissa818 said...

I completely agree with ignoring reviews! You can't expect another person to see the movie the way you will and there's no point in trying.

The Story Siren said...

My sister and I went to see Bedtime Stories yesterday! We LOVED it! It was hilarious and so cute! I was expecting a little corny-ness, but it really wasn't.

Book Spot said...

I've given up on reviews-mostly because the last place I lived, the main reviewer & I had opposite opinions & he was a reviewer for Rolling Stone which was the only magazine I was getting then with reviews. So, besides thinking they gave away the ending, I got the same deal as my from the paper ;)

My paper here though just chooses to see the maybe 3 movies they want & provide synopsis for the rest so that's no good either (this area's not big on movie's or sometimes).

Anywho, we're thinking about seeing Benjamin Button :) Or Doubt. For some really odd reason, I don't know if I want to see Marley.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Sweet Melissa, smart thoughts!

Story Siren, now *there's* a review I can listen to!

Book Spot, reat to see you here! If you see BB before I do, let me know how it goes. :)

Alyson Noel said...

I'm convinced that the NY Times reviewers pretty much look for things to hate- so I mostly ignore them.

I'm hoping to see Revolutionary Road, Benjamin Button, Doubt, and Frost/Nixon. Oh, any maybe Marley and Me with my niece and nephew who are visiting!

And may I recommend Slumdog Millionaire and MILK-- both of which were absolutely AMAZING!!

Happy Holidays Lauren!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

You too, Alyson! Oh, and I want to see all those other ones you mentioned: Doubt, Slumdog, Frost, Milk - they just weren't amond those reviewed last week in the Times. :)

Jessica Burkhart said...

I tend to read but ignore movie reviews. Some of my fav movies are "bad" ones! :)

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Jessica, oh yes, there is nothing quite so fun as a one-star movie!

Megan said...

Benjamin Button was a spectacular movie. I've never read the short story, though. Maybe you can just go into the movie thinking of it as something completely different, since that's probably what it will be.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Megan, what an *excellent* idea - that is exactly what I'll do!

Sara Hantz said...

Ghosttown; Frost/Nixon; Shopaholic. I don't fancy Benjamin Button, but I could be persuaded.

I don't take any notice of reviewers, because they never seem to like the movies I do!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Sara, I saw Ghosttown - loved it!

Iserr said...

I Loved Frost/Nixon!!!!
And Marley was really sad, but really great.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Iserr, looks like I'm going to have to see Frost/Nixon! I'm a politics junkie, so it won't be such a hardship. :)

Gerb said...

I ignore reviews as much as possible, but I do wish I had peeked before seeing Australia. That was a stinker. Also saw Valkyrie despite the bad reviews and it was Not Great.
We did see Bedtime Story for Christmas, though, and enjoyed it. It wasn't brilliant, but it was entertaining.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Gerb, OMG on Australia - a friend saw it and can't stop saying, in a bad Aussie accent, "Look! It's the drover!" And yeah, I forgot about the Cruise, which was also reviewed this week. I usually like him as a reliable form of entertainment but am taking a pass on this one because I've grown tired of Hollywood trying to reinvent the Holocaust as endless feel-good stories.

Hope. said...

Don't go and see Marley and Me! My family took me last night and forgot to inform me that THE DOG DIED AT THE END AND IT WAS SAD! Oh my gosh. I was like. . . sobbing in the freaking movie theature! I felt so pathetic. haha. Every time I see a picture of that cute little dog now, I want to cry.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Hope, you've convinced me: No dead dogs for me!

Cara King said...

Please add spoiler warnings to spoilers!

Alyson, I agree with you about the NY Times -- they really seem to hate everything. FWIW, Entertainment Weekly gave both Marley & Me and Benjamin Button really good reviews, and imdb's summary of nationwide reviewers said pretty much all of them raved about the performances in Revolutionary Road.

I'm a real movie junkie, so I've already seen Doubt, Frost/Nixon, Milk, and a handful of others. Next up: maybe Benjamin Button or The Wrestler...or maybe The Day The Earth Stood Still. (Yes, I'm horrified they remade it, but I'm such a SF fan that I'm seeing it anyway...) ;-)

Cara

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Cara, I'm envious of all the movies you've seen this season.

Michelle Jacobson said...

I went and saw Benjamin Button! I thought the whole story was amazing, but I haven't read the original short story by Fitzgerald.
You know that feeling you get when you experience something heartfelt? Well, my two friends and I were definitely having some type of warmth in our hearts after seeing Benjamin Button :) (corny, but still)
I would go see it again!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Michelle, thanks for the movie endorsement! I'll be curious if you do read BB to hear what you think of it.