Sunday, February 22, 2015

Post Oscar results

Well, I am a little surprised that "Birdman" won The Best Picture category over "Boyhood".
"Boyhood" took over twelve years to film with the same cast including the young character Mason (Ellar Coltrane) who literally grew up during the duration of this massive undertaking. 
I do know that "Birdman" was a very strong contender and that is why I chose  "Birdman" as my very close second choice.
Other than The Best Picture, I called all of my other predictions. I guess five out of six isn't too bad.

Thanks to everyone who follows me on Utahmoviemom!!! I really appreciate your support and your confidence in me!!! I will keep trying to keep you informed with my best opinions on the movies, to help you have the enjoyment and entertainment that you deserve. 
With movie tickets as expensive as they are these days and even more important to me...
 are your children and your family's well being, that is first and foremost to me!!!
I will honestly try to always do my best!!!

Once again,
Thank you so much
Marilyn Phillips, Utahmoviemom

My personal Academy Awards predictions 2015

Ok-here I go, out on a limb again this year for the biggest night in Motion Pictures.
My predictions are as follows, simply my own opinion, but time will tell tonight how my choices pan out.
*Best Picture- "Boyhood" with "Birdman" coming in as a close second.

*Best Actor- Eddie Redmayne for "The Theory Of Everything" with Michael Keaton coming in as a close second for  "Birdman".

*Best Actress- Julianne Moore for " Still Alice".

*Best Supporting Actor- JK Simmons for "Whiplash".

*Best Supporting Actress- Patricia Arquette for "Boyhood".

*Best Animated Feature- "Big Hero 6"

Ok, Let's watch The Oscars now. Hope everyone enjoys the program.

Friday, February 20, 2015

McFarland, USA

Starring: Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Ramiro Rodriguez, Carlos Pratts, Johnny Ortiz,
Rafael Martinez, Hector Duran, Sergio Avelar and Michael Aguero
Running Time: 2 Hours and 8 Minutes

This is the true story about a small town in central California in 1987. McFarland High School is in dire need of a new PE and Life Science teacher. Enter Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) who is also in dire need of a new teaching job!
Coach White had been living in Boise, Idaho coaching the high school football team there when he was dismissed for trying to teach a smart alec kid a lesson about respect.
He uprooted his wife Cheryl (Maria Bello), two daughters, Julie (Morgan Saylor), and
Jamie (Elsie Fisher) and relocated to McFarland, California where they were definitely the minority.
They moved into a very small home that was unlike any they had lived in before. They were total misfits! It took some time and patience for them to feel comfortable and accepted by the community.
McFarland was almost completely comprised of Latinos who referred to themselves as "pickers". They made their living by picking crops in central California, day in and day out.
They expected their young sons to help them out as well. They were required to work every morning before attending school and again after school. A very difficult and tedious schedule for them to maintain. Their parents did not have any expectations for their children, they just assumed they would eventually end up being "pickers" full time like they themselves were.
Coach White had the opportunity to observe the students in PE class and noticed while they were running track that several of them had a real gift of running exceptionally fast! As time went by he continued to be impressed with their ability and decided to look at the school rules to see if he could implement a track team. When he was able to get the okay and decided to approach the students about it, most of them were against it. He needed seven boys to qualify to run in the State meets.
Finally, after convincing them to give it a try, he was on a mission.
This was a really good and inspirational story about sportsmanship, responsibility, human interaction and relationships, but to me, more importantly, it was mostly about learning how to trust!
How to overcome boundaries and finding a side of yourself that you never knew you had.
I was very pleasantly surprised with this movie and the warmth and tender feelings I ended up with after watching it. This is definitely a sports and relationships "feel good movie"!
On a side note, Kevin Costner said in an interview that he grew up not far from McFarland and he used to play against the McFarland High School teams when he was in high school, so this movie was very personal to him!
Parents be advised:This movie is rated PG, I found nothing unsuitable in this movie and feel that it is appropriate for children ages eight and over.
I am giving McFarland, USA three and a half bags of popcorn.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Jupiter Ascending

Starring: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne and Douglas Booth
Running Time: 2 Hours and 7 Minutes

I was anticipating a lot of computer generated imagery in this movie, but this movie took it to a whole new level. It absolutely consumed the moviegoer, it was both completely ridiculous and fatiguing at the same time!
The story-line was weak and without any redeeming quality whatsoever! Another so-called dystopian  sci-fi flick! I felt as if this movie was a colossal waste of my time and my energy.
Channing Tatum stars as Caine Wise, an ex-military hunter, a magical, rollerblading humble hero of sorts who can skate himself all over the universe. He is able to jump off of towering high-rise buildings as well as different planets. How he developed these super powers of his are questionable.
Mila Kunis stars as the humble little Jupiter Jones from Chicago, the early morning toilet scrubber with a repetitive life that she is most unsatisfied with.
Suddenly she is thrust into a world that she totally unfamiliar with. She is wanted by several different characters and finds out that she has a genetic signature that makes her an offspring of royal lineage and an heiress of an extraordinary fortune.
This movie just gets totally lost. Tatum and Kunis in another setting could have been very good together, but they just couldn't keep up with all of the cgi and the crazy characters in this one.
I would advise passing on this movie.
Parents be advised: There are many scary and strange characters in this movie, Some of them were quite frightening and intimidating. There were some little alien like creatures that were very freaky!
I would suggest this for children ages ten and over.
I am giving "Jupiter Ascending" two bags of popcorn.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Imitation Game

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Jack Bannon and Mark Strong
Running Time: 1 Hour and 54 Minutes

I was somewhat intrigued and curious about seeing this movie. I knew it was historical and based on the true story of Alan Mathison Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch). He was a young man at the ripe old age of 27 who invented "The Enigma" code to break the German War code. He was what some people might call a genius and that in and of itself caused people to doubt and question his motives. He was a British pioneering computer scientist, a mathematician, cryptanalyst, a marathon and ultra distance runner. He was also a very tortured soul!
This movie takes place during World War II during the height of the Nazi occupation. Winston Churchill is desperate to find a way to undermine and crack the Nazi code, one of the most difficult codes in all of history!
When Turing is called upon to work for the British Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, the codebreaking centre in England, he is up against a lot of opposition. The superiors doubt his ability and his motives. They feel that he is only working for his own self aggrandisement.
He is chosen as the leader of Hut 8 and works tirelessly to perfect his computer. When he is finally successful, there is much celebration and he receives many accolades for his pioneering expertise!
He lives a very sad and lonely life and is somewhat removed from regular society. He meets the beautiful and very intelligent Miss Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley) whom he hires to work with the other Hut 8 high achievers. They develop a close but unusual relationship and eventually marry. Turing is a devout homosexual and still marries her for social acceptance. He struggled mightily during his schoolboy years to fit in with the other young men. He is however befriended by a dear friend, Christopher Morcom (Jack Bannon) whom he has a very close relationship with.
Sir Winston Churchill credits Turing with shortening the War by two to four years by inventing "The Enigma" code computer and thereby saving many lives!
Many people refer to Alan Turing as the father of computers!
This truly is a great spy-thriller! I genuinely feel that it has been overlooked with all of the emphasis on the other "The" movie release for Christmas 2014, "The Interview".  Benedict Cumberbatch was incredible as Turing, he did an outstanding job!
If you want to be taken into history and enveloped into the action, this is definitely the movie for you!
Parents be advised: There are a lot of war action sequences and some violence. Mild profanity and very blatant homosexuality, which Turing openly discusses. I would leave the children 14 and under home, however the History is fascinating!
I am giving "The Imitation Game", four bags of popcorn.

Into The Woods

Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp,
 Lilla Crawford and Daniel Huttlestone
Running Time: 2 Hours and 4 Minutes

Wow! I was so impressed with this movie I really don't know where to start! This story is based on the Broadway musical of the same name.
It is based on several classic tales from the infamous Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
They include: Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk.
It is the story of a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who are unable to start a family because a very wicked witch (Meryl Streep) has put a evil curse on them!
The story plays out with several beloved fairy tale characters coming to life, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), The Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone) and Cinderella's Prince (Chris Pine).
The witch has set an ultimatum to the young baker and his bride to acquire several things or objects to break the evil curse. Once they are able to obtain every single one of these things, she will willingly overturn the dreaded curse.
She has her own reasons for wanting the curse to be lifted as well.
This is a story told by singing and a lot of music, which I generally do not enjoy. But, boy oh boy was I surprised! I immediately fell in love with the music and the singing. All of the characters were in stellar form and they all did a spectacular job! Meryl Streep was incredible and I absolutely loved her voice!
I was also very impressed with a young lady, Lilla Crawford who plays Little Red Riding Hood, her voice is magnificent!
I enjoyed the story and the music so much, that I really did not want the movie to end! I will definitely go and see this again. I will also be obtaining the soundtrack.
Parents be advised: This is a magical movie, but it has some dark and scary moments in it as well. Also, there was a really strange encounter between The Prince and the Baker's wife which was completely random and very unexpected! I would recommend this movie for children ten and over.
I am giving "Into The Woods" four bags of popcorn.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Benedict Cumberbatch
Running Time: 2 Hours and 24 Minutes

This is the final installment of "The Hobbit" series. Always a bittersweet moment and a realization that all things must come to an end!
Make sure you study up on the previous two installments of Peter Jackson's"Hobbit" trilogy before you go and see this one.
"The Battle of the Five Armies" throws viewers right into the thick of the battle with Smaug (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch) that was left unfinished at the end of the previous film. The heavy action will leave audiences hooked, but the plot and character development in this film rely almost too heavily on the previous films. As a Tolkien fan, I have enjoyed this trilogy and found this series to be very fun.
However, Peter Jackson has not recreated the magic of "Return of the King" with this movie. This one does provide some great links between the Hobbit trilogy and the subsequent "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and will still find a place in movie lovers and Tolkien fan's movie collections.
Parents be advised: This movie is constantly showing some sort of battle scene, some mild and some more violent. It was very dark and serious! I would recommend this movie for children age 10 and over.
I am giving "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" three bags of popcorn.

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