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John Carter – Review

The critics didn’t like it, especially here in the U.S. For some incomprehensible reason, the Disney folks, usually so good at whatever they do, did a terrible job of promoting it. Despite all of that, John Carter was number one at box offices worldwide for the second consecutive week. And, way more importantly as far as I’m concerned — I liked it a lot!

Too many years and far too much consumption of NutraSweet for me to remember all the details of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel, but it felt to me like it honored the story line pretty well. The beginning and ending sandwiching segments were really well done. Lots of action but tempered with humor. Some nice special effects. Alien characters done so that you soon forgot that they were alien — always the mark of good sci-fi for me. A love story between two equally strong characters. Good versus evil. A little surprise at the end (if you aren’t a Burroughs’ fan — which, by the way, is your loss). What’s not to like?

To put it in Movie Club terms…. It definitely held my attention. I cared about the characters — loved Woola! Would I recommend it to my friends? Hmm…..some I wouldn’t but that has more to do with the fact that not everyone likes science fiction than about this particular movie. I will watch it again and I will probably buy and add it to my collection.

And I know this was only the first of Burroughs’ series on Mars so I’m hoping for a sequel!

See you next time…..at the movies.

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The Artist – Review

I love, love, loved The Artist!

I’d been a little hesitant about seeing it. The previews looked good but….a totally silent full-length movie? Couldn’t see how that could be all that entertaining. And even all the hoopla at the Oscar’s didn’t really change my mind. I mean, these are the same folks who gave best picture to “Country for Old Men”, which I would have probably walked out on except somebody else had driven — and paid. But I couldn’t have been more wrong about this one. In fact, it had me thinking that maybe I should add another category to my rating system — “movies that I don’t want to end”.

Since being nominated and winning Best Picture for 2012, there’s been so much press about The Artist that I’m not really going to get into why it’s so good. As for the actors, the lead, Jean Dujardin (Best Leading Actor), was new to me but he was excellent. Bérénice Bejo, who played the role of Peppy Miller and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, was also an unknown for me. But, she has moved directly onto my “if she’s in it, I’m going” list! John Goodman had a supporting role and was okay but somehow it just didn’t seem quite right for him to be “silent”. James Cromwell, on the other hand, was in his element! After all, this is the man whose most memorable line is destined to always be “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”

Probably a waste of time to run through this but I will — The Artist definitely held my attention (didn’t want it to end). I cared about the characters. I have and will continue to recommend to everyone. I will watch it again and I can’t wait until it’s affordable so that I can add it to my collection.

Of course, if you know anything about this movie you know that I haven’t mentioned the best part. Uggie! You may remember this little guy played Queenie, the dog belonging to Jacob’s roommate, Walter (the dwarf) in Water for Elephants. All of that lobbying to get them to nominate Uggie for an Oscar for The Artist wasn’t just PR — he deserved it! Scene-stealing doesn’t even begin to describe his performance. Despite his snub by The Academy,  I’m very pleased to be able to pass on that Uggie is in line for a Pawscar, the American Humane Association’s awards for animals in films.

See you next time — at the movies!

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