3 out of 5

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

220px-On_Stranger_Tides_PosterTonight we finished watching Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011, PG-13).  From screenit:

A flamboyant pirate, his former nemesis, a feared pirate and various others set out to beat the rest in finding the legendary fountain of youth.

Finn really enjoys Jack Sparrow's antics.  I thought it was fine.  3 out of 5.

The Book of Eli

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Last night Lisa and I watched The Book of Eli (2010,R).  From ScreenIt!:

In a post-apocalyptic world, a lone traveler continues on his quest west, but most contend with an educated villain and his array of thugs who want the potentially influential book in his possession.

At some point I'd heard from someone that this was a good film, so my expectations were a little bit elevated.  I thought is was just OK.

I give it 3 out of 5.

Land of the Lost

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I recently watched Land of the Lost (2009, PG-13).  From ScreenIt!:

A scientist, his new assistant, and a tourist trap operator end up in another dimension where the past, present and future coexist, and then try to find their way back home, all while dealing with dinosaurs, reptilian creatures and more.

Some films are just silly.  Land of the Lost is one of those that is enjoyably silly…and what's not to like about Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Anna Friel?

I give it 3 out of 5.

Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County

homeless-motel-kids_150 Tonight we finished watching Alexandra Pelosi's Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County.

From the HBO site:

HOMELESS...explores the world of children who reside in discounted motels within walking distance of Disneyland, living in limbo as their families struggle to survive in one of the wealthiest regions of America.  The parents of motel kids are often hard workers who don't earn enough to own or rent homes.  As a result, they continue to live week-to-week in motels, hoping against hope for an opportunity that might allow them to move up in the O.C.

The toll of this lifestyle on their children is severe.  Though the community tries to provide adequate education and food, the day-to-day lives of motel kids are often a numbing exercise in frustrating complaints and ever-diminishing expectations.

These kids' lives are bleak, and I think Pelosi is right that you can find similar stories everywhere these days.  The kids' hopelessness that the film communicates is tragic.  Pelosi seems clumsy, though.  Her voice intrudes too often, as one reviewer put it, to "influence answers and provoke responses".

I give it 3 out of 5.

Avatar

200px-Avatar-Teaser-Poster A month or so ago we watched Avatar (2009,PG-13) for family movie night.  From ScreenIt!:

In the distant future on another planet, an Earthling goes undercover in an avatar body to infiltrate the indigenous race in hopes of helping his people get their hands on a valuable mineral located there.

Sometimes you hear such good things about a film that you're disappointed when you actually seen it even if it's actually quite good.  This was the flip side of that.  I'd heard it had good special effects but a terrible plot, but I didn't think it was any worse than your typical popular blockbuster plot.

I give it 3 out of 5.

21

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I recently watched 21 (2008,PG-13).  From ScreenIt!:

Recruited by one of his professors, a college student agrees to join an underground card-counting team, but must deal with the repercussions of getting too good at it, all of which draws the watchful eye of Vegas casino loss prevention specialists.

This was probably an interesting story to read, but it didn't work all that well for me as a film...especially Spacey's character.  It could have actually been on target for all I know, but it didn't feel like it to me.  I also don't understand how casino's could possibly get away with kicking the shite out of it's customers or why Ben wouldn't use a bank account.

I give it 3 out of 5.

Honey, I Blew Up the Kid

200px-Honey_I_blew_up_the_kid_film_poster Last night we watched Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992,PG) for family movie night.  From IMDB:

Wayne Szalinski is at it again. But instead of shrinking things, he tries to make a machine that can make things grow. As in the first one, his machine isn't quite accurate. But when he brings Nick & his toddler son Adam to see his invention, the machine unexpectedly starts working.

A bit of wisdom from the film:

There's one thing every kid knows: daddies mean fun, mommies mean business.

The kids enjoyed it.  I give it 3 out of 5.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

200px-Harry_Potter_and_the_Order_of_the_Phoenix_theatrical_poster Lisa was chaperoning a dance tonight, so the boys and I had dinner at Pizza Hut and then watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007,PG-13).  From ScreenIt!:

A teenage wizard must contend with changes at his school all while trying to get everyone to believe in and prepare for the return of a dangerous entity in this fifth installment of the "Harry Potter" series.

I give it 3 out of 5.

Body of Lies

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Tonight I finished watching Body of Lies (2008,R).  From Screen It!:

A Middle East based CIA field operative clashes with his supervisor back in the states as the two try to find and stop a terrorist ringleader.

We started it last weekend.  Lisa gave up on it pretty quickly with all of the non-stop gunfire at the beginning.  She missed the romance in the middle before the violence returned at the end.  It was OK...reminded me of The Kingdom

I give it 3 out of 5.

Taken

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Tonight we watched Taken (2009,PG-13).  From ScreenIt!:

A former CIA agent uses every tool in his arsenal and leaves many bad guys in his wake as he tries to find and rescue his 17-year-old daughter who's been kidnapped into the sex slave trade while vacationing in Paris.

It’s chock full of violence and a bit too far-fetched over and over again.  Also, Lisa says the boys are never going to Europe alone.

I give it 3 out of 5.

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