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5 out of 5

The Road

The_Road_movie_poster Lisa and I recently watched The Road (2009,R).  From ScreenIt!:

A father tries to provide safety, shelter and food for his son while teaching him how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where none of those are guaranteed.

Before the film was released, I had a couple tickets to an advanced screening.  Unfortunately, it was a couple hours away and on a week I decided not to go (figuring I'd just see it a few weeks later when it was released).  Apparently something went badly wrong with the release and marketing of the film because it was never shown anywhere near us.

When we watched it recently as a rental, we realized that somehow Lisa had missed much of the strong, emotional father-son connection when reading the book.  We also thought there might have been some meaning in a detail that Lisa remembered from the end that I didn't (a spoiler that I won't elaborate on here).

I loved the book and the film both and that the latter seemed so true to the former.  I give it 5 out of 5.

The Blind Side

225px-Blind_side_poster After opening presents Christmas morning, we went to see The Blind Side (2009,PG-13).  From ScreenIt!:

A confident woman and her Southern family take in a poor and undereducated teen, give him the home life he never had, and help him hone his football skills that make him a top college prospect.

The scenes in the projects of Memphis reminded me of the times Lisa and I visited similar places in Knoxville to bring kids to church.  Although I think some of the film’s critics make valid points, (as I mentioned before) I’m a sucker for inspiring sports movies and themes of racial reconciliation.

I give it 5 out of 5.


200px-HumanFactorInvictus Last night I went with friends from work to see Invictus (PG-13,2009).  From ScreenIt!:

The newly elected President of South Africa hopes to begin reconciliation among his black and white constituents by urging them to unite behind the nation's rugby team in the World Cup.

Over coffee afterwards, one of my friends talked about what it was like experiencing these events first-hand as an Afrikaner in South Africa.  She said the film brought back so many memories.  First of all, she was impressed with Freeman’s and Damon’s accents…saying they were spot-on.  Also, she indicated that the filmmakers did an excellent job of capturing the spirit of what the South Africans felt and experienced during that time.  Her family had gathered to celebrate her 21st birthday and watched the match together on a big screen.  Although they didn’t realize it at the time, she said that when Mandela walked onto the field wearing the #6 jersey of the Springboks (South African national rugby team, a deep-rooted symbol of Apartheid) it was a major turning point for their country and its racial reconciliation.  The celebrations in the streets afterwards were the first time they had done so without fear of violence and riots.  She said her parents have made big changes in their outlook since then.  On the other hand, her brother has not (still doesn’t want to use the same facilities as blacks, send his kids to school with blacks, etc.).  She said that the black middle class is growing and that it’s not unusual to see blacks buying homes in previously-white-only neighborhoods.  Unfortunately, the shanty towns are still prevalent.  Despite the fact that the country’s old flag (another symbol of Apartheid) was not banned, you never see it flown at sporting events any more.  She said the rugby was very realistic too, and she wanted to jump up and cheer during the film.  She wondered if the rest of us (who didn’t share that same personal connection with the story) would find it boring.  We didn’t.

I’m a sucker for sports movies and a sucker for movies about racial reconciliation, so I didn’t stand a chance.

I give it 5 out of 5.



Back in July we watched E.T. for family movie night.  From ScreenIt!:


An alien misses his spaceship ride home and is befriended by a young boy until his crew returns for him.


This is one of the first movies I remember seeing in the theater (I was 10).  The first one was Star Wars (when I was 5).  I also remember seeing a Star Trek film but I don't know if it was the 1st one (when I was 7) or the 2nd (when I was 10).  It was actually a drive-in when I saw E.T. as a kid.

I give it 5 out of 5.

Back to the Future

200px-Back_to_the_future Friday night we watched Back to the Future (1985,PG) for family movie night.  From Wikipedia:

Back to the Future is a 1985 science fiction adventure film directed by Robert Zemeckis, co-written by Bob Gale and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, as well as Christopher Lloyd, Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson and Thomas F. Wilson. Back to the Future tells the story of Marty McFly, a teenager who is accidentally sent back in time from 1985 to 1955. He meets his parents in high school, accidentally attracting his mother's romantic interest. Marty must repair the damage to history by causing his parents to fall in love, while finding a way to return to 1985.

This is one of my favorites of all time.  I remember walking out of the theater after seeing this film and realizing that I had been so engaged that I had spared zero attention for anything else but the movie for those previous two hours.  I'm not sure I've had that experience with any other film.

I give it 5 out of 5.


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