January 2, 2014

Pick A Flick: Movies You May Have Missed

 
Betty and I enjoy movies. For the last several years that tends to mean watching on Netflix or an occasional disc from Redbox. For the most part, the stuff released in the theaters is just too violent, too loud, too inane, too many vampires (!), or with a story line that has been done better in earlier times. Coupled with previews that are run at a volume level loud enough to injure whatever hearing I have left, and the local movie houses see us less and less each year.

That being said, the landscape hasn't been completely devoid of flicks we have seen and do enjoy. I am sure there may be a few more that I have forgotten to list, but I did come up with a list of eighteen to share with you.

I have included YouTube trailers to help you decide what you may want to see. There are small commercial messages across the bottom of each trailer. Click the small x in the upper right corner of the ad to close it. Click the symbol in the lower right to make the trailer show full screen.

I have indicated the rating beside each title. If you have any questions about the content Google the movie and learn a bit more about it. One person's PG-13 is another person's R, and vice versa.

These are no in any particular order, just as they came to mind.


Best Exotic Gold  Marigold Hotel (PG-13)



Nebraska (R)


Tangled (PG)

Captain Philips (PG-13)



The King's Speech (R)


War Horse (PG-13)



Midnight in Paris (PG-13)


The Descendants (R)



Hugo (PG)


The Help (PG-13)



Argo (R)



Beasts of the Southern Wild (PG-13)



Life of Pi (PG-13)



Extremely Loud (PG-13)


42 (PG-13)




Lincoln (PG-13)




Les Miserables (PG-13)



(Saving Mr. Banks (PG-13)




34 comments:

  1. Thanks! I added the ones that weren't already in my Queue :)

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    1. You have a busy month ahead, Kelli.

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    2. Bob
      Surely you inadvertantly overlooked these: Trip to Bountiful, On Golden Pond, Little Big Man, Rasy Rider, Out of Africa.

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    3. Actually, for this post I restricted myself to releases within the last few years that readers might have missed. All the ones you mention are much older, but good and worth seeing, though Easy Rider is not everyone's cup of tea. Out of Africa I used to think was boring, but after multiple screenings I now appreciate the story and the photography.

      As one of my daughters notes, I am one of the few people who will see a movie because of the scenery and cinematography even if the story leaves me cold.

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  2. I've seen about half of these -- all of them I'd rate at least pretty good; some are really excellent -- and so if that's any guide this is a great list for those of us stuck inside for the winter. (Well ... War Horse was kinda boring; but Descendents was fantastic; Life of Pi was better than I thought it would be, and so was Les Mis.) Bob, thanks for the tips.

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    1. War Horse was a a little slow, but gets my vote because it is a true story and beautifully filmed. I wasn't a real fan of Les Mis, but my wife insisted I include it.

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    2. Bob, I think you long ago established that your wife is the smart one in the family!

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  3. Thanks for the tips on "adult" movies Bob. I am snowed in again (4 inches and still coming) so it will be nice to snuggle up to a good movie today. I just got on the Netflix bandwagon and am overwhelmed with the choices. Thanks for narrowing them down to a few good picks.

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    1. Netflix is like being let loose in the greatest bookstore on the planet...so many choices you hope you live long enough to enjoy even a smattering of them all. The neat thing about Netflix is its ability to predict what you'd like based on previous choices and ratings. After you have been with them for 3 or 4 months, long enough for their system to get a decent handle on your tastes, they will start to suggest things that are real hidden gems.

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  4. Thanks Bob, I have missed a few of these..nice to have the reminder and trailers to catch up! Happy New Year to you and Betty!

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    1. Thanks, Madeline. When do you guys plan on making the big move up north?

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  5. Thanks for the movie list. In the most month alone we've seen five mvies, so I would also add "Gravity", "All is Lost", the new "Hunger Games" (yes, it surely has violence), and "The Hobbit" to the any list.

    My son saw "Twelve Years a Slave" and swears its the best movie of the year. Meanwhile, I await American Hustle, and the new Meryl Streep movie.

    Should I admit that I LOVED "World War Z"?

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    1. Like you, I saw Gravity and thought Sandra Bullock did an incredible job of portraying terror, hopelessness, resignation, and finally, joy. I did enjoy Hunger games and World War Z for the special effects.

      12 Years a Slave I will not watch. Watching that type of violence on another human turns my stomach.

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    2. I would not see it in the movie theater no matter how good. I will probably get it on DVD when I can do some fast forwarding

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  6. In the last few days, my wife and I have watched two movies. "Amour" is a slow-moving (w/subtitles), but powerful movie about an elderly French couple and their major aging issues - not easy to watch, but amazingly relevant. The other was "Philomena" (with Judy Dench) that was rivoting, wrenching, and surprisingly uplifting.

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    1. Betty and I saw Amour also - well done character study. Philomena is on our want-to-see list. Thanks for adding your thumbs up to it.

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  7. Philomena, with Dame Judi Dench, was a worthwhile couple of hours.

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    1. See above! Philomena just moved up on our list.

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    2. Betty and I just saw Philomena: stunning performance from Judy Dench. That fact that it was a true story made it all the more powerful.

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  8. I was disappointed in Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks. I don't know if it's because Hanks is getting on up there in years or if he was bored by the script. But, his performance was not what I had expected from him. Compare that to his peformance in Apollo 13 and it was evident to me Hanks was just not into the film. On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoy Life of Pi. It was a bit controversial due to its ending. It's controversial only because people didn't get the ending was all about. I admit I was confused at first. But, the more I thought about it, the more I saw the simile of the Tiger, the Hyena et al. That had to be my favorite movie of the year.

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    1. Life of Pi probably affects different people on different levels. Even if someone just sees it for the visual impact it is stunning.

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  9. Quite a list! Some I've seen and loved, like Argo and The King's Speech. I have Philomena on my current list. Love Judy Dench! I may be the only person on the planet that hates Les Miserable, whether on stage or film. I was coerced into going to the play with Dave (who loves it) and another couple, I was so depressed I left at intermission. Some of the music is beautiful, but the story is the biggest downer ever!

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    1. I am in your camp re; Les Mis. I didn't like it at all. I found it slow, dreary, and filled with mostly silly songs. Russell Crowe singing? Please.

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    2. I enjoy Le Mis it just irritates me beyond belief that almost everyone in the world gets the history wrong. The movie and book, have absolutely nothing to do with the ever lovin French Revolution (sorry, but the historian in me goes crazy about this.). I did not see the film until after the Academy Awards (I admit it, I'm a junkie) and was astounded at how well he sang then. Most actors still start out as song and or dance men, still.

      What I absolutely WILL NOT see, although it has like fifty award nominations is "her". I cannot imagine enjoying a movie about a fellow who falls in love with the voice of the OS of his computer. But that's just me, lol.

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  10. I have read the unedited version of Les Miserables, seen the play numerous times, plus both movies (the non-musical with Liam Neeson, and the newer 2012 Hugh Jackman version. To me it is the greatest story ever written, and I look at the world very differently after having read it, than I did before. Ultimately it is a tale about redemption, and as such it will never get old.

    I also read War Horse, and saw both the play and the movie. Must admit I'm pretty War Horse'd out, but regardless, all three versions are beautifully done. The story is actually quite short and simple, which makes what was created in both the film and play all the more impressive.

    Life of Pi must be read to be fully understood. The movie is visually stunning, but the real brilliance of the story is the philosophy contained within the novel. It begs to be reread, as it's almost impossible to take everything in at first reading.

    I found The Descendents to be an absolutely dreadful, vapid book, however, everyone raves about the movie, so perhaps one of these days I'll actually watch it. But the book was so truly dreadful that I'm torn . . .

    Agree wholeheartedly with the rest of your list, most of which I've either read, seen or both. Those that I haven't are now on my list to either read or watch, so thank you!

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    1. We will stick with the true classics in April !!!

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  11. My husband is a movie LOVER and has seen all of your list. I only go when someone does NOT die badly. Eliminates a lot of movies. We loved Philomena, liked Saving Mr. Banks, thought Inside Lwellin Davis was slow and i thought the Hobbit was loud. We have seen Les Miz multiple times and just love the musical. The movie was a bit dark and why doesn't Hollywood use people who can actually sing instead of people with names. Mama Mia was a great musical on stage just fun but Meryl Streep is not a singer and Pierce Brosnan in spandex off key????

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    1. I actually liked Mama Mia, the movie, because the songs are so upbeat and the scenery gorgeous. We saw the stage version in London which was great, too.

      I guess Les Mis is a matter of personal taste. I thought the basic story has been told many times in many different ways. I found the film plodding, dark, depressing, and took too long to make its point. Obviously, I am in the minority!

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  12. LOVED LOVED LOVED Midnight in Paris! Have not seen the Descendents.. on my list for this week!

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    1. The Descendants is sad, depressing, and ultimately uplifting and affirming. At one point you want to shoot the teenage daughter until you discover the reasons behind her attitude.

      I also liked it because it was filmed in Hawaii and I love looking at the landscape!

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  13. I'll add to the list...we very recently watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ewan Macgregor (sp?) is the lead. Very entertaining and somewhat thoughtful romantic comedy. Strange title, but worth the time!!

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    1. You are right. That is one I forgot to mention. It is a unique story that is very well told. We enjoyed it enough to see it in the theater and then get the disc from Netflix to watch it again.

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  14. I love movies. I lean toward the sci-fi, spy, or action/adventure flicks, but I often make exceptions. The aforementioned "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" being one example that I enjoyed. As a Bill Nighy fan, Marigold Hotel was a must-see (and a glad-I-did-see). I'm also pleased to see that a sequel is on the way.

    I'm not big on the based-on-a-true-story movies, although I did watch "Argo". Another movie I enjoyed, which was supposedly based on actual events, was 2010's "The Way Back", which falls into the epic-survival-story category.

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    1. I really enjoy Bill Nighy, too. He was so perfect as the radio station manager in Pirate Radio, and gave a highly nuanced performance in Marigold Hotel.

      I have heard of "the Way Back" and even seen the trailer, but I never saw the movie.

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