Thursday, July 24, 2014

At the Movies: X-Men and Begin Again


For Magoo and me, hot summers with with time to kill and no new TV means MOVIES.  We hit the movies A LOT.  So I thought I'd post a few reviews in case you were wondering what an adult woman and 11-yr-old boy thought of them.

IN THEATERS:

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST





This is a comic book action movie.  If you don't know who Wolverine is - skip this one.  If you do know you Wolverine, Professor X, and Magneto are then this is the movie for you.  The basic plot is that a line of mutant-killing robots has taken over the Earth.  They're so bad-ass they even kill humans who carry the mutant gene.  The X-men send Wolverine back in time, with the goal of stopping the robots before they are ever made.  Problem is, he'll need the help of young Prof. X and young Magneto to help him - but in the past these two are on the outs.  Big time.

This movie is great for those following the X-men movies because it combine the present day cast with the younger cast from X-men First Class.  Double X-men - one price!  Magoo and I both thought the plot worked really well and we really enjoyed the movie and the special effects.  I particularly liked the scene where the group is breaking Magneto out of a high security cell and Quicksilver (who is so fast that time basically stops before him) speeds around a room full of guards disrupting their weapons and plans of attack.

Magoo was not scared in any way.  He followed the plot just fine.  To borrow from Siskel and Ebert (Who else are you gonna borrow from?) We give it TWO THUMBS UP. 






BEGIN AGAIN

BEGIN AGAIN is the story of two people who are down and out, who meet, and help each other pull themselves up.  Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is a music producer who was just fired from the recording label he helped to create.  He's also divorced and has a 14-yr-old daughter that he disappoints on a regular basis.  Gretta is a song writer who came to New York on the coattails of her musician boyfriend who is quickly rising to the top.  Along the way, he dumps her.  When Dan hears Gretta play a sweet song at an open mic night, he is inspired to create music again and the two set out to record their own album - on the cheap - int he streets of New York.

This movie is rated R - although I'm not sure why.  Most nights, there is racer stuff on The CW.  I took Magoo because he loves music and I thought he might enjoy a movie where music is being made, and where people have failed and have to learn from the failure and rise up again.  It's a nice message for a kid.

This is a very sweet movie.  I liked both characters a lot, and I also liked how they were able to help each other achieve their own individual goals.  Dan is trying to get the spark of his former life back.  He wants to be the man he once was.  Gretta is trying to find out who she wants to be and what's going to define her choices.

I read a review that criticized it for being too simple, not edgy enough.  And it's true, this is a very sincere movie.  No cynicism.  It's about making art in the purest sense - just to make art.

I don't think it would be for every kid.  There are no talking animals, car chases, or flying humans in it, but Magoo really enjoyed the music and we bought a couple tracks on iTunes when we got home.  Coming Up Roses is my personal favorite.

Magoo says that he liked it and he liked that "there were two stories that intersected."

TWO THUMBS UP for Begin Again.

I have more movies to review but I have to head out to Art Camp now.  Thanks so much for stopping in!




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