R and I make up for borrowed time by seeing four movies in four days over the Thanksgiving weekend. Let’s see if I can review them in on paragraph each:
Morning Glory – Chick flick with veterans Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton playing off against Rachael McAdams who is a newly hired producer of a “GMA” type morning show and tasked with resuscitating the dying program. She’s really cute and worth the price of the ticket. Ford plays a curmudgeon Dan Rather type reporter who certainly doesn’t want to be involved in the show, but contractually has to be. Hey, go back to the “chick flick” part and you know the story, everybody gets the right person in the end, there’s some mistaken issues, yeah, I know the story sounds like every opera you ever saw, but McAdams is worth it, and hey, nobody dies. It’s not great art, will win no Oscars, but take your date, buy popcorn, enjoy.
Tangled – You went to see a cartoon? Yeah, we’re suckers for Disney. We walked in and doubled the average age in the room, up to 14. However the kids were well behaved and the movie is a winner. The elves at the Disney studio have produced a warm, wonderful, entertaining comedy. I recommend it. You know it’s the story of Rapunzel and her 70 foot long blond locks and you know everything that is going to happen in this movie with a sprinkling of handsome rogues, singing and dancing Visigoths, a wicked sort of step mother and a horse that never says a word but steals every scene he’s in. Take your kids, take your grand kids, take the neighbor kids, but see Tangled. Oh, and if this isn’t a ride at Disneyland in the next year I’ll eat my hat.
The Kings Speech – We redeemed ourselves by seeing what may be the best movie of the year, certainly the best acted. Colin Firth plays British prince Albert (Bertie to his family) , who had a debilitating stutter and needed help gaining confidence as it was becoming evident that his brother Edward VII was going to abdicate to marry Wallace Simpson. This story layered on the upcoming WWII and England’s need for a strong monarch ads punch to Firth’s work with speech therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush, who goes on to become one of the King’s lifelong friends. When I was standing in line to get my parking ticket validated, I overheard the folks behind me saying that they didn’t know that Firth had the “acting chops” to play such a demanding role. Well, suffice it to say that he does, and supported by such greats as Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacoby, Michael Gambon and Guy Pierce those chops just might bring the actor a nod at the Academy. There are strong dramatic moments, but also hilarious ones, too, as Logue not only changes Bertie’s physical way of speech, but his self-worth, as well.
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows, Part I – When these three kids started playing in this series of movies, they were pre teens, they are now over 20 and still going. Little Harry, Hermione, and Ron have grown up a bit and the hormones are beginning to stir. It helps a lot if you have seen the previous six movies as this one definitely starts where the others leave off. It wastes no time putting our trio of heroes in jeopardy and keeping them there for two hours.. The CGI are wonderful, the acting is great with Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliff and Rupert Grint supported by Bill Nighty, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter and the rest of the wonderful cast. But this is a very dark Harry Potter. Things aren’t always as they seem. The Witches have been taken over by a 1984 like inquisition and it’s up the Harry and the gang to sort things out. With all the monsters and evil he has to fight, that green creature of jealously almost split up the three, but come on Ron, we all know that Harry and Hermione are just good friends, you dolt. Remember, this is Part 1. There’s more to come this spring. Don’t expect a conclusion, there isn’t any . If you like Harry Potter, you will love it, if you don’t, stay home. And if you can see it in IMAX, do so. By the way, so far this series of seven movies has grossed worldwide over SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS and they have one more in the can. Not bad for a girl from Bristol. (Oh, she’s married now and had a number of kids.)