Movies 2011: Weeks 49 & 50

*I apparently forgot how to count at some point in this journey toward millions of movies. Oops! You know what I meant. :)

December 4-10, 2011
202) Beginners. A graphic artist comes to grips with his father's death just a few years after learning the elderly man is gay and wants to act on it publicly. That's what the movie is billed as, anyway. And the moments where Christopher Plummer is on screen are wonderful. But too few. Quiet, sad indie film. It was very well-liked by many others. I was only lukewarm to this film. 3.3 stars
203) Mother is a Freshman. 1959 movie about a mother who enrolls in college and finds herself crushing on the same man as her daughter. Cute movie. A short and fun watch! 3.9 stars
204) In the Meantime, Darling. World War II-era film about a well-to-do woman who marries a military man and finds herself out of place when living on the base. Cute if propagandistic and a bit vapid. 3.7 stars
205) Easy. Indie film about a loose girl who always sleeps with the wrong guys. She then meets two nice guy contenders when she decides to impose celibacy upon herself. The gratuitous nudity was annoying but the story line was pretty good. 3.5 stars
206) Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. Silent film about the ups and downs of married life. I was very surprised to be into this story from the beginning. It was intriguing from the start and kept up the excitement despite being silent. If you look at Netflix, don't be alarmed. The film is 95 minutes. Their disc just includes two versions. I enjoyed the soundtrack version. 4 stars
207) Super. A husband fights crime after his wife leaves him for a drug dealer. This film stars Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page and Kevin Bacon. As strange as you would imagine. Moments of interest and wondering how it could possibly end. Outlandish. 3.4 stars
208) The Change-Up. Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds star as best friends with opposite lives (one married, one wild and single) accidentally switch lives. Some terrible and unnecessary computer-generated graphics. An outrageous amount of gratiuitous cursing and nudity. Just ridiculous. You expect a certain amount of unbelievability in a movie about a magical switch but this took things way too far. Worse, it was far too long. Almost two hours for a comedy??? Really??? Why?? 2 stars

December 11-17, 2011
You might notice a slight changeover to Christmas... :) I have no problem suspending parts of my sometimes snobby filmmaker-ness for Christmas. But only SOME parts... as you'll see.
209) 12 Dates of Christmas. A woman bent on winning back her ex-boyfriend is forced to relive a blind date 12 times until she gets it right. So cute! Even Rashan enjoyed it! 4 stars
210) Santa Incident. Two kids save Santa and nurse him back to health after his sleigh is shot down by a military plane. But they also have to enlist the town to protect Santa from agents bent on imprisoning him before Christmas. Blech. Some relatively amusing parts but really only a child will like this. And then only if they're younger than ten. 2.4 stars
211) Farewell Mr. Kringle. Christine Taylor stars in this Christmas movie about a widowed writer who's given up on love and Christmas until she's assigned to cover a town dedicated to Santa Claus. Probably overly mushy. I might listen to it if there was nothing else on but I would prefer to watch something else. 2.9 stars
212) Santa Who? A newsman tries to help an apparently homeless amnesiac find his family. Santa has amnesia! Extremely sappy. Leslie Nielsen is awesome as Santa, though. 2.8 stars
213) Eve's Christmas. Le sigh. Elisa Donovan stars in this film about an ad exec who wishes on a star to be able to fix things with her ex-fiancé. So Lifetime movie sappy. Do not want. 2 stars
214) Secret Santa. A reporter (Jennie Garth) goes in search of the Secret Santa who anonymously helps a small town. I'm sure it's heartwarming to someone. I drowned in sap. Here lies Jameil. 2.9 stars
215) Larry Crowne. Tom Hanks stars as a man downsized in the economic downturn who decides to go to college for the first time. He ends up falling for his professor (Julia Roberts) in this film at the confluence of several modern events-- foreclosure, texting in class, downsizing leading to a calling. Just okay. It's one of those films you can pay some attention to but you could also have running in the background and not miss much. 3 stars
216) A Holiday Engagement. A woman hires a man to pose as her fiance when she goes home for the holidays. Shelley Long plays a caricature of a mom in a very strange role. Just okay. 3 stars
217) A Princess for Christmas. A duke wants to finally meet his orphaned, estranged children so their caretaker aunt might as well come along. Looks like somebody's gonna be a princess for Christmas! Plot wasn't airtight but it was enough to be entertaining. 3.5 stars
218) Our First Christmas. Julia Sugarbaker (that's her real name) is the nervous family matriarch in a newly-formed family of a widow and widower and their children. Predictable... which is to be expected in Christmas movies. But with stilted acting and poor dialogue all over the place, it was absolutely wearying. 2.5 stars
219) A Christmas Proposal. Opposing counsel and one-time loves battle over the creation of a ski resort in their hometown. Not good. 2 stars
220) Christmas in Boston. Two longtime pen pals each send their best friends to pose as them when they meet for the first time. You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle & When Harry Met Sally rolled up into one. So cute! 4 stars
220) Annie Claus is Coming to Town. An elf interferes with Santa's daughter to make her fall in love. But there are two men competing for her affection. Cute. 3.4 stars
221) Unknown. Liam Neeson stars as a man who wakes up from a coma in a German hotel and no one knows who he is because someone's assumed his identity. Pretty awesome thriller. 4 stars

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