Monday, June 30, 2008


It was so hot in our house on Sunday (85 degrees) that Jeremy and I went to see a movie. I had been hearing such great things about Wanted that we saw a matinee, although it's not usually my type of movie. Admittedly, Angelina is an actor that Jeremy and I both enjoy! :)

I also like James McAvoy, (you might recognize him as Mr. Tumnus from The Chronicles of Narnia) but wasn't sure what I would think of him as an action star. Anyway, bottom line is that this was WAY bloodier than I'm comfortable with, and while the action scenes were cool, the best ones were in the previews anyway. It's got an unusual plot, which is probably why it's been getting rave reviews. Anyway, I was disappointed. This movie is violent and has a careless attitude about human life. For GOOD movies, see this post!

We should have gone to see WALL-E. :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ivy's Top 40 Movies of All Time (or at least my lifetime)

Note: This is not the “Best Movies of All Time,” just my favorites. I understand that this list will be a little girly for some of your tastes (Jeremy), but it’s VERY “me,” and it was really fun to put together. I decided not to go in reverse order, and just started with my favorite.

1. Pride and Prejudice (2005) – Elizabeth Bennett may be my favorite all-time literary heroine and Keira Knightley’s portrayal of her is stunning. Also the music and photography in this version are breathtaking.
2. Love Actually (2003) – There are certain aspects of this movie that I don’t care for, and if you’ve seen it, you probably know what I mean. (Nude stand-ins, negative portrayal of the USA) But that shows you how much I LOVE everything else about this flick. Hugh Grant as Prime Minister is genius, and there are so many kinds of love to watch: unrequited, compassionate, romantic, accidental, sweet, fatuous, unconditional. The movie makes me feel good.
3. When Harry Met Sally (1989) – I never saw this movie until about five years ago, but since then I watch it every time it’s on TV and I love it. I especially like the little love stories they splice into the movie – old people talking about how they fell in love.
4. The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – Some movie series’ only got one spot on my list (see #20 and 27), but the LOTR movies are such great pieces of cinematography that they each get their own spot. FOTR is my favorite, because I think it has the most magic, and each individual actor makes his or her character glow.
5. Iron Man (2008) I wrote a review of this one here.
6. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – A high school boyfriend introduced me to this, and I find it old-fashioned and compelling. The camaraderie between characters is the best element besides the superb acting.
7. The Notebook (2005) – Nicholas Sparks writes incredible love stories, but this one was made into the best possible movie it could be. The casting was stellar. I dare you ladies to get through it without crying. Impossible.
8. Batman Begins (2005) – Oh, baby. That is how you do a Batman movie! Dark, not cheesy (like the 1997 Clooney flick), serious and realistic. I cannot wait for The Dark Knight in August. Yes! Oh, and did I mention Christian Bale? He has the acting ability, body, and voice for this part.
9. Where the Heart Is (2000) – Here’s a movie about a sweet girl in down-and-out circumstances who learns to pull herself up when the world isn’t fair. This is the first time I saw Natalie Portman, and I think she’s great.
10. Independence Day (1996) – I know it’s dorky, but this movie makes me feel wildly patriotic. Bill Pullman’s rallying speech is quintessential: “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not give up without a fight! Today we celebrate our INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!”
11. Apollo 13 (1995) – “Houston, we have a problem.” Tremendously acted and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
12. The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King (2003) – Despite that this film has a spoiler in the title, this is a beautiful movie. I thought their five separate endings were a bit much, but it’s a great way to wrap up something so epic as this story.
13. Pride and Prejudice (1995) – P & P is on my list twice because it’s probably my favorite story ever. This version is really long (5+ hours) but it’s worth it because Colin Firth’s version of Mr. Darcy is very noteworthy. I also like the length of this film because they can tell the whole story, as opposed to the 2005 version, which cut huge chunks out.
14. Spiderman (2002) – I obviously like superhero movies (see #s 5, 8, 14, 16, 21, and 31). Spiderman was one of the first good ones, mostly because of their casting Tobey Maguire. It worked because he’s a perfect Peter Parker, and he’s a strong enough actor to be Spiderman as well. Other perfectly-cast actors include Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and Willem Dafoe.
15. X-Men (2000) – Another great superhero flick. More good casting and the ability to tone the comic book characters down just enough to make them believable. A fantastic, fun summer movie.
16. Signs (2002) – My favorite of M. Night Shaymalan (I liked Sixth Sense, too). This movie is genius because you never actually see what you’re afraid of – just glimpses. That’s why he’s so good at suspense films. And he always wraps it up in a way you wouldn’t expect, and “fate” gets involved (water, asthma, etc.).
17. Armageddon (1998) – I guess if the world is about to be destroyed, I want either Will Smith or Bruce Willis to be there to save the day. There’s a scene in this movie where Liv says goodbye to her dad and puts her hand on a TV screen that’s just gone blank and oh, that’s all it takes. I’m done.
18. Juno (2007) – I wrote a review of this one, here.
19. The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers (2002) – Not bad for a “connector” movie. I’m usually not into battle scenes, but the Helm’s Deep sequence is amazing, and Gandalf’s triumphant return makes me pretty emotional.
20. Harry Potter (1 through 5) (2001-2007) - Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge HP fanatic. I think as a whole, these movies will be an amazing collection to own. I really liked what they did with movies 1, 3, and 5. Movie 2 is my least favorite (and my least favorite of the books), but I was really disappointed with what they did with movie 4. Goblet of Fire is probably my favorite HP book in the series, and they could have done SO MUCH with the movie, but they took the easy way out and made it so-so. I do love to watch these, though, as my husband will confirm.
21. X2 (2003) – I’m not sure what happened when they made X-Men The Last Stand, which should have been the best in the series, but it didn’t capture the magic that 1 and 2 did. X2 is an example of how you do a sequel - you take the formula from the first movie and make it bigger and funnier. This movie accomplished that.
22. The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian (2008) – I reviewed this movie here.
23. The American President (1995) – The winner in the Underrated Movie category, I don’t think this gets the credit it deserves. This was a great movie, with fantastic acting (Annette Benning, Michael Douglas, Michael J. Fox, Martin Sheen)!! Written by the guy who went on to do The West Wing.
24. Titanic (1997) – I know, I know. I guess I’ve got a soft spot for this one. I remember being 16 and bawling in the theater. I just love that the captain goes down with his ship, and NOBODY ends up with that stupid diamond. Perfect.
25. The Truman Show (1998) – One of the few times I’ve really liked Jim Carrey. You feel so bad for the guy, and get to root for him the whole way through. And Ed Harris plays the perfect relatable director. Part of you thinks he’s a twisted weirdo, but you see that he really cares for Truman. Good acting!
26. Forrest Gump (1994) – Sentimental and triumphant, with glorious acting. Made me laugh and cry.
27. Ocean’s (11, 12, 13) (2001-2007) – Some people would balk that I have these films on my list, but I mostly love them because of their actors (George, Brad, Matt, Julia). I also love that they are “smart” movies, in that you don’t understand the plot until the end, and you could have never come up with their plan. The comedic timing is great, I love that Brad Pitt is constantly eating, and I love that you’re rooting for criminals.
28. The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) – The weaker of the two, but still great. I liked that this film set the stage for movies to come. The Narnia they created is breathtaking and better even than C.S. Lewis described in the books; not an easy task.
29. Crash (2005) – One of the most heartbreaking, intriguing, meaningful movies I’ve ever seen. And the cast is star-studded and brilliant. This movie is so real it’s almost hard to watch, and it has stuck with me like crazy.
30. Office Space (1999) – This is a classic of my generation. Everyone I know can quote this movie and does it way too much. For example: “I believe you have my stapler.” or “Yeah, um, I’m gonna need you to come in on Saturday… Great. Mmmkay then.”
31. The Incredibles (2004) – I like a lot of these Disney/Pixar creations (Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Cars) but The Incredibles is definitely my favorite. I find it funny and entertaining and I would watch it with my kids in a second. What I like about Pixar is that it’s not just the animation that’s outstanding. They write interesting, imaginative plots as well.
32. Men in Black (1997) – This movie is pure fun. The sequel was terrible and this movie is no genius, but if you’re looking for a comedy/action flick, you don’t do it much better than this!
33. The Bourne (Identity, Supremecy, Ultimatum) (2002-2007) A role and genre that really works for Matt Damon, which is why they keep making the same movie over and over. I hear there’s a fourth on the way. Great. I’ll go spend $9 to see these movies recreated (again). I don’t think any of the other actors or the plotlines are great, which is why we’re down at #33.
34. Pretty Woman (1990) – I love Richard Gere, and I’m not sure how I couldn’t love this movie. It’s just another Cinderalla story, but something about the way it’s done, with Julia Roberts and those “fabulous” clothes. Maybe I just love Julia – she’s on my list 5 times.
35. Life as a House (2001) – The movie that tricked me into thinking Hayden Christiansen could act. Turns out not so much, but he is incredible in this film. A serious tear-jerker, but courageous and heartfelt.
36. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – Not sure what to say about E.T., other than it was cinematically groundbreaking, magical, and family-friendly. A pivotal point in movie history.
37. The Little Mermaid (1989) – In my mind, this is a classic. I idolized Ariel when I was growing up, wanted to be one of her sisters, and danced around in my living room to the soundtrack. I still have it memorized. “I wanna be…where the people are. I wanna see…wanna see ‘em dancin’!”
38. A Few Good Men (1992) – Demi and Tom have a great chemistry in this movie, and Jack, ooh Jack. So creepy, such FANTASTIC acting! As you can tell, I like “smart” movies. See numbers 28, 30, 33, 38, and 39.
39. Magnolia (1999) – Tom Cruise makes three appearances on my list, and they are #38, 39, and 40, so I guess you could say that these movies made the list in spite of Tom being in them. Magnolia is a little creepy, but I love the intertwining plot lines and detailed characters (see Love Actually, #2).
40. Top Gun (1986) – I was five when this movie came out, so when I saw it, I was in high school and it was already a “classic.” I love it though! It has the perfect balance of romance, drama, and action. Great.

Almost made the list: Shall We Dance, Notting Hill, Erin Brockovich, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Seven, Center Stage, Newsies, A Little Princess, Aladdin, Traffic, Ghost, The Sound of Music, School of Rock.
Actors who appear often on my list: Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Kiera Knightley, Sandra Bullock, Natalie Portman, Morgan Freeman, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Liv Tyler, Bruce Willis.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

I heard so many good things about this movie going into it, that I had very high expectations. I was also excited about the actors, because I always like Liv Tyler, and Edward Norton is one of my all-time favorites. That being said, I thought it was really good.

But not great. I guess I expected too much. It's a little slow through the middle - and though I wouldn't say that I was ever "bored," I would say that I has definitely not on the edge of my seat. But I left satisfied, and seeing this one in the theater wasn't a waste of money. So I guess this is about as luke-warm a review you could get!

I'll be golfing in a tournament tomorrow (yikes! FORE!) but look for an AMAZING POST on Friday!!!