Saturday, January 19, 2013

What I Did on my XMAS Vacation or What I Learned About Rotten Tomatoes

We had a wonderful holiday. At some points during the season, we had 2 children plus spouses plus 2 grandchildren plus 2 cats sleeping over, plus the Georgetown daughter and son-in-law visiting, and it was a blast.
Oddly, for some unknown reason, we also had time to go to (or rent 9 movies), and The Beauty and I are in much better shape than in most years to critique the upcoming Oscars. Further, experience has also given us a much better understanding of Rotten Tomatoes, heretofore the penultimate indicator of whether or not I should see and movie, now, just another website, sometimes right, sometimes wrong.
So, I thought it was time to create my own movie ranking. And, I officially name this ranking MeOpinion. (Sorry, it's the best I could do, alas).
So, for all of you who can't wait to hear what I think of this seasons movies, and stuff on Rogers on Demand, here goes, from my favourite to I couldn't even finish it.

The Best: Silver Lining Playbook

What's not to love. Two young people overcome their personal demons to fall in love while Robert DeNiro is also on the screen. I loved the couple, loved the dialogue, loved the Philadelphia Eagles Tailgate party. If I had one complaint, it was, how come Bradley Cooper can learn to dance in a 3-4 week period while I've been taking lessons for over 10 years and still can't master anything other than the Lindy hop, which, truth be told, I mastered in the '50s.

Parental Guidance

Are you kidding me, Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 19? Even the fans, many of whom are under 60 years old gave it a 66. What's not to like? It's Billy Crystal. You laugh, you cry, you know you're going to see a happy ending. And, as a bonus, you get Bette Midler and the 1950 Bobby Thompson home run. This is the stuff that movies are supposed to be made of. GET SERIOUS ROTTEN TOMATOES.

Django Unchained

This is a great movie. It's got spaghetti western film techniques, spaghetti western music, and a cameo of Quentin Tarantino attempting to speak with an Australian accent. I don't understand how it's possible not to recognize the outstanding performance by Jamie Foxx.


Another great movie. To find out after all these years that we Canadians didn't actually smuggle the hostages out with our Embassy staff, but, rather, there was an elaborate CIA undertaking to get their people out, and, we, the great Canadians that we are, were willing to hide the Americans in our Embassy and then, to keep the heat off of the remaining American hostages in Iran, put our country in the Iranian bad books by claiming it was our scheme that got them out, is a mind blower. Again, what's not to like, Alan Arkin and John Goodman playing off of each other as two wild and crazy Hollywood guys. Well done.

The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo (the Swedish version)

I loved the book. And, that usually means that I won't like the movie made from the book. But, this was different. The movie held its own, and, the gorgeous views of the Swedish countryside, and really, the entire filming of the movie was top notch. As a bonus, my son-in-law and I got to watch it on TV while the ladies went to see Les Mis. The Beauty loved Les Mis and I loved not having to see Les Mis.

The Guilt Trip

I must admit, I was a bit nervous about seeing this as Rotten Tomatoes panned it so strongly. Then, our Step-Cousin (don't ask), had lunch with The Beauty and said we would like it? And, she was right. How could the critics not like it. It was Barbra playing the same role as in Meet the Fockers, or even, Funny Girl. And, she looked great. By the way, the only other person in the movie, as far as I could tell, was Seth Rogan, and he played Martin to Barbra's Lewis. Just like with a Billy Crystal movie, you laugh, you cry, you know it will be a happy ending. Rotten critics, wake up and have some escapism fun like the rest of us.

Zero Dark Thirty

Once again, Hollywood is on its kick that movies should be almost 3 hours long. WHAT? Only in New York City where they don't force you to drink those 700 ounce soft drinks for $3,000 (but only 50 cents more than the 3 ounce cups). Nonsense. If they're going to make us watch these forever long movies, either give us an intermission, or equipped our chairs with potty seats. (You can tell I have young grandchildren). My first comment when I left the theatre was, I wish they had captured and killed Bin Laden 5 years earlier, so, the movie would have been half the length. Then, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more than a 75% A pock on your house W.

That ends the good movies... There were 2 Rogers on Demand Movies that we paid for that were the stinkers of the holidays.

The better of the two was.....

Magic Mike

Again, it's the audience and I vs. Rotten Tomatoes. They give this silly movie an 80. How is that possible, was it marked on a curve in comparison to that Striptease movie with Demi Moore and Burt Reynolds? I admit, there were some moments, but all in all, they failed. I didn't really connect with any of the characters and there was no depth to any of their personalities. Who were those people and why were they doing what they were doing?  And, where was Jennifer Beals (Flashdance) when we needed her?

Hope Springs

Even the great Meryl Streep couldn't save this movie. As a matter of fact, we gave up about half way through. Do you think I could ask for my money back from Rogers? This movie was up for best picture at the Golden Globe, as a COMEDY. A comedy, my aching back is funnier than this movie. And, Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 74. And even 59 percent of audiences like it? What did I miss. Help me out here folks, what did I miss.


  1. Argo is a "dramatic thriller" that's "based on real events." It is NOT a documentary. Much of it is just made up, especially the ending.

    Google is your friend. Check out the dozens of articles that point out the historical flaws in the movie and the actual role of the Canadians.

  2. Larry, I took your advice and befriended Google. And, Google told me that the number one reason that people go to the movies is for entertainment. That the point. I know that last second chase scenes between planes and jeeps couldn’t have happened in Iran or in real life (dummies, call the tower and tell them to stop the take off). And, I know that Grandpa Billy couldn’t really cure his grandson of a stutter with one listen to an old time radio play by play. And, I know that two very mentally troubled individuals can’t be cured of their problems by learning to dance the salsa. And, I know that a mother and her son can’t solve all of their personal and emotional problems by taking a 6 day road trip across the country (unless of course it was on the old route 66). And, I know that Jamie Foxx can’t really win a stand-off against 30 guys with guns, but, as my good friend John Irving told me through his character Owen Meany, it’s all MADE FOR TELEVISION. And, as Julia Robert’s character in Pretty Woman explained, and here I am paraphrasing, “I want it all. I want the whole fairy tale. I want the ending to be ‘and they lived happily ever after’. That was the point of this post. That’s why I go to the movies.

  3. I also go to movies for entertainment. Because of that I don't usually trust what I see in a movie and I don't write things like ...

    To find out after all these years that we Canadians didn't actually smuggle the hostages out with our Embassy staff, but, rather, there was an elaborate CIA undertaking to get their people out, and, we, the great Canadians that we are, were willing to hide the Americans in our Embassy and then, to keep the heat off of the remaining American hostages in Iran, put our country in the Iranian bad books by claiming it was our scheme that got them out, is a mind blower.

    That certainly sounds to me like someone who forgot that Argo is fiction. :-)

    1. Not at all. What I found out is that Canada, despite not devising the plot to get the hostages out of Iran still had the courage to take the credit and the heat for it, allowing the U.S. to remain as low key as possible to ensure the safety of the remaining hostages. The story that we all heard when it happened was it was a Ken Taylor/ Canadian event, and the Yankees were only informed of what we were doing. The truth of the heavy CIA involvement, regardless of the fictional dramatization in the moviet is still the truth, and not what was public knowledge until the documents were declassified by the Clinton Administration.
      I will now conclude my written back and forth with you, because I am starting to feel like Jane, and, she is much better at fending you off than I am.

  4. Evan and I watched Magic Mike on Friday, and we both found it pretty well done - yes, there was stripping, but it really wasn't about that at all.

    1. Did you actually feel any connection to the characters? I had very little connection for Channing Tatum. I understood Matthew McConaughey a bit better, although, why move the crew to Miami. Why not train a larger crew and open another club. If my Dad was alive, we all know he could have managed the Miami location and made lots of money for Matt. That would make more financial sense. What entrepreneur closes the Tampa location money maker? I got some decent vibes from Olivia Munn, but again, not enough. And, the younger brother, all I got from him was, well, he's only 19, give him time to finish sowing his oats.
      I thought the trailer was great and if the movie was 3 minutes long, it would have also been great. :)