Saturday, February 13, 2010


One of my favorite songs ever is SMILE.  Originally written by Charlie Chaplin for one of his movies in 1935.

I have grown to love this song ever since I  was a little girl and my Grandma played it while she was going to bed and I always think of it as our song.  Eddy Arnold sang the version I always listened to with my Grandma.  

Then I fell into deeper love with it when I heard it in the movie My Girl 2 when Veda, Anna Chlumsky's character, finds old film footage of her mother singing the song, which also gives Veda a connection with her mom and then she sings it to her new born baby brother.

The newest version that has become my favorite is my the cast of Glee.  Listen here.

Here are the lyrics:


Smile though your heart is aching 
Smile even though it's breaking 
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by 
If you smile through your pain and sorrow 
Smile and maybe tomorrow 

You'll see the sun come shining through for you 
Light up your face with gladness 

Hide every trace of sadness 
Although a tear may be ever so near 

That's the time you must keep on trying 
Smile, what's the use of crying? 
You'll find that life is still worthwhile 
If you just smile 

That's the time you must keep on trying 
Smile, what's the use of crying? 
You'll find that life is still worthwhile 
If you just smile

Friday, February 12, 2010

REVIEW: Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day
released February 12, 2010


On an airplane to Los Angeles, Kate Hazeltine (Julia Roberts), a captain in the U.S. Army on a one-day leave, meets Holden (Bradley Cooper) who has recently become single again. In Los Angeles, florist Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) eagerly proposes to his girlfriend Morley (Jessica Alba) who accepts his offer, much to the surprise of Reed’s colleague Alphonso (George Lopez) and best friend Julia (Jennifer Garner). Julia, a primary school teacher, has recently fallen in love with Dr. Harrison Copeland (Patrick Dempsey) who might just be hiding his true agenda. Meanwhile one of Julia’s students, Edison (Bryce Robinson), is trying to send flowers to his Valentine, while his babysitter, Grace (Emma Roberts), is planning her first sexual encounter with boyfriend Alex (Carter Jenkins). Meanwhile Edison’s grandparents, Edgar (Hector Elizondo) and Estelle (Shirley MacLaine), are facing the troubles of a long marriage while Grace’s friends, Willy (Taylor Lautner) and Felicia (Taylor Swift) are experiencing the freshness of new love. Sean Jackson (Eric Dane), a closeted professional football player, is contemplating the end of his career together with his publicist Kara (Jessica Biel) and his agent Paula (Queen Latifah). Kara, a close friend of Julia’s, is organizing her annual ‘We Hate Valentine’s Day’ Party but is starting to become interested in sports reporter Kelvin Moore (Jamie Foxx) who has been sent out by his producer Susan (Kathy Bates) to cover Valentine’s Day because of a lack of sports news. Paula has recently hired a new receptionist called Liz (Anne Hathaway) who has recently started dating mailroom clerk Jason (Topher Grace). However, Liz is keeping a kinky little secret from Jason.

The above synopsis is all from the Wikipedia site about the movie.  Click on the title and see more details for yourself.  There are so many big names in this movie, and I thought that this breakdown was much better than anything I would come up with.  It's also much shorter than I would have come up with.

Now for my thoughts on my it.
I loved it.  There are so many different stories going on, and they are all connected.  There are so many different couples, and they are each at different stages.  
Couple #1: Long term/ living together/ should be getting married/ breaking up
Couple #2: Two who have been married for 40+ years
Couple #3: Best friends, not dating, but ready to date
Couple #4: Man who cheats on wife and does not tell his mistress he's married.
Couple #5: Young HS love with no base in reality
Couple #6: Young HS love who are trying to decide to take it to the next level. (Having sex.)
Couple #7: 2 weeks new and almost in love.
Couple #8: First crush on a teacher.
Couple #9: Mother and son.

There are also those who are single.  There are many people who are so bitter about Valentine's Day.  I have been one of those who would be the instigator of hating the holiday.  But I have become one of the ones who just treat it like another day, and ignore it.  
But watching this movie with my parents made me rethink some of my thoughts.  My favorite part is Julia Roberts' character is a captain in the military traveling home to the one guy who means the most to her.  She meets Bradley Cooper's character and he finds out she is going home for just a day and gives her his limo to get home to her man.  You later find out that it's her son who she trying to get home to.  It was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes.  There are so many great lessons in this movie, but the best is that any relationship, whether it be with a friend, or with a parent, or with a lover, that Valentine's Day isn't always about celebrating the romance of love, but celebrating the loving relationships that we have.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

REVIEW: 500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer
released September 2, 2009


Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Tom. He is the protagonist in this film.  Living a life that he's not totally satisfied with, he dreams of one day finding "The One" who will make everything okay.  Then he meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel), who he thinks is "The One".  Tom believes that love exists, but Summer does not.  She makes it very clear at the start that she is not looking for anything serious.  During the time of their relationship Tom wants more and Summer wants less.  It's funny because eventually in the end they end up switching places.  
Tom, at first seems like he's the weak one for wanting more and seeming really needy, but it's Summer who learns from Tom.

As you see on the poster, it says, "This is not a love story.  This is a story about love."  It's very true.  Love is indeed the main focus of the film, but it's sad to see Tom's heart being broken.  I never thought guys could be so down about a broken relationship like girls are.  I'm somewhat relieved to find that out!  Each relationship we have has an effect on our lives, whether it be good or bad, but there is an effect.  In Tom's relationship with Summer, it might have ended badly for them, but they both helped each other to overcome the biggest faults in their lives and they both eventually do find love, hopefully...........

This movie had a small feel of an 80s flick with the animated bird (which only happened once in the movie), and there was a funny scene of dancing in an open quart.  It was random, yet very entertaining.  

I loved that in one scene, that there was a double shot of what Tom "expected" and another of the "reality" of what was happening.

It's so true that when we are in a relationship, we get blinded by being happy so we forget to watch for all of bad signs that keep happening.  "Blinded by love," is visualized in this film.  Love exists in the world, yet we have to focus on reality, and not focus on everything that puts our head in the clouds.  It takes work to be in every relationship, and each person must put 100% into it if they want to make it work.

The soundtrack to this film is also amazing!

REVIEW: Time Traveler's Wife

Time Traveler's Wife
released August 14, 2009

Eric Bana (Nero in the new Star Trek film) plays Henry, the time traveler.  The concept is that he travels through time, although he has no control of when he leaves, or when he comes back.  Another interesting thing is that he cannot take anything with him, except his own body, so all the clothes and jewelry are left in a pile right where he's standing.  
Through out his time traveling he is always drawn to familiar places and people.  Yet he will always come back to his time in his life.  In the traveling he meets Clare, played by Rachel McAdams.  She meets him for the first time when she is six, but he meets her for the first time when he is in his late 20s. It's an interesting story, yet is filmed to help all understand what is happening---just keep an open mind.  It's a great film. Keep a box of tissues handy.  It will pull at your emotions.  Like any family, there is drama, but the bond of love is stronger than ever and it will tug on your heart strings and you will value your family more after watching this film.

Adapted from the best selling Novel The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger, published in 2003, this film is explosive in it's original depiction of the time space continuum. I love everything Sci-Fi, but this film has none of that feel.  It is unique in it's filming and the story feels real, like it has really happened.  I love that Audrey Niffenegger's vision has come off the page in a beautiful array of ingenuity.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

REVIEW: Love Happens

Love Happens
released September 18, 2009

A really cute movie.  

Burke, Aaron Eckhart's character is a motivational speaker who deals with those who have lost a loved one.  Traveling around the country he holds workshops to help people face the deaths of loved ones.  It all stems from a book he had written about how he overcame the death of his wife.  He has avoided going to Seatle because that is where he and his wife lived before her death.  But facing her death is not something he's done, even though his book has said he has.
Based in Seatle, WA he meets a variety of people at the hotel. One of them is a woman who delivers flowers to the hotel, Eloise, Jennifer Aniston's character.  They don't click right at first, but they need each other.  Eloise has her own problems.  She always dates guys who are way beneath her, breaking her heart.  So meeting trust worthy guys is something she has no hope for.
As they get to know each other they are forced to deal with their problems.  I will let you watch the movie to see the beauty of how to overcome your trials. 

One character I loved is Walter, played by John Carroll Lynch, who is a big (no tears) construction worker who has lost his son.  He does not want to be at the workshop, but Burke helps him to face his loss and stop looking back.  I love this side story and it made my heart smile!

Another thing I loved is that Eloise has a fetish with extraordinary words.  Burke happens to find out about it and it helps them to bond.  I loved this screen play.  Hopefully you will too!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes
release December 25, 2009

Films now a days have a realer feel to them because of all the hard work that goes into the design and research of what the time was really like.

This film only enhanced the realism of the time Sherlock Holmes lived.

Of course, Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, inspired by the creator, Arthur Conan Doyle's friend Joseph Bell.
Each story created gives more detail of the life of Sherlock Holmes.  Written from Watson, Holmes devoted sidekick's perspective we learn more and more about what it is like to be Sherlock Holmes.  

Only in this new vision of Sherlock Holmes do we see the life that Watson saw.  Holmes is a visionary, but some times when great men like this are inspired they take food and other necessities of life for granted until they achieve what they desire.  Read up on the original ideas from Doyle at this site.  What I love most about this film is that Holmes is not depicted as this 'put-together' guy, who I grew up with.  He has those flaws were he neglects his hygiene and refuse to go out of the house, scaring the housekeeper/landlady while working on a hand pistol (silencer).  Yet he is a man and as most men's weakness comes down to loving a woman who uses him.  Rachel Adams plays Irene Adler, Holmes love interest.  The one person who will destroy him by weakening his mind.

The antagonist, Lord Blackwood, played by Mark Strong (Stardust), who deceives to show that he is magically powerful, transforms himself into an evil man.  Fear is one of the worst possible ways to rule over someone.  Strong is amazing in his ability to secure the evilness of playing a role that will strike fear into your soul.

Holmes has a sidekick, a doctor who lives with him.  But in this film Watson is on the verge of getting married, forcing a wedge between Watson and Holmes.  Although this wedge becomes a new link to make the chain of relationships stronger for Watson and Holmes.  One new aspect I love about this depiction of the timeless story, is that Watson is portrayed as a strong sidekick who can fight.  With his background in the military, Watson is opposite of Holmes.  He is clean-cut and the strong link in the relationship, always taking care of Holmes' needs.  What's great is that this film proves that opposites attract.  Only that they work well together as a team. They depend upon each other.  They are  yin and yang.

Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jr., has proved that he can conquer any role he is given with outstanding ability.  He immerses himself into this role with a fervor that I admire.  Wow!

Watson, played by Jude Law, is also amazing.  He plays a sidekick, yet stands on his own when on screen.  It's like there are two protagonists instead of only one.

The strength of these two men only add to the timeless relationship that was created by Watson and Holmes in the written word.  What a masterful piece of film making.  As seen below, Downey and Law carry each other and yet their juxtaposition only adds to the beauty of the film.
This film will keep you on the edge of your seat with all the action, or it will have you pushing against the back of the seat with some of the action's intensity.  You will enjoy this film for ages and I hope there will be another to follow... At least that's how the movie was left open to at the end of the movie!

REVIEW: Invictus

released December 11, 2009

Inspired by the true story of Nelson Mandella's election as president of South Africa in 1994.  After being released from prison in 1990, Mandella, played by Morgan Freeman,  works to bring down the apartheid.  Being a black president after the apartheid has many problems.  It is Mandella's leadership and inspiration which brings the country from chaos and segregation to a unified nation.  He does it through the Rugby team.  Like Mandella the team is predicted to never make it, not even to the World Cup.  Mandella works with the captain of the Rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon's character).

Inspiring a nation takes many hearts to be turned to work together.  Struggle in the face of failure can lead to an amazing victory or the worst failure.  Faith is the key in this story.  Faith that those hearts will turn.  Faith that a nation will come together.  Faith in a nation needing the change.

The title of the movie is the title of a poem that Nelson Mandella used as his personal inspiration while in prison.

by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

The last two lines are the main lines used in the film.  Really inspiring and wonderful!

Please watch this film!  It will inspire you to keep going and never give up on what is right!

REVIEW: Leap Year

Leap Year
released January 8, 2010

On February 29 there is a tradition in Ireland that women can propose to men.  So Anna, Amy Adams' character decides to follow her 4 year boyfriend to his medical conference in Dublin, Ireland to propose to him on Leap Day...
Unfortunately her plans to get to Dublin are accompanied by many set backs.  In the process of getting to Ireland she meets Declan, Matthew Goode's character, who promises to help her get to Dublin.  

This film reminded me a another film Matthew Goode was in called Chasing Liberty.  In both films he treks across countries in Europe helping lost women to find themselves. It also reminds me of the film French Kiss.

Leap Year is clean and funny.  Amy Adams is so cute in the movie.  She plays a desperate woman who wants to take that next step in her relationship and risks everything to get to her boyfriend, only finding that what she really wants is someone totally different.  Matthew Goode plays the type of man who we all wish would come to our rescue and save us from ourselves.  The chemistry between the two actors is amazing & believable.  It's heartwarming and will keep you entertained till the very end.

REVIEW: The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog
released December 11, 2009

What a classic story.  

As a kid I grew up loving all the Disney animated classics.  Then the studio started with The Little Mermaid in 1990 and then each year after that a new animated film followed.  Each story came from our world history and the fairy tales we grew up with.  But to keep them at lower ratings, the stories have been altered.  The same is true in this instance.  Some might say that the changes are inappropriate.  Controversy was thick with this new feature.  This is the first time in history where the heroin is black.  

Set in New Orleans in 1912, Tiana (our heroin), voiced by Anika Noni Rose, a hard working young woman who has a dream of owning her own restaurant, in honor of her father. 
Meeting Prince Naveen, voiced by Bruno Campos, Tiana is asked to kiss him after he had been turned into a frog by an evil witch doctor.  Unfortunately Tiana is not a princess and the story takes an awkward turn as Tiana is also turned into a frog.  
This bi-racial relationship is forgotten as they are forced to face a trial that they both need to overcome.  Coming from different backgrounds, they learn to live with each other and that develops into love.  With colorful animal sidekicks who talk (a Disney favorite) this film will keep you laughing till the very end.  And the controversy of the racial differences should show us all how far we've come instead of looking at how hard it was.  Look to the future and keep moving forward. (The theme from the movie Meet the Robinsons)

REVIEW: Avatar

released December 18, 2009

This is the year for 3D movies.  So many movies have been 3D.  I hate wearing the glasses cause they squish my head, so I went to see this movie non-3D.  It was amazing.  I loved it so much that I went back a couple of days later to see it in 3D.  It was just as good.  The story and the vision was beautiful!!!!  WOW!!!  After the first 5 minutes of the movie I knew I would own it right when it came out.

I love to know how movies are made, so I went to the official website for Avatar and learned how this incredible vision came to life.  James Cameron created a camera that is meant to film in 3D.
How many people make their opinions of movies before they know all the details of it.  I have heard some say that they weren't all that impressed with the animation/CG elements in it.  Visit the site and see how involved the actors had to be to film this film.  

James Cameron, the director and the writer, dreamed of this vision before he made the motion picture, Titanic, but the technology at the time was not where he needed it to even try to make this film.  

The colors in this film were wonderful.  These are just a few pictures that show a glimpse of how extraordinary it truly is.   This movie is the reason why I love movies.  I am so glad that there are creative people in this world.  Thanks to James Cameron for sharing his vision with the world... 

REVIEW: Everybody's Fine

Everybody's Fine
released December 4, 2009

A movie about a family who have lost their keystone (their mother) only months before.  She was the confidant to all.  So This movie starts out with Frank Goode, Robert De Niro's character, cleaning up his home, bringing out the grill & buying wine for his kids (which was one of the funniest scenes, where he talks to one of the grocery store employees about buying wine for his kids... watch this trailer to see it!)
The trailer makes it seem more of a comedy than what it really is.  Be prepared to cry.  It is an emotional movie.  

I liked it a lot.  It was hard to see Frank go through so much to travel to see all of his kids.  I won't give away anything, but please keep an open mind to the variety of different lives in this movie.  

Families are important.  When you loose a family members, it should bring you closer together.  Don't let it put a wedge in your family.  

On a side note- it was weird to see Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell as brother and sister when they hooked up in Charlie's Angels.

Laughing Yet?

Laughing Yet?