In Which I Do Three Very Different Movie Reviews

We’re in the middle of Christmas/New Year’s holiday break, and we have a lot of Relaxing Time on our hands. Which is something we really needed. And in that time, I’ve watched three very different movies, two of which I’ve been looking forward to for some time, and one of which completely surprised and impressed me.

Let’s see . . . I’ll do them in the order I watched them 😉

I N C E P T I O N

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TJ picked up a copy of Inception in November and fell in love with it. He pestered me and Emmy about watching it, so we agreed…but I watched the first ten minutes and said, “Nuh-uh, I’m not doin’ this, this is messed up on too many levels, bye-bye.”

But TJ kept at me, begging me to give Inception another chance over the Christmas holiday. So I sat down with him on Christmas Eve, started it from the beginning, determined to stick it out to the end . . . and I was blown away.

Inception is not for everyone. If you don’t like mind-scramblers or twisty-turny plots, you won’t like it. But it’s not as messed-up as I initially thought it was. It’s a movie about dreams (which was fascinating), and inserting ideas into someone’s mind through sedative-induced dreams (yeah it’s far-fetched, but okay Christopher Nolan, I’ll grant you some creative license) . . . but it’s also a movie about what happens to people who lose their grip on what’s real.

If the movie had concluded with the protagonist and his friends unsure of what was real and what was just a dream, I would’ve been really disgusted and underwhelmed. But it didn’t end that way. It actually had a happy ending and everything was resolved! I walked away wide-eyed and grinning from ear to ear because WOW IT WAS JUST SO CLEVER!!!

So now TJ and I are quoting Inception all the time. Some siblings show affection through hugs and such, but TJ and I, we just look at each other, raise our eyebrows, and conduct a conversation something like this:

Me: “You’re waiting for a train.”
TJ: “A train that’ll take you far away.”
Me: “But I’m an old man, full of regret, waiting to die alone.”
TJ: “Come back so we can be young men together again!”

Yeah. We’re weird 😉

A note on the cast: if we forgot the names of the characters, we just referenced them by whatever character the same actor played in The Dark Knight Trilogy. So sometimes we called Mal (played by Marion Cotillard–and she was creeeeepy) “Miranda Tate.” Arthur (my favorite character), played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was “John Blake.” Mal’s dad (still don’t know his name) was played by Michael Caine, so he was “Alfred” 95% of the time. And Eames (played by Tom Hardy), he was “Bane.”

And I’m still not crazy about Leonardo diCaprio, but he’s a good actor. One day he’ll get his Oscar, poor chap.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

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I saw this one just yesterday afternoon, and in spite of the theater being totally sold-out, which meant that we had to sit in the front row, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Hobbit films aren’t as good as the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. They just aren’t. The Lord of the Rings films, I truly believe, will be remembered and immortalized just like movies such as Gone With the Wind or Ben-Hur. The Hobbit movies are fun and impressive, but not great.

That said, I thought The Battle of the Five Armies was a wonderful conclusion! My favorite part was when Galadriel confronted Sauron. It brought back memories, of course, of her scene in The Fellowship of the Ring where Sauron tempts her with the Ring. You think she’s weakened and injured, but then all of a sudden she just rises up, green-tinted and fierce, and tell Sauron to “go back to the void from whence you came!” It was amazing.

Martin Freeman was born to play Bilbo Baggins. Out of all the actors who’ve portrayed hobbits, he and Sean Astin (Sam Gamgee) were the only ones who could convince me they really were hobbits. And although I’ve had mixed feelings about the character of Tauriel, I ended up liking her a lot more in this movie. Her final scene with Legolas’ father was one of the most moving in the film for me:

Tauriel: “If this is love, I don’t want it. Why does it hurt so much?”

Thranduil: “Because it was real.”

Oh, and on a happier note: Peter Jackson is a gift to mankind, because 1) close to the end he put in THE BEST REFERENCE to Aragorn that could’ve ever been imagined, and 2) the movie ended on a wonderful note, bringing it all back to the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring.  It made us all want to have a Lord of the Rings marathon.

T H O R 

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Mom and Dad went to Natchez for their 25th wedding anniversary earlier this month, and one evening they caught Thor on television. Mom came home telling us that it was the best superhero movie they’d ever seen and that they were the coolest parents ever for watching it on a date night! Anna ended up getting both Thor movies for Christmas, and we watched the first one last night.

Thor Odinson is now, officially, hands-down-no-exceptions-end-of-story, my favorite Marvel superhero. (Sorry, Captain America. You’re still a great guy.) In fact, I will go so far as to say . . . you know how in The Hunger Games the Gamemakers changed the rules so that two tributes could win instead of just one? Well, in my game both Superman AND Thor can claim the title of Best Superhero, okay?

Why did I like Thor (the movie and the character) so much? I loved the movie because it was beautiful, graceful, tasteful. There were so many moral lessons: honoring your parents, learning humility, sacrificing yourself for others. And I loved Thor himself because he grows and matures. He starts off as a bit of a jerk, a know-it-all and a braggart. But Thor changes. His father’s rebuke, his realization that by himself he’s helpless, and his growing love for the people of Earth show him a different way. By the end of the film, he’s noble, humble, good-humored, and compassionate, even to Certain Ungrateful Characters Whose Daddy Issues Still Don’t Validate A Lifestyle Of Falsehood And Treason And General Whininess.

Ahem.

Our family had quite a MARVEL-ous Christmas: Anna got the Thor movies, Carolyn got The Avengers, and TJ got the Iron Man movies. So tonight we’ll watch The Avengers, and THEN we’ll continue Thor’s story. We’re all really excited; even Daddy likes Thor!

Have any of y’all seen any of these movies yet? If so, what did you think?

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7 thoughts on “In Which I Do Three Very Different Movie Reviews

  1. So it’s actually really funny that you mention Inception here, because this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special was all about dreams within dreams, and while I’ve never seen Inception, it still reminded me of it and I was wondering if I should check the movie out now.

    I’m DYING to see the next hobbit movie- I’ll be on the lookout for that Aragorn reference now.

    Isn’t Thor awesome??? I love him to pieces, even if Captain America is still my favorite. Thor 2 isn’t quite as good story-wise, but the Thor-Loki dynamics are really interesting. And Darcy is funny. Personally, I find Darcy hilarious, although not everybody does. 😉

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas!!!

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  2. THOR!! So much love for Thor! His quick forgiveness of Darcy and Jane for tasing him and hitting him with a car, the humbleness he learns, his daft and charming love for his family in general and Loki in particular…

    Inception is a fascinating movie. I’m glad y’all liked it!

    I STILL HAVEN’T SEEN THE HOBBIT AND I REALLY REALLY NEED TO.

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    1. YOU REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY NEED TO. Because Martin Freeman, okay? 😉 His John Watson shows so bad in one particular scene…I found it quite adorable and amusing.

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  3. I may have to give Inception a try. I’ve read about it, but haven’t seen it yet. My siblings and I do the EXACT SAME THING as you and TJ with movie quotes. One time, we actually quoted, like, half of The Princess Bride in one sitting together.

    And I love Thor, too! I’m excited about your enthusiasm for him, because a lot of people seem to think he’s cute, but not really a favorite. I really, really feel sorry for Loki’s pain and I kind of relate to his Ungrateful Whinyness on a number of levels (haha, sigh), so I have a hard time being mad at him, but I can’t stand his behavior in the last half of Thor and especially in The Avengers. He’s seriously horrid. Which is a shame because I REALLY REALLY liked him in the first half of Thor!

    My sisters and I saw BOFA yesterday and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. My favorite part was the ending. THAT. WAS. PERFECT. 🙂 And Amen to your Martin Freeman comments. He’s awesome. Christine actually started sobbing at Thorin’s death scene because Bilbo was crying.

    Thanks for your awesome reviews! I love your balanced perspective about the good and bad in them. I also like that you’re not a hands-off-anything-secular Christian, if you know what I mean (you’re not a ‘Creestian ONLY’ sort of person). 🙂

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    1. Like I said, Inception isn’t for everyone–but if you like brain puzzles, you’ll probably like it 🙂 And you’re not the first person who’s mentioned The Princess Bride to me in the past week! My aunt and cousins want to do a movie day with us and introduce us to The Princess Bride.

      Well in the first half of Thor Loki didn’t seem like such a bad guy at all! And if you watch the deleted scenes, there’s this scene with him and Thor at the beginning of the film that was just adorable. But then he showed his true colors. I still don’t understand why he was mad at Odin. Sure, Odin probably should’ve told Loki his true origins a loooooong time ago…but Loki was still loved and cherished by both of his parents. I don’t see how that justifies him turning vengeful and murderous.

      “Creestian ONLY” made me grin 😉 I’m glad you enjoy my reviews. All glory to God, and many thanks to my parents for training me to evaluate films and take-out-the-meat-spit-out-the-bones 🙂

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  4. Inception is classic. I love that movie so much!!!

    I still need to see the last Hobbit film; I’m hoping my ear will start feeling better so I can figure out a time to go see it.

    I actually wasn’t that thrilled with the Thor film, although I liked the parts with Loki. Thor didn’t steal my affections till I saw him in The Avengers XD and now I like him just as much as all the other Avengers. I literally can’t pick a favorite Avenger (except that I can because STEVE ROGERS) but you know what I mean! 😛

    ~Jamie

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    1. I was excited about letting you know I’d seen Inception! I remembered how much you enjoyed it 😀

      GAH, I re-watched The Winter Soldier this morning with my sisters, aunt, and cousins–and goodness gracious, how I do love that Steve Rogers!!! So yeah, I love Thor and I love Steve, and if I love Thor the best it’s only a fraction more than Steve, haha! They’re such good guys. But I’m both excited for and dreading Age of Ultron. I am quite frightened for Thor and for Steve after watching that trailer several times 😛

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