Tag Archive: burlesque

Family Movie Night

The Oscars are over.

The statues have gone home to sit on mantles or in the bathroom. And you are probably thinking about how you never got to see this movie or that one.

For families, the animated features of Toy Story 3 and Shrek Forever have been out for some time in the home theater market. Tangled, the re-imagining of the Rapunzel story, comes out at the end of March.

But for adults, a whole slew of movies that will break your heart and/or make you think are coming out .

James Franco in "127 Hours," Picture from IMDb.com

Last week 127 Hours came to DVD. Starring James Franco, it is the story of a man who falls while rock climbing. His right arm is trapped under a rock and he must make tough decisions about what to do while alone and having no hope of rescue. Gripping, terrifying and a performance that won Franco a nomination.

This week sees Inside Job coming out to DVD. The Oscar-winning documentary explores what happened on Wall Street three years ago when there was a $20 million meltdown that lost people jobs, homes, everything.

poster image from IMDb.com

Matt Damon narrates the movie that interviews experts and journalists, exploring what happened in the rogue aspects of the industry. I am not sure how I am going to feel watching this, considering this event lead to our current national economic situation. Just the thought makes me angry but I am willing to try watching anyway.

One movie that I wish had received an Oscar nomination for Best Song was Burlesque. It is the story of a young woman who comes to Los Angeles to find a life better than she had in Iowa.

Cher in "Burlesque," Picture from IMDb.com

She finds work at a burlesque club owned by Tess (Cher) who becomes her teacher and mentor. As Tess fights to hold on to the club, one night she sings a song about struggle and determination.

“You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me Yet” won a Golden Globe award and was written by Diane Warren. Cher sang this song with heart and soul although there was a cheesy moment or two with the light booth guy. It should have been nominated for an Oscar; Randy Newman was right about there needing to be five songs nominated for the category.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.

What Did You Like Best?

I keep reading stories about the last year in movies and how it was lackluster. But I find critics say that every year. As a former critic, I know how easy it is to get jaded.

Every year there are bad sequels and bad re-makes and bad old-TV series-made-into-movies. What? You thought The A-Team and Hot Tub Time Machine were going to be good movies?

While some movies were disappointing, there were a few that I really loved.

Toy Story 3

What a great ending to a great series. Pixar, the makers of Toy Story, always seemed to get that toys are very real to kids. Each toy has its own personality, its own quirk and that is why we love various toys. But more importantly they never doubted the capabilities of their audience to understand that those qualities may be different from what we perceive.

Andy gazing at his old toys, Picture from IMDb.com


There are so many elements, so many details that goes into this last movie. It is a coming-of-age movie, an ending but also action-adventure with a heist element. We mourn who is gone and celebrate with who is left. We cry with relief and sadness and happiness. It may be one of the best movies of the entire year.


Christina Aquilera wants to be so much more than a fine singer, she wants to be an actress as well. This is a first good step in that direction. Starring with the ultimate singer-turned-actress in Cher, Aquilera is a small town girl from Iowa who wants something more from her life. A one-way ticket to L.A. is the first step. A waitressing  job at the best burlesque house is the next.

Cher and Christina Aquilera in Burlesque, Picture from IMDb.com


That is where she meets Cher who mentors her along in the way of make-up and performing. And when Aquilera lets loose on the pipes, all bets are off to discovering how successful she will be. Forget reality while watching this movie because you know some of what will happen. Stay for Cher’s solo, Kristen Bell’s anger and Stanley Tucci’s every scene.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1

I know that everything in the book did not make it into the movie. I was looking forward to some things that did not make it. But this movie did what it had to do. It gave us the fill towards the end. It lead us from school life to real life for Harry, Hermione and Ron.

Daniel, Rupert and Emma in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Picture from IMDb.com.


We are now set up for the final movie, the final episode. We are ready for the huge battle we know must come. And if it all goes the way I hope, David Yates will be praised forever as one of the best directors of one of the best movie series ever.

Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr. has seen a renaissance that has been remarkable for the roles he is getting and what he is doing with them. In this movie, Downey had to contend with the specter of Basil Rathbone and made his own mark. I wondered if he was giving Sherlock a bit of an Asperberger’s twist with his incredible focus on a single subject and lack of social niceties.

Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. in "Sherlock Holmes," Picture from IMDb.com


Jude Law also has some hurdles to cross as he makes Dr. Watson different from the Nigel Bruce charactization. We follow the story of a woman from Holmes’ past whom needs Holmes to do some investigating. Plus, the two men are dealing with an estrangement as Watson finds a woman he wants to marry. I was entranced and loved how Guy Richie envisioned the story.

There are so many other movies I need to see. I am looking forward to Rabbit Hole, Country Strong and True Grit, among others.

 What movies did you love in the past year?