Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Blind Side (2009)

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The Blind Side is a sports drama film directed by John Lee Hancock which starred Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron and Kathy Bates. This is based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. It’s a story of the life of a football offensive lineman who plays for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL, Michael Oher.

Plot from Wikipedia

For 17 years, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) has been in foster care with many foster parents. Every time he is sent to a new foster home, he runs off. One of his foster parents enrolls him into a Christian school, after the father convinces the coach that "Big Mike" is a natural athlete. The coach convinces the school principal and other teachers to enroll him into the school.

After school one day, Michael meets Sean "SJ" Jr. (Jae Head), who quickly befriends Michael. Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) is an interior designer, mother to SJ and Collins (Lily Collins), and wife to Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw). After a pre-holiday Thanksgiving festival at school Leigh Anne notices Michael walking on the road, shivering in the freezing cold. She pities his situation and takes him home for the night. Even though she does a good deed, Leigh Anne worries to Sean about whether Michael might The Blind Side 1steal anything from their home. The next morning, much to her dismay, she finds Michael has left the house. She finds Michael leaving their driveway and asks him to spend Thanksgiving with her family. Slowly, Michael starts becoming a part of the family, even as Leigh Anne's friends warn her that Michael could affect SJ and Collins' social life. Nonetheless, SJ and Michael become buddies. Leigh Anne goes to the school about Michael's academic performance and is surprised to learn that even though  he has scored low in essentially every aspect, he scored in the 98th percentile in 'protective instincts.' Sean also starts liking Michael and lists the Tuohys as the emergency contact in case of any problem regarding Michael, and also talks to the school coach to get Michael enrolled in to the school football team. Leigh Anne decides to legally adopt Michael (which will allow him to get a driver's license) and convinces Sean to do so. Michael finally gets his driver's license, and SJ wants to pick out a new video game. SJ asks Michael to take him to the store, and Leigh Anne surprises Michael with a brand new Ford F-150, and not long after getting the truck, Michael crashes into an oncoming vehicle and "stops" the air bag from hitting SJ in the face, injuring himself in the process of protecting SJ from serious harm.The Blind Side 3

Michael performs very well on the football field and catches the eye of many college coaches from around the state. SJ tells Michael that his mother cannot stand Tennessee. Leigh Anne comes to know that to get a NCAA Division I Scholarship, Michael needs a 2.5 GPA; his currently is very low. To improve his performance in academics, they hire  a private tutor. The teachers at his school also take a special interest in him and start giving his tests verbally rather than in written format. During one of his private tutor classes his tutor, Miss Sue (Kathy Bates), tells him that the FBI bury the body parts of the unrecognized dead people under the football field of University of Tennessee. Michael's heart aches and this is possibly shown as a reason for Michael opting to join University of Mississippi ending with a 2.52 GPA. All goes well and one day Michael receives a call from the NCAA, who suspect that the Tuohys forced Michael to select Mississippi, rather than Tennessee, his home-state team. The investigator also tells him that both the parent Tuohys were from Mississippi and his school coach also got a better job after Michael's rise to fame.

The Blind Side 2Michael leaves the investigation room and confronts Leigh Anne, and asks her if it's true that she only took him in so that he would end up playing football for her alma mater. Michael runs from his home and goes to his birth mother's apartment in the projects, where his old friends at first welcome him, then make sexually suggestive remarks about his adoptive mother and sister. A fight ensues, where Michael easily dispatches three thugs, and soon flees the scene. Leigh Anne waits for Michael at home but he doesn't show up. Leigh Anne, fearing that she has made a mistake, goes in search of Michael. Michael calls Leigh Anne, and they meet again at a neighborhood laundromat. Leigh Anne asks if he really wanted to play football. She tells him that she will accept his decision no matter what. Michael goes  back to the investigator and tell her that the only reason he The Blind Side 4chose Mississippi was because his whole family has always gone to school at Mississippi. Michael gets accepted to Ole Miss with a scholarship  for football. Leaving Michael at school, Leigh Anne feels happy on her way back home for what she has done for Michael, from what could have been his future if she hadn't met him.

The film ends with the 2009 NFL Draft, showing the real-life Michael Oher being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.

The story is very touching and is somehow very sad. I liked how Quinton Aaron delivered his character. You would really feel the sadness and loss of the lead character. If you look at him on the movie, you would feel sorry for everything he was deprived of. Sandra Bullock also did a good job portraying Leigh Anne Tuohy. I don’t know who the real Leigh Anne Tuohy is but based on Sandra Bullock’s portrayal of the character, she is a really good woman with a kind heart. I was touched on how she disregarded the very identifiable difference from Michael Oher and how she took care and treated him like a real son. Her actions were noble and I bow down to her. Being a parent and more to a stranger is difficult and a very courageous thing to do. There was one conversation with her friends wherein one  commented how Leigh Anne Tuohy changed Michael Oher's life but she replied, “No, he’s changing mine.” It is truly indeed life-changing to see how this woman overlooked their differences and focused on how she could help this boy who is in great need. Not only material needs that Leigh Anne Tuohy provided to Michael Oher, but also the need to have a family and someone to love him. I envy Leigh Anne Tuohy of having such good character and heart. May it be a model for all of us to put away our differences and help each other out for us to be able to make this world of ours a better world to live in.

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

You've Got Mail 2

You’ve Got Mail is a 1998 romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron and starred Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. It is a remake of the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner.

The movie is about two people exchanging emails until they fell for each other. They know each other and somehow dislike each other too much, unaware that they were the ones exchanging emails. Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) had business and personal conflict with Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) and forces Kathleen to close down her bookshop. The two somehow hated each other due to competition. There was an instance wherein Joe discovered that his email buddy was Kathleen due to an instance where NY152 (Joe’s username) suggested for them to meet so that he could help further on Shopgirl’s (Kathleen’s username) business problems. Joe didn’t reveal that he’s Kathleen’s email buddy and they talked and said things that aren’t supposed to be said. The two avoided each other. The two realized that they’re not really in love with their mates and decided to break up with them. The story ended having Joe reveal to Kathleen that he’s NY152 and they kissed.

You've Got Mail 1The movie is funny and romantic. It’s touching, however, I somehow didn’t understand why the story ended with Kathleen kissing Joe. Prior to the meeting in the park, Joe asked Kathleen if he could still forgive him. Kathleen didn’t really answer the question but somehow stated that he could forgive NY152 for not showing up when they decided to meet. Given that, I was thinking that she would really accept Joe anymore since she couldn’t forgive him about what he did. I totally didn’t get it. I know that somehow she already fell for Joe but still. Based on how she took his question is like there’s no hope for Joe to be her lover. Anyway, overall the movie’s great. I didn’t find it boring at all.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Proposal (2009)

The Proposal 3

The Proposal is a 2009 romantic comedy film directed by Anne Fletcher and starred by Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. It is a must see movie which would make you laugh a lot. The story is a common scenario as to immigrant workers who wants to be American citizens.

The Proposal 2 Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is the executive editor-in-chief of a book publishing company, Colden Books. Her workers strongly dislike her for her bossy, cold demeanor. After learning she is being deported to Canada, she forces Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her, as his future is tied to hers. Andrew conditionally agrees to marry Margaret.

The Proposal 5The two spend the weekend with his parents in Sitka, Alaska in order to sell the lie, where they will be attending the 90th birthday party of Andrew's grandmother "Gammy." Margaret is very unreceptive of Alaska, and is shocked to learn that Andrew's family owns most of the business in Sitka. They attend a surprise party for them, where Andrew catches up with his ex-girlfriend, "Gert". After he is humiliated by his father, Joe Paxton, Andrew announces that he and Margaret are getting married. They are forced to kiss, and do so passionately, showing the first signs of respect for one another. The two later sleep in the same room, but with Andrew on the floor and Margaret in the bed.

The next morning, Andrew informs Margaret that his mother Grace, herself, and Gammy are going shopping and sightseeing; the shopping actually proves to be a trip to a male strip show. Margaret talks with Gert about Andrew; Gert explained that after dating Andrew through college, she turned down his proposal to elope as she did not want to leave her home.

Meanwhile, Andrew confronts his father, who apologizes for giving Margaret a cold greeting. He asks AndrewThe Proposal 1 to take up the family business but Andrew angrily declines, saying he lives happily in New York. Margaret comes home and takes a shower, but finds no towels in the bathroom. Andrew goes to the balcony of their room, stripping naked, to take a bath. Margaret, naked, distracts Kevin (the dog) while going for a towel, only to bump into Andrew. That night, Andrew and Margaret reveal to each other a little about their past, and find out they like the same band. It is also revealed here that Margaret's parents died when she was sixteen years old, and she has no siblings.

Next morning, Joe and Grace knock at the door with breakfast. Andrew and Margaret hurriedly get into bed together, and the family suggest they could marry the same weekend, an idea they reluctantly accept. Andrew is stressed because the marriage is actually a sham, and Margaret tries to comfort and convince him, finding herself genuinely caring for him. To sort out her emotions, she goes for a bike ride into the woods, where she finds Gammy "giving thanks" in a ritual. Gammy invites her to join her, and they end up dancing, while Andrew watches.

Andrew takes her into Sitka to get Margaret's new phone, and she tries to contact New York. However, Gammy and Grace arrive and take Margaret to be fitted for a dress that Gammy's great grandmother made, and Margaret receives a necklace that has been in the Paxton family for generThe Proposal 6ations. Margaret, now very touched, decides that she cannot force Andrew into the marriage and hijacks a boat to escape while trying to explain her feelings to Andrew, who is with her. Margaret falls overboard after Andrew takes the steering wheel, but he pulls her back onboard and they make their way back to his family's house. Mr. Gilbertson, contacted by Joe (who is suspicious of his son's relationship) states that Andrew won't be criminally punished if he admits the marriage is a scam, but Margaret will be deported to Canada. Andrew, who now cares deeply about Margaret, vehemently denies that the relationship is a lie and rushes out.

During the wedding ceremony, Margaret decides she cannot marry Andrew and confesses the business arrangement in front of everyone, including Mr. Gilbertson, who informs her she has twenty-four hours to get back to Canada. Since Margaret admitted to the scam, Andrew does not get jail time. Margaret returns to New York to pack her things. Andrew rushes to their room only to find she has already left, leaThe Proposal 4ving his manuscript with a note of praise from her on the bed. As he rushes out of the house to confront Margaret, another argument arises between Joe and Andrew. Gammy has a heart attack while trying to stop them and while being airlifted to the hospital, she convinces Joe and Andrew to quit arguing before she "passes away". Once they agree, Gammy reveals she had faked it, just so they would stop fighting and try to make it to the plane to stop Margaret from going back to New York. Andrew attempts to stop Margaret's flight, but cannot do so in time. Andrew then rushes to New York and shows up at the office where he confesses his love for Margaret in front of the entire office staff, proposing marriage all over again as he "wants to date Margaret." The two go to Mr. Gilbertson once more to get engaged, this time "for real."

The Proposal 7 The combination of Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds is good. The character of Bullock is a very serious person which appears humorous due to her ATTITUDE. While her character shows a very strong personality, Reynolds’ character on the other hand provides a sweet and good natured fellow that totally contradicts Bullock’s character which makes it a very nice combination. On the course of the story, the two shows great compatibility and making the story very romantic but still very funny. I admit, I’m really a big fan of Sandra Bullock. She’s just so unique. The way she makes comedy film is so different. She’s not the clown type but how she delivers the character make it very funny.

Rotten Tomatoes rated 43% to The Proposal.

Plot summary is taken from Wikipedia.

All About Steve (2009)

All About Steve

All About Steve is a 2009 comedy film directed by Phil Traill and starred by Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper and Thomas Haden Church.

All About Steve 1

Mary Horowitz (Sandra Bullock) is a crossword puzzle writer for a newspaper in California. As brilliant as her puzzles are, having an encyclopedic mind also makes her socially intimidating. Through a blind date set up by her parents, she meets Steve Mueller (Bradley Cooper), a cameraman for a cable news channel. Steve turns out to be handsome and charming, and Mary is immediately smitten.

Thus begins her relentless and comedic pursuit of Steve as she follows him to places of breaking news heAll About Steve 2 is covering. Instead of being a social oddball complete with red boots, she begins to find friends who appreciate her for who she is.

Mary's last line is, "Why should you have to change to be normal? All you have to do is find someone who's as normal as you are."

This movie is funny but I really feel sad for Sandra Bullock’s character. I was anticipating for a happier ending of the film. Getting Mary and Steve end up for each other, but it’s not really how the film ended. But I thought that having that kind of ending would be so typical. As the story moves on, you’d feel that the main characters won’t really end up in a church married to each other. Instead, it provided a realization for Sandra Bullock’s character of self acceptance.

I really love watching Sandra Bullock films. She’s just so good. She is very funny in this movie, so as in The Proposal which was also screened the same year. All of Sandra Bullock’s films are worth watching, may it be comedy, drama or action.

Plot summary is from Wikipedia.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a 2009 computer-animated film which is originally based on a children’s book of the same name written by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett. The main character is voiced by Bill Hader with Ana Faris as the love interest.

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 4

The story is about Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) who is an inventor who’s invention turns up to be disaster. Flint always wanted to invent for the betterment of everyone’s life. He gained his mom’s support, but his dad only wants him to help tend his Sardines shop. He never had his dad’s support. Actually, he never had any since his mom died. But Flint lives up to his dreams. He was able to create a machine that sCloudy with a chance of Meatballs 2olves their food problems, and that’s where the conflict starts. Flint was so glad to be able to help up to the town’s problems and he finally felt that he’s being loved. He took many challenges along the way but was able to finally gain his father’s support and became a true hero in their town. 

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The film teaches trust, love, and faith in one’s self. To never give up even if the world is against you. To try the hardest until you’ll be able to accomplish your dreams. And to never ever doubt yourself and what you’re capable of.

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 1 Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 5

This is a great movie for you and your family to watch. It’s very entertaining yet full of lessons to learn from. I’m sure you’re going to love the film, specially those who are kids at heart.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sweet November (2001)

Sweet November

Sweet November is a 2001 romantic drama film directed by Pat O’Connor and starred Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. This is a remake of the 1968 film of the same title.

Sweet November 1

The film is about a typical businessman, who’s life revolves only on his career, met a crazy girl that totally changed his outlook on life. Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) was offered by Sarah (Charlize Theron) help if he’ll live with her for a month. The girl does have like a “project of the month” thing where in a guy lives with her and he helps him. This time, it’s Nelson who became her “November.” As the story progresses, both fell in love with each other. Until Nelson realized that he really loves Sarah and offered her marriage. Sarah declined his proposal, like the previous proposals she received from her previous projects. Although with Nelson, she wishes to say “yes” but can’t. It was later revealed that Sarah is suffering from terminal cancer. Sarah drives Nelson away and wants him to never come back. Nelson didn’t give up and went back to Sarah during their Thanksgiving dinner where he provided early Christmas presents to Sarah. The two spent the night together but the next morning Sarah is asking Nelson again to leave. Sarah tried to run away from Nelson. Nelson eventually caught up Sarah wherein they expressed their emotions about each other. How Sarah wishes to be with Nelson but can’t. Sarah merely wants Nelson to remember only the good times that they’ve had and not the tragic outcome of their love. Sarah said that she’ll be returning to her family where she would spend the remainder of her life. The movie ended where Nelson was blindfolded by Sarah and was left. Nelson walked away to one of the parks they used to go to before.

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The film was poorly rated by critics and also received only 16% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. It was even nominated as the Worst Remake/Sequel and the leads, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron, were nominated as Worst Actor/Actress. I don’t think that the acting was bad, it’s the story itself that sucks. I personally don’t like the story very much though. I find the character of Charlize Theron very crazy and somehow selfish. Selfish in a sense that she left Keanu Reeves after she changed his life greatly. If she knew that she won’t be able to be with the guy due to her illness and her reasons, she shouldn’t have entered the life of the guy in the first place. I truly find it unfair for the male character to be left alone at the end. Practically, Keanu Reeves’ character never gained anything from their relationship. He lost his career and he’s not even able to really be with his true love. Even with these weaknesses of the film, I still think that the film is very romantic but sad. It would really bring tears in your eyes, especially during the end of the film.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Spice World (1997)

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Spice World (1997) is a musical comedy film directed by Bob Spiers and starred by the most successful female pop group, the Spice Girls. I’m not really a big fan of the film because the film isn’t really that fantastic though. The film is somehow confusing and all but there’s a touch of emotions on it though. Although the film isn’t comparable to any blockbuster hits, it’s worth watching the Spice Girls not performing on stage singing and dancing. It’s priceless and it’s kind of nice to see them act. This is the only movie that the legendary Spice Girls ever made. I’m wondering myself why this is the only film that they ever made, given that they were very popular that time. I’m a huge fan of the Spice Girls, they’re just so adorable, pretty, and cute. I’m so into the Spice Girls phenomena. I loved their songs, Wannabe, Say You’ll Be There, Stop, Spice Up Your Life, 2 Become 1, Who Do You Think You Are, Too Much, Mama, Viva Forever, etc.

Spice World 1 Spice World 2

The story of the film goes around the “so-called” life of the Spice Girls and their upcoming performance at the Albert Hall. They were performing a couple of rehearsals, which I love because it’s their raw performance and so genuine, and gigs. They became bored and got some conflicts as the film progresses. They decided to split-up but eventually reconciled and were in a rush to attend their concert at Albert Hall. The film ends with the Spice Girls performing “Spice Up Your Life”, which I totally loved. They are just so adorable. Their steps, moves, and their singing style is just so cute. Not to mention their preppy clothes and cute shoes.

Spice GirlsFrom Left to Right: Melanie Chisholm (Sporty), Victoria Beckham (Posh), Gerri Halliwell (Ginger), Melanie Brown (Scary), and Emma Bunton (Baby)

The five is just so fabulous together. They’re incomparable to the girl groups that emerged after their fame. They’re just so legendary. One group with five girls with different personalities. They’re just great. My favorite among the five is Gerri Halliwell. She’s just the spiciest among the five and she’s very cool. I really was saddened on the breakup of the group. Their accomplishments were just great. Not until they announced they’re going to have a reunion tour last 2008. I was really hoping that they’re going to reunite for good. But as they mentioned on their press conference, they’re doing the concert to formally bid farewell to their numerous fans. Even so, it’s already written in our history, the once famous girl group, the Spice Girls.

Spice Girls 2From Left to Right: Victoria Beckham (Posh), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty), Melanie Brown (Scary), Emma Bunton (Baby) and Gerri Halliwell (Ginger)