Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Movies Worth a Look (and Succinctly Yours)

Summer is a time to sit back and relax, and escaping the heat at the movie theater is always on the agenda around here, especially when the movie is animated and a much anticipated sequel. We saw a total of four movies this summer (three are still in theaters) you may want to check out if you get the chance.

The first was an animated sequel Kung Fu Panda II. I always hesitate about seeing a sequel but I have to say that I enjoyed this movie almost as much. Jack Black is back as Po the Panda (as are all the old characters), and though I am not a fan of Black's work in other movies, his tongue-in-cheek type of humor is a perfect fit for animation. Here's a run down: Po, along with the fabulous five, must save China from a villian who has discovered gun powder and who plans to use it to become all powerful. The bad: while I still enjoy seeeing these characters again, I felt the movie was a bit more violent than the first. Yes, I know both movies deal with Kung Fu and fighting is a part of that, but the first movie was "lighter" than the second with more humorous moments involving Po. Both my kids enjoyed the movie but they are 12 and 8, and I might reconsider letting a very young child see this. My grade: B/B+

The second movie was also animated and another sequel-Cars II. Lightning MacQueen is invited to race a four part road race in Europe using a new all natural fuel instead of gasoline, and he uses his old friends as his pit crew. Unfortunately, someone is out to damage the fuel's reputation by trying to wreck the cars in the races. British spies are working on finding out who before it's too late, and Mador, mistaken for an American spy, must help. I enjoyed the first Cars movie a lot better because there was more emotional scenes-MacQueen learning some hard lessons and making friends along the way. Although I still marvel at how they design whole worlds around cars and not people (the first few scenes were really great!)this movie was mostly action packed without a lot of feeling. My kids had mixed reactions. For the most part they enjoyed the movie, but my daughter felt a bit let down just as I did. My son said he liked it almost as much as the first Cars. My grade: a B-/C+.

The last two movies weren't sequels or animations, but were based on some old comic book heroes-The Green Lantern and Captain America-the First Avenger. Now I don't usually like superhero movies (notably the Spiderman series) because they are usually all action and no substance, but I saw two of the three this summer and I enjoyed both. The Green Lantern is about a risky jet pilot who discovers a dying alien (a member of the Green Lantern Peace Keepers-beings from other planets and galaxies who keep evil at bay in their assigned quadrons) and is chosen by the lantern as his replacement. First, let's just say the special effects are out of this world-computer animation at its best-and the story itself wasn't half bad. But the evil force attempting to anhilate Earth is pretty scary (a black cloud wih a face who can suck the "fear" out of people) and I had more than a few concerns about my son. Both kids enjoyed the movie, but this one is definitely not for the younger crowd. My grade: B+ for fantastic effects.

Captain America: The First Avenger had a much better story. It takes place during WWII, and Steve Rogers is a puny little man who wants to fight in the war but his size and health problems prevent it. He gets the attention of a scientist who wants to use him as the guinea pig for his new serum-it would turn a person into a super soldier. And those familiar with the comic book story will like the fact that this movie stays pretty close to the story. Once again, good special effects, though not as over the top as the Green Lantern, but the story was great. Now the movie is PG-13, but even though it takes place during the war, there is not blood and gore, only Hydra's super ray gun that disintegrates people. Hydra's face alone will scare the squeemish, but both my kids enjoyed this movie. My grade: A.

My son and husband also saw Thor and both enjoyed the story as well as the effects, but they rate it below the other two because there was too much story and not enough fighting. A unique male viewpoint-LOL! Have you seen any of these movies?

Now it's time for Succinctly Yours, another writing meme that piggy backs on the idea of Susan of the Stony River Blog.
Grandma Goulash posts a picture and you are to write a 140 character or word story about it. You can also use the word of the day in your post if you wish. This week's word is proliferate. Here this week's picture and my take this week:

Harry inched closer to the parchment and saw his mistake immediately-nuvo lacerta changed him into a lizard, but how would he change back? (139 characters)

Yes, I have Harry Potter on my mind, but I know this movie would be much too scary for my kids, so I will have to wait for the DVD release... Sorry I am so late with my post, but I was too tuckered out yesterday. I look forward to reading others!

Photos were used soley for the purpose of reviewing the movie.  All opinions stated are my own and I was not compensated in any way.


  1. How indeed. Nice one. Harry's still all the rage, isn't he?

  2. Oh drat those magic spells! Hope he changes back again.

  3. Oh, poor Harry, he's in a quandary, but I know his quick wit and logical mind will get him out of it! Good one, Susan.

    Sounds like you've been finding a great way to keep cool this summer--going to the movies!

  4. LOL Great take on the pic. Creative and different.

    We saw Thor but none of the others. I think I must be deprived to have missed the Panda movies, so those will be on my "watch" list. I'd like to see the other superhero movies, too. I read that Marvel is giving each superhero his own movie and then plans a single movie with ALL of them. Ought to be cool.

  5. Ha! Cute take on the pic : )I haven't seen any movies this summer! I really want to see Harry Potter though. Not enough time so probably will end up waiting myself : )

  6. loved your little story, very funny.

    I saw CarsII and Kung Fu panda too, my boys loved those two movies. Thanks for your reviews about the others, now I want to see Captain America.

  7. Poor Harry! Maybe Harmonie will change him back.

    And I loved the Harry Potter movie!

  8. Very clever Susan! We've just seen the latest Harry Potter film too so I can understand your thinking. :)

  9. Poor Harry! This magical error seems to have him circling the drain! If worse comes to worse, I suppose he'll have to call on good ol' Dr. Bombay!

    Be cured, Harry, be cured!

  10. A good Harry Potter inspiration!

    Thanks for all the movie reviews. I need that info around here :)


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