*Once again using my trade-marked 6-pack rating system.*
- The Blind Side (4 out of 6 glasses of peach wine): An inspirational tale of Southern hospitality. While I found Sandra Bullock’s fake on and off Southern accent a little distracting at times (especially during the voice over at the beginning of the movie), I enjoyed the movie overall. If you’ve seen the commercials or are at all familiar with the true event it portrays, you pretty much know what you’re in for. It is what is, and it does it well. As far as performances go, I thought Quinton Aaron was the actor in this one who really deserved the recognition. Added bonus: I was able to see all my favorite SEC coaches awkwardly portray themselves on film. (Tommy Tubberville, I’m looking at you!)
- The Lovely Bones (4 out of 6 Rolling Rock): I went into this movie with very low expectations. The few reviews I was aware of rated it between okay to awful. I knew it pretty much bombed at the box office. Well, I have to say I found this movie a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be awfully depressing — it wasn’t. In fact, in its own crazy way it was almost uplifting — no small feat for a movie about such dark subject matter. There was a little bit of deus ex machina near the end that did not work for me (the only reason I didn’t give the film another beer), but this movie stands on the strengths of its performances and visuals. Every actor was believable and they seemed like real people. Susan Sarandon seemed to relish playing the whiskey-soaked Grandmom — a truly great supporting performance on her part. There were some scenes of real suspense near the end of the film that had me on edge. The scenes in the “In-Between” were beautifully rendered; they reminded me of a Tarsem Singh film in a good way. I recommend this movie. It was a very pretty contemporary fantasy.
- How to Train Your Dragon 3-D (my rating 5 out of 6 flasks of mead, my son’s rating is 6 out of 6 Capri Suns): I took my son to see this a couple weeks ago. Great family film! You’ve got vikings and cuddly cute dragons and lots of silly action. Highly recommended with one reservation: As a parent you tend to worry about the theme in all children’s movies about children knowing more than adults and adults always being wrong. I understand this is an empowering message for kids, but very often adults — who have lived a little longer and seen more of the world — do know more about some things than their children. But despite my one criticism — which is less of a criticism of this individual movie and more of a criticism of children’s literature/movies in general — I can tell you, as a parent, you can take your kids to this see movie and everyone should have a good time. It beats watching Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Squeakuel again, that’s for sure. (Oh, and regarding Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Squeakuel — NO BEERS FOR YOU!)