Sunday, February 25, 2007

Two Movies in Two Nights

I got a rare treat this weekend, I got to see two movies in as many nights.

On Friday, I took my daughter, Aislinn, and her friend, Elizabeth, to see Bridge to Terabithia. I had read the book over a decade ago in college and until I was the previews I forgot that there was any fantasy elements in it.

The movie is visually beautiful, not just the parts where the CGI fantasy characters show up but in the way that it is shot to help convey the innocence of our heroes. The opening credits take the drawings and bring them to life while still looking like drawings, it's lovely artwork and gives a good sense of the movie.

The basic story is mainly about Jesse, a poor boy in a small town, he is picked on by the school bullies. He loves to race, which he tries to use to gain the respect of the bullies, and drawing, which he hides from everyone. It's the day of the big race and his mom throws out his shoes and gives him a pair of his sister's old sneakers (They're pink, oh the horror). This is also the day that the new girl, Leslie, shows up. She's cute, but her style is a bit shocking to the small town kids. The race starts and both Jesse and Leslie race, Jesse pulls ahead of the bullies but is defeated by the "new girl". Jesse is a shy, reserved boy and Leslie is the opposite of him. They become friends through her efforts. She's helps him relax and encourages his drawing. They develop a close friendship and create an imaginary world in which to escape the bullies at school.

This is a beautiful story about friendship, love, bullying, family struggle, and the power of imagination. If you read the book, you will be glad to hear that they stuck very close to it. If you are looking for a lighthearted, silly kids movie this isn't the one to go to. It isn't scary, but parts are deeply emotional. I wouldn't recommend this movie for small children, there is not a lot of action.

Last night my sister and I went to the movies together, we wanted to see Pan's Labyrinth, told me it was showing at AMC 30. We got there and no Pan's Labyrinth. We ended up going to see the new Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore romantic comedy, Music and Lyrics.

Hugh is funny as always and Drew is her usual charming self. Hugh Grant is playing a has been 80's pop star from a band called Pop. Drew is a slightly neurotic girl that is taking care of his plants for a couple of days.

Hugh's character gets a chance to write a song for Cara, the biggest star in rock, and Drew is there when he is working on it. She spouts off some decent lines and he begs her to help him. This is not a surprising comedy, but it is funny, sweet, charming and enjoyable.

In place with the idea of him being a 80's Has-Been, at the end credits the movie makers chose to take a page from VH-1's Pop-Up Video show and update you on events using speech bubbles over one of "Pops" old videos. The song they write is sweet and a little catchy, I was singing along by the end of the movie.