If you have eight-year old nieces visiting, you could do worse than watching Inkheart and Definitely, Maybe -- get them to think about connections between the two movies and see if they come up with the role of stories, as mine did. . . . And then if you have two decent movies in your viewing history, you'll be able to tolerate Legally Blondes (or they'll give you credit for watching the first two and let you slip away during the third). It's not that bad, just very predictable, and there's no redeeming Reese Witherspoon or Luke Wilson.
On the plane to London we watched The Reader -- I'm not sure why I had resisted 'til that point -- probably because I find that books or movies pointing out the moral complexity of judgements about the Third Reich and the Holocaust, etc., sometimes elicit a bit of a "No Shit, Sherlock" response, sorry -- but I'm glad I became a captive audience. Well worth watching. Redeeming but not in a mawkish way. Skirts but doesn't descend into sentimentality.
In Birmingham way back in June, we saw Star Trek. This is more Pater's kind of movie than mine, but I very much enjoyed it for what it was -- entertaining, clever, well-acted, and, perhaps above all, funny, especially for anyone with any familiarity at all with the series. Leonard Nimoy was perfect in that classic role of Spock, and Simon Pegg as the young Scotty -- brilliantly cast, brilliantly acted.
Also entertaining but much more recently-viewed, the latest Harry Potter movie. If I only had time and the books were here rather than at my son's, I'd zip through them again for a few weeks' escape -- as it is, there are so many movie-like scenes in my head from the books that I can't tell what I've seen and what I've imagined, who's died already and who has yet to. I will never tire of watching Alan Rickman in these movies. Ditto Maggie Smith (is it really 40 years since I saw her in Miss Jean Brodie? -- I find that as astounding as all the fuss about Woodstock, 40 years past)
Vicky Christina Barcelona -- Scarlett for him, Javier for me, some gorgeous scenery, much drama . . . what's not to like?
The same weekend, we tried to watch another Woody Allen-directed movie, Cassandra's Dream, and couldn't finish it. Yes, good acting, yes well-directed, but trademark-Allen, the tension gets stretched toooo, tooo close to the breaking point. Reminds me of all those soccer games I watched as a mom, from the sidelines -- too much tension, too little release.
Tension, release, tension, release -- certainly enough of that in the Luc Besson-directed Taken, featuring Liam Neeson. If credibility has any importance for you at all, this is not your movie -- it's laugh-out-loud in-credible (as in NOT credible, not as in fantastically good!). The man's a one-man army; the body count is in the decades before the movie's halfway done. To say nothing of how or why those Albanian gangsters in Paris speak such fluent English! But did I mention it features Liam Neeson? We weren't bored, we were entertained, if incredulous, and all those shots of Paris . . .