How to Eat Fried Worms has been described as Fear Factor for kids. Which is an accurate description since kids eat worms in a variety of gross ways. The basic plot is that a squeamish kid is forced to eat 10 worms after he tells the school bully that he’s eaten them before. For the most part, How to Eat Fried Worms is innocent enough to entertain kids and maybe even adults. The kids, I felt, were very accurate portrayals of how kids act and talk. Though if you are easily disgusted, this might not be the movie for you. However, if you’re looking for a fun kids movie to watch, How to Eat Fried Worms is a good choice.
The Truman Show is the movie that made us take Jim Carrey seriously as an actor. The Truman Show plays on that feeling we have that our lives may be staged in some way. The movie doesn’t try to hide the fact that Truman’s entire life is being filmed without his knowledge. Though it does take advantage of that fact with blatant product placement and sudden character appearances. Making the movie both dramatic and funny at the same time. The basic premise of the fictional show is that one man’s life has been filmed continuously since birth. I can’t help but wonder if a show like this could happen in real life. Would enough people be willing to watch a show plays 24 hours a day. Jim Carrey is the only actor I can see in a role this different. He should have gotten an Oscar nomination for it. The Truman Show has such a great premise, that I would recommend it to anyone who feels like they’re not in control of their life. And in case I don’t see you, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Good Night.
I actually don’t hate John Carter. It’s nothing special and a huge disappoint, but not the worst thing Disney’s done. So, John Carter is based on a book from 1912. One that audiences have clearly never heard of. The main problem with the movie is pretty much every problem Disney has with live action franchise starters. The running time, reliance of cgi, and too many unnecessary subplots. All of which made for one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. I first saw the movie in theaters, and I didn’t know what to expect. Overall, I wasn’t entirely disappointed. The aliens were okay, the humor was okay, and the action was also just okay. I think my biggest problem with the movie was the fact that they didn’t call it John Carter of Mars. That’s the title they were going to use, which makes a lot more sense, and at least gives people some context. But they thought it was going to make a sequel (yeah right) and decided to save it for that movie. John Carter is the kind of movie that you just have to see for yourself. Either you like it or you don’t.
Misery is one of the all time best Stephen King adaptations. Misery is all about a fan who kidnaps, I mean rescues her favorite author from a snow storm. At first Annie Wilkes seems like a perfect stranger. Until she shows signs being insane and everything just gets worse from there. The whole movie is pretty much just two people. With a few other characters popping up every now and then. The tone can range from unsettling to downright terrifying. The “hobbling scene” is particularly disturbing. In fact, Kathy Bates actually won “Best Actress” for Misery. Which is rare for a horror/thriller film. James Caan is also great as author Paul Sheldon. So add Misery to your list of Stephen King movies to watch. I highly recommend it.
James and the Giant Peach is actually the first movie I saw in Theaters. Granted, I was only 10 months old when I saw it, but still it counts. James and the Giant Peach is from the same guy who did The Nightmare Before Christmas. Which means “stop-motion” animation. I’d say that about 85% of the movie is animated while the rest is live action. This is also based on a Roald Dahl book. So expect it to be dark, but also whimsical. The music is okay and the characters are fun. So James and the Giant Peach is a major recommendation for me.
Purple Rain is the movie you watch when you want to remember Prince. Before his unexpected death, I never really listened to Prince. I didn’t know much about him and I only heard about two of his songs. “When Doves Cry” and of course “Purple Rain.” So I watched Purple Rain after his passing, in order to better understand his significance. Purple Rain is a loose biopic about Prince’s life. Most of the movie reads more like a packaged music video. However, Prince gives a worthy enough performance to make for an entertaining movie. It also could have gotten away with a PG rating if not for brief nudity and light language. So whether you know all about Prince or you’re just discovering him, Purple Rain is the movie to watch.
The Glass Castle is probably my favorite book that I’ve read, but not the best movie that I’ve seen. As a child, I was never really much of a reader. I always dreaded reading in front of my fellow classmates and I had a short attention span. So reading an entire novel felt almost impossible to me (I would read a few chapters then never finish). I would always rely on others to read the books that were mandatory for class. It wasn’t until my Senior year that I finally read a book that kept me invested until the end of the book. The Glass Castle is the true story of Jeannette Walls who grew up in a less than ideal home life. Her family was always moving from place to place, having almost nothing to eat, and living with an alcoholic father and hippie mother. So when I found out that they were going to make a movie, I was thrilled. Everything about it seemed like a success. From the casting to the author’s involvement. So what went wrong? I actually did like the movie. The performances from Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson are terrific and I suppose they didn’t ignore the message of the book. The main problem is the fact that they made it a little too “Hollywood.” The book is very R rated, with a lot of stuff that they cut in order to keep it PG-13. They don’t gloss over anything important, but they don’t push the boundaries enough either. So for the most part, The Glass Castle was only satisfying enough. I guess I’m just glad it got adapted.
Thelma & Louise is the story of two women on the run from the law. Thelma, a repressed married woman, and Louise, her risk taking best friend. Thelma & Louise is one of the best movies that star women. In fact, both Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon were nominated for Best Actress. So it definitely passes “The Bechdel Test” (look it up). The movie starts out innocent and fun, but quickly turns deadly serious. Causing the two ladies to go on the run. Along the way they run into a then unknown Brad Pitt. Then everything just goes downhill from there. Leading to a conclusion that, let’s just say, not every friend would be willing to do. Thelma & Louise is a must see for all women.
Orphan is all about accepting a new loved one into your family… until they go crazy and try to kill you. Though I haven’t seen The Bad Seed or The Good Son, Orphan captured my attention for featuring a child as the killer. The subject matter became controversial, but it’s not an anti-adoption movie. Despite mixed reviews, Orphan is disturbing and a little comedic with one of the best child actress performances I’ve ever seen. The 12 year old American Isabelle Fuhrman is brilliant as the mysterious artistic Eastonian orphan Esther.
Her performance is a combination of intelligence, innocence, and insanity when you realize something is very wrong with Esther. She’s adopted by a family who recently lost their unborn child. Vera Farmiga’s scream queen status arguably started with her equally committed performance as the suspicious mother Kate. Peter Sarsgaard is her clueless husband John, Jimmy Bennett is their unaccepting son Daniel, and Aryana Engineer is their adorable deaf daughter Max. CCH Pounder plays a misfortunate nun who helps in the adoption.
At first Esther just seems odd with her old fashioned dresses and neck ribbon, but you really start to suspect something when Esther plays piano like a professional and swears without hesitation. Furnham is especially entertaining when Esther drops her innocent act and openly threatens the family. The snowy setting is uncommon, but it helps Orphan stand out once the killing starts. Though underrated, it’s the very unexpected plot twist that really stands out. Kate learns the truth after digging for information about Esther’s past. I won’t give it away, but certain scenes become very uncomfortable when it’s revealed. You’ll never look at black light painting or the song “Glory of Love” the same way again. Orphan deserves a good home in horror history.
Preceded by: Orphan: First Kill
The Breakfast Club is the quintessential 80’s teen comedy. If by some insane reason you’ve never heard of The Breakfast Club, here’s what its about. A group of students have detention. With each of them fitting a different high school stereotype. Including a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. The entire movie takes place in one location with there only being about 7 characters in the whole movie. Every “Brat Pack” actor in the movie gives it their all. Delivering the performance of their careers. Just about every moment, piece of clothing, line of dialogue, or song is iconic. And in the end, it feels like a group therapy session. Now I’ve never had detention in my life, so I’m not sure what its like. But if its anything like The Breakfast Club, I would have been happy to have it. The Breakfast Club is a timeless classic and one of John Hughes all time best movies. Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.