Sunday, May 20, 2012

OMG, You Have GOT To See...

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Our guest blog and discussion of Gothics yesterday made me think of DARK SHADOWS, the Tim Burton remake of the classic low-budget gothic soap opera of the sixties. I was really hoping, when the remake was announced, that the new version would be an homage to the spooky sudser I remember from my childhood. Imagine the waves crashing below Collinswood in full color and Dolby Sensuround! Imagine the witches, vampires and werewolves in the age of seamless CGI! Alas, Burton went with a comical parody. Ross and Youngest are all hepped up to go, but I'm reluctant.

But this is the season of movies. Wave after wave of cinematic would-be-blockbusters are about to hit (or have already landed) in the theaters. Lots of explosion-heavy special effects flicks, several of what I'm calling geezer films, the usual horror movies and a few (of what appears to me to be) lackluster rom-coms.

What have you seen lately at the local Roxie, Reds? What are you looking forward to catching during the summer movie season? And can anything between now and Labor Day equal the glory that is THE AVENGERS?

RHYS BOWEN: I really don't go to see blockbusters. For one thing the sounds is always too loud and I just get sensory overload. I'm looking forward to seeing the new Exotic Marigold Hotel about India with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and a stellar British cast. As soon as I can sit in a movie seat for long enough without having to move around every few minutes.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: We don't tend to get out to the movies very often.  We have a big flat screen TV in our living room with surround sound, along with every techno-gadget imaginable (my hubby used to install professional audio systems.) So most of the time we wait until things come out on DVD or are available streaming. The last three weekends we've seen, Hugo, MI Ghost Protocol, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and War Horse, all of which I loved for completely different reasons.

The last two movies I actually went to see in the theater were the second Sherlock Holmes, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.I love Johnny Depp but think I can wait to see Dark Shadows on DVD. On the big screen, like Rhys, I want to see Marigold Hotel, but I really, really want to see The Avengers. I'm a big action movie/blow out/blow up junkie.  There. I've admitted it.

JULIA: Don't be ashamed, Deb. My English-major Smithie told me the next movie she was dying to see was BATTLESHIP. "Liam Neeson, Rihanna, and explosions as far as the eye can see! What's not to love?"


ROSEMARY HARRIS: I'm making a conscious effort to get hubby to the movies. I love to go but we never seem to have the time. I haven't seen the Poe movie or Dark Shadows yet but plan to. I have seen the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - great cast and lots of lovely moments. also saw Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Charming...reminded me of Local Hero.

I have just wrested control of the Netflix queue from my husband after he left me - alone - with Rise of the Planet of the Apes when he went to walk the dog. I suppose it's possible that it got better but I prefer to see Helena Bonham Carter in a corset, not a monkey suit.


 HALLIE EPHRON: The last movie I saw in a movie theater was The Muppets. Which I LOVED. So sweet and sappy, really a delight for anyone who loves Miss Piggy and the tropes (Let's put on a show!) of old movies; and I missed "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" from the folks who bring us "Wallace and Gromit." I do want to see Dark Shadows. Not The Avengers. Otherwise, like fellow Reds, I watch movies at home.

JULIA: Hallie, I'm going to show you the most significant reason you should see THE AVENGERS:

 How about you, dear readers? What's on your must-see list this summer? What are going to avoid at all cost? And what have you seen that we all should see?


  1. Okay, I admit it: We saw every STAR WARS epic the moment they hit the big screen . . . we never missed a STAR TREK film . . . we even forgave the filmmakers for not remaining true to the book for JURASSIC PARK. These days, however, we seldom find ourselves heading out to the movie theatre to check out the current crop of pictures. [Oh, for the days of classic Hollywood film noir . . . or screwball comedy . . . or Gene Kelly dancing through the legendary SINGING IN THE RAIN . . . but, I digress.]
    No plans to see DARK SHADOWS as the “never trust the new version to be what it should be” lesson was learned when the big screen remake of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE made Jim Phelps the bad guy . . . . Overall, a well-done action movie, I suppose, if you’d never seen the series, but a HUGE disappointment when the writers failed to remain true to the characters viewers knew and loved from the series. Took the small ones to see DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX [which they enjoyed] but overall it was too Hollywood-kitschy and there were far too few true-to-the-book moments for me . . . . guess I’ll skip the movie theatre this summer and hit the library instead.

  2. Oh, Hallie, you didn't miss anything not seeing The Pirates!: band of Misfits. We saw it and it was VERY disappointing.

  3. If you liked the book, rent AN UNFINISHED LIFE. If you didn't read the book, even better. A great story, a great movie.

  4. I agree about the sound and sensory overload. Can't take it. We have a Smart TV and watch movies at home!!

  5. Really, Aimee? Oh, dear.

    Joan, I loved the Star Trek movies but after the third Star Wars movie (SO badly written) I swore off that series.

    For the umpteenth time I watched Arsenic and Old Lace last night. Brilliant script, and I'll take a bug-eyed Cary Grant any day over what's his name's derriere. But I see the allure, Julia.

  6. I want to see Men In Black III.

  7. I take it that's Jeremy Renner's behind, Julia? Yes, very enticing. I like him a lot, but am not sure I can deal with anyone except Matt Damon in a Bourne movie...

    Oh, yeah, and I want to see Battleship, too:-)

  8. We only get out to movies anymore around Christmas when all the kids are in town and we'll do one or two family outings. Only rarely do we go otherwise. (Which is kind of sad for Ben, who has a Ph.D. in theater and film.)

    Part of it is the general quality of movies now (or lack thereof), part is the sensory overload, but the biggest part is that I have a hard time sitting in one position for two hours or so without getting up and moving around a little.

    Back in the day, we saw most of the Star Trek movies, but gave up on Star Wars after the first trilogy. More recently, the Lord of the Rings movies were Christmas family events, and I'm really looking forward to The Hobbit.

  9. I'm in the Harrisburg PA airport and out the window I can see the towers of three mile island . It seems so weird ! And fascinating.

    Going to movies? Oh we used to all the time, ah yes. , I remember it well. These days its rare--so sad. We DID go to the helen Mirren thriller --Debt of.. Something?
    Which was pretty least at the movies I don't fall asleep. Unlike on the couch...

  10. Looked up Marigold Hotel and even though there is an indie theater about 25 miles away, not showing. Very limited in Tiny Town, Shenandoah Valley. Would have to drive to DC or Richmond.

    Last movie I saw was Hunger Games with my middle niece. She and I both read the trilogy and loved it. Movie was very good and as true to the book as they could make it in the time allowed.

    I may have to see The Avengers simply to give support to Joss Whedon, the man who created one of the great all time kick-ass girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Not much else I'm interested in right now. Meh...

  11. We saw The Avengers on Wednesday night. We've seen all the Marvel comics movies. Loved loved loved it! Stay through the entire credits for two short extra scenes. Robert Downey Jr. is one of my top three actors; I adore him. Captain America guy is just pretty. Thor has muscles that don't end. Jeremy Renner does archery so some nice arms there too. Really, this is a chick flick.

  12. I did see "the Hunger Games" after reading the trilogy (very impressed with Suzanne Collins's writing, I must say) and just saw "Battleship". I took my 9 year old with 5 of his friends for his birthday. Loved it...but then I am a movie person. I LOOOVE going to the movies, and getting popcorn, and soda, and eating myself sick, while this great show goes on in front of me...hope tp see "The Avengers" but my husband went with my 13 year old, and he was not impressed.
    Can't WAIT to see "Dark Shadows"

  13. I think I would watch Dame Judith read the phone book. That's the movie I am looking forward to seeing.
    The last one we saw at a theater was taking two of the youngest grands to Kung Fu Panda...cute.

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  15. I was so excited to hear about the Dark Shadows movie. I have fond memories of running home from school everyday to catch the latest episode. And now, Dark Shadows, the movie, and Johnny Depp. What's not to love? Then I saw a preview, and ugh...

    Interestingly, I introduced my children to the original Dark Shadows when it was on some obscure cabel channel, or perhaps Netflix. I can't say they were impressed. It took forever for Barnabas to bite somebody.

    It reminds me of the differences in books today. Once upon a time, there was time for atmosphere. Today, the expectation is that attention must be grabbed in the first paragraph, if not the first sentence. Apparently, it's the same with Dark Shadows.

  16. Julia, I have seen the Avengers twice. I love archers (my dh is one), but Captain America is my favorite. Chris Evans did a great job of playing a displaced hero. Yes, it's a blockbuster, but I thought the script was well written.