Spanglish

Some people hate Adam Sandler’s attempts at dramatic acting. Although he is no Humphrey Bogart, he is actually surprisingly convincing as a serious actor (plus I like the dude anyway! Except for Waterboy) .

Spanglish is the tale of a young Mexican girl who comes to America with her mother, Flor. These two have made it on their own up to this point and Flor is adamant about keeping it that way. At the beginning of the movie she tells her daughter that she is only allowed to cry ONE tear and to make it count because it’s all she’s allowed. Flor is a strong woman and wants to pass the trait on to her daughter.

After several years in America, she gets a job as a housekeeper with the Clasky’s (Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni’) and that’s when the all the character flaws come to light.

Tea Leoni is despicable as Deborah Clasky, a former-advertising exec who was downsized (you saw the dialogue in the trailer! Double gulp!) and now spends her time running around the neighborhood and ignoring her family. Damn, I didn’t like her. James Brooks wrote her as a pretty real-life-type mom who is so caught up in herself that she doesn’t give anyone or anything else the time of day.

Adam Sandler plays John Clasky, an award-winning chef who is constantly at odds with Deborah over their children. His character was a pretty likeable guy and you can watch the storyline unfold and completely feel sympathetic to his feelings. He tones down his comedic stylings to bring to screen an aggravated, loving father who is at the end-of-his-rope with Deborah and her insensitivities (usually it’s the GUY who is portrayed in the bad light in marital-type films!)

In comes Flor (played by Paz Vega and totally in the front running for Dave’s Hump Island. Flor speaks no English and for the first little while of the movie, they all stumble around the language barriers.

When the Claskys move into a summer home, Flor is invited to come and she refuses. Come to find out, she’s got a daughter that she hadn’t told about before! Well, the daughter is invited along and Flor moves in with the Clasky’s. The cultural differences between the Claskys and the Morenos make for some friction, especially between the two mothers.

One last note; Cloris Leachman as Deborah’s alcohol-swilling mother was absolutely brilliant. That woman was a barrel-of-laughs and her character was very likeable AND hiliarious!

I don’t want to give much away (if I already did, I’m sorry!) but suffice it to say this was a great movie and worth a rental. The “Wif” is heading to Best Buy tonight and buying 1 copy for her grandmother and another for us, she liked it that much…..Head over to her blog and request her to write a review! She never posts much anymore and I told her that she should write a review if she liked it so much!!! He he he he…..

Forrest Gump

The weather yesterday in North Florida was so horrible that we decided to just stay in and watch movies all day. After the initial run to Blockbuster for a movie update, we didn’t leave the house again all day long.

On Saturday evening, during dinner with friends at Longhorn (usually a great place but the customer service was really bad this particular time. At least we got a free round of drinks ‘cause The Wif started out pissed off and by the time we were seated she had cooled off and I was out to rip somebody’s head off), the television at the bar was showing Forrest Gump. It’d been years since I watched the movie. I own it, but it’s pretty much been relegated to the annals of Dave’s DVDs. Seeing it up on the screen, we all started talking about it. How good it was and this conversation segued into another conversation about what movies we’d each cried in. The big ones? Big Fish (yeah, that was mine), Boyz N The Hood (my buddy swears he cried after Morris Chestnut gets shot in the alley) and several others. I remember that Forrest had made my eyes a bit wet when he was talking at the grave of someone close to him. Everyone agreed that the scene in question was definitely one to jerk some tears.

Anyway, on the “official” review stuff.

Forrest Gump is the tale of a Southern man who, although his IQ does not allow him to fully grasp his experiences, leads a serendipitous life thru several decades. His path crosses several historical figures including George Wallace, Lyndon B Johnson, John F Kennedy, and even John Lennon. During these decades, he makes good friends with Jenny and Bubba, never losing sight of his relationship with his Mama.

Forrest plays college football, serves in Vietnam, opens a shrimping company, and so many other things.

The movie is a great film and it’s unfortunate that several of the movies greatest lines, those of which were some of the films most meaningful, have become catch phrases and joke punchlines. “Run, Forrest run!” and “Life’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” spoken in the deep southern drawl that Tom Hanks speaks so well are the two lines that you can still hear to this day, 11 years after the movie was released in theatres.

We were talking last night about how perfect Forrest really is. His low IQ has left him with an almost child-like view of things. Almost completely unmuddled by adult reasoning, Forrest looks at life and sees all the good things in people, the simple things are the most important to him. Life gets so damn hectic and “angry” at times that we always forget how important it is to just be here and savor every minute you have with the people you love.

A great story about cherished moments and sacred friendships, Forrest Gump is definitely a movie worth sitting down and watching with someone you care about.

Garden State

If you’ve been coming here for any amount of time, you’ll know that I’m crazy for zombie movies, especially Shaun of the Dead, as of late. Shaun had me as excited as a schoolboy from the first time I’d heard of it (I am a huge fan of Spaced so I had high hopes) and it delivered in every area I had hoped. Well, that little preamble was just trying to give you an idea of how excited my wife was when she first heard of Garden State. She was a fan of NBC’s Scrubs and was intrigued by the idea that it’s main star, Zach Braff, could do a dramatic role. She googled the movie, she ate up all the articles she could find on the movie. She was ready for it to come out in July 30th. Unfortunately, (as was the case with Shaun in September) this highly advertised date was the “limited release”. Our son was due on the 27th of August so we were cutting it really close as far as movies go. The wide release, on August 20th, was when we were able to see it. The initial theatrical viewing was pretty powerful and it was everything that she wanted it to be. She was happy for the next week, like “high on life” happy.
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