Traveling – A Movie Review

I have just returned from 12 days away on business, which involved eight flights.

Yes, you read that right. EIGHT. With that many flights and about 24 hours of flying time yesterday alone, even with sleeping and being sick, I had a LOT of time to catch up on movies.

Since I’m not a big moviegoer, flights are a great time to catch up on the movies that I’ve wanted to see, but missed. So I thought I’d share with you a brief rundown on the movies I saw, and which ones I’d recommend:

  • The Descendants: Admittedly, I’m not a big George Clooney fan. I used to be, until I realized that in every movie, he played the same character – himself. But in the Descendants, he finally breaks out of his lovable cad role with a beautiful performance. The movie is sad and moving, and definitely worth a watch.
  • New Year’s Eve: This is the US’s version of Love Actually. You know, after the US tried to re-do Love Actually with Valentine’s Day. And despite the fact that it’s definitely not as good (Love Actually is my all-time favorite movie, because I’m a romantic sap), it’s still very good. And even many of the minor roles are played by well-known celebrities. It’s funny, touching, sad, and inspiring. A good plane movie (although if you’re embarrassed to cry in public, keep that in mind – same with The Descendants).
  • Cowboys & Aliens: Now, you know I love me some Daniel Craig. So I was always going to watch this movie. But it’s just as good as you’d imagine it to be, which is not at all. My dad and I are big fans of disaster movies that are so bad that they’re funny, but this couldn’t even go into that category. It’s only worth it if you love Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. And maybe not even then.
  • The Adventures of Tin Tin: I flat out loved this movie. I know it’s designed for kids, but the animation is so beautiful, it’s as if the characters are played by real actors. The plot is good, the characters plucky and humorous, and there’s a cute canine sidekick. This movie isn’t just for kids. Plus, Daniel Craig does one of the voices.
  • The Muppets: This is another movie I just adored. I’ve always been a big Muppets fan, and this movie is perfect for those of us who grew up with the Muppets and have been wondering where they’ve gotten to. The premise is that Jason Segal’s character’s brother (who is a Muppet himself), goes to see the Muppet studios, only to find them decrepit and up for sale to a sneaky oil baron who wants to tear them down to drill for oil. He rallies the Muppets into putting on one more show to try to raise money to save the theater. It’s heartwarming to see some of my childhood favorites get back together (even if some of the voices are not the same). This movie might even be more for adults than kids – I loved every minute of it.
  • One Day: I wanted to love this movie, I really did. I remember watching the previews for it, and thinking it could be a favorite of mine – I think Anne Hathaway is great, and it seemed to be a unique storyline. But the movie ended up being terrifically sad in a heart-wrenching way, and I wasn’t happy with the way they jumped from year to year, covering the two main characters’ relationship. It’s not a movie to avoid, but I certainly wouldn’t seek it out.
  • Contagion: Unfortunately, Contagion was terrible. Unless you have a burning desire to watch Gwyneth Paltrow die from a mystery disease within the first five minutes (hey, some people would!), it’s far too predictable – someone gets sick and dies, the disease spreads as the CDC and WHO try to figure out where it came from and how to cure it, someone figures out how to cure it, they vaccinate everyone and save the day. The end. I mean, seriously? It’s a shame because there are some great actors in the movie, but I recommend NOT seeing this one.
  • Crazy, Stupid Love: This movie was beautiful and unexpected. I thought I knew what to expect from the commercials, but there were a few twists that surprised me, and kept me interested. Ryan Gosling is adorable, and Steve Carell is fantastic. I wouldn’t classify this as an Oscar-worthy film or anything, but it’s very cute.
  • Johnny English Reborn: If you have an English sense of humor, which I tend to, this is an excellent and hilarious movie. I laughed out loud throughout the entire movie – fairly embarrassing when you’re traveling on a plane! The first Johnny English movie was okay, but this one was truly hysterical. I’d definitely watch it again.

Since I’m traveling by plane twice more this month alone, I may even be able to watch a few more…J. Edgar is on my list of “to watch” along with the second half of “I Don’t Know How She Does it.”

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