Friends With Benefits Movie Review



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Review:

Saw this with my husband on “date night” without especially high expectations, but ended up really enjoying it. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis had great chemistry and the script was crackling with energy and banter. Even the raunchy parts were kind of cute, thanks to some realistic awkwardness.

My rating: (4 / 5)

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Eleanor & Park Book Review



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Review:

A fairly angsty teen romance between an Irish/Korean boy and an overweight redhead with a bad family situation, set in a working class neighborhood in Omaha in the 80s. Beautifully written, and I thought it did a good job of capturing the intensity of young love, and the teen years in general.

My rating: (4 / 5)

Singin’ in the Rain Movie Review



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Review:

Before I watched this movie, pretty much the only thing I knew about it was the iconic titular scene, so I knew the singing and dancing were going to be amazing, but I expected the plot to be some sort of corny romance.

I was therefore very pleasantly surprised to discover that much of the movie was actually taken up by a hilarious plot about the bumpy transition from silent films to “talking pictures.” Really the only thing I didn’t like was the strange “Broadway Melody” sequence, which had great dancing courtesy of the legendary Cyd Charisse, but was just kind of weird and out of place.

My rating: (4 / 5)

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The Phantom of the Opera (2005) Movie Review

The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Actors: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver
Director: Joel Schumacher
Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC
Language:
Subtitles:
Studio: WarnerBrothers
Running Time: 141 minutes

List Price: $5.97
Price: $3.95
107 offers available from $1.43
4.6 out of 5 stars (3581)

Review:

As a longtime “phan,” I was pretty excited about this film, but I’m sad to say it disappointed me. Though visually stunning (the opening scene when the theater is restored to former glory was particularly breathtaking), the vocals were not up to par, especially Gerard Butler as the Phantom, whose voice was gravelly rather than seductive and bore no resemblance to anything that might be realistically mistaken for the voice of an angel. There were also some alterations to the plot that managed to be both pointless and stupid, and I can’t get over the awfulness of Butler’s makeup, which resembled a bad sunburn or case of hives more than a terrifying deformity.

phantomdeformity

Oh well.

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My rating: (2 / 5)

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Stardust Movie Review



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Review:

I saw Stardust for the first time without realizing that it was an adaptation of one of Neil Gaiman’s novels and didn’t really know what to expect. It charmed me completely with its blend of action, humor, romance, and high fantasy and is now a favorite. I’m really amazed that it wasn’t a bigger hit, and consider it one of the most under-rated fantasy films I’ve ever seen.

My rating: (4 / 5)

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10 Things I Hate About You Movie Review



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Review:

It doesn’t attain the heights of Mean Girls, but this is an unusually smart and highly entertaining teen movie, loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

My rating: (3.5 / 5)

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Les Grandes Chaleurs (Heat Wave) Movie Review



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Review:

This is a French-Canadian film about a middle-aged social worker whose husband confesses on his deathbed that he’s been involved in a long-term love affair. A few days after this crushing revelation, one of her former clients, a troubled young man younger than her own children, confesses his love for her, and she begins a passionate affair with him.

My husband and I are big fans of Francois Arnaud, who plays the May in this May-December romance, thanks to his great work on The Borgias. We weren’t sure what to expect with this film, but it turned out to be funny and charming, with a very good script (or at least, very good subtitles). The ending was a little contrived and I had trouble suspending disbelief, but all in all, it was a very entertaining and enjoyable film.

My rating: (4 / 5)

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You’ve Got Mail Movie Review



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Review:

A smart and charming update of The Shop Around the Corner that benefits from the great chemistry between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. As a confirmed hick, this film is also to be commended for accomplishing the rare task of making me want to visit New York.

My rating: (4 / 5)

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Austenland Book Review



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Review:

I didn’t much like the movie based on this book, but I decided to give the book a chance because I almost always like a book better than its movie. Austenland proved no exception. I still felt the characterization was shallow and overly convenient, but the book made better use of the fun premise and the secondary characters were no longer reduced to ridiculous caricatures, which was a huge relief and made the whole thing make much more sense. 

My rating: (3 / 5)

 

Lost in Austen



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Review:

A fun and entertaining, though sometimes contrived, miniseries about a modern Austen fan who accidentally switches places with Elizabeth Bennet, and soon finds that the story she knows and loves isn’t behaving exactly as it’s supposed to. Wondering how everything will manage to get straightened up will keep Austen fans like me glued to their seats, and even my husband (a much more casual fan) enjoyed it a lot.

My rating: (3 / 5)

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