Author: Shanna Wilson

The Lone Ranger

The latest movie vying for the number one spot as a summer blockbuster is The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer.  Directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the same team that brought you Pirates of the Caribbean, this film has seen its share of the bad reviews from many critics who have hated this movie.  Given it no more than one star for example, but as for someone who just got out of seeing the movie, I have to say that these critics are taking themselves and this movie way too seriously.  Now admittedly I am a die hard Pirates of the Caribbean fan and to me Johnny Depp can do no wrong, but this is a good movie, not a Man of Steel or a Star Trek Into Darkness, but it is a solid movie nonetheless.  Not only does Johnny Depp not over act, but I think that he is pitch perfect as the Lone Ranger’s sidekick Tonto.  He is inventive and hilarious and shows that he can play any part you put in front of him.  Depp totally rules, Tonto is right up there with Captain Jack Sparrow.  Armie Hammer is a relative newcomer, but plays his part beautifully as the Lone Ranger.  He personifies all the good that makes the Lone Ranger the hero that he is.  His good looks and...

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Parental Guidance

One of the greatest aspects of being a kid is hanging out with your grandparents.  They are supposed to spoil their grandchildren and then send them back home to the mother and father.  In the latest family comedy to be released by 20th Century Fox, Parental Guidance focuses on a family who has a dysfunctional relationship with their grandparents.  Mother Alice and father Phil have modern family that relies on the new philosophies of parenthood while grandparents Artie and Diane feel that the old school ways are best.  When Alice and Phil need to go out of town for a prestigious event, they have no choice but to invite Artie and Diane to their home to baby sit their three children.  Alice, with her husband, has developed a parenting style that is in complete opposite to that of her own parents. The clash of these two different styles causes conflict and in some cases moments of great laughter as this family learns to accept and respect the way the other does things.  Will this family be able to put aside their differences and compromise with each other to make their relationship work? Parental Guidance is a great family movie that has no vulgarity or profanity and is a movie that the multi-generation family will love to watch together.  It has something for everyone.  The highlight of this movie is...

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Life of Pi

Based on Canadian writer Yann Martel’s book of the same name, Life of Pi tells the dramatic and thrilling story of a young Indian man who finds himself a castaway after the sinking of the freighter he was traveling on with his family.  Accompanying the family on the Japanese freighter is a menagerie of exotic animals that were all apart of the family’s zoo before being sold in Canada.  Pi, the younger of two sons, finds himself on an adventure of a lifetime after being one of the only survivors of the sinking.  With only a lifeboat and minimal survival supplies at his disposal, Pi is set adrift on the seas surviving the sinking with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, a rat, and a tiger.  Set adrift on the vastness of the ocean “survival of the fittest” comes into play and Pi becomes trapped with the head of the food chain, a Bengal tiger curiously named Richard Parker.  For 227 days Pi and Richard Parker must learn how to survive the harshness of the conditions they find themselves in.  Not only must they learn to survive, but they also must learn to live together.  Obstacle after life threatening obstacle presents problems for the two castaways.  Pi wrestles not only with the physical and mental issues of the situation, but also with the spiritual issues as well.  A student...

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Les Miserables

In the latest Broadway musical to be converted to the big screen, Les Miserables takes place in nineteenth-century France around the time of the French Revolution.  It tells the story of a group of characters that are trying to live their lives in this difficult time.  First there is the man Jean Valjean, who after spending most of his life in prison, has been hunted for decades by the police officer Javert.  Valjean has been living under an assumed name in an attempt to hide from the law after being paroled.  He has transformed himself from a thief to a wealthy pillar of the community.  Always having to live in fear of discovery, Valjean and Javert cross paths again when Javert is assigned to the police station in Valjean’s town.  Unrecognizable to his pursuer, Valjean is able to continue his charade and this is when he meets a former factory worker turned prostitute named Fantine who is trying to provide for her young daughter.  Upon her deathbed, Valjean promises Fantine that he will take care of her daughter Cosette.  Little does he know how his life will change upon adopting the young girl while still trying to evade the law. Directed by Tom Hooper, Les Miserables is unlike any other musical brought to film.  Instead of pre-recording the songs in a studio, Hooper allowed his actors to perform their...

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Since I was a young girl I have looked up and idolized our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, so when I heard that Steven Spielberg was making a movie about the president, I was overly cautious and suspicious that Hollywood could not do him the justice that he deserves.  Not that I think that Spielberg is a bad director or that Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Lincoln, are not excellent members of their craft, I think just the opposite.  I just wasn’t sure that they could present my hero in the manner or esteem that I hold this man and could, in the end, tarnish the man that I hold so dear.  But I went to Lincoln with my father who also loves Lincoln the man and is an even bigger critic than I am.  I have to say that at first I was dead set against liking this movie too fast, but as scene after scene progressed, the Spielberg and Day-Lewis treatment won me over a little more than the scene before.  Lincoln is an amazing movie about a particularly challenging time in the president’s life, when he tried to get the 13th amendment passed through Congress that declared slavery illegal. At a time when they nation was divided during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln finds himself in the position where he wants the nation to be reunited but he...

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