AMWAM Review of Into the Woods

Into the Woods (2014)

Rating: PG

Run-time/Review Word Count: 124 Minutes/Words

Review: Fans of the original Broadway production and those who are familiar with  Brothers Grimm will likely find themselves spellbound, while some who are expecting Enchanted (2007) may be troubled by the dark themes of the musical. That being said, Disney did highlight the happier events at the beginning of the story (with some effect on pacing) as well as the moral of the film ( “be careful what you wish for”) in a way makes it more family –friendly than the stage show. The film’s visual beauty, superb music, and fantastic acting (MERYL) make it a must see for anyone who appreciates a little fantasy and drama.  Warning: The repeating melodies will be stuck in your head, but the complicated lyrics may leave you tongue-tied.

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AMWAM Review of Magic in the Moonlight

Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

Rating: PG-13

Run-time/Word Count: 97 Minutes/Words

Review: Which is most charming: the timeless Colin Firth, the fresh and vibrant Emma MV5BMTQ3NDY5NjIwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQ2ODkxMjE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_Stone, or a French-country setting in the 1920s? It’s hard call to make in this classically whimsical Woody Allen film. Luckily, the three complement each other in a way that is…well…charming. Magic in the Moonlight is listed as a “romantic comedy,” but it doesn’t quite fit into that genre. If you’re expecting “chick flick” then you might be disappointed. However, it is magical, eccentric and refreshing…Sort of like you went to a Gatsby party but knew when to leave. Frankly? I loved it.

AMWAM Review of The Giver

The Giver (2014)

Rating: PG-13

Run-time/Word Count: 97 Minutes/Words

Review: What may seMV5BMTY1MTIxMjg2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjUyNzgwMjE@._V1_SX214_AL_em to copy Recently-Popular- YA-Dystopian Lit-Based-Films is actually based on Lois Lowry’s book which preceeded Hunger Games or Divergent by twentyish years.  The casting is mostly well-done: Jeff Bridges is empathy-stirring as the exhausted Giver, Brenton Thwaites is innocent and passionate as Jonas, Katie Holmes is surprisingly believable as “stoic, creepy mom,” and Meryl Streep has weird bangs.

If you’ve read the book, don’t be deterred by the full-color movie trailer with high action shots: the film actually does follow it pretty closely.  With more heart than you’d expect, this book-based flick is worth seeing.

AMWAM Review of Left Behind

Left Behind (2014)

Rating: PG-13

Run-time/Word Count: 110 Minutes/Words

Review: A completely nonsensical remake that vaguely resembles the source material. It’s poorly acted, with Nicholas Cage being the only exception. What exactly is a big name actor like Nicholas Cage doing in this film anyway? The tone of the film fluctuates greatly between horror, thriller, and disaster all while conveying a heavy-handed sunday church message. The actual moment of rapture is both shocking and hilarious. Christian pilots apparently had a meeting and decided not to use autopilot that day because planes start magically falling from the sky in the moments following. Towards the end, the film dwindles into an airplane disaster movie as Cage has to try to safely land.

-Dane 

Introducing Something New: AMWAM Film Reviews!

Introducing AMWAM (As Many Words As Minutes) Film Reviews

The idea for this concept came about on New Years Eve when my husband and I raided the local Redbox for our New Year’s Party of Two (Yes, we are wild). Normally, we dress up, make some kind of fancy dinner, dance and have some champagne at home followed by a late-night movie. Well, this year I am pregnant and our fridge was broken, so I got some low-prep appetizers and ingredients for mock-champagne (will post on my food section) along with three movies of 2014 that we hadn’t seen: The Giver, Left Behind (the remake) and Magic in the Moonlight.
It had been awhile since I had a movie marathon, and the contrast between these diverse films (and our enjoyment of them) left me wanting to share about with friends and on my blog. However, I also wanted to keep it short and to the point. Movie reviews can be kind of daunting without a word limit. Too much pressure often means it doesn’t happen! So I had a thought: Why not make the word limit the same as the number of minutes in each film? Thus, I give you, AMWAM (pro-nounced “Am-Wham”) Movie Reviews. These will include my brief, honest, and non-spoilery opinion to help you in your film-choosing. Keep an eye out for my AMWAM Reviews of movies recently released at theatres, Redbox or even Netflix!