Monday Movie Musings (with a few plays thrown in)

I thought I’d do a catch-up post on the media I have consumed in the past month or so!  I am still hoping to soon have a Ferragosto wrap-up post, as well as more information on the book that I’m reading for a book blog tour (sneak peak: so far I love the book!), but movie Mondays are pretty melodic, so here ya go.

Besides the movies and plays below, I finished watching Arrested Development seasons this summer and started catching up on Weeds.  I am going to jump into Breaking Bad, I think, or I’ll dive into Orange is the New Black.  So many choices.  I do not miss cable TV at all!  Just have to stay home and relax a little!

Here are my thoughts:

MacbethAs mentioned in a post about July, I saw Macbeth at the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN with good friend Cindy.  It was a performance by the summer interns, but wow.  I don’t know that I have seen much serious Shakespeare – usually I see the lighter stuff (typical me!) – and I really felt like I needed a massage when this was done!  How intense!  If you know me, you know that I like to branch off from things, so I need to read The Weird Sisters now.  Or someday.  My TBR pile is much too large.

The Way, Way Back – I really enjoyed this summer flick!  Steve Carell has a very different role and I loved Sam Rockwell in this movie – what a hoot!  I loved the 14 year old boy,  ahd love being reminded that my Satellite Sister Sheila proctored an exam for him on set of another movie!  It wasn’t all light-hearted, but a good picture of relationships between dating adults with children.  Not a positive or healthy picture, but an interesting view.  Really, Sam Rockwell was terrific!

“Don’t Tell My Wife!” – I saw this community theatre play in Zumbrota.  It was an original play and I had never been in this nice little theatre before!  A friend was directing it, so that’s why I made it a priority to go, and it was very fun.  There were pastry chefs trying to raise money as ‘ladies of the evening,” a wealthy man wanting to open a bakery, men at a tool convention, a frumpy secretary who gets a makeover, and a wife who is an adult Girl Scout leader.  I think that community theatre is often better when you know the people who are portraying the characters, but this was well done, which is what I expected. 🙂

When Did You Last See Your Father? (on Netflix) – Meh.  I had this forever before I finally put it in.  It was an adult son who is caring for his dying father and thinking back on their relationship.  Colin Firth was the draw, but it was not fun at all.  Remember me?  I prefer fun.

Lee Daniels‘ The Butler – Saw this on Monday with Jenni.  I didn’t know much about it going in, except that Oprah was in it and there were presidents.  It was a very enjoyable movie, even if it felt trite or heavy-handed in its message sometimes.  I loved the presidents: Robin Williams as Eisenhower, John Cusack as Nixon, James Marsden as JFK, Liev Schreiber as LBJ, and Alan Rickman as Reagan.  They were all amazing.  As were Forrest Whitaker, Oprah, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz and Terrence Howard.  I will read more about it, as they say it is “based on true events,” but it is mostly a fictionalized account.  Still good enough to recommend.

Blue Jasmine – I really liked this Woody Allen movie a lot!  I am a Woody Allen fan, as a rule, so it isn’t surprising to me that I enjoyed this.  Cate Blanchett was amazing and the story was a well-told glimpse into madness.  I sat throughout the entire movie wondering how it could ever end – and it was never predictable.  I love that in a movie.  I guess Cate Blanchett played Blanche Dubois on Broadway, and this is reminiscent of that role.  She is “dependent on the kindness” not of strangers, but of estranged family and has conflicts with her sister’s boyfriends and ex-husband.  So glad I caught this movie in the theatre.

The Sapphires  (on Netflix) – I wanted to see this when it came out and it never came to our neck of the woods.  That’s either a good sign or a bad sign.  This film has Chris O’Dowd (love him!) managing an Aboriginal girls’ singing group who tours Vietnam.  There were some overt messages which played into the plot – “white looking” Aboriginal children were often removed from their birth families and raised in white communities and the Civil RIghts movement and assassination of MLK were highlighted – and some of the plot points were predictable, but it was a fun little movie.  I wonder if a lot was cut out of it, because some of the relationships weren’t as flushed out as they could have been and you are left jumping to conclusions, but it was a good watch.

Have you seen any of the above?  Have any thoughts about them – or about anything you’ve seen lately?