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Movie Surprises: Four Films We Loved

Over the last six months, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some movies I’ve seen. I didn’t have huge expectations of these films, possibly because I did not research them heavily. Perhaps it helps not to know about the latest and greatest.

Regardless, I was very pleasantly surprised. These films got two thumbs up and I would recommend them for any date night. Just make sure you have a kleenex handy.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – I’m not a huge fan of Brad Pitt. However, he is an amazing actor and did quite the performance in this movie. I don’t want to say much because it might ruin it. And it’s a good ride, this movie. While there may be situations and language that would make some uncomfortable, the film has depth. I didn’t think much was “gratuitous.” And yes, the concept of the film is a little odd… he starts out old and grows young? But, it works. And it really made me value my husband more, especially in light of the Robert Browning quote, “Grow old with me. The best is yet to be.” This story has it all: birth, love, life, aging, forgiveness, and death.

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets – In a totally different league from Benjamin Button, I appreciated the adventure, pacing, and mystery of the sequel to the original National Treasure. In fact, I prefer this film over the first one. We watched this film as a family. And while I don’t remember every situation, I felt comfortable letting my kids watch it. It fit in well with our study of The Civil War, despite any historical inconsistencies there might be. And the character Riley always makes us laugh.

Marley and Me – Based on the trailers, we assumed this movie was just another dog movie full of slapstick that would make the kids laugh. We were wrong. It’s not really for kids. But it is for parents. It is a wonderful story of growing up and growing old and learning and loving and laughing.  Jennifer Aniston does a remarkable job as a mom learning to roll with the punches. Oh my! Did I feel her pain. And, seeing as she hasn’t yet walked that path in real life, I am extra impressed with her ability to be a real mom on film. I was very pleasantly surprised with this movie, even if the kids were bored. Save it for date night.

The Blind Side – You know we love ourselves some football around here. But, to be honest, I had no clue who Michael Oher was. Hubs and FishBoy12 did, of course. The movie is based on his real life story, which is remarkable. We watched this film as a family and absolutely loved it. And, can I just say Sandra Bullock does a fantastic job? (I suppose you didn’t need me to say that since she won an Academy Award, but still.) Wow! I wished I walked around with that much confidence and attitude.

As lazy days and summer movie nights roll around, you may be looking for a good flick. I give these films the FishMama Stamp of Approval. All have humor, depth, love, and tell a good story.

Seen any good movies lately?

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Comments

  1. The National Treasure movies are some of our favorites too. So fun to follow the story line, even if it’s fiction :)

  2. I really want BlindSide to be instant View on Netflix. Computer is the only way we can watch movies.

    Fireproof was good too. I was hestiant about CCofBB cause Brad Pitt just doesnt do a whole lot for me. I like Oceans 11 (No cant recommend it but I like it ;)) but I really dont think I have seen anything else I really like.

    Like National Treasure. First one was better but this was fun. Riley is still my favorite. ;)

    Never heard about Marley & Me. Hmmm. :D

  3. I love the National Treasure movies too! I also like Marley and me. I have Blindside on my list of “to watch”. I did not like Benjamin Button however, but that said I did not watch the whole thing. I watched about 30 min. If a movie does not interest me by that time (1/4-1/3 of the way through for most movies) it gets turned off. I don’t have time to waste on a movie I don’t like!

    Just so you know you can get a free redbox code for June 21 if you “like” them on facebook.

  4. Oh I have seen all 4 of these movies! Love them all. I was the same with Marley and me thinking it was a comedy. But it is a great story once you stop waiting for the jokes.

    I would also recommend some oldies for a family movie night! Goonies – One of my faves! There is some swearing and “scary” parts. Back to The Future Trilogy – So much fun! First movie has shooting in it and the odd swear word(it such a shame because the rest of the movie is so great!)

    For Date Night a good one is Thomas Crown Affair with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. 1999 film which is so much fun to watch. One of my absolute Favorites! As well as The Painted Veil with Edward Norton and Naomi Watts? 2007 film about lost love. It really moved me to watch!

  5. Ben Button had some good elements but Rick and I both were a little too weirded out when we watched it.
    Marley & Me was so sweet and it made me cry, and I don’t ususally cry over dogs.
    My latest fav is Letters To Juliet. I’m just happy to see a good Chick flick in the theater again…it’s been a while.
    Blogged about it too:
    http://whatsupwithusnow.blogspot.com/2010/05/letters-to-juliet-sensory-packed.html

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Yes, it’s kinda weird. But, I appreciated the depth of it. I’m hearing lots of things about Letters to Juliet. I know nothing about it, so I better not read your post. ;)

  6. Loved the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Made me and the hubs bawl, though! : )

  7. The Blind Side is one of our latest favorite movies. I loved it! The comment at the very end when they are leaving threw me for a loop, but other than that I loved it! So did all my kids ages 8-15. Another one we recently discovered that was a hit was Bandslam! Check it out, you may love it too!

  8. Michelle K says:

    You’ve just inspired me to stop by RedBox tonight and get a movie. Plus I’m bringing home a free pizza and a bunch of pasta from work today! Now, that’s an inexpensive evening with my hubby!

  9. cathi carpenter says:

    We just rented Blind Side tonight, but we have seen the other three. Our 8 year old was FASCINATED by Benjamin Button! And STILL talks about it…. We just saw The Tooth Fairy last night…my husband who is NOT a movie buff, laughed and really enjoyed it! We just checked out Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief at our “cheapie” show….AWESOME and a great way for kids today to understand that whole mythology thing! Julie and Julia was another my son loved…he thought it was so cool that it was a “for real” story about to “for real” women!

  10. If you are up for going to the theater Letters to Juliet was simply FABULOUS!!! Clean, romantic, heartwarming, funny, sweet, charming… I could go on…

  11. Loved those movies too, I still want to see The Blindside, it’s been recommended to me several times. Thanks!

  12. I LOVED The Blind Side! We thought it would just be another inspiring football movie (don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for those sports movies), but it was so great! I didn’t once feel like I was watching “just another movie.”

  13. I’m going to have to see about getting Benjamin Button. It sounds like a great one to watch. We love the National Treasure movies! :D
    We just watched Hachi last night. Awesome movie and based on a true story , too! :D

  14. I loved Marley and Me. It is based on true story. Read the book. It’s much better, though the movie did a good job.

    Blind Side, I really want to watch it but I feel the need to read the book first … but I’ve yet to get the book.

    National Treasure – I was surprised to like the first one… so I will probably rent the second one eventually. Though it is one of those kinds of movies I groan about watching but end up watching it if it’s on tv or my husband watched and I would watch with him.

    Benjamin Button, I have been kind of avoiding this movie. I think because it is Brad Pitt that plays him. I know not much about the movie other than that he starts off old and becomes younger as he gets older. So when I heard it was about an ugly old baby that grew up into Brad Pitt… that kinda ruined it for me. Even though I don’t think Brad Pitt is anything special as far as “hotness” goes… If it had been another more average looking actor, maybe I’d be more inclined to watch it. But I keep hearing so much good about it that I’m starting to want to watch it.

  15. Can’t believe you didn’t include Julie and Julia… one of the best this year!! My husband and I both enjoyed Crazy Heart and Up in the Air but wouldn’t recommend them for kids.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Can’t include a movie I haven’t seen. ;) You’ll have to sell me on it, though. I thought the book was pretty raunchy in terms of language and her tales of teen exploits. I couldn’t get past chapter 4. I’ve heard the movie was cleaned up, but can’t get past it in my mind, I guess.

  16. The Frog Princess(in Redbox) from Disney is jazzy and orginal for kids and parents!! My 4 year old son and 34 year old hubby loved it!!

  17. Kirstin says:

    I just saw The Painted Veil (recommended by Angie) and enjoyed the thought-provoking story and scenery in China. Naomi Watts is great in it. Now I want to read the book, which I understand has some significant differences.

    Also, I recently rented Hachi: A Dog’s Tale from a redbox. The movie stars Richard Gere, Joan Allen, and Jason Alexander, in the story of a college professor who takes home a lost Akita puppy. I loved it. It’s rated G, but kids might find it a little slow.

  18. My most recent favorites were Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story and Little Dorrit. Based on other movies you have chosen to mention, I think you would enjoy both of these.

  19. I have seen 3 out of those 4 movies in the last few months as well. I also enjoyed all of them. I’m going to add Marley and Me to our Netflix cue. I think I had the wrong idea about that one too.

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