Posted by: Sally Ingraham | March 2, 2011

Movie Mayhem: February

February began in the proper fashion, movie-wise. I watched Groundhog Day (Dir. Harold Ramis. Writ. Danny Ruben and Harold Ramis. Stars Bill Murray, and Andie MacDowell. USA, 1993) on Groundhog Day, and was once again tickled by Bill Murray’s antics and revelations. Then I spent some time catching up on new releases and watching the breakfast and coffee-length Wallace and Gromit movies. After SF36 it took me a few days to have any interest in watching movies, but I finished out the month with a few good ones.

The New (to DVD) Releases:

RedDir. Robert Schwentke. Writ. Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber. Stars Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and Karl Urban. USA, 2010.
I think I’ve mentioned many times that I’m a sucker for an all-star cast. This movie has half a dozen of my favorite big Hollywood names, but fortunately it also has an amusing and energetic plot. It’s always fun when retired black-ops agents get their butts back into gear and fight off the baddies! Especially when they do it with the “yippy ki-aye” of Willis and the melt-you-in-your-shoes style of Mirren. There were some stellar camera sequences in this too – all in all, a fun, slick flick.

murdockThe A-TeamDir. Joe Carnahan. Writ. Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom, and Skip Woods. Stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. USA, 2010.
Another pretty cast, and a rip-roaring and ridiculous plot. A group of Iraq war vets with a superior skill set seek to clear their name after being framed for a crime. Sharlto Copley is particularly fun as nutty Captain H. M. Murdock (although I had a few unavoidable flashbacks to District 9).

Knight and DayDir. James Mangold. Writ. Patrick O’Neill. Stars Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz. USA, 2010.
I love to hate Tom Cruise, but he’s often decent in secret agent roles – especially ones where he’s a bit batty. He’s plenty batty in this as a secret agent on the run from his own agency, who believe he’s gone rogue. Pretty mechanic June gets tangled up in his schemes and they both struggle (comically) to stay alive and save the day. I love to hate Cameron Diaz too, but she is also quite good in this and the pair of them make for some rollicking entertainment.

UnstoppableDir. Tony Scott. Writ. Mark Bomback. Stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, and Rosario Dawson. USA, 2010.
How do you stop a runaway train that is carrying toxic gases and is barreling at 80 mph toward Stanton, PA and it’s elevated curve? That’s the question of the day in this film, which is roughly based on a true story. The solution is obviously to have an aging railroad veteran and a young rookie go to the rescue. In Tony Scott’s hands this story is Very. Intense. of course, but also pretty interesting, and heck – it’s about trains, which are cool and not as overused as other blockbuster plot ploys. Decent stuff.

The Wallace and Gromit‘s:

wallace and gromitHow can you go wrong with one of history’s most endearing and hilarious a-man-and-his-dog pairs? Wallace and Gromit in A Matter of Loaf and Death (Dir. Nick Park. Writ. Nick Park and Bob Baker. Stars Peter Sallis and Sally Lindsay. UK, 2008), Wallace and Gromit in A Close Shave (Dir. Nick Park. Writ. Nick Park and Bob Baker. Stars Peter Sallis and Anne Reid. UK, 1995), and A Grand Day Out With Wallace and Gromit (Writ. & Dir. Nick Park. Stars Peter Sallis. UK, 1989) are all pretty equally fantastic. It’s fun to see the progression of the characters’ looks, as the animation style developed, but the charm is there from the beginning. I think I still have one more of these 30 min. gems to watch, and then I’ll probably have to revisit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Hopefully Nick Park is working on something new, but meanwhile, having watched all of the TV show Shaun the Sheep I will be seeking out Creature Comforts. I hear the show is hilarious, and I definitely still need my breakfast and coffee and cartoon fix!

The Good Ones:

Feed the FishWrit. & Dir. Michael Matzdorff. Stars Tony Shalhoub, Barry Corbin, Ross Partridge, and Katie Aselton. USA, 2009.
A burned out children’s book writer accompanies a friend to a tiny Wisconsin town to be his moral support when he joins the locals in their Christmas Polar Bear Plunge. These well laid plans go bizarrely wrong, and he soon finds himself battling the elements, the sheriff, and the deer hunters on his own. A few new friendships develop, and a romantic interest emerges from the brisk Wisconsin winter. It’s quite a nice little movie.

dragon hunters
Dragon HuntersDir. Guillaume Ivernel and Arthur Qwak. Writ. Arthur Qwak and Frederic Lenoir. Stars (English version) Forest Whitaker, Ron Paulson, and Mary Matilyn Mouser. France, 2008.
Once again I was rewarded for following a suggestion from L and watching this movie. Do read her excellent review, since my mumblings here will not do it justice. It’s a refreshing take on the old story of knights and dragons, set in a fantastical world where the land floats about in chunks through the sky. The animation style is lovely, and it is funny and touching. The visuals are really what set it apart, but it is unusual in other ways too, and definitely has a non-US made feel. I highly recommend this for the animation and fantasy lovers out there. Thanks for another great suggestion L!

What was a good movie YOU watched in February?


  1. I really love these posts you do – I am always getting tons of great ideas of films to add to our Netflix queue! One movie that Tony and I watched that I loved was How To Train Your Dragon. So wonderfully heartwarming and Toothless (the dragon) was so adorable!

    • Thanks Steph! They’re fun to write. I’m always on the lookout for a movie podcast from you and Tony, hint hint. 🙂 How To Train Your Dragon was easily one of the best films that came out last year! So cute, so funny.

  2. I would love to watch Dragon Hunters and Feed the Fish.
    I watched and reviewed a French movie on my book blog. Je vais bien, ne t’en fais pas aka Don’t worry, I’m fine. That really moved me. To tears. I loved the story and the music and the acting.

    • How did I miss that review? Just read it, and the movie does sound good. I’ll have to look for it.

  3. I, too, enjoy these posts of yours.

    glad you enjoyed Dragon Hunters!–and thanks for the linking. We, too, watched some Wallace & Gromit this month…Loaf & Death was new to us–that “Ghost” sequence was too funny.

    The past consecutive nights we’ve watch Blue Valentine and Love and Other Drugs so I asked Sean what kind of gritty “realist” story with its frequent (fairly explicit) sex romps and extensive nudity we are going to watch tonight? Really, it was a bit much to watch those close together. Blue Valentine was depressing, and Love and Other felt trite there at the end (well, mostly the whole thing did).

    Natalya finished reading The Princess Bride by watching it (again.) always a good film to have on, even as background noise.

    the best? we did watch this gorgeous sci-fi film called Mr. Nobody (2009) the other day–long and full of philosophy and scientific theory, it’s so beautifully done and terribly intriguing.


    • Thanks L! Finding your blog last fall was awesome. I feel like I’m constantly adding movies to my list that you’ve suggested. I’m currently watching The Color Of Magic. 🙂

      Gosh, I LOVE The Princess Bride. Never gets old. I’ll have to look for Mr. Nobody. Sounds good – thanks for the tip!

      • Lol. I very recently watched The Princess Bride for the hundredth time. I remember as a “tween” I was so in love with Cary Elwes.

        Thanks for the tip on the Dragon Hunters, Sarah. I bought a dvd for my sons last December as they were on sale for $5 but I never really got to watch it. Will do so soon, thanks.

        My fave movie in Feb was Megamind. I loved how instrinsically “good” Megamind was all throughout, even when he was being a villain. I found it so funny, too. My husband and I especially enjoyed the soundtrack.. classic rock, yeah!

  4. P.S. I love your new header image, lol.

    • Thanks, I kind of giggle every time I see Saturn in the snow! I haven’t seen Megamind yet, but I certainly will eventually. I like classic rock soundtracks. 🙂

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