during this time of the year, movies are usually in a little bit of a lull. we are in the middle of awards season and january/february are well known to be not great movie months. you’ll see lots of re-screening of movies that are nominated for an oscar as well as random valentine’s day movies and a handful of others.
anyone who knows me well knows i am big movie fan and going to the theatre is something i enjoy doing on my days off from work. there are a whole list of pet peeves that i don’t like at the theatre, but that’s for another day. when i go, i make every attempt to get to a screening before noon. matinee prices are always much more affordable, so yesterday i found myself at an 11 am showing of Safe House. from the picture to the left, you know that the film stars denzel washington, but it also stars ryan reynolds. reynolds isn’t really known for his action roles although he has played several lately. everyone remembers him from van wilder and other comedies and romantic comedies but he’s been acting since the early ’90s if you didn’t know. everyone knows denzel. brendan gleeson also plays a nice supporting role in the movies as well.
anyway, with all that being said, i enjoyed this action packed movie. the premise is that a former CIA agent is being chased by bad guys and ends up going back to a US consulate even though he has sold US secrets to the enemy over the years. once he gets to the CIA safe house, the chase ensues as the same bad guys come after him. the CIA housekeeper, matt weston, who is a young inexperienced agent does his best to keep him safe and bring him in. the back drop of the movie is mostly in cape town, south africa, which made for several very exciting car chase scenes. the gritty city streets were busy and crowded with lots of cars and bystanders. it seemed like it was an every day occurance and many of them didn’t flinch and just went the other way. i can only assume it is something like that in that part of africa normally, but don’t know for sure. nonetheless, it made for a nice background scene for the film.
as the movie progresses, denzel’s character, tobin frost, makes weston question what he knows about the CIA and how the enemy found them to begin with. when frost escapes from weston, weston works to recover him even as CIA headquarters tells him to stand down. the movie ends with a few twists as you might guess and alot of bullets flying around. overall, as i said, i enjoyed the movie and would certainly watch it again. as for a rating, i would say a solid B to B+.
last week, bee and i went to to see mission impossible: ghost protocol. we ended up seeing it in IMAX at the AMC in Columbia. i always try to go to late morning or early afternoon movies to avoid large crowds so we found ourselves at the 12:30 showing. it was the first movie theatre visit for bee in at least 2 years and her first time ever at an IMAX showing. we both really enjoyed the movie although her feet didnt touch the floor while sitting all the way back in the chair. haha.
quick review: overall, it was a pretty good action movie and one of the better ones that i have seen lately. they worked in many of the things mission impossible has been known for over the years like face masks. if you are a fan of the series, like i am, you will be pleased with that part. tom cruise continued his role as ethan hunt and was good in this one as well. jeremy renner’s character, william brandt, was weaved into the plot line nicely and without making you question the prior movies or what he was doing there. the other member’s of ethan’s team worked out well and rounded out the story, as well as the bad guy. the story line and the bad guy’s attempt at destroying the world are something we can all see based on the world’s current events and wasn’t as far fetched as it could’ve been. i was a little worried about simon pegg, who played benji dunn, and was the goofy tech guy who couldn’t pass the field ops tests but eventually did after repeated tries. pegg is known more of his comedic value and although he did add a few good jokes every now and then, played the role in the movie well. one thing, i didn’t like was the intro into the movie. as the beginning credits rolled, you basically got to see small clips of the movie throughout intermingled with credits for the actors in the movie. it gave away a little too much of the movie in my opinion.
the movie in IMAX is the way to go if you have one near you and can afford it. we had some gift certificates that bee had gotten from work, so we paid the extra $10 for the IMAX viewing. the sound and the locations of the movie are really enhanced because of it, but i am sure it would look good in standard definition as well.
one hint for families or folks who don’t want to spend a lot on concessions, buy the kids pack. you’ll get a small soda, small popcorn, and fruit snacks for just $6.25 and if you use the bathroom before the start of the movie, you won’t have to get up part way through the film.
movies, reviews amc, bee, columbia, ethan hunt, ghost protocol, hoco, IMAX, jeremy renner, mission impossible, movie, reviews, theater, theatre, tom cruise
But not together. Last week my wife was out of town ruling the world and doing a great job at her job. Meanwhile, I was home making the bacon as we like to joke especially since she doesn’t eat bacon. Sometimes on my off Fridays I will catch an early movie and this past Friday, I caught Tower Heist. It stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and a host of other characters. It’s a cross between a comedy and a heist movie. The basic premise is the same as the Bernie Madoff case. The Madoff like character doesn’t sell any of his assets and gets to say in his apartment on house arrest. Ben Stiller’s character and his co-workers break into the apartment and the movie continues from there. It was probably a B movie. Entertaining and some what light hearted but semi serious at other times.
Meanwhile after a week of dinners out, I continued my gluttony and caught dinner at a new pizza place for me called Pazani. It was suggested here on my blog and since we all know I love pizza, I went and checked it out. It’s off of Marshalee Dr. by Timbers of Troy Golf Course. The restaurant is a nice family friendly atmosphere and is like Trattoria da Enrico or many of the other local pizza places; however, they have a larger selection and a catering menu. The restaurant was a little smaller than I had expected from looking at the menu and there were about 5 or 6 other groups there, mostly with families, and they filled up the majority of the restaurant. Anyway, I got the small pizza with sausage… a standard for me. It was pretty tasty and had a nice crisp crust. It seemed a little greaser than some other places but it didn’t really sway me away from going back if I am in the area.
As a lone wolf that night, I enjoyed my pizza and caught a look at what others were eating. Many people had different varieties of pasta meals which also looked good and others of course had pizza. One group had the calamari which was a generous portion and others had the cheese steak and salads. The regular menu and the catering menu had a large selection so you could go often and get something different to eat there or for a party at your house. I will definitely go back again.
Also, thanks to @howchowblog for linking to my other pizza article earlier in the week.
food, movies, reviews dinner, hoco, lone wolf, movie, pasta, pazani, pizza, restaurant, reviews, tower heist