In Which You Will Understand Why Roger Ebert Will Not Be Soliciting My Services At Any Point In The Near Or Not-So-Near Future

In keeping with my pledge to start watching movies again, we’ve seen several over the last four or five days. I decided to write down my reactions because, well, everybody needs a goal.

Please keep in mind that as the mama of a very active and chatty almost-four year old, I have the attention span of an inebriated gnat and therefore may have missed a critical plot point or nine. However, in my defense, I did at least try to pay attention to the sequence of events instead of just closing my eyes and listening to all the pretty music. Tempted though I was.

Ocean’s Twelve

I’m a huge fan of Ocean’s Eleven, so I was understandably excited about seeing some of my favorite characters in action again. And sure enough, I found all of them in the sequel, this time trying to pull off the theft of a Faberge’ egg at a museum in Italy (I think? Maybe? I know it was in Europe. Does that count? Do I get points for being on the right continent, at least?).

But as I watched the movie unfold, I found myself coming back to one sustaining thought: sometimes it’s better to leave well enough alone. The sequel is nowhere near as good as the first one (by the way, D. and I were in Las Vegas when the first one was being filmed, and we spent the better part of an afternoon at the Bellagio watching them – and by “them,” I mean “the fancy actor people” – shoot the scene where Casey Affleck and Scott Caan are being thrown out of the casino, but that’s a post in and of itself, although I can quickly settle one critical detail: Clooney in real life? EASY ON THE EYES).

Also: Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta Jones are the anithesis of on-screen chemistry, the place where romantic sparks go to die.

Failure To Launch

Matthew McConaughey is playing a very Matthew McConaughey-ish character named Trip, a 35 year old guy who still lives at home with his parents and then falls head over heels for Carrie Bradshaw.

Or, you know, Paula. At least I think that was the name of Sarah Jessica Parker’s character. Sort of a Carrie Bradshaw-lite, if you will.

Anyway, there were lots of scenes designed to show off Matthew’s phenomenally chiseled abs, and lots of random incidents of Matthew being bitten by animals (this was supposed to further the plot HOW, exactly?), and the movie was set in Baltimore, apparently, but it took me about seven Google searches to figure out that information, what with there being a scene with the guys on surfboards (I was unaware that Baltimore has, um, waves), in addition to a scene at a Zephyrs baseball game, even though the Zephyrs play in, you know, New Orleans.

All that being said, I’d have been willing to suspend disbelief if the movie had been good. Or funny.

But it wasn’t. At least not in my humble opinion.

Mission Impossible: III

Tom Cruise is playing Tom Cruise as only Tom Cruise can (oh, they say his name is Ethan Hunt in the film, but make no mistake: he’s all Tom, all the time).

And he’s FABULOUS!

Loved this movie. It’s directed by JJ Abrams, the creator of Alias and Lost, so I figured I was in for a treat what with Alias being one of my favorite shows of all time and all. This film actually felt a little bit like an Alias episode at times (especially with the flashback structure), but what surprised me was that even though it’s technically an action movie, I really cared about the characters and felt invested in the outcome.

Philip Seymour-Hoffman was a brilliant villain…in fact, everyone in this movie was great. It’s thoroughly entertaining, and I’d recommend it without hesitation. Unlike Ocean’s Twelve, this sequel is the best of the MI lot, in my opinion.

An added bonus? Spy stuff! I’d watch it again and again – especially the scene at The Vatican, which is way cool and oh-so-creative.

Loved it.

Next in the queue: Little Miss Sunshine

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  1. I thought Failure to Launch was one of the most random movies ever. What WAS the deal with those animals biting him?

    I’ve been wanting to see MI III but when it came out I was so upset about Tom brainwashing Katie that I couldn’t make myself go see it. But if it reminiscent of Alias, I can get over it.

    We watched Little Miss Sunshine over Christmas. I’ll be interested to see what you think. I’ll withhold my thoughts until you’ve seen it.

    I’m actually glad that I didn’t see it until the Tom Couch Jumping / Brainwashing debacle had died down a bit. I’m telling you: it’s structured like one the very best Alias episodes. I think you’ll love it.

  2. Oh my, I love me some Alias, so maybe I should get MI 3. Although, like Big Mama, I am not a huge Tom fan.

  3. I completely agree on the first two. Haven’t seen the third one yet but you nailed the first two, so I’m thinking I’ll love the third one. :-)

  4. Totally agree with your take on Ocean’s Twelve. Ho-hum. Failure to Launch left us with the same feeling, too. Palm trees growing in Baltimore…who knew? I don’t think B even made it to the end. I made it to the end only because I thought it HAD to get better. Haven’t seen MI III, but as you know, I DO love me some SPY action! It’s on my “must see” list. :)

  5. I agree Failure to Launch was not that great but it taught me something. I have this sweet, cuddly 6 year old (baby of the family)that loves his mama and doesn’t want to leave my sight. So, the first week of school as I pealed him off my leg to go to school, he asked me if I would homeschool him. Now, I’m not saying homeschooling is bad because I know lots of wonderful homeschooling families and think they are awesome! But it would be totally wrong for this child because he’d be that 35 year old I’d still be cooking breakfast for and doing his laundry!! (He loves, loves school now)Great lesson for this mom to help her little to grown up but not too fast!!!

  6. I haven’t seen the 3 you just mentioned, but I did see Little Miss Sunshine and I am so looking forward to your review.

  7. I saw Little Miss Sunshine. Just make sure the kiddies aren’t around for at least the first half of it. And MI3? I’m no Tom Cruise fan but I loved it too!

  8. MMMM little miss sunshine.




  9. Great reviews! I agree 100% with Ocean’s Twelve–pointless! I think they are making yet another sequel. I’m not sure it could get any worse, but you never know. I didn’t mind Failure to Launch as much as you did. Anything with Matthew M. in a towel gets a thumbs up from me. I haven’t seen MI3, but want to now that I read your recommendation. Thanks.

    Feel free to post a link to my Monday Morning Movie Review at my blog (even though it is Tuesday–doesn’t matter).

  10. LOVE Alias. So, even though I wouldn’t normally seek out MI, now I will.

    I liked Ocean’s Twelve, but not as much as Eleven. I liked the one-liners and such, and I think you have to stay up late at night without distractions to watch it. I like anything that keeps surprising me over and over.

    Looking forward to the Sunshine review. Will it be party cloudy?

    pathetic attempt at humor.

  11. This is why you’re the bee’s knees (so to speak)! You can watch and review all the movies for me, and then I can only rent the good ones.

    We rent about 10 movies a year, and end up only watching half of them, although we pay late fines on ALL of them. Our Kroger now has a vending machine that’ll dispense the newest movies for $1 a day–now I know which ones to get! I’ll save gazillions in late fines!! You’re a public service, that’s what you are :)

  12. Ok, MI III is an Alias epdisode, totally. DH and I just finished watching the entire series of Alias on DVD, and then we watched MI III. There are the same stunts, the same problems (bombs planted in heads, etc), end of the world stuff, same characters (C’mon, you know the techie guy is totally Marshal), even some of the same LINES. So of course I loved it. Best MI, by far.

    I liked Failure to Launch, only because, as said earlier, anything with Matthew M running around half naked works for me. Plus, Bradley Cooper (aka Will from Alias!) is in it, and again, I’ll watch anything with him, too. Just lower your expectations, and you’re good to go!

  13. Oh! I need that post about the Ocean’s 11 sightings. NEED it, I tell you. Dish!

    Little Miss Sunshine is hilarious. HILARIOUS. I’m talking wet-my-pants hilarious.

  14. I thought Failure to Launch was pretty good, as long as its a rental. Not worth the theater prices. The animals biting him had something to do with him not being in love, because at the end, the dolphin didn’t bite him. Weird story line.
    Tom Cruise. ‘Nuf said!
    The seldom heard of Much Ado About Nothing with Keanu Reeves and Denzel Washington is one of THE best movies out ther that has no real meaning to it, but is still great! The person who buys this movie for me as a gift will have my love forever! I watch it several times a year!
    Oceans Twelve had ONE thing going for it: George Clooney, ahhhh……..

  15. Ocean’s Twelve–stinker! What is your take on there being an Ocean’s Thirteen now? I completely agree, leave well enough alone. The first was awesome!

  16. I completely agree with your Oceans 12 and MI3 recommendations. I about fell asleep during O12 and could not believe I wasted my $3.00 rental fee from Movie Gallery. Now on the other hand I saw MI3 at the $1.50 with my husband on our first date night in forever!! And I LOVED it.

  17. Okay LOVED Tom Cruise from THE MOMENT I saw “Top Gun” one or a hundred times in college. . .was there EVER anyone sexier than him in that movie???? Oh, golly molly. But. . .not so much lately. He seems to have taken leave of his senses, and I wish he’d just go back to being hot and leave it at that.

    LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, however. Well–it is definitely worth the time to sit and watch it WHILE you listen to the pretty music. It’s like a good piece of music actually–it builds to a crescendo and does not disappoint.

  18. Okay the “failure to launch” animal biting thing. The epitome of hokiness. there was supposed to be a deeper meaning to this (and you know how I am with deeper meaning, so forgive me if I mess this up.) But at the end of the movie, the dolpin DOESN’T bite him. This, I think, is supposed to symbolize that the natural order has been restored (now that he has moved out and committed to a girl) or some such NONSENSE.

    I agree. Stupid movie.

    Didn’t see the others.

    You gotta see “Sliding Doors.”

  19. The last movie I watched was Happy Feet. Before that? I have not one iota of an idea. I just can’t sit that long, and frankly I bug everyone with the “what’s gonna happen next” thing. I love a spoiled ending.

  20. I will watch ANYTHING with Matthew McConaughey in it! I like it even better when he has on few clothes! Whew! That makes me happy jsut thinking about it……

    Almost as good as looking at Jack Bauer save the world in jeans and a tight t-shirt. (It’s important my DH doesn’t know I wrote this…)

  21. Totally agree with Lori about “Sliding Doors”–very good. And if you like a spoof, I also suggest “Best in Show” and “A Mighty Wind.” Very funny.

  22. Officially I am even more behind the times (movie wise – well and lots of other ways wise to be honest) than you. I haven’t seen the FTL or the MI 3. Somehow, I had no desire to see FTL, mainly because Sarah Jessica Parker was in it. I just don’t think the girl can act worth a hill of beans so it’s a huge put off for me. Don’t shoot me! I did see Oceans Twelve and I agree: I thought it was good, but not as good as the first.

    We gave up Netflix so now I’m in movie withdrawal. Being “mature” does have its drawbacks at times.

    And If you ask about anything new that I’ve seen, I’m afraid I’ll have to say it was last summer: Pirates of the Caribean 2. That’s how often we go out to the theaters. Sad, I know. But a whole lot easier on the pocketbook.

  23. Failure to Launch was filmed, if I am correct, on the coast of Alabama. For some reason I remember reading that somewhere – but am willing for someone to correct me if I am wrong.

  24. I loved Oceans Eleven (watched it several times) Oceans Twelve was definately not as good and now they are doing Oceans Thirteen! lol


  25. I agree with you on Failure to Launch; but since Matthew McConaughey, like George Clooney, is so easy on the eyes, I watched it anyway!

  26. I think I’m the only person who liked Failure to Launch. Maybe because Matthew Mc. is my dream man and I looooove that overdone southern accent.

    And the abs.

  27. I actually really liked Ocean’s 12. :-) I do have to agree about Catherine Zeta-Jones, though. I felt that way about her in “The Terminal”, too. I haven’t seen the other two so I’ll have to take your word on them. :-)

  28. Nothing to add here. I just didn’t want to feel left out.


  29. Love Ocean’s Twelve and Failure to Launch. Can’t say the say with MI-3, though. I guess they hyped the movie so much that I expected more actions and twists in the movie.


  30. i’m new to your blog…just wnated to say that i can’t wait to see what you have to say about Little Miss Sunshine as it’s in our queue as well. we’ve also been trying to watch more movies as of late…although we have a few lying around unopened that need our immediate attention! thank goodness for no late fees! :)

  31. Hi BooMama!

    Just letting you know that Jen over at Motivated Mom ( does a Monday Morning Movie Review blog that you can link too.

    Thanks for the reviews!

  32. Great reviews!

    I just found you and I must say, I am cracking up… I’ll be back for more! =)

  33. Those were my kind of reviews – I thought you were spot on with the first two (I haven’t seen MI III, but want to because of JJ Abrams) I silently groaned when I heard they were making Oceans 13 – it’s too much!