Movie Review: Goosebumps

Title: Goosebumps – The Movie

Synopsis: Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, Hannah, and Zach’s friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to get all of them back in the books where they belong.
My Review:
Ever since I was a kid I have always steered clear of scary things.  I’m not one for haunted houses at Halloween, or scary movies. (In High School I went on a date to see the Jason/Freddy mashup – I think that was the movie – and almost broke my hand because I jumped so hard, and brought my hand up into the cup holder…that didn’t help my dislike any.)   In Jr High I was given two Steven King books for Christmas, and I read those because they were a gift (The Dark Half and It, and the fact that I can tell you the titles, and probably a good portion of the plot means they left quite a lasting impression on my 14 year old brain) but there are parts of me that wish I hadn’t…while there are parts of me who secretly enjoyed them.  It’s the same with movies; while I HATE being scared, that kind of fear doesn’t really appeal to me, once everything is said and done I’m actually happy to have had the experience.

I say all that to say this; I never was a huge fan of R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps series as a kid/young teen.  They were all the rage in my time, my friends couldn’t wait to get the next book, while I was sitting there reading and rereading Judy Blume.  That was okay though, even then I knew it was fine to not like things that other people liked, especially when it came to books.  But that means that as the Goosebumps show came out, I had no care to watch it.  While my husband made it a yearly tradition in October to watch it on Netflix with the kids, I usually could be found reading a book, taking a bath or doing some other ‘alone time’ thing.  That is not because I thought they would be scary (and I don’t like scary things) but because I was never in to it.  

So in comes last Friday evening where my husband, kids and I find ourselves with cancelled plans and free time.  The Goosebumps Movie has been out a week or two, and the kids and husband want to see it.  So I relent and we make it a family date!  (an EXPENSIVE family date…seriously, stupid expensive to take the family to see a newer movie!)

What I Loved:  It’s already established I was never “in” to the Goosebumps thing, so it shocks and amazes me just how good this movie was.  Jack Black was the perfect Stein, and the movie was excellent.  While the actors are suppose to be in High School – the movie was very appropriate for my 8, 10, and 11 year old kids.  It was funny with a little bit kind of scaryish stuff (but not really..not really at all).  This was the perfect outing for us, and I’m so happy to have spent the time and money to go see the movie that the kids continue to talk about, and recite lines from.

Not So Much:  Can we just talk about ticket prices again?  That ship has sailed?  Oh okay.  Well, I’m also not a huge fan of 3D…it’s kind of neat for the first 3-5 minutes, but then I forget I’m watching a 3D movie and nothing jumps out any more.  Anyone else experience this?

The Verdict:     
GO TAKE YOUR KIDS TO SEE THIS MOVIE!  It’s perfect, it’s appropriate, and while I like quality time to be more interactive, it’s still quality time.

Beastly – Movie Adaptation

Beastly Poster
Finally – a movie adaptation that has been done almost perfectly! 
I loved the movie version of Beastly.  Sure, the acting was as little bit rough in the beginning; the girl playing Kyle Kingston’s girlfriend was stiff and seemed to be over acting a little bit, for starters, but once the movie moved forward – the acting and the movie itself only got better. I am so thankful that the screenwriter/director/etc did not feel the need to move away from the plot and details that Alex Finn had already created – keeping the movie as true to the book as possible is the way to go!  Especially if you want to continue to get the support of book lovers!  I am thankful that the cheesy web-forum chats were taken out – but then I can’t imagine how they would have been included in the first place.  The lack of these scenes also made the characters seem a bit more mature than they did in the book. 
I had made my husband watch the trailer of Beastly months ago – and thankfully for the most part we are both into the scifi/fantasy genre, he’s a little more scifi horror, while I do prefer the relationship/romance version, but we both give and take, so he was easily on board with seeing the movie.  He did, however, grow a little skeptical when he saw that Mary Kate Olsen was in the movie.  It only took my whispered explanation, “she’s the witch,” to calm his apprehension.  I actually feel bad that is true, Mary Kate and Ashley were wonderful actresses in their time, but I think media and the fact that we haven’t really seen them in anything in a long time, and growing up in general has affected our points of view on them. 
Anyhow, I had not seen Vanessa Hudgens in anything except HSM 1 & 2, but she is quite honestly a good actress.  I’m thinking that if she sticks with this genre, there will be some more work for her in the near future.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen Alex Pettyfer in anything, but I can see why he’s most people’s number one pick for Jace Wayland in City of Bones. It’s mostly the blond wavy locks, and the killer smile.  Quick Wikipedia search tells me he’s accepted the part as Daniel in Fallen (which I had no idea was being made into a movie – but am a bit excited about now.) 
Loved Neil Patrick Harris!  He’s role, though small, was done very well.  He was perfect for the role.

Movie Monday – Star Trek

I am SOOO not a Trekki! My step-dad would watch Star Trek and I would run for cover in my room. I wasn’t having it. So when I saw the previews for the new movie I was surprised that I was even remotely interested in it. (Cute guys in the movie didn’t hurt…) Anyway, hubby and I were talking about what we wanted to do, and I mentioned sort of light heartedly “Star Trek came out today…” And it only took about 5 minutes to determine that was what we were going to do.

Shocked and amazed. That’s all I can say. This movie was wall to wall action – and not crazy weird alien and space man action, but real cool stuff! The story line was good, the actors/characters were great, funny even. I can’t say too much about the movie, or if it lived up to expectations or anything of that nature – because as I indicated before, I have no prior information.

Sooo, if you are a non-Trek person and are pondering if you’d like to see this movie – I say “Go for it!” You may be as surprised as I was.

Movie Monday – Wolverine

Trying something new again. Now, I don’t watch new movie every week, so this defiantly cannot be a every week thing – but there really are a lot of movies I’m going to see this year. So here we go:

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I LOVE almost all the Marvel movies! I’m a big fan of the super heroes. I was very excited to see Wolverine because, well, Wolverine is awesome. Huge Jackman is and always has been perfect for the part! I enjoyed watching the beginning of how Wolverine came to be, but I was oddly surprised that it was mostly just that – the story of his beginning. I don’t know why I didn’t get that from the title. I was still just hoping to see some real X-Men fighting together stuff. I didn’t get enough in the previous movies.

Another major bonus of the movie – GAMBIT!!! He is my absolute favorite X-Men ever! I was so happy he was finally in a movie. I really hope they continue to use his character. Taylor Kitsch did a great job, i only wish he got more screen time. Here’s hoping he had enough appeal for next time!

Twilight – the movie

I went last night and went to MY most anticipated movie ever. I have never sat and waited on a movie like I have waited on Twilight. I was literally nervous and anxious as we were sitting in the theater waiting on it to start.

So how was it? I’m still figuring that out in my head. On one hand, I can’t get it out of my head. I keep replaying scenes over and over again trying to hold on to every minute that I can. On the other hand I wish it was better. I honestly didn’t like how hard Rob Pattinson played Edward. I understand his reasoning; vampire tortured by love and by blood lust all in the one lovely person known as Bella Swan. Kristen Stewart did great. She was a little overly serious too – but it worked. They were SPOT ON on the kissing scenes, that could not have been done any better. The special effects – well they had us laughing at some points, but with a bottom of the barrel budget, that was pretty much what I expected.

My husband, who has not read the books and is unable to hyper analyze every little detail of the film like I was, has asked me a million questions since we got out of the movie. So by that, I think it’s safe to say it really was a good movie. I’m over analyzing everything. Some scenes I wish could have been there that weren’t: The scene where Jessica is asking Bella a million questions about Edward after their “date” in Port Angeles. And of course, Edward listening in. That would have really played up Jessica’s character a little more, and it would have set the bedroom kissing scene up a little better too, because there would be a little tension of Edward knowing Bella really wants that physical contact but understands how her situation is not that of a normal “teenage love” situation. I would have liked to of seen some of the stuff from Midnight Sun thrown in, more specifically the scene where Alice clues Edward into the fact that he is falling in love with Bella – because he is utterly clueless.

I want there to be more. I told Justin, I want MORE. I want to see the rest of it, even though I’m pretty sure they may stop short at Breaking Dawn – but I’m not finished. I would like to see more of Alice, and I want to see Jasper’s character come out of his shell. My husband wants to see the werewolves, and was pretty disappointed when Jacob didn’t phase. I was hoping they would do one phasing scene – the dream that Bella has after the beach trip to La Push, but Jacob didn’t elaborate on the Quinton tribes tradition enough in the movie for that dream to of made any since.

I think what I want the most is for Rob’s acting skills to sharpen up a bit. This really IS his first major movie production, and I hate that I say that, because of the last few months of following the Twilight media, and having watched dozens of Rob Pattinson interviews, I have come to like Rob as a person. From his interviews, he seems like a really down to earth, really awkward person. He’s not really into this fame, but taking it as it comes, and in every interview you can tell how seriously …just awkward he is. But the answers he has to the questions are pretty funny, and he says some of the weirdest stuff that you know he’s telling the truth. I don’t think he likes being considered an “actor” in Hollywood terms, like flaunting his popularity with expensive toys (he drives a used beat up, sounds like it’s not working properly, car). He’d rather just be a normal guy who can go and play some music at an open mic night without being mobbed – unfortunately now that is just simply impossible with all the 13 year old fanatics running around screaming at him. All he has to do is run his hands through his hair and half the girls would probably faint at the sight of it. It’s all pretty funny actually.