Movies: The Kite Runner, Nim’s Island, Sweeney Todd and Fat Albert

I’m horribly backed up on movie “reviews.” But let’s face it, we know I don’t necessarily review movies so much as just tell you what it’s about and whether I liked it or not. Gene Siskel, I am NOT.

“The Kite Runner” was chosen for my book club a few months ago and I never got around to reading it. I had heard amazing things about it, though, so I took the easy way out and pulled a George Costanza – I rented the movie. I know, I know. Book purists out there are ticked that I still haven’t read the book.

If the book is anything like the movie, it’s absolutely devastating. What a tragic story. From Amazon:

Amir is a young Afghani from a well-to-do Kabul family; his best friend Hassan is the son of a family servant. Together the two boys form a bond of friendship that breaks tragically on one fateful day when Amir fails to save his friend from brutal neighborhood bullies. Years later, Amir, now an accomplished author living in San Francisco, is called back to Kabul to right the wrongs he committed years ago.

The performances by the two young boys in this movie are amazing, and the story is very well told. I was crying throughout the entire last 30 minutes of the movie.

4 kite cutters out of five.

This movie stars Jodie Foster as an agoraphobic, germaphobic author of adventure novels who comes to the rescue of Nim (Abigail Breslin), a little living on a remote island who is alone after her father has gone missing in a freak storm while out on his boat. I didn’t think my kids had seen this movie, but when it started CootieGirl immediately began telling me the whole story. Despite this, she eagerly sat down to watch it again.

It was a cute movie – not too scary for the kids, and not too cheesy for me. Jodie Foster proved her ability to do comedy in “Maverick” many years ago, and she made me laugh several times as her character works through her phobias to help Nim.

The kids REALLY enjoyed this movie and wanted to watch it again the next day.

3 flying lizards out of five.

There was a lot of hullabaloo when “Sweeney Todd” came out – people lauding Johnny Depp for singing. Uh, was I the only one that remembered his performance in “Cry Baby?” Because he has sung on celluloid before. It wasn’t new. Anyway, I had never seen the Stephen Sondheim play before, so this was a new one for me. It’s very different for Sondheim. I don’t know that he has ever done macabre to this extent.

Johnny Depp plays a barber who is wrongfully imprisoned so that a judge can steal his wife and child from him. Upon release from prison, the barber (now called Sweeney Todd) returns to have his vengeance but turns into a savage murderer of anyone who ticks him off. Depp’s voice was fine, and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett was fine. Alan Rickman shouldn’t sing. *lol* He should merely talk about Grapthar’s hammer and the savings we’ll get (sorry, Mr. Rickman, but it’s true).

The movie was surprisingly violent and graphic – not what I expected from Tim Burton, who loves the dark stories but usually doesn’t actually SHOW things on the screen. Here he took much glee in showing the barber use his shaving blade in his helpless customers. That was a bit off-putting. But the visual style of the movie was great, and in the end I thought it was decent.

3 meat grinders out of five.

The last movie we watched was “Fat Albert,” from 2004. Starring Keenan Thompson (from “Saturday Night Live”) it was a goofy movie that I can see myself watching again if it comes on TV. But that’s partly because I think Keenan Thompson is awesome on SNL. In this movie, he plays the cartoon character who pops out of the TV to help a girl in trouble. He proceeds to fall in love with the girl’s sister and doesn’t want to go back into the TV even though he’s “fading.” Like I said, it was a goofy movie when all is said and done. But cute. Not HORRIBLE. Aaaaah, whatever.

3 innertube tubas out of five.

My Signature

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  1. If you haven’t watched Galaxy Quest in a while, please do so. It holds up well and is still hilarious. I just watched it on cable a couple of weeks ago and giggled the whole way through.

  2. “Galaxy Quest” is probably on our top 10 list of comedies. We, too, giggle through the whole thing. We talk about Grapthar’s Hammer a lot in our house, and oh, what a savings.

  3. I’ve always really wanted them to come out with a Sequal to Galaxy Quest. They can have 10,000 Star Trek Movies but not one sequal to Galaxy Quest. What is the world coming too.

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