Movie Ratings are on a scale of 1-5. Anything rated over 3 stars and is in bold, is usually a pretty good rating (5 star ratings are very rare with me)! – Content is listed for those who are careful about what they or their children view (or what to be aware of). I usually rate based on content, plot, photography/direction, and acting.]
Strictly Ballroom 1992 (w/Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Gia Carides, Pat Thomson, Bill Hunter, Barry Otto) – 4 stars – I loved this so much that I saw it two times in a row in the same day. That is something not normal for me to do at all. In case you are unfamiliar with Baz Luhrmann who wrote and directed this movie, he created this film with a focus on the story through dance, Romeo + Juliet with a focus on the art of the words, and Moulin Rouge with a focus on art of the song. You can totally see it is his work in each of the films. I would say I rate all three of them the same and Moulin Rouge is still one of the only movies where I sob every time I see it. I had NEVER seen Strictly Ballroom but heard good things about it. I was thinking it would just be ballroom dancing and that was it, but I was wrong. I am so glad I finally saw it! The story is about Scott, who has grown up dancing his whole life with ballroom dance instruction, as his mother was famously known for it in the ’60s. The movie starts out sounding a bit like a documentary before it actually gets into the story. Scott uses dance steps that are not normal in ballroom dancing which make many people upset. He wants to dance more freely and use his steps but everyone around him seems against him other than a beginner dancer from his studio who wears large glasses and has zits on her face. He decides to give her a chance since no one else seems to like his dance steps. A whole story about his father starts to unravel as the two main characters begin to dance regularly with one another. The dancing was really beautiful. I enjoyed the story a lot and found the characters so interesting. Of course my favorite scene in it is the dance scene to Doris Day’s singing of “Perhaps” (pictured below). There was one quick scene that was unnecessary, but outside of that and the constant immodesty of dance outfits, this was amazing. I would have rated it higher if not for those two factors. I want to see it again as I type this!
content:: A man is talking on a phone while leaning over a woman who is shown in a bra beneath him in bed and she seems to be making upset noises (maybe frustrated sexual noises – the man appears to be naked under a sheet as you see a portion of his hip as he moves himself to the other side of the bed), immodesty throughout (ballroom outfits seem to look more like underwear, also cleavage shown), kissing, talk about drunkenness, smoking, some sensual dancing, language (“s” word used)
Crips and Bloods: Made in America 2008 (documentary) – 3 stars – This explained the background history and racism that created some fighting clubs to let out aggression in L.A., CA and eventually transformed into gang problems. I learned so much in watching this and it was very sad and very interesting throughout it. There were interviews with former and current gang members on both ends of the spectrum as well. It breaks my heart that in order to survive, people would want to hurt others in general or put their lives on the line so easily while living in fear.
content: pictures of people dead and bloody on streets from gun violence, violence shown in the street with fires and more, bad language throughout
Steel Magnolias 1989 (w/ Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakas) – 2.5 stars – This movie is set in the south where a young woman is getting ready to marry. She has something physically wrong with her and is so nervous about starting her life with someone when she has problems that hell have to deal with. Her family loves her very much. There is a group of women who all go to get their hair done at Truvy’s . I feel like the story jumped around a lot. It was hard to understand the time settings because it was all very stable in the beginning of the film. It was also very comedic at times and then other times it was sad. I couldn’t really get into it which surprised me because I get emotional with films like this. Sally Field always shines. Goodness she’s a good actress.
content:: a man walks in on his fiance’ as she is bathing (shoulders shown – she gets out of the tub and a towel is shown around her body), talk about a penis possibly being cut off, guns are shot often (at birds), innuendos, talk about doing things that the woman then said she repented of to follow Jesus instead, backsides of men shown whil a woman stares as they walk around (she sees the front as well, while we see male bums), smoking, drinking, language: (use of “s” word so often, Jesus’/God’s name used in vain a few times and a woman yells at the man for doing it,but it is said other places as well, misuse of the word “hell”, smaller “b” word used several times), diabetes attacks and wounds from insulin use shown, talk about not having a baby, death, a car covered in condoms
Julie 1956 (w/ Doris Day, Louis Jourdan, Barry Sullivan) – 3 stars – Doris Day is my favorite actress and you’d think I have seen all her films, but this one was never easy to find. It is a thriller, though not so chilling as a few others she was in. The story follows Julie who is married to an insanely jealous husband. She had been married before, but her husband died. She then marries a man who freaks her out with attempts to kill her whenever she makes it seem like she’ll leave him or talks to another man. He definitely plans on killing her and she wants to make sure it doesn’t happen. It was a good film but doesn’t shine too brightly in the plot department. Doris Day is excellent though.
content: A man mentally abuses his wife and tries to kill her in various ways, kissing, shooting (murders – bodies shown with slight blood), threats made
Wreck it Ralph 2012 (animated w/ voice of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch) – 3.75 stars – I had no idea what this movie was about or I would have seen it sooner. As someone who plays video games, you’d think I would have heard more about this. I used to love going to the arcade, and this is about arcade games. Basically, Wreck it Ralph is a “bad guy” in an arcade game called “Fix it Felix” which is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary. He is tired of being treated terribly and seeing Felix get all the medals. He ruins everything around him and believves that he isn’t needed. He decides to try to explore the other arcade games and win a medal so that he can be treated better in his own game. Of course this brings around drama and other issues that hopefully Ralph can fix instead of make worse. My whole family loved this! The boys laughed and we laughed. It was great to see old video game characters we remembered too.
content: a drinking arcade game is shown with a bartender and all (they say it is rootbeer though, but it is based off of the game Tapper which was originally created by Budweiser), name calling and some potty humor, martinis at a party, kissing, some immodest game characters (busy women and midriff and wrestling men), a woman punches a man several times, game shooting, a zombie’s heart is ripped out and then returned (not gruesomely shown), someone being eaten by a giant cyborg bug, someone shown destroying something that was dear to another, ways to swear without doing so: “Like fun you are!” and “Bull roar!” and “Come on you pussy willows”, and “Move your molasses.” [screencaps from here]
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 2013 (w/ Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans) – 3 stars – I don’t know if the CGI was just that bad in this movie or the violence was too much or the story didn’t seem to line up from what I remember of the book, but I didn’t like it as much as I had hoped I would, though it wasn’t terrible. It was too long and cut short and there were too many add-on scenes. Bilbo Baggins continues his adventure as a burglar to help the dwarves with their returning to where they came from in the mountains to reclaim their treasure and kingdom. What is holding them back? A dragon named Smaug who brings terror everywhere.
content: backside of a man beast shown where you can see the shape of him but more shadowy than anything, graphic violence of killing giant spiders (which would probably freak out kids), a dwarf states to a female to search him as she may not know what he has down his trousers, imagery of a face rotting away, dwarf states that an elf can do something in another language which is probably either vulgar or a swear (and honestly I for some reason truly believe I understood what he said,but won’t share it), sword and arrow fighting violence (including decapitation and arrows in heads), a body shaking after decapitation, drinking, decaying bodies shown, scary imagery throughout,
Don’t Make Waves 1967 (w/ Tony Curtis, Claudia Cardinale, Robert Webber, Joanna Barnes, Sharon Tate) – 2 stars – I don’t know why I love beach films so much, but when there is a title I never heard of that has a big name in it, I figure I might as well try. This was beautifully directed too. This is about a man who gets himself tangled in unfortunate circumstances that leads to a woman. This movie’s plot is a little slow to understand and a bit long and boring at times. No wonder why it was not one I ever heard of before. I think what bugged me the most in this is that Tony Curtis says “a” in between so many words where it doesn’t belong that it was annoying.
content:: a man walks around in boxer shorts, a man is shown with fire burning his pant leg, drinking, smoking, a woman appears to be naked in bed (she has sheets covering her body and you see her bare back), immodesty (women and men in bathing suits throughout including tiny bikinis, woman in underwear), kissing, talk about a woman being with a married man, a woman is jumping on a trampoline and there are close up shots of this woman throughout the movie and a man continually lusts after her, a man states that sex ruins a man’s glutes which is brought up several times, deceit, women are serving food topless (you see their bare backs only), language: (“d” word, “hell” used incorrectly)
The Sandpiper 1965 (w/ Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eva Marie Saint, Charles Bronson, Robert Webber) – 1.5 stars – A woman who lives with her son has to give him up to a school that boards him simply because he gets into too much trouble and her parenting is questioned. She starts to receive some help from the reverend of the school but perhaps they are starting to spend too much time with one another. I HATE movies that make it seem like affairs are acceptable or not so bad and this movie is just like that. Therefore I didn’t like it.
content: a child shoots a young deer (blood shown), men shown with towels around their waists and their chests are shown, a woman shown in her underwear and covering her upper half partially with her hands and a blanket (and a man working on a wooden carving of her front side which is a very detailed nude artwork shown for a whole scene, a man tries to rip a shirt off a woman who is in a bra with her shirt draped on her (she proceeds to threaten to kill him while holding something if he tries to do anything to her as he threatens rape), a married man kisses a woman who is not his wife (it is assumed they slept together as we see the man putting a tie on and a woman waking up from bed), two men fight one another, language (“d” word, “hell” used incorrectly)
Frozen 2013 (animated w/ voices of Kirsten Bell, Idina Menzel) – 3.25 stars – My husband said to me while watching this together with our sons, “Why is everyone making such a big deal about this movie again?” He also said, “This movie is on ADHD and moving so quickly.” I agree with him. It was a good movie, but definitely not better than Tangled or many of the more classic Disney Princess films. Princess Anna never sees her sister whom she was close to in her early childhood. She misses building snowmen and having fun together. Princess Elsa keeps herself locked up to protect people from a special power she has because she’s hurt someone in the past. When she is about to become queen, she is reunited with her sister but still keeps her distance. Yes, this movie takes on a different approach to the happily ever afters we are adjusted to, and it was good and interesting. I do think that this plot was a bit scattered at times and that there was not much connection to the characters other than Princess Anna, who was really neat. Why do I not see little girls ever talk about her and always talking about her sister Elsa? I’m confused. Princess Anna was awesome. Wish I could have all the gumpshun she has.
content:: a little girl gets injured, a couple dies in a storm in a boat (the boat is shown sinking), “grab my butt” mentioned by a snowman, people trying to attack others and kill them, someone punches another, kissing, scary imagery for little kids (like giant snowmen), some bare shoulders shown on women[screencaps from here]