Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Movie Reviews: "The Lunchbox," "Words and Pictures," "Million Dollar Arm," "22 Jump Street"

  The Lunchbox
  Rated PG

I saw The Lunchbox while on an airplane last month and absolutely loved it.  I was excited to see it was still in theaters so I could share my thoughts on it. 

Set in Mumbai, Ila is a neglected housewife who decides to prepare a special lunch for her husband, thinking it will reignite a spark in their marriage.  The delivery service mistakenly delivers it to Saajan, a grumpy widower who is about to retire.  After her husband doesn’t comment about the special lunch, Ila adds a note to the lunchbox and begins an unlikely friendship with Saajan.

The Lunchbox is sweet and unpredictable.  I loved seeing what Ila and Saajan’s daily lives were like and learning about Indian culture.  Despite the subtitles (which can sometimes be distracting), The Lunchbox is definitely a 4 star film!

  Words and Pictures
  Rated PG-13

Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) is on the verge of losing his job.  Once an acclaimed writer, Jack’s life has spiraled out of control.  When newly hired art teacher Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche) claims “words are lies,” Jack takes that statement as a challenge to prove words are more powerful than pictures. Will their flirty rivalry allow Jack and Dina find love and redemption?

I have to admit I’m a bit favorably biased when it come to movies starring Clive Owen.  That said, Words and Pictures is not only a love story between two flawed people, but it also examines present day culture-students’ lack of interest in learning to gain knowledge, rather than for test taking; the effects of social media on present day writing; and whether a picture is worth a thousand words.  Words and Pictures will make you question the role of art and writing in our society. 

  Million Dollar Arm
  Rated PG

Based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm is a feel-good movie.  Sports agent J.B. Bernstein is about to lose his business when he and his partner decide to convert a cricket player into a major league pitcher.  JB travels to India, holds a contest to find two players with potential, brings them to the U.S. to train with USC coach Tom House and sets up a major league try-out.  Along the way, JB learns the meaning of family and becomes a better person.

I usually go to one professional baseball game a year and never watch it on television, so it’s fair to say I’m not really into baseball.  That said, I really enjoyed Million Dollar Arm.  In the sports tradition of rooting for the underdog, I got into the film and wanted Dinesh and Rinku, the two ball players from India, to be successful. 

  22 Jump Street
  Rated R

When Kevin and I saw 21 Jump Street (the precursor to 22 Jump Street), we were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked it.  Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum were perfectly cast, and the movie wasn’t afraid to make fun of itself.  Naturally, we went into 22 Jump Street with pretty high expectations-we weren’t disappointed!  Though at times it was crude, it was hilarious.  Expanding Ice Cube’s role and adding Wyatt Russell (son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell) to the cast made the sequel even better than the original!  Be sure to stay through the credits for additional entertainment!

Like in the original movie, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are undercover police officers Schmidt and Jenko.  Instead of being in high school, this time they’re sent to a local college to find the leader of a drug ring.  Will they be able to crack the case?

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