Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The kids and I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the beginning of Christmas break.  I think I am more of a fan than they are, but they were excited about seeing it.  The story picks up right after The Force Awakens.  Rey has found Luke Skywalker and is trying to convince him to return to help the Resistance fight.  He eventually agrees to help train her in her use of the force.

Finn teams up with a mechanic Rose on a mission to disable a tracking device on an enemy ship and Poe spends most of the movie trying to get leadership to fight instead of retreat.  The action sequences in the movie are incredibly exciting, especially a particular one with Rey and Kylo Ren.  I can’t wait to see how his character develops more in the next movie.

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The Darkest Hour

We convinced Grandmom to take the kids to Jumanji (their pick) so my husband and I went to The Darkest Hour yesterday.  The movie follows Winston Churchill from his becoming Prime Minister up until his decision in WWII to forgo peace talks with Hitler.  Gary Oldman plays the character excellently, Kristin Scott Thomas plays his wife and I also really liked Lily James as his typist.

The parliament aspects of the movie were very interesting especially the behind the scenes meetings trying to gather support for different policies.  It is amazing how close the Nazis came to defeating all of the British troops.  Churchill’s phone call with FDR was depicted as well, which FDR essentially blowing his plea for help off.  The movie was an educational and entertaining retelling of this period of history.

Saints for All Occasions

I just finished Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan.  It tells the story of two Irish sisters, Nora and Theresa, who travel from Ireland to America in the 1950s.  When Theresa, the younger sister gets pregnant, Nora agrees to marry her boyfriend and raise the baby, Patrick, as their own.  Theresa eventually becomes a cloistered nun in Vermont.  The story jumps back and forth between the present and the past and centers around the death of Patrick and the family dynamics.  Each member of the family has an interesting role to play and the characters seems true to life in their certain circumstances.  I especially enjoyed the scenes when the sisters were young and had just arrived in Boston.

Wonder Wheel

I saw Wonder Wheel yesterday, Woody Allen’s latest movie.  It takes place on Coney Island in the 1950s and stars Kate Winslet in the typical Woody Allen neurotic role.  The movie also stars Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake and Jim Belushi.  The plot isn’t particularly engaging and I had a hard time deciding which character I was supposed to be rooting for.  Most of the critics have panned this one and I would agree.

Justice League

Despite not having seen any of the DC Universe films (except Wonder Woman), I decided to check out Justice League since I can watch unlimited movies at the theatre with MoviePass.  The movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I loved Wonder Woman and I did like seeing her on screen again, even though I wish she had been given more to do in the movie.

At the start of the movie, Superman has died (apparently in the previous movie) and Batman must assemble other superheroes together to defeat Steppenwolf.  He partners with Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg.  Of course, Superman cannot stay dead for long and he is eventually resurrected and joins the team as well.  There were some exciting action scenes and it will be interesting to see where the future movies take some of these new characters.

Mudbound

My husband and I watched Mudbound on Netflix last week at the recommendation of my parents who enjoyed it.  The story follows two families in the South right after WWII, one black and one white.  Both have strong connections to a certain piece of land, with one being the owner and the one working it.  Racial tensions are high, especially after the black son returns from fighting in the war where color didn’t seem to matter.  It is difficult to readjust to a society that seems backwards.  Certain scenes are especially difficult to watch, especially one where the KKK abducts and mutilates him.

The relationship between two brothers and the wife of one of them is also intriguing.  The wife, played by Carey Mulligan is obviously unhappy with being forced to move to this plot of land and it is clear that the tension between them all will come to a head at some point.  The acting and the setting are great and this was a good pick.

Wonder

I saw Wonder last week and loved this movie.  The kids and I had read the book a year or two ago and I love how the message is all about kindness and accepting others.  Auggie is a fifth grader who is about to start school for the first time after being home schooled.  He was born with a facial disfigurement and his parents are very concerned about how the other kids will react and treat him.  Via is Auggie’s older sister who is also dealing with friendships and relationships in high school.  The movie has such heart and is a fabulous choice for school aged children and their families.