Monsters, and Guardians and Hugo OH MY!

Hugo - When his father dies, 12-year-old orphan Hugo takes up residence behind the walls of a Parisian train station. There, he meets Isabelle, the daughter of filmmaker Georges Méliès, who holds the key to Hugo's destiny.

(rent/buy) This movie wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I only vaguely remembered the advertisements for it and didn’t really think about it beyond that and knowing it got good reviews. While this film has a PG rating, some kids may find it rather slow progressing. There are plenty of fun bits though, with some little adventures and interesting characters. Oddly enjoyable, although I’d definitely mark this as something to watch before you purchase. It’s a deep movie, focusing on characters and pathos rather than solely plot.

Gods and Monsters - As his life draws to a close, film director James Whale--the openly gay genius behind The Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man--befriends a gardener, and both men learn from their unexpected but platonic bond.

(rent) This movie hit home in many ways for me, which made it difficult to view. It’s a slow movie, especially in the beginning when the characters are first meeting and we’re learning about them. I found James to be a bit of an old man pervert, but as the movie progresses, it seems to be less that and just his personality. These two very different men come together in a most unexpected way and I would say the last half hour is worth sitting through the beginning.

Originally I was mocking the “platonic bond” that is mentioned in the blurb, but I can see why they felt the need to mention that, although there is no real sexual chemistry between the two men, especially since one is gay and one is straight. Definitely worth checking out, especially for people interested in film and directing.

Rise of the Guardians - In this animated adventure, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost come together to battle Pitch, a malicious spirit determined to take over the world and destroy the innocent beliefs and dreams of children.

(rent) I’ll be honest, the way Jack and Pitch were drawn is what drew me in. The characters are fun, and there is a fair amount of humor bantered about, which I think is what carries this movie. The plot is...nothing new, really, and there are some holes that my friends and I had to ‘explain away’ to each other. Kids will probably like this for it’s adventure and story and character design, while adults will like some of the more subtle elements like character development and humor. This was enjoyable, but not something I’d rush out to buy.

Wreck-It Ralph - Wreck-It Ralph longs to be the good guy instead of the villain in an old-school video game. He sees his chance and sneaks into the arcade's newest game, a flashy first-person shooter. But in doing the forbidden, he unleashes a deadly enemy.

(rent/buy) A humorous, learn-your-lesson, feel-good movie. While this isn’t groundbreaking or amazing, it definitely brings some refreshing elements to the table and is littered with old-school (and new-school) video game humor and in-jokes. But I don’t think video game knowledge is a must in order to enjoy this. The story is good and takes some unexpected turns, which keeps the tale from being the stale.

Another Gay Movie - Studly Jarod, nerdy Griff, flamboyant Nico and innocent Andy all want the same thing -- to lose their virginity -- and they'll paint the town lavender to do so in this gay take on the teen comedy genre that's filled with naughty gags aplenty.

(rent) This movie won’t be for everyone and it barely was for me. I didn’t really give it my full attention, but it had enough chuckle-worthy moments that I stuck through to the end. As a parody on American Pie, I didn’t get most of the injokes, since I’ve never seen that movie and the humor (crude) was similar. It had some good moments, but overall I found the film mediocre, but for people with a different sense of humor than me, it may be just the thing to lift the spirit.

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