For New Years Eve this year we went to visit my mother-in-law who moved up to the desert this summer. It was our first time at the house and served as Christmas as well. Like most families now, the TV was on and my brother-in-law had control of the remote and searched for something to put on that would be appropriate for the whole family.
Jack the Giant Slayer was the first one he found. We hadn’t seen it before, so we were fine with watching it. I was an okay movie that tells the fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk with accidental hero Jack helping and then saving Princess Isabelle, the daughter of the King who wants to have her own adventure. I liked it well enough even if it was little predictable. I did like that Isabelle wasn’t the shrinking violet, but she still had to be rescued at the end. Some of the Giant designs were fun/funny, and it was clever how the end brought the legend into the modern-day real world. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
After that was Warm Bodies, which started the same leading man from Jack the Giant Killer. It’s a Teen Zombie Love Story. Yeah, I said that right. It’s eight years after a zombie apocalypse, and we follow zombie R as he bemoans his emotionless existence. One a search for food he meets Julie, a human and he saves her instead of eating her. They spend time together, and he saves her again, but as his feelings for her grow, he started to become more human again. That’s right, the zombie apocalypse is ended by holding hands and having feelings. This movie had a lot of human which really saved it. R’s voice overs were funny and kept the movie from getting too angsty, sappy, or serious. I’d watch it again. I give it a 4 out of 5.
Then we stumbled on Volcano, a disaster movie from 1997 with Tommy Lee Jones dealing with a whiny daughter and volcano in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. I love a cheesy disaster, and this one was right up there with Day After Tomorrow and 2012. This was a great movie to watch with my older daughter. All the old tech and references she didn’t get were fun to explain, and she just laughed at the daughter for being so useless. We couldn’t believe how dumb the characters were. Lava is rolling down the street and the head of the Office of Emergency Management for LA (Jones’) character DOESN’T KNOW WHAT IT IS! Seriously? He’s never been to Hawaii or ever seen any nature films about it? It was bad, but hilariously bad. I give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The last movie of the night was Undead a zombie flick from Australia. This was another hilariously bad movie. Meteorites fall on a small fishing town in Australia which turns people into flesh-eating zombies. The story follows six uncontaminated people, which is widdled down and throws in aliens for good measure. The acting is bad, the effects are bad, the writing is bad. There is nothing good about this movie except how bad it is. It gave us all a good laugh and at the “twist” ending. I give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Overall it was a fun night watching movies good and bad. It’s been a while since we’ve all just sat down and watched a movie together as a family, let alone 4. A good time was had by all.