guest blogger: jill

In the last year, what's the best movie you've seen?
That's a toss up between The King's Speech (edited), Waiting for Superman, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

What do you think is one of the most underrated movies?
Shadowlands (it's all about the life of C.S. Lewis and how he met his wife, Joy).

Which movie do you think has the best soundtrack?
Top Gun definitely has the best 80s tunes, but one of my all time favorite albums comes from a movie I have never even seen, The Big Chill - lots of good Motown classics.

Have you ever watched a movie that changed your opinion about something? If so, what was it?
I love watching documentaries for that very reason - Waiting for Superman (about public education), Inside Job (about the recession) and Spellbound (about the national spelling bee) have all done that for me.

Which movie is one of your guilty pleasures?
I love martial arts films - even the cheesy ones. Elektra, I'm proud to say, is one of my gultiest. (But who doesn't love seeing Jen Garner kicking trash and taking names?)

What's a movie that no one would expect you to love?
What a Girl Wants (I secretly always wanted to be Amanda Bynes - I think she's adorable).

What is your favorite movie based on a book?
Oooh - tough category! I love so many. Princess Bride, Chocolat, Pay It Forward, Memoirs of a Geisha...

Is there an older movie that you think would be great as a remake?
I would love to see Pretty in Pink redone. Or, going even more old school, I think redoing The Philadelphia Story would be fabulous - but you would have to have just the right actors.

What is the most hilarious movie you've ever seen?
Toss up between Nacho Libre and What's Up Doc?

Name a movie that you love but everyone else hates (or vice versa).
I can't stand My Best Friend's Wedding - but everyone else seems to think it's great.

Which movie(s) do you wish you had seen in the theater?
Anything Audrey Hepburn - how great would it have been to have watched her come down the staircase in that stunning white gown and blow 'Enry 'Iggins away on the big screen?! Or to gush at the final sappy moments of Breakfast at Tiffany's?

Jill also shared her favorite go-to movie websites:
kidsinmind.com (gives a rating for sex, violence and profanity, so you know what you're walking into)
rottentomatoes.com (so you have a nice consensus of all the critics, not just one)
jinni.com (you can enter a title of a movie or TV show you love, or are in the mood for, and it gives you literally hundreds more like it so you get exactly what you want)

And for some extra fun:


famous duos

Loy & Powell

Laurel & Hardy

Wayne & O'Hara

Garland & Rooney

Bogart & Bacall

Newman & Redford

Astaire & Rogers

Do you have a favorite movie duo?


abc's: i-j

I Love You Again

I'd Rather Be Rich


The Italian Job

The Jungle Book

What are your favorite I and J movies? (Good catch Laney!)


abc's: k-l

Legally Blonde

Love in the Afternoon


Last Holiday

The King's Speech

What are your favorite K and L movies?


guest blogger: aubree

In the last year, what's the best movie you've seen?
Any movie that keeps the kiddo's attention. Most recently it's been Tangled and Kung Fu Panda. I've really enjoyed watching Invictus--I know it's been out for a while, but we have re-watched it in the past year, and I think it's really well done.

What do you think is one of the most underrated movies?
The Court Jester--at least my husband underrates it. :)

Which movie do you think has the best soundtrack?
There are so many to choose from!! Apollo 13, Lord of the Rings, the Narnia movies, anything done by Hans Zimmer (and he's done a LOT!) You've Got Mail, Fantasia 2000, Sound of Music (it's a wee bit simplistic, but the floating meters are interesting as different themes throughout), Shrek (it was fresh and original in it's day), just about anything done by Mancini, --is that enough to go on?

Have you ever watched a movie that changed your opinion about something? If so, what was it?
I wish I could remember the title, but in seventh grade we watched a movie about the apartheid in South Africa. It was pretty intense, and really eye-opening. (Especially for a rather sheltered Mesa girl.) It showed the racial tensions between all the ethnic groups, not just the blacks and whites. It also showed a lot of the sacrifices made by different people to try and make things better, and it was rather well done.

Which movie is one of your guilty pleasures?
It's hardly a guilty pleasure per se, but I really, really enjoy the new Batman movies. And they have a great soundtrack. By Hans Zimmer. They're great. You should see them. If you've already seen them, you should see them again. Like now.

What's a movie that no one would expect you to love?
Live Free or Die Hard--hooray for unbelievable, fluffy action!

Name a movie that you didn't like at first, but that eventually grew on you.
Nacho Libre--but I still won't put it on. I can just tolerate it if someone else puts it on now. I don't care for Jack Black.

What is your favorite movie based on a book?
Do you mean the movie I like the most based on a book? The movie that most accurately follows a book? Mary Poppins (Actually, Disney does a fairly decent job on a couple of movies from books. Peter Pan comes to mind.) A movie that stays truest to the spirit of a book? The Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma. The best adaptation of a book? Um, I think I'd have to go with The Lord of the Rings.

Is there an older movie that you think would be great as a remake?
I personally think The Sorcerer's Apprentice should be remade. It had a lot of potential, and they killed it. It should be redone right.

What is the most hilarious movie you've ever seen?
The Importance of Being Earnest--ha ha ha ha ha! There are quite a few scenes from various movies that crack me up every single time I watch them. Like the newspaper boy in While You Were Sleeping, the time Rumsfield falls off the roof in The 'Burbs, when Wolf and the squirrel are lost in the caves in Hoodwinked. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!

Name a movie that you love but everyone else hates (or vice versa).
The Court Jester--at least Scott hates it. :) One that I hate that everyone else loves--George of the Jungle.

Which movie(s) do you wish you had seen in the theater?
Planet Earth or Fantasia 2000 in IMAX.



the year: 1939

the genre: comedy

the cast: Claudette Colbert (Eve Peabody); Don Ameche (Tibor Czweny); Mary Astor (Helene Flammarion); John Barrymore (Georges Flammarion); Monty Woolery (the judge)

the plot: Showgirl Eve, stranded in Paris, befriends taxi driver Tibor Czerny, then gives him the slip to crash a party. There she meets Helene Flammarion and her gigolo Picot, who's attracted to Eve. Helene's husband Georges enlists Eve's aid in taking Picot away from his wife. It works well... at first. Meanwhile, lovestruck Tibor searches for Eve. But then he learns where she is and that she's calling herself Baroness Czerny.

don't miss: the divorce proceedings. Wait for it...THERE it is.

listen for: "I landed a lord, almost." "Almost?" "Well, the family came between us. His mother came to my hotel and offered me a bribe." "You threw her out, I hope!" "How could I, with my hands full of money?"

did you know: when Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett turned in their script, the studio liked it, but felt it needed some work. So the studio sent the script to two writers for edits: Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett--the studio sent them their own script to rewrite without knowing it. Wilder and Brackett simply retyped their original script and the studio loved the "rewrites" so much, they produced it with no further "changes".

extra bonus points: if you know why Mary Astor proved a bit of a problem during filming.

also listen for: "Now, Helene, don't let's hush this up and don't let's wait until tomorrow. Go on, let's have a lovely scandal!"

you can watch the movie in parts starting here.

my favorite scene:


the marx brothers

In alphabetical order, they were Chico, Groucho, Gummo, Harpo, and Zeppo Marx. Gummo appeared in their vaudeville act, but not in any Marx Brothers films.

Just like the Thin Man movies, I love watching Marx Brothers movies when I'm a little under the weather or when it's cold/wet/yucky outside.

My all-time favorite scene is here, but here are some others for your enjoyment/eye rolling:

Marx Brothers for Beginners has some good info, too.


the awful truth

the year: 1937

the genre: comedy

the cast: Irene Dunne (Lucy Warriner); Cary Grant (Jerry Warriner); Ralph Bellamy (Daniel Leeson)

the plot: Jerry and Lucy Warriner lead madcap high society lives in New York City. Despite being very happy, they start to doubt each other's fidelity and they finally decide to divorce. Lucy wins custody of the dog but Jerry secures visitation rights. Before their divorce is final they both become engaged to other people. She meets Dan Leeson, a rich but boring Oklahoma oil man who travels with his mother. Jerry courts Barbara Vance,debutante and heiress. Each does their best to foil the other's plans, with hilarious results.

listen for: "You know what rebound is? That business of trying to get over one love by bouncing into love with somebody else? It's fine, except the rebound is rarely the real thing. As a matter of fact, it's the bunk. There's the first bounce, then the second bounce, and, well look at me. You wind up like an old tennis ball."

extra bonus points: if you know why Smitty/Mr. Smith looks familiar.

also listen for: "They forgot to touch second."

don't miss: when Jerry finds Armand in the bedroom.

did you know: in this film Irene Dunne calls Cary Grant's character 'Jerry The Nipper'. The following year in Bringing Up Baby, Katherine Hepburn's character says "Haven't you heard of Jerry The Nipper?" to which Grant replies "She's making it up out of motion pictures she's seen".

my favorite scene:


bell book and candle

the year: 1958

the genre: comedy

the cast: James Stewart (Shepherd "Shep" Henderson); Kim Novak (Gillian "Gil" Holroyd); Jack Lemmon (Nicky Holroyd); Ernie Kovacs (Sidney Redlitch); Hermione Gingold (Bianca de Passe); Elsa Lanchester (Queenie Holroyd)

the plot: Gillian Holroyd is an average, modern-day, witch, living in a New York apartment with her Siamese cat, Pyewacket. But one day a handsome publisher, Shep Henderson walks into her building and Gillian decides she wants him--especially as it turns out he's marrying Merle Kittridge, an old poison penpal from Gillian's college days. So, Gillian casts a spell over Shep. But her powers are in danger of being exorcised by something stronger than the bell-book-and-candle routine: Love.

don't miss: the Stormy Weather scene.

listen for: "I sit in the subway sometimes, on buses, or the movies, and I look at the people next to me and I think..."What would you say if I told you I was a witch?"

did you know: James Stewart celebrated his fiftieth birthday during filming.

extra bonus points: if you know which characters were in the original Broadway play.

also listen for: "Are you trying to say you're... *jilting* me?" "W-well, that's a very heavy word, Merle. It's a very heavy word. Let's just say that we're... uncoupling."