Spent a 15 degree but sunny day with Cathy and Linda. After eating some salad and Devil's Toothpicks at Rock Bottom Brewery, we hit the Warrenville Cantina 30—an excellent theater with seats that are super banked so that even a tall jughead can't block your view—for Precious and The Blind Side.
Precious, executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler “Madea Goes To Jail” Perry, is a bleak story of a 16 year old inner city girl who is abused in every means possible, pops out a couple of love pups, and then learns to read. Her hateful mother, played by Mo'nique (whoever that is) is extraordinarily well acted. The lead character, Precious, has few lines given the length of the movie. Critics are hailing it as very good if not exceptional, suggesting that the non-”Rocky Balboa” ending is refreshing. She manages to learn to read, and even though she's still homeless, has a Down's Syndrome kid named "Mongie", short for Mongoloid (I kid you not) and now has HIV, we're supposed to see this as progress.
Two thumbs down on Precious. We walked out of there feeling like we'd be socked in the gut with a two by four. A dose of reality? Perhaps. Something I want to see on a sunny Friday afternoon with a gouty foot and a fresh Coke and popcorn? No.
Next up, with a mutual desire from Cath and Linda to not leave the theater feeling like toads, we popped into The Blind Side (yes, and endured the painful previews and advertisements yet again). A very motivating movie, takes homeless Michael, puts him with a wealthy family (Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw--who should not only keep the cowboy hat and the goatee, but also his day job as a country warbler). This film, that gets a Yahoo Review C+ from critics but a solid A from thousands of Yahoo viewers, is a winner. There are better movies, but not on Friday, Jan 1 in Warrenville, IL. Uplifting, funny, sweet but not syrupy, it just felt good. After Precious, it felt like hitting the hot tub after an ocean swim. Ahhhh!
I'm the first to hail the critics, and for the most part, they know a good movie when they see one. But many critically lauded movies are not fun or interesting (e.g. Monster's Ball, Lost In Translation, Up In The Air), and you know what, getting that rare “A” from patrons on Yahoo, Flixster, Fandango—they know a rousing movie when they see one, too.
Thanks, Yahoo users, for saving my life today. And as usual, adored my time with Cathy and Linda.