Vicki Hopkins's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Ben-Hur (2016)
12 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Should there be a law against remaking classic movies? Perhaps they should be left untouched, like master paintings done by great artists. After all, filmmaking is a form of art. It's not like anyone is taking a paint brush to one of Picasso's or Vincent Van Gogh's masterpieces and updating it for today's audiences. So why do that with other art forms such as film? I'm struggling for an answer. After the first fifteen minutes, I wanted to walk out. Really. Walk out.

I made myself stay put, agonizing over the beginning of the tale with new actors and a different beginning until they were all arrested and sentenced. The only time I perked up was when Judah was chained in the galley for a short-run of rowing. The iconic line of, "We keep you alive to serve this ship," was never spoken. (Actually, I was thinking you keep me alive suffering to see this movie so I can write a review.)

Jurassic World
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

In 1993, I went with my son, who at that time was eight-years-old, to see Jurassic Park. It was a milestone in entertainment as we sat in the only theater in Portland to have the nifty new Dolby Digital sound, making the dinosaurs' roars totally awesome.

The movie scared the bejeebers out of me. I spent most of the time during the T-Rex scene (after the "where's the goat" question) underneath a jacket with my son afraid to watch the poor kids go through their ordeal. To be honest, none of the sequels matched the first one in scare factor-until now.

Watching Jurassic World was a scary ride that I will term "Raptor-luscious." I jumped in my seat. Brought both hands to my head and held it in fright. Leaned hard into the seat while grabbing my armrests with both hands. (I guess I was trying to get out of the way.) Not much gets to me in the scare factor, but this one hit the nerve.

Okay, so here you are in the park! It's open. It's cool. The original dream has come alive. However, the DNA processing has progressed to scary levels. The park owners want the "wow" factor to increase, so the scientists tinker and make a brand new hybrid dinosaur. "Probably not a good idea." Of course, it was a really, really bad idea. It doesn't take long for containment to breech and all hell break loose. Of course, removing 20,000 visitors from the park is no easy feat.

Some reviews I've read complain about the lack of character development in the storyline. The character line-up includes the over-zealous park manager, the nifty Raptor trainer, a concerned investor, and a sleazy character who really needs to be eaten to shut him up. Every story needs an antagonist, and he's no different. Then, as in the original, insert two kids that need to be rescued to keep your heart pounding, like it did in the first movie, by grabbing your sympathy for the two poor boys unable to defend themselves.

The characters are in place, and I will admit there are not a whole lot of lines or backstory to the characters that develop them in any way. However, the character focus in this movie is on the dinosaurs--the new hybrid and the Raptors. They are the true stars that will capture your attention either through roar or deed, leading to a very surprising twist you won't see coming.

Needless to say, I enjoyed the movie in non-3D but am really tempted to get back to the show as soon as possible and have one of those beasts come after me in 3D. It's a rush. The special effects are great, and the throaty sounds of the hybrid and the hissing of the Raptors are music to your ears.

So grab a bag of popcorn, a cold drink, and buckle up for flesh eating, crunching fun-filled time with splattering blood from victims. Don't take it so seriously in movie land. A lot of people get eaten, true, but it's no worse than the carnage I've seen lately in movies from humans killing humans. At least with dinosaurs you can forgive them because they just want to eat.

Owen: These animals are thinking: "I gotta eat." "I gotta hunt." "I gotta...". You gotta be able to relate to at least one of those things.

Go have some fun. It will take you back to 1993. Really, it will, even in the story.

Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold (2015)
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Thoroughly enjoyed the movie. In order to find justice, we can't forget the injustice. Helen Mirren is gold.

Cinderella (2015)
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Oh to be ten-years-old again -- innocent, impressionable, and mesmerized by the idea of meeting my Prince Charming.

Cinderella. How many adaptations can this story have? Apparently, not enough. One of my favorites is "Everafter" with Drew Barrymore, but this Disney version is pretty much a starry-eyed spectacle of beauty that bedazzles the childhood in everyone.

The perfect audience are females young at heart, girls five to twelve, and young teenage ladies. Although this morning on the radio I heard a middle-aged male critic gush over the movie too. Will little boys love it? Probably not, except perhaps for the mice and cat.

The Cinderella tale is slightly modified and extended, but it does the story absolutely no harm whatsoever. For the first time in a long time I give Disney kudos for putting together a movie with a message that drills down into your soul. It's the words of Ella's mother before she dies encouraging her daughter to, "have courage and be kind." The theme resounds throughout the entire movie and is played out with such precision that the message stays with you. In an age where kids are bullying one another or being the victims of bullies, it brings a beautiful message of the meaning of courage and kindness and the good that it can bring into your life.

Your wonderful Rose from Downton Abbey, Lilly James, portrays an endearing innocent and kind Cinderella. Daisy the cook from Downton Abbey, Sophia McShera, plays the stepsister Drizella, accompanied by Holliday Grainger as the other mean sister. Gorgeously attired and mean to the core stepmother is played by Cate Blanchett.

Some of the cutest scenes are the fairy godmother transforming the pumpkin, lizards, mice, and the duck into the carriage, horses, footmen, and driver. Their undoing at the stroke of midnight is an hysterical scene of undoing with fantastic special effects. Cinderella is turned into a gorgeous beauty in a blue dress, who twirls around dancing in a fantastic choreographed waltz with the prince. If I were ten, my eyes would probably be bulging out of my head. At sixty-five, I had a huge smile on my face watching the transformation, the ball, and the undoing of the spell.

All in all, it's an entertaining movie that is visually stunning. The anchor that holds it all together is the theme of "have courage and be kind" that is said time and time again until you believe it to be truth, witness that good prevails, and realize fairy godmothers do exist.

Oh, and Prince Charming isn't bad looking either.