The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

The Secret Life of Bees
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writer: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Based on: Sue Monk Kidd‘s novel
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo, Paul Bettany, Hilarie Burton, Tristan Wilds, Nate Parker
Seen on: 16.1.2016

Plot:
When Lily (Dakota Fanning) was a little child, she accidentally shot and killed her mother (Hilarie Burton) who was about to leave her and her father T-Ray (Paul Bettany). Now Lily is fourteen and stuck with her volatile, abusive father. Her only positive relationship is with housekeeper Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson). After Rosaleen is attacked for trying to register to vote while black, Lily decides to run away. She breaks Rosaleen out of the hospital and together they make their way to a place where Lily thinks her mother has spent some time before her death. This leads them to bee-keeping August (Queen Latifah) and her sisters May (Sophie Okonedo) and June (Alicia Keys) where they find refuge.

The Secret Life of Bees is an interesting mix of harsh and naive: it takes many hard realities of the 60s for (black) women and transforms them into a tale of sweet, dreamlike sisterhood. It’s a tale of what should have been possible, even given bad circumstances.

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Valentine’s Day (2010)

Valentine’s Day is the newest movie by Garry Marshall, starring (and it’s almost easier to list who is not in this movie) Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Ganer, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Carter Jenkins, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Bryce Robinson and Taylor Swift. *phew*

Plot:
Valentine’s Day is an episodic film about various couples on Valentine’s Day (SURPRISE!). I can either go into very much detail right now or none at all and I choose none. :)

I went into the movie seriously expecting to cringe all the time. To my surprise, Valentine’s Day was not completely aweful. Yes, it’s a RomCom as full of kitsch as they come. There are hardly any surprises and there’s nothing that hasn’t been done yet (and probably better). There are so many people, the characters suffer. But it entertains and is definitely watchable (something that can not be said about other movies in this category).

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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the third of the Ice Age movies. It’s directed by Carlos Saldanha and stars the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Simon Pegg and Denis Leary.

Plot:
Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) expect their first baby. Diego (Denis Leary) decides that he should be going back to his single ways. That leaves Sid (John Leguizamo) who starts to feel lonely. When he happens upon 3 eggs, he decides to be their mother. Unfortunately, those are dinosaur eggs, and Mummy Rex is not too happy to have lost them. So she tries to take them back and takes Sid with them. Manny, Ellie and Diego go after them and find an underground cave system, where the dinosaurs are still alive.

The Ice Age movies are one of the few series that were not planned as such who manage to not get worse with every sequel. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was funny (for me and for kids) and very sweet, just like the first two. I saw it in 3D, which is always awesome, but therefore also in German. That means I won’t be able to say anything about the actors.

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