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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Movies for the mind, soul and spirit

The last few days have passed in a blur for me. Having been laid up with the flu, all I could do, between dosing myself with meds and soup, was lie in bed and watch movies. I couldn't bear anything too serious that required much brain activity, so I was pleased to come across a few light gems.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Packed with all my favorite British actors, this is a sequel to the original Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Truth be told, the storyline is a little lame - the motley crew of British expats spending their last days in a rundown Indian hotel, but the zingy one-liners, especially from Maggie Smith, more than make up for it. There are lushly gorgeous sets, song and dance Bollywood style and the addition of Richard Gere to an already stellar cast. It's a feel good movie from beginning to end.

 
The Imitation Game
It's hard to imagine that the Second World War was brought to a swifter conclusion and millions of lives were saved, due to the work of one man, Alan Turing. Only recently has his achievement been made public after being kept secret for fifty years. It's heartbreaking to see how the British government repaid the efforts of this shy, self-effacing man, played brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch. What a shame he didn't win the Oscar!

21 and 22 Jump Street
I know, right, what's an old fogey like me doing watching teen flicks like these? In my defense, I was probably delirious and under the influence of my medz, but once I started watching the first Jump Street, I was hooked. Co-written by Jonah Hill, the script is pacy and irreverent, and in many places, laugh-out funny. The chemistry between Hill and Channing Tatum is sweet and believable and their antics have to be seen to be believed. A cameo appearance by Johnny Depp is an added bonus. Of course the sequel isn't as good (they never are) but I eagerly await the next installment of this winning franchise.

7 Days in Hell
Released on the day of the Wimbledon final, this 40-minute mockumentary chronicles the fictional seven-day tennis match between two players, Andy Samberg and Kit Harrington. Shot in a documentary format, it has appearances by tennis greats including a very deadpan Serena Williams and John McEnroe, and even Lena Dunham and Fred Armisen. Admittedly, it's raunchy and crude and nothing like the real world of tennis, I'm sure, but it's great for a laugh. And Kit Harrington (the dreamy Jon Snow in Game of Thrones) adds a whole new meaning to the word "thick"!

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