December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

August 16, 2012

We Bought a Zoo (2011)

When it's over, second chances never felt this good.  Based on the autobiographic book, We Bought a Zoo, by Benjiman Mee, the story follows a widow (Matt Damon) who, after his wife’s death, decides to purchase a dilapidated zoo in the attempt to allow himself and his children to heal and start over.  After watching the film, I did some research on the book and discovered how incredible Mee’s story is.  If the film had not been based on a book, the story would be a harder sell to viewers, since it’s so “out there.”  I mean, buying a rundown zoo without really having the knowledge or money to run it, in order to gain a new beginning, isn’t the norm, but obviously, Mee's instinct pays off as the zoo becomes symbolic and a major focal point in the family's healing process.  This is truly an uplifting story about hope, about starting over, about healing, about life and death.  The only cast member out of place is Scarlett Johansson as head zookeeper and animal specialist, Kelly, serving as Mee's love interest.  Johansson is completely mis-casted, looking awfully prim for someone who's overworked, tired, and hasn't been paid in months.  Also starring are Thomas Haden Church and Elle Fanning.  A wonderful film to watch with children.

My rating: 4 out of 5

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