JACKSONVILLE — Editor’s note: A Jacksonville resident has been reviewing movies for friends for several years and has offered to share his thoughts with Daily Progress readers. His reviews come in personal letters to his nicknamed friend, Spud Nut. Our reviewer is Tater Tot, so consequently, the movies get ratings based on potatoes.
Thanks to One For The Money (rated PG-13, 106 minutes) I have become a fan of Stephanie Plum, the Trenton, NJ, Italian lingerie salesclerk turned bail bonds bounty hunter popularized in eighteen novels written by Janet Evanovich. Katherine Heigl has fun as the lead character in this story that began the series explaining how an inept amateur gets a crash course in becoming a street wise investigator. Plum is seeking an old classmate (Joe Morelli) in the police department, played by Jason O’Mara, who is dodging murder charges and worth a $50,000 reward if caught. She has a personal interest in finding him since she gave him a “cannoli” when they were teenagers. You’ll love all the entertaining characters in the Plum family and their ethnic neighborhood, especially Debbie Reynolds as her engaging grandma. My hope is that this movie succeeds enough that we will get to see another of the Evanovich stories on the screen sometime soon like this first three potato delight.
The Grey (rated R, 117 minutes) spouts a poem that sums up the Alaskan wilderness survival trek story about seven men being hunted by a pack of predatory, aggressive grey wolves. The haunting refrain recited by Liam Neeson is
“Once more into the fray,
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know.
Live and die on this day,
Live and die on this day.”
You get much more than just frightening, bloody casualties along the frozen trail. There’s talk about life and death, the will to survive, and the way to go down. Because the script has meaning, you might be able to endure the struggle and the harsh ending. Children should probably not see this movie because of its grim reality. There hasn’t been a picture like this in a very long while. Like it or not, you’ll think about it a lot on the way home. The acting, the frigid scenery, and the change of pace drama make this worth three very cold potatoes of viewing.