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.

Tater Tot,

I enjoyed the original so much that I was excited to see Nanny McPhee Returns.  It was the magical and absolutely charming romp I expected.   Emma Thompson did an excellent job in the title role and, while she was at it, also wrote the screenplay.  Maggie Gyllenhaal  does a good job with the British accent.  Is she just showing up everywhere?  The kids, once again, are the stars of the show, especially the youngest boy.  You just want to grab him and give him a hug.  Maggie Smith is wonderful as the dotty Mrs. Docherty.  Interestingly, two big time actors have cameo roles in this one: Ewan McGregor and Ralph Fiennes.  The animals are just too cute for words.  Well, I had a fine time and my sweet tater just loved it!  She wants to see it again.  I’d say hang on to a flying motorcycle and race to see this cute and funny flick.

See you at the concession stand,

Spud Nut

Tater Tot,

I’m not a rabid fan of Julia Roberts, but this flick (Eat, Pray, Love) was getting some attention and I went to see what all the hubbub was about.

 I’m inclined to theorize that the flick was originally intended to be just another Hollywood love drama...but ended up turning out to be better than intended...in spite of itself.

What ends up making this a tad above others is that it actually deals with “deep” issues! This one actually deals with issues of alienation, individuality-in-relationship, one’s spiritual side, the meaning of joy/pleasure, the (Buddhist) notion of balancing all striving and desire; questing...the inner search for meaning; the search for genuine connectedness; fear of facing one’s own demons, fear of risking & intimacy, friendship, separation and parting, running away vs. running toward, ...and on and on down the list.

Eat = Rome; Pray = India; Love = Bali

Liz, the Julia Roberts character, literally takes off a year and goes around the world to explore all three...and finds essentially what she is looking for in each place.  Presumably, by the time she finds love...the other two goals come along and overlap and help complete and integrate her.  Liz looks, on the surface, like a typical frothy/frilly Julia Roberts character...but give her a chance--she’s deeper than that, and more sensitive and aware and growing and expanding than meets the eye.

I went prepared not to like it, just to show those who’ve been raving about it that I’m an independent thinker...but I’ll admit that I got swept up in it.  

Go see it!

Forest Ranger in San Antonio

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