Vacation means watching a lot of movies. That’s just the way we Ramblers roll. We go on vacation, we find a movie rental store or a Redbox, buy pizza, and watch movies.

We’ve watched four in the last two evenings. For your amusement and for your warning, I’d like to share a few reviews.

Austenland: Whenever the cover showcases people you don’t recognize, usually it’s wise to put the DVD down and walk away. But this movie was about a girl obsessed with Jane Austen’s novel who blows her savings to go to an immersive Austen-themed experience in England. Sounds interesting enough, but with poor acting and humor that descended from inanity to crudity faster than a New York minute, I’d call it a waste of time. However, the ending was enough to make me walk away and call it “cute, sort of.” The credits told me the movie was based on a novel of the same name by Shannon Hale, a well-known children’s writer, which made me want to go read the book. The credits also told me that the film was produced by Stephanie Myer, which explained everything.

Family Man: Nicholas Cage once again plays a man in a situation that gives him a reason to act as if he’s gone insane. The film is It’s a Wonderful Life, but backwards. All in all, I believe it was one of Cage’s better performances. An insightful movie that made me get awfully teary and want to watch it again. And possibly another time after that.

Divergent: I’ve heard a lot about how good the books are, and by the looks of the film, I’d say the books have got to be incredible. Go watch Divergent. Watch it now. Watch it before the Groupthinkers in the world ban it, lest those of us who hold to our individuality get inspired and out of control. The film was remarkable, and I can only hope they’ll make more of them as the books series continues.

Pompeii: Everybody dies. Don’t bother.


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