Weekend Roundup: Jack Reacher and Muriel’s Wedding

Happy Tuesday all!

It’s quite a memorable weekend for me as my hubby and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on Friday. We had a wonderful dinner Friday night and went shopping for a new ring on Sunday afternoon as my anniversary present 😀

Since we’ve already seen The Great Gatsby early in the week (check out my review), it’s home cinema time. Looks like a lot of you did go see Baz Luhrmann’s literary adaptation as it managed to make about $50 mil (which is about half of its production budget), but not great enough to top Iron Man 3 which made $72 mil to top box office for its second week.

Anyway, I’m only going to do a mini review of both of these films. So here goes:


Jack Reacher (2012)

I’ve been wanting to check out Jack Reacher for a while and it’s finally available to rent this weekend. I’m not going to review it here as Ted already written one here. Here’s an excerpt:

In the end I thought it was a well made action thriller that didn’t take itself too seriously and I like the fact it has that old school 70s thriller feel to it. I would definitely love to see more of Jack Reacher films in the future.

I think I’d agree with Ted’s 4/5 rating. I thought it was an engaging thriller that’s more focused on the who-dun-it story instead of just some overly fast-paced but vapid shoot-em-ups. I agree that the action scenes were well-directed and that you could actually SEE the action as director Christopher McQuarrie  didn’t employ the overused fast-cuts with dizzying blurry effect. I think Cruise’s performance here is much stronger than in Oblivion, but then again, there’s more focus on character development here than simply showing pretty visuals.

Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo and Werner Herzog

It’s interesting casting to see two Brits playing American in this movie: David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, who are both pretty good here. I’d say Oyelowo even upstaged Richard Jenkins but can’t really fault Jenkins as his role is actually pretty boring. But the scene-stealer is Werner Herzog, simply because he just lends such as sinister portrayal of the main villain who was a former POW at a Soviet Gulag. He’s menacing but more in an amusing kind of way.

Muriel’s Wedding (1994)

We didn’t plan on watching a wedding-themed movie for our anniversary, but we ended up seeing an Australian coming-of-age comedy Muriel’s Wedding. I’ve been wanting to see this for a while as I quite like Toni Collette as an actress. She’s so talented but quite underrated IMO, as you probably could attest if you’ve seen her performance in Emma, The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine, etc. This is the first of her earlier roles that I saw, which not only displayed her versatility but also her dedication to her craft as she had to gain 40 pounds to play Muriel!


Set in Australia, the protagonist is a misfit girl named Muriel who always wants to escape her miserable life in a fictitious town called Porpoise Spit. The title of the movie refers to Muriel’s obsession with getting married, even to the point of snapping photos of herself in wedding gowns. Collette owns her role as Muriel, featuring a bravura, no–holds–barred type of performance from start to finish. Despite some cheesy and even cringe-worthy moments, overall this movie is an amusing journey about self-acceptance and also a celebration of friendship. Rachel Griffiths is wonderfully spunky as Muriel’s BFF Rhonda, who endured a pretty drastic sudden change that’s heart-wrenching to watch.

One of the major highlights is of course, the wedding scene. If I had seen it before I made my top 10 movie wedding list, I’d have included the one here. I’ve always wondered why the groom has that befuddled look on his face in all the photos from this scene, and now I know why!! If you’re a fan of 70s music, particularly the Swedish band ABBA, then you’ve got to rent this movie. I find myself humming Dancing Queen and Fernando a lot the past couple of days, ahah.

I’d readily recommend both of these movies so give it a go next time you’re looking for something to rent!

Well, that’s my weekend roundup folks. What did you see this weekend? Anything good?

36 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: Jack Reacher and Muriel’s Wedding

  1. I loved your wedding list, I thought that was great Ruth. On the other hand I wouldn’t get too excited about Jack Reacher, not as good as I wanted it to be.

    1. Thanks Chris! Oh too bad you didn’t like Jack Reacher as much as I did. I actually think it’s one of the better thrillers out there and I quite like the story.

  2. Good stuff Ruth! I didn’t see anything new that blew me away. But in prep for Star Trek I did watch two of the older Next Generation flicks that I truly love (a review tomorrow) teaser, teaser…

  3. Rich

    One night, long before I became the movie geek you see before you (so to speak), I was up late and bored and I put on Jay Leno. I’m not normally into the late night talk-shows, but like I said, I was bored. He had on as his guest some Australian actress I had never heard of, talking about a movie she did in which she put on a bunch of weight for the role. They showed a clip. The clip was actually kinda funny. The movie and the actress stuck in my memory and when that movie came out, I decided to take a chance and watch it, even though I wasn’t big on foreign movies at the time. It was a choice I never regretted. That movie, of course, was MURIEL’S WEDDING and that actress was Toni Collette. I’ve been a big fan of both ever since.

    1. What an awesome story Rich!! She’s a splendid actress isn’t she? She comes across so affable in real life too. Not many actors (especially a woman) is willing to gain sooo many pounds for a role, which makes me respect her a whole lot more!

  4. Ted S.

    Glad you enjoyed Reacher, it’s nothing special but that’s why it’s good. It didn’t try hard to be anything more than an action thriller, can’t say that for some other action films these last few years. Wow Muriel’s Wedding, that brought back some memories of my high school years. Many ladies from my high school couldn’t stop talking about it, I think I saw it but don’t remember much of it though.

    Didn’t see anything new, when I went to pick up Jack Reacher bluray, I saw a few movies were on sale. I picked up a couple of old Star Trek movies that I liked, Generations and Insurrection. I also picked up Goldfinger, it’s only $8 and it’s one of the good Bond films I didn’t have in my collection. So I watched Goldfinger and Star Trek: Generations over the weekend. I hope to win a couple of free passes from IMAX again so I can see the new Star Trek on the giant screen.

    1. Yeah it’s surprisingly good indeed, but I think it’s ok to just see it on my tv, the visuals are nothing special for the big screen. I wish I had seen Muriel’s Wedding in high school, that would’ve been fun!

      I actually never saw any Star Trek movie before the JJ Abrams’ one, ahah. I’m seeing it tomorrow but it’s a late screening at 9pm!

      1. Ted S.

        I don’t think it’s official yet that the sequel is coming, I assume the studio will see how it does on home video before green lighting another one. Besides Cruise is super busy with his other films, including the coming Mission Impossible 5. I’d love to see another Reacher film but if they don’t make it, I’m fine with that.

  5. I liked Reacher, mainly because Pike’s chest was like it’s own character! Cruise did well in the role, despite getting stick for being too small I liked him 🙂

    1. Ahaha, i loce ur honesty Ty! You’re right, on some scenes they seem tp hv a mind of their own 😉 I like Cruise here, I didn’t even mind that he’s almost a foot shorter than the character in the book!

  6. Glad you liked them. They’re both on my watchlist, so I’ll give them a look at some point.

    One film I watched over the weekend that I really loved was Julie Taymor’s Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. It’s a great depiction of an underrated Shakespeare play.

  7. oh my goodness! 10yr anniversary?! How wonderful! Congratulations to both of you. What a blessing.

    I liked Jack Reacher. Not as much as 4/5, but it was horrible. too many people missed out on it just because of their “no Tom Cruise” pact. their loss. ha Glad you liked it.

    1. Ahah, I thought you’d read that on my Top 10 wedding post 😀 Thanks T. Yes, 10 years of wedded bliss, it’s indeed a blessing I don’t take for granted.

      You mean it ‘wasn’t’ horrible right? Yeah, I think people just automatically dismissed it, but like you said, their loss. I thought he gave a strong performance, story-wise better than Oblivion!

  8. I may watch Jack Reacher one day. I really like Rosamund Pike and she really deserves good roles – Reacher at least looks like a better gig than Wrath of the Titans. They played it on HBO before Game of Thrones last Sunday so I caught last 10 minutes of it and it was so bad my eyes almost bled from witnessing it.

    1. If you like Rosamund you MUST watch this for her! I’ve only seen her in Pride & Prejudice and An Education but this is quite a different role for her and she plays an American.

      Oh I didn’t even bother w/ Wrath of the Titans as the first movie was an abominable! I didn’t care for Worthington after that. Too bad Mads is in it!

      1. You haven’t seen her in Die Another Day? I really wish she would get more roles like in An Education, she was amazing there. She is great even in small roles, like in Fracture.

        1. Oh I did see Die Another Day, though I’d rather forget it, ahah. Can’t remember hardly anything in that one anyway, it’s got one of the worst Bond villains AND Bond girls!

    1. Thanks Eric! Yeah, Herzog plays the villain. He’s not on screen much and I didn’t realize he had such a thick German accent, ahah.

    1. No such thing as a late comment 😀 I actually haven’t seen any Walter Hill film before, or if I did I just didn’t know it was his. I like this one, it’s not the typical flashy action flick. I’m surprised I enjoyed it though as initially I laughed at Cruise being cast as a guy who’s 6’5″ in the book!

      1. You probably will have seen a few of his films. He directed The Warriors, Driver, Streets of Fire, The Long Riders, Southern Comfort, 48 Hours etc. He went off the boil in the early nineties. But his seventies/eighties stuff is ace.

  9. Pingback: FlixChatter Review: Mission Impossible Rogue Nation |

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