I mainly saw "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" because I saw the previous films and I felt it important enough to see how the whole thing ends. (If they announced that "Paranormal Activity 4" was the last movie of that franchise I might have bothered to see it as well.) It kind of went off the rails in the last film, plot-wise, and the first two-thirds of this one was basically filler while waiting for the final showdown between the Volturi and the Cullens and their supporters (over Edward and Bella's daughter) to play out, including introducing a bunch of other vampire clans. When that final conflict occurs it's somewhat interesting, until one of the worst plot twists ever is revealed. It's a twist that probably works for the Twihards, but not for anyone else. My grade: D-plus.
"Silver Linings Playbook" is being hyped as Oscar-worthy. I didn't find it quite that great. In fact, after seeing the trailers play up the humor and romance angles a little more than the mental health issues of Bradley Cooper's character, the first portion of the film is rather jarring in its intensity. Then it settles into a nice groove, and then finally turns into a more predictable film thanks to a large wager on the final Eagles game of the 2008 season and the results of the dance contest in which our hero and Jennifer Lawrence's character are participating. Lawrence is terrific and Cooper is fine (although never shirtless). And it was rather cool to have the Eagles figure so much in the story, despite their current travails. By the way, I'm very proud to have spotted a blooper in the film: at one point we see fans arriving at the Linc for a game, and one of them is wearing a Nnamdi Asomugha jersey. The film is set in 2008, but Asomugha didn't join the Eagles until 2011. D'oh! My grade: B.
While in DC I took advantage of proximity to a multiplex to see "Life of Pi." There's been a lot of talk that it's the best-looking 3D movie since "Avatar," but I only saw it in 2D. Looked fine just the same. It spends a surprising amount of time setting up the story, that of a teenage boy somehow surviving being lost at sea for 227 days (after a storm sinks the freighter he and his family are traveling on) and sharing a lifeboat with a tiger. Then, after we see his rescue, we're given an alternate version of events and are asked to choose which one we believe. So the whole thing is something of a metaphor about the existence of God. Not really my cup of tea, but not bad. My grade: B.