Movie times

Kates and I crossed a couple more movies from our summer movie list over the weekend ...

First up, "The Pursuit of Happyness" ...

Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, an entrepreneur who’s had some tough luck selling portable x-ray machines in San Francisco. But one day, he bumps into a man who is obviously doing well and inquires what he does for a living. The stock broker explains, and Gardner's interests are piqued ... He wiggles his way into an unpaid internship at a brokerage firm and vows to do whatever he needs to do to get ahead and win the one open position when the training period ends. Along the way, he loses his wife, his car, his home and must take care of his boy -- played wonderfully by Will Smith's son Jaden.

The storyline, which is based on true events, is beyond humbling and inspiring -- and astonishing -- in the ways Gardner forges ahead to succeed. In order to get the attention of a manager overseeing the internship, he sweats to solve a Rubik's cube in the time it takes to ride their cab across town. Later, he lies to a prospective buyer to get another in -- and he gets himself invited to a 49ers game in the same breath. All the while, none of the big dogs he's working with on a daily basis have a clue he's living in restrooms and homeless shelters from night to night. Somehow Gardner comes dressed and ready to work in a suit every day.

It's also worth mentioning the film's excellent cinematography, which immediately pulls you back to the early 1980s with its sets and fashion. ... Check out the trailer. It'll make you cry ...

The second film of the weekend was the Pixar favorite, "Ratatouille."

In it, a rat named Remy with an uncanny sense of smell and the culinary arts invades the kitchen of a fine French restaurant. By accident, he teams up with a young chef and they secretly begin creating dishes that get the restaurant's patrons raving while saving the restaurant's reputation as a dying dinner spot ... Along the way Remy learns lessons about life, friends, and family.

While the movie doesn't stir up the kind of laughter found in Pixar greats like "Toy Story" or the "The Incredibles," it is wildly entertaining. The kitchen scenes and surrounding adventures are packed with whirling action. ... Check out the trailer.

I enjoyed both movies enough to add them to The List.

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