I tend to enjoy Luc Besson’s films. There’s something so endlessly watchable about his brand of dumbness. However, Lucy is the dumbest movie about smart people I’ve ever seen. The character in the movie uses a 100% of her brain by the end of the film which results in the film using 0% of it’s brain. It’s the type of movie that expects its audiences to turn off their brains at the door.
After season five 24 became nothing more than a show with great action and uninspired and redundant stories. The show and Jack Bauer were running on fumes. After season 8 ended, the cast and crew of the show talked for years about a possible movie. But what was finally decided was a 12 episode limited series that would still cover 24 hours but set in London. Maybe it was the long break, maybe it was the shorter episode order, maybe it was the change in location or maybe it was all of those things but 24: Live Another Day was an enjoyable season of 24 that made me want more seasons of 24 in the future.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the most depressing blockbuster movie of the summer. It’s an absolute bummer and I loved every minute of it.
That’s what the Planet of the Apes franchise has always been. They’ve always offered us social commentary on our world, while giving us a nihilistic gut punch in the end. They were always a true bummer.
The X-Men films are our last connection to the superhero films of the early 2000s. The films weren’t particularly great, with the series hitting a low point beginning with X-Men: The Last Stand and being followed with the absolutely awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Whatever good the first two movies had done, disappeared, and no one could understand why 20th Century Fox just didn’t reboot the franchise.
When we first see Spider-Man in, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he is free falling through the city of New York. He’s in his classic red, and blue suit, he’s web-slinging like I’ve never seen Spidey web-sling like before. You hear the news chopper talk about a hijacking turned car chase, and you see Spider-Man head towards the scene. The scene gives us the wise-cracking Spidey, who’s not only worried about stopping the chase, but also protecting the random citizens who are getting caught in the middle of everything. This is the Spider-Man we’ve have not seen in any of the movies before, at least not one that is portrayed, and executed this perfectly.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gave me the Spider-Man I’ve always wanted to see on screen, and for that I’m thankful. However, that is as far as my compliments go. Because, after that scene, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, turns into an inconsistent, bloated, and nonsensical mess.
300 became an unknown sleeper hit back in 2006. Director Zack Snyder created a wholly stylized world, and filled it with six packs, testosterone, and some of the most quotable lines of movie dialogue. That was 2006, this is 2014, and we have a prequel/sequel/parallel story to the original, in, 300: Rise of an Empire. So, after eight years, was anyone even clamouring for another 300 movie? Well, certainly not me, I was not even a big fan of the first movie. Loved the stylized violence, but hated the simple-minded, and male driven nature of it’s story-telling. However, I was curious, Snyder wasn’t directing it, and Eva Green was the movie’s female lead, and villain.
I never liked Captain America growing up. Always found him boring and a bit of a square, basically, I felt that he was just a way for America to show off their patriotism, and to compete with Superman for being the moral compass of their comics. I mean, the guy’s wearing the American flag on his chest. However, my opinion on Captain America changed after I watched Captain America: The First Avenger.
Captain America’s first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe turned out to be the Marvel’s best Phase One movie but also turned out to be my favourite Marvel movie. It was just a great movie from to start to finish; filled with with great character moments, a lot of heart, and is the only marvel film to earn it’s love story.
When a film like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes along, it brings out my inner feminist. Films like this are rare. We are so used to seeing women be the lead in romantic comedies, that when you see one wielding a bow and murdering people for survival, it’s jarring. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire may not be the best film of 2013, it is far from perfect, but it is one of the most important films of 2013.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the middle child of the trilogy, so you’d expect it to be forgetful, a placeholder for the more explosive conclusion. However, that is not the case. Catching Fire is a darker, deeper and more action-packed than the first film. It builds upon what the first film already created and adds more layers, to its characters, and the world they inhabit.
After The Avengers, Marvel raised the bar from what we can expect from comic book films in the future. This has obviously added pressure on Marvel’s stand alone films, who have to now meet those high standards set by The Avengers and provide an entertaining film with a captivating plot and character moments. Thor: The Dark World, brings the action and its fun characters but when characters are just going through the motion of the plot, there is only so much fun that is to be had.
“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really … I was alive.” – Walter White
Series finale’s are always tricky. People always go into them with big expectations, wanting to achieve some kind of closure. Whether that closure is an emotional one or one that ties up all the loose ends. Whichever way you slice it, people foolishly decide their opinion of an entire series based on the series finale. However, Breaking Bad gave us a perfectly executed finale, that may not have been the best episode Breaking Bad has done but it will surely satisfy many viewers and leave a few slightly disappointed.
Sequels are always tough. Not only do you have to create a film that is a follow up to the original but it has to have it’s own identity. It will always be compared to the original and even the most die hard of fans will scrutinize it. No one fucks with the original, a phrase echoed by fanboys through the years. Kick-Ass 2 is envious of the original film. It wants to live up to the original so bad you can sense its eagerness to do so. This causes the film to loose it’s heart, wit and joyful energy that the original has become synonymous with.
For the most part, movies in the summer are mindless and fun. Never going beyond mindless action and cheap laughs. But here comes The World’s End, during the dog days of summer, to remind you that not all summer movies have to follow that model. The final installment of the, “Cornetto Trilogy,” gives us Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at their most heartfelt. Giving us a film that is equal parts funny and as it is emotional. It is easily one of the best films of the summer.
In 2009, Neil Blomkamp caught everyone’s attention with his science fiction masterpiece, District 9. The film earned 4 Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Everyone was eager to see what Blomkamp would do next. Elysium is his highly anticipated film, the one meant to prove that District 9 was not a fluke. Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed by Elysium.
What is this like the fifth superhero movie of the year? Ok, it’s only the third, I think, but they all seem blur together nowadays. Most superhero movies operate on two formulas. One is to introduce a new villain, blow things up, save the female character in distress, and in the third act, CGI and massive destruction rules. The other is to make your hero go through some kind of existential crisis which allows him to find himself and accept what he is (Spider-Man 2, Man of Steel, Batman Begins). I say he because they’ve all been men but that is a discussion that belongs in another article all together. The Wolverine is special, in that it uses both formulas. The result is a good movie that turns sour in the last act, which feels like a completely different film than what it starts out being.
The last time giant robots were in theaters, we were sitting through the lifeless and hollow project of Michael Bay’s Transformers. But here comes Guillermo del Toro, to show that you can bring life amongst all the metal and CGI. It’s a film that swings big, is larger than life and is more enjoyable if you don’t think too much about it. I’m always cynical about films like this: giants robots fighting giant monsters, which means they destroy things and they explode things and really that is all there is but Pacific Rim is slightly different. There is love and fun that pours out of this film. Like Del Toro inviting us to be children with him this one time.
A film like Dredd is an easy one to ignore. On the surface it looks like a cheesy B-movie, whose action and excessive gore would bore you half way through but Dredd is more than just that. It is a character study about a man who is fueled by violence. Dredd is a gritty B-movie filled with dead pan humour, self-satire and enough blood and gore satisfy your bloodlust.
The zombie genre has been done to death by now (excuse the pun) but here comes World War Z to deliver a zombie film on a scale unlike any before it. There is no more hiding out at farms or hiding out at shopping malls, while the zombies are trying to break their way in. World War Z wants to bring the zombie genre to epic proportions and for the most part it succeeds in it. You get a tense and suspenseful roller coaster ride that only stumbles in the third act.
The long anticipated Superman reboot, Man of Steel, is here and it’s amazing. Directed by Zack Snyder, produced by Christopher Nolan, and scripted by David Goyer, Man of Steel is a brilliant revival of a classic and beloved character. Superman has always been portrayed as a truly good hero almost to the point where directors have ignored his internal struggles. I love the old Donner films but it was time for Superman to lose the red underwear and stop saving cats from trees. Even the recent Brian Singer film, Superman Returns, stayed to close to the older films never bothering to re-imagine Superman for modern audiences, which was one of the main reasons it failed to connect with many people.