So how has your summer movie going experience been?
Mine has been full of enjoyment and that may surprise some people when they find out what I've seen.
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Okay okay so April wasn't really part of the "summer" but it is the film that kicked off a slough of blockbuster fun for me. I don't want to spoiler the surprsies in this film so I have to be very careful how I word things. I heard some folks didn't enjoy this film, but I think that's because they honestly didn't know what they were going into. Some previews said "the greatest horror film of our lifetime" well that was just bad marketing. This film is witty, fun, intelligent and so well done it is still one of the best films of 2012. Solid direction, great writing, wonderful acting and a concept that simply blew me away. Is it a horror film? In parts, yes. But that's not all, and if you were expecting a straight forward film when Joss Whedon is involved then you really don't know Joss Whedon's work. If you missed this flick in the theaters then sadly you will have to wait until Spetember when it gets it's DVD/Blu-Ray release, I'll see you the day it's released while I'm picking up my copy.
I give it 5 out of 5 shots.
I enjoyed this flick so much I saw it in the theater twice, I feat I rarely do anymore. Talk about big blockbuster fun, The Avengers had it. I have gone on record as saying some of the lead up films to Avengers were not my cup of tea. The more I've seen Thor the more I've enjoyed it. The more I've seen Captain America however the less I've enjoyed it, which is saying something because I really didn't like it the first time. But with Joss Whedon at the helm The Avengers made up for it. Lots of humor and some great superhero action. But far and away The Hulk made the film. The best action scenes belonged to the Hulk. The funniest moments belonged to the Hulk. The Hulk (you know, the other guy) owned this flick. Hawkeye was kinda worthless, Black Widow gave it some sex appeal but I would've rather seen The Wasp in the movie. Iron Man was Iron Man, enough said. And the performance of Clark Gregg (Agent Colson) and Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill) were wonderful. All in all though if you took The Hulk out of the film it would've been a disappointment for me. And the set-up for the sequel made me excited but the post credit scene cracked me up.
I give it 4 out of 5 shots.
I really don't understand all the hatred of this film. I really did love it. Let's call it what it is though, it is a prequel to the ALIEN franchise. Ridley Scott doing what Ridley Scott does best, make a nice thrilling Sci-Fi epic. I heard some folks "poo-poo" on the slow paced Drama aspects of this flick, did these folks not see the first ALIEN? It is slow and dramatic. I felt Prometheus gave a good backstory to a series you already knew and loved. I think people's expectations for this were through the roof so much so that nothing would've met the expectations. With the exception of Noomi Repace (the lead, Elizabeth Shaw) the rest of the cast was full of talented actors. I say "with the exception" because she was the weak link in this cast by far, the only other film I saw her in ever was Sherlock Homes: Game of Shadows and I thought she was god awful in that dreadful movie. I did not buy her as a strong character and was kinda rooting for her death. Michael Fassbender (David) and Charlize Theron (Vickers) were both wonderful. The effects were just gorgeous. And I liked the story, sure there were plotholes but I dare you to find a film nowadays that is completely free of those.
I give it 3 out of 5 shots.
MEN IN BLACK 3
Another film so many people seemed to have disliked. I don't understand why. The Men In Black films have been wonderful action/comedy/sci-fi matinee flicks that feel like some 1960s drive-in fare that grew up a bit. I love time travel stories anyway simply because I like to see how the tricky time-space continuum is dealt with. Will Smith did great, Tommy Lee Jones always gives a solid performance but of course the one thing it seems everyone agrees on is Josh Brolin's outstanding turn as the young K. Talk about walking a fine line between building a character on your own AND doing a flawless impersonation of an iconic actor, Brolin impressed the hell out of me. Sure the aspect of "oh you guys didn't know this has gone on since the beginning" thing was annoying, but not enough so to make me enjoy this flick any less.
I give it 3 & 1/2 shots out of 5.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER
Let me start by saying I love Timur Bekmambetov's direction in all of his movies so far, I may not have loved his movies but I recognize how talented he is as a director. My hatred for Tim Burton aside, I have said many times he needs to quit directing and just produce films, and this proves it. Visually it is awesome. Story wise there were many "seriously guy?" moments, a little too many. I wish every filmmaker would see this movie if anything to just learn that too much slow motion does nothing for the action, it bores the audience as it did in this. The acting was well done, I would've loved to see more Alan Tudyk screen time however. You can't really go wrong with Rufus Sewell playing a villain. It just seemed to fall just short of the movie it was meant to be. I had a lot of fun watching this flick, but it could've been a little more...just more.
I give it 2 & 3/4 shots out of 5.
This is going to be very hard for me to say because Monster's Inc has been my favorite Pixar flick since it came out (although both The Incredibles and Wall-E did give it a run for it's money), that being said BRAVE is the best Pixar film so far. Visually it is the most awe-inspiring, breath-taking beautiful film they've done. Story wise it has the strongest characters seen in an animated flick since the first Shrek. And finally it has a strong female character that has been lacking in the "Princess" movies. Unlike the other Disney Princesses Merida does not simply sing and wait around for a guy to come along. She is a rough and tumble girl. I love her wild untamed red hair because it shows that awkward stage all teenagers are in. Does it have humor? It has Billy Connolly as Merida's father Fergus and that right there gives you all the comedy you should need, but add in the triplets as wonderful mischief makers and Robbie Coltrane as Lord Dingwall and you will be snorting soda out your nose in parts. Does it have heart? The closing scene had me tearing up. So many of us go through that teenage rough patch with our parents and it's great to see an honest portrayal of that on screen. Add in a gorgeous score and amazing soundtrack and you can't go wrong.
I give it 5 shots out of 5.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
I wasn't sold on a reboot this soon after the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie. The first Raimi flick was okay, the second was wonderful but it was overshadowed by just how bad the third installment was. So I did think it was a good idea to stop with the Sam Raimi Spider-Man franchise (especially because Tobey Maguire isn't the strongest of actors, and by that I mean he's not a good actor, and by that I mean he's just plain weak). But to restart, especially with telling the origin story again I went on record saying it was a bad idea. Boy was I wrong. First off you have to applaud the decision of casting Andrew Garfield, he was for lack of a better term, AMAZING. He plays the awkward teenage to perfection primarily when lashing out at his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) with anger due to losing his parents or when flirting with his first love Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). The visuals in this are outstanding right down to a straight off the comic pages suit designed by Cirque Du Soleil and the brilliant decision by director Mark Webb to not rely solely on CG action sequences (the major weak point for my in the Raimi flicks). This is a Spider-man that Spider-man fans have been deserving. Add in solid performances by Sally Field and Dennis Leary, the best Stan Lee cameo ever and an exciting score by James Horner and you've got a winning combo.
I give it 4 & 1/2 shots out of 5.
SO there ya have it...
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter < Prometheus < Men In Black 3 < The Avengers < The Amazing Spider-man < The Cabin In The Woods = Brave
There's the break down of my Summer movie going so far, of course this is BB (before Batman) and once The Dark Knight Rises drops later this month all bets are off.
Again, this is all just my 2 cents...spend it as you see fit.