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Monday, May 7, 2012

The Avengers

Legions of super hero fans have anticipated this mother of all comic book movies for half a decade as Marvel has shamelessly teased it since Iron Man in 2008. In fact, the abrupt teaser at the end of Captain America actually ruined that film for me, but I’m pleased to say that the super duper hype was actually worth it.

Before seeing the film, I feared that this mash up of marvels would be a circus similar to what happened with Iron Man 2 and the mid ‘90s Batman movies — too many characters and too many stories. But the opposite happened. What makes this film so absorbing is the interaction of the multiple characters.

Which is true to what made Marvel’s The Avengers such a revolutionary ‘60s comic book in the first place- the collection of egotistical, complicated heroes created a dynamic situation. Power struggles vs. power team dynamics. Super egos vs super friends. Here we get all that and Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. 

When these troubled freaks interact and unleash on each other, it’s a smash. Hulk – smash!

Simply put:  Marvelous. Zippy banter.  Spectacular effects. And the best Bruce Banner yet. Sure to please die hards — and casual movie fans too.

Award potential:  Unlikely. Judged against other super hero films it’s in the elite club with the first and last Batman movies, ‘70s Superman,‘90s Spiderman, 2000's Iron Man, and 2010's XMen:First Class.

The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Summer Movie List

2012 Summer Movies - By Opening Weekend

May 4
The Avengers
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Judi Dench, Maggie Smith)

May 11
Dark Shadows (Johnny Depp)
The Dictator (Sacha Baron Cohen)

May 18
What To Expect When You’re Expecting (Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock)

May 25
Men In Black 3 (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones)
Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson film with Bruce Willis, Ed Norton)

June 1
Snow White and the Huntsman (Charlize Theron)
Piranha 3D

June 8
Promethus (Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender)
Madagascar 3

June 15
Rock of Ages (Tom Cruise)
That’s My Boy (Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg)
The Woman in the Fifth (Kristin Scott Thomas)

June 22
To Rome With Love (Woody Allen film with Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz)
Brave (Animated w/ voice of Emma Thompson)
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
Seeking A Friend For The End of The World (Keira Knightley, Adam Brody)

June 29
Ted (Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis)
Magic Mike (Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey)

July 3
The Amazing Spider-Man

July 6
Savages (Oliver Stone film with Blake Lively, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta)
Katy Perry: Part of Me 3-D
The Queen of Versailles (doc)
The Magic of Belle Isle (Morgan Freeeman)

July  13
Ice Age: Continental Drift 3D

July 20
The Dark Knight Rises

July 27
Step Up Revolution
Neighborhood Watch (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill)
Tyler Perry’s The Marriage Counselor (Kim Kardashian)

August 3
The Bourne Legacy (Jeremy Renner)
Total Recall (Colin Farrell)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

August 10
The Campaign (Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis)
Hope Springs (Meryl Streep, Steve Carell)

Wednesday, August 15
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Disney)

August 17
Expendables 2 (Arnold, Stalone, Bruce Willis)
Sparkle (Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks)
ParaNorman (Animated)

August 24
Premium Rush (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
Hit and Run/Outrun (Bradley Cooper, Kristen Bell)

August 31
Lawless (Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Magic of Belle Isle


Morgan Freeman is grandfatherly curmudgeon Monte Wildhorn, a Western novelist who has more passion for drinking than writing these days.  Rob Reiner’s The Magic of Belle Isle opens as Monte moves into a bungalow for the summer, adjacent to a single mother (Virginia Madsen) and her three kids.

Does the family inspire ornery, wheelchair bound Monte to write again? Does he develop a romance with the young lady next door? You won’t find many surprises in this family-friendly film, just some sweet moments between Morgan and a young girl who wants to learn how to “imagine”.

And be warned, the creators lazily utilize Freemans fabulous voice to narrate the story, including many of the scenes he’s actually on screen for. 

The Magic of Belle Isle opens July 6, 2012

Simply put:  This is a movie about imagination, created with anything but.

Award potential:  Freeman’s voice alone deserves an award, but not for this.

The ten buck review: Not worth ten bucks. Fine as a simple family rental, nothing more.