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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

“Please, we need you to hope again.”-Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart)

After the dreadful X-Men: Last Stand, X-Men fans have been hoping for a movie of matching caliber to the comics. Director Bryan Singer's new film hopes to make up for that.

Days of Future Past was originally a two-issue story arc in the Uncanny X-Men comics #141-142. The story involves time travel; a formula that always intrigues in movies but never has a satisfying ending. Like Terminator 2, the best of the time travel movies, someone has to be sent from the future (2023) to the past (1973) to save the world from a robot apocalypse.

Lucky for the franchise, the only character whose body can survive the transit is Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (future). Also, lucky for the franchise, the key to changing the future is to find Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique (past), a minor character whose role has been heightened to maximize on her star power and talent.

If casual moviegoers can just accept the time-bending, mind-bending plot, they’ll be able to enjoy a fun collection of characters going full superhero in amazingly creative heists and fight sequences. An appearance by a young Quicksilver sets the standard. James McAvoy’s Professor X (past) and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto (past) are excellent as battling bros. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen have a blast (from the future) re-playing those same characters. And Hugh Jackman, as Wolverine, is always movie screen magic.

Simply put: The X-Men movies are never as good as they should be, but you can consistently expect an x-cellent time at the movies.

Award potential: The cast has 10 Oscar nominations. But not for movies like this.

The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.

Monday, May 12, 2014


Best fight MTV Neighbors
Seth Rogen, and a bunch of boobs like Zac Efron and James Franco’s little brother, try to pull off a funny frat comedy.

I don’t think any moviegoer will expect more than a few laughs from a Seth Rogen frat house comedy. I didn’t. The plot doesn’t really matter with a movie like this since it’s just a loose structure to fill up with jokes; and one out of every ten gags actually works. One gimmick surprised me so much that I think I laughed in a way that might only be described as a “guffaw.”

The script put some token effort into creating real characters and this makes them just a little more interesting than the college stereotypes we all know. Neighbors is directed by Nick Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), who probably owes us something more substantial than this, but I recommend this film with a good beer.

Simply put: Don’t expect a classic, but chuckles and guffaws await.

Award potential: This gross-out film’s only award will be a large box office gross.

The ten buck review: I had at least ten laughs, so that’s a fair exchange. It’s worth ten bucks.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Andrew Garfield vpl spiderman spiderman tights shirtless plotless amazing spider-man 3
The Amazing Spider-man returns for a big number 2

Just ten (10) years after director Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, comes The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a second sequel to the redundantly redundant 2012 reboot film. That film’s greatest great flaw was its need to retell (tell again) the super-familiar superhero origin story. I wish that all future superheroes would just simply pass the torch like the James Bond franchise does when an actor or director changes.

Even worse for the audience, this film begins by retelling the original origin story that they retold us in 2012. And, as a bonus, they give us not one accidental accident that turns someone into a super bad baddie story, but we get a double dose of those, too.

What did I like? The techno score was a great choice for the fight scenes with Electro, the actors are lovingly lovable and director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) knows how to pull emotional emotion from teen angst. The warm and just-right comic comedy scenes in this film with Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Sally Field and newcomer Dane DeHaan all worked somewhat amazingly. That is, until everyone decided to overreact for the seriously overblown and overblown serious ending.

Yeh, I did find an amazingly amazing moment during this film — this movie marks the first time I ever laughed out loud (LOL) during a funeral scene.

Simply put: Somewhere in this film is an emotional Spider-Man story, but mostly I wanted to cry about paying for my ticket.

Award potential: Hans Zimmer’s score is noteworthy, but not Oscar-worthy.

The ten buck review: Not worth ten bucks.