I believe that at this point it is just general knowledge that I love Jane Austen, I’m pretty sure that is something that I have made pretty clear at this point in our relationship as reader and writer, so you can take this review with a grain of salt, but Love & Friendship is frothy, fun, biting, beautiful, and hilarious all rolled into one pretty perfect movie, but this is what I would expect from an honest adaptation of Austen’s Lady Susan as adapted and directed by Whit Stillman who perfectly captures Austen’s more shrewd outlook on her society and Kate Beckinsale delivers as the calculating Lady Susan, giving us a complex woman who you will both root for and against, but ultimately love as she tries to negotiate successful marriages for both herself and her daughter, and as with any Austen tale, the supporting cast of dandies and flibberty-gibbets shine and really capture Austen’s (in my opinion, underrated) humor.
Verdict: OhMyGoshGoSeeItNow. Especially if you are a fan of either Austen or comedies of manners.
With Bridesmaids, The Heat, and now Spy, the collaboration of Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy is gaining a pretty great track record because in the same way that The Heat was a spin on buddy cop comedies, Spy is a spin on, you guessed it, spy movies and it spins in a pretty fun way, mostly due to McCarthy who takes a nice journey from drab to fab and she gets some pretty fun moments of bad-assery but lending a helping hand, Jason Statham and Rose Byrne are great choices for, respectively, the blowhard tough guy and the ice cold “Bond villain” but I think what I really liked about this movie is that it always seems to be laughing with McCarthy and never at her because she is the heroine of the movie and I know that other films would still go there, this instead gives her a lot of smarts to show off while still being hilarious.
Verdict: Definitely a good candidate if you want a laugh.
Avengers: Age of Ultron – I have been pretty open about my bias for Marvel in the past and my level of excitement for this movie was heightened by watching all of the 10 preceding Marvel movies in the months leading up to the release of this second team up of our heroes but I have tried to not let this bias affect my reviews of this movie when people have asked for it because while I LOVED this movie I can recognize that it is not without its faults because, and I don’t know if this is on Marvel or Joss Whedon, but they just bit off a lot more than they should have because in the course of this movie they are already dealing with six Avengers, introducing (SPOILER) some new Avengers, and doing some major setting up for not one, not two, not three, but FOUR upcoming Marvel movies, four if you count both Infinity War movies and just felt like too much and the movie struggled for it because there was exposition just whizzing by to make room for all of these components, but that being said the jokes were on point, the action was awesome, and Ultron made for a great villain due to the performance from James Spader and Paul Bettany was great as… a new character.
Pitch Perfect 2 – I will always throw it in my friends’ faces that I had to drag them to go see the first movie with me on opening night because I knew it was going to be good before it became the “surprise hit” that it was but it is this very “surprise hit” factor that debilitates the sequel because I think this second film is as good as the first, it just lacks that fresh feeling of the first film but isn’t that the case with any sequel because here the jokes are still aplenty, the girl power vibe is even more prevalent, and the music is probably better than in the first if not at least having more of it and isn’t the music really the best part of movies like this, it’s just like dance movies where the only reason I really like them is for the dance scenes and not really the story, at least with this movie you get a pretty enjoyable story, as well.
Mad Max: Fury Road – There are plenty of extensive treatises on this movie that will discuss this movie much more eloquently that I will or could in this run-on sentence but I will still endeavor to convince that this movie is freaking awesome because it is and you should see it (see what I meant about the eloquence) but if for no other reason than seeing the most awesome car chase sequence ever should you see this movie because it is basically a two hour car chase and making the car chase even more awesome is the fact that it is, for the most part, all practical effects which, being the rarity that is today, makes it stand out even more and the other thing that you are hearing about with this movie is that it is the first feminist film and that is not without credence because, despite the title, this is a film led by a female saving females who are being objectified by males, so does it get much more kick ass feminist than that?
Verdict: Mad Max is the best overall movie, Ultron is essential viewing for being able to keep up with the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe that also happens to be fun, and PP2 is definitely a fun movie but only you can know if it is worth it for you to see it in theaters.
I spent my weekend watching all Netflix’s first collaboration with Marvel and maybe you did, too or maybe you have more of a life than I do and spent your weekend being social and getting outside, but I digress, as I usually do with these things, but if you haven’t checked out this new series I definitely think you should give this a watch because it completely redeems the character from his previous, lesser, portrayals and this is quite a departure for Marvel because it is grisly, dark, and layered, without ever having the DC and that is something I can get behind because if you like superheroes and/or Breaking Bad this just might be the show for you because it puts a troubled hero with some super powers (keen senses due to radiation, which is pretty par for the course in comic books, apparently) into the seedy underbelly of the crime world and it is fantastic with really great performances all around but especially by Charlie Cox as the titular masked vigilante and some of the most kick A fight sequences that I have seen and certainly that I have seen on TV (well, Netflix).
Verdict: Only you can know if this could be up your alley, but if it even sort of sounds like it might, you need to check it out.
This generation needs a good high school movie because the 80’s had the John Hughes catalog, the 90’s had such cinematic classics as Clueless and She’s All That, the early 2000’s brought us Mean Girls, and most recently we’ve had Easy A, but these tweeting, vining, posting, snapchatting, tumblring, blogging, vlogging young scamps need a film of their own and The DUFF is the best we’ve had in a while because it is funny, sweet, has a great soundtrack, and a hot guy, which are basically all the makings of a great teen movie and the cast is great fun with, dare I say it, the hotter Amell and the always endearing Mae Whitman (her?) as the leads and the latter playing what always felt like a real representation of a teen girl to me because she is strong but still goes through some self-doubt, which we just all do at that age, and I know the acronym for DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is a bit off-putting to some but the film ends with a good message and some confidence building for our young friends and this is coming from someone, who I’ve come to realize, was (and still probably is) the DUFF of every friend group she has ever been a part of and someone who is okay with that.
Verdict: If you are an adult and still enjoy some of those movies I mentioned, then you will prpbably enjoy this one.
A run-on sentence review is actually quite perfect for this movie and its almost freestyle jazz pacing that is accompanied by its freestyle jazz drum score but I should say that I am having a hard time recommending this one but not because it’s not amazeballs good and only because I don’t think it is for everyone because it does have a mystical-ambiguous element that may turn some people off and it has a lot going on because I am pretty sure that I will have to see it at least 5 more times to pick up on all the little things and throwaway lines that are going on in this movie but really this movie came down to the performances because between just Keaton and Norton you have a great movie but then you throw in Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and a surprising Zach Galifianakis and you’ve got a great movie.
Verdict: If you are into your more arthouse picks, then definitely check it out.
This run-on sentence review is going to be hard for me to write because I am going to want to use a lot of exclamation marks to express my complete and utter delight and therefore end the sentence but I shall refrain and instead just calmly say that I freaking loved this movie (!!!! I couldn’t help myself) because in my book it doesn’t get much better than a hilarious, epic space odyssey with a killer soundtrack and on top of that, one which stars Chris Pratt but I think my favorite part was that I was expecting Chris Pratt to make me laugh but everyone in this movie was also really funny, one of my biggest surprises being Dave Bautista as Drax, but almost from the word go I was in love with this movie but I may not be the most partial critic because I was bouncing in my seat before the movie even started but I am just so happy that this gamble paid off for Marvel even though I don’t think Marvel ever actually saw it as a gamble but I know more than a few people were a bit skeptical about a lesser known comic featuring a walking talking tree and raccoon but this just goes to prove my point that one should never doubt Marvel because at this point can they do us wrong?
Verdict: This should be abundantly clear, but, DUH, go see this!! Now! (Judging from box office reports, you already did)