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)
Another summer movie for which I was beyond excited and I am happy to report that, at least in my eyes, it did not disappoint and that is not just because Fassbender was looking fresh to death because I don’t know if I have made this clear but I find him very attractive but X-Men had other things in its favor because it was one of the best time travel movies I have ever seen, seamlessly depicting both timelines without ever getting confusing and while I can recognize that this may have been a bit slower than X-Men films of the past, I loved all the character development ooey-gooey goodness, particularly Mystique, and despite an enormous cast of heavy hitters, no one seemed wedged into the story but with some of the characters obviously taking a more central role than others (this has to be the least amount of lines that Halle Berry has had in a movie in years) but one of the roles that I wish we had gotten to see more of was Quicksilver who has the best sequence in the movie and is giving Aaron Tyler-Johnson’s Quicksilver in the Avengers 2 a lot to live up to.
Verdict: If you like the X-Men movies, as I do, then definitely go! (If you haven’t already)
I have no beef with schmaltzy Disney sports movies, I mean, I can almost quote the entire speech from Miracle so my problems with Million Dollar Arm do not stem from any preconceived prejudice but just that it wasn’t a great movie because it focused too much on Jon Hamm’s character when I felt like the more interesting story was that of the Indian boys who were groomed into major league baseball players in only 10 months after having never even touched a baseball and this only led to a movie that ended up just being.. boring because I didn’t care about Jon Hamm’s character as much but there are still touching moments and some interesting insight into how the business end of baseball works.
Look, I feel like I have made it more than clear that I love myself a good period drama, at some point I am going to have to stop saying it, so it should come as no surprise that I LOVED Belle because it is a period drama and beautiful one at that that follows an illegitimate mixed race girl (who is beautiful, by the way) who is raised as a lady while still having to deal with the strictures placed on people of color at the time and of course there is a love story attached along with a lot of interesting insight on the rights of both women and people of color during this time and my movie going experience was only made better by being in a theater full of old white people and middle aged sassy black ladies who were very vocal about the injustices being done to our heroine making this maybe the most fun I have ever had watching a period drama and that is saying something.
Verdict: It is either up your alley or it isn’t, but if it is even remotely interesting to you then I highly recommend you go see it.
You may or may not remember that I was pretty excited to see this movie and blot the 1998 monstrosity from my memory and I am happy to say that this didn’t disappoint and that while I can recognize some of the criticisms that are out there, I would like to point out that this is still a Godzilla movie and you can’t expect an Oscar worthy film from a Godzilla movie and that this gets as close to greatness as I think may be possible because it has some great performances and one that is not so great from Aaron Taylor-Johnson who unfortunately is supposed to be carrying this movie but it’s okay because Godzilla himself more than makes up for it with his general bad-assery (even if he is a fat American Godzilla) and, yes, it may have have been nice to get him in there a little earlier but in the end, I appreciate the slow burn leading up to his triumphant reveal.
Verdict: If you are going to see it ever, I say see it in theaters and get the full effect.
I should start off by saying that in general I am a pretty easy to please moviegoer and will enjoy just about any movie that I go see and while I can recognize that this new Spider-Man has its flaws it was a fun movie and a great way to kick off the summer movie season because it is a brightly colored, action packed, quippy comic book treat with great chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone which should not come as surprise but my big beef with most Marvel movies has always been completely unbelievable romantic couples so I appreciate a couple that actually makes sense as opposed to two people getting together because they are both beautiful and why not but the movie’s main problems come from having too much story in one movie because it should have had at least one less villain and they should have given Jamie Foxx as Electro more to do and while I think Dane DeHaan was great as Harry Osborn I did not think it was necessary to include Green Goblin.
Verdict: While it has problems, overall, it was a fun summer popcorn flick if you go in only expecting that.
I should start this out by saying that I am going to be biased in my review because I read and loved the book but I also can’t say that I understand the unfavorable reviews because I feel like I can safely say that the movie was not as bad as the Rotten Tomatoes score might lead you to believe, I mean, sure, it had to get through a lot story and sometimes felt a little rushed but I thought that it was an action-packed good time overall and that Shailene Woodley did a good job of playing tough and vulnerable and that HOLY FRIJOLES Theo James is the greatest thing to happen to movies in a long time because I dare you look into his eyes and not melt of course I am again biased because Four has been one of my top literary crushes since reading the book.
Verdict: It has its flaws but is still a great big screen experience.
I will forever love anything involving Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and/or Nick Frost because I love Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz THAT much so it is hard for me to be impartial in this review so I just won’t be impartial and say that I loved this movie and it may not have the perfection of Shaun of the Dead but it was still awesome and hilarious and I loved seeing Pegg and Frost play such different roles from their others in the Cornetto trilogy and Martin Freeman will always be a welcome addition to anything for me.
Verdict: If you haven’t seen Shaun or Hot Fuzz, see those, then go see this movie!
It is no secret that I am a Janeite, Austenphile, or whatever you want to call it (proof of which can be found here, here, here, here, and here) so of course this movie was made for the likes of me because it is about a girl who just can’t seem to separate fiction from reality and wishes that modern day romance was a little more like it is in an Austen novel and I know that any of my friends reading this are rolling their eyes because this could be my bio pic but I would like to point out that I am not nearly as pathetic as the heroine played here by Keri Russell but I would also spend way too much money to go to Austenland where one lives like an Austen heroine especially if said Austenland has JJ Feild as Mr. Henry Nobley (worth the price of admission) who makes a bad first impression on Jane (sound familiar?) and Bret McKenzie as Martin the stable boy.
Verdict: While this movie can be a bit too silly and a little over the top, I know that any fan of Austen is going to have a jolly good time watching it, even when it hits a little too close to home.
Before proceeding with the review, let’s just get this out of the way, shall we? Holy mother of Zod, Henry Cavill! His body is IN-SANE. SuperABifrajDELICIOUSexpialiHOLYSHIZ.
We will now return you to your regularly scheduled run-on sentence review:
The reviews were not great and it seemed to be quite divisive amongst Superman fans so I went with moderate expectations and they were more or less met because while I thought it was a nice movie to look at (and look at and look at) the story dredged on a little too much and I did not buy Lois and Clark’s relationship at all and not only because Henry Cavill is a god amongst men but because they did absolutely nothing to develop that relationship and I just kept thinking during this move that the DC movies need to take some tips from Marvel and add SOME levity to their movies because, for example, Superman is often criticized for being TOO perfect and TOO impenetrable so think of the fun they could have with that and I know that there is a lot of hullabaloo about the ending and I have my own problems with it but I just have to ask what you expected with Zack Snyder and Chris Nolan at the helm?
Verdict: If you were looking for a cool “big screen” experience, then I say go. Otherwise, a rental will suffice.
There is no denying that this movie is ridiculous and at times over the top but I have also not laughed this hard in a while and I think the movie gets away with it because the “characters” are such over the top portrayals of themselves that you can just take everything with a grain of salt so just go in knowing that and I think you will enjoy it as much as I did and I have heard concerns that you may not be familiar with their previous works and get a lot of the jokes but I didn’t find that to be completely necessary and it really just becomes like any other movie about a group of friends that you have no previous history with except that we sort of do because these guys happen to be famous actors and I had also heard that about half the movie was ad-libbed and I thought it showed and really helped the movie feel authentic and like you really were watching Seth Rogen and Co. deal with the apocalypse.
Verdict: IF this is your thing and IF you can handle a LOT of raunchy (but pretty dang funny) humor, then, sure, yeah, go see it.
I was crazy excited to see this movie because it is my favorite Shakespeare play adapted by Joss Whedon who is one of my favorite humans on planet Earth and that just seemed like the perfect movie and all of my excitement turned out to be completely warranted because I loved it and thought that it was a really great adaptation that was perfectly topped off with all of those funny little moments that make a Joss Whedon project a Joss Whedon project and I thought that everyone just did a fab job and I was more attracted to Fran Kranz than I have ever been before and Nathan Fillion joined the pantheon of great Dogberrys.
With this review keep in mind that I really liked the first (new) Star Trek which I know a lot of people didn’t but I really liked it and it just so happens that I really liked this one too because it was funny and of course Benedict Cumberbatch was amazingly awesome as the surprise villain and it was just overall a fun sci-fi adventure.
Verdict: Go see it. Especially good on the big screen.
I went into this thinking “Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, my girlfriend and boyfriend in one movie, what could possibly go wrong?” and while nothing necessarily went wrong, per se, there wasn’t anything that went crazy right either and that left me a little sad inside because while Paul Rudd was adorable as ever this was pretty much my dream team cast and it didn’t live up to expectations but I would recommend that if you go see it to know that it is NOT a comedy but more of a drama with somewhat humorous moments because everyone I went with was expecting it to be a laugh a minute and that will only lead to extreme disappointment.