Grade A, Choice Picks: Ellen’s Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2014

Jake+Johnson+Lets+Cops+Films+LA+lsCPAGbD5qdlSummer, the time for fun in the sun, but more importantly, air conditioned multiplexes.  You can take your beaches and BBQs, I’m all for sequestering myself into dark rooms with strangers and a tub of popcorn. Let’s dive into my top picks for movies to see this summer!

10. Jersey Boys (June 20) I’m a sucker for a good ol’ song and dance routine, especially when it is of the malt-shoppe-doo-woppy variety.  A musical helmed by Clint Eastwood with virtual unknowns has me especially intrigued.

9. Edge of Tomorrow (June 6) This one has had me swayed since I saw the first footage at Comic Con.  It looks like a gritty, sci-fi, Groundhog’s Day and I can get on board with that.

8. Let’s Be Cops (August 13) Movie, you had me at starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr.  Also, this is coming out on my birthday.  Happy birthday to me, indeed.

magic-in-the-moonlight-emma-stone-colin-firth7. Magic in the Moonlight (July 25) Yes, yes, Woody Allen is a bit taboo right now, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he makes good movies (most of the time) and that this one stars Emma Stone and Colin Firth.  As an Austenphile, I am contractually obligated to always believe in Colin Firth.

6. The Giver (August 15) File this under “Ellen’s Most Cautiously Anticipated Movies of Summer 2014”.  As someone who loves young adult literature, I am, of course, familiar with the source material here.  The trailer gives me much to worry over in regards to the fidelity, but I can also respect a good adaptation, no matter how unfaithful. The power of Meryl is helping to bolster me.

22-jump-street-red-band-trailer5. 22 Jump Street (June 13) I am sucker for stupid comedies and the previous 21 Jump Street had me hook, line, and sinker.  It was also what convinced me to join the Channing band wagon, because he was funny and that is all it takes with me.

4. Godzilla (May 16) With all due respect to Mr. Jessica Parker, I am excited to see what looks like will be an actually good Godzilla movie.  I also sat in on the Comic Con panel for this one and they talked a lot about how it is less a Godzilla movie and more a character study of people dealing with a Godzilla attack.  Color me excited.

first-official-image-released-from-x-men-days-of-future-past-142959-a-1376897445-470-753. X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23) The latest trailer has me even more excited for May 23rd.  I love me a good X-Men movie and, Fassbender bonus points aside, this looks like it is going to be good ‘un.  The star power alone should be enough to make it amazeballs.

ebfdbabec18c15c361c93dfc332c852a2. The Fault in Our Stars (June 6) Okay? Okay. This is another adaptation that has me worried, because I am not sure how all of John Green’s amazing book is going to translate to screen, but I am more excited than anything.  Why I am excited to get my cry on, I don’t know, but I am guaranteed a good one.

Zoe-Saldana-Chris-Pratt-and-Dave-Bautista-in-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-2014-Movie-Image21. Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1) I am taking a leap of faith here, because this could be terrible or too “weird” to find an audience.  But no.  I have faith.  Faith in Marvel and the power of Chris Pratt’s abs, a power that cannot be denied.  Also, hello?  Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, John C. Reilly, and Bradley Cooper as a machine gun toting raccoon?  More than anything, it will be fun to see Marvel work outside of the Avengers.  Don’t make me regret putting you at number one, Marvel.

What has you pumped/nervous?  Let us know in the comments!

Ellen

Advertisements

Fangirly Crush of the Week: Damon Wayans Jr!

There was no shortage of crushable dudes this week in TV, but one bro stood out among the rest, and unless you have something against headlines, you already know that man was Mr. Damon Wayans Jr! Although we’ve always had our eye on the Happy Endings star, he really brought the heat this week in theseason 3 premiere. Examples, you ask? Well, we now know that Brad, Wayans character on the show, has a ventriloquist dummy named Sinbrad. (FYI, this is the only time you will ever catch us admitting that ventriloquism can be sexy. We generally feel that it has no place in society, outside of prime time sitcoms and Goosebumps books). To honor Damon Wayans Jr., here is a clip of some of Brad’s best moments.

Whitney

Get with the Program: Watch Happy Endings!

Airs: Tuesdays at 9/8c starting October 23rd on ABC

TV show equation:  Happy Endings = New Girl flavor+   premise of Friends x rapid fire references of Psych + Arrested Development‘s self-referential humor – Emmy Awards (don’t ask me why, though)

I can’t judge anyone who isn’t watching Happy Endings too harshly because I, myself, just started watching it this past summer.  Did I watch both seasons at an alarming rate? Yes.  Why? Because this show is hilarious.

If you are anything like me, I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, great.  Another show about six friends living together in the city.  Real original.”  The reality that we have to face as TV consumers is that this formula gets used all the time because it works. Case in point: Happy Endings.

This is another example of a show where the initial plot begins to matter less and less, but here it is anyway:  When Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) left Dave (Zachary Knighton) at the altar to run off with a man in roller blades (of all things), their group of friends were worried that nothing would be the same.  Luckily for these crazies, they are all just loco enough to make it work.  This original premise becomes less important mainly due to stand-out performances from the other four friends in the group.  Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Jane (Eliza Coupe) are nuts enough to be entertaining, while still remaining believable as a couple.  Adam Pally is fantastic as Max, their gay friend who is different than any other gay character portrayed on TV.  The approach to his character is both refreshing and makes for better comedy, in my opinion.  Then there is Penny (Casey Wilson).  The show itself makes reference to how she is the stereotypical rom-com heroine, always trying make things happen for herself, but perpetually winding up in kooky hijinks.

When I recently tried to recommend Happy Endings to a friend, she said she had already written it off because it seemed too “sitcom-y”.  While they do find themselves in sitcom situations, the difference is that this brood often makes reference to the fact that they are sitcom characters.  Take for example the following situation, when Penny is explaining that her boyfriend broke up with her for saying her catchphrase, “a-mah-zing” too many times.

“He said he hates when I say a-mah-zing, but I’ve barely said that at all this season… it’s more of a summer word” — Penny

It was great because I, as a viewer, had noticed that she hadn’t said her signature “a-mah-zing” in quite a while.  It’s instances like this that open up this sort of communication with the fans and makes the show that much more enjoyable to watch.  It reminds me of a more accessible-to-the-masses version of Arrested Development‘s self-referential humor (perhaps because AD directors Anthony and Joe Russo serve as executive producers).

Whatever there formula is, it’s working for me and I think it would work for you, too, if you gave it a shot.

I leave you with one of my favorite bits where Max is teaching Penny how to be a hipster:

– Ellen