Cinema Chutes and Ladders: Summer 2015

It’s August and that means that the summer box office has begun it’s inevitable cool-down. We’re here to give you our take on a few of this summer’s biggest releases and speculate on a few late season stragglers. It’s time for another edition of Cinema Chutes and Ladders!

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Marvel Fatigue and the over-saturation of comic book movies. In response I’d like to say, um, boo hoo? What a bummer for audiences that this production studio is churning out these pretty consistently good films that make people excited to go to the movies. The nerve. I, for one, really enjoyed Age of Ultron.  It gave me everything I needed from an Avenger movie, like good character moments, and solid performances, and…

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Chris Evans chopping wood. Can’t forget about that.

Ladder

tom-hardy-as-max-in-mad-max-fury-roadMad Max: Fury Road (May 15)

I wasn’t sold on Fury Road when it was announced last year; I prefer studios to spend their time developing something original rather than rebooting a franchise that flamed out thirty years ago. So you can imagine my surprise when this turned out to be not only one of the best, but in many way one of the most original, summer release. Fingers crossed for a Nux spin-off, am I right?

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Jurassic World (June 12)JURASSIC-WORLD-15-1940x1042

I gave Jurassic World an initial good review that I stand by. But when this movie is taken into context with all the other summer releases, it’s definitely one of the weaker links in the cinematic chain. It was fun, but not much more than that.

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Trainwreck (July 7)

The alternate title of this movie was How Whitney Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Amy Schumer.

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Marvel's Ant-Man..Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014

Ant-Man (July 7)

I had one hope for this movie. I only asked that I could make it though Ant-Man‘s 117 minute run-time without hearing the phrase “why don’t you pick on somebody your own size”. I did not get that wish.

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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (July 31)

It’s really easy for me to forget what an amazing franchise Mission Impossible has been, until I’m confronted with yet another off-the-chain installment of said franchise. In other news, Rebecca Ferguson is my official Girl Crush of 2015. Crossfit has clearly served her well.

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Ladder

The Gift (August 8)

From watching the trailer of The Gift, starring Joel Edgerton, Jason Bateman, and Rebecca Hall, I catch whiffs of Single While Female and Fatal Attraction. Since we haven’t seen too many psychological thrillers this season, I’m interested to see how this one shakes out. For now, I’m calling it a ladder based on casting alone.

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Fantastic Four (August 8)first-fantastic-four-trailer-arrives-online_vbew.1920

So Twentieth Century Fox, your plan was to take a quartet of inherently ridiculous superheroes whose attempts at film success has nose-dived not once, but twice, and make them grittier? Good call. Hey, maybe next you could remake The King and I as a raunchy sex comedy.

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Dark-Places-Movie-2015-starring-Charlize-Theron-and-Nicholas-HoultDark Places (August 8)

Probably capitalizing on the success of Gillian Flynn’s last film adaptation, Gone Girl, is a movie that looks stylistically and thematically very similar. Hey, if it’s half a bananas the trailer implies, you can sign me up.

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Man From U.N.C.L.E. (August 14)maxresdefault

Henry Cavill, why must we always do this? You insist on looking balls-to-the-wall sexy and I’m sent into a celebrity crush tailspin. Do you know how hard it is to live like this? DO YOU!?

Whitney

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The Reviews are In: Jurassic World

My personal history with the Jurassic Park franchise goes as follows: saw the first movie WAY too young (two, guys, two years old), missed the second movie completely, and spent the third film trying to figure out how Jeff Goldblum wasn’t dinosaur poop. So why then was I full-tilt giddy for the Jurassic World reboot? Come on, guys, think real hard…

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My level of indifference toward dinosaurs is directly proportional to my devastating Chris Pratt thirst. But while I went to the theater for the Pratt-nip, I stayed for what actually turned out to be a very good movie.

hinh_anh_the_gioi_khung_long_jurassic_world__22Chris Pratt plays Owen Grady, a professional dinosaur wrangler who is called in when a new attraction at the new and improved Jurassic World theme park goes haywire. He, along with straight-laced park executive Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) must find a way to avert disaster AND contain the raging sexual tension between them. A tall order for anyone.

Just to be clear, Universal did not reinvent the wheel here. It’s a Jurassic Park movie. There are dinosaurs. But what Jurassic World manages to do very well is combine all the best elements of the franchise so far into one film. It’s scary, and sweet, and has an infectious sense of wonder that I haven’t gotten since the first Jurassic Park.  How infectious, you ask? I think my birthday cake this year speaks for itself.

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Verdict: Go see it. If you’re already a fan of the movies, then you’ll most likely love it. If not, see it anyway. If Chris Pratt on a motorcycle doesn’t make a believer out of you, nothing will.

-Whitney

Marry, Boff, Kill: The Boys of Summer!!! (Ellen’s CORRECT Answers)

Yesterday, you may have seen that Whitney played a round of MBK with some of the characters from some of our favorite movies this summer.  She predicted I would throw shade and she gives me no choice but to do be shady when she gets it so unequivocally wrong.  Once again, it falls to me to not totally disqualify us as experts in objectifying men.  Whitney, you are totally going to ruin our street cred.  If you feel like we are both getting it wrong, or if you feel like you need to tell Whitney how wrong she was, let us know on our Facebook page, our twitter@fangirly2, or at fangirlyfangirls@gmail.com.

Ellen’s Picks

Jurassic-World-Chris-PrattMarry: Owen Grady

First of all, he looks like Chris Pratt.  That should be enough, but I’ll go on.  Granted, this is the one movie I haven’t seen of the three, but just from the trailer I know that he has the gentle-yet-firm approach to train velociraptors that is sure to make him the perfect candidate with whom to make babies.  Doesn’t hurt that the process is sure to be quite…enjoyable.

avengers-age-of-ultron-scarlet-witch-quicksilver-marvelBoff: Quicksilver

I don’t know how to be delicate with my response to this one.  But…umm…he has super speed and I won’t lie and say that I am not curious as to how that would manifest itself in the boudoir.  Admittedly, “fast” is not always what one wants in that department, but I feel like it could also have…ahem…satisfactory results that I am not prepared to bypass for the purposes of this game.  Was that all vague enough to still be appropriate?

nicholas-hoult-in-mad-max-fury-road-movie-3Kill: Nux

It would a bit of “pot calling the kettle black” to reject him for skin tone alone, but I’ll start there.  Then I will move on to what Whitney referred to as his “cute little tumors” and the fact that he requires a human being to be chained to him as a blood bag.  Listen I am open to experimentation, but I am not quite prepared to have a voyeur joining us.  So, Nux, I send you off to that great Valhalla in the sky.

Ellen 

Marry, Boff, Kill: The Boys of Summer!!! (Whitney’s Answers)

I take an undue level of pleasure in bringing to you our latest round of Fangirly Marry, Boff, Kill. The competition is as tight as the contenders respective outfits and we’re hoping for a clean fight. However, if Ellen starts throwing shade again, I will in no way be responsible for my actions. Today’s contestants are Chris Pratt as Owen Grady (Jurassic World), Nicholas Hoult as Nux (Mad Max:Fury Road), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver (Avengers: Age of Ultron). And since we know you’ve got opinions, go ahead and unleash them on our Facebook page, our twitter @fangirly2, or at fangirlyfangirls@gmail.com.

Whitney’s Picks

landscape-1430757391-frd-ds-00085Marry: Nux

I realize that the war-boy-turned-unlikely-hero is going to be a hard sell. I can’t imagine my parents being thrilled, especially when they learn that my other choices were a respected dinosaur wrangler and a superhero. To them I say, hey man, Nux might not have a job that pays well (unless he gets paid in raw, manic sex appeal), and our joy might any day be cut short by his cute little tumors, Barry and Larry. But they say the loves that burn brightest are also the most brief. At least I get to send that little psycho off to Walhalla with a smile on his face.

uncharted_fan_cast__chris_pratt_as_nathan_drake_by_imwithstoopid13-d7m49yrBoff: Owen Grady

I can’t help but think that when your job description involves keeping a bunch of genetically modified tooth-monsters in line, your time as a viable boff is pretty limited. How long until a raptor gnaws off your face, or heaven forbid, you become one of those jaded, Jurassic-World-weary, “I’m getting too old for this Stegosaurus” type dino-dudes. So Let’s do this.  You know, before the unthinkable happens and you start to look like Jeff Goldblum.

600full-quicksilver-(aaron-taylor--johnson)Kill: Quicksilver

Did you see this coming? I didn’t. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s turn as Quicksilver was one of my favorite part of the latest Marvel summer screen buster. Not that it wasn’t problematic (‘nother time, ‘nother place), but I did love this character. I loved the hair (yeah, ya heard) and his unconvincing accent and his sexy blue and grey speed suit. It’s all good. But one must go, and by process of elimination, well, here we are. I’m so sorry. You’re great, but you gotsta go. I mean it. Go! Before I lose my nerve! Wait… come back. Ha! Just Kidding! Get out of here!

-Whitney

Grade A, Choice Picks: Ellen’s Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2015

Maybe you can’t tell from this blog, but I am a bit of an indoor kid, so I will be spending most of summer bingeing “crap” television (i.e. amazing television) and going to the movies.  Granted, the “official” summer movie season has already begun and at least three movies that would have made this list have already come out: Avengers: Age of Ultron (awesome), Pitch Perfect 2 (fun), and Mad Max: Fury Road (epic awesomeness).  But I’m getting the list out before June, which seems like the actual start of summer, so cut me some slack.

Honorable Mentions: Vacation (July 29), Magic Mike XXL (July 1), Dope (June 19), Mr. Holmes (July 17), Paper Towns (July 24), Minions (July 10), The Fantastic Four (August 7)

masterminds10. Masterminds (August 19) Not a lot out for this one yet, but a movie starring Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig as bank robbers and Jason Sudeikis with a ‘stache?  That will at least guarantee a good time even if it ends up not being any good.

9. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (August 7) The trailer for this Sundance darling just dropped this week and it seems to be my brand of quirky and weird.  I am also a sucker for a good coming of age summer movie.  I am not going to even touch the skeevy Alexander Skarsgard, even if I may want to with some degree of shame.

8.  Spy (June 5) The track record of Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy teaming up for a summer comedy is pretty stellar and I am quite excited to see a comedic Jason Statham and Jude Law.  The summer season is not a place for your broody period dramas.  Give me a lot big action sequences or a lot laughs and I’m happy.  I get both with this one.

n-MISSION-IMPOSSIBLE-ROGUE-NATION-large5707. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (July 31) Little bit about my family, my dad is a pilot and any time there is a plane in a movie, he is bound to be complaining about the inaccuracies.  Any time I see that trailer with Tom Cruise hanging off the side of that plane, I can hear my dad screaming in my head.  The M:I movies may be a bit inaccurate, but they are always a good time.

6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (June 12) I recently went to an even where they were handing out promotional items for this movie.  I was quite pleased to be intrigued by the trailer for the movie that is plastered on my new towel and beach chair.  Another quirky coming of age story (see number 9).

5. Jurassic World (June 12) If you know me at all, it will come a surprise that I am putting Chris Pratt at number five, but even the glory of Chris Pratt leading a pack of velociraptors apparently couldn’t surpass my excitement for the top 4.

manfromuncle4. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (August 14) Guy Ritchie movies tend to have a particular cool vibe that speaks to me and this one looks even more fun than most.  The movie looks good, but do you know what looks really good?  Henry Cavill.

3. Inside Out (June 19) Even better than Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy’s track record is Pixar’s.  A Pixar movie fronted by Amy Poehler about a teen girl’s emotions is sure to be an Ellen-pleaser if maybe not a crowd-pleaser, but it will probably be a crowd-pleaser, too.

2.  Ant-Man (July 17) I feel like I can just leave it at “Paul Rudd in a Marvel movie”, but I’ll try to say a little more.  The movie may have a bit of a storied production process, but remember that at this same time last year everybody was referring to Guardians of the Galaxy as “that Marvel space movie”.

trainwreck-trailer-pic1. Trainwreck (July 17) Bit of a disclaimer: I recently binge watched all of Inside Amy Schumer, so I am on a bit of Amy Schumer kick.  The movie is also getting some good buzz from it’s SXSW premiere.  At this point in my life, Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in a romantic comedy is probably going to be number one in my book, so I just went ahead and put it at number one.

Ellen