A Midsummer’s Movie Report: 2014 Edition

Movies and Television

Holy frack, 4th of July is around the corner. That means the year is halfway done, and since ‘summer’ movies start rolling out in May, the summer movie season is already in full swing. Since I don’t want to spend an entire afternoon on these reviews, this will be Reader’s Digest: Condensed Version style.

Marvel making money. @ 2014 Walt Disney Pictures

April Showers Bring May Blockbusters

Captain America: Winter Soldier. Yeah it came out in April but fuck, it’s still in some theaters. Deal with it. Chris Evans plays the pathos well, but really shines when his Steve Rogers alter ego gets to lighten up. Teamed with Black Widow and that flying guy, this was quite fun watching them battle the obviously obvious bad guys.

One big nit to pick: it felt almost as a set-up for the “I wish, I mean it could be better, right?!” Agents of SHIELD TV show instead of the show playing around Captain America. (P.S. And we all know it’s all setup for the next Avengers-related Marvel money maker.)

Spider-Man 2. Too long in the story, too ‘bait and switch’ on the trailers vs. what made it the final cut, too familiar with everything else and yet, I liked Spider-Man 2 better than the first un-Amazing reboot. Go figure.

Neighbors. Good stupid funny, betcha almost every review dubs it Animal House meets This is 40 (the latter of which, hadn’t seen)It’s good, entertaining even if you kinda see where they’re going. My bone to pick is with the casting, Hollywood’s rampant sexism and size-ism, a rant I’ll save for later.

Godzilla. Call it the Pacific Rim effect, I did not care for this. You know how Man of Steel gave you new appreciation for the “ok, maybe it wasn’t so shitty after all” Superman Returns? Everything from the graphics to the plot .. just all of it, left me bored and counting the minutes until it ended.

Next movie, can we go back to a better time for fashion? © 2014 20th Century Fox
Next movie, can we go back to a better time for fashion? © 2014 20th Century Fox

X-Men: Days of Future Past. Overblown, overlong and overwrought at times, still a good continuation of the characters we know. X-Men gets the Star Trek “oh man, what if we change the past to reset the present” treatment and voila, a good excuse to jam in every actor who’s ever played an X-Man. Liked.

Maleficent. I’m a true blue Disney fan, and I still can’t decide on this. I think the mistake was they didn’t go dark, not nearly dark enough. Something truly dreadful happens to our young anti-heroine, but at it takes to melt her heart is a few pangs of .. ugh, nope can’t get there.

Sadly not helped that while she looked great in the part, Angelina Jolie didn’t really have much of a role to sink her horns into.

That Time Between Memorial Day and July 4th (aka June)

Edge of Tomorrow. With a title like that, this should have been a soap opera. Alas it’s exactly the Groundhog Day cum Falling Skies flick it looks like in the previews. It’s all about Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise, slingshotting back in time to fight some aliens. Which shockingly enough is a good thing.

The Fault in Our Stars. Gots enough angst in my life without this tissue fest.

22 Jump Street. Yes it was good. Yes they played meta on the ‘same joke like the same joke last time’ joke that was in 21 Jump Street. Yes Hill and Tatum have fun comedic timing and great chemistry. And yes Hollywood needs to get over the ‘mistaken homosexuality’ gag and quit pretending it’s enlightened when it does it.

Transformers. No fucking way. Unless it’s on cable and I’m bored to tears.

Next Up: July and August (AKA the summer months when Hollywood runs out of steam. And ideas.)

Final Snark: 2014 isn’t shaping up as poorly as summers past but then, that ain’t saying much.

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