The Avengers (3/5)
I know that this movie came out right as we were leaving last semester, but it kicked off the summer of superheroes (and was so awesome that I can’t pass up the opportunity talk about it again). While “The Avengers” probably won’t drive you to any deep revelations, as a movie it’s just flat-out fun to watch. The action is thrilling, the pacing is good, and the dialogue is fantastic. And while the cast of the good guys is impressive, Tom Hiddleston is fantastic as the god of chaos, Loki. Never have I seen crow’s feet look so delightfully menacing.
Prometheus centers on the design, creation and management of intelligence. However, the movie never quite explores the questions it poses. The story is entirely too fragmented with unrelated events. Character development ruins the movie: I felt that the talent was there, but the movie’s dialogue and cutting didn’t let the characters unfold as people. The most convincing character was David, the android, whose emotionless fascination and disgust of humanity parallels humanity’s regard for its own creator. If you go into the movie expecting just a horror-sci-fi, then you won’t be disappointed. The movie is entertaining and at times cringe-inducing. However, do not expect any of those meaning-of-life questions to be answered.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the film is stunning. The animation is the best it’s ever been—clear, sharp and incredibly detailed (just check out Merida’s hair if you have any doubts). The soundtrack is gorgeous. “Brave” received attention particularly because its protagonist, Merida, is the first Pixar Princess employed as a main character. Maybe Merida isn’t a champion for feminism, but she’s a great character: impetuous, independent, courageous, and occasionally very selfish—which is incredibly refreshing. Equally fascinating is the character of her mother, Queen Elinor. Rather than romance, the focus for “Brave” is family and intergenerational conflict, and as such the rest of the cast is fleshed out with quirky fathers and sons for a fun and interesting story that will make you want to speak in a Scottish accent for days.
Magic Mike (2 / 5)
“I went to see ‘Magic Mike’ for the great story line,” said no one ever. Steven Soderbergh, women and gay men around the world thank you for putting this film together. The actual plot was a hit or miss throughout the film. However, having the likes of Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer dancing and gyrating half-naked on the big screen was enough to make up for the lack of story line. The premise behind the movie is that Alex Pettyfer’s character needs a job and Channing Tatum’s character gives him one: stripping. It’s quite possibly one of those novelty movies that we
feel drawn to see just because we can. Perhaps the sex appeal was what made it so popular. It sure wasn’t the story line.
The Amazing Spider-Man (3/5)
Thank you, Columbia Pictures. We’ll consider this an apology for the atrocity that was “Spider-Man 3”. In all seriousness, though, the title does not disappoint. The Spider-Man saga begins
anew in this adaptation, which goes back to the beginning to tell the story in a way that is much more faithful to the comics. (Rejoice, nerd community.) Instead of Kirsten Dunst’s passive Mary-Jane we have the brave and brainy Gwen Stacey, played to perfection by Emma Stone. Rhys Ifans, who plays the scientist-turned-mutant Curt Conners, brings sympathy to his very human character—flawed, but understandable. And of course, there is rising star Andrew Garfield, who is nothing short of amazing as Spider-Man. As a high-school student who has suddenly discovered his superpowers, Garfield is incredibly believable as a teenage storm of uncertainty, enthusiasm, power and conflict.
The Dark Knight Rises (4/5)
There’s no way I can properly review this in a short blurb, so I’ll just gush. If you haven’t seen the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, then you need to go to the theater right now. Go. It brings a feeling of the epic to the story that had previously been lurking under the surface. Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy are brilliant additions to an already scintillating cast. This film stands above the other superhero movies of the summer with its grit, realism and philosophical layering. If you want a movie that is going to make you think, then you need to see this movie. I really can’t say enough about it. Get thee to a theater.
Step Up Revolution (4/5)
Some might say that the Step Up franchise should hang up their dancing shoes, but I would have to disagree. As the fourth movie of the franchise, this movie had large shoes to fill and I think they surpassed expectations. The soundtrack of the movie was fantastic. The dance numbers were phenomenal and make this movie stand out from the previous Step Up films. Not to mention that the dance numbers fit in flawlessly with the plot line. They weren’t dancing just to dance: they were dancing to make a statement and that’s a powerful idea.
Hope Springs (3.5 / 5)
I went to see Hope Springs for two reasons: Meryl Streep and Steve Carell. Streep has a way of submersing herself completely into the characters she plays and this movie was no exception. She plays an awkward, sex-starved, middle-aged woman who wants to rekindle the marriage she once had with her husband. Throughout the movie there are moments of awkward tension between Streep’s character, Kay, and Tommy Lee Jones’ character, Arnold. This movie would have been better off as an R-Rated film because the dialogue between the characters becomes awkward as they tip-toe around the idea of a sexual relationship, calling sex “it” instead of just sex. The whole movie was kind of awkward, but had a little bit of charm to it as well. I think this movie was a little out of my age bracket. I probably would have enjoyed it more had I been at least 20, maybe 30 years older. Nonetheless, Streep has a wonderful performance and Steve Carell’s character is adorable. Overall, I was pleased with my cinematic experience.
*Graphics from pixartimes.com, screenrant.com and spinoff.comicbookresources.com
Summer flicks you might have missed
The Avengers (3/5)