June Movie Recap

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After Earth

I was initially excited about this movie. Who didn’t get goosebumps during Will Smith’s quote about danger being real, but fear being a choice? Then I saw M. Night Shyamalan’s name (Signs, The Last Airbender, The Happening). Saying I don’t like Shyamalan is like saying Fox News doesn’t like Democrats. The movie isn’t horrible… it’s just… bland. It’s slow paced, Will Smith is dry and emotionless for most of the film, and Jaden Smith can’t quite carry a movie without a supporting cast. *Sigh* So much potential wasted. FINAL GRADE: C-

This Is The End

There are certain movies that aren’t for some people. Those who are very religiously sensitive would probably be irked by several blasphemous moments in this film about the end of days. Everyone else with a sense of humor will find this movie enjoyable from start to finish. I’m in the latter category. The cast, all of whom play parodies of themselves, is absolutely hilarious and it’s evident that they have real chemistry. It’s a comedy. Don’t take it too serious and it is the funniest movie of the summer. Side note: The horde of cameos makes for a nice drinking game too. FINAL GRADE: A-

Man of Steel

Superman’s last venture on the big screen was one of the dullest superhero films ever made (Superman never threw a punch in the entire movie and technically didn’t even defeat Lex Luthor). So it’s hard not to call director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan’s reboot a triumph. While the middle of the film drags a bit and many of the supporting characters are underdeveloped, Snyder succeeds in doing something that is very difficult in this day and age; Make Superman both likable and relevant. Add that to action sequences and fight scenes that are as good, or better, than anything we’ve ever seen, and Man of Steel is just good enough to give us hope that DC Comics can finally start to compete with the cinematic giant that is Marvel. FINAL GRADE: B+

The Heat

Buddy cop movies are as cliché a genre as any in film. But this isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. To make them succeed, you don’t need a good plot, story, or villain. All you need is two likable characters in the main roles. The Heat has just that. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are a fantastic duo. McCarthy, specifically, is even funnier here than in her famous role in Bridesmaids. And if you can make the audience laugh, we can forgive little things like a cookie-cutter plot or Marlon Wayans playing a meaningless character.  FINAL GRADE: B+    

World War Z

Remember what I said about clichéd genres? The Zombie genre is one of them. Simply put, it’s hard to make these movies differentiate themselves from one another. Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil, Zombieland… they all kind of play by the same rules. In that sense, WWZ is nothing new. Brad Pitt kind of feels wasted in this role. He isn’t bad, but there’s just not much for him to do here. Nevertheless, the movie does at least give enough suspenseful moments to make it worth at least one good look.  FINAL GRADE: B-

Monsters University

Some would argue that Pixar has fallen off as of late. Cars 2 is one of the most unnecessary sequels ever made and Brave, although good, doesn’t measure up to such classics as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, or The Incredibles. In Monsters U, there was a huge risk to be another Cars 2. Did we really need a prequel to 2001’s Monster’s, Inc.? The answer is no, we don’t NEED it. But after watching this movie, I’m glad we got it anyway. Monsters U is amazing from start to finish. For anyone who has ever been to college, it is a nostalgic homage to everything that makes the collegiate experience worth while. Even better, however, is the messages of the film which give it a heart and soul that even the first Monsters movie couldn’t match. FINAL GRADE: A

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