Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014 Movie Guide part 2

And we're back! After taking a look at the upcoming movies from January - March of this year, let's take a look at April, May, and June! Summer blockbusters, aaaaaw yeah!

As usual, the trailer for each movie is linked to the title (if trailers are available for that movie).

-Captain America: The Winter Soldier some of you may know, I'm a bit of a Cap my feelings on this movie are grossly biased. BUT I will still say something in more of an impartial light: Its being described as more of a "political thriller/action" so expect something much deeper than just *POW POW*. It picks up two years after the events of "The Avengers" with Cap struggling to adapt to modern society. Personally, I'll be first in line.

-Draft Day
Ugh...the only thing more boring to me than sports, is sports movies. Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner star in a movie about a sports manager for a football team. Watch the trailer, because I don't really care.

Horror movie. Surprise.

-Rio 2
I love animated movies, but they really have to try hard to stand out nowadays. I never saw the first Rio. The visuals look good, but the story just doesn't seem to stand out to me. Either way, I may watch it if its on TV sometime.

-Heaven Is For Real
Based on the book of the same name (I knew that thanks to my awesome book-loving wife), this story is based on the true story of a young boy who has a near-death experience, and sees heaven, which affects the lives of his friends and family. As a Lutheran, I'm a bit skeptical since I've never read the book, but I may actually give this one a try. The movie stars Greg Kinnear, a personal favorite of mine.

Johnny Depp stars in a near-future science fiction epic where his character melds his brain with a machine to create the ultimate artificial intelligence. Seems like it will be somewhat political, but with a supporting cast including Morgan Freeman and Paul Bettany, I'm pretty intrigued! The feel of the trailer reminds me vaguely of the early 2000's movie A.I. mixed with the Terminator franchise.

-The Other Woman
Occasionally I enjoy a good chick flick, and the plot of this one honestly gave me a chuckle. Three girls all being played by the same guy decide to get their revenge. Not a fan of any of the actresses though, and the fact that Nicki Manaj exists in a movie turned me off 100% instantly. Just saying.

-The Amazing Spider-Man 2
A lot of people I've talked to actually don't like the new Spider-Man movie as much as the old Toby Macguire series, but personally I adored the first Andrew Garfield one. This guy IS Peter Parker. I'm extremely excited for this movie! Villains inlude Rhino, Electro, and Green Goblin, and talent includes Paul Giamatti, and Jamie Foxx.

-Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Starring Patrick Stewart, Dan Aackroyd, Jim Belushi and Kelsey Grammar, this is an animated "sequel" to the original Wizard of Oz. Personally I feel like the animation is just awful compared to what movies nowadays have been able to do. I mean look at Frozen, or even re-watch the trailer for Rio 2, they look ten times more detailed. Plus, why do we need a sequel to Wizard of Oz? The whole thing just feels totally unnecessary.

A couple consisting of new parents and a young baby have new neighbors move in next door: a fraternity of loud, partying college guys. Hilarity ensues as the couple wages an all-out prank war against the frat, but the college guys retaliate with force. This looks to be a raunchy comedy, but the trailer sets up some great jokes! It's Seth Rogen vs Zac Effron!

I've never really been big into Godzilla in the past, but I've always enjoyed gigantic monster movies like Cloverfield. This homage to the original Godzilla, with modern day special effects, looks down right spectacular! That monster legitimately scared me when I first saw this trailer! This movie carries a much MUCH darker tone than the 2000 film starring Matthew Broderick, as well as a big name cast including Bryan Cranston, and Ken Watanabe.

-X-Men: Days of Future Past
Did you like the original Bryan Singer-directed X-Men movies from the early 2000's? How about the more recent X-Men: First Class? If you liked either or both of those, chances are you'll be interested in Days of Future Past. I've always loved the X-Men, so I have high hopes for this movie. Recently they've released a lot of images of the various characters in the movie, and frankly a lot of their costumes just plain SUCK. I'll still see it though!

-A Million Ways to Die in the West
Directed and written by Seth McFarlane (Family Guy, Ted) and starring a lot of big names including Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Charlize Theron, Sarah Silverman, and more, this movie is just going to be a gory, curse-filled, sex-joke-filled, most likely nudity-filled, probably drug and alcohol-filled mess. If you're into South Park and Family Guy, probably right up your alley.

Based on a book written by Irivne Welsh, the author of Trainspotting, you can expect about the same. The movie looks grossly inappropriate, but in a much more demented way than your usual R-rated comedy. James Macavoy stars as a corrupted cop in Scotland. Be warned, the trailer is pretty R-rated in its own right.

Angelina Jolie stars as the title character in this live-action adaptation of the famous Disney villain. The visuals look stunning, but I wish they had chosen a different lead actress. This is another one of those movies where it very well may be great, but it just feels kind of unnecessary. The visuals,

-Edge of Tomorrow
Tom Cruise is nuts as a person. The guy is just crazy. But when it comes to action movies, he can act his ass off! I love every modern Tom Cruise action movie, and Edge of Tomorrow looks very promising. He stars as a soldier who is cursed to re-live the same failed military invasion every day of his life. It's like Groundhog Day meets the video game Starcraft.

-22 Jump Street
Good god. Why is this a thing?

-How to Train Your Dragon 2
Remember what I said like 4 movies ago about how you need to make your animated movies stand out somehow since there are so many nowadays? Yeah. This movie is how you do it. The first How to Train Your Dragon is fantastic, and this I can't wait for this movie. Just watch the trailer, it speaks for itself.

-The Purge: Anarchy
Another horror movie, yes. But the premise actually has me interested for once! This movie is a sequel to the 2013 film The Purge, in which America is a dominant world power with a strong economy, and almost nonexistent crime rate. This is achieved through The Purge: an annual event where for 8 hours, all crime is completely legal. I ignored the first film because it was your basic "we're being stalked" horror. The sequel however tasks a group with reaching a building across town, and having to survive The Purge. The plot sounds very much like a Hunger Games type of survival movie. There is no trailer as of yet, but if you click here, I placed a link for a trailer for the first movie.

-Transformers: Age of Extinction
Its the same as the first three, but with no Shia LeBeof. Big whoop.

The LEGO Movie

I still haven't forgotten about my 2014 movie preview! I promise! Besides you're all set until March anyways so what are you complaining about?!

Anywho...this is one of those rare opportunities where I got to see a movie within a week of it's theatrical release, and I couldn't WAIT to review it!

The LEGO Movie
(PG) 2013

Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Will Forte, Nick Offerman, Shaquile O'Neal, Billy Dee Williams, Cobie Smulders, and on and on AND ON!!

The Plot:
Based on the popular children's toy, the movie is set in a LEGO world and follows the story of Emmett (Chris Pratt, Parks & Recreation), a regular guy who follows the instructions. He soon finds himself being looked up to as "The Special", the one who will save the LEGO world from evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell, Anchorman). With the help of his fellow master builders (including, but not limited to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA all-stars, Batman, Superman, and several surprise guests I don't want to spoil here).

The Good:
Where do I begin? No seriously, this movie is fantastic! Most animated movies in this day and age throw in a few subtle jokes for the adults, or try to fill in the gaps with needless potty humor and fart jokes. This movie had me in stitches even during its most "serious" moments, and I can say the same for every single other adult in the theater (which was just about everyone).

The movie is animated very well. It's made using a mix of stop-motion and computer animation, resulting in some spectacular shots, and some hilarious moments. The water in the movie was probably the most visually incredible, if not a bit trippy. Anyone who has interest in the animation aspect of movies will greatly enjoy seeing how the obviously plastic figures move and interact.

The voice acting is also superb, and even the voice actors that I can't stand (coughJONAH HILLcough) had some great lines that were very well performed. The star-studded cast kept on coming until the very end, and even led to some unsuspected and wonderful twists in the last half hour.

Usually I'm not one in support of the "moral of the story" of movies like this. But the "anyone can be creative" and "you're all special" messages were so subtle, yet just obvious enough that it ties the whole movie together.

The Bad:
Honestly, while the movie comes in at a respectable 1 hour and 40 minutes, it felt a bit rushed at times. The very beginning of the movie shoots through the introduction of the world, and came close to feeling overwhelming.

My only other complaint (and I'm REALLY reaching for complaints) is that the LEGO universe is so expansive nowadays that I felt that there were some missed opportunities. Some of the most subtle references had me laughing the most, but there were so many LEGO sets that could have been included, but I feel like they weren't just because of the companies in charge of making the movie. (e.g. Warner Brothers had a hand, which means they'd include a ton of DC Comics characters, but without the rights to any Marvel Comics characters, even though there are plenty of Marvel LEGO sets).

But again, I'm trying hard to find things to complain about, and if that's the best I can muster, that should tell you something! Besides, there's always room in the sequel, eh?

10 awesome overpriced LEGO sets out of 10

As the movie's song says, "Everything Is Awesome."