Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Movie Update - End of May

I’ve seen four “summer” movies so far, three of which involved superheroes. Apparently the American movie economy is now superpower-based.

Warning: There are sporadic, though minor, spoilers below.

First up was Captain America: The Winter Soldier which I really enjoyed. The plot was darker and more topical than most movies in this genre, and the events in the movie hugely improved TV’s Marvel: Agents of SHIELD, so it had that going for it too. Plus, Chris Evans is great in the role. Note to producers: I know that comic book aficionados know who the Winter Soldier is, but the majority of people who wanted to see this movie didn’t. Don’t spoil it by identifying him by name in a TV preview three days before the movie comes out. Dumbasses.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has gotten a lot of grief for having three villains (the problem that really sank Raimi’s Spider-Man 3) but I didn’t mind that aspect of it. The Rhino was just a bookend to the movie and Giamatti was fantastic and fun. The real problem was the complete lack of development of Harry Osborne. The role, as written, didn’t work at all. I also didn’t care for the origins of Electro, who I felt more sorry for than afraid of. I don’t care for supervillains who become that way through cruelty or indifference. Otherwise, I did enjoy Electro, although how you defeat a guy who can become non-corporeal, I’m not sure. Emma Stone continues to be awesome and elevate everything good in life.

Next was Godzilla which was fun. The weirdest part is that it didn’t feel like a reboot or the first movie in a series, it felt like a sequel. You would expect Godzilla to be the main city-stomper in a movie named after him but he wasn’t. This movie was more akin to Godzilla v. (insert your favorite kaiju here) than straight up Godzilla. Still, I enjoyed it a lot.

Finally, this week we saw X-Men: Days of Future Past which was pretty great. Good performances, exciting and clever action sequences, fun and surprising cameos, and real changes and developments in the X-Men universe. Here’s the one thing that bugged me: Wolverine’s claws. In last year’s, The Wolverine, Logan lost the Adamantium claws and was back to his regular bone claws. During the future scenes in this movie, he has the Adamantium claws back. WTF? That makes no sense. Of the new characters, I really enjoyed Blink’s power of portal creation, and I loved Evan Peters’ scene-stealing portrayal of Quicksilver. He was fantastic. His one big scene in the underground bunker was the best in the movie. Unfortunately, a different actor is playing Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron. He has big shoes to fill.

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