Captain America is the cat’s meow!

YES!!  They got this right!  Captain America The First Avenger is awesome! Everything works.  The cast is perfect.  The action is cool.  The 1940s setting is sweet. And best of all, it has heart.  I cared for every character.  I was invested 100%.  I love when that happens. 

Let’s start with Chris Evans–he IS Steve Rogers.  He plays him with stubbornness, vulnerability and amazing courage.  There were several moments that were emotionally raw and it was wonderful.   The supporting cast couldn’t have been better–Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Hayley Atwell, the Howling Commandos, Stark’s Dad–all great! 

Now, you know how I feel about villains–well, Hugo Weaving is brilliant! He plays Johann Schmidt/Red Skull masterfully.  Intense, proud and a bit mad.  Let me not forget Toby Jones as Schmidt’s sidekick, Dr. Zola–again, perfect! 

I loved that the fights were all based on reality–he has super human strength, yet all his actions are based on real movements.  And all the “toys” and weapons look like they belong in that time period, as well as his outfit–nice details.  I know I am gushing–but it is pretty damn cool. 

I laughed.  I cringed.  I hooted.  And I even cried.  I call that a full movie experience.  And now I want to see it again…

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Goodbye Harry Potter!

What an incredible story, told by wonderful storytellers.  I have always kept the novels and the films separate.  They’re different mediums and must be judged accordingly.   The Harry Potter films have been exciting to watch.  We have seen the cast grow and have seen our favorite story brought to life.  The Deathly Hallows Pt 2 is a wonderful ending to that experience.  Now, go out and read the books if you haven’t already–if you loved the films–the books are 200% better! 🙂

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is Classic Michael Bay

The poster depicts of a Transformer named Optimus Prime, standing with his blade on his left arm, and his blaster on his right arm, with a young couple standing below the Transformer, and standing in front of a crashlanded Decepticon fighter. The characters appear to be in the war-torn city of Chicago, with Decepticon battleships surrounding and guarding the city. The film title and credits are on the bottom of the poster.

The Bay Transformers checklist.  Objectify a woman.  Check.  Slow motion shot from below.  Check.  Scream out “BUMBLEBEEEEEE!!!” and “OPTIMUUUUUUUUSSSS!”  Check.  Tons of action-cool special effects-yet, light on plot and characters.  Check.  Robot on Robot action.  Check.   A bit too long.  Check.  Fun time at the movies.  Check.

My Tom Hanks crush only intensifies after watching Larry Crowne

Those who know me, know that I will marry Tom Hanks in an instant!  He is awesome! Funny, intelligent, warm, gentle, and…just plain wonderful!  So, maybe I am not objective enough to say anything bad about Larry Crowne, but I can’t see how I could.  But I know some will not love it.  Why?  Because it is NOT a typical Hollywood movie. 

Directed by Hanks and written by Hanks and the lovely Nia Vardalos, it is a simple story told without the usual Hollywood trimmings.  No sex, no drugs, no brooding teenagers, no robots or vampires and not even an ounce of violence.  What it does have is hope and optimism.  No wonder it is getting mixed reviews! 

I loved all the characters introduced in this quiet little universe.  They were real.  (I even liked Julia Roberts, who most of the time I tolerate but never like.) The film takes its time.  You are an observer granted access to this man’s life, which at times could make you laugh and/or cry.

And it all comes down to Tom Hanks.  He is believable, funny and perfect as an average joe who is fired from his job and is forced to rebuild his life.  Today any of us can be in Larry Crowne’s situation, if only we could all respond with the dignity and determination he does, maybe then we will be alright.

Cars 2 is a fine action movie aimed for kids–I just expected more…

 

 

Pixar has rendered their first summer action movie.  Cars 2 is thrilling, fast paced and completely superficial.  This is the first time I can say that I did not care about the characters in a Pixar film.  It was funny and entertaining, but never touched my heart. 

I will admit that Cars was never high on my list of  favorite Pixar films.  It was clever, heartfelt and enjoyable, but the characters did not stick with me as much as others.  I was never too excited about a sequel and then I saw the previews and realized it seemed to be The Mater Movie–and I was even less excited.  Mater is cute, but in small doses. 

Yet, even with Mater being the star, I enjoyed myself.  The world is again, clever.  I loved watching all the little details of this automobile universe and being a James Bond fan helped because Finn McMissile is all Bond.  What was missing was the characters we liked in the original.  They are all brushed to the side for all the action–even Lightning McQueen. 

Was the movie fun? Yes.  Full of entertaining action? Indeed.  Is it as good as the other Pixar films?  No.  And mostly because without the emotional core and unique characters we have come to expect, this film is forgettable.

Green Lantern misses the mark–what a shame!

Yeah! I love comic book movies…they can be just a fun time (Thor) and/or once in a while, they can transcend their own genre, into greatness (Dark Knight).  Green Lantern fails to do either of these things.  It could have a been a good ol’ time but it did not know what kind of movie it wanted to be…serious and poignant or funny and casual.  Why not try for a balance?  I have no idea. 

They had potential, which is why it is a shame.  Ryan Reynolds is capable and likeable.  I love most of  his work–especially last year’s Buried–and thought he was a good choice to play Hal Jordan.  Yet, he was not given direction on how to play Jordan and so it feels almost schizophrenic. 

The plot is too simple and they do not spend anytime developing…anything.  Everything feels rushed! I swear they spend 5 minutes–tops!–on his “training” with possibly two of the most interesting characters and then…poof! on to the next scene.  It does not help that the world is full of characters that are flat and uninteresting. 

Now a movie like this could be saved, ironically enough, by its villain.  A phenomenal villain can save any movie.  And again, they just missed it.  Peter Sarsgaard is more than able and we saw glimpses of his evilness but, again–not enough time is spent and we end up with  nothing but some smoke-blob named Parallax.  -_-

Too sad.

Super 8 is nostalgic–in a very good way!

 

Super 8  goes down memory lane of film making and finds all the fine, warm memories.  A movie that focuses on a well-told story, even if it happens to be surrounded by special effects and science fiction.  (Oh, how I’ve missed you!)  I loved everything about Super 8!  J.J Abrams pays homage to Steven Spielberg and honors him.  Not to be missed.