For those scoffing right now, keep in mind that I disliked Iron Man 3 a lot more than most people. Trust me, the latest installment featuring “billionaire-philanthropist-playboy” Tony Stark was high on my anticipation list. After thinking about this film for a couple of days, it surfaced in my mind as the worst film out of the four Stark pictures (including The Avengers).
Michael Bay’s latest is easily his most risqué film — in many respects, it’s not unlike his other films filled with half-dressed overly sexualized beautiful women, exotic cars, sweeping shots of characters in warm climates, and plenty of crazy shenanigans. But Pain and Gain tries deals with much heavier story lines than Bay usually handles. In the previews, the movie pitches itself as something fun and akin to Bay’s previous work. But that’s just the surface — below that is a sadistic, brutal, ruthless look at three morons seeking to achieve the “American Dream.”
I know quite a few people who are less than enthralled with Tom Cruise lately (I’m amongst that crowd). His latest Oblivion has him in the same character we’ve seen out of him more than a handful of times before. He’s the “seemingly” normal guy who really is a balls to the wall hero — this “regular Joe” must defy the odds to uncover the truth about the post-apocalyptic Earth ravaged in destruction. Even those annoyed by the Scientology lover should be able to enjoy the scope and scale of Oblivion.
The story of Jackie Robinson is one that many baseball fans are familiar with. Jackie’s number is the only one to be retired by every team in Major League Baseball in respect for his fight to break the color barrier in the sport. He’s synonymous with the game of baseball, but the intimate details of his struggle to play the “white man’s game” are not. 42 sheds light on Robinson’s story and those involved who helped him become a baseball legend.
The news surrounding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot has generally teetered towards awful. First, Michael Bay was attached. Then, the turtles origins went from mutant to alien (though fan backlash has reportedly led to a return to mutant). Later, Jonathan Liebesman was slated to direct (not bad news in my eyes). Quite possibly worse news than Bay’s involvement or a rewritten history is the notion that Megan Fox will be starring in the film, and in a prominent role. Initially it was only rumored she would play April O’Neil, but now it seems reasonably certain that she is playing the role of the four mutant brothers’ best human friend (she has been seen walking around with hair dyed red and she doesn’t look good).
It’s funny to think that Bruce Willis has starred in two films this year already and both have been awful products, rounding out as two of the worst of 2013 to this point. So many had hope for this chapter because the sequel was placed in the capable hands of Zombieland scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Those hopes were dashed when the final product came out — G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a narrative disaster with a mess of flat characters all clashing in jumbled action sequences that are presented in some of the worst looking 3D ever crafted.
I know this movie appears to be one to simply push aside because it looks like yet another Hollywood pile of crap, but really, Olympus Has Fallen has a lot of things going for it. Foremost, it’s an adrenaline filled, violent action movie built to please all those looking to plop in a movie theater seat and simply be entertained. It’s been compared to Die Hard with Gerard Butler playing the McClane hero, but Olympus Has Fallen is even more basic than that. Everything about it is on the surface, and while the surface glimmers with the typical Hollywood veneer, that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to look at.
Spring Breakers is one of those movies that sticks with you, whether you want it to or not. It’s difficult to get off your mind after being assaulted with the excessive nudity and partying, the perverse nature of the characters, and the crazy lifestyle exhibited that so many youngsters strive to emulate. James Franco’s character Alien, yes Alien, a white gangster who lives his life like a fantasized music video, constantly regards “spring break” as the pinnacle of life. But really, Spring Breakers is an indictment on our youth culture and the values they worship — the movie is a hyper-reality, a poetic lament on how disgusting our popular culture has become.
The Call is one of those March releases that could be lost in the folds of mediocrity that marks the “dead season” on the movie calendar. It shouldn’t be forgotten, because it’s definitely worth a look — but it doesn’t deserve the highest praise either. The Call executes a lot to perfection, but also has a lot of dropped calls (not this pun crap again) — and unfortunately, the third and most important act of the movie is where The Call really falters.
I know many like myself are huge fans of Despicable Me, a 2010 heart-warming animated comedy that took many unsuspecting movie goers for a wonderful ride. Steve Carell voices Gru, the main super-villain who loses sight of his evil after becoming attached to three feisty orphaned sisters. In Despicable Me 2, they story evolves a bit more. Carell and Russell Brand’s voice talents are joining forces with Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig, and Ken Jeong. Hit the jump to check out the trailer.