2014 Most Anticipated: Corrections

I've been meaning to get to this, but three of my most anticipated movies have been shockingly (and some not so much) pushed back to 2015. It's pretty standard that this happens to a least 2 or 3 movies every year - although 2 of the movies this year have interesting and sad dilemmas that forced the push back. Nevertheless, I found 3 just as interesting (if not more!) movies to fill their spots!

49. Jane Got a Gun  Kill The Messenger
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michael Sheen
Director: Michael Cuesta
Writer: Peter Landesman
Release Date: October 10
Natalie Portman's Jane Got a Gun has had some difficulties - casting has been a crazy affair (3 cast changes for the lead role!) and the original director just didn't show up on the first day. This apparently didn't affect the production as Portman and her production team scrambled to find a replacement. But then the studio decided to move the release date to next year. All this drama for a small western film! Kill the Messenger seemed like an appropriate fill-in for this particular movie. It's based on a true story about the investigation of journalist Gary Webb who uncovered connection between the CIA and drug traffickers. It sparked a media frenzy in 2004 and led to his resignation, and ultimately, his suicide. There's an enormous amount of talent behind the film and it looks like this should be an interesting story. I'm getting a Confessions of a Dangerous Mind-vibe from the story (a fantastic movie, directed by George Clooney no less!) and a thriller-like sense of production. With Jeremy Renner attached as the lead and a great supporting cast (Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Mary Elizabeth Winstead) this could be an early Oscar contender. I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up like Argo from two years ago - a critical and commercial success. Count me in!

12. Fast and Furious 7  Inherent Vice
Starring: Joaquin Phoeniz, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Release Date: December 12
Due to the tragic circumstances with Paul Walker's death, it became very clear that production would have to be halted for the crew and creative team to figure out the best way to move forward without Walker. Thus the delay until 2015 - it's unfortunate, but ultimately I trust the studio to make a tasteful and elegant way for Walker to bow out of the franchise without disrespecting his legacy or his character. It's with that somber note that I move on to replacing this movie with a very different movie. If Fast and Furious 7 is all about fast cars and crazy ass stunts, Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel is more like a VW van rolling through the countryside on its way to Burning Man. The first ever Pynchon novel to be adapted into film - Inherent Vice is very much a pulp novel and plays out like a film noire. Joaquin Phoenix plays the lead, "Doc" Sportello, a detective who finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy involving the cops. It's an interesting take for Anderson - who's mainly known for his intentionally vague narrative dramas focused on characters rather than story. But I really dig PTA - even with his last film, The Master, it managed to make me think about the film long after I had watched it. So he seems like a perfect fit to unravel a Pynchon novel - they seem like kindred spirits, just in different mediums. And Joaquin Phoenix has done a wonderful job after the debacle of his "retirement" - he's doing some of his best work right now and I think this movie is going to be another Oscar contender! If it hits all the right notes, this might be one of my favorite movies this year.

6. Jupiter Ascending  Kingsman: The Secret Service
Starring: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Mark Strong
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Release Date: October 24
With the flabber-gasting news of Jupiter Ascending being pushed back to next year just a couple of months before its release (it was supposed to come out this summer), I felt so disappointed. I think the Wachowskis made one of their best films with Cloud Atlas. It's just so sad that the studio seems to have zero faith in this sci-fi epic. I'll be for sure watching this day one when it comes out, regardless of reviews. But that means I needed to replace this movie - and I think Kingsman fills that role quite well. Matthew Vaughn has had an incredible career so far - all of his directorial efforts have been, in my opinion, great movies (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Stardust, Layer Cake) and he's once again teaming up with Matt Millar (the genius comic book writer behind Kick-Ass and Wanted) to provide another delectably absurd action/fantasy film. This time he's got Colin First kicking ass and saving the day against the evil intentions of Samuel L. Jackson. It'll be nice to see Jackson in villain mode again - he's been playing Nick Fury for too long it seems! Plus I like the idea of a young punk learning to be a badass through rigorous training. It just seems like a fun action movie - I'm hoping for the best here!


Most Anticipated 2014: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

21. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13)
Starring: Jason Clarke, Andy Serkis, Kerri Russell, Gary Oldman
Director: Matt Reeves
Writers: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Runtime: 130 minutes

I was not expecting Rise of the Planet of the Apes to be good, let alone really good. It was a surprisingly fresh take on the series and essentially rebooted the story. Dawn manages to not only progress the story forward in a fun and inventive way, but also becomes a better movie than the first. Aside from the ridiculous sounding title (and shouldn't Dawn come before Rise?), DotPotA is a very somber tale about fathers and sons and survival.

Set 10 years after the events of the first film, Jason Clarke plays Malcolm, one of the leaders of the human colony in San Francisco who's looking to get power from the dam located in Ape City (I don't think that's the official name, but that's what I'm calling it!) - home to Caesar's growing family of apes. Naturally, there's conflict and things escalate to their inevitable climactic end. I found the story entirely engrossing as much as the characters. For a summer action flick, there's a lot of quiet moments and there is quite a lot of subtitles in the film. The apes all use sign language and it's not distracting at all. In fact, the first 15 or 20 minutes showcase the apes hunting a herd of deer in the forest and it's pretty awesome! You get to know the apes before the humans and you start to see parallels between Caesar's family and Malcolm's.

There's so much to love about this movie - from the fantastic CGI (seriously, those apes look magnificent!) to the incredibly outrageous action sequences (APES WITH GUNS ON HORSEBACK!). Plus the cinematography is awesome - there's a lot of amazing one shots where the scene doesn't cut back and forth, but pans around. It's a fine piece of cinematic work. But aside from all the beautiful aesthetics of the movie, there's some great characters. Caesar is the wizened tribal leader and you actually really see his story develop as he tries to handle the human crisis as best he can while maintaining order within his tribe. And Malcolm is just as determined to make sure his colony of humans gets to survive. They share the same goal but circumstances and short-sighted individuals on both sides ruin their plans.

I'm excited to see where this franchise is heading after the ending of the film. This is one of the best films this year - if you at least enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes, you'll certainly enjoy its sequel. It manages to raise the stakes while keeping the characters firmly grounded in reality. I thought it was nice to see that there wasn't a black and white, humans bad, apes good position. Instead it manages to make things a lot more grey - there is a villain in the movie, but aside from that one character, everyone seems to act for not only their own interests but those of their fellow species. It's captivating and sometimes a bit insane, but it never becomes dull or boring. A definite must see!



2014 So Far in Most Anticipated Part 5

I've concluded that I've watched a lot of movies this year. I've seen 24 out of the 60 movies on my list. Not bad - I've only missed 9 movies that have come out (and frankly a few of them I'm trying to avoid now. What the hell was I thinking with Pompeii?). 2014 has kind of been a bummer - not only for there not being any OUTSTANDING movies, but the summer has been ho-hum as well. Sure, I've had a lot of fun watching most of  these movies, and I think I'll enjoy rewatching some of them, but there hasn't been an "OMG I want to take this movie behind the middle school and get it pregnant" moment I've had this year. There's one movie that comes close - and it wasn't even on my list! (more on that later). But here's the four best Most Anticipated movies I've seen so far this year.

13. Veronica Mars
This is the very definition of a miracle. Veronica Mars was supposed to be buried after season 3. But thanks to the internet and a very loyal fanbase (including myself), a movie was made. And Rob Thomas didn't just make sure he made fans of the show happy, he made sure he made a engrossing, taught thriller about a strong-headed woman who goes back home to help her ex-boyfriend beat the murder rap. Old friends and characters show up while in the background things are getting set up for a very real chance at a sequel. There's great moments of humor and wit and a lot of fan service. But the fan service doesn't distract if you're unfamiliar with Veronica and the city of Neptune, California. It's a tight script and edited so well. Veronica is simply charming thanks to Kristen Bell's impeccable performance and great writing. She's the kind of female lead that most movies should aspire for. I think what I really loved about this movie was the underlying stench of corruption and a community unraveling because of it. Veronica comes back and seems to unveil this mess and I would love to see how she plans on fixing the town. Because that's the direction the movie is headed - I just hope we'll get to see it.

9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
9 movies in and Marvel has shown no signs of slowing down. They're turning into Pixar - I honestly don't think they've had a bad movie - maybe a couple of "okay" movies - but bad? Nope. And the new Captain America movie might just be as good, if not better than the Avengers. I certainly thought the direction and epicness of this film pushed the story forward in a fresh direction. SHIELD has been disbanded at the end of the movie and who the hell knows where it'll go from there? I think Captain America could have been the most boring character out of all of the Avengers - but the decision to make this more like a conspiracy thriller/action film was smart. Once the movie kicks into high gear after the first 20 or so minutes, it's nothing but non-stop. The movie is sharply written and it's a perfect progression for Steve Roger's character. And the addition of Falcon as Captain's new buddy is solid. Plus the Winter Soldier is a perfect foil for the Captain. And talk about how eerily similar the plot has resonated with the whole NSA scandal is icing on the cake. This was big and fun and probably the best non-summer released summer blockbuster this year.

3. 22 Jump Street
There was a little bit of hesitation on my part that this wouldn't live up to the first one's clever shenanigans. I've been disappointed with comedy sequels before (I'm looking at you, Hangover Part II), but I trusted Phil Lord and Chris Miller to deliver another meta-humor infested sequel. And this one didn't disappoint! There's so much going on in this movie - it's just as funny and painfully aware of itself and Tatum and Hill are the perfect odd couple again. They even spoof themselves during the end credits - who wouldn't pay money to see 29 Jump Street: Sunday School? And don't forget to stay until after the credits too - there's a really funny joke that may not be the best one in the film, but it made me giggle uncontrollably. The movie does start off a little slow - Jenko and Schmidt are two regular detectives who really don't know what they're doing - and the movie doesn't really start to shine until they go undercover in college. And the movie makes it clear that practically no one is falling for their disguises this time. Ice Cube returns and has a very funny, very appropriate freakout at a parent's weekend lunch - it's simply amazing. I hope the filmmaker's call it quits from here - there's just nowhere to go with the jokes. But what an amazing movie to end on - certainly the funniest movie this year!

17. Edge of Tomorrow
Who knew that a Tom Cruise sci-fi flick would end up being my favorite movie so far this year? While the marketing for this movie wasn't the best (didn't we just see a sci-fi action flick with Tom Cruise last year?), Edge of Tomorrow was so clever and enjoyable that it's worth repeat viewings. The whole premise of repeating the same day (or, in this case, days) has been done before - but never really like this. It's fun to see Tom Cruise's character go from some schlub PR guy to trained alien butt-kicker. And this is why it's probably better than most of Cruise's action flicks - he's not playing some super-soldier or assassin - he's a coward and a jerk throughout the movie. That's what Cruise is really good at playing and he's great. And the supporting cast is fantastic - Emily Blunt is such a badass - she's not a damsel in distress nor is she in need of some affection. She's a soldier and has some awesome moments in the film. The film is more grounded in character than you would think - it's a pleasure to see Cruise's character grow up and into a decent, self-sacrificing human being in this film. There's a lot of great action and design, but the best moments are when he's reliving the first hours over and over, trying to figure out how to get out of the war. It's fun and just writing about this movie makes me want to see it all over again!


2014 So Far in Most Anticipated Part 4

Now we're getting to the better movies that I've seen this year! Yes, we had to wade through the drek to get to the good stuff, but doesn't that just make you appreciate these movies more? Just writing about them and thinking more about these next eight movies has me excited to rewatch.

40. The Other Woman
Surprisingly one of the funniest movies this year. It's actually pretty awesome to see two strong female actors headline a movie. It's rare, but you would think after the success of this movie Hollywood would at least try to make some more female-oriented movies. Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann make the perfect odd couple - they have good chemistry and the amount of physical jokes surprised me. Unlike Melissa McCarthy - whose extremely funny talents waste away with such awful fat jokes and weirdo characters in most of her movies (Identity Thief, Tammy) - Diaz and Mann are smart, fun ladies who are in control the whole movie. I was surprised at how just enjoyable this film was - the script was good - but the actresses here nailed every scene. While this one won't win any awards and it may not go down as one of the best movies this year, it's still a solid, fun comedy that finds a lot to love between Diaz and Mann's fierce friendship.

30. Godzilla
Wow. This was everything I had hoped it would be. Godzilla smartly avoids the regular trappings of a monster movie and instead opts to tell a tale of survival when disaster strikes. People keep comparing this movie to Pacific Rim but aside from the giant monsters, these two films couldn't be more different. Where Pacific Rim revels in battles between giant robots and monsters, Godzilla is intent to keep the focus on the humans. Pacific Rim was awesome but don't let that temper your expectations with Godzilla. The film does a magnificent job of ratcheting up the tension with each scene. And the buildup to the climactic battle was expertly crafted. There is a scene that gave me the spooks both times I watched where two soldiers are crossing a bridge at night. And then you slowly realize that one of the monsters is hiding underneath. It sounds ridiculous but the way it's shot and the slow realization really creates a great sense of dread. Speaking of the way the movie was shot - there are some remarkable moments in the film - from the desolate and abandoned Japanese city to the moment when the special ops guys go floating through the storm clouds, leaving red vapor trails as they descend. It's a visually stunning movie and Gareth Edwards certainly has a bright future ahead of him. This is a definitely must see movie and worth seeing on the big screen.

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past
My most anticipated movie of the year may not have earned the best movie so far this year moniker, but it's a really good follow-up to the highly enjoyable X-Men: First Class. The film does a wonderful job setting the audience up for what's at stake: in the near future, the mutants face extinction in the wake of genocide by the hands of "normal" humans and their robot assassins: The Sentinels. It's up to Wolverine to be sent back to the past in the 70s to stop the unfolding events from ever starting. And Magneto and Charles Xavier have to team up to save the day after splitting up at the end of the last movie. While at first I didn't thoroughly enjoy the movie, thinking about it I've been itching to watch it again. Once again, Fassbender and McAvoy do a fantastic job and Wolverine is his usual grumpy self - but Evan Peters steals the show here as Quicksilver, a mutant with supersonic speed. The one scene where he pretty much single-handedly rescues Magneto from the depths of the Pentagon is probably the highlight of the film. But there's a whole lot else to love in this film - Peter Dinklage as the creator of the Sentinels, Mystique kicking ass the whole time, the stadium being flung up in the air in the climactic ending, seeing a rebooted X-Men franchise where pretty much The Last Stand's whole plot gets erased! It's a doozy and the end credits scene sets up an even bigger threat for the X-Men: Apocalypse, who's pretty much invincible. I must admit, this was a great movie and I can't wait to see where they'll go next!

22. The LEGO Movie
After seeing the trailer, I just knew, knew this was going to be great. It's funny and lightning sharp with witty and clever humor. But the movie isn't afraid to be childish and unabashedly dumb sometimes. Chris Pratt is the perfect voice for the lead - Emmet Brickowski and the rest of the voice cast is phenomenal too - Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman and of course, Will Arnett as Batman. Perfect. The film goes into and unexpected, but very awesome direction in the third act. It's a little weird, but completely cool. I won't spoil anything, but I loved it. And this is a movie worth rewatching because there is so much going on and little bits of dialogue and visual gags that you'll miss the first time around. As much as I loved this movie - it is quite ADD - it can get overwhelming at times and while I enjoyed that aspect, it can get tiresome for others. But aside from that, the movie is endlessly fun and all the meta humor is perfect.


2014 So Far in Most Anticipated Part 3

Five more movies that are worthy of your time. While I did enjoy these movies, I don't think they're going to land on my best of list at the end of the year. There's nothing particularly bad about these movies, they just didn't grab me like some others did so far this year!

4. Noah
I wouldn't necessarily call this movie bad, but it's more of a disappointment. I had really high expectations for Aronofsky's take on the biblical flood. And while the movie had an amazing scope and epicness to it, I thought the more intimate, character-driven moments in the film to be lacking. Aronofsky sprinkles in his own fairy dust when re-telling the tale - I really dug the set up with the angels turning into rock and the mythology of it all. The movie was gorgeous - from the first quiet moments of Noah walking around a desolate wasteland and the animals flocking in to find solace in the ark to the mass destruction of the flood. But aside from all the spectacle, I think the idea of Noah coming to terms with humanity's own sinful nature was an interesting idea, it just didn't play out as beautifully as the rest of the film. I did connect with Noah's son, played by Logan Lerman - who tries to rescue a girl to take on the ark, but is denied by his father. I'm really conflicted - I think this is a movie that might need to be appreciated on second or third viewing. I just remember walking out of the theater feeling a little numb by the whole experience. However, I do think this was a good movie, just not Aronofsky's best work.

7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
I don't understand the hate for this movie. I think it's really easy to tear down a movie because you didn't like X or Y. But I enjoyed the movie for being campy and fun. I honestly think it depends on how you see Peter Parker. Is he just some douchebag smart ass? Or is he just a wise-cracking goofball with a lot of charm? I think the latter and if you come into the movie with the expectation that the movie isn't going to take itself too seriously, you'll probably enjoy it more. And can we talk about Gwen Stacy? What a breath of fresh air - she's not a damsel in distress, but an equal partner when it comes to Spider-Man's identity. She's willing to stand her ground and break up with him and go to London, she's the one who decides to not stay back while Spider-Man saves the day, but instead to help. And what a really bold move for the studio to kill her character at the end. I mean, it's canon for the franchise, but Emma Stone is a big deal and to not have her in the next movie certainly won't help fill seats in the theater. I thought they nailed it at the end with her death - quite tragic and somber like it should be. And I think Garfield has got Peter Parker/Spider-Man down - he's equally charming and knows how to let loose when dealing with the bad guys. There's a lot goofiness and camp, but to me that's a bit refreshing when we have brooding superheros like Batman sucking out all the joy in our superhero movies (not that I don't mind brooding). The movie is far from perfect (especially most of Electro's character), but I really did enjoy this one from start to finish.

15. The Grand Budapest Hotel
I don't really know if there's much to talk about for this movie. Do you like Wes Anderson? Yes? Then you'll really enjoy this movie. It's every bit as quirky and fun as the rest of his movies. At times it does come off as an insufferable mess - but thanks to the charms of the cast, including the brilliant Ralph Fiennes - it manages to suck you in. You can't help but enjoy yourself - the movie moves along briskly and quite fast - there's a sense that Anderson wanted to squeeze as much as he could with visuals and dialogue into a tight 100 minutes. It's funny, witty and quite beautiful with all that dollhouse-like elegeance Anderson perfected in Moonrise Kingdom. While not my favorite Wes Anderson flick (I think that goes to the very underrated The Darjeeling Limited), Grand Budapest is a fun adventure. If you blink too much, you might miss out on all the cameos and fun little jokes. Anderson is a great visual storyteller and this might be his masterpiece in that regard. But if you don't like Wes Anderson (and there's quite a few of you) then stay away from this movie! I understand if you don't like him, just don't call him a bad filmmaker.

33. Divergent
I have not read the books. Maggie really, really wanted to see this movie. A) because she's read the books and B) it has Shailene Woodley in it, who seems to be on a roll lately with being the new hotness. I did enjoy this movie quite a bit - maybe not enough for me to sit down and read all three books, but I definitely want to see the next installment. The set up is a utopian society with factions - the nerds, the hippies, the jocks and a few others. Each serves there own purpose after some sort of apocalypse that happened. Everything is fine until Woodley becomes some sort of divergent - a person who doesn't fit into any faction. This is scary to the people who actually control the city. And there's some great fun when this all gets unraveled. But at the core this is a coming of age tale - Woodley goes to hang out with the jocks (she grew up being a hippie) and she has to learn how to deal. It's pretty fun and the climactic ending was pretty entertaining and certainly sets up the rest of the story. So I'm psyched to see where this goes and as long as Woodley is in it along with Kate Winslet as the crazy-ass evil lady, count me in. This series isn't going to be the next Harry Potter (or Hunger Games for that matter) but I do like the fact that more and more of these movies are featuring strong female leads. Yeah, sure there's love interests, but it's not the primary focus of the film like some other franchise (coughTWILIGHTcough).

23. The Fault in Our Stars
I think Maggie thinks that I hate this movie. I just didn't LOVE this movie. OKAY? Okay. (see what I did there?). I'm a big know-it-all who had cancer so of course this movie is up my alley. And of course I read the book and really enjoyed the book. And I really did like the movie - it's just, I don't know - I really don't like Augustus Waters that much. As a character and the actor who portrayed him. I think in the book he comes off a little too ideal and fake. And it's just too much charm for me. And while the movie didn't seem inauthentic, my childhood cancer experience was way different. I didn't hook up with some blue-eyed, sweet-talking dude on my way to remission. Nor did I go to group therapy or Amsterdam (I had cancer camp and I got to go to Aspen!). Which is cool - I just didn't connect like I thought I would with the book and with the movie. That being said - the really sweet moments are fantastic and Shailene Woodley is once again, fantastic. I wasn't a robot - I shed some tears (maybe more than some). It's a good story and a good movie, just something I don't think I'll be watching over and over again.

2014 So Far in Most Anticipated: Part 2

While by no means the worst I've seen this year, these next five movies certainly won't be seen by me again. Ever. They had their moments, but ultimately, they fail at being coherent, good movies.

26. Transformers: Age of Extinction
It's no surprise that this movie is a bloated mess, clocking in at just under 3 (!) hours. It's no surprise either, that this movie is going to make $1 billion dollars worldwide. I guess my biggest complaint about this movie was the fact that it was just like the first, second and third movies. I didn't realize this until the fourth installment, but the franchise wore out it's creative genius after the first movie. There's absolutely nothing special about this movie - it's more of the same and honestly if you put any of the 4 movies on television - I couldn't tell you which one was which. The action is the same, the plot points are the same. I would rather see the Autobots in space, going back to their homeworld. Just something unique and different. Get rid of the humans and build stories and character arcs around the Autobots. But that's too risky. Instead, we're going to get the next installment set entirely in China because that's where the money's at. Oh and Megatron is going to be the villain. Even after he got DECAPITATED in the third movie. It's utterly ridiculous how completely void this movie is of creativity. I shouldn't have been surprised, but I guess I'm an optimist. There's no way I'm paying money for the next movie. No way.

14. Monuments Men
This should have been a great movie. World War II, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman? But the film lacks any coherent structure and voice. There's not a strong narrative - it's just Clooney and company running around Europe trying to find art. And the tone of the movie is all over the place - at times darkly funny (when two of the guys get caught in a crossfire between Germans and Americans) and then completely melancholic when one of them dies (due to said crossfire). It's a weird movie that I couldn't get into, nor relate to the characters at all. The sad thing is this movie could have been a really fun, really energetic movie, but the "action" and the humor don't mesh well and it ends up being really boring. It doesn't help that Clooney and company really seem to not be acting all that much. Instead it feels like George Clooney himself is out to save the artwork, rather than his character. Y'all are better off watching the Simpsons episode where Abe Simpson was waging war with Mr. Burns over Nazi-stolen artwork. Great episode.

32. 300: Rise of an Empire
What a bonkers movie. I really dug a lot of the naval battles, but this one ends up being just okay. While the first 300 had a razor-sharp focus and unforgettably cheesy dialogue and set pieces, the sequel lacks most of that. There are some shining moments in the movie, namely the aforementioned naval battles. But the movie is hampered by a relatively weak cast and ho-hum plot. There's an actual call back in the movie which I hate, hate hate so much. I'm not dumb. The audience is not dumb. You don't need to show a scene from 20 minutes ago to make sure we got the connection. And that's the problem with this movie - it assumes the audience is too dumb so there's lot of big-winded, FOR FREEDOM inspirational speeches and not enough real character interactions. Except for one bizarre sex sequence between the evil Eva Green character and the main guy, Themistocles. Uncomfortable and out of place, it just didn't seem like a sexy fun time for anyone either in the movie or watching it. There is a lot of unnecessary nudity (the very first scene in fact) and blood and it just drives home the point that this R-rated movie is entirely geared towards 13 year-old boys. I think they might enjoy this movie, but for the rest of us, it's an entirely forgettable experience.

35. Non-Stop
Taken on a plane pretty much sums up this movie. Not entirely a waste of time, nor was it a really fun cinematic experience, Non-Stop delivers what you expect. Much like Taken, I enjoyed the thrill ride while I was watching, but looking back, I don't think I could be compelled to watch it again. The movie doesn't start out like a thriller, though. The first 10 minutes are entirely seen from Neeson's drunken stupor and it felt like forever. I just want to get to the first GD murder, please! No one cares that your wife left you (or is dead, I can't remember). But once the thrills begin, it's fun to watch. The final act is completely wacko and certainly un-thrilling and you'll probably say to yourself "Really" at least half a dozen times. Nevertheless, it's fun, maybe worth a rental but please, don't go out of your way to see this movie.

27. Robocop
I think for the most part the reboot was worth it. Robocop has a lot of themes to chew on - losing our humanity to technology, war, corporations taking over our lives, the economy. It's a very heavy-handed movie. But mixed with a lot of action and lots of gritty robot-on-robot fighting. While being a thoroughly enjoyable film, there was just something missing. I don't think I entirely connected to Robocop as a character and the film kind meanders in the middle. Joel Kinnamen is perfect, though as the new Robocop and the rest of the cast is pretty good, too. I just couldn't muster up enough love. It's a very "okay" movie that is worth checking out, but will never really land on my rewatch list.


2014 So Far in Most Anticipated: Part 1

Let's just cut straight to it. I'm back. It's been a long six months. I've changed, the world's changed and we're all the better for it. (Except maybe for Brazil). Time to catch up briefly to where 2014 stands!

I'm going to do a break down of the movies I've seen in worst to best order. AND YES, I do have a calendar where I'm keeping track of all the movies I've watched. I'm extremely dorky like that. Now let's get on with it!

39. 3 Days to Kill
I don't know how this piece of crap movie landed inside my top 40. I think Costner is long overdue for some sort of comeback. Just not this movie. Poorly edited, paced and just all sorts of confusing at times, 3 Days to Kill is a movie that not only sucks the fun out of the room, but also makes you question your taste in movies. I seriously had a talking to with myself about selecting this movie. And not only that, why I had this on my list in the first place. Luc Besson wrote it (which was a serviceable script, but was nowhere near being a good script). BUT McG was directing. I seriously, I just can't. He's just that dude that everyone knows is a douche but you let him hang out with you and your friends because he always has money to burn on alcohol and food. He goes by the name McG and we're still letting this douche nozzle make movies? C'mon folks, it's 2014, we've evolved!

The Poster is WAY cooler than the movie. WAY.
34. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
A wish-it-was-better kind of movie. Chris Pine desperately wants to be the next Tom Cruise - and he has the chops in my opinion, but this Tom Clancy reboot is not exactly the way to go. The movie is just okay - it seems too reliant on Bourne-like hijinks instead of being a more subtle spy movie, which is what Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games were all about. Seriously, Costner, what are you doing to yourself? I know you need a paycheck, but maybe a TV show would be better suited for you. I'm sure HBO would like to see you in Game of Thrones or Girls. Maybe True Detective! And poor Kenneth Branagh, I think he let the success of Thor get to his head! Thinking he can direct an action movie while playing the Russian mob boss villain. Cute.

Even the poster is embarrassed about the movie

Runner-Up: That Awkward Moment
Another so-so movie, I think the cast is fantastic, it's just that the script and characters aren't well-written. Nor is the movie terribly funny - it tries too hard to be a normal romantic comedy, but with edgy humor and R-rated shenanigans. And that would be fine - Wedding Crashers managed this really well - but That Awkward Moment just doesn't have a great chemistry with the cast. There's some nice moments but then you remember Zac Efron was wearing a dildo in this movie and at that moment you realize you might have just seen about everything there is in this world and OMG it's depressing.

Runner-Up: Vampire Academy
I will fully admit I will see any YA movie adaptation. I'm not above that. But man, this one is a messy diaper of young adult nonsense. The movie throws you into this story fang first (yes, puns will be had in this mini-review) without any sense of placement or direction. Exposition is a good thing which is poorly doled out. And Zooey Deutch is trying way too hard to be Juno from that movie called Juno. Like really hard. For the most part, I didn't understand the story, nor did I really "get" any of the characters. It's literally a unholy cross (pun!) between Harry Potter and Twilight. I'm surprised they didn't give out the house cup at the end.

36. Walk of Shame
Well, I laughed a few times during this movie. I honestly thought this was going to be a theatrically-released movie, but no. Even the studio was like "Screw it, this goes on the On Demand pile of turds." Elizabeth Banks is a funny lady and unfortunately she finds herself in a completely unfunny movie where she's just trying to get home after somehow managing to lose her purse and keys and car and everything else. First World Problems, amirite? What should have been a clever premise ends up being a sad march to bad romantic comedy cliches and crude, junkie, homeless guy jokes. So let's just say we all forget about this one and wait for Banks' directorial debut next year with Pitch Perfect 2.
Rating: WALK OUT OF THE VIDEO STORE WITH A DIFFERENT MOVIE (yes, there are still video stores. Don't roll your eyes at me!)