‘The Avengers’: Cinema’s High-End Prostitute

5 May

“You’re going to lose. It’s in your nature.”

Halfway through The Avengers, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is pointing a giant gun at the villainous Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Coulson, the only ordinary man in this film filled with spies, assassins, demi-gods, super heroes and aliens, is also the only one who knows how this film is going to end. He states it very clearly to the antagonist, seemingly offering Loki a cop out before this movie drags out to its intended two and a half hour run time. As any conventional super hero movie would have it, Loki ignores the agent and continues in his attempts to take over the world.

Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) stands alone in this film full of super heroes.

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A Year in Review: The Movies of 2011

25 Jan

Bridesmaids

I saw 81 movies in 2011. Let that sink in a little bit because I am still shocked by the sheer numbers myself. If you were to include all of the movies that I watched in the past year that had release dates that pre-dated ’11, my overall count would be over a hundred easily. For many, seeing this many movies would take years.

I am divulging all of this information because yesterday, the official nominations for the Academy Awards were announced. (Fun Fact: The Academy Awards are often mistakenly referred to as the Oscars, even though that title is technically incorrect in regards to the award show itself since the trophy is actually the Oscar.) Naturally, the critics will never agree 100% on anything (and if they did then they wouldn’t be actual critics since the role of the critic is to argue one’s point on a topic in face of differing opinions). While I do not agree with many of the nominations, I do agree with some.

Even though the Academy moved away from its short stint of 10 Best Picture nominees, everyone loves a good Top 10 list. Just as a quick note: I am limiting myself to three sentences for each movie. I could go on for pages about why these movies are so great, but these kinds of list are for short pleasurable insights into the mind of the critic. So without further ado, here is my Top 10 Movies of 2011 list. Continue reading

5 College Comedies Every College Student Should See

24 Jan

Whether you are an up and coming freshmen or a “mature” senior, nobody should go through college without watching what their 4 year experience COULD be like if they lived in a college comedy movie.

COLLEGE COMEDY

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Cronenberg’s Most Dangerous Method is Boredom

9 Jan

I once took a psychology class in high school. I didn’t take it because it was an easy A. I didn’t take it because it was a super popular class or I had all my friends in it with me. I definitely didn’t take it because I was at all interested in the subject. I took psychology because I thought having a basic understanding of the human brain and human emotions could be useful later on in life. As of yet, I still have not had to put any of that knowledge to the test. I had the same type of feelings towards David Cronenberg’s (The Fly, A History of Violence) latest directorial effort, A Dangerous Method. I forced myself to watch this movie because of the prestigious actors involved, as well as the potential awards-buzz surrounding it. Unfortunately, I experienced the same type of psychology related boredom and confusion that I had to sit through my junior year.

Who's who? (From Left to Right: Viggo Mortensen, Sigmund Freud, Michael Fassbender, Carl Jung)

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Hugo Finds Fun for Everyone

6 Jan

Martin Scorsese’s (Raging Bull, Goodfellas) foray into the worlds of family film and three dimensions is a delight for all to see. Set in Paris in the 1930s, a young orphan boy lives inside a clock tower in a train station, trying to unlock the secret his recently deceased father left for him to solve in the form of an automaton. He makes a few friends and a few enemies along the way as he ultimately discovers the true magic behind motion pictures. Wait, what? I thought this movie was about a boy fixing this old broken robot thing that his dad was fixing while he died. What is this about the magic of movies?

Martin Scorsese's cameo in Hugo.

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Williams Delivers Inner Beauty as Marilyn

29 Dec

Michelle Williams or Marilyn Monroe?

Michelle Williams’ (Dawson’s Creek, Blue Valentine) talent shone through her recreation of America’s most beautiful woman, Marilyn Monroe. It can be argued that Monroe was only eye-candy on the big screen and consequently didn’t have the most mature acting chops. Kenneth Branagh (Henry V, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), who plays the famous actor/director Sir Laurence Oliver in the biopic, even says during filming that Monroe doesn’t have to try so hard to act because she is only there to look pretty. As it turns out, Williams acted her heart out to appear not to be acting at all. Continue reading

Arthur Christmas Unwraps True Meaning of Christmas in Holiday Spectacle

1 Dec

This guy's going to save Christmas. He's going to need a miracle.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. December 1st means that the weather is getting colder, the snow is quickly approaching, and that Christmas cheer is in the air. I heard Christmas songs on the radio before Thanksgiving was even over, so why not start the Christmas festivities on Thanksgiving too? That is what Arthur Christmas had in mind when it hit theaters on November 23rd. This jolly film brings a fresh look at the man, the myth, the legend: Santa Claus! But what if one present wasn’t delivered with the others on Christmas Eve? That is the problem that the youngest Claus, Arthur, has to fix! Along with Grandsanta and a wrapping elf named Bryony, it is up to Arthur to save one special girl’s Christmas! Continue reading

Hawaiian Sun Shines Hope into George Clooney in The Descendants

30 Nov

A troubled man in a beautiful paradise.

Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt) wrote and directed The Descendants, his first movie since 2004. He has won an Oscar, among other awards. However, I will admit that I have never seen one of his films. I went into this movie with a clean slate and an open opinion on this critically acclaimed writer/director. In hindsight, I’m glad I did. It is hard to keep bias out of your reviews if you know a lot about a movie before you see it. The director or actor’s past films create expectations and stereotypes that often pollute reviews for their new movies. Having never seen a Payne movie before, I can honestly say that I believe he did a fine job with The Descendants.

George Clooney (Ocean’s Eleven, Batman & Robin) plays Matt King, a Hawaiian native who is the sole trustee of 25,000 acres of pristine Kauai land. Since the trust is up in seven years, Matt and his large assortment of cousins are almost through with the process of selling the land for a large amount of money. Selling this land will be a huge financial boost for the Hawaiian island, but also a terrible change in lifestyle for the natives. During this stressful process, Matt’s wife suffered a head injury from a boating accident and is in a coma. Continue reading

After 12 Years, The Muppets Put on a Show for the Ages

29 Nov

The Muppets are icons in American culture. They teach important lessons to their viewers. Naturally, we all take away something from watching their films. What gift did you get from your viewing? Children? Ice cream? Those are both plausible possibilities since the Muppets believe that those are the two most important gifts to receive in this world. However, seeing as your local cinema (hopefully) wasn’t handing out babies and ice cream cones with your ticket purchase, it is to be assumed that you came away with the third most important thing in the world: laughter!

The Muppet's froggy leader: Kermit.

Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is the human star, writer and puppet enthusiast that got the ball rolling on this much needed reboot for the Muppet franchise. Segel plays Gary, along with his other human co-star and future fiancé is named Mary, played by Amy Adams (The Fighter, Enchanted). Together they travel with Gary’s “puppet” brother and Muppet enthusiast, Walter, to go visit the old Muppet Theater. Continue reading

Newest Twilight Breaks Nothing in Filler Film

22 Nov

The Twilight movies have become more of a cultural experience than an actual movie franchise. When you go in, certain things can be expected to happen, both on the screen and from the audience. You can expect a thick, gooey layer of cheese to spread over every second of the film. You can expect a lot of longing and intense stares in spots where real acting is usually shown. You can expect to see a lot of Taylor Lautner’s rockin’ abs. Having fun yet? But what did you expect when you bought your ticket? Luckily, plenty of entertainment can be found on what happens in the audience. The target audience of married women and pre-teen girls gasp, ooh, giggle and awe at the most cliché parts while the normal audience that was dragged along snicker derisively more and more openly as the film, as well as the series, continues. People yell things like, “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” the first time either character steps on screen. Finally, the good old-fashioned whispered mockery transpires between friends because we all know how bad the movies are compared to the mediocre books. While The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is by no means a good movie, when taken in context it is a much better film than the first two films of the franchise.

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