This weekend I saw Let’s Be Cops and Expendables 3. I love movies. And I sometimes find that I really like certain movies that are universally panned. Sometimes I agree with the majority, but sometimes I really champion the ones on the fringe. This is a post about some movies I’ve seen this summer:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – I wrote a whole post about this a few weeks ago, because it was that awful. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 19%. I think it should have received 0%, but I’ll take what I can get. F-
Let’s Be Cops – RT gave it 17%. I have NO idea how. I loved this movie from start to finish. In many comedies there are plot holes that viewers generally agree to ignore in the vein of ‘don’t over think it, it’s just a comedy.’ But occasionally, you get a tightly written script that I feel is worthy of note. My Cousin Vinny is one of my favorite comedies of all time, but even it has a plot hole. LBC had zero. Everything seemed to make sense and also make me laugh. I loved the characters. I cheered for them. I identified with aspects of their personality. I hadn’t read anything about this movie before seeing it, and I’m shocked that so few critics liked it. I really loved the hell out of it. It was fun, smart, well written & even slightly emotional. A+
Expendables 3 – Loved it! RT gave it 35%. That’s better than I thought, but still less than I think it deserves. Sure, it’s a shoot ’em up action flick, but it’s great at what it does. Explosions, ass kicking, nearly super human stunts, and general bad-assery. I thought it was well shot, well directed and the acting was more than good enough for what it needed to be. It’s a niche film. If you don’t like action you won’t like it. But if you do, I can’t imagine you won’t like Ex 3. Just a bunch of fun on a super high budget. A
A Million Ways to Die In the West – RT = 35%. I thought it was not a total waste of time. It had some fun moments and was overall well put together. Nothing to write home about, but it’s good enough to kill a few hours while eating popcorn. B-
Lucy – The premise of this movie is that humans only use 10% of their brains. That premise is not true. But then again…it’s an action movie, so it doesn’t need to be based on truth. Avengers’ premise is also not true, but that movie was awesome. Lucy was fun and smart and full of butt kicking. And it’s narrative was different than what I expected. I can’t explain it any better than to say it felt more like an indy film with a high budget, big names, and a lot of action rather than a high budget Hollywood action film. B
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – RT = 91%. And I think it deserved that, because this movie was super well done. Great sci fi story. Great emotions. Amazing CGI/special effects. It did a great job of continuing the story from Rise of the Planet of the Apes and still showed a very plausible storyline to bridge to the original Planet of the Apes. A
Hercules – RT = 65% And I thought it deserved even better. Turns out Brett Ratner directed it. I historically dislike Ratner’s work. So, I was glad I didn’t know this was his until the end. As soon as his name came up in the credits I did a double take. I just watched a movie I thoroughly enjoyed and it was directed by him? Cool. Maybe he’s gotten better. Maybe this movie just worked for his style. Either way, I recommend it highly. Dwayne Johnson and cast do a great job of balancing epic action film with light hearted moments of humor. A-
How to Train Your Dragon II – I LOVED the first one. So, I had high expectations. And the sequel met and surpassed those expectations. The only reason I can figure this movie didn’t make $400 million is because the advertising was so sparse. Very few people I knew even realized it was out. But the movie was amazing. Absolute greatness. A+
Guardians of the Galaxy – They hype is totally true. This movie is fun. It’s well written. Well acted. The CGI/special effects/set design is incredible. I feared it would be cheesy from the previews, but I was way wrong. It’s amazing. My only complaint is that it was such a fast fun thrill ride that it seemed to go by too fast. I would have loved 10-15 more minutes of slower pacing scenes just to help me catch my breath. But that is a minor complaint about an otherwise amazing film. A+
Other Summer Blockbusters I saw:
The Purge Anarchy – A
Amazing Spider-Man 2 – C
X-Men DoFP – A
Neighbors – C+
Captain America: Winter Soldier – A
Here’s the interesting thing to me…this year’s movies are making a lot less than previous years. So, far the top grossing movie so far is Captain America at a paltry $259 million. In 2013 eight movies came out that made more money. In 2012 seven movies made more. 2011 – four movies. 2010 – seven movies.
Obviously this is a bad year, but is that all it is? Is it reflective of all the other entertainment options we have like Netflix & HBO Go? Or is it the fault of the movie industry for not enticing us out to the theatre with enough advertising? Or are the movies just not as good? Or something else?
I hope this is not looked back on by historians as the first year we really saw the trend to stay at home instead of going to the theatre really kicked in. What if movie theaters are completely different in 20 years? What if they don’t even exist? What if movies are simply released to our personal 3D glasses that allows us to see the screen at both optimal distance and angle and guarantees us no issues with parking or other people talking during the movie?
Of course, only time will tell for sure.