I LOVE Paul Rudd. He is one of the few actors that can make me laugh. But my love for him can’t get me excited about this film. The buzz on it has been great so far calling it one of the best superheroes films. I don’t know if I am just burnt out of comic book movies but I have absolutely no interested in seeing Ant Man. I watch the trailers and read articles and think why. Why should I go see this movie? There is nothing compelling about the film beyond Paul Rudd. I’ve seen all but one of the Marvel films (Ed Norton as the Hulk – just not buying it) but I am going to sit this one out.
I am on the fence about Interstellar. I am a huge fan of Christopher and Jonathan Nolan but as I look at the trailer, something about the film just appears off to me. Based on the trailer and what I’ve heard about the film, it appears to be set in the near future. When I look at the cast on IMDB, all of the top billed people are of European descent. Films that lack diversity are out of step with today’s aesthetics. And no matter what the pedigree of the filmmakers, this type of casting is extremely boring. The thought of having to spend two plus hours with two of today’s blandest stars: Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey is not an enticing prospect.
Release date: November 7, 2014
Earth to Echo
After receiving a bizarre series of encrypted messages, a group of kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help. (via IMDB)
This trailer reminds me of the classic sci fi movies aimed at kids in the 80s. I hope that it is beloved by this generation as Flight of the Navigator, Explorers and Space Camp were to my generation. Those films spurred my imagination and made me long to travel the stars. Who knows, I may find myself checking it out in the theaters.
This little sci-fi treat features a serious Johnny Depp as an out-of-the-box scientist trying to upload computers with consciousness. Rebecca Hall (The Town, Frost/Nixon, Closed Circuit), Morgan Freeman and Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code & Iron Man series) play his like-minded colleagues until an anti-technology terrorist organization throws a wrench in their plans. In a last ditch effort to test Dr. Caster’s life’s work, his team uploads his brain activity into a computer and waits for the fallout. Transcendence has an interesting plot filled with drama, intrigue and deep thoughts. Whichever character you’re rooting for will greatly depend on how you feel about what’s best for the future of mankind and the role technology should play.
7 out of 9
Guest blogger from Seattle
I am really excited to see Captain America: Winter Solider this weekend. It’s been a minute since I’ve been excited for a release. What other fabulous movies are being released this year.
The Marvel Universe has slowly been growing on mainly because of Loki. That being said, I am unsure of Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m not a comic book reader, so I’ve never heard of this group until news of the movie hit. There’s a great cast: Lee Pace, Zoe Saldana, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly, but the trailer looks like of crazy.
Well this mixture of Sci Fi, Comedy and Big Budget work?
Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe.
To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer.
But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. (via IMDB)
Release date August 1, 2014
(An August movie, not a good sign)
… and catch “Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” this Thursday, December 5, in theaters across the country. The stars of RiffTrax – Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett are back and ready to elevate this film with their classic snark.
“The Martians kidnap Santa because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents.” (IMDB)
For tickets click here
I’m a little late to the party but here it is:
If you were not amused by Vin Diesel’s character from Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick don’t bother seeing this movie. Riddick picks up from Riddick’s reign as the lord of the Necromongers. This film doesn’t spend the first five minutes explaining his past. It just jumps right in assuming you’re a fan. It’s a little slow in the beginning reestablishing Riddick’s lone wolf persona, but with this installment you’re getting more action, more suspense and a new planet with some strange creatures on it. Now that his interplanetary reputation has gone from menacing murderer on the run to the crowned leader of an invading army, Riddick’s every move becomes legend. Enjoy the ride.
The only reason to see Gravity is Alfonso Cuaron. With a Cuaron film it’s surely going to be a visual feast. The plot is pretty straight forward – two astronauts struggle to survive in space after an accident. But this movie is not about the plot or the actors but about what a top notch director can achieve at the height of his career.
Release date: October 4
After hitting a home run with his debut picture, District 9, Neill Blomkamp hits the dreaded sophomore slump with this follow up Elysium. Matt Damon (Max) plays an average man in Los Angeles, year 2154. The earth has been wrecked by overcrowding and pollution. The uber-rich are able to leave the Earth and live in a paradisal space station, Elysium, orbiting the planet. Back on earth, Blomkamp draws parallels to modern society ills: police brutally, high unemployment, lack of health care, etc. Jodie Foster (Delacourt) is the Secretary of Defense on Elysium and it falls under her domain to get the less desirables for access the space station in search for a better life. Sharlto Copley (Kruger) is the psychopathic bad guy hired by Foster, to help her achieve her goals.
One of the many weaknesses of the movie is the lack of empathy for the main characters, We meet Max and his childhood BFF, Frey in flashbacks and see a tiny window of their bond. We never see the relationship between Max and Frey as adults, so there is no investment as to what happens to them. Matt Daman is his usual affable self but is given very little to work with. Jodie Foster is one of today’s best actors but in Elysium, she comes across as very stiff and mannered. Sharlto Copley is clearly miscast as the bad guy. As great as it is to see a diverse group actors on the screen, the dueling accents: South African, Mexican, Brazilian and whatever the hell Jodie was doing was very distracting.
Neill Blomkamp is an interesting director and I hope he returns to form with his next feature film.
This July, American Cinematheque is showcasing classic science fiction. If you are in the area, check them out:
SOLARIS Fri, July 19 • 7:30pm
Scientists try to understand the secrets of the mysterious planet Solaris, but find themselves slowly becoming victims of their own imaginations and secret desires in Andrei Tarkovsky’s thought-provoking original 1972 film.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY Fri, July 26 • 7:30pm
[THE GREAT MOVIES: A TRIBUTE TO ROGER EBERT]
Roger Ebert said of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece: m>”It says to us: We became men when we learned to think. Our minds have given us the tools to understand where we live and who we are. Now it is time to move on to the next step, to know that we live not on a planet but among the stars, and that we are not flesh but intelligence.” – Roger Ebert
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA Sun, July 28 • 5:30pm
Jules Verne’s cinematic steampunk adventure story and the most expensive Hollywood tentpole film of its day is the perfect popcorn movie for the entire family! Join us as we celebrate the remarkable legacy of production designer, artist, Disneyland theme-park visionary, musician, raconteur and 2013 ADG Hall of Fame Inductee Harper Goff.
For more information visit: American Cinematheque