Captain America: The Winter Soldier (★★★★★)
By this point you have likely seen a lot of Marvel films. For the most part those films tend to stick to a pretty strict formula: Likeable heroes, compelling antagonists, mind blowing special effects, cheeky dialog and epic battle sequences. Captain America: The Winter Soldier still has all of those things, yet it also has the courage to go new places and do things that no other Marvel film has even thought about doing. When you think of comic book films, topics such as personal privacy, politics and drones aren’t the first things that usually come to mind, but those are the themes that Captain America tackles here. In a lot of ways, the film feels more like a political thriller than your standard popcorn superhero flick.
It’s a refreshing change. One that I personally think makes Captain America: The Winter Soldier the best Marvel movie yet.
In a near future where we are so detached from one another that we pay a company to write our personal letters to one another, in a near future where we are bound to technology more than anything else, ‘Her’ is the brilliant story of Theodore, a mild mannered man that falls in love with Samantha, his operating system. It’s an alluring film from Spike Jonze that is an eye-opening commentary on our ongoing dependency on technology while at the same time spreading a very welcomed take on love.
Aside from the vibrant look and feel to ‘Her’ and the exquisite story that it tells, it’s the performances of the film that make it so invigorating. My best friend recently told me that Joaquin Phoenix looked like the type of person that would fall in love with a computer. I laughed but it’s true. Joaquin completely embraced this role. He’s this floundering man that has lost everything. He’s a wallflower, the type of guy that comes off as a stranger to even those that know him best. Yet he finds love in the least likely of places. Joaquin puts on an astonishing performance, even more so when you realize that a good 80% of the film is nothing but him by himself. When he’s not by himself, he’s surrounded by a cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt and Olivia Wilde, who all deliver exceptional performances.
It’s probably not a film for everyone. There are no explosions, the fate of the world isn’t at stake and and nobody has super powers. With ‘Her’, you come for the interesting premise and the lovely story it tells and you stay for the uncomfortable sex scenes and the show-stealing alien.
I recommend it highly.
American Hustle (★★★★★)
If American Hustle was nothing more than Christian Bale standing in front of a mirror and fixing his comb over for two hours, it would probably still be my favorite movie of the year. Somehow it gets even more exciting than that. It’s so good! So, so good! It’s a film that just has everything you could possibly want: This great story with these well-written characters filled with twists and turns and, man, just so good. Then you’ve got this amazing soundtrack that just sets the mood perfectly and an A+ cast putting on A+ performances.
I guess you could say I really, really, really liked it. Can’t recommend it enough.
There are those that say that the character of Superman is beyond relevancy. It’s hard to argue with them. Besides Superman: The Animated Series, the last 20 years haven’t been kind to the last son of Krypton. There was that failed Tim Burton reboot that had Nicolas Cage playing Supes; there was the disasterpiece that was Superman 64 — a video game so bad that it’s still talked about today — and there were other failed reboot attempts by JJ Abrams and McG before the eventual letdown that was Bryan Singer’s ‘Superman Returns.’ In the end, Superman’s greatest weakness wasn’t kryptonite, it was the decision making of the executives at Warner Bros. Their mishandling and half-assed efforts led to Superman, the most popular superhero of all-time, becoming an afterthought in a time when superheroes have never been more popular.
But if anyone could lead Superman back to his cinematic glory days, you would have to imagine that a team led by Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder and David Goyer would be that team, right?
By: Joshua “You think you are safe. You are not.” Richey
J.J. Abrams second endeavor into the Star Trek franchise doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It delivers a lot of what made the 2009 reboot as successful as it was only it’s bigger, faster and more action packed while also building off the fantastic relationships between this wonderful cast. Having the origin story out of the way allows Star Trek Into Darkness to go into warp from the very get go — and it does. It’s a ton of fun and is a prime example of what a summer blockbuster should be. Not even seeing Damon Lindelof’s name multiple times in the credits can stop Star Trek Into Darkness from being as good — if not better — than the film that we all fell in love with four years ago.
We give Star Trek Into Darkness 4 sets of unnecessary space boobs out of 5.