A Guide to Summer Movies

Since I graduated from college on Sunday, the summer has just begun for me. I have started turning my attention to the movies coming out in the next few months that I would want to see and the others that I wish had never been made. And I thought, hey, I have a movie blog which I can use to force my opinion on other people! To that end, I decided to write a post in which I will instruct you what movies you should see so you don’t have to think for yourself. Aren’t I nice?

The Avengers

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Status: Out

Advice: See it!

If you haven’t seen it already, go. Yes, I am ordering you to, and you will thank me for it. Whether you like action, stories, characters, comedy… it’s all here. So stop sitting on your bean bag chair in in front of the computer reading pointless blogs (yes, like this one) and go see it!

Dark Shadows:

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Status: Out

Advice: Meh

I saw this movie a few days ago because I am a Tim Burton fan, but he really disappointed me. Sadly, this movie turned out to be a good version of Twilight. However, keep in mind I have absurdly high standards for movies, so if you just want mindless entertainment, you’ll love it.

Battleship

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Status: Release May 18th

Advice: DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE

Based on the trailer, it seems like Battleship is simply going to be Transformers doing water ballet. I guess if you are a mindless lemming who just gives Michael Bay more reason to jack off with his money, you will probably love this film. For those of us who demand more from their movies than just explosions and CG with no plot, avoid at all cost.

Men in Black 3

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Status: Release May 25th

Advice: Meh

I’m torn. It could possibly go either way, but considering MIB 2 sucked, I’m leaning toward this movie sucking as well. Based on the trailers, I feel as if the writers ran out of idea of what to do with the franchise, so they threw in time travel. Of course. But, I sincerely hope it is a good movie, because Emma Thompson is in it, and she is one of my favorite actresses. I will have to kill someone if her reputation is soiled.

Snow White and the Huntsman

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Status: Release June 1st

Advice: See it!

This movie looks incredible. My only complaint is that the filmmakers are trying to convince everyone that Kristen Stewart is the most beautiful girl in the land, and I am not buying it. But the movie looks so awesome, I am willing to subject myself to Bella and her lack of acting skills. While earlier this year Mirror Mirror did a very light hearted and humorous interpretation of Snow White, this movie seems very dark and riveting. There will be CG used, but it seems it will help the story, not try to hide the fact that none exists.

The Dictator

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Status: Out

Advice; eeeeeehhhhh

I feel conflicted, because I usually do not enjoy comedies very much. They usually sacrifice stories because their main goal is to make people laugh. So normally I would say don’t go see this movie, unless you do like comedies, I guess. However, I am planning to see it, but that’s because of this blog mainly. Now instead of just seeing movies that I think will be good, I’m willing to see other ones, because if they suck, I can complain about them here for all of you to read.

Brave

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Status: Release June 22nd

Advice: See it!

Yes, it is a children’s film, but it looks really good. And this might actually be the long awaited first real feminist Disney princess. That may be too much to hope, especially for a cynic like me, but I am eagerly awaiting this film.

The Dark Knight Rises

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Status: Release July 20th

Advice:  go see it (but notice I don’t have an exclamation point)

Unlike most people, I didn’t think Dark Knight was amazing. The only good part of it was Heath Ledger, who obviously will not be in Dark Knight Rises. However, the trailer makes it look very interesting (although I have to acknowledge the villain looks like the villain from The Ninja Turtles). There is potential for it to be great. But I am skeptical.

The Amazing Spider Man

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Status: Release July 3rd

Advice: Go see it!

I’m one of those kids who sort of grew up with the previous Spider Man Franchise. I really enjoyed that one (although the 3rd one sucked, Toby McGuire should never have emo bangs, even if it’s trying to make a point). However, I’m getting curious. Apparetly, this new franchise isn’t so much a remaking. It’s a completely different story in which Peter is trying to figure out what happened to his parents. That is something that the previous franchise never brought up, and since I don’t read comic books, I personally would like to know what happened to Peter’s parents (for those of you who do read comic books, please, no spoilers).

Prometheus

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Status: Release June 8th

Advice: See it if killer aliens is your thing

My regular reader know why I will not be seeing this film. I am very easily scared and honestly even the trailer is a little too intense for me. But if you like the whole aliens killing everyone just because we can’t think of anything else for them to do, have at it!

Hysteria

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Status: coming out May 18th

Advice: Go See it!

This movie is about how in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, the common treatment for hysteria was a doctor would basically give the afflicted female a hand job. This movie seems as if it will be hilarious but also about important issues in history as well as today.

Death of a Superhero

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Status: out

Advice: Go see it

I really want to see this movie and now that I know it’s out I am so excited. The movie is about a boy who escapes reality by believing he is a superhero. The best part: Andy Serkis is his counselor. I love Andy Serkis. I think this movie promises to be great. However, it apparently has only been released in Seattle. Curses.

Madagascar:Europe’s Most Wanted

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Status: Released June 8th

Advice: DON’T SEE THIS MOVIE

That is unless you have children begging you to. If not, you have no good reason to want to see this movie. I can guarantee you it will fall prey to SSS, or Sloppy Sequel Syndrome, because all Dreamworks sequels do as the Ice Age and Shrek franchises have already taught us.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

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Status: Release June 22nd

Advice: GO SEE IT!

THIS MOVIE LOOKS FUCKING AWESOME! I’m probably going to academic hell for saying that considering I received a degree in history just days ago. However, I just really want to see this, because IT’S ABRAHAM LINCOLN, FIGHTING VAMPIRES! And, yes, my friends will all get a chance to laugh as I jump ten feet in my seat 50 times, but I need to see this. So do you.

That’s My Boy

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Status: Release June 15th

Advice: DON’T SEE THIS MOVIE

We all though Jack and Jill was Adam Sandler’s career death rattling. Apparently not. How many horrible movies do you have to create before you put people out of their misery? Please, save yourself, and don’t see this film.

GI Joe Retaliation

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Status: Release June 29th

Advice: DON’T SEE THIS MOVIE

Yet another sequel to a movie that is all action, CG, and spectacle and no story. I have no expectations for this movie, especially when the end of the trailer brings in Bruce Willis. Does a more type casted actor exist?

Ice Age Continental Drift

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Status: Release July 13

Advice: DON’T SEE THIS MOVIE

…for the same reasons I gave for not seeing the Madagascar sequel.

Step Up Revolution

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Status; Release July 27th

Advice: DON’T SEE THIS MOVIE

Do I even have to explain myself on this one?

The Bourne Legacy

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Status: Release Aug 3rd

Advice: DON’T SEE THIS MOVIE

One of the biggest things that bugs me in movies is when film makers make a bunch of films with one actor and decide to get someone else and pretend we’ll never notice it. Jeremy Renner, you are not Matt Damon.

The Very Best Marigold Hotel

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Status: Out

Advice: See it!

This movie has such a star studded cast, I can’t see how it won’t be incredible. Tom Wilkonson, Maggie smith, Judi Dench, I guess it could have too many characters, but I still really want to see it.

Please realize the advice I have given is based mostly upon my own movie taste which focuses on stories and characters. If that’s not up your alley, you probably will disagree with me as to which movies you want to see and labotamize yourself with Michal Bayesque cinema. Have a good movie summer!

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Dark Shadows: Finally, a Vampire Movie That’s Not Twilight, Or Is It?

I saw Dark Shadows Yesterday. As a Tim Burton and Johnny Depp fan (I guess since they seem to always make movies together I don’t need to even say both their names) I had some expectations for this movie that I usually do not have. I’m sure my regular readers know by now I am a cynic. Interestingly, I have never had such a bipolar experience with a film. I usually either love a movie, or hate it. Yet, there were very specific things that I loved about Dark Shadows, and some very specific things that were just God awful.

Dark Shadows, released the summer of 2012, directed by Tim Burton, is a movie based on the popular 70’s television show of the same name. In this film, the witch Angelique (Eva Green) transforms Barnabas Collin (Johnny Depp) into a vampire and imprisons him because he will not return her love. 200 years go by, and Barnabas’s coffin is dug up and he is set free. He connects with the new Collins’s family and tries to restore the family business while Angelique tries to burn it to the ground.

There were some awesome things about Dark Shadows. First off, Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp is one of those actors that when you see him in a role, you don’t think, “Oh, that’s Johnny Depp.” You see his character. In my opinion, Depp is more suited toi play a vampire than he is to play a pirate. I just felt he did the role seemlessly as always. As far as I’m concerned, Robert Pattenson is out of the job.

However, the actress I was even more impressed with was Eva Green. She played a witch extremely well, mainly through her powerful eyes which expressed emotion like no one I have ever seen. Her eyes flashed so hot that I think she could make the saying “if looks copuld kills” a reality. Her performance was a joy to watch.

The part of this film that I loved the most, however, was an effects shot when the witch Angelique dies. I know that my regular readers will be shocked. Me, enjoying special effects? I’m usually always ranting about them. But let me explain. In this shot, as Angelique is dying, her skin starts cracking, literally, as if she is delicate glass or porcelain. The effect is not only beautiful, but it really solidifies the character in the audiences’ minds. Angelique is cold and hard but also vulnerable and hollow. So, yes, I do like the effects shot, but the difference here is that it adds to the story rather than trying to hide the fact that there is none (couch cough Michael Bay).

But now, let me whip out my sarcasm. Just as there were many things I loved about Dark Shadows, there was a lot that I hated. Most of these problems I believe happen in the ending. The story becomes quite contrived and forced. First, during the standoff between Angelique and the Collins’s family it is randomly revealed that Carolyn (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a werewolf. This comes completely out of nowhere. Carolyn’s character is odd. She is dark and sexually charged, but I thought pretty much every 15 year old girl was like that in the 70’s. I feel as if the screenwriter was working on this scene and started thinking, “Hmmmm, maybe if I do some research on vampires I can flesh out this scene,” and picks up a copy of Twilight, thinking no one would notice. We did.

Second problem with the ending. After killing Angelique, Barnabas has to save Victoria (Bella Heathcoat), the woman he loves. Under one of Angelique’s spell, she is going to plunge herself off a cliff. Barnabas saves her just in time. He tells her he wants them to be together, but Victoria says they can’t because he is immortal and she is not (sound horrifyingly familiar to anyone yet?). She says the only way they can be together is if he turns her into a vampire. (Have you gotten it yet?) Barnabas says no, and then Victoria throws herself off the cliff (I guess feminism hadn’t really made a huge dent in the 70’s). Barnabas jumps after her and bites her neck, turning her into a vampire before they crash to the ground. So please tell me you see the similarities here. This entire plot sequence is Twilight! I can just see the screenwriter thinking, “Hmmmm well, I’m stuck, and it helped before,” so he picked up Twilight again. Also notice that terrifyingly, the first name of the actress who plays Victoria is Bella. Even more scary is the blatant similarity between “Collins” and “Cullen.” Seeing that the Dark Shadows TV show came before Twilight, that’s just a coincidence, right? Right? Just wait. In the sequel, Barnabas will be sparkly, and Victoria will be caught between him and the sensual Carolyn, because she can give her things that Barnabas can’t. But Victoria can’t deny that Barnabas is her true love, because she has no emotional depth or mind of her own.

Despite the terror of the last two paragraphs, remember the good things I told you about this movie. Since there is such a disparity between good and bad elements, I think I can only give Dark Shadows a score of 5. Despite the fact that it is basically a good version of Twilight, it is quite entertaining, so give it a try.