Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Movie Monday: Ain't Life Grand?

The Spectacular Now
Opening Friday, August 2nd
Directed by: James Ponsoldt
Starring: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Masam Holden, Dayo Okeniyi, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicci Faires, Ava London, Whitney Goin, Andre Royo, Bob Odenkirk, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Levi Miller
92% on Rotten Tomatoes

This is your sensitive, A Walk to Remember/Perks of Being a Wallflower teen romance, this time starring Woodley and Teller, who will hopefully bring something different enough to the table to keep everyone interested. We have seen the popular guy and the shy girl who are attracted to each other despite all of their differences before, so hopefully this indie will have enough spark and freshness to make us believe what's on the screen. I've really enjoyed Woodley before (The Descendants) and am excited to see her get away from the horrible television show that was holding her back and with luck (and hard work) she'll blossom into other roles that show her talent as well as The Descendants did. As for Teller, hopefully this role will be less like Footloose and more like Rabbit Hole in terms of depth.

A lot of people will love this movie. It's good, definitely, but it's also heavy and a little depressing. You watch Sutter (Teller) continually bring Aimee (Woodley) down and you're just waiting for him to destroy her one way or another. Then he does and it's as shocking as it possibly could be, because despite your misgivings, you've fallen down the rabbit hole with them. Woodley is just getting better and better. Her wonderfully naive, but not stupid portrayal of this girl who isn't quite clued in to everything high school is pitch perfect. Watching Teller keep spiraling is heartbreaking and too real. The reason I didn't love this movie was because it was so well done that it hurt. 

Elysium, Only God Forgives, Prince Avalanche and We're the Millers after the jump!

Opening Friday, August 9th
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Brandon Auret, Josh Blacker, Emma Tremblay, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Faran Tahir, Adrian Holmes, Jared Keeso
68% on Rotten Tomatoes

Matt Damon is returning to action with this sci-fi set in the not-so-near future (2154... we'll all be dead by then). It's a very futuristic upstairs-downstairs story - like Downton Abbey with a space station and fewer accents. Basically, all of the rich live in a clean, luxurious space station and the rest of the humans are left on Earth, which wouldn't be so bad, but Earth has become a dumping ground. Matt Damon's Max decides to take this on. I'm hoping this will be as epic as it promises. It's written/directed by the same guy who wrote/directed District 9, so there's definitely a chance. Awesome cast, but as you've seen with some other movies this summer that just don't work, that doesn't always mean it will be a great movie, it just means it has the potential to be a great movie. Look at Gangster Squad and Cloud Atlas.

Only God Forgives
Opening Friday, August 9th
Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Gordon Brown, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Tom Burke, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Pitchawat Petchayahon, Charlie Ruedpokanon
40% on Rotten Tomatoes

So we've all seen Drive right? It was tense, quiet, supremely violent, and attention-grabbing. This may or may not go the same way. Same director and lead, but the premise might not be quite different enough to work. Still people needing to kill each other for someone, still horrifically violent. This time I'm not quite sure that the payoff will be worth it. Drive was such a unique journey that I don't want them to try and bottle lightning for a second time.

Prince Avalanche
Opening Friday, August 9th
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch
82% on Rotten Tomatoes

Okay, it's Paul Rudd aka one of the most charming men on the planet, who makes everything from Clueless to Role Models a treat. I have yet to watch him in something and dislike his performance. That being said, I don't always end up liking the movie. Dinner for Schmucks was terrible... because of the script not Paul. This has a much more interesting premise though. It's about two highway workers away from the city for a summer and the rest of their journey.

We're the Millers
Opening Friday, August 9th
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly C. Quinn, Tomer Sisley, Matthew Willig, Luis Guzman, Thomas Lennon, Mark L. Young, Ken Marino
43% on Rotten Tomatoes

I'm about to get real so brace yourselves. Jennifer Aniston was great... on Friends. Her movie success has been few and far between. I have liked Wanderlust, Horrible Bosses, Bruce Almighty, and Office Space. That's about it. She just doesn't choose the best scripts and she basically plays versions of the same character, or else, not enough of a different character to make me pay attention. This seems like it will possibly be very hokey and stupid. What about a whip smart comedy Jen? Something that makes you stretch a little? Alas, here she is in an RV, playing a stripper.

Also playing: Planes (25%)

Coming next week: 2 Guns, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Austenland, Kick-Ass 2, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Only a few movies left before the end of summer! What have you loved and hated so far?

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