Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Movie Monday: Week 2

Enjoy week 2 of Summer Movie Monday, featuring Maleficent, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Filth, and Night Moves.

Opening Friday, May 30th
Directed by: Robert Stromberg
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Sam Riley, Brenton Thwaites, Kenneth Cranham
45% on Rotten Tomatoes

Maleficent is finally here! I feel like it's taken ages to get here, but I've been excited since it was announced. Angelina Jolie isn't my favorite actress, but this role seems to be tailor made for her. Plus, I love seeing traditional stories turned on their head. There's nothing better than a genuinely interesting villain and if that's what they gave us, I will be more than satisfied. I like the supporting cast, and have really loved Elle Fanning's credits, especially including Super 8 and Somewhere so I'm excited to see how she's grown since then, even if she spends most of the movie sleeping. All I'm hoping is, although it is a Disney movie, that it doesn't shy away from being dark. If Lana del Rey's version of Once Upon a Dream is any indication, Maleficent will be plenty dark.

Opening Friday, May 30th
Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, Christopher Hagen, Wes Studi, Matt Clark, Evan Jones, Aaron McPherson, Rex Linn
33% on Rotten Tomatoes

High profile Westerns have had their ups and downs recently. For one, Django Unchained was brutal, but great. For another, The Lone Ranger was basically a disgrace. Both of those were basically categorized under drama, though not without their comedic moments. A Million Ways to Die in the West is going for straight, vulgar comedy. If it has the same runaway success as MacFarlane's previous effort, Ted, then it will be hugely popular. It's not really my brand of humor, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

Opening Friday, May 30th
Directed by: Jon S. Baird
Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Brian McCardie, Emun Elliott, Gary Lewis, John Sessions, Shauna Macdonald, Jim Broadbent, Joanne Froggatt, Kate Dickie, Martin Compston, Iain De Caestecker, Shirley Henderson
70% on Rotten Tomatoes

This movie was out a few months ago when I was in London and the posters had me intrigued, although I never actively pursued it. Filth follows a "bipolar, bigoted junkie cop" according to IMDb, which is a great character to just let McAvoy rip and do his thing like we've never seen before. The closest level to crazy that I can think of seeing him in was a version of MacBeth, which I quite enjoyed, but even that sounds like nothing compared to this. I'm excited to see what McAvoy and the supporting cast do with the material, but I'm assuming that it's pretty bleak and brutal, and will likely be a movie that I see once and don't really want to see again. That could be a good or bad thing. It might be overwhelmingly brutal, but it could walk that line in the perfect way.

Opening Friday, May 30th
Directed by: Kelly Reichardt
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat, Logan Miller, Kai Lennox, Katherine Waterston, James Le Gros, Traber Burns, Autumn Nidalmia, Barry Del Sherman, Jason Rojas, Clara Mamet
78% on Rotten Tomatoes

Night Moves is an environmentally themed thriller about a trio of environmental radicals who are looking to make a statement around a dam. This is especially intriguing to me because of the element of political radicals. They're often the loudest, though not largest group and they make their voices heard in extreme ways. Secondly, the environment is in such terrible shape that it needs people speaking up for it. I think those elements make for an interesting story on their own. With the addition of the whole concept being very high pressure, it adds in some very human reactions. From the trailer alone you see the ways different personalities process the potential consequences and that builds up the tension in a very realistic way. It's definitely a new role for Fanning, so it will be fun to see where she goes with it.

Coming Next Week: Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars, Obvious Child, Trust Me

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