Welcome to our monthly Movie Radar. Get a rundown of what movies have our caught our eye and may just be worthy of our pocketbooks. In it we will rank how excited we are to see each movie coming out in the month and why. The amount of excitement for each title will be out of 5 Radar Beeps
The * by the title means that the trailer is not work safe!!
Edge of Tomorrow (June 6)
I am torn on this much like my partner is on this. While I am a lover of 60’s-80’s Sci-Fi and Space Fantasy, there is a lot of the 90’s-200’s that doesn’t excite me very much. It’s honestly a product of my life style (married to a woman who doesn’t like those types of movies – and with 1 1/2 children) that I don’t get to watch much Sci-Fi, especially in the theater where it is most alluring. I have picked up on some of the big ones though, District 19, and Cruise’s hit last year ‘Oblivion.’ Both of which I liked, but it just doesn’t hit me in my sweet spot. Coupled with not seeing them in the theater, my experience is a little dimmed on sci-fi. Still though, this property is a well regarded worked of fiction and the concept of “Serious Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day” is intriguing. Tom Cruise is still a draw for me and I do love Emily Blunt. I can’t say this is a strong interest for me, but that is out of personal taste. For the casual viewer, I would say about a 3.5.
3.5 out of 5 Radar Beeps.
I’m torn on this because I love Emily Blunt and I love Tom Cruise circa 1989, but I wonder how much of a distraction Tom Cruise 2014 is going to be. Anymore when I see him in movies I get distracted by his middle tooth and the general ridiculousness that surrounds him. That being said, the plot of this movie looks like it’s also not super good. I am basing this mostly on the scene where Tom Cruise is sitting out of a sunroof and firing shoulder weapons by flexing his pecs (or that’s what it looks like). I recently saw an in theater trailer for this that makes it look way more interesting so I am intrigued
2.5 out of 5 Beeps
The Fault in Our Stars (May 6)
Aaahhh the tear jerker. I have fond memories of sobbing over a bowl of puppy chow in best friend’s basement watching a tear jerker (most likely Rent). I heard this is based on a book that is very good and it looks like it has a strong cast. Shailene Woodley has been everywhere lately. She plays the lead in the big money big screen adaptation of Divergent, coincidentally also based on a pretty good book. Outside of acting gigs she’s been in the news for (rightly) not wanting to be compared to Jennifer Lawrence and misrepresenting feminists. But I digress, the point I need to get to before I ramble for too long is, I don’t like to see tear jerkers in the theater. Especially when the theater is likely to be full. I spent a 3 hour viewing of Les Mis shoulder to crammed in shoulder with a sobbing stranger who was crying so loudly I could not focus on Samantha Barks amazing singing. So I will likely see this eventually, at home, with puppy chow, and possibly a best friend.
3 out of 5 Beeps
I can’t tell you how much I would have NOT been excited for this if it had not been for the year 2013 in film. (I will get to why in a second) I saw this staring Shailene Woodley and some other pretty face I’d never heard of before. Not to mention her first big work was an ABC family show and her big budget star vehicle was a poor rip-off of a Jennifer Lawrence movie. (I know that’s hyperbole, but there’s a reason Divergent was written and made as a movie, and it’s not because it’s a fantastic property) But – in 2013 I saw two films that sold me on this film and why I am very excited for it. 1.) The Spectacular Now – pairing Woodley with another actor I’m in love with, Miles Teller in a beautifully small film that I adore her in. I think her chemistry is so easy and likeable. 2.) Carrie (2013) – while it is the remake of a classic pulpy horror film, it stars Ansel Elgort whom no one had every heard of, but he is going to be a something for a least the short term. He’s got a Brando’ish’ quality to his charm and I found him so refreshing. For the actors involved I am very excited for this film, but like Amy, I will wait for home video for this, only because I will sob like a child. It is because films like this exist that I feel confident hating ‘A Walk to Remember’ and it’s ilk.
4 out of 5 Beeps
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (May 13)
I have to be honest, I am in a stage of my life where I don’t do animation not produced by Pixar. I understand the original was very popular, but it just doesn’t play to my sensibilities right now, even as a father of 1 and 1/2 kids. (wife is preggers). I hope it does well, but this is something that is just not in my wheel house. I will not be seeing this in any format, but not on purpose.
2 out of 5 Radar Beeps
I thought How to Train Your Dragon 1 was adorable and totally worth the free that I didn’t pay for it because I watched it on Amazon Prime. I don’t think I would have been upset if I had seen it in theaters. A lot of the mannerisms of the dragon remind me of my big slobbery dog and that makes me smile. If my nephew were 4 instead of 1 I would have the date marked on my calendar to go and see it. As it is I will likely see it at home, on my couch, hopefully for free. (I sense a trend forming)
3 out of 5 Beeps
22 Jump Street (May 13)*
21 Jump Street was a huge surprise hit for me. Like Wedding Crashers or Old School were in their day. It just came out of no where and hit everyone’s funny bone. It help solidify Channing Tatum as a multi-dimensional star and we got to see skinny Jonah Hill. While I generally do not enjoy comedy sequels, there is a type of film I do gravitate to – which is a comedy duo movie. It’s really a type I film they don’t make very much any more, and that is really disappointing. Wedding Crashers was amazing because of the chemistry of Vaughn and Wilson – it’s this chemistry that kept a kind of bad “The Intership” alive. It’s so strange to think that in the early 50’s Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis made 16 films together over 6 years. Only one was a sequel, but the draw was the chemistry of the duo. I think Channing and Jonah have that chemistry, so however good the story or jokes are, I know I am excited to see them paired again.
4 out of 5 Radar Beeps
I was pleasantly surprised when parts of 21 Jump Street made me laugh. I was unpleasantly surprised when I heard they were making a second one. Why? Because I think Jonah Hill is funny and I would bet he would be 100x funnier in a brand new project because he wouldn’t be tied down with sequel stuff. Insert similar statement about Channing Tatum and smoldery dancing abs. As a general idea, I know too much about police work to get behind these movies because the whole time I am watching and thinking “that would never happen” over and over again. (I’ve heard people in the medical field have the same problem). So because of high likelihood for silliness that does not translate into funny, I’m not into this.
1 out of 5 Beeps
Transformers: Age of Some Shit (June 27)
Tansformers: AGE OF EXTINCTION – is a curious beast. It is a property that I loved as a child, but am now so soured on because of the film series. I actually really liked the first movie – I saw it in the theater on a double date with a Matthew Deger and two young ladies whom we did not marry and enjoyed the nostalgia it gave me. But the two sequels are mostly terrible and now I am not excited to see Optimus, Bumblee, or whomever else. But there are a couple things that have me cautiously optimistic. a.) Marky Mark- I love Marky Mark. I will see pretty much anything he is in – not only do I love Mark Walhberg, but his casting means we are free of Shia ‘The Beef”. b.) DinoBots – Dinobots is a version of the Transformers I have a strong tie to and to see Grimlock (the giant T-Rex thing) on screen is pretty cool c.) Stylistically, I think they gave better paint jobs to the Transformers this time around. While that doesn’t seem so important, one of the issues of the Transformers movies is the inability to tell them apart, especially in the action scenes. With bolder paint, I think some of that could be made more defined.
2.5 out of 5
I would rather use one of those new Coke machines that force you to make friends (or buy two cokes), than pay money to see this movie. There are a few red flags here for me. The first one is, it’s a transformers movie being directed by Michael Bay and I have yet to enjoy watching any of those. Testosterone fueled blow up smashy fests are not my thing. They must be somebodies thing because they make a butt load of money, but that person is not me. Usually I can get past the smashy blow up thing if I’m given a little something to break the tension. Let the audience know that this isn’t a super serious thing. Have the Hulk smash Loki back and forth a few times and call him a “Puny God”. Go ahead and rewatch that trailer, or don’t I don’t blame you. There is not one lighthearted statement or joke or wink of the eye. In fact this movie takes itself so seriously and has so much money that it has a super special formatted IMDB page, from now one I will consider this to be a negative. A movie with a decent plot does not need an all black and also shiny IMDB page. Small amount of props for having a good looking younger woman who is the star’s daughter and not his love interest
0.5 out of 5 Beeps
Jersey Boys (May 20)
This is a weird one for me. I love musicals. Filmed musicals really work for me too. Grease, Hairspray ect are a lot of fun for me. I am not so enamored with this musical, though it has style. I am also stuck on Clint Eastwood. I typically am a fan of his directorial work (Unforgiven, Gran Turino, Mystic River) but I also don’t like some of his films (Million Dollar Baby) and his recent works have also come up short for me (J Edgar, Invictis). I believe in his talent, but am not excited for this. I would like to know that, much like ‘Rent’ the star of the Broadway production, will be reprising his role on film. I do hope it’s good, but I am not jazzed (hands) for it.
2 out of 5
I love musicals. I love musicals A LOT. I want to see this. There is just something about the right song in the right musical that gives you goosebumps and I don’t know if that exists in this musical but I am willing to check and see. Clint Eastwood is directing and in general his movies are very gritty so I am curious how this comes out.
4 out of 5
*Trailer not safe for work viewing