Neighbors sure won't win any awards for originality, and the raunchy humour isn't for everyone...but I honestly can't remember the last time I laughed this much during a movie. Seth Rogen pretty much just plays himself again, so you know what you're in for. What surprised the hell outta me was Rose Byrne and Zac Efron, who manage to be just as hilarious and filthy as Rogen. The entire supporting cast bring in just as many laughs, especially Dave Franco and Ike Barinholtz. Thanks to everyone bringing their A game the movie stays funny right till the end. No dull, serious third act like you see in most comedies these days. So if you like Rogen and his raunchy improv humour, Neighbors will quickly become one of your new favourite comedies.
To say the folks at Marvel are finding their groove is an understatement. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not only a contender for the best Marvel movie yet, is may very well be one of the best superhero movies of all time. The original laid a great foundation for the character and The Avengers served him well, but this is where Captain America really evolves into something spectacular. A fantastic script gives him, and just about every supporting character, plenty of development, conflict and pathos. It moves the story forward, throws plenty of surprises your way, all while giving audiences everything they've come to expect from a big blockbuster superhero movie. The fight choreography and action set-pieces are some of the best the genre has ever seen. I'm not sure what more I can say...great performances, a tight script, jaw-dropping action, plenty of emotion...this movie has it all. If the third movie can keep the quality this high, Iron Man may no longer be king of the Marvel universe.
Even though there was a sense of "been there, done that" with The Amazing Spider-Man, I was a fan of the reboot, with its darker tone and greater emphasis on character. I guess that's what makes this sequel all the more disappointing. Is it Spider-Man 3 bad? Not even close, because there's still some enjoyment to be found here. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone once again give great performances, the action and effects are impressive, and the finale is actually quite dramatic and intense...but the script itself is a complete mess. All the elements that brought Sam Raimi's films to an end are rearing their ugly head again. Too many sub-plots crammed in, juvenile humor, no focus, bad pacing. Worst of all, popular characters and story arcs from the comics are embarrassingly rushed, making what should be important character development instead feel empty and pointless. It also doesn't help that Jamie Foxx's Electro turns out to be one of the all-time worst comic book villains, right up there with Arnold and Uma. It's sad that Sony has no clue what to do with this franchise, because Garfield genuinely seems to love this character and Marc Webb is showing great strides as a director. Hopefully they get their sh*t together with part 3, or we may be seeing a re-re-boot in the near future.
Stallone and Schwarzenegger haven't faired too well on their own lately, but together they've managed to make a surprisingly good throwback action flick. The main thing that shocked me was this movie actually tried to tell a story and develop its characters. In fact for a movie featuring two of the world's biggest action stars, there's very little action until the third act. Instead it plays out more as a revenge/thriller combo. Sly and Arnold have great chemistry together and share some nice comedic moments to lighten the tension. The story works, a few good twists are thrown in, and a surprisingly good supporting cast, including Jim Caviezel, Sam Neill and Amy Ryan, keep things moving along nicely. There's nothing here action junkies haven't seen before, but fans of Arnold and Sly will find plenty to enjoy.
While not as epic as the westerns from Sergio Leone or Clint Eastwood, Tombstone never-the-less remains one of the most enjoyable in the genre thanks to the terrific ensemble cast, gorgeous scenery and intense action. Kurt Russell carries the movie extremely well, but is upstaged at every turn by Val Kilmer, giving what could be the best performance of his career. The supporting cast is so large and impressive there's no way I could list everyone who deserves credit. Some historical facts are fudged and events moved around, but it never takes away from the enjoyment or pace of the film. It's not perfect, but it's always entertaining.