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Growing up, I never thought that superhero movies would be such a huge aspect of my life. I am not particularly a huge comic book fangirl, nor even particularly a comic book movie fangirl. And yet I have found myself in the position with many others, where I am seeing nearly three Marvel movies a year. I don't have the energy to open up the discussion on DC today, let's stick with the Feige-verse for now.
I enjoy almost every MCUl movie I see. They know what they are doing, they know they can put out 3 movies, all between B and A-'s, and print money. They have had an absurd record as far as opening weekends go, I am not sure if there has been a Marvel property in recent history that hasn't been objectively a massive success. But the first Guardians of the Galaxy was when it really first kicked in for me. I am a sucker for classic music used in new, fun ways (translation-not Suicide Squad ways) and the cast and plot really just made for my favorite Marvel movie. And since Edgar Wright never got to do Ant Man, the original Guardians remains my favorite. That being said, I was anxious going into the second. The first won me over by surprise, and I knew that my expectations for the second would only leave me at least a little underwhelmed. And I was terrified they would over use baby Groot. They did, but I digress.
That being said, this was a really solid, fun summer blockbuster. I had more complaints about this than in the initial, but this still stands in my top Marvel movies just in story and execution. It feels like a different, more off beat property than The Avengers, which is tiring slowly to me. The Guardians movies just seem to have a more relatable rag tag quality than the very classic superheroes of the rest of the MCU, save for Wolverine. James Gunn also walks the line of "funny" and "real emotions that make you want to cry while listening to Cat Stevens" better than any other current director in comic book franchises.
It would be hard to get too into this without getting into spoilers, so let's just talk Kurt Russell. I was not as much of a fan about the plot of the sequel as the first, but Kurt Russell is just the best, so I will forgive the weird father plot line that got really out of hand quickly. This highlights the main issue I have with the MCU. The scale of the conflicts are always way out of proportion. Not every movie has to have the entire fate of the universe on the line. Sometimes there can just be one truly evil person who wants to ruin one to five people's lives, and that can be interesting too.
But as I said, nothing with 70's Kurt Russell could disappoint me. 7.5/10
A friend of mine texted me earlier this week- "OMG, you gotta see Colossal. Two words. Jason. Sudeikis". And as much as I try to sell my brand as "young trendsetter with plenty of friends and things to do", that is pretty much all the sway I need to get into a theater. Who am I kidding, I have nothing else to do.
I love going into a movie with no background info. Unfortunately, since I go to the movies so much, this is a rare luxury, as I am normally inundated with trailers. I managed not to see one for Colossal. I did accidentally catch Anne Hathaway on the Tonight Show calling this "a movie about a girl who gets drunk and then a monster terrorizes South Korea" but I think I just blacked this out since it is such a ridiculous thing to say. But that is pretty much the premise.
Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an alcoholic who moves home during a tough time and falls into friendship with a group of guys who work/hang out at a bar. During this time at home, she realizes that when she walks through a playground in the early morning, a large monster materializes in a linked location in Seoul, South Korea.
Instead of spoilers, I am just going to use this time to say that I love that Jason Sudeikis took this role, and he was awesome in this. If he was only in weird indie comedies for the rest of his life, I would see them all. He is so funny and sincere and strangely menacing. I just need to try to separate him from Bill Hader's impression of him, which is pretty spot on. Jason would get a 10, but the movie gets a 8/10.
I decided there is not much I can say about "Life" without spoilers, so even though I know no one is reading this, I am going to go ahead a pop a spoiler tag on this one. Just in case you know. Stop now if you don't want spoilers. I went to the movies this weekend not because I was particularly dying to see this movie, but my roommate was out of town and I didn't want to be left alone with my thoughts for too long, or I may start questioning my existence. Again. So I went to see "Life", and oh boy. I was intrigued by the unlikely bro-mance that the dreamy pair of Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds have been advertising on this press tour. And "Spirit in the Sky" is in the previews, so I thought this may be up my alley after all.
I didn't have much expectations other than "scary space movie", but it was more of a horror than I anticipated. In the previews it seemed like it would be more lighthearted than it ended up being. We had about 30 minutes of goofy science time, and then quickly took a turn towards darkness that we never came back from at all. Once the "alien" made its first move and killed one of the crew members (Ryan Reynolds! Right off the bat!), everything escalated through the systematic execution of the the rest of the space station by the "Alien"-like alien.
Lots of jump scares later and one final twist at the end that I only figured out right before the reveal, the film ended with an unresolved horror that that cut to black right as Greenbaum's guitar riffs starts. 5.5/10
The last horror movie I truly enjoyed was probably "Cabin in the Woods". Recently, I liked "Green Room", and "Split", but it continues to be a hard genre to break out with a truly original idea. Jordan Peele's "Get Out" felt like the universe had heard my prayers. A smart satire on social commentary with genuine humor, and yet a still bone chilling plot? How have we been so blessed? The balance of horror and comedy is weighted perfectly, with every release of laughter being used to reset the suspense, giving the audience the chance to build back up to paralyzing fear over and over again. All of the performances were pitch perfect (Alison Williams with the keys!), and I anticipate this is only the beginning of Daniel Kaluuya's rise. I often complain to my friends that the biggest disservice of the horror/thriller genre is that by pigeonholing something as "a scary movie", you isolate a whole demographic of people who want to just go see a blockbuster on the weekends. Having Peele's name attached and released by Universal on the perfect weekend (only up against week 3 of Lego Batman) gave this layered story a chance to breathe and be appreciated for what it is. Creepy as all hell, and maybe a little too believable. 9.2/10
I love magic. And that's what I felt when I watch La La Land. Enchanted. There are a lot of complaints about this film, I assume mostly due to the never ending positive buzz it's gotten. There was even an SNL skit about how widely (and overly) loved it is. But I can't help it. I love Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, I love a musical, and I love the classic style. You can tell me all day long about how Stone is breathy, Gosling looks at his feet when he dances, I don't care. I liked the way it made me feel, and I left humming under my breath and dancing up the stairs. I went into the theater for my first viewing in the throes of an existential crisis (which come around every other week). I was immediately invested in the characters and cried for a majority of the second half. A few weeks later, I went in for another show time because I was worried I wasn't in a stable mental state the first time around. I cried (slightly) less in my second showing, but it still felt as connected. Flat out it was a beautifully shot, exciting, catchy frolic through every young dreamer's fantasy in LA. 9.8/10