Out of order, but it’s worth it!

Uh, you need to see this movie. Like now. Actually more like yesterday.

I’m a fan of most comic book movies anyway, but the X-Men movies are among my favorites. And this is hands down my favorite of the X-Men movies. It was awesome. It’s a prequel to the rest of the movies, filling in those of us who haven’t read the comics on exactly what happened between Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) to put them on opposite sides. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have really good chemistry as two people with different approaches to the same issue – I’ll be honest, I really wanted them to make out a couple times, especially when Charles is helping Erik focus his abilities to move a satellite dish. He totally should have gone for it.

ETA: Haha, apparently, James McAvoy agrees with me: “It is a little bit of a mini-tragedy that him and Magneto don’t, you know, have sex and become married and become best friends.” [source]

The supporting cast are (mostly) good, too – Kevin Bacon is definitely ominous as the villain and the team of mutants that Charles and Erik assemble are all likable. The one weak spot is, unfortunately, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique. I haven’t seen Winter’s Bone, but everything I heard about her was good. Alas, she is…not good here. I don’t know if it was the part or the writing, but given the quality of the rest of the film, I’m inclined to think that it’s her. This does not bode well for the Hunger Games movies…

The only problem (and it’s not a problem – it’s just that I’m not sure it was intended) is that the movie makes Magneto a lot more sympathetic than Professor X – he has good reason to be distrustful of non-mutants and, although he may not use the most ideal methods to get his results, you can definitely see his point. And Professor X is a little insufferable – so optimistic and smooth and a little self-righteous despite not always using his own abilities for solely virtuous purposes.

Plus, come on, Magneto pulls a submarine out of the ocean. How cool is that?!

Summer blockbuster tally = 10-1-0

An entire movie made of backstory…

It was enjoyable – Thor is likable, Natalie Portman is likable, Kat Dennings is her normal sarcastic self, Loki is likable despite being an obvious baddie, Thor’s buddies are likable, and there are more than a few good laughs to be had, but basically the whole movie felt like setup to me.

There are lost of “exciting” battle scenes and big fights, but I felt slightly bored the whole time and I think a lot of it is because we flip back and forth between Thor’s meeting with Jane (Natalie Portman) here on Earth and the drama going on back in Asgard (both before and after his banishment). I spent the whole time going ‘Man, if Ken doesn’t get through this setup soon, this is going to be the world’s longest movie!’ but instead of really getting going once everyone’s motivation and situation had been established, it just stopped.

So go see it in preparation for The Avengers and in case they decide to do another Thor film, but that’s really what it is – establishing his character and his supporting characters for whatever the next movie is going to be.

You know what? It’s my blog and I’m starting my Summer Blockbuster tally now even though it’s still early May.

Summer blockbuster tally: 0-1-0

And the last of the summer blockbusters…

…and I use that term loosely, but since it’s technically still summer, there you go.

Really, really quite good! Much more clever than I was expecting, but it really was a witty, insightful teenaged movie. I really like Emma Stone, but this movie also has Amanda Bynes (no idea why I like her, but I do), Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, and Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci as Emma Stone’s delightfully loopy but loving parents – so there’s someone for everyone! Oh, and the kid from Cougartown whose name I can never remember.

And I only have 7 minutes until NEW TELEVISION, so…you should go see Easy A! How’s that for a concise review? 😉

FINAL summer blockbuster tally = 5,012-1-0

I think that must be the most successful summer movie season yet!

I’m about to write my review and I STILL can’t remember what this movie is called!

No, seriously. When I went to buy my ticket, I honestly had to ask Liz what the name of the movie we were seeing was…again! Which is strange because it was actually a really cute, sweet, funny movie! I guess there’s not much to it – boy meets girl, girl moves back to the opposite coast, boy and girl attempt to make a long-distance relationship work – but I like Justin Long and I like Drew Barrymore and they’re really cute together and Christina Applegate and Jim Gaffigan steal their few scenes as Drew Barrymore’s sister and brother-in-law.

And that’s really all I have to say – besides, I’m trying to rush through one more before…NEW TELEVISION STARTS! 😀

Summer blockbuster tally = 5,011-1-0

Still going strong!

…and then I saw Dinner for Schmucks! Which was actually a lot funnier than I thought it was going to be – I thought it looked fun from the previews, but good old Entertainment Weekly didn’t exactly rave about it, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it was really funny!

Apparently it’s a remake of a French film called Le Diner de Cons (which the director of the remake apparently called very nearly perfect) and I think it would be really interesting to compare the two – I wonder how much of the humor they had to change to suit an American audience or if comedy translates easily (though the French love Jerry Lewis, right? So….). I think I read that they tried to make the two main characters more likable than they were in the original and by casting Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell, they’ve really done a lot right there to help with that. With the trend of the R-rated comedies lately, I was surprised that this one didn’t rely on gross-out humor (like I Love You, Man tended to) and it was actually ended quite sweetly! I mean that as a compliment, if you weren’t sure.

I only wish there’d been more of Kristen Schaal (Mel from Flight of the Conchords) who played Paul Rudd’s assistant – oh, and speaking of Flight of the Conchords, Jemaine Clement is here! And hilarious as a very self-involved artist. Hilarious!

Summer blockbuster tally: 5,010-1-0

p.s. – Also hilarious was the guy sitting in our row who laughed uproariously at the tiniest thing! And I’m not talking chuckles, I mean, full-on guffawing belly laughs – I think he may have slapped his knees at some point.

I’m too lazy (and behind) to actually review this movie, so…

…I’m going to send you to see Rachel instead. Just substitute ‘Liz and Rachel’ any time you see ‘Liz and Anne’ and you’ll be just fine. I’m with you, Rachel – I was laughing so hard at the lion/tuna argument, but I seriously think we were the only ones in the theater who were!

Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen this movie, you HAVE to for that exchange alone. I mean, it’s also a very funny movie, that even if it had just been an hour and a half of static after that point, it still would have been a hilarious movie.

Summer blockbuster tally = 5,009-1-0

The movie poster, it does not lie!

I was just about to type that this movie was EPICALLY GOOD, when I noticed it’s tag line. AND IT’S TRUE! I’m just back from seeing Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and it was fantastic! Funny and sweet and frenetic but in a good way and surreal and full of charm and JUST PLAIN WONDERFUL. I mean, of course, there’s stuff they had to drop from the books, but somehow it still manages to have all the heart and, I know I just said it, charm that the books have!

Michael Cera seriously kicks ass and does it with his usual hangdog awkwardness, but I totally believe it when he drops into awesome kungfu mode. The girl playing Ramona comes off as sort of…dry and a little bland (impressive when you have color-changing hair), but Ramona is a kind of problematic character (even more so than Scott Pilgrim actually is), so I’ll forgive her – it was always going to be a bit of an uphill battle. But Knives Chau totally makes up for it – she’s pretty super! I do love Kieran Culkin who rocks as Scott’s roommate Wallace – even though he totally got left out of the final battle (one of the very few complaints I had about the books) – why isn’t he in more movies?

I know that this year’s summer blockbuster tally doesn’t need the help, but you know what? I’m going to do it – Scott Pilgrim has achieved +5,000! Level up!

Summer blockbuster tally: 5,008-1-0

Not bad…but not Pixar.

Okay, here’s the weird thing. Even though it stars people I like – Steve Carrell, Russell Brand, and the perfect-husband-height Jason Segel – and even though Gru is cute and the little girls are cute and the little evil details in the movie are awesome and the minions are now on my list of favorite things ever and the hero is a villain who doesn’t learn a lesson about not being a villain and you all know how I feel about that and there were quite a few things I laughed at, I’m going to let this movie throw off the perfect summer blockbuster tally a little.

I don’t know if my expectations for cleverness and wit were too high (because, like I said, it did make me laugh) or if the heavy-handed message bothered more than I’m realizing or if the EXTRAORDINARILY lackluster trailers put me in a bad mood, but for some reason, I left the movie feeling like I’d been let down. I think that’s as close as I’m going to get to putting it into words and I can’t really give you a good reason for it, so…

Summer blockbuster tally: 8-1-0 (See? It’s just a draw, so we’re only a little off the perfect record.)

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. . .

. . . AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

To be honest, I would have been happy if it was just two hours of the BWAAAAA BWAAAAA noise from the trailers, but…IT WAS SUCH A GOOD MOVIE!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to give anything away – I’m not sure I could even if I wanted to – but OMG, you need to see this movie, like, yesterday. SO GOOD! I mean, the plot is good – there’s a LOT going on, but it all works – the special effects are A-MAZ-ING, and who knew Joseph Gordon-Levitt could rock a three-piece suit in zero gravity so well.

If you need someone to go see it with you, CALL ME. I WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN!

SUCH A GOOD MOVIE! THE ENDING, OH, THE ENDING! SUCH A GOOD MOVIE!

Definitely the best movie of the summer so far and I really think it will be hard to beat. WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS! GET TO THE CINEMA!

Summer blockbuster tally = 8-0-0

Like working with a muppet…

So I like Cameron Diaz, I like Muse (which plays over the trailer), and, somehow, they seem to have managed the impossible here – making Tom Cruise seem likable. And appealing!

Also? They make him seem as tall as Cameron Diaz, which I know for a fact is not true. Seriously, they must have either built up a stage for him to walk around on with her or they dug an intricate series of trenches for her to walk in because throughout the whole movie, it looks like he is at least as tall as she is and sometimes slightly taller.

But movie magic aside, it was a pretty fun movie – very caperish with lots of double crosses and uncertainty about who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy. Probably full of plot holes if you pay too close attention, but isn’t that what you want from a summer action movie? A little action, a little romance, and a plot that doesn’t always make the most sense.

The summer blockbuster tally is really on a roll!

p.s. – Tom Cruise’s character is Knight, but we’re still not entirely sure who Day is because Cameron Diaz’s character’s last name is Havens…

Summer blockbuster tally = 7-0-0 (Frankly, I’m amazed.)

‘They specialize in the ridiculous’? Yes, please!

And much like Prince of Persia, what you see is what you get! Want lots of explosions? Check. Want lots of crazy stunts, many of which involve airplanes and/or oversized weaponry? Check! Want a tank falling out of an airplane? CHECK!

So don’t go expecting anything Oscar-worthy, but if you just want a mindless action movie with the added bonus of Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper (and Jessica Biel rocking some aviator shades) for a little eye candy on the side, then this is the movie for you.

Fun summer fluff, nothing more, nothing less.

Summer blockbuster tally = 6-0-0 (I think this may be an unprecedented tally to have at this point! Though Transformers 2 had already wrecked the curve for last year’s tally, by now, I think…)

Liiiiiiindaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

We had planned to go see Toy Story 3 yesterday, but at the last minute, decided to go see it at the nearby drive-in.

So we stocked up on candy and headed out. We ended up getting there two hours before the sun went down and the movie started, but it was a good thing because they’d opened the gates early and we were able to get a good parking spot.

The weather was beautiful and Eclipse was playing on the other screen, so it was pretty busy! I’ll admit that I was a little bit wary of a third Toy Story – really Pixar? You can’t be bothered to make up new characters? – but it was really good! It is a little more sinister than Pixar usually are (and OMG, Big Baby is super creepy!), I think, but kids won’t notice – and it will make you cry and want to check up on your childhood toys (hence the post title – I texted my mom at intermission and asked her to go check on my toy stuffed dog), but it’s also very funny and there are some fun new characters. Definitely go see it but bring your tissues!

Summer blockbuster tally = 5-0-0

They reeled me in with fat!Puss-in-Boots!

I was a little wary of this – how many times can Shrek be clever, after all? (And, frankly, if you ask me, the third one wasn’t – except for the princesses kicking ass at the castle part…) I was a little worried it would just be new celebrity-voiced characters and pop culture references, but I couldn’t resist fat!Puss-in-Boots. I mean, look at him!

But it turns out that it’s quite a sweet movie – there are still celebrity voices and pop culture references, but those do take a back seat to the plot and the characters in this one.

I feel like there was something else I wanted to say, but I went back to fix a typo and completely lost my train of thought, so…

Summer blockbuster tally = 4-0-0

Does exactly what it says on the package!

Liz and I went to see Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time today and, despite some very annoying technical difficulties with the sound for a bit, we both agreed that it was actually pretty fun! I mean, there’s not much too it – it is based on a video game, after all – muscly!Jake Gyllenhaal (with a wig that starts too far down his forehead if you ask me) and the stupidly gorgeous Gemma Arterton must keep a time-turning dagger from falling into the wrong hands, stopping along the way to bicker and get into scrapes and leap from building to building and do a bit of ostrich racing, among other things. Sounds like a perfect summer blockbuster, no?

I have to admit that I think I was most excited to see Jeff from Coupling – shy, awkward, keeping-women’s-ears-in-a-bucket Jeff – playing a noble, princely character (and getting fourth billing, at that!). Hooray, Richard Coyle!

As an added note, want to know something I  learned? Show me a man who is a free runner and I’ll show you a man who makes me weak in the knees. Seriously, if you can run up a wall and do a back flip a la Donald O’Connor, I’m yours.

Summer blockbuster tally = 3-0-0