This month is ginormous...gargantuan...colossal...downright absurd! May is one of the more packed months that I have seen in recent memory and it seemed like it kind of crept up on us. But before we get into that, lets first recap an April that started off strong, but slowly fizzled out. April ended up being a slightly less stellar month than last year, mainly because of one dud. This April the average score was 1.3% less than last year, but dont let that fool you. There were still quite a few gems this month! To check out Rath's Reviews ongoing stats, CLICK HERE
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Man. Talk about hitting one out of the park! Marvel took arguably their weakest superhero (based on previous film appearances) and made him the leader of the pack. Critics and fans alike adore the film, and with good reason. Its story is thrilling and pertains to the larger Phase II arch, we finally have a compelling villain other than Loki, and the action was, as per Marvel usual, awesome. If Guardians of the Galaxy can blow us all away then this will have been one hell of a Phase II! (Rath's Review Score: 9.5/10)
Draft Day: I skipped this one to go see another film (which I'll get to in a little bit) but it seemed to not crash and burn as hard as I thought it would. Anchored by a strong performance by Kevin Costner, it was mildly compelling although Jerry Macguire this was not.
Rio 2: Another one that I skipped and this one seemed to release without much of a splash. Average animation is the worst kind of animation and it sounds like "average" was one of the more suitable words for this sequel.
The Raid 2: I didn't cover it in past months' Coming Soon posts because I wasn't ever really clear of the release date. But it was playing in Denver the weekend of April 11th so I figured I would go check it out since I mildly enjoyed the first. Oh. My. God. The Raid 2 is a martial arts masterpiece and that's coming from someone who isn't even a fan of the genre (I've seen maybe 4-5 in my life). The violence is almost unbearable, the story is intricate, and the fighting choreography is on an entirely different level. If you can handle 2.5 hour movies, subtitles, and lots and lots of bloody violence then you MUST see The Raid 2. (RRS: 10/10 -- Instant Classic)
Transcendence: I had more fun with this one than a lot of fellow critics but that's mainly because I was asking my own questions the whole time rather than focusing on the ones the movie was posing. It had an awesome premise to work with but faltered with a confuddled story and timeline, lame action, and just a general "sub-Chris Nolan" feel. BUT I did give some extra points to the film because its Wally Pfister's first film and in that regard it's fairly impressive. He just needs a better screenplay and writer next time. (RRS: 7/10)
The Other Woman: I might catch this one with the GF sometime down the road, but I can't say I'm incredibly interested in it...other than Kate Upton's fantastic personality of course! From the buzz around the Twittersphere it seemed like critics rather disliked it while fans found it fun, sometimes funny, but ultimately forgettable.
Brick Mansions: I really wanted to enjoy one of Walker's last films and the parkour angle on the action intrigued me. But despite a fantastic opening chase the rest of Brick Mansions falls flat and falls hard. It's plot is dumb and its attempt at social commentary is laughably misplaced and delivered. (RRS: 4/10)
Most Disappointing: Transcendence
Most Surprising: The Raid 2
Worst Film: Brick Mansions
Best Film: The Raid 2 (with Cap 2 ever so slightly behind it)
Now...ARE YOU SURE YOU'RE READY FOR THIS MONTH?
ARE YOU POSITIVE?
Okay then! Let's dive into a month full of spiders, dinosaurs, mutants, and frat...boys...wait, what?
As always, click the titles for the trailers!
Why It's Worth Seeing: Spider-man is one of the more mesmerizing superheroes on screen, especially in 3-D and 1st person which the producers tinkered around with last time. There was also a lot of strong chemistry between the leads in the reboot so look for more of that this time around. There is also the worst-kept-secret that this film will be setting up the film versions of Venom and The Sinister 6 which should be awesome.
What Could Go Wrong: Too. Many. Villains. Again. We all remember the disaster that was Spider-man 3. There's no sugar coating it. And a large reason for that was too many villains (along with emo-dancing and Topher freaking Grace as Venom). TASM2 also has three villains and I'm worried that it wont give enough spotlight to Jamie Foxx's Electro who has the potential to be fairly iconic. Early critic reviews are on the positive side of average and early fan reaction is more positive so we will see.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Well for starters...dont say I never did nothing for ya ladies ^^^ (you're welcome). And early reviews for this one are the best I've seen for a comedy since The Hangover! I can't stop laughing at the trailers and this one really looks like the creators might have stumbled onto some comedic magic here tapping into a feud between Seth Rogen's boring dad and Zac Efron's frat guy. Look for this to be one of the best comedies of the year, possibly of the last few years.
What Could Go Wrong: Every comedy's success is based on its jokes. If the writing is bad or if the jokes are run into the ground then the film will fall. We can't really tell if thats the case from the trailers, but its certainly a possibility with a Seth Rogen comedy.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Disney sports movies have a good track record of at least being "good" and sometimes we get classics like Remember the Titans. I don't think Million Dollar Arm will come anywhere close to that gem, but look for it to be a worthwhile movie for baseball fans that tells an unlikely story.
What Could Go Wrong: If there is any genre thats more cliched than horror, it's probably the sports drama. Other than the unique premise, Million Dollar Arm looks like pretty standard fare: guy is a jerk, jerk has shot at glory, jerk blows it, jerk has shot at redemption, jerk learns something about teamwork, loyalty, blah, blah, blah. There. I just gave you the plot.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Ok...sooooo....this might be a long one. But have you seen those trailers? The trailers for Godzilla have been nothing short of mini masterpieces, just exuding a sense of dread, terror, and an epic scale previously unseen by this monster. Godzilla is HUGE in this movie. Remember last year's Pacific Rim? Yeah...those guys are about half the height of Godzilla. They're his breakfast. Godzilla has slowly crept up my list of "should-see" movies of 2014, entered my "must see" list, and now holds the top spot for "most anticipated". If the film ends up being a flop then give credit to that marketing team because they are currently advertising it as a masterpiece. Oh and Bryan Cranston is in it...so there's that.
What Could Go Wrong: My hypothesis is the third act. I think Godzilla will nail its first hour and most of its second hour. But I find that for most monster movies its really hard for them to wrap it up without going too far out into left field. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Barrymore and Sandler DO have chemistry...or at least they used to. And Sandler USED to be pretty darn funny. I'm still one of those who is holding out for his triumphant comeback, but we may never get it. But who knows? Maybe Blended is the movie the two of them need to bring them back?
What Could Go Wrong: A lot. Sandler movies as of late are unfunny, lazily made, and feature stupid "plots". Yet audiences still gobble him up. Look for this to be a critically bashed movie that a lot of America's less...how shall we say...educated (?) persons will go see and enjoy.
Why It's Worth Seeing: There is a lot of hype riding on this one with a cast to die for, an epic time traveling story line, and the return of Brian Singer to the franchise. The potential for a superhero classic and the X-men's best outing yet is there.
What Could Go Wrong: This won the Rath Award for Most Anticipated of 2014 back in early January. For reasons that I can't explain, my hype for it has died down considerably. It could just be because I was so blown away by Captain America and Godzilla has certainly soaked up a lot of my hype juice, but something about the trailers for it are off. They just aren't compelling...or epic...or exciting. I'm hoping its just a case of bad trailer-making but there is the possibility that this film is just too busy with all its characters and parallel story lines.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Its about as intriguing as can be. Ever since Disney announced that they would be releasing a film from the perspective of the villain of their animated classic, Sleeping Beauty I think they had everyone's attention. Then Angelina Jolie got attached to the project and it became really interesting. It will be neat to watch regardless and it could start a from-the-villains-eyes franchise for Disney.
What Could Go Wrong: The trailers have been super mediocre and it kind of reminds me of Snow White and the Huntsman from a couple years ago. Trying to "Lord of the Rings" a story when it doesn't really call for it usually ends up in a fairly "meh" result. Just because Disney and Angelina are attached to the project doesnt automatically mean it will be good.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Seth MacFarlane's last live-action effort was Ted and that movie was hilarious (if a bit overlong). A Million Ways to Die in the West features an awesome cast and the early trailers are pretty funny.
What Could Go Wrong: I also caught a few repeat jokes in the trailer and the couple that have come out havent changed much. With comedies that always worries me. Seth MacFarlane doesn't seem like the type of guy looking for a cash grab, but you never know. With other comedies like Neighbors and 22 Jump Street this year, AMWTDITW could be easily forgotten.
Must See (in order): Godzilla, Neighbors, X-men: Days of Future Past, The Amazing Spider-man 2
On My Radar: Million Dollar Arm, Maleficent, A Million Ways to Die in the West
Predicted Duds: Blended
Like I said! It's a CRAZY BUSY month and I hope to catch at least all of my "most see" films. Check back next month for a review of this huge May and a preview of whats to come in June! As always, be sure to come on over and follow me through Blogger at RATH'S REVIEWS and like me on Facebook HERE! I follow-for-follow 100%. Thanks again!
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