WOW! What a month May was. Seriously though, I don't remember a month at the movies that was that much fun in a long time. While we may not have had any perfect scores, we certainly came close several times and had some awesome big movies that delivered the goods. May was by far the strongest month of the year thus far with blockbuster galore that didn't fail to disappoint. The average score was an 8.6, a whopping 9.3% higher than previous years' Mays. Overall, spring ended with an average score of 8.07, which was 4.9% greater than the usual Springtime average. In that time, my highest rated film was The Raid 2 with a perfect 10/10 and the lowest score belongs to Brick Mansions with a 4/10. Let's recap May real quick!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Probably the film I went into with the lowest expectations of the month, and subsequently the one that surprised me the most. It divided critics and fans almost more so than any film in recent memory, but I was on the side that "loved it". It captured the spirit of the comics well and had a fantastic emotional punch to go along with the action, original score, humor, and special effects. (Rath's Review Score: 9/10)
Neighbors: Easily the funniest R-rated comedy since This is the End, Neighbors was crude, lude, inappropriate, but more importantly a FUN time. Rogen and Efron have great chemistry and Rose Byrne gets to flex her comedic muscle as well. Such a funny film. (RRS: 9/10)
Million Dollar Arm: I decided to pass on this one in order to see the big ol' lizard and it seems like I didn't miss much. Remember the Titans this was not, and it seemed that other than the intriguing story and Hamm's performance, there wasn't much here.
Godzilla: One of the bigger movies of the year certainly had a lot of people aboard the hype train, myself included. And *for the most part* it didn't disappoint. Personally, I wanted to give it a higher score, but it had some things that rubbed me the wrong way, mainly an insanely average original score. But pretty much everything was near-perfect and the film was quite an event in IMAX. (RRS: 8.5/10)
Blended: Adam Sandler has another movie that gets panned by the critics and it nearly flopped. To be honest, it's pretty sad to see for a guy that used to be one of the best comedians in the game. My honest opinion? I bet the movie isn't as bad as many critics suggest it is. But just to be safe it's best to wait until it inevitably ends up on TV and judge it for free.
X-Men: Days of Future Past: WOW. Talk about taking my waning expectations and completely turning them around. DOFP is an exquisite film and the first X-Men movie that I could see myself watching on a regular basis. It's last half hour is superb and carries a lot of weight, but the film doesn't forget to have fun along the way. One of the better comic book films ever made. (RRS: 9.5/10)
Maleficent: I was *slightly* more surprised than this than I would have expected. A gamble by Disney yes, but a decent enough film for a first try at the villain-retelling genre. Jolie is superb as the titular character but everything else is somewhat lacking. (RRS: 7/10)
A Million Ways to Die in the West: I didn't get around to this one, and that was by choice. I heard from a lot people that all the funny parts were in the trailers and there is nothing more that ticks me off with comedies than when they do that. Were the trailers funny? Yeah, kind of. So I imagine the film is "kind of" funny.
Most Disappointing: Disappointing that A Million Ways to Die in the West decided to give everything away in the trailers.
Most Surprising: The Amazing Spider Man 2
Worst Film: Out of the ones I saw, Maleficent was. But it definitely wasn't bad.
Best Film: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Let's continue on to the month of June which is also a VERY busy month, albeit slightly less blockbuster heavy. Click on the titles for the trailers.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Despite your opinion of Tom Cruise outside of the cinema world (and seriously the Oprah thing was forever ago, give it a break) he can carry a movie like no ones business. While many may disagree, I loved Oblivion last year, and a large reason for that was Cruise. So when the first trailer for Edge of Tomorrow released, many scoffed. Scoffed at the premise, scoffed at Tom Cruise, etc. I was beyond excited. And if early reviews are any indication, we might be in for the surprise hit of the summer (at least critically).
What Could Go Wrong: With the "Live.Die.Repeat" tagline, I could see it running the "reset" angle into the ground. I'm hoping its a little smarter than that, but if not the film could be exhausting and make its run time seem longer than it really is.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Shailene Woodley for starters. She is probably the most talented actress for her age group along with Lawrence and the last time she was in a romantic film it was the phenomenal, The Spectacular Now. Not to mention that the source material for this one is highly revered by those that have read it. Look for this one to be a tear jerker.
What Could Go Wrong: Large changes to the source material, no chemistry between the leads, cheesy aspects...the typical things with romantic films. I have a feeling that this one will not fall into those traps though.
Why It's Worth Seeing: It's the sequel to one of the funniest comedies of the last five years, the creators are on a roll (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs --> 21 Jump Street --> The LEGO Movie) and Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have undeniable bromantic chemistry. This one should be hilarious as long as the writing stays on point and its not afraid to make fun of itself.
What Could Go Wrong: Too many retreaded jokes from the first one would disappoint me. Hopefully they don't get to comfortable knowing that they will be putting butts into seats whether it's funny or not.
Why It's Worth Seeing: I haven't seen the original (I plan to rectify that before this releases) but it's highly regarded as one of the best non-Pixar animated movies ever made. This one looks to have some fun action, a story about family, and some funny bits.
What Could Go Wrong: Animated sequels are SO HARD to get right. Very few have been able to best or meet their predecessors. Not to mention that the ship for a sequel to this movie might have already sailed since the original came out over 4 years ago.
Why It's Worth Seeing: The Four Seasons are one of the most iconic singing groups of all time and if I'm being honest, their music is still great to this day. The film is directed by Clint Eastwood and rated R so it looks like it will navigate through the groups harder times together.
What Could Go Wrong: I have a bad feeling about this one for multiple reasons. For starters, there has been little to no promotion for a film that should have tons of it. It comes out in less than a month and I've yet to see it's trailer in theaters (keep in mind I go to a movie every week). That's really odd given that its based on the uber-successful Broadway play. Additionally, this seems like it should be Oscar bait, but it's releasing in the heart of summer. To me, that might indicate that the film didn't turn out as special as they thought it would.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Allow me to rant here...I am fully aware that Michael Bay is not the best filmmaker when it comes to stories or character development. But I think we can all agree that he is a master of large scale spectacle. It is for that reason that I (usually) thoroughly enjoy his movies. Many mainstream critics have a personal vendetta against Bay (i.e. Peter Travers) that they allow to unprofessionally skew their ratings. I on the other hand, know that when I go into a Bay film I can turn my brain off and watch some cool explosions from some giant Transformers. I manage my expectations. I'm not saying that the Transformers films are masterpieces (the second one is most certainly not), but they perfectly capture what they set out to do in the first place. And at this point, four movies in, anyone going to these films expecting anything different is quite frankly, a fool.
What Could Go Wrong: One of my bigger problems with Bay's last two Transformers films is that the ending action scenes are overdone. Dark of the Moon was actually quite fantastic in my opinion, but the 90 minute Chicago action scene at the end was exhausting. Had its runtime been about 40 minutes less (i.e. around the 2 hour mark) I would have absolutely loved it. I'm hoping that Bay can reign it in a bit for this one. BUT, as I stated above, I am expecting nothing less than the usual from him.
Must See (in order): 22 Jump Street, Edge of Tomorrow, Transformers: Age of Extinction
On My Radar: The Fault in Our Stars, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Jersey Boys
Predicted Duds: None this month!
June is looking to be pretty big as well! Hopefully it can rival May's greatness. Check back here next month for a rundown of the releases above and a look at what's coming in an unusually slow month of July. 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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