Nine movies this time, mostly stuff I’ve been rewatching for fun, and I forgot to do a post 4 movies ago, so here we go:
#69. Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol
This was the semi-reboot of the Mission: Impossible series with Tom Cruise. 1-3 all felt very much like their own unique movies. Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation take place within their own universe, and feel pretty much the same in terms of style and tone. Ghost Protocol might be better of the two, it has a more cohesive story and a faster pace, though you can’t really top the stunts in Rogue Nation. Tom Cruise is as fun as always, but here we get the introduction of Jeremy Renner who was thought to be taking over the spotlight (much like him in the Bourne series, but we know how that turned out) but nonetheless, he was a welcome addition to an explosive, exciting movie.
I watch Superbad probably once a year. It is one of those movies that is just simply funny every time, and though it might be a little stupid, it still delivers on a lot of levels. While it is on one hand an exceptionally raunchy coming-of-age story, it is also the story of friendship. Michael Cera and Jonah Hill seem like actual best friends which helps their relentlessly funny banter. Their night-long quest in order to lose their virginities is an overload of alcohol, drugs, girls, and more alcohol. People can bash it for being crass, but this was a movie written by high schoolers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, what do you expect?
76. Funny People
With Judd Apatow’s latest out, Trainwreck, I thought it would be fun to check out Funny People again. Boy is it a long freaking movie. Clocking in at 2.5 hours–yes, 2.5 hours for a comedy–the movie just never seems to end. One of the biggest problems the movie had was revealing in the trailer the fact that Adam Sandler’s own caricature, George Simmons, doesn’t actually die from the cancer that sends him into a spiral of self-decay. Sandler does a good job at essentially playing himself–acting in fake-shitty movies– but Seth Rogen really shows his chops and makes for a realistic and funny character who is hired to assist Sandler. Funny People is overly long, but still enjoyable if you want to have it on in the background.
A quick, fresh, and funny action movie, Crank, gave us an unforgettable Jason Statham whose been injected with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops. Basically, this is Speed with guns. It is a tight little film that never overstays its welcome but stays completely over-the-top throughout the entire film. Some of the supporting characters do not get their due, but this is really a one-man-show in the form of Chev Chelios (Statham) whose strange efforts at keeping his heart rate up lead him to doing some hilarious, bizarre things.
78. Big Fish
Maybe Tim Burton was getting a little tired of making his signature dark fairy-tale films when Big Fish was released, but whatever the reason, he gave us a truly wonderful film. Following the myths and tales his father had told him throughout his life, a man tries to make sense of them while his father is on his death bed. We do not know until the very end whether or not these tall tales actually have some truth to them, but it is a whimsically delightful journey to find out with indelible performances from Ewan McGregor, Billy Crudup, and Albert Finney.
If Will Smith were not in this movie, it would have been a complete failure. He is just so good at playing the suave “Date Dr.” who is paid to help men get past those awkward initial stages of a relationship. His electrifying chemistry with Eva Mendes also helps bolster an otherwise routine rom-com, and Kevin James (who normally annoys me) is tolerable as well. It is one of the very few rom-coms that I actually own, and it is always fun to go back to for a laugh and a good time.
80. Midnight in Paris
After being in Paris for 2 weeks this summer, I felt it appropriate to watch the movie that honors the city–and its history–in a magical way. In what is a celebration of the city, art, and history, Midnight in Paris follows a nostalgic Owen Wilson as he finds himself able to travel back to the 1920s to hang out with Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Stein, Picasso, and many others. All of them are thoughtfully brought to life by actors who seem born to play them. If only we could get another movie about them just so we can see more.
A true gem of a film from Wales, Submarine is a New Wave-esque story of a boy who wants to lose his virginity as well as restore the marriage of his parents. Oliver Tate, played by the awkward and desperate Craig Roberts, is one of the freshest, most enjoyable characters to appear on screens this decade. His entire persona is full of layers, humor, and emotion as we come to know him. Shot on location in beautiful Wales, it is a fantastic film for anyone who wants a non-traditional coming-of-age story with an unforgettable main character.
84. Thor: The Dark World
This is the only Marvel Comic Universe film I have not seen in theaters. While it isn’t a complete waste of a film, it doesn’t really do anything except slightly establish more of the overarching story. There’s more of the same fish-out-of-water humor, a grander scale for battles, and it still feels Shakespearian in terms of its family dynamics. Hemsworth is as good as expected, and Natalie Portman (who hasn’t appeared in any other of the films) is fine as well. Tom Hiddleston, however, is so good that they had to write more of him into the script. The villain is a bit bland, and the story gets a little out of hand, but it still manages to be a decent sequel.