Sunday, May 10, 2009

Summer movie reviews and previews

By Jason Jones (posted by Rick Morris)

NOTE: All links are to movie home pages on Rotten Tomatoes.

Adventureland (released April 3)
Grade: C+ (I would only advise this one if you go to A LOT of movies. It seems to be the token summer young adult movie that you would expect from the actors in it. Might be fun but definitely doesn’t make even the top 15)

Observe and Report (released April 10)
Grade: C (Funny in some moments, but like a lot of these types of films, gets too awkwardly real. Or at least they try to make it real. The funny sometimes takes a back seat to a moral of sorts. I just don’t think most people will believe it was worth the money. However, as “Mall Security” movies go, much better than Paul Blart)

State of Play (released April 17)
Grade: B/Inc (I cannot objectively grade this one because I haven’t seen it. However, considering the cast and the type of movie it is, I will give it the benefit of the doubt)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (released May 1)
Grade: D (Look, maybe I am just a little too much of a comic book movie nut bag but, C’MON! If all you knew was that it’s a Wolverine movie, then maybe you’ll enjoy it just fine. My big beef is with Deadpool. Think of all of the X-Men, now imagine a lean bad ass smart ass type…not with knives in his hands or the ability to control the weather. We are talking military special forces bad ass who comes fully equipped with badass guns, badass knives, and badass swords. Now imagine he moves like something out of the Matrix. And finally, he is in the movie for about two and a half minutes!)

Star Trek (released May 8)
Grade: A+ (I have not been more excited for a summer movie with the exception of Transformers in the last 5-10 years. For die hard Trekkies, it may not live up to the hype, but I am not a Trekkie…I just really dig Star Trek movies (a lot more than the television shows). If you can separate yourself from the fact that it’s a Star Trek movie, I think 90% of viewers or more would really enjoy this movie.

Angels & Demons (released May 15)
Grade: A (It's Tom Hanks in a Ron Howard film about one a book from one of the top selling contemporary writers. If this movie is just OK, it may be the most colossal flop since Waterworld)

Terminator Salvation (released May 22)
Grade: C- (Call me crazy but I think Terminator 3 was Evander Holyfield-ish of them. The only salvation for them is found in the beefed-up budget, not the title)

Up (released May 29)
Grade: B (This one is the kid’s movie sympathy vote. I dig all kinds of animated movies, but there is no Shrek or Incredibles in this summer’s movie crop. Up may be a nice movie to take the kids to that will not force you to cause yourself bodily harm.

Land of the Lost (released June 5)
Grade: B- I don’t know much about this movie. It is a remake of something else that I’ve never seen. However, I will say this…Will Ferrell’s line, “Matt Lauer can SUCK IT” is just good family entertainment suitable for all audiences. This one is a sort of Journey to the center of the earth meets Anchorman type comedy)

Powder Blue (released straight to Blu-ray & DVD June 9)
Grade: B (It could be Oscar worthy or it could be Gigli. All I know is Jessica Biel is smoking hot and gets naked, shades of Marisa Tomei in the Wrestler. That alone is probably worth the price of admission)

Year One (released June 19)
Grade: B+ Looks like a prehistoric march through times reminiscent of Forrest Gump. It looks very funny, but flicks like this tend to over do it. I’m hoping for the opposite.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (released June 24)
Grade: A+++ Oh Yeah! Michael Bay and the Transformers strike again. The first film ranks in my top 3! This film was granted almost a 100% increase in budget after the first film did cleared 300 million. This one should be outstanding.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (released July 15)
Grade: A Some of you are rolling your eyes, that’s fine. I was resistant to the idea of a children’s book going blockbuster myself, but the Harry Potter series is a legitimate blockbuster. If you can allow yourself to get lost in the fantasy of the movie, you will enjoy this flick. Problem is, most people are not willing to take that leap.

Funny People (released July 31)
Grade: A Seriously, does anyone have to say anything outside of ADAM SANDLER AND SETH ROGAN? Just watching the trailer makes me laugh out loud. Since Sandler’s dramatic role in Reign Over Me, it seems that his funny movies have reached a new level of funny. I expect this to be no different.

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra (released August 7)
Grade: A- Transformers and G.I. Joe in the same Summer? Are you kidding me!?!? Young boys from the 1980s collectively losing their $#!&. The only thing better would be if we added a Thundercats and Voltron live action flick. The grade falls due to a lack of star power in this one.

Fame (released September 25)
Grade: D+ I’ll be nice with this one because I can almost guarantee the Missus is going to drag me to this one kicking and screaming. ITS FAME! C’mon, how good could it be?

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