Apologies for the brief thoughts, but here are 4 recent films and what I have to say:
Pacific Rim (2013) PG-13; 131M: Anyone who has followed my reviews knows that I pretty much despise mindless action Hollywood crap, with limited exceptions, so I am happy to report that this movie is everything good that Avatar wasn't. I know a lot of people liked Avatar for whatever reasons but I think it had terrible acting and a stupid plot. Pacific Rim doesn't try too hard to explain shit it can't possibly explain and it just moves the story along. It would have been better without a very typical love interest sub plot but overall this was the kind of mindless action movie I can actually enjoy. Perfect movie? No, but god damn those fight scenes between giant robots were done really well. What does it mean to earth when monsters from another dimension threaten our existence? Who cares!
The Lone Ranger (2013) PG-13; 149M: So I was in a theater with about, oh let me count, 3 other people watching Lone Ranger. Dear god this is a steaming pile of shit. The opening is terrible, trying to make jokes that are just so lame nobody would ever even smirk at. Then it moves to the meeting of the two and Armie Hammer is just such a smug douche playing the 'dear sir I respect your opinion but I must disagree' role along with the loveable loser who can't pull the trigger (think Brendan fraser in anything, but specifically Bedazzled). Oh and yeah, there's a train scene with over 700 ridiculous things happening. Who approves this shit? Swinging from chains around poles with people clinging by their necks to legs and then landing back on trains and people getting fling through windows and trains derailing and stopping within inches of killing people etc etc etc etc. oh, and why don't we just go ahead and make it a really violent film at the same time as we are trying to make light hearted jokes and a corny score with bouncy music. Eat a guys heart? Ok. I walked out after 45 minutes. This film deserves any flop list it ends up on.
And that, boys and girls, is why I always pay to see the movie I think is worth it, and then walk into the stuff that is questionable.
The East (2013) PG-13; 116M: Brit Marling is going to be around for a while (Another Earth and Sound of My Voice) - this is in a similar theme and tone of Sound of My Voice (which I din't love, but liked), though it is fleshed out a little more here and I like the supporting cast quite a bit. The only trailer I saw about this made it look like it would be a non stop action movie about anarchist fighting corporations, but it really isn't that for more than 20% of the movie... a lot of it is character build up and a cult like following, which both works and doesn't work... There is plenty of good in this with some not so good... if you get turned off by some weird wtf plot turns and some cult like scenes, you'll probably not be a fan... but the overall feel of the movie is decent and even
though a little of it gets off track it was a solid change of pace from summer action films.
The Way Way Back (2013) PG-13; 103M: Coming of age tale of an awkward boy (Liam James) on a summer vacation with his dysfunctional family on the beach. Along the way he learns to stick up for himself and get some self confidence while meeting some key people who really affect his life for this positive. I didn't come out thinking it was a masterpiece that I'll remember forever, but I definitely enjoyed it and definitely say see it, if for nothing else than to see the MOST awkward teenage performance I've ever seen (done so well) and for Steve Carell giving a really great performance as the mom's boyfriend who just nails his role as a small time big shot wannabe who is not in this film for comic relief at all, but for an actual dramatic performance that comes off extremely well.