As a movie addict, I tend to take pride in the number of movies I own, watch, or know about; but somewhere this past summer, I dropped the ball, and movies I had intended to see slipped through the cracks. Maybe I was too busy getting my Avengers on, but there were plenty of movies that I was interested in that fell by the wayside. Enter: Redbox and my public library. Now for a buck a night (or however much my late fees end up being this time around), I can catch up with the movies I missed without committing too much money to them.
So, without further ado, here are some capsule reviews to sink your teeth into.
Though it didn’t make a big splash at the box office, this A Capella-centered comedy has quickly developed a cultish following of girls who all told me, “Oh you probably wouldn’t like it.” Then remembered my vocal and theatrical background and changed their retracted, “You might.”
Truth be told, I did love it. It’s as formulaic as it comes: outcast girl finds herself in a group, insert romantic tension here, build to final performance, etc. Yet there’s plenty to set it apart.
Dynamite comedic performances from nearly every cast member certainly help, especially from Aussie Rebel Wilson who steals every scene she’s in. Picking actors and actresses who can actually sing also goes a long way (props to Anna Kendrick for this difficult singing and percussion performance). More than anything, there’s just an overwhelming sense of fun throughout.
Dear, Glee; if you were more like this, I would watch you.
Since my love affair with FX’s Justified has blossomed, I’ve been all for setting gangster pictures further south. In a script penned by moody music legend Nick Cave, Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy play brothers famous for their apparent invincibility and sweet moonshine. Though the law has turned its eye away for years, the brothers run into trouble when a corrupt special deputy comes calling (Guy Pearce).
I’m rather torn regarding this film.
On one side, I get to see Gary Oldman shoot a Tommy Gun, Tom Hardy make a cardigan look intimidating, Shia LaBeouf get his ass handed to him (always fun), and Jessica Chastain be involved.
On the other side, there’s no clear lead, the action scenes are rather clunky, and the film barely ends.
I’d say it’s worth one watch and no late fee.
The Bourne Legacy
After being the bad guy in S.W.A.T., Jeremy Renner somehow stumbled into three major franchises: The Avengers, Mission Impossible, and the latest entry into the Bourne series. Taking place in the aftermath of The Bourne Ultimatum, the story follows Aaron Cross, a super assassin that’s being track by–
It’s a Bourne movie. Do I really need to explain the plot?
Considering the high regard I hold the Bourne trilogy, this movie had a lot to live up to. The end result: hit and miss. Jeremy Renner is right at home as the spiritual companion to Bourne and brings a ferocity Matt Damon’s cool demeanor always seemed to lack. The action, though not always expertly filmed, is exceedingly exciting and there’s tension aplenty.
When the action isn’t rolling, neither is the movie. The opening takes far too long before Cross gets into action, and the head bad guys never directly interact with Cross; thus, becoming spectators much like the audience. If they decide to continue the series, I hope they trim the fat, dig deeper with Cross’s character, and give us an honest-to-goodness showdown.
When trailers for this movie came out, I had one thought: “Who the hell greenlit a movie about bike messengers?”
The more I thought about it, the more I wondered, “Why would Joseph Gordon-Levitt make this movie?”
Then the reviews came, and I waited for the destruction that never came. The critics were surprisingly kind to this flick, and somehow I went from “what the hell” to ‘”okay, I’m curious”.
The plot is ludicrously simple:
- Bike messenger has package.
- Bad guy want package.
- Bike messenger runs away into all kinds of danger/shenanigans.
What made the movie enjoyable for me were the characters, non-stop overtones of a chase, and a couple of unexpected twists and turns. Of course, those highlights had to contend with the audience thinking, “They’re on bikes? Ahahahahaha! Phew!”
Overall, I would say bike chases are less interesting than foot chases or car chases because there’s a limit to the obstacles they can encounter. Every now and then they hit a ramp, but for the most part it’s just pedaling.
Try this one out if you’re curious on couriers, or if you drool for Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Prometheus: Looks greats, too many unanswered questions, not as good as Alien
Ted: Dirty, hilarious, love Marky Mark as a man child, and more heart than expected.
Paranorman: Surprisingly adult themes and humor for a kids’ movie, but rather awesome.
Get The Gringo: It’s like Payback but in Mexico, and that’s a good thing
Cabin In The Woods: Hilarious, scarcy, meta, and further proof that Joss Whedon can do no wrong.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Whhyyyyyy soooo serious?
Redbox offers quick and spontaneous indulgence, but you’re likely to find an equal amount of stinkers and winners in the vending machine. Redbox gives you the chance to satisfy all cravings. You might enjoy the deliciousness of a high quality Reese’s Cup, but you could currently have the taste for the subpar Bit-O-Honey. There’s a reason that Taken 2 is currently top of Redbox rentals.