THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 || May 2nd, 2014

TheAmazingSpiderman2-poster A step down from the original, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” trades in delivering a solid stand alone film for building the foundation for a future franchise in the Sinister Six. Destroyed by its own advertising in giving away most of the twists and highlight action scenes and completely abandoning the best lines from the trailer (i.e. “isn’t that the question of the day”, “truth has consequences”), besides the effective visual effects, the main thing keeping this film afloat is Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and keeping Spider-Man witty and smart-mouthed.

Belle-poster The illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral (Matthew Goode of “Stoker”), Dido Elizebeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) lived a life stuck between being a princess and a commoner because of her mixed race. Inspired by a true story and also starring Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, and a growing favorite of mine, Sarah Gadon, the cast is stacked and this is being touted as one of the best period pieces in recent memory.
THEATER
WalkOfShame-poster Over the last few months and over the course of working on some of the marketing for “Walk Of Shame”, I would often wonder why this film did not click for me. Elizabeth Banks is attractive, James Marsden makes for good chemistry, but none of the jokes in this film ever land. A retread of Martin Scorsese’s “After Hours”, Banks’ Meghan Miles must find her way across Los Angeles to deliver the nightly news, without her car, her phone, or her keys. Sadly, this seems easily resolved and that is probably the reason this film just does not quite work.

TheBachelorWeekend-poster “The Bachelor Weekend” does not look any level of enjoyable. A comedy about a group of guys heading to the wilderness for a bachelor party, bringing along a wild man who throws away their compass and burns down their tents appears to be another take on “The Hangover” but with very British humor and very little to make one want to actually see this film. It is hard to imagine who the audience for this film is.
PASS
BadJohnson-poster Cam Gigandet is not a selling point to me. Starring lead in “Bad Johnson” makes things even worse. Add to that a horrible premise, which sees a playboy wish for his penis to disappear and waking up to find out his penis is gone and has become an actual person, this may have been the slightest bit funny had it been carried by anyone else but this cast and the direction of the film are simply not worthwhile.
PASS
BeneathTheHarvestSky-poster The trailer for “Beneath The Harvest Sky” almost persuaded me to see the film with a small-town feel and “Game Of Thrones” actor Aiden Gillen stepping outside that television role to play something new. After seeing the trailer, though, I have no idea what the film is about and being from the Midwest, a bad attempt at recreating that accent kills any film for me and there are plenty of “you betchas” and “don’t cha knows” in this trailer, which ultimately turns me off.
PASS
BestWorstFriends-poster “Best Worst Friends” is definitely an example of an offensive film that just should not have been made. When trying to fulfill a dying wish from their friend, two guys dress a small person up like a leprechaun so that their friend can complete his bucket list. How this is supposed to be funny, I am not entirely sure, but I do know that there is absolutely no way I will ever be seeing this film.
PASS
BloodGlaciers-poster2 The Alps become even more dangerous in this new science fiction horror film “Blood Glacier”. Scientists travel to find this odd red glacier when all of a sudden, the surrounding wildlife take on completely new forms and begin attacking. Vaguely reminiscent of “The Thing”, this low budget horror could actually be right up some horror fan’s alley, unfortunately I am not one of them and have no intentions of seeing this film.
PASS
DecodingAnnieParker-poster Here’s what makes this an equal parts “maybe” to see the breast cancer oriented film “Decoding Annie Parker”. The cast looks phenomenal, with Samantha Morton in the leading role, Helen Hunt, Aaron Paul playing against type, and a very supporting Alice Eve. However, a “based on a true story” film about breast cancer being proven to be genetic is not a film I feel like I have to run out and see.
25% MAYBE
Documented-poster The case for undocumented Americans is made more clearer in the documentary titled “Documented”. The problem is, it is heavy on the side of letting the almost 11 million undocumented immigrants in America have a chance to become citizens, on this particular subject, I feel like I might be against it. Coming to America illegally does not seem okay to me and with terrorism on the rise and overpopulation a growing threat, I am not convinced that almost everyone should be allowed in this country.
PASS
Farmland-poster Good point “Farmland”, if only 1% of America’s population are farmers by trade and dropping, who will we rely on to eventually grow our food. A documentary that feels more like a PSA to get people to take over farming, this film makes a valid point, but coming from the Midwest where farming is huge, I cannot say that I would want to be that person and often feel sorry for the people stuck there doing it. However, we do need food and someone has to do it.
PASS
FriendedToDeath-poster2 “Friended To Death” is what VOD and straight-to-DVD were made for. The film proves a few things while trying to get its social commentary about hollow online friendships across. Number one, Sarah Smick does not quite have a handle on directing yet. The tone of the film flip flops constantly and all of the characters read stereotypical and paper thin. Also, Ryan Hansen is not ready yet to carry a film on his own, although I do look forward to the day.
Ida-poster Believe it or not, but it really is the amazing reviews about “Ida” coming from most critics that tips this into the “maybe” category. A young woman about to take her vows is persuaded to visit her last known relative before she becomes a nun. When she does, she finds out secrets about her family that she never knew. Set in 1960’s Poland and displayed in striking black-and-white, hopefully this heavy drama lives up to its raving reviews.
25% MAYBE
NOWInTheWingsOnAWorldStage-poster As much as I enjoy Kevin Spacey, “Now: In The Wings On A World Stage” is not a documentary I feel I need to see. Spacey gets ready to play a role in Shakespeare as King Richard III, with Sam Mendes directing. Not describing where this takes place and why it might be for one night only, I can only imagine that people would flock to this since Spacey’s star is on the rise after his role in “House Of Cards”.
PASS
TheProtector2-poster Rza is making a name for himself in the kung-fu film world, first in “The Man With The Iron Fists”, then in the more parkour than kung-fu “Brick Mansions, and now “The Protector 2”. Chasing Ong Bak’s Tony Jaa, who plays the protagonist, Rza makes a great villain and I look forward to the day he plays one in something I would actually see. Instead, he remains in a sequel to a film that I was not even aware of until today.
PASS
PuraniJeans-poster Once again, with zero understanding of Bollywood films, I refrain from saying much on the subject. Making it through about ten seconds of the trailer for “Purani Jeans”, the production style is beyond my understanding mainly because I think it is not good, but who am I to judge.
PASS
WaterAndPower-poster “Two brothers must survive the night” is the only real details we are given in the thirty second teaser for this Edward James Olmos production called “Water & Power”. With zero insight to the film and the feeling that it is going to be low budget with bad dialogue, this one’s an easy pass. Set in Los Angeles, however, if anything is going to peak your interest it would probably be that, and films set in L.A. come a dime a dozen these days.
PASS
Whitewash-poster From the producers of two Academy Award nominated foreign films, “Incendies” and “Monsieur Lazhar”, and starring the Academy Award nominated Thomas Haden Church, I feel immediately persuaded to see this English language film “Whitewash”, which sees Church perform a sinister deed to which he must live with and from the looks of, cover it up. The humor is deadpan and dry, but that could mean great things.
25% MAYBE

THEATER

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Belle
  • Friended To Death
  • Walk Of Shame

RENTAL

MOST LIKELY CATCH ON NETFLIX (75%)

PROBABLY CATCH ON NETFLIX (50%)

MIGHT CATCH ON NETFLIX (25%)

  • Decoding Annie Parker
  • Ida
  • Whitewash

PASS

  • The Bachelor Weekend
  • Bad Johnson
  • Beneath The Harvest Sky
  • Best Worst Friends
  • Blood Glacier
  • Documented
  • Farmland
  • Now: In The Wings On A World Stage
  • The Protector 2
  • Purani Jeans
  • Water & Power

HELL NO

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