Summer on the silver screen

Photo: TransformersMovie.com

Peyton Callanan

 

Mark you calendars for these upcoming summer flicks

Best film to take the whole family to: “Maleficent,” May 30

Disney is bringing a live action version of one its most iconic villains to the big screen in “Maleficent.” The movie turns the classic story “Sleeping Beauty” on its head by telling it from the point of view of the story’s protagonist Maleficent. It stars Angelina Jolie as the title character and Elle Fanning as the princess.

Best upcoming buddy comedy: “22 Jump Street,” June 13

The unlikely comedy duo of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are back on the big screen as Schmidt and Jenko, bumbling undercover cops sent to a local college to crack a case. Here is hoping the sequel to “21 Jump Street” has a fresh and funny take of life in college.

Best upcoming sequel/prequel/reboot of a childhood favorite: “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” June 27

The fourth live action movie to feature Autobots and Decepticons will include a whole new cast of human characters (oh hey, Mark Wahlberg), but it is sure to have just as many cool cars and giant explosions as its predecessors.

Best upcoming kick-starter success story: “Wish I Was Here,” July 25

Zach Braff’s sophomore directorial effort “Wish I Was Here” tells the story of a struggling actor who decides to home school his children when he can no longer afford private school tuition. The film was largely funded by fans who donated to Braff’s Kickstarter.com campaign in order to help the actor bring his passion project to life.

Biggest gamble of the summer: “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Aug. 1

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is the next film on the slate for the Marvel Studios gravy train and follows the journey of an American pilot who joins together with a group of wanted space criminals after stealing a mysterious space orb. The over-the-top space adventure may be lost of viewers who aren’t familiar with Marvel Studios’ three-phase plan for its superhero films, but it also has the potential to be a massive final summer hit.

 

Hot summer films now playing near you

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

By Shelby Farmer

The George-Anne staff

Many have argued that Captain America is one of the most boring superheroes, his only rival for the title being Superman due to their conventional, straight-shooting morals. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” doesn’t let Steve Rogers – played by Chris Evans for the third time (fourth if you count his cameo in “Thor: The Dark World”) – lose sight of his morals, but this film is definitely not boring.

One of the greatest additions it sees is the emotion so many of the Marvel superhero movies lack. There is some added depth to many of the characters, including Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.

I won’t spoil the twists about who the bad guy is and if s/he is really a bad guy and who the bad guy REALLY is or who the Winter Soldier is (you know if you read the comics), etc., but so far this is one of the better Marvel sequels, offering better character and plot developments than both “Iron Man 2” and the second “Thor” installment.

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past

By William Price

The George-Anne staff

Suffice it to say, the X-Men movie franchise has had its ups and downs. The immensely popular comic book series was revitalized by the critical and commercial success that was “X-Men: First Class.” Luckily for X-Men fans, “Days of Future Past” continues that trend in a big way.

Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Ian Mckellan and many more star in the newest mind-bending, time-traveling rendition of X-Men. Film director Bryan Singer pulls together a massive cast of mutants and humans and miraculously churns out a top-notch summer flick.

Everything you could want in an X-Men movie is in this movie: Magneto lifting heavy stuff, Jennifer Lawrence being blue, James McAvoy screaming in a heavy Scottish accent, Wolverine being in every scene and even a short cameo from Tyrion… err.. Peter Dinklage as a mad scientist.

All joking aside this movie is visually impressive, well-written and beautifully acted. It’s well worth the ticket price.

 

Godzilla

By Will Cheney

The George-Anne staff

Gareth Edwards’ film “Godzilla” was released in theaters on May 16. The film did very well, as it surpassed $300 million in the box office in its first 10 days.

The story follows naval officer Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his estranged father Joe (Brian Cranston) as they search for the sources of a catastrophic earthquake, which destroyed a nuclear plant in Japan.

After finding the sources, the U.S. military, coupled with Ford Brody and two Japanese scientists, wage a war in and around the Pacific Ocean against several MUTOS (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) in an effort to prevent humanity’s extinction.

One thing I loved about the film is the plot. The plot is, unlike many monster movies, about the people involved. The monsters are seen as an act of nature and the protagonists have to deal with them as such. With that said, it isn’t watered down with a blossoming love story.

From a fan’s perspective, “Godzilla” doesn’t disappoint. The rendering of Godzilla is in the style of the original creature from Toho Studios. It almost helps fans forget that grey, iguana-like thing Roland Emmerich produced in 1998. Almost.

 

 

The Amazing Spiderman 2

By Will Peebles

The George-Anne staff

Perfectly-named director Mark Webb was chosen to put together the 2012 reboot of Peter Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) story. In “The Amazing Spider-Man” films, the web-slinger gets his powers at a younger age, and the various problems of responsibility and love are sprinkled in more heavily than in the previous trilogy.

The second installment maintains the focus on Parker’s relationship with Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone), which is great, because the on-screen chemistry between Garfield and Stone is fantastic. Spidey has his work cut out for him this time as this movie revolves around two major villains.

Classic Spidey foe Electro is played by Jamie Foxx, who struggles to make the character seem like someone other than Jamie Foxx in blue makeup pretending to be a nerd. Foxx was a big weak point.

On the other end of the spectrum is the unloved son of Oscorp owner, Norman Osborne. Peter’s childhood friend Harry Osborne is played spectacularly by Dane DeHaan (“Chronicle”). DeHaan has a way with insane characters, and really seemed to dig into a diseased, dying Harry.

The film’s budget was through the roof, and it shows. The effects are immaculate. Every high flying scene is dizzying. Every Electro explosion is wrapped in a sonic crunch of dubstep and static. Green Goblin looks terrifying and perfect. Every action scene in the film is a good example of what superhero movies can be.