I’ve had quite a banner summer at the theater. Here are just a few quick tidbits.
Maleficent (2014) – Rated PG
“A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.”
I both look forward to and cringe with every non-animated re-imagining from Disney. Alice in Wonderland (2010) was a gorgeous confection.but ultimately shallow. Ditto for Oz the Great and Powerful (2013). Maleficent is much the same with CGI replacing plotting and character development. The story neuters the character of Maleficent, one of the great Disney villains.
Having said that, this is an enjoyable ride for the kids and Angelina Jolie IS Maleficent. Her performance at least partially redeems the movie.
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) – Rated R
“As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival.”
The Good: It is way funnier than Neighbors and Neil Patrick Harris is always delightful.
The Bad: It is just okay. Ted was much funnier. Joke delivery could use some work – it is pretty laconic, much like the Old West.
The Ugly: While trying to be edgy, it tells endless penis and fart jokes. The western setting may be offputting for some, tired for others.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014) – Rated PG-13
“An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with an alien race. His skills increase as he faces the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.”
Groundhog Day is a fantastic movie, heartwarming and funny. The concept is so beloved that many television series have produced their own version. The X-Files and Star Trek: TNG had time loop episodes, albeit played seriously. Xena had perhaps the funniest Groundhog Day episode. In spite of it being a tired concept, it has worked time and time again (forgive me).
My dear wife and I went to Edge of Tomorrow with little in the way of expectations. Tom Cruise’s science fiction thriller last year, Oblivion, was decent but a missed opportunity. Edge of Tomorrow is fantastic. Jenny and I couldn’t stop laughing through the first half of the movie as Cruise’s soldier character dies repeatedly.