I see a lot of movies over my summers, and I want to make it a habit to write down my thoughts on them all when my summer is over. Well, it’s long after summer and I haven’t written anything in a while, the reason for this is simple: That I’m lazy and unmotivated even when it comes to things I enjoy doing. It’s time for me to turn a new leaf! I’ll start by finally writing this post about my thoughts on these movies, something anyone still reading this definitely cares about.
Captain America: Civil War
Man, what else is there to say about this movie that already hasn’t been said before? It was really cool to see everyone’s favourite heroes fighting against each other, Black Panther was cool, Spiderman was cool, and so on and so on. My thoughts on the central conflict are basically as follows: Iron Man was right. The only reason why most of the audience feels like Cap is right is because we already met most heroes and have determined they’re good people. But what Cap is proposing here, is basically a license for people with super powers to fly around and butt into every world affair with impunity just because they have powers and they apparently know better. If the rest of the world had a say on the Avengers’ plans to save the world, Age of Ultron would not have happened. Also, Bucky killed his mom guys! His mom. The thing is, superheroes are just people in the end, and they’re bound to make mistakes, or be just massive asshats from time to time. Giving them this much power over the entire world with zero oversight will just lead to more problems in the future.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
This was a fun if unnecessary movie that made realize that this series is basically being carried by Rose Byrne. Sure, the cast is filled with talented actors and such, but most of the laughs are coming from her character. The movie doesn’t overstay its welcome and makes use of all the tools it has while giving Efron’s character an especially relatable conflict to contend with, but it all feels a little too cute to me. Too insubstantial and riskless, and annoyingly idealistic for some reason. And yes, Seth Rogen is starting to grate on me a little. I don’t hate the guy, he’s had some good performances and all, but man, he has this “whiny” voice he uses for characters in distress that just bothers me so god damn much. Thank God his character is married to Rose Byrne’s, or else I don’t know if I would have been able to sit through this film without her voice as a counterpoint to Rogen’s scratchy whines.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
“Do you love Lonely Island?” the movie basically. If the answer to that question is yes, you will love this hilarious film filled with insane characters, weird jokes, and catchy as hell songs. If the answer to that is no, well, you’re SOL, and also, you have no sense of fun. Maybe you should work on that then?
This movie basically coasts off the chemistry of the Rock and Kevin Hart, but it has a weird amount of heart and some jokes that caught me off guard in how funny they were. It’s still mostly a cookie cutter buddy comedy with a basic plot and mostly basic jokes, but it was still enjoyable despite it having Lord of the Rings-esque false endings for some reason.
I was shocked at how unimpressed I was by this movie. Not because I thought it was bad, I mean, technically it was great. The emotions, and acting (Kaitlin Olson as a whale was shockingly the best performance), the themes… all that was there, but something was missing from this movie. In fact, I believe the very same thing that was missing from the first film for me, only exacerbated because of how similar they felt. What was it? What was missing… oh right, my ability to care about some dumbass fish! And that’s fish PLURAL, because all fish movies are dumb, and fish in general are lame animals to write stories about. OK, Dory and Hank the octopus were a weirdly effective emotional core to this movie, but dammit, all it proved was that even Pixar can’t get me to care about freaking fish.
The Purge: Election Year
Full disclosure, never watched a Purge movie before this one. Still, this was really dumb. Like, “this was definitely written by high schoolers” level dumb. And it also feels like something that doesn’t even have the decency to take advantage of its admittedly interesting (if nonsensical) premise. That’s the thing with these films according to some folks I know, they’re all premise and no plot, and this movie really highlights that. This was just an escort mission featuring generic, yet ethnically diverse heroes, going up against the most generic movie bad guys imaginable: Republicans and neo-nazis. Great.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
What this film lacked in comedic grace and finesse, it made up for with a game cast and a lot of heart. Not just in the story beats, but with a cast of talented actors really giving their all for a movie that really shouldn’t have been as good as it was. This was less “highschoolers writing a movie” and more “college grads working on comedy passion project for a few months with talented actors”. Warning to all though, if you’re a Canadian like myself, who grew up watching Sugar on the Zone, this film will scar you.
I mostly liked it! See my thoughts on it, and the original, here.
You will know his name, but you mostly won’t remember this movie. Honestly, it felt mostly like set up for a sequel where Jason Bourne takes on Alicia Vikander’s character. Thankfully this movie does a good enough job of getting us excited for that conflict, however it doesn’t really get us invested on what’s happening with its own story. It also doesn’t feature this line from the trailer, which is the biggest reason why even went to go see the damn thing.
Well… I really liked that opening song number at least. Honestly, wasn’t as good as I thought it’d be based on the trailers, and that’s because of a couple of big things. One, excessive swearing for the sake of it isn’t as funny as this movie seems to think it is. Swearing for comedic effect should be done with care and precision. A well placed F-Bomb could have an entire audience rolling, but saying a curse every two lines just leads to diminishing returns. Two, Seth Rogen is a terrible voice actor, and the character he played should have been cut from the film. His grating, whiny voice is made all the more annoying when you realize this guy could be cut from the film entirely with nothing of value being lost from the film. Michael Cera’s character should have been the star, as he is a far more capable voice actor given a character with a lot more to do. I’d be remiss not to praise Wiig, Hayek, and Hader for their voice work in this film, but I’m getting bored talking about this film already and would like to move on. Seriously, besides a great opening song number, good voice performances, and having a point about faith (something critics seemed overly impressed by), this was kind of a mediocre comedy.
What a lame way to end my summer. This isn’t a comedy as the trailers suggested, or a particularly good drama, or a film with anything new or interesting to say about war and arms dealing. It’s just a movie that kind of exists, that was almost interesting in its first half, but then completely lost sight of itself and what it was trying to do in an effort to stay on track with the factual events it was based off of and became really boring. It’s worse than a legitimately bad movie, it’s a competently made waste of time. I’d imagine it sucked out the energy of everyone involved; the people who made it and certainly the poor saps like myself that paid to watch it.
Much like the quality of my list this year, this summer was not a great one for films. I’d feel motivated to write more (and more often) if there was some truly great stuff to grab me like there was last year, but it seemed more often than not, I had to settle for “surprisingly decent”. Ah well.
Quote of the Day:
Aaron Paul’s character in Central Intelligence, because he just had to say it.