Summer 2015: Hot or Not?
Summer is nearly over. Whether the weather has been hot or not there have been many reasons to go to the cinema this past summer. Blockbuster movies and sleeper indies have provided much joy and woe to the seasoned moviegoer. Here I revisit the previews I wrote on some of these films and my initial opinions. Was I right to be so excited by some of the blockbusting goodness on offer? In some cases no, Terminator, I'm talking about you. Don't bother coming back. Read on... and for my original previews click here
Avengers: Age of Ultron
What I said: 'this is going to be a fun and exciting experience, possibly the best Marvel movie yet'
What I say now: Yes, it was incredibly exciting and my contender for the best Marvel movie on screen. The film provided a huge spectacle for superhero fans and despite a little bit of wonky editing this was one of the best films of the summer. A treat for all superhero fans.
Mad Max: Fury Road
What I said: 'this is the second most exciting film released this month... the stunt work will be amazing...'
What I say now: I was more excited by the Avengers movie but this was a marginally better movie and my favorite movie of the summer. The stunt work was amazing, all the better without the need for CGI overload. This was mainly old school film making on a massive scale.
What I said: '... not much is known about this new world but it should be spectacular'
What I say now: When we actually got a glimpse of Tomorrowland itself it was indeed spectacular. However much of the film was taken up with the journey getting there and it was not the film of wonder that I expected. It reminded me a little of a 70's Disney movie with chase scenes and a hammy villain. Despite that it was definitely a film worth seeing but don't expect to be blown away if you haven't already seen it.
Pitch Perfect 2
What I said: '.. not a must see movie of this or any year'
What I say now: Pretty much the same. I still haven't seen it and don't intend to until it pops up on Netflix some time. That said it was a big hit and was popular with critics and audiences so I may be missing out. They said that about the original however and I wasn't that impressed.
What I said: 'the biggest movie of the month'
What I say now: Certainly the dinosaurs were bigger and Chris Pratt deftly stepped up to the big leagues as a leading man. It was a good film but didn't provide the sense of wonder that the original film did. The special effects were good but we have seen it all before. A sequel would be welcome but with a move away from the park setting to set it apart from all the others.
What I said: 'I am not convinced we still need Arnie resuming his Terminator role...Alan Taylor is directing so the film is in safe hands...'
What I say now: I am still not convinced Arnie should have come back and despite Alan Taylor's credentials (Game of Thrones) the film was a timey wimey mess. Complicated but with no decent pay off it is time this franchise stopped, no more coming back, no more Arnie. I was bored. Time out!
What I said: 'perhaps (Peyton) Reed will surprise me and pull off a great film against insurmountable odds'.
What I say now: Despite stepping in late in the day to take over from Edgar Wright, Peyton Reed made a great movie. Paul Rudd may have played a 'tiny' role but his performance was huge and he will be a welcome player in the Avengers universe.
What I said: 'Could well be awful. Could possibly be pixel perfect'
What I say now: It was awful. What could have been a great family movie for the young and the young at heart (especially those who were kids in the 80's) turned into the usual Adam Sandler flick, mostly unfunny and dumb. The concept of video game characters invading the earth was ruined by a sleepwalking Sandler and naff Kevin James. All copies of the film should be obliterated.
The Fantastic Four
What I said: 'this should be fantastic'
What I say now: This was not fantastic. It was in fact a complete waste of a talented cast by a director who showed promise with the hugely enjoyable 'Chronicle'. This film was meant to erase the terrible memories of the 2005 and 2007 Tim Story directed 'Fantastic Four' movies' but it didn't. Those films are now inconceivably the definitive versions of the comic. This film has been badly mangled in the editing room and is long on exposition and short on action. I cannot believe this ended so unhappily. The biggest disappointment of the summer.
What I said: 'the only vacation I want to go on this year'
What I say now: As a massive fan of the original Vacation movies with Chevy Chase I was very much looking forward to this. And then I read the reviews. They were not kind. Well shut up critics because I saw this film last night and loved it. Ed Helms does a great job as Rusty, the now grown up son of the Griswalds taking his own family on a trip to Wally World, the destination of the original movie. With a brief cameo from Chevy Chase and a face lifted Beverly D'Angelo this is a very funny movie from all players involved, especially the kids in star making performances. Please let there be a sequel. John Francis Daley (of Freaks and Geeks fame) directs.