Monthly Movie Preview: May 2014

May 2 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Dane Dehaan, Paul Giamatti, and Stan Fudgin’ Lee

Ok, I won’t even lie to you; Hush Comics got to see this movie a week in advance (check out our spoiler-free review here), so my job here is difficult. How do I write a preview for a movie I’ve already seen, without spoilers? Hang on web-heads, here we go! Andrew Garfield reprises his role as Peter Parker, alongside real life girlfriend Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy). While uncovering the true nature of his parents demise he discovers a dark truth about Oscorp, now run by his child-hood friend Harry Osborn (Dane Dehaan). Add an Eminem Stan-like social outcast with newly acquired powers over all things electrical in Electro (Jamie Foxx) and you have 142 minutes of web-slinging action.  Spidey swings through New York City GoPro style in this amazing sequel. Directed by Mark Webb (500 Days of Summer). Produced by Ari Arad (Iron Man) and Matt Tolmach. Easter Egg: Wait for those post credits and Shazam the Alicia Keys/Kendrick Lamar mash-up, “It’s On Again,” to access the bonus clip. Details here http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=52504 – John

May 2 – The Protector 2

Starring: Tony freaking Jaa, The RZA

The martial artist legend, Tony Jaa, returns for a sequel to the 2005 The Protector. There’s really never much in terms of storyline with his film, but he busts out some of the most ridiculous stunt work I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, The RZA is in the movie. I know that he loves martial arts flicks, and that he’s kind of earned his striped in that department, but him as the main antagonist is a joke – an Iron Fist sized joke. The movie technically came out last October internationally, but for some reason has had a fair amount of trouble making a US release date (initially Protector 2 was given a March update. If you’re looking for great martial arts and can put up with sub-par acting, then you should give this a go – or at least go rent Ong Bak and The Protector. – Sherif

 

May 2 – Walk of Shame

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs

Effie Trinket takes a break from leading children to the  slaughter to murder brain cells with this incredibly shallow attempt at comedy. Banks plays Meghan, a workaholic reporter who is pressured to go out with her friends – one of which is Gillian Jacobs AKA Britta from Community. When news arrives that she has an opportunity to be a news anchor, she slips out and misfortune ensures. Poor helpless white girl gets lost on the wrong side of town and must find her way back to her dream job opportunity. It’s like a cross between The Hangover and Homeward Bound, except it will most definitely suck ass. Can we expect anything more from the guy who directed Movie 43? – Sherif

 

May 2 – Belle

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, and Emily Watson

I saw the preview for Belle waiting for The Grand Budapest Hotel. If the movie is anything like the preview, I expect myself to be a puddle of tears by the end of the movie. The music alone had me wishing I’d brought tissue to the theater, though I’m a sucker for period movies that question the landscapes of society.  Belle is about Dido, an illegitimate biracial daughter of a naval officer. As a child, Dido is brought back England and raised by her uncle and her white cousin.  The movie seems to be awash with the intersections of race, gender, and class during a time when England was questioning their participation in Slavery. Grab your tissue; this movie looks like it’s going to be a tearjerker.  – Jené

May 9 – Neighbors

Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Bryne, Dave Franco (21 Jump StreetScrubs), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin), Lisa Kudrow,

Are you prepared for a war of the neighbors like never before? What will surely be the best comedy of the year so far pits Mac and Kelly Radner (Rogan and Bryne) against Teddy (Efron) and his army of frat brothers. Things are civil until Mac snitches, starting an all-out war between a full-grown adult and a group of college kids with literally nothing to do. The prank wars and satirical one-liners in the trailer were enough to get me excited about it. Historically, it marks the only time I can say I’m interested in a Zack Efron movie. Especially when I’m getting to the age where I side with the grown-ups, it should be fun to see if viewers are as polarized when choosing sides as I am. – Sherif

 

May 9 – Chef

Starring: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sofía Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale (Gyp Rosetti in Boardwalk Empire), Amy Sedaris

Want to know what it’s like to watch a “feel-good” movie all about “feel-good” food?  If you answered no to that I think you need to calm down and try again…  I’m just trying to tell you about Jon Favreau’s newest movie titled Chef coming out this month.  Starring himself and cast of other comedians, this movie is all about food, family and passion.  Favreau portrays a chef with ambition and bristling culinary creativity.  After being stifled by his boss (Hoffman), he decides to take matters into his own hands and purchase his very own food truck.  Toss all that into a pan, add in some strong morals and family values, and top off with Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Vergara and throw it in the oven for 115 minutes.  Oh, I forgot the final step… Enjoy. – Taylor

 

May 9 – Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

Starring: Lea Michele, Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Belushi, Martin Short, Patrick Stewart

Dorothy has returned to the land of Oz! It’s a fun concept that is justifiably revisited to explore upon the vast and imaginative world. This animated film is surely for the kids, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop yourself from enjoying it, too. It looks adorable, and it’s one of the few movies out anymore that’s genuinely for young children, so parents, this might be a rare opportunity to see a movie without having to lie to your kids about what certain things mean. The cast is full of old Hollywood stars. I’m sure it can’t touch Frozen, but for parents who think their children will find Maleficent too frightening, this is your movie of the month. – Sherif

 

May 16 – Godzilla

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen

There isn’t a lot to say about Godzilla. IT’S FREAKING GODZILLA! Also, Bryan Cranston – so that’s pretty sweet. At first look, this reboot appears to be a true homage to the delightfully campy Japanese originals, but without all of the cheese from the Matthew Broderick reboot. The trailers brought me pure excitement and when they revealed Godzilla in all of it’s glory, I felt my eyes get wider.  Having Gareth Edwards (Monsters) directing this reboot bodes well for its reception; Edwards proved that he can combine giant monsters with good storytelling quite successfully. I have a little trepidation when it comes to the writing because Godzilla is literally the second screenplay that writer Max Borstein has ever done. Trusting such a monsterous (no pun intended) property with a virtually untested writer comes as a bit of surprise. Rounding of the already large (pun intended) cast is a strong line up of actors and actresses that I have no doubt will hold the story together. Bryan Cranston is always fantastic and appears to bring some serious intensity to the movie. Ken Wantanabe is usually a strong part of any cast. With Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olson, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins evening everything else out I have no doubt that this will be the reboot Godzilla deserved.  Now go see it! – Scott

 

May 16 – Million Dollar Arm

Starring: Don Draper Jon Hamm, Madhur Mittal (Slumdog Millionaire), Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi), Lake Bell, Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show)

I figure if you’re going to begin Jon Hamm’s futile effort to try to avoid being typecast as the star of Mad Men, you might as well go half-way around the world to do it. Based off a real-life Indian reality TV show, Million Dollar Arm follows struggling agents who travel to India to recruit cricket players capable of throwing fast enough to be competitive features. What Bernstein (Hamm) learns along the way is that these recruits are people, not cash cows (or cows at all, seeing as they are sacred in India). Everybody bonds, players become professionals, Disney credits roll, it all makes sense. It’s an interesting story – one that you can buy the book for if interested – but I just don’t see it having the appeal that a sports movie of that magnitude should have. – Sherif

May 16 – The Immigrant

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner, Angela Sarafyan

Not to star this off biased but it is hard for me to see an ad for a Joaquin Phoenix film and think, “Awesome, I am definitely seeing that!” After he sort of lost his mind for the sake of the fake documentary, I’m Still Here, he has lost the amazing appeal he had before for me at least. Besides him though this films stars the great Marion Cotillard whom you may know as Miranda/Talia Al Ghul from The Dark Knight Rises, and Jeremy Renner whom we all know as Hawkeye from the Marvel Comics cinematic universe. The story follows Ewa (Cotillard) as a newly arrived immigrant in Manhattan. Ewa was traveling with her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan) who when they get to New York is quarantined because of a lung disease and can only be helped with money which neither woman has. Ewa is then taken in by Bruno (Phoenix) who although seems friendly at first forces her into prostitution to earn the money to help get her sister out of quarantine. Bruno’s cousin Emilaka Orlando the Magician (Renner) tries to save Ewa from having to be a prostitute and things go crazy in the process. This film seem kind like one that will be loved for being a great drama but the plot is not original as I have seen female immigrants being helped by sleazy American’s who make them be prostitute’s a lot in my film and story experience. This obviously is going to be aimed at the 25- 60 year old range of people as kids and most elderly people would find the material a bit too much to handle. Overall, the film looks like it could be good but most likely will be forgotten in the realm of the huge blockbusters this month has to offer. – Jacob

May 23 – X-Men: Days of Future Past

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, Peter Dinklage

So this movie has basically everyone in it. With the cast that has credits in: The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lord of The Rings, Hunger Games and Game of Thrones, what more could you possibly want? The original X-Men cast join our First Class mutants in a fight to save humanity. The movie, adapted from The Uncanny X-Men story arc #141-142, follows Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) as he travels in time to prevent an event that leads to push mutant kind to the brink of extinction. Produced and directed by Bryan Singer (Usual Suspects, soon to be National Sex Offender Registry member). Runtime 130. Fun Fact: According to IMDB, the legal issues between Marvel Studios and Fox films have reached mutant proportions!  Due to a court order, “No reference to Quicksilver’s (Evan Peters) membership in the Avengers can be made in an “X-Men” film, and no allusion to his relations to the X-Men or Magneto (the character’s father) can be made in an “Avengers” film; the rights agreement between Fox and Marvel even goes so far as to stipulate the character cannot be referred to as a “mutant” in any Marvel film.” – John

May 23 – The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

Starring: Robin Williams, Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, James Earl Jones, Melissa Leo

Robin Williams’ career has fallen off more steeply than the slalom of cocaine he used to balance it with. Since completely abandoning his family-friendly persona, Williams has failed to connect with the masses on the big or small screen. The Angriest Man in Brooklyn is the tale of Henry (Williams), a patient who pisses his nurse (Kunis) off, so she messes with him and tells him that he has 90…minutes left to live. It’s a cruel joke, but one I’m sure every nurse wishes they could tell a belligerent patient and get away with it. As Henry frantically tries to right his wrongs, he realizes how much he actually appreciates what he has. It’s a tired story (actually a remake of a 1997 Israeli film), and I’d honestly rather see the new Adam Sandler movie than this; that’s how bad this looks. – Sherif

 

May 23 – Tracks

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver

Tracks, based on Robyn Davison’s memoir by the same name, was originally released in 2013 in Australia. The movie was directed by John Curran, director of The Painted Veil. In 1970, Robyn travels 1700 miles across the deserts of west Australia. Her only companions are four camels and her dog.  There have been two previous attempts to adapt this book into a movie; however, all of them failed. Julia Roberts at one time was going to play the lead in the movie. Just watching the preview the landscape is breathtaking and the desert a force to be reckoned with. The aerial shots of the desert reminded me of the Egypt’s desert, which is both beautiful and harsh – a seemingly perfect backdrop of Robyn’s journey of the soul.  Looking forward to May’s lineup of movies. – Jené

May 23 – Blended

Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Shaquille O’Neal, Terry Crews, Joel McHale

Another Adam Sandler movie?…  Instant reaction: severe rolling of eyeballs (I swear I saw my brain).  By the end of the preview: giggles and a quick re-checking of the release date.  Nobody does “hit-or-miss” to greater extremes than Sandler.  I mean, Jack & JillThat’s My Boy…  come on.  But then you remember Click, Spanglish, and The Wedding Singer and you feel a little forgiving.  Now, if you carefully think about Sandler’s resume you’ll notice a theme.  His best movies include one particular co-cast member that makes HALF of every movie they appear in.  If you weren’t thinking of Drew Barrymore, YOU LOSE!  She headlines Blended with Sandler this May.  The two of them play single parents struggling to find a new love connection.  After some initial and disheartening first dates (all 50 First Dates, to be specific), they both seem content to continue focusing on their kids.  That is until the two families collide on a coincidental exotic, safari vacation.  While I’m still trying to dislodge one of my eyes from the back of my skull, I can’t help but feel excited at the prospect of seeing Sandler and Barrymore on screen together again.  I wonder if it’ll top The Waterboy (yeah, right). – Taylor

 

May 30 – Maleficent

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville

Villains are always best when they think they are the hero. Stripped of her beautiful wings, her homeland ravaged and, on top of it all, not invited to Princess Aurora’s christening? Maleficent has gotten the raw deal. Played by the ageless beauty, Angelina Jolie, Maleficent must protect the realm from the ignorance and belligerence of man. The film was originally set to release in March, but was adjusted around to the end of May. The tone is dark, but still beautiful, as embodied in the theme “Once Upon A Dream,” covered by Lana Del Ray – who was hand-picked by Jolie to sing it. It may have a Disney label, but I expect this to be more dark fantasy than the 50’s princess tale it’s inspired by. The film is being directed by Robert Stromberg, who is new to directing, but has made major design contributions to Disney’s two most recent live-action releases: Oz the Great and Powerful and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Anybody who still holds Disney in their hearts need to find their way to the theaters and check this out. – Sherif

 

May 30 – A Million Ways to Die in the West

Starring: Seth McFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman

I can’t even remember the last time I looked forward to one, let alone two, comedies in a month. The tail end of May gives us another Seth McFarlane film about surviving in the wild West. Boasting an all-star cast that’s guaranteed to coax laughter, McFarlane should be able to recreate the same laughs from the same crowd he received in Ted. When Albert (McFarlane) falls in love with Anna (Theron), her husband Clinch (Neeson) makes Albert duel for her. A Million Ways is becoming a comedian’s orgy the more I hear about it with word of Bill Maher, Christopher Lloyd, Gilbert Gottfried (yuck, maybe orgy was a poor choice of words) joining the cast. I’m expecting cheap thrills and non-stop jokes, just as anybody who follows his body of work would. – Sherif

 

May 30 – Filth

Starring: James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell

Filth, released in Scotland last year and soon to be released in the U.S., James McAvoy plays Bruce Robertson, a detective. Now, Bruce is a pretty well-rounded a-hole. McAvoy portrays the king of degenerates, abusive, alcoholic, drug using, manipulative and a real dick to everyone he works with. And the guy just wants a promotion to Detective Inspector.  Now that sounds like fun, and watching the trailers will confirm that it looks like fun. Filth is directed by Irvine Welch, creator of Trainspotting. McAvoy appears to very much in the same vain of Ewan McGregor’s character, Renton, from Trainspotting. He’s not someone you’d ever want to associate with but you still feel for him in the end.  Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 78% fresh rating so that helps out too. If you like dark British (Scottish) comedies like Trainspotting, Snatch, and In Bruges, I’m sure Filth will not disappoint. – Scott

 

Monthly Movie Preview: April 2014

April will bring us quite the variety. A few blockbusters – one named Captain America: The Winter Soldier – as well as some sci-fi/horror and chick flicks. There’s something for everybody this month.

April Movie Preview

April 4 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Stan freakin Lee

This is the second story for Captain America and the third story since Avengers. Cap is working for S.H.I.E.L.D. as an official agent and we finally get to see Steve Rogers in modern times by himself. The big question I have going into the film is who is in the casket they keep showing? As far as I’ve seen they haven’t explicitly said in the previews who the Winter Soldier actually is; although, IMDb does list Bucky and Winter Soldier being played by the same actor. It should be no surprise who the Winter Soldier is by this point, but considering the Mandarin and Extremis B.S. that was Iron Man 3, I wouldn’t be surprised if they made it someone else. This film will be directed to comic book fans as well as people who have begun to follow the films since Marvel decided to unify its movie universe. I’m sure that this will shape up to be a great film and I am not only excited to see the Winter Soldier in action, I am pretty excited to see the film adaptation of Falcon. – Robert

April 4 – Afflicted

Starring: Derek LeeClif Prowse

This film is about two friends who travel the world. After one of them hooks up with a mysterious girl, he begins getting these weird powers. Eventually, things take a turn for the worse and it becomes this really creepy – you guessed it – affliction. Just by the way it’s filmed, it feels so much like Chronicles, but without the lame adolescent meltdown aspect. The disease/affliction thing is kinda interesting, but there’s something about Affliction that just feels like it’s been done before. Luckily, the chemistry between Lee and Prowse is believable and the effects are neat. Chances are, if you enjoyed Chronicle, you’ll like this movie, too. However, if you’re not seeing Captain America on this weekend, you’re not doing it right. – Sheirf

April 4 – In the Blood

Starring: Gina Carano, Cam Gigandet, Danny Trejo, Luis Guzmán

The woman passed up to play Wonder Women (still bitter), Gina Carona, is thankfully headlining In the Blood – coming out this week. It’s a nice turn on dark-mysterious-man with dark past who must save his romantic interest. I’m a big fan of turning cliché upside down and this movie looks like it will deliver. Ava, played by Gina Carona, is on vacation with her husband. He gets abducted and it’s up to Ava to save him. Ava and her badass MMA skills tracks down her husband’s attackers while uncovering a conspiracy in the middle of seeming paradise. It has a very Far Cry-like vibe going on. In general, these kinds of movies aren’t my cup of tea, but watching the preview was entertaining enough. I can appreciate and enjoy a woman kicking some major ass and I have this guilty pleasure for MMA fighting. It looks like it has the potential to be a solid movie and spark others to make movie that mess with conventional plot templates. – Jené

April 11 – Under the Skin

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, some other people I don’t care about

I can’t think of an easier way to sell tickets to a movie than to put a half-naked picture of Scarlett Johansson on the poster. This sci-fi tale is about an alien in human skin who travels the country of Scotland, seeking for men to prey upon. By prey upon, I mean make sweet, sweet love to them before filling their body with some weird black embalming fluid, harvesting them for who knows what. I’m not sure how that’s a bad thing, but I sure am determined to find out. It’s based off a Michael Faber novel of the same name – and from what I’ve read about the book, things get even weirder later. To make the premise even creepier, it turns out a lot of the conversations in the movie were unscripted talks ScarJo had with random non-actors who didn’t know who she is. It sounds wildly inane, but did I mention a half-naked Scarlett Johansson? – Sherif

April 11 – Oculus

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Karen Gillan, Garrett Ryan, Annalise Basso, Katee Sackhoff

A new and interesting horror film staring two female nerd heroes with Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) and Karen Gillan (Doctor Who). This film is about a brother and sister who are haunted by an entity in an antique mirror. They believe this entity caused their father to kill their mother which made the son shoot the father. It is based off of a short film the director and co-writer made back in 2006. Quite possibly the most interesting thing about this film is that it is made by WWE Studios. Normally the films this studio makes are along the lines of the upcoming films Jingle All the Way 2 with Larry the Cable Guy (gross…), and the reboot of the Leprechaun film series with the wrestler Hornswaggle (what is Leprechaun without Warwick Davis?). So, it was surprising to me to be interested in this project knowing that. This film is obviously aimed towards adult fans of horror films. I hope more people will see it as it is very much an original idea and not a cookie-cutter gorefest like so many horror films these days. – Jacob

April 11 – Rio 2

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg (Blu), Anne Hathaway (Jewel), Leslie Mann (Linda), Jemaine Clement (Nigel), Jamie Foxx (Nico), Tracy Morgan (Luiz), and will.i.am (Pedro)

Rio 2 is the sequel to the successful film Rio. This time the film takes the macaws Blu and Jewel to the amazon to try and find other parrots of their species as they thought they were the last two on earth. This journey leads them to meet Jewels father and some of her childhood friends. Along the way they run into the villain from the first film, Nigel the Cockatoo, whom tries to enact revenge upon Blu and Jewel by finding new lackeys in a dart frog, Gabi, and an anteater, Charlie. The great original cast is back with . The great original cast is here, and this time, a couple other great voices are added with Kristen Chenowith (Gabi), Wanda Sykes (Chloe), and Jane Lynch (Alice). This is the only film other than Ice Age from Blue Sky Studios that has warranted a sequel, so it is guaranteed to be a great film for the kids and family, as well as any fan of animation and beautiful scenery. – Jacob

April 18 – Small Time

Starring: Dean Norris, Christopher Meloni, Devon Bostick, Bridget Moynahan

This movie was described as a “Drama” on IMDb, but judging by the preview, it looks like it will be hilarious. With Christopher Meloni and Dean Norris in the lead, it certainly has a solid leading cast. It seems like it will be a limited release or something because I didn’t see very much in the way of information about this movie other than a cast list and a short, but sufficient, preview. The movie is about a boy deciding to skip college in order to become a used car salesman. This might sound pretty cliché, but I am sure that it will include some solid life lessons, as well as plenty of used car salesman hijinks that ensue. Since this doesn’t seem like a very big release, it doesn’t seem like it is meant for the big theaters but who knows. I think anyone who can appreciate the humor of Hank from Breaking Bad will appreciate the humor here. I am genuinely interested to check this out after watching the preview. – Robert

April 25 – Brick Mansions

Starring: David Belle, Paul Walker, RZA

I didn’t even have to make it half way through the preview before I realized that this was a remake of a French film called Banlieue 13 or District B-13. This film stars David Belle, who is the creator of Parkour. It also is supposed to be one of the last films that Paul Walker is starring in. It’s a shame because the actor he is replacing from the original is a much better actor and is a great martial artist, as well. I will probably go see this but I can’t honestly see this being better than the original. I would recommend everyone to rent the original as it isn’t hard to find and while you are at it, pick up the sequel called District B-13 Ultimatum. This is directed towards people who like action as well as crazy stunts. This film is sure to be full of both with David Belle at the lead. The only possible saving grace I can see for this film is that it was written by Luc Besson who did The Professional, so there is that. – Robert

April 25 – Transcendence

Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara

This film is something I have thought about many times and had many discussion with friends about. It is about a terminally ill scientist who uploads his thoughts and mind into a computer to live after death, which ultimately gives him too much power and he becomes an unstoppable force. The idea is both terrifying and yet could be an answer of how to live forever, which may seem cool to others. The film stars Johnny Depp as the scientist going through the procedure. The supporting cast includes many great actors as well including Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, and Paul Bettany. The film looks very interesting and yet to me it also is an idea that has haunted my dreams for years. I feel this film is targeted to the teen to adult range and even the future generation who are kids now as it shows us the true problems of having technology not just being a huge part of our lives, but it becoming our lives itself. – Jacob

April 25 – The Other Woman

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kate Upton, Nicki Minaj,

Oh goodie another female comedy surrounding how their man’s gone and done them wrong. Where have I seen this before, oh right, The Frist Wives Club. And judging by this movie trailer, I’m going to go ahead and say it – First Wives Club did it better. In this movie, three women find out they are dating/married to the same man. They meet, become friends, and then exact their revenge. I’m not going to hold my breath for this movie. They story isn’t new and has been rehashed ad nauseum and marketed as comedy. Lets get hammered, puke, talk about dicks. Oh and man boob, because turning into a woman is so funny… haha I’m becoming emotional because being a woman is such a joke. Eye roll. I wonder if it even passes the Bechdel test. Sure, it’s a cast of women, but do any of them have a conversation not pertaining to their romantic entanglements? In all, the  trailer doesn’t do it for me and I’m not going to waste my money. Maybe when it’s out on prime time I’ll watch it when I have nothing better to do with my life.  This movie screams C movie Netflix gold. – Jené

Written by Jacob Robinson, Jené Conrad, Robert Michael and Sherif Elkhatib

Monthly Movie Preview: March 2014

March is here and with it comes a few of the year’s most anticipated action films. There’s a little something for everybody: big money blockbusters, children’s flicks, intriguing independents and guilty pleasure films.

March Movie Preview Photo Stitch

March 7 – 300: Rise of an Empire

Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson

Now that all those crappy Valentine’s Day movies are out of the way, it’s time for the manliest of manly movies. A prequel? A sequel? The answer is C, all of the above. Following the tale of the man-God named Xerxes from his “transformation” to the defeat of the Spartans and quest for domination against Greece. Meanwhile, Themistokles gathers the entire Grecian fleet to take down the Persians. Like 300 before it, Rise of an Empire will be directed by Zack Synder and based off of Frank Miller’s writing. Oddly enough, this film is based off Xerxes, which hasn’t even been published yet. I’m not sure how the story will play out, but all I really expect is big budget action and effects – anything more than that is just syrup on the pancake. – S

March 7 – Grand Piano

Starring: Elijah Wood, John Cusack

Stage fright? No worries, because Grand Piano has the solution. In this independent film, which debuted last September, a famous pianist (Wood) returns to the stage after infamously choking at his last performance. This time, though, the pianist has the added motivation in the form of a sniper, who threatens to shoot him if his fingers mess up a single note. It’s a bit of a crazy idea, but I think that’s what will really make this work. Everything seems dramatized in the trailer, insinuating that this will be a real thriller – not the cheap horror angle that is so easy to play off. I’m interested to see where this goes, but I’m not vested enough to see this in theaters – S

March 7 – Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Starring: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, Allison Janney

Grab onto your butts and get ready to go on an adventure with everybody’s favorite dog genius. Originally a short in the Rocky & Bullwinkle show called “Peabody’s Improbable History” in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Mr. Peabody has been renewed in epic proportions. The original segment was purely educational, so it will be bittersweet to have the movie become such a spectacle. There are a lot of laughs in the trailer alone, but I really enjoyed learning about historical times and figures, and it feels like Dreamworks is cheapening the experience a little. Visiting Egypt, Italy and Greece will be fun for the whole family, I’m sure, so If nothing else, I look forward to the witty banter of Peabody and Sherman – just like old times. – S

March 14 – Need for Speed

Starring: Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi

It’s a funny cycle, this racing genre thing. When I was in high school, the Need for Speed games were really taking off – and it seems as though the Fast and the Furious films only only amplified it’s success. Heck, the downhill drifting scenes in Toyko Drift looked like they came straight out of Need for Speed: Carbon. Ten years later and the Fast and the Furious has solidified itself as a stable movie franchise, while Need for Speed‘s popularity has dwindled considerably, even after the addition of a story mode. Now Need for Speed has entered the realm of movies. There’s really only one selling point for me here, and its name is Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad). It might be too early to suggest replacing the late Paul Walker with Aaron Paul, but I’m seeing no reason for another street racing genre movie. – S

March 14 – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman

Wes Anderson is a movie making genius.  So thank goodness that his latest project is coming out this month – The Grand Budapest Hotel.  The story follows Misuser Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), the illustrious concierge of The Grand Budapest Hotel, and his various and most interesting adventures with his disciple lobby boy.  While the main plot appears to revolve around the theft of a famous painting, the real allure are all the minute – and more often than not – hilarious details that can only be seen in a Wes Anderson movie.  GBH (yes, I’m giving it an acronym cause it’ll be that cool) promises to be one of Anderson’s best.  You can tell by the star studded lineup: Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, and it wouldn’t be a Wes Anderson without Bill Fu**ing Murray.  Not bad for an independent filmmaker.  Anderson’s approach and style to filming is so creatively unique, it’s practically hypnotic.  I’d dare to say that nobody out there makes a better “feel-good” movie than this guy.  If you’ve never heard of Wes Anderson or seen one of his movies, Hush Comics highly recommends you find your nearest Indie-Cinema and add The Grand Budapest Hotel to your must see list for March. – T

March 14 – Veronica Mars

Starring: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter

I won’t lie,  I have never seen Veronica Mars the TV show.  Why would a girl my age not have seen it?  Well, it came out around the time Buffy was ending and I was bitter that any other pretty blonde chick was trying to be a badass.  Ten years later, I realize my mistake.  Not only do I wanna veg on my couch and watch every ep of the show, I really want to see this movie.  The trailer makes it obvious that in order to totally enjoy it, you would have had to have watched the television show.  What is Veronica Mars you may be asking?  Well its about a woman who is really good at investigating crimes in her hometown.  The movie shows her ten years later as a successful lawyer who gets dragged back into the PI biz.  Plus, who doesn’t love Kristen Bell? – A

March 14 – Ernest & Celestine

Starring: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, Jeffrey Wright

Now if this isn’t the most adorable movie since Wall-e, I’m not sure what is. Ernest and Celestine follows the unlikely friendship formed between a bear and a mouse, both of whom are outcasted for their bond. E & C was originally a 2012 Belgian film that is being released as an American film; this version has some top-notch actors voicing it. I’m also in love with the animation style. I’m usually crazy about any earnest story about two unlikely friends that come together despite outside circumstances, and I will continue to be inspired until it becomes a non-issue in our world culture.  – S

March 21 – Muppets Most Wanted

Starring: Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Ray Liotta, Kermit the Frog

Kermie!!!!!  The Muppets franchise is always a must see for the whole family.  In Muppets Most Wanted, Kermit is framed by Constatine, his evil twin.  And Kermit’s friends must save him.  What more do you need to know? A simple plot, but the laughs are sure to be constant.  Not to mention that Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais are in it, so it is sure to be silly and amazing.  – A

March 21 – Divergent

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort

Divergent is yet another book-to-movie adaptation.  And in the time of dystopias and apocalypses, it just seems like we have all seen this before.  Yet, there is something about the premise that makes me want to read the book (nope, I haven’t read it, yet) in time for the movie.  Honestly, I don’t think the movie looks that great, but the concept of people being broken up into factions is a fascinating metaphor for government control.  Kate Winslet may be the only actor who is worth going to the theater for.  But I will probably wait for the DVD. – A

March 28 – Bad Words

Starring: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand

Is it bad the movie I want to see the most this March is about a 40 year old who joins a kids spelling bee, uses the worst kinds of cuss words and really self-centered?  Well, I don’t think so.  Mostly because Jason Bateman has usually played the guy with a head on his shoulders, ya know, like Michael Bluth.  But in Bad Words, he is anything but, and I kinda like it.  Bateman (who also directed and produced this film) plays Guy Trilby who is a high school dropout.  He befriends a boy named Sriram at the spelling bee and learn about life from each other (or at least that’s my guess).  It looks downright hilarious, but check for it in your local indie theater, it won’t be mainstream. – A

March 28 – Noah

Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson

Since The Passion of the Christ, Hollywood has been trying to make epic Bible flicks.  Without going into religion, I don’t really like those types of movies.  But Noah?  It looks pretty darn good.  Maybe its because the director of The Black Swan also is directing this.  Maybe its because the actors are some of the best ever.  Maybe its because the music makes it sound frickin’ epic.  Or maybe, for me, its because my love of A Beautiful Mind proves that Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly should be 2gether 4ever, and were even in Biblical times.  Oh, and voices talked to Crowe even then.  Plus, isn’t Anthony Hopkins a modern day Methuselah?  All jokes aside, I am looking forward to Noah.  It seems less to be promoting religion and more so telling a story that is recognized around the world. – A

March 28 – Sabotage

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard, Josh Holloway

Raise your hand if you think Arnold Schwarzenegger should just call it quits already and step away from the camera?  If you were to ask me that a few months ago, my hand would have been up high and waving.  Ask me that now, and you’ll find me sitting on my hands.  Actually, you’ll probably find my hands frantically working my smart phone to find a preview of Sabotage to lay aid to my newfound change of heart.  While I agree with the notion that Arny needs to stay as far away from the Terminator franchise as California is long, I think The Governator is catching his second wind.  He’s not the young action hero he used to be, but roles like the one he has been cast in for Sabotage are perfect for him today.  The film follows a highly trained and effective DEA task force lead by John ‘Breacher’ Wharton (Schwarzenegger) that ends up on the wrong side of a cartel affair.  Wharton and his fellow operatives along with their families are threatened by the drug lords and it’s up to Wharton to GET EVERYBODY TO DA CHOPPA… err… I mean save the day.  Whereas Arnold’s most recent films have been overwhelmingly-cliché action flicks, Sabotage has a real gritty and realistic vibe.  Though I’m sure the action will come in full force, I’m more anxious to see how well Arnold can carry a more serious role.  I’ve got fairly high expectations for what I’m going to coin as the film where “Arnold Got His Groove Back.”  – T

Written by Adrian PuryearSherif Elkhatib and Taylor Lowe

Monthly Movie Preview: January 2014

January Movies 2014

Welcome to the New Year!  2014 kicks off with a menagerie more Oscar hopefuls and contenders along with a few sure flops, the kid movie and the annual Mark E Mark, er Wahlberg movie we all know we are gonna watch.  Here are our January 2014 previews!:

January 10 – August: Osage County

Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch

August: Osage County is based on the Tony Award winning play of the same name by Tracy Letts.  Now a film adaptation and sure to be a strong contender for several acting categories, the story follows the Weston family after the suicide of their father.  Filled with all sorts of sins including but not limited to, drug use, incest, infidelity and molestation August may be a tough watch, especially since it is touted as a dark comedy.  It is hard to believe that the combination of those things can be funny.  It does have a stellar cast, and I for one am excited to see Julia Roberts back in the type of role that suits her best. -A

January 10 – Her

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde

Written by Spike Jonze, Her follows Theodore, played by Joaquin Phoenix, a man in the midst of divorce and falling in love with an operating system named Samantha.  A seemingly odd plot, Her will more than likely be a little eye-opening about how we all feel about love.  Joaquin Phoenix is said to give a sensational performance and the film as a whole has already received numerous accolades.  I expect this is a film that will define my generations take on love. -A

January 10 – Lone Survivor

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana

Lone Survivor is a film about four Navy SEALs sent on a mission to take out a Taliban leader in Afghanistan.  When the mission becomes compromised, the four SEALs mission becomes one of survival as they try to escape across the hills of Afghanistan.  The most compelling reason to see this film is that the story is based on true events.  The story was originally told via book authored by Marcus Luttrell – the actual “Lone Survivor” of the SEAL team sent to Afghanistan.  Luttrell was also very involved in the filming process to ensure event accuracy and keep film makers focused the important details.  This film stars Mark Wahlberg as Luttrell and is directed by Peter Berg (Hancock, Battleship).  Wahlberg plays the military role so well (can I get a hey-hey for Shooter?!) and it’ll be good to see him playing the role of true American hero.  Expect this film to be action packed, suspenseful and heart wrenching, but also well worth the trip to the theater. – T

January 17 – Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Peter Andersson, Kevin Costner

Chris Pine as Jack Ryan?  Why not!?  He is the most popular current action-hero.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit continues the Jack Ryan film series and is based off the character created by late author Tom Clancy.  Shadow Recruit is a little different than the other movies because it is an original screenplay rather than based off a book by Clancy.  Jack Ryan finds clues that a terrorist attack is going to happen and he must stop it.  Meanwhile, his lover finds out his true identity as a CIA junior analyst.  It’s pretty cut and dry, but who doesn’t love an action-thriller?  I’m looking forward to the newest installment in the series. -A

January 17 – The Nut Job

Starring: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Liam Neeson, and Katherine Heigl

This month’s kid flick The Nut Job seems to be aimed toward older kids and adults alike.  Aside from the obvious sexual jokes that can be made out of the title alone, the story is about squirrel named Surly who decides to pull off a heist on a nut store after being forced out of the park and into the city.  The previews look pretty funny and the animation will be a draw for younger kids.  And for the fans out there, lets hope that Will Arnett will show us all a little Gob from Arrested Development in this grand heist. -A

January 17 – Ride Along

Starring: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter

If you haven’t been wedged in a box screaming, “my stomach in my ass,” then you don’t know love. Tim Story, who has directed other films such as the Fantastic 4 films, Think Like a Man, and Barbershop, is out to make sure your stomach is in your ass by the end of this movie. Ben (Kevin Hart) is out to prove to James (Ice Cube), a no-nonsense cop, that he is the right man to marry James’ sister. He does this by agreeing to go on a ride along in the mean streets of Los Angeles. Needless to say, things may or may not get a little out of hands…okay, they definitely will get out of hands; bullets will fly, explosions will erupt and I plan on laughing the whole time. In recent years, Kevin Hart has been everywhere in world of comedy, which should balance well against Ice Cube’s seriousness. So if you want to see Kevin Hart argue and fight with kids and see Ice Cube smash people’s faces in, then this is one you will definitely want to check out in the new year. – E

January 17 – Reasonable Doubt

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Dominic Cooper

I know you all are just like me – ever since Snakes on a Plane, you haven’t been able to get enough Samuel L. Jackson in your life.  Worry not, faithful fans, Jackson returns in the new year alongside Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark from Captain America) in Reasonable Doubt.  Mitch Brockden (Cooper), District Attorney, finds himself between a rock and a hard place when he runs over a man taking a late night city stroll, killing him.  Mitch flees the scene of the crime, seemingly with no witnesses.  The plot thickens when Mitch becomes the assigned DA for Clinton Davis (Jackson), the man accused (wrongly so, but only know by Mitch) of committing the fatal hit-and-run.  Dun-dun-dunnnn!!  Previews indicate that the story may be even more twisted as Davis begins to reveal he may know more about Cooper and the man he ran over than an innocent man should.  The film is directed by newbie shot-caller Peter P. Croudins.  It’ll be interesting to see if Croudins can carry a complex plot on his first go-around.  With Sam-Jack and Cooper in the spotlight, this one should be entertaining at the least. – T

January 21 – Knights of Badassdom

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Summer Glau, Daniel Pudi, Steve Zahn

Can we just take a moment and applaud whoever had enough clout to cast all of these BAMFs in one movie? Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones), River Tam (Firefly) and Abed (Community) are going to be sharing the screen in just a few weeks. This movie hasn’t been heavily promoted – nor should it be. In what has become the niche genre of Horror-Comedy, with movies like Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil and This is the EndKnights of Badassdom looks to be by fanboys for fanboys (and fangirls!). Don’t believe me? Check out director Joe Lynch’s short film inspired by Eddie Brock (Venom) called “Life in Journalism.” Badassdom centers around a group of LARP-ers (Live Action Role-Play) friends who accidentally summon a succubus (female sex demon). If I haven’t sold you yet, I probably am not going to at all. Seeing Daniel Pudi on the big screen is exciting to me, and this will be a must-watch for any self-proclaimed geek. – S

January 24 – I, Frankenstein

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy

Set in present day, Adam Frankenstein (Aaron Eckhart), still sees himself as the monster that was created 200 years ago, but in fact he may be the key to ending a war between two eternal clans within an ancient city. The movie is based on the graphic novel, with the hopes to be an action packed, dark tale of good versus evil, as well as redemption. However I am skeptical of it all. Yes, there are indeed some things about this movie that could be really cool; gargoyle transformations, weapons and fighting, fire and explosions, but I’m not so sure that stuff alone can carry the story Stuart Beattie is trying to convey to the audience. I do have faith because Beattie has brought this world the Pirates of the Caribbean films as well as G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Either way, the legend lives, and his name is Adam. Personally I just think it’s weird that this monster of a man that people fear is named Adam. He ought to just stick with Frankenstein – E

January 24 – Gimme Shelter

Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Rosario Dawson, Brendan Fraser, James Earl Jones

Another January movie with great acting, Gimme Shelter (not like the song by the Rolling Stones) is about a young girl named Apple (Vanessa Hudgens) who is sick of the street life her junkie mother has provided her. She leaves to find her father, who quickly kicks her out due to her pregnancy.  She then is taken into a shelter for expectant teen mothers.  Hudgens is definitely shedding her Disney image in this independent film.  But really, she is the only selling point for me other than the Lana del Rey music in the ad.  It seems like a more privileged Precious and in an era still recovering from 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, it may be refreshing to see teen girls be normal again. -A

January 31 – That Awkward Moment

Starring: Zac Efron, Michael B Jordan, Miles Teller

What do you call a chick-flick made for men?  A manly-chick-flick?  Maybe a chickman-flick?…  Well whatever you call it, That Awkward Moment is sure to exemplify it.  Total mega-hotties Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Mile Teller play three best friends in the prime of their sexy-young adult lives.  Each of them will explore love and relationships in their own way all the while adapting to the ever changing dynamics of their own friendships.  The lovely female roles are played by Imogen Poots, Addison Timlin and a lot of other hot Hollywood ladies – check the IMDB list and proceed to drool, gentlemen.  That Awkward Moment looks like it’ll be a lot of fun to watch.  I certainly appreciate these types of films where romance and love are put in a more relatable context.  Something that you can watch and think, “I know what that’s like!” or, “that’s definitely happened to me.”  None of that Notebook nonsense.  Now if only I could figure out how Zac Efron got his hair to do that… – T

Written by Adrian PuryearTaylor Lowe, Evan Lowe and Sherif Elkhatib

American Hustle Review

Genre – Based (loosely) off a true story, Dram-edy
Director – David O. Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook)
Cast – Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner. Appearances by Louis C.K. & Robert De Niro
Alluring element – Fat Bruce Wayne having sex with Lois Lane, All 70’s music, clothes and lingo, Jeremy Renner wearing Bruno Mars’ hair
Check it out if you liked – The 70’s, dry humor and plot twists, 
Plot – 9
Acting – 9
Representation of Genre – 9
Cinematography – 8
Effects/Environment – 9
Captivity – 9
Logical consistency – 8
Originality/Creativity –  9
Soundtrack/Music – 10
Overall awesomeness – 8

hush_rating_88

When I first saw the trailer for American Hustle, I was immediately sold on Amy Adams’ boobs stage presence. I didn’t care what the story was about, I didn’t care how well it was filmed; all i saw was Jennifer Lawrence in a skin-tight outfit and Amy Adams with enough tasteful side-boob to make Zac Efron bashful. What we got instead, though, is a playful, almost Oceans-esque drama about con artists and the love trapezoid that they are caught in. The film is set in the late 1970’s and centered around Abscam, an FBI operation that was initially set up to catch trafficking stolen goods.

The operation ended up leading the FBI to catching many politicians taking dirty money for a variety of reasons, and really opening up America’s eyes to the corruption amongst civil servants (which I’m sure is long and gone today). As far as the movie goes, that’s pretty much the extent in which it follows real life. The names have been changed and the story of our actual main characters are completely fabricated. Which is not a bad thing. By taking a real event and spinning a ludicrous and entertaining situation out of it, there’s less scrutiny to be placed on the accuracy. It’s more about using imagination to create a situation than telling the story of the past.

The acting in American Hustle is top-notch – a comic book nerd ensemble that we can really be proud of. Consisting of Batman (Bale), Lois Lane (Adams), Mystique (Lawrence), Rocket Raccoon (Cooper) and Hawkeye (Renner), I was thrilled the whole way through. As hard as it for me to see Christian Bale as anything but The Dark Knight, his oddly charismatic, comb-over sporting con man, Irving Rosenfeld, is played very well. So well that Bale gained over forty pounds and gave himself two herniated discs trying to achieve a slouched posture. Oh, and talk about a role being tailor-made for an actor, (probably because it was) Jennifer Lawrence is bat-shit crazy as Bale’s wife, Rosalyn Rosenfeld. It’s the perfect blend of over-the-top Real Housewives of New Jersey-style insane that leaves you wondering if it’s just too obscene to be real. I was left hating her character, but in a good way. Really though, it was Amy Adams’ portrayal of Sydney Prosser, or Lady Edith Greensly, that stole the show. Her emotional struggle to find her identity and the way she can seamlessly shift between pseudonyms fooled even me, at times, and I knew it was a scam.

Aside from the main characters, there are also a couple of guest appearances that deserve mention. Robert De Niro plays a big-time crime boss with his hand in the pot trying to fund a casino in Atlantic City and Louis C.K. plays Bradley Cooper’s superior in the FBI. Another nod to Atlantic City, there are a couple guest spots from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire in Shea Whigham and Jack Huston – who, might I add, looks much better with a full face. None of them have significant screen time, but add some credibility to the film and make it feel like the big-time production it really is.

ah_featured_image

In a time when every big movie out needs a gimmick, American Hustle, ironically, has none. It’s a film with romance, action, humor and plot twists – ya know, like the kind that your mom used to watch. Everything in the movie is set to the late 70’s, from the hair to the wardrobe to the colloquialisms to the lens filters and technology. There were multiple times that I forgot I was watching a 2013 movie. And at just over two hours of run-time, there was never a lull in the story. Not everything came with dramatic death-defying scenes or explosions, but it was still thoroughly compelling. The film does a great job of saying things without saying them, which is an aspect lacking sorely in movies recently. Most importantly, American Hustle isn’t afraid to make fun of itself. There is not a moment too serious that the writers couldn’t insert a joke to show how ridiculous the plot – and era – of the movie are.

science ovens

When it comes right down to it, American Hustle is a great story about how the system thought they could corner a con man, and how that con man saw right through it all. With a robust ensemble cast and a plot with enough momentum for the entire film, Hustle relies on story-telling and power-house performances to guide it – not high-tech special effects (Notes: This is the highest rated film we’ve done for 2013, and the five under it are all science-fiction). It will make you laugh and the ending is very satisfying. I highly recommend this movie.

Oh, and this happened

written by Sherif Elkhatib

Monthly Movie Preview: December 2013

december movies

Oh, December.  The month of movies vying for the Oscar, the movies that didn’t fit anywhere else in the year, and the comedy to keep us laughing until the end of the year.  Here is Hush Comic’s movie preview for December:

December 6 – Out of the Furnace

Starring: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Sam Shepard, and Zoe Saldana

With such a stellar cast, there isn’t really much else to say about this movie.  Ok, ok, I’ll talk about the plot.  Two brothers are very close.  Then, one goes missing.  The police get involved, but don’t do much.  The other brother takes matters into his own hands like Batman does.  Oh my God, the guy who takes matters into his own hands is Batman!  Crazy.  Written and directed by Scott Carpenter of Crazy Heart fame, and starring a sundry of Academy Award nominated actors, Out of the Furnace is bound to be nothing less of impressive.  – A

December 13 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Benedict Cumberbatch

Come, don’t be shy… step into the light…err, I mean… The dark movie theater, to watch the second installment of The HobbitDesolation of Smaug. Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the rag tag band of Dwarves continue their adventure to retrieve the Arkenstone from the former Dwarf kingdom and now home of the dangerous and deadly dragon, Smaug. The Hush team is pumped to see Orlando Bloom return as everyone’s favorite archer (sorry Katniss, but you’ve got nothing on Legolas), as well as several other new characters Tolkien-ites will be excited to see on the silver screen. Previews have teased the public with glimpses of the lurking flame giant and come release day hopefully we’ll get a full frontal of the monster. In my personal history, second installments have been my favorite – The Two Towers, The Empire Strikes Back, The Matrix Reloaded (hate on haters) – and Peter Jackson’s most recent go-around is set to please. It’s going to be the best movie on Middle Earth this year – don’t miss it! – T

December 18 – American Hustle

Starring: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremey Renner, and Robert DeNiro

Hunger Games: Catching Fire was great – don’t get me wrong. But do you know what it was missing? Jennifer Lawrence’s boobs. And Amy Adams’ boobs. And a fat Christian Bale. This crime drama set in the late 1970s focuses on the ABSCAM project, a sting operation to help bring down corrupt politicians. Cooper’s FBI character enlists the con talents of Bale and Adams. However, the plot thickens when the grifters start their own side-hustles. This movie boasts an all-star cast and a pretty interesting story loosely based on real events. Jennifer Lawrence’s cry face in The Hunger Games drove us crazy, but she has some real emotional range and acting prowess. I wouldn’t recommend it over the other movies out this weekend, but I definitely think it’s worth checking out. For totally non-boob reasons, too. – S

December 20 – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Starring: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Vince Vaughn, Christina Applegate, and Baxter

I’m not usually a big fan of sequels to comedies, but I think Anchorman 2 will prove me wrong.  Following the hijinks of the news crew from San Diego, this film takes us to New York City where the gang try become number one again, but this time with “GNN”.  They say and do incredibly stupid things and in general make asses of themselves, as is expected.  Steve Carell stole the show in the preview, so he probably will do the same with the movie, and I am most definitely O.K. with that.  Stay Classy, New York? – A

December 20 – Saving Mr. Banks

Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, and Jason Schwarztman

Disney’s newest film, Saving Mr. Banks, is actually about Walt Disney (Tom Hanks), who tries, and obviously succeeds, to convince P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the author of Mary Poppins, to give the rights to make a film version of her novel.   Mr. Banks refers to Travers father, and the main inspiration for the father in Mary Poppins.  With two of the best actors to live starring, the heart-warming plot and the light humor, Saving Mr. Banks is sure to be one of the best holiday time movies to come out and will be one I definitely see this year. – A

December 25 – 47 Ronin

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kô Shibasaki, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Keanu Reeves is back this holiday season in the awesome new samurai flick, 47 Ronin. The story follows Reeves as Kai and his 46 fellow samurai sword slingers as they work to avenge the death of their master who was taken down by a military shogun (fun fact – Ronin translates to “leaderless samurai” in Japan). This story has been told and retold for quite some time now – dating back as far as the 18 century as a playwright and a most recent rendition of a 1941 film. I’m excited to see Reeves back on the big screen – his first since The Day the Earth Stood Still remake. While that experience left the average sci-fi buff wanting more, I have much higher expectations for 47 Ronin. Released film footages tout glorious landscapes, vibrant characters, badass creatures of lore and – of course – plenty of sword fights. 47 Ronin promises to deliver flashy, action-packed samurai goodness into my Christmas week and I recommended you get it in yours as well. And don’t forget fans – this story is based on true events. So when you see Rinko Kikuchi transform into a flame spitting dragon, remember that it actually happened. – T

December 25 – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn

Based off the original story published in The New Yorker in 1939 (the same year Batman first appeared in Detective Comics…. totally unrelated, but I had to…), The Secret Life of Water Mitty is my pick for best dramatic film of the year. It was actually made into a comedy movie in 1947 and starred Danny Kaye, but this is one case where I can fully endorse the remake. Starring and directed by Ben Stiller (who is in desperate need of a comeback), Mitty has been in production for nearly a decade, with names such as Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp and Sacha Baron Cohen attached to it. Judging from the trailer, Stiller was a great choice. The story follows a Life magazine reporter on a journey to find a missing photo, but is really about the journey to get out and experience life. Taking on a much more inspirational mood than the original, this film is sure to make you quit your job! – S

December 25 – The Wolf of Wall Street

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau

“You can dis me all you want on a blog, or write whatever you want in this magazine and I’ll just be like, ‘Whatever, man. Scorsese thinks I’m awesome,” – Jonah Hill. Telling the story of Jordan Belford, a New York stockbroker who was BALLIN out of control. Literally, he was out of control. There was FBI fraud investigations and the mob got involved. It may seem outlandish, but it’s just the type of character that Leo knocks out of the park. Jay Gatsby, J. Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes, Calvin Candie – all very powerful men who see everything go up in flames around them (alright, Candie was a joke). The film was pushed back to Christmas Day so that Scorsese could kill some babies to decrease the run time 30 minutes and to try to get it from an NC-17 rating down to an R rating. Should be a great showing, and do a lot to remind you of how broke and crappy you are at life. Because no matter what you got for Christmas, you didn’t get to throw midgets at a Velcro board at the office. – S

Written by Adrian PuryearSherif Elkhatib and Taylor Lowe

Monthly Movie Preview: November 2013

The blockbusters are coming! The blockbusters are coming! November stars off with a bang and keeps getting better. With some big movies on the horizon, it’s hard not to get excited about the action movies, the book-to-movie adaptations and family films coming your way this upcoming month.

November 1 – Ender’s Game

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis

Based off the 1985 book of the same name, Ender’s Game is centered around a young boy who is enlisted into some weird child army to single-handedly eliminate an alien threat and save the world. This child prodigy, played by Asa Butterfield (Hugo‘s title actor), is a very advanced strategist and thinker for his age, which leads him to be outcasted a lot. The book focused on a lot of battle strategy and the “games” he plays to train himself – many of which I think kids would love to play. I’m thoroughly excited to see this movie and think it will translate into a beautiful District 9/Harry Potter sci-fi mash-up.

November 1 – Free Birds

Starring: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, Dwight Howard (for reals!)

Okay, so nobody roots for a turkey to win, but that may change after Free Birds comes out. Awkwardly just a few weeks before millions of pounds of turkey are devoured by Americans, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson will lead an animated revolution to go back in time and “take turkeys off the menu.” TOO SOON. The trailer shows lots of good family fun, and enough jokes for adults to enjoy it as well. It looks worth checking out, but with all the other juggernaut films coming out the next few days, it might have served well to come out a little closer to Thanksgiving. Here’s to hoping their plan works!

November 1 – Last Vegas

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, 50 Cent

Imagine Hangover forty years later. Seriously, that’s about it; it’s a little shallow, but with the star-power that comes with this movie, there should be enough momentum to carry it. Aimed towards a different demographic, expect a lot of old people jokes. Actually, that’s really all you should expect. It’s also time that I accept that Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro are officially old. The scene with Morgan Freeman gathering the courage to jump out of his bedroom window is, and always be, hysterical. Again, with all these action epics out this month, I don’t expect this movie to do well, but will probably be worth a Netflix rental.

November 8 – The Armstrong LIe

Starring: Lance Armstrong’s missing testicle, Lance Armstrong

The Armstrong Lie begins with a humble story. Filmmaker Alex Gibney, enamored with the story of Lance Armstrong, was filming an inspiring documentary about the miracle comeback of an American cyclist. Of course, it ended up being too good to be true, as Armstrong was juicing/doping/whatever. So instead of calling it a day, Gibney gave Lance two middle fingers and decided to turn the positive documentary into one shaming him (although, I don’t know how much more shaming could be done). It’s a documentary I wish ESPN: 30 for 30 would have done, but I’m intrigued nonetheless.

November 8 – Thor: The Dark World

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba

Here comes Thor! It’s been a while since his forgettable movie debut, but the buzz from The Avengers is keeping this character in the spotlight for the time being. Chris Hemsworth does a convincing job as the Thunder God, but we will need more than just GC’ed monsters and backgrounds to make this a good film. The chemistry, as violent as it is, between Thor and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is among the best in all the comic book movies. Odin willing, there is enough substance in the story and supporting acting for this film to give Thor the props he deserves.

November 15 – The Book Thief

Starring: Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson

The Book Thief is one of the best young adult novels to come out in recent years.  It can seem a little daunting to read because it has 500+ pages, but so do most of the Harry Potter books.  The Book Thief is so stellar because it is easy to read, yet incredibly thought provoking.  Narrated by Death, we follow a little girl named Liesel who is a German girl growing up under the Hitler regime.  She and her adoptive family are harboring a young Jewish man.  Liesel works around the town and steals books for she and her Jewish friend, Max to read.  Like many wartime stories, especially of such a heavy nature, it can be expected to cry a bit.  I highly recommend seeing this film if it has any resemblance to the book.

November 15 – The Wolf of Wall Street

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau

**UPDATE: It was just confirmed Tuesday that the film would be pushed back to Christmas Day so that Scorsese could kill some babies and try to get it from an NC-17 rating down to an R rating. Sad times, but a great Christmas movie awaits us.**

November 22 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland

Catching Fire was my favorite book in the trilogy.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t as impressed with the film adaptation of the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy.  And I’m sorry to still harp on this, but why does Peeta still have BOTH LEGS?!  Ok, ok, moving on.  I loved that the previews for Catching FIre only allowed us a glimpse of the Victory Tour for Katniss and Peeta, because it purposefully left out the second half of the book.  I’ll leave it a mystery here, in case you don’t know what happens to our heroine, but I’ll say that it will be worth it to meet a character named Finnick O’Dair, a winner of a previous Hunger Game.  Eeekkk…. nerd girl moment, here I come on November 22!

November 22 – Delivery Man

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt

It’s pretty hard for me to turn down a movie with Vince Vaughn.  In Delivery Man, Vaughn plays a man who learns he is the father to several hundred children due to a mix-up at a sperm bank.  He makes it his mission to have a little part in his kids lives. The movie is a remake of a French film named Starbuck. In time for the holiday season, the comedy with a little bit of a risque theme will most likely be the feel good movie of the month.

November 27 – Frozen

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Johnathan Groff, Alan Tudyk

The previews for Disney Animated’s Frozen were so creative because they were little short films before the actual movie.  In fact, the first time I saw a preview this summer, I thought it was a short before the film.  The story is about a girl named Anna (Kristen Bell) who is on the search for her sister who has turned the kingdom into a permanent Winterland.  With the help of some wintertime friends, Anna embarks on her adventure.  The movie looks super cute and will be the perfect way to start the winter season.

November 27 – Oldboy

Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L Jackson,

A movie that is a remake of a 2003 South Korean film that is based off a 1996 Japanese manga that stars Josh Brolin. It’s also directed by Spike Lee. Brolin plays a man captured and held prisoner, then forced to watch news update that pin him as the murderer of his wife (surprise!). For twenty years, he watches the world go by from his solitary confinement. Just when he begins to grow a Merlin-scale beard, he is released into the world. From there, it looks like a lot of crazy ensues, and he has sex with hot women and kills a lot of people. The preview kinda made me sad, as I realized that Brolin could easily play a Dark Knight Returns style Bruce Wayne (no knock to Affleck). The biggest story here isn’t going to be Brolin, though, it will be to see if Spike Lee still has the juice. Lee hasn’t really directed a good movie since 2006’s Inside Man and everybody expects big things from everything he puts out.

November 27 – Homefront

Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth

Yet another book-to-movie adaptation of Chuck Logan’s book of the same name, Homefront stars Jason Statham (sidenote: thank God, because it’s been almost six months since I’ve seen Statham shoot anybody in a movie and I was beginning to go through withdrawals) as an undercover DEA agent who is harrassed because his daughter beat the crap out of a bully that happened to be the son of a meth kingpin, named Gator. Gator, played by James Franco, is not Heisenberg. He is a sloppy redneck, and I’m sure there is some elaborate speech where he tells us why his name is Gator. I can guarantee a large body count on Statham’s behalf, and creepily good acting by Franco, but it’s Winona Ryder that will steal the show…. too soon? Anyway, it will be a pretty good movie, but expect a pretty formulaic Statham movie.

November 29 – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Starring: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris,

Finally, Idris Elba gets his first solo starring role in a major motion picture – and it’s playing one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time. I’m so excited to see The Wire’s Stringer Bell play Nelson Mandela – and not the South African rugby team (Invictus), not the 

Finally, Idris Elba gets his first starring role in a major motion picture – and it’s playing one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time. I’m so excited to see Elba play Nelson Mandela. And it’s not as the head of the South African rugby team, it’s the man behind the revolution. This movie should give Elba much needed respect. Although I am bit concerned, as his trademark mustache was not casted for the part, I am glad that this is not a gimmicky portrayal to portray the freedom fighter; actually, this story is based off of Mandela’s own auto-biography. Cue K’Naan’s “Waving Flag;” it’s a wrap!

This month’s list brings us:

  • 10 based off a true story or book to movie adaptations or sequels
  • 3 “original” ideas

Join us next month, as we cover some of this year’s most anticipated films. Action, mayhem and wonder await us in December. Any other movies you are interested in that we did not cover this month? Let us know!

Written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear