Weekend Wrap-Up… June 1, 2014

The Brady Bunch lost one of its own today.  Ann B. Davis, who played Alice, their housekeeper passed away.

Days of Future Past is officially the X-Men franchises highest grossing film.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D season 1 will be yours to have and hold on September 9th.

Josh Brolin is Thanos.  Looks like there won’t be a Jonah Hex 2.

Will Smith will no longer be part of Brilliants.  

Marilyn Manson will be in the final season of Sons of Anarchy.  If the show wasn’t creepy enough…

Is six seasons and a movie still possible?  Hulu could pick up Community.

The Arsenio Hall Show was canceled.  Unfortunately, it was just on at the wrong time.

Stargate is going to be remade.  As much as remakes are so passé, Stargate was phenomenal.

If you really want to be spoiled, Buzzfeed reviewed season 2 of Orange is the New Black, out next weekend.  Again, only read if you want to be spoiled.

And even though in internet terms, this is “old” news, Reading Rainbow is making a comeback.  Yeah, if you read our site, and you should, you know that this has been mentioned before.  But it is so, so important to make sure that kids in our country can read.  It may be shocking to know that many cannot.  So instead of buying Starbucks or a foam Minecraft sword, donate to LeVar Burton instead. Do that HERE.

That about wraps it up.   See you on Wednesday for more news!

written by Adrian Puryear

We Can Do It! Mystique

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every Monday to learn about a new super lady!

Who:

Mystique

Nicknames/Aliases:

Raven Darkhölme, Foxx, Raven Wagner, and everyone she has shapeshifted into.

Skills:

Shapeshifting, Super Healing, Agelessness, speaks over fourteen languages, and can fight, like, really well.

Origin Story:

This is probably the trickiest “Origin Story” section I have had to write.  The thing about Mystique, one of the most infamous mutants in Marvel’s X-Men history, she is Mystique.  That wasn’t a typo, either.  The Oxford English Dictionary (yeah, I went there) defines “mystique” as, “A fascinating aura of mystery, awe, and power surrounding someone or something.”  So that being said, her origins are a little… mysterious.  It is unknown exactly when she was born, but we do know she is well over 100 years old.  Mystique, or Raven Darkhölme, ran around with (ok, they had a full blown lesbian relationship) fellow mutant Destiny aka Irene Adler, a precognitive from Austria.  Destiny sought out Mystique’s help around 1900 after witnessing many horrific events yet to pass and going blind in the process.  Their goal was to change the future together.  However, both women found that trying to change events was near impossible, and instead decided to achieve individual success.  Together, they formed the second Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.  It is Mystique’s Brotherhood that Kitty Pryde stops in the comic version of “Days of Future Past.”   Contrary to popular belief (which is no doubt because of all the other media versions of Mystique), she is not a disciple of Magneto.  Mystique is a super villain in and of herself.  Notably, Mystique is the mother of many pivotal characters in X-Men.  With Sabretooth, while posing as German spy Leni Zauber, she birthed a boy named Graydon Creed.  When she found out he was not a mutant, she abondoned him. He grew up to be a politician, one who ran on an anti-mutant campaign.  Before his election, Mystique killed him.  Mystique also gave birth to Nightcrawler with Azazel.  Nightcrawler is an important member of the X-Men.  After giving birth to him, Mystique and Nightcrawler were ran out of town because of his demon-like appearance.  She abandoned him, too.  Later, Mystique and Destiny found a young girl who was scared and alone in the woods.  This girl was a mutant named Rogue.  Mystique and Destiny raised her for years.  Rogue was a member of the Brotherhood before switching allegiances to Professor X.  Eventually, Mystique joined the Freedom Force and worked with the government to detain mutants.  She then became an X-Man, promising to help Charles Xavier in exchange for protection.  However, she reneged on the deal, posing as Foxx to seduce Gambit, her daughter Rogue’s boyfriend.  It all goes to prove that no matter what group Mystique is with, she will always be on her own, working on her next conniving plot.

Why is she important?:

Mystique is pretty much THE female villain in the X-Men universe and beyond.  Mystique is the reason the newest X-Men: Days of Future Past plot even happened.  While often using her powers for evil rather than good, she has always believed in her fellow mutants.  She has taken many in and showed them how to deal with their abilities, particularly her lover, Destiny, and her adopted daughter, Rogue.  Her mission to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly, a popular anti-mutant politician, proves her loyalty to those who share her likeness.  While Mystique acts on her own safety much of the time, she is still one of the fore figures fighting for the rights of all mutant-kind.

all photos belong to Marvel.

written by Adrian Puryear

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Jean Grae and Pharoahe Monch “Killin’ Em”

Song: “Killin Em”

Artist: Jean Grae and Pharoahe Monch

Album: Cookies or Comas (2011 mixtape), free download here

Lyric: “Generally-accused mutant who kills sentinels eventually/For days of future past intentionally”

Character Reference/Meaning:

We just can’t stay away from this legendary MC; who knew Pharoahe was such a nerd? This week’s “Diggin’ Through the Crates” celebrates two occasions. First, Pharoahe is performing live in Denver tonight at Cervantes. If you’re in town, do yourself a favor and go see one of the illest MCs ever to rock the crowd, fresh off his P.T.S.D. album. He’s one of the best live performers I’ve ever seen, and VERY reasonably priced considering the level of talent and interaction you get at the show.

The other reason that Pharoahe graces “DTC” for the third time (“Agent Orange” and “Rapid Eye Movement” have come before it), is because of his acute knowledge of the X-Men. With Days of Future Past released today, we saw it fitting to pick a relevant lyric, but while there were some a couple Kitty Pryde lyrics and even more Wolverine ones, Pharoahe’s verbal portrait of the totalitarian rule in the X-Men’s future takes the cake. You know what? Scratch that, it takes the whole bakery; any MC that has rapped about destroying sentinels, let along read Days of Future Past (you can check out our spoiler-free review of the graphic novel here if you’re interested) deserves some recognition.

This track from the Jean Grae (who has made her “DTC” appearance with “Jeannie Rules“) mixtape Cookies or Comas features to artists just going in about how dangerous their flows are, likening their love to their apart MCs to various horror movie characters and other serial killers. It’s a track with of pop culture references aplenty, and isn’t just limited to X-Men shout outs. I could go on forever trying to dissect all the Easter Eggs in “Killin’ Em,” but we’ll stick to the mutant issue at hand (get it?).

Days of Future Past, for those that haven’t owned a television or browsed the web in the past four months or so, is a story about the desolate future, where the X-Men’s failure to stop a political murder has ended up causing the election of a radically anti-mutant senator who implements giant mutant eradicators that (surprise!) ends up killin’ everybody in site – much like the MC Lyte-sampled loop on the track suggests. Sentinels are a vital part to the X-Men lore, and represent the cold, heartless authority designed specifically to take you out. If this sounds like a social commentary, that’s because it’s supposed to be!

Let’s start with Pharoahe’s displeasure for the boys in blue. It’s no secret that Troy Jamerson isn’t impressed with the police and the American justice system. A point that Pharoahe tries to drive home is that young black men are a target in this society. The extended video for “Clap (One Day)” off his W.A.R. album illustrates the public shaming of police officers who shoot unarmed civilians, which is more common than anybody feels comfortable talking about. It might not look like it on the news, but the sentinels from Days of Future Past isn’t too far off of life in urban neighborhoods. The evidence is stacked high and people continue to ignore the dangers, and probably will until it endangers them, as well.

When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first introduced sentinels in X-Men #14 almost fifty years ago, it was right in the heat of the Civil Rights Movement, when police were systematically trying to dismantle organized groups trying to fight for equality. Hell, the entire X-Men concept is based off the Civil Rights Movement and the right to equal treatment. Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto are often compared to the Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, respectively, of the mutant-filled world. There’s even the concept of “passing” as regular humans, something that some of the X-Men can choose to do, like light-skinned black people would do to avoid scrutiny.

Through the decades, X-Men became a sub-conscious platform for loving yourself and being comfortable with who you are, while still loving the people around you. Sure, there was Wolverine, who encapsulated all the rage and the desire to fight those who persecute, but there was the balance of Storm’s loving view towards all living things, and the logical thinking of Scott Summers (except when it came to Jean Grey; he was crazy about her). Without audiences even knowing it, the X-Men inspired the world to work as a diverse team to thwart injustice – in whatever form it may take.

Graphic Novel Review – X-Men: Days of Future Past

Collecting: X-Men #141, The Uncanny X-Men #142 (Background story Uncanny X-Men #138-143) Original Release Date: 1981 Publisher: Marvel Comics Character: Kitty Pryde, Wolverine, Rachel Summers, Senator Robert Kelly Writer: Chris Claremont (A 16-year run on The Uncanny X-Men, X-Men with Jim Lee ) Art: John Byrne (X-MenFantastic FourSuperman) SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 7
Art – 7
Captivity and Length – 7
Identity – 9
Use of Medium – 8
Depth – 9
Fluidity – 8
Intrigue/Originality – 10
The Little Things – 8
Overall awesomeness – 8

 hush_rating_81

With the evolution of comic book art and the working formula of six-issue story arcs, as well as the familiarization that fans have had with staple characters, it’s rare to see books from the Bronze Age and beyond hold up to books today in general interest or revenue. “Arcs” were rare, and when they did exist, it was typically in a collection of two or three monstrously-sized issues. As is the case with X-Men: Days of Future Past, which oddly enough is a collection of two entirely different X-books.

Written over thirty years ago, and taking place in the apocalyptic future of… last year (2013), DOFP is a love letter as much as it is ground-breaking. This is not your ordinary X-Men book, either, as the two godfathers of X-Men, Claremont and Byrne, drop bombs on readers – introducing a few long-standing characters and revealing some Maury-worthy drama along the way. For those unfamiliar with Claremont’s (and Byrne, to an extent) style, he is an extremely descriptive writer, detailing each character’s internal thought process when making moves or strategizing. This is especially helpful to new fans of the series, but can be excruciatingly repetitive for seasoned readers.

dun dun dun

You’re reading this review, which means you have definitely seen an advertisement for this weekend’s release of X-Men: Days of Future Past. As bastardized as the movie is from the source material, the premise remains the same. The Mutant Brotherhood’s attack on an anti-mutant senator leads to a string of events that culminate in the release of Sentinels, secret government bots programmed to eliminate the mutant threat. Things get out of control and, somewhere along the line, everybody dies.

everybody dies

This is where our new heroes come in. Rachel Summers, the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey (but not the regular storyline Jean Grey; she’s still dead), joins the dwindling group of mutants still left: Wolverine, Storm, Franklin Richards (son of Mr. Fantastic), Colossus and Kitty Pryde, the latter of whom is a grown woman – which she makes perfectly clear when she insists on going by “Kate.” The whole gameplan is to have Rachel switch Kate’s body with that of her counterpart in 1981 and warn everybody of the impending doom. Kitty Pryde is the most important character in the story, and the mantle of head X-Man has been passed to Storm, who is even able to order Logan around at a certain point.

are you indeed

The story feels quite long, despite taking up just around sixty pages. This can be attributed to the insane amount of panels in the book. The dialog drives a lot of the story, aside from some pretty powerful death scenes, which isn’t a bad thing outright; I love the diction and the way internal monologue turns into conversation and action, but there’s just too much reliance on witty puns and dialog to let the story flow naturally. Furthermore, the newly assembled Mutant Brotherhood is menacing in that way only Bronze Age books can be. Resembling more of the silly Scooby Doo-type villains than the bringers of death they are. That being said, the whimsical X-Men of today provide a sharp contrast to the desperate and fearful of 2013. When in the future, I found myself constantly anxious and paranoid.

brotherhood weirdos

To me, this is a story that has so much potential, and it’s been adapted in several animated shows like Ultimate Spider-Man and Wolverine and the X-Men, but most notably in the 1990’s X-Men cartoon, where the role of Kitty Pryde was played by Bishop – which admittedly makes a lot more sense. It’s been proven that alternate timelines where everybody dies are money makers and represent an easy way to liven things up without consequence. There have been several comic book call-backs to this book, from a sequel (Days of Future Present) to a prequel (Wolverine: Days of Future Past). I’m still pissed that they let Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (I’m tired of seeing this guy’s face) take the place of the Kitty Pryde’s character in the book for the movie, but the upcoming film should be a much-deserved modern adaptation of a great concept.

  All media credited to Marvel Comics Written by Sherif Elkhatib

We Can Do It! Kitty Pryde

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every Monday to learn about a new super lady!

Who:

Kitty Pryde

Nicknames/Aliases:

Shadowcat, Sprite, Ariel

Skills:

She can walk through walls!  Ok, its a bit deeper than that.. she can change her atoms to pass through the atoms of other objects.  This creates the visual of her passing through, as well as levitating in some cases.  She is also amazingly smart in computer science and piloting.  Oh, and she can kick some serious ass because of her knowledge of Karate, Aikido, and Krav Maga.

Origin Story:

Created by comic greats Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Kitty Pryde was born circa 1967 in Illinois.  When she became a teenager, she began getting really bad headaches, which turned out to be the onset of her mutant powers.  She was originally recruited by mutant Emma Frost of the Hellfire Club.  However, after being visited by Professor Charles Xavier, Kitty Pryde joined the X-Men.  Good choice!  The new mutant, with the power to travel through objects, first appeared in comics in 1980 with Uncanny X-Men #129.  She was meant to juxtapose the now adult X-Men who had been well established in their ‘verse.  Kitty came in as a 13 year old who was incredibly smart and ended up saving many of the X-Men right off the bat.  Kitty also became the love interest for Colossus, the Russian mutant who turns into steel.  In addition, Kitty becomes a close friend of Wolverine and a surrogate daughter to Storm.  It is Kitty who sends all the early 1980’s X-Men to the future in the famous arc and next week’s feature film (hence this article!) Days of Future Past. In a pivotal moment for Kitty in the book Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, she becomes possessed by the demon Ogun, former teacher to Wolverine.  Wolverine then helps Kitty beat Ogun.  After beating him, she is changed, not only because of her nifty new martial arts skills, but because she was no longer the innocent, inexperienced girl everyone had once known.  Upon her emergence from the ordeal, she became Shadowcat.  Kitty has continued on in the X-Men series and is considered to be one of the best X-Men according to many a list.

Why is she important?:

Firstly, in my opinion, Kitty Pryde is important because she has a dragon.  Yeah, she has cool powers, and can fight, and can fly a plane, and can speak like a lot of different languages, but really its because she has a dragon.  Yeah.  His name is Lockheed.  He has even risked his life for hers.  And he’s purple.  I’d say all that makes her a lot cooler than Daenerys Targaryen (sorry Game of Throne fans).  

So what else other than the dragons?  Well there is the fact that Kitty Pryde changed the entire X-Men world.  She is highly regarded as being the best “teen” mutant introduced to the X-Men.  Kitty was the person who brought a level of normalcy to the group of misfits.  Kitty was born into a ordinary family and she was a fairly ordinary girl.  Her reactions to going to Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters were apropos to how most people would react to the other mutants and the happenings of her new and strange world.  Kitty is so accessible to her readers, it is hard to deny her importance to the series.

What she means to me:

Kitty Pryde means a lot to me.  I grew up watching the X-Men Animated Series in the early 90’s.  Of course, Kitty wasn’t in that series, but because of my interest in the show, I did my research on all the X-Men, thanks to my good ole dad (thanks Daddy for answering my incessant questions when I was 5).  What struck me about Kitty Pryde at first was “Hey! She has a cool name!”  Then it went to “Why is Jubilee in this show and not Kitty?!”  When I found out how down-to-earth and smart she was, I was a fan.

What really turned me into a Shadowcat fan?  Well, if you keep up with me, and why the heck wouldn’t you, you know I like Buffy.  I love Buffy.  I exalt Buffy.  I live and breathe Buffy.  And you know who was the inspiration for Buffy?  Well reader, in case you have yet to take a wild stab in the dark, Kitty Pryde was the inspiration for Buffy Summers.  Joss, you son-of-a-gun, you.  Not surprising, Joss brought Kitty back to the X-Men after being away with Excalibur and off to university in his series Astonishing X-Men.  He then gave the fans what they wanted and brought Kitty and Colossus together again.  However, (SPOILER FOR YOU WHO HAVEN’T READ ASTONISHING X-MEN or seen BUFFY) much like Whedon did with Buffy, he ended his run on the book by having Kitty sacrifice herself for the good of Earth.  Aw shucks, Joss!  You always get me right in the feels. And a thank you to Kitty Pryde for helping little girls realize that they are smart and cool and special and for all those times you stopped catastrophic things from happening to the non-mutants like myself.

all photos belong to Marvel.

written by Adrian Puryear

So Far This Week… May 7th, 2014

Two more episodes of Arrow left this season. There’s a war afoot in Starling City and there aren’t enough expletives to iterate just how great this show has become. Even Laurel is getting her hands dirty! Check out “Streets of Fire on CW tonight.

I know a lot of people (including myself) were skeptical of the upcoming Gotham series, but when the full-length trailer for the series was released, I couldn’t help but get giddy!

The first chapter of the next saga in The Walking Dead novels, Descent, has been released for our reading pleasure. Considering the way the Governor series fizzled out and died, I’m not sold that this will reanimate the series.

Another alum from HBO’s The Wire has joined the cast for Season 5 of The Walking Dead. The lucky newcomer is Seth Gilliam, who played Sergeant Ellis Carver in The Wire AKA Literally, The Best Show Ever. It hasn’t been announced who he will play, but my guess is that Pastor Gabriel Stokes will be making his way into the series soon…

Speaking of The Walking Dead, two of our all-time favorite patriarchs are facing off in a stand-off of the ages. Rick Grimes meets Walter White in this hilarious edition of Epic Rap Battle. We’re taking Heisenberg all the way.

Yeah, Mr. White! Science! A new horrifying species of wasp with the power to reanimate cockroaches has been successfully named the Dementor Wasp after its Harry Potter counterparts.

If you haven’t seen Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet, you gotta check it out! If for some reason you don’t want to, though, here are the post-credit scenes, which are for the upcoming X-Men movie (the Fox and Sony studios aren’t collaborating; this is more of a Marc Webb contractual agreement thing).

It’s Morphin’ Time! All the build up from celebrating the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers‘ 20th anniversary has culminated into a full-blown live-action reboot. Uh… Yay?

There’s no way you’ve had too much Batman in your life, right? With Son of Batman being released today, there’s already a sneak peek at the next DC Animated film, Batman: Assault on Arkham, coming out this August.

I know there’s been tons of news circulating about Batman’s 75th anniversary, but did you know this is also Marvel Comics’ 75th year in business? In November, Marvel will be releasing an omnibus in celebration. And they want YOUR input for what goes into it.

We didn’t catch this on time Sunday, but a full trailer for Star Wars: Rebels was released on the 4th. I’m super excited for this series and can’t wait to see Kanan in action. This looks even more promising than Clone Wars – and that’s saying a lot.

Star Wars Day might be over, but Vans keeps the force in their heart with a limited Star Wars line. Be a rebel and head over to Journeys to pick yourself up a pair.

I can’t put into words how excited I am for the next gen Batman game, Arkham Knight. Kevin Conroy comes along and makes it even worse by releasing this teaser. There’s gonna be big news at E3 this year.

Ew… Jimmy Fallon’s sleepover skits on The Tonight Show has become a household favorite of ours. This time, it was The Neighbors stars, Seth Rogan and Zac Efron. Ew.

The first issue of Burn the Orphanage: Reign of Terror dropped today. The over-the-top 80’s and 90’s video-game references helped me fall in love with Born to Lose, but the news of auctioning off original art towards cancer research is the real gem.

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