New Photos Reveal a Beaten Up Iron Man from ‘Civil War’

So. Epic.  Image via Marvel Studios.
So. Epic.
Image via Marvel Studios.
Let’s face it – Captain America: Civil War is currently going down in history as one of the most spoiler-ed movie in ever. Not only will it closely follow one of the biggest Marvel Comics storylines of all times, but people are fiends about leaking any and everything they can find out about the film. Personally, I prefer to stay spoiler free… I know how dumb that sounds considering what I’m currently writing, but hey, it’s my job right?

Photos surfaced on Twitter today of a very beaten up Robert Downey Jr. posing with a food truck proprietor, indicating that at one point in the film he’ll most likely get his ass kicked. Probably by Cap, and he most likely had it coming.


If you are unfamiliar with the Civil War storyline, the whole thing is available in trade paperback. It is one of Marvel’s best and it leads into one of the most iconic deaths in comic book history. I won’t say who, just in case any of my beloved readers happen to be cave dwellers who don’t know what I’m talking about. Either way, if you want to know more, go to your local comic book store and pick up the trade (and it’s accompanying spin-offs) – you’ll thank me later.

Note: I’d like to give a big shout out to the Blaxican Food Truck who shared this picture. If you see them on the streets, give their food a try and if you’re on Twitter, go ahead and give them a follow.

All images belong to Marvel Studios.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

Genre – Superhero / Science Fiction / Marvel
Director – Joss Whedon
Cast – Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, and James Spader (with appearances by Hayley Atwell, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, and Samuel L. Jackson)
Alluring element – It’s the Avengers.
Check it out if you liked –  Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man
Plot – 8
Acting – 8
Representation of Genre – 10
Cinematography – 9
Effects/Environment – 9
Captivity – 8
Logical consistency – 8
Originality/Creativity – 8
Soundtrack/Music – 7
Overall awesomeness – 8




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Let’s go back to a time when comic book movies were just starting to break the surface of mainstream movie success. The year is 2008 and Iron Man has just broken the mold on comic book movies, starting off a chain reaction so large that Marvel Universe had to start naming them in Phases. Then The Avengers assembled. The 2012 team-up annihilated everybody’s expectations of what a comic book movie should be like, and grossed over $200 million in its opening weekend. Director Joss Whedon, who has been spectacular at putting together ensemble casts and giving each one a distinct voice of their own. Well, what happens when there are too many voices? When there aren’t even enough kids playing to collect all the Easter Eggs? In short, you end up with Age of Ultron.

Avengers: Age of Ultron had been building in anticipation, and pressure, for a couple years. Since the first Avengers, the climate has changed in the movie world. Marvel has realized what a cash cow they have in their hands, and are less willing to give Joss free rein creatively like he received. This wasn’t unexpected; it happens with pretty much anything niche that hits the mainstream. While the goal was always to remain a character-driven story, the movie became just too BIG for its own good. Pressure from the studio, and worse – from himself – have made for a tumultuous production. Even Edgar Wright, the original director of Ant-Man, left the production due to creative differences. Nevertheless, as Joss assured Vulture, “it’s baldly, nakedly” him.

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I wish that this wasn’t a relevant discussion to the movie, but I’d be lying. It shouldn’t, however, detract from the fact that Avengers: Age of Ultron was a entertaining experience, full of as much dry humor as there were explosions. Each player on the team was given a spotlight, a purpose, and the film moved around from each teammate relatively smoothly. Each action scene was sandwiched with a slower scene, usually in the form of some comic relief. The scene in the previews where the team is challenged to pick up Mjölnir is just as hilarious the 20th time I’ve seen it, and there are multiple one liners that I hope will live on just as “puny god” did from the original. Wit wasn’t in short supply, and that can happen when your villain is supposed to be a mirror image of Tony Stark. James Spader (Red from The Blacklist) does a fantastic job as the spoiled artificial intelligence, and watching him go back and forth with Robert Downey Jr. was organic – even though one of the characters was not. Not all the characters were well-represented, though.

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Black Widow was, up until Scarlet Witch joined the team, the only girl on the team. The stunt work in Avengers for her was awesome. She beat up a group of gangsters while she was strapped to a chair! This movie? Not so much. Her new tactical Tron suit was neat, and she had a few good punch lines, but it seemed like her entire purpose of being in the movie was to be the love interest of Bruce Banner. Their romance seemed trivial to the point that the movie would have been better without it entirely. Yeah, I get the necessity of the lullaby, but the whole “run away with me” thing? It just left a bad taste in my mouth. It was #notmyJoss. Also, even a Hulkbuster battle couldn’t make me forget how dirty they did Black Panther’s homeland. #NotmyWakanda.

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Scarlet Witch, on the other hand, is everything you want in a strong female character: tragic backstory, symbiotic reliance on a platonic character, and enough firepower to destroy the world (literally, in the comic books). Elizabeth Olsen totally stole the show as Scarlet Witch, and she did it without being reduced to a helpless romantic plot device. The horror-type scenes where she taints the Avengers’ minds is the most Whedon-esque part of the film.

Her brother in the movie, Pietro Maximoff, did a wonderful job, too. Aaron Taylor Johnson is coming into his own as an actor, and is virtually unrecognizable as the same kid who played Kick-Ass; in both this film and Godzilla, I leaned over and asked Adrian, “Can you believe that’s Kick-Ass?,” to which she replied, “That’s Kick-Ass?!” Even Hawkeye, who was virtually a non-factor in Avengers, found his footing in Age of Ultron.

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Look, it’s up to Marvel to look beyond the status quo, and with a project this vast, there isn’t enough space to carve up something new. The dawn of saturation could finally be upon us. The movie was good. It might even be better than the first Avengers. However, we knew the magic wasn’t going to last forever. We may have gotten just a little too much of the machine and not enough of the mind that turns the gears. To bring back the magic, Marvel Studios is only a few steps away.

First, stop releasing so. much. media… There used to be a sense of surprise and adventure to seeing a movie. Shoot, I remember when I saw Dude, Where’s My Car? as a 12 year-old based on the “Dude, Sweet” debate alone. Suffice to say that my standards have improved, but I can still do without having secret characters, fight scenes and plot twists explained to me in continuous waves for months on end. Ant-Man is a great example how a tiny bit (no pun intended) of exposure will result in a better experience for fans.

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Second, if Marvel Studios is going to explore every inch of the Marvel Universe, they need to take their time. I didn’t like the idea of turning the Infinity War into a two-parter at first, but after seeing just how much they tried to cram into Age of Ultron (which is actually two minutes shorter than its predecessor), it’s clear that a more immersive experience beats a thrilling one anytime. We got to see the Vision in this film, what, like 10 minutes? Depth is the reason Daredevil is doing so well as a Netflix series; there is time to build attachments to these characters.

Lastly, putting out original content will make everybody happy. Marvel puts out a couple dozen comic books out every week; surely they could borrow an actual storyteller (Marvel has more than a few of those) instead of retrofitting and rehashing decades of previously-established events. Guardians of the Galaxy is a good example of how film makers can actually come up with their own source material.

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It’s no coincidence that the most enjoyable parts of the movie were the unique and new aspects to it. When I sign up to see an Avengers movie, I’ve grown accustomed to the action scenes and dry wit. That no longer impresses me, though. It’s a shame, too, because Ultron has the potential to be the scariest villain they’ve faced so far. Instead, we ended up with a nuisance – one with access to nuclear codes that instead opts to elevate a flying city and drop it on the Earth like a meteor. That’s what made reviewing this movie so difficult; it’s a good movie, but it might just be too much of the same thing for fans that have been flocking to the theaters for seven years now.

All pictures belong to Disney and Marvel Studios.

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Genre – Comic Book, Sci-Fi/Action, Comedy

Director – James Gunn (Slither, Super)

Cast – Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, and so many more. 

Alluring element – Dave Bautista was one of my favorite parts and Vin Diesel almost made me cry. (Things that have never been said before.)

Plot – 9
Acting – 9
Representation of Genre – 10
Cinematography – 10
Effects/Environment – 10
Captivity – 10
Logical consistency – 9
Originality/Creativity – 9 
Soundtrack/Music – 10
Overall awesomeness – 10 
What can I say about Guardians of the Galaxy? My expectations going in to this film were very high. I hadn’t heard a single negative thing about it going into the theater on that July evening. Normally, I would be very hesitant of a film with as much hype as Guardians has, but, this is one of those wonderfully rare occasions where it not only lived up to its hype, but exceeded it. It was a Sci-Fi movie that had a bit of everything. It was action packed, extremely funny, heart-warming, and badass all at the same time. So, please, if you’re resisting the urge to see this because you think your expectations are too high, or “There’s a character that only says ‘I am Groot?'” Let go of all your preconceived notions and go buy your ticket and enjoy what may truly be MARVEL’s best film yet.
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The film opens with a bit of backstory for our main hero, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) who prefers the name Star Lord – even if no one else seems to. Here is where we learn that Quill is an Earthling who has unfortunately suffered a great loss. He runs away and is picked up by and abducted by a spaceship. We then cut to 26 years later where Quill is a member of the Ravagers, a group of alien outlaws led by Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker). He is landing on an alien planet to steal a mysterious orb about which he knows nothing except that it’s worth a lot of money. While attempting the robbery, he is ambushed by a group of soldiers but is fortunately able to make his escape. During his escape he is contacted by Yondu who is not too happy that Quill has absconded with the orb.
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Quill ends up on Xandar (home of Nova Corps) where he intends to sell the orb, but, unfortunately for him, everyone is out to get their hands on this thing, including the mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) who has lent his adopted daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and his actual daughter Nebula (Karen Gillan) to Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). Ronan sends Gamora to get the orb from Quill on Xandar. In the meantime, Yondu has put a hefty bounty on Quill’s head and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) want to collect. What follows is one of the more exceptional scenes in the film where our first four A-holes find themselves in an all out street brawl. But, as it always does, the law catches up to them and they find themselves in the worst prison in the galaxy where they meet the final member of the team, Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) who happens to have a bit of a vendetta against Gamora. Our five losers (“people who have lost things”) stage a prison break and find themselves unwillingly a team who has to keep this orb out of the hands of Ronan.
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Guardians is one of the more visually stunning films of the summer (I loved the way Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looked, as well). The opening credits scene is one of my favorites (I have a lot of those). From the very first alien planet we see, which is full of ancient ruins and strange rat…things that Quill uses as a makeshift microphone to Xander, a very Earth-like planet in a Star Trek era. Gunn really makes you feel like this is a large and heavily populated galaxy. There is very little CGI in this film’s characters, with the obvious exceptions being Rocket and Groot (and Nathan Fillions cameo). Most of your on screen aliens are make up and practical effects which I believe is wonderful (And, why I still have faith in Star Wars). There are a couple different members of the Ravagers who I particularly like. That’s not to put the CGI down however. Rocket is so real at times that I thought it was a real raccoon, not unlike certain moments in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
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The characters, and the performances of the actors are one of the best things about this film. Everyone has an adequate backstory that leaves a bit of room for mystery for future Guardians films. Cooper as Rocket was great, he was able to really make it something that was unique and not just Bradley Cooper doing voices. Diesel did an amazing job considering he only had to say 3 words, however, despite his limited vocabulary, he still nearly brought me to tears. The stand out performance for me was Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer. I’ve been a Guardians for about 3 years now and I’ve never really thought twice about Drax (except in The Thanos Imperative book) but he nearly stole the show in this. His very literal interpretation of things leads to some interesting misunderstandings. All I have to say about Pratt as Star-Lord is, perfect. My one minor complaint here would be Rooker as Yondu. He was good, don’t get me wrong, but, he was Rooker…just less of an asshole as on The Walking Dead, but, not by much. He makes up for it by having a pretty sweet weapon.
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The soundtrack for this film is one of the best parts. Quill and his mother shared a love for music and she had given him a mix tape of her favorite songs which are a mix of some of the best songs of the ’70s. From Blue Swede to The Jackson 5 to Marvin Gaye, it helps you to remember Quill’s humanity but it also allows you to tap your foot and maybe sing along…if you’re brave enough, I did and you probably should too. Plus, it was all relevant to plot points – just perfect.
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Well, if you couldn’t tell, I really enjoyed this film. What am I saying, that’s an understatement. This was my favorite MARVEL film by far. It’s also one of my favorites of the year. Please, do yourself a favor, let your skepticism go (if you have any) and see this as soon as you can. Big screen a must, 3D not necessary, but fun.
For the love of Groot! Have you bought your ticket yet?!?!?
All photos belong to Marvel Comics

Monthly Movie Preview: August 2014

July has come and gone in the blink of an eye. August promises to close out the summer in style, with a few notable blockbusters and some good independent films sprinkled in. Check out what we have to say about August’s films:

August 1 – Guardians of the Galaxy

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro

I’m hooked on a feeling… that this might be the greatest Marvel movie ever made. Although the Guardians have been around in comic books for decades, and the team being used for the film having existed since 2008, the number of people who can name any of the individual team members is far surpassed by the volume of fans who have no idea what is going on – and that will work to the film’s benefit. Nobody has any expectations of this rag-tag group, whose diversity is its strongest card. A talented set of actors, endless humor and explosive action will round out the intergalactic adventure that, at worst is a thrilling movie to see with the family, and at best could be this generation’s Star Wars. One thing is certain – we will be at the theaters on Friday to find out. – Sherif

August 1 – Get on Up

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis (True Blood), Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, Jill Scott, Octavia Spencer

HEEEYYY!!! Now one more time, say that with your best James Brown impression. Couldn’t do it? That’s okay, because Chadwick Boseman sure can when he plays James Brown in the upcoming biopic titled Get on Up. If you are a fan of James Brown, soul, funk, music, and history, this movie is for you. Be prepared to get on up and enjoy this movie directed by Tate Taylor (The Help). However, get on up silently because, well, you are still in a movie theater. I honestly believe this movie is going to be great and it’ll make you feel so many emotions including excitement, happiness, sadness, and sorrow. Despite this movie being about the music of the godfather of soul, it is also about his family and his life, which has not been struggle-free. Basically, I think this movie is going to be fantastic; however, if James Brown and his music is not your thing, it is possibly the drama and the history will be enough to hold your interest. So one more time, get on up, and give it your best HEEEYYY!!! – Evan


August 5 – Dragonball Z: Battle of the Gods

Starring: Original voice cast

I’ve been trying to get into DBZ since I recently signed up for Crunchyroll, but there are just so many other great animes out that I haven’t gotten a chance to get to really dive into the series. What really has me interested is the fact that a year after its release, Funimation has taken it upon themselves to get the American theatrical release rights and is showing this in select theaters for a few nights. Something happened with a Tekken animated movie a few years back and it was definitely worth the trip. I don’t personally care about this movie and I figure that any major fan would have already seen the dubbed version, and while I don’t really care for some of the business practices of Funimation, this gives me hope for the future. Anything that gets a big enough following could be a potential candidate for the big screen. There are plenty of animes I would pay to see so if this is your type of thing, make sure to get out there and support it as it will give companies a reason to continue doing this in the future. – Robert


August 8 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Starring: Johnny Knoxville (voice only), Tony Shalhoub (voice only), Megan Fox, William Fichtner, Will Arnett, Whoopi Goldberg

August is here, and whether or not fans burn down the House that Bay built depends on this film. Long-time fans are either reserved or outraged, whether it be the way the Turtles look, the fact that Megan Fox is playing April O’Neil, or if it’s just based off the fact that Michael Bay is the director. All of these points are quite valid, but I can’t help but want to take a chance on this new take on the Heroes in a Half-Shell. We all have our own impression on what we consider the Turtles to be, and I think that any major motion picture attention to the franchise is a win in my books. There’s simply no way this TMNT incarnation will be as amazing as the originals, or even the new Nickelodeon television series, but as long as Bay can capture the magic of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that made it such an instant classic 30 years ago, it may continue to be at the forefront of pop culture for all ages. – Sherif

August 8 – What If

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver

Originally titled The F Word for its initial 2013 debut, What If is the tale of Harry Potter trying to avoid being put in the friend-zone with a decidedly hot blonde. It sounds like a cliché concept, but What If has already garnered a lot of critical acclaim, earning Best Adapted Screenplay at the Canadian Screen Awards. Daniel Radcliffe is finally believable as an adult actor, and his best friend in the movie is played by Adam Driver – who is the one sole reason that HBO’s Girls is a watchable show for me. This movie won’t break any new ground, but for any guys looking to get over the Friend Zone hump, this would be the movie to take her to (unless she likes TMNT, in which case you should just marry her). – Sherif

August 8 – Step Up: All In

Starring: Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Adam Sevani, Stephen Boss, and Cyrus Spencer

Confession time:  I have seen every single episode of So You Think You Can Dance.  Every. Single. One.  I haven’t seen any of the Step Up movies, but I am always happy for the contestants of SYTYCD when they make it to gigs beyond the show.  For Stephen Boss aka tWitch and Cyrus Spencer aka Glitch, this is exactly the case.  And really, is anyone going to see these movies for the plot?  No, its a dance movie.  But the dancing should be worth seeing this film, even if it is just for the SYTYCD alum.  – Adrian

August 15 – Frank

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson (AKA Bill Weasley), Scoot McNairy

I have absolutely no idea what to make of this movie. It looks like Deadmau5 has a crack-head brother or something and we are getting to watch the story of his tomfoolery. The story of a guy who wears a fake head and never ever takes it off seems like it could be humorous but I don’t know if this is my kind of comedy. After watching the trailer my interest is definitely piqued but there are too many other things I would rather see so I would say that I will wait to rent this at Redbox or something, but truth be told I will probably forget about this movie once I’m done writing this. – Robert


August 15 – Life After Beth

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, Anna Kendrick, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon

As much as I love these actors and zombies, I am rather sick of people being in love with monsters. Although the idea may be over done in this we see upcoming actor Dane DeHaan (Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Zach, a young man who we see struggling emotionally due to the loss of his girlfriend. This quickly changes as Zach sees Beth (Aubrey Plaza), his lost girlfriend and finds she has been resurrected somehow, and although she initially shows no signs they start to figure out she is a zombie and needs to eat human flesh. This will almost guaranteed bring laughs if for nothing else due to the cast, but ultimately it will be lost among the other blockbusters this month. It is definitely not a family film and is marketed towards the teen and young adult community. Although the film itself may be easily forgotten due to other massive films this month don’t forget it as it will likely be a well liked film among certain groups. – Jacob

August 15 – The Expendables 3

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Kelsey Grammer(?), Terry Crews, Victor Ortiz, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Initially sold as a man-gasm inducing thrill-fest, this franchise is two strokes away from permanently shooting blanks. I love action flicks as much as the next guy, and I genuinely thought the franchise was a good idea, but is there something really so wrong with just letting the legends ride off into the sunset without having to sit through multiple hours of screaming, slow-motion firefights and catchphrases that barely worked twenty years ago? Let’s be honest; nobody is watching this film for the acting, or the storyline. Twenty & thirty-something men get to see some of their action star idols duke it out as one last hurrah. The third installment gives us Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson (the new bad guy), Harrison Ford, a post-prison Wesley Snipes and Kelsey Grammer. If the fate of the world is in Frasier Crane’s hands, we’re all screwed. There’s no way I’m influencing you’re decision to see The Expendables 3, as you’ve likely already made your decision before reading this. – Sherif

August 15 – The Giver

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Odeya Rush, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift

I won’t lie.  When I see the trailer for The Giver, I get chills.  Based off the book The Giver by Lois Lowry, the movie will be a look into one boy’s world… a utopia that isn’t actually that perfect.  It feels odd to be writing a preview on this for two reasons.  One being that practically every millennial and younger have read the book in school.  The other being that if I say much more for those who don’t know the plot, there is a lot to give a way.  In short, go see this movie.  You will not be disappointed.  -Adrian

August 22 – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Starring: Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Bruce Willis

Is it 2005 again, or did Robert Rodriguez just find a way to make Jessica Alba hot again?? It’s been nearly a decade, but Frank Miller’s Sin City is coming back to the silver screen in its second installment, A Dame to Kill For. Just like last time, the star-studded cast will take turns adding their pieces to the puzzle. Sin City vets like Alba, Bruce Willis and Josh Brolin are back, but several big name newcomers will also be sharing the spotlight, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Viewers should expect multiple plot twists, both in a sequel and prequel aspect to the original. Miller and Rodriguez’s visual style also looks to be prevalent throughout the film. This is going to be a fun movie any way you look at it. If you can’t wait for the movie to come out, you can also read the graphic novel of the same name, as it was released over 20 years ago. – Sherif

August 22 – To Be Takei

Starring: George Takei

Oh my! To Be Takei is a documentary depicting the life of brilliant and ever-exuberant George Takei. It tells his story from his childhood in a Japanese internment camp to his ground breaking role on Star Trek to his coming out story and marriage. This promises to be an incredibly inspiring film, especially for anyone who has felt trapped by society just for being who they are. George cleverly reminds us in the tagline that “It’s Okay to Be Takei!” As a Trekkie and proud member of the LGBT community, I’m extremely excited to see this movie hit the big screen, On Demand, and iTunes on August 22nd.  – Charlotte


August 22 – Are You Here

Starring: Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler

This movie looks like it could be a more light-hearted sequel to Due Date. The movie stars Zach Galifinakis as yet another crazy person with a myriad of issues, only this time he inherits a small fortune and everybody seems to be out to get it from him. It actually looks pretty funny but looks like it might have more of those light-hearted friendship moments than I would prefer from a movie with him in it. His usual style of comedy hasn’t yet grown old to me so this definitely looks like something worth checking out. – Robert

August 22 – If I Stay

Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Jaimie Blackley, Liana Liberato, Mireille Enos, and Joshua Leonard

Honestly, I have never read If I Stay.  However, it doesn’t look half bad.  The story follows a teenage celloist named Mia who has a pretty good life going on until her family gets in a fatal car wreck.  Mia experiences an out of body experience while in a coma and must decide whether to go back to living or go… elsewhere.  I don’t know whether this will appeal to the masses, but anything that gets teenagers to read seems pretty decent to me. – Adrian

August 29 – Life of Crime

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Yasiin Bey

Life of Crime reminds me of the type of comedy that my parents would have watched when I was a kid, and one that I wouldn’t have understood for the life of me. I have a feeling this could be the same way. Tim Robbins plays a rich man whose beautiful wife (Aniston) is kidnapped. When the kidnappers attempt to collect the ransom, Robbins refuses to pay. If it sounds like an idea that’s been done before, that’s because it has. The 1986 movie Ruthless People had pretty much the same premise, and Life of Crime is credited as being based off the book The Switch. I’d be lying if I said that Jennifer Aniston, Mos Def and Tim Robbins didn’t sell me on seeing the movie, but otherwise, Life of Crime doesn’t bring nearly enough to the table to make me want to sit through it. – Sherif