Mud and Miscellaneous

Only two more days until blockbuster season hits and I couldn't be more excited. Summer is far and away my favorite time of year and this month in particular has a lot going for it. Two of my most anticipated films of the year are set to debut in May with the release of The Great Gatsby and Star Trek: Into Darkness. But May is more than just movies. We've got all the season finales to look forward to....as well as the fact that one of my most beloved t.v. series Arrested Development, triumphantly returns to the air at the end of the month. But maybe like me you're trying to figure out how to bide your time til then. So if Iron Man 3 just doesn't do the trick, you can check out some of these movies I've recently seen. However....being that a lot of these were dollar theater films, not all of them are actually worth seeing.  We'll start with the higher quality films first.

MUD -  - Every now and then a film comes along that manages to just fly completely under my radar. Mud is one of those films and I don't even know how since it made its debut at Sundance and usually I keep a close eye on those films! Somehow though Mud comes out of nowhere to achieve a highly rare 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as 4 stars from various critics shouting praises at Matthew McConaughey's performance. Instantly I was intrigued and got myself to the theater to see what all the fuss was about. And well...I loved it too. Go see it. This film made me feel like a child again...despite these 14 year olds' salty language. But just the idea of young adventure is all over this film and I loved that. It's a very layered film with a lot of human emotion and story at the core. The characters and performances are all quite good and I never really found it easy to predict where it would go. It kept me tense and on the edge of my seat. If you're looking for a film to see in theaters this summer other than the big ones...this is it. EMILY RATING: 9/10

GANGSTER SQUAD - Rented this film last week and I have to say I had a really hard time getting into it. I hated Crazy Stupid Love with a passion, but held hope for the movie that had Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone's reconciliation since they had so much promise the first time. The second film they made together? A bit more likable and mildly amusing...but still meh. These two should stop featuring in ensemble pieces together, and really this time I'm not sure i loved either in their roles. Emma Stone felt somewhat miscast to me (it's hard for me to see her as some vixen when she just seems like a goof ball in real life) and whatever Ryan Gosling was doing with his voice just wasn't working for me. The move is hardly just about them though...it's more of a Josh Brolin/Sean Penn show. Once it gets going and the plot is finally moving it's a much better movie...I just had higher expectations for this one. 6.5/10

DARK SKIES - This alien thriller film featuring Keri Russell was surprisingly the best of the dollar theater bunch. Dark Skies was widely panned by critics so I had zero expectations that it would be anything other than awful...which made it all the more delightful to find how entertaining it actually was. Is it a masterpiece that will be remembered from years to come? No. Is it even a great film? Nope. Just an entertaining movie that borrows a bit from other films, yet still manages to keep your attention. Plus it had some really genuinely tense moments! It was really a perfect dollar movie. My biggest complaint is that the setup goes on for a bit longer than needed...that trope of the unbelieving spouse is at its most annoying here! 6.5/10

SAFE HAVEN - A year ago I wrote THIS POST about Nicholas Sparks films after seeing The Lucky One in the dollar theater. After my dollar theater trip to see Safe Haven I have to admit I'm a little saddened that the movie wasn't more awful!! Okay it was still pretty bad...but far more middle of the pack Sparks (ie Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe) than bottom of the barrel Sparks (The Last Song, The Lucky One) if you know what I mean. Still I have to admit I got a kick out of the fact that Sparks seems to have taken a few notes from Charlie St. Cloud this go 'round....so that alone might make it fit right in between the middle and bottom of Sparks' resume. 4/10

THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE - I swear this film had been out less than a month before it made its debut at the dollar theater....and deservedly so. This film about dueling magicians Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey is awful despite featuring a pretty strong cast. I mean really, who wastes Steve Buscemi AND Alan Arkin?? It wasn't completely without a laugh...but almost. It will probably make its way to my worst of the year list since so far it is probably the worst film I've seen all year. But um....I guess you could see it if you really wanted to. But....it's not really even worth a dollar haha and some of Jim Carrey's gags are just painful. Also, we're supposed to buy an Olivia Wilde and Steve Carrell romance? How dumb does Hollywood think we are anyway? By the existence of Burt Wonderstone, the answer must be PRETTY DUMB. 3/10

Well, that's all folks. In just two days, we've got big movies coming every single week!!! I can hardly wait! Stay tuned for lots of reviews coming your way!


Sarah said...

Great reviews. A couple of these sound like ones I would like to see one of these days. Thanks!

Johanna said...

I will never see another Nicholas Sparks movie. I don't care what Niel says. Also, both Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey can wear out their comic welcomes p-r-e-t-t-y fast!

So Mud is the only one I want to see.