I’m pretty confident in saying that this is going to be a really good weekend at the cinema. Why? Because Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out this weekend. This is the first of two Marvel films this year and I’ve certainly been looking forward to this one with great anticipation.
I have a very soft spot in my heart for Captain America: The First Avengers. A lot of people complain that it only existed to set up The Avengers but I find that to be quite disingenous. Yes, the ending leaves you hanging slightly because, duh, it is certainly a lead in to The Avengers. But it is so much more than that. In fact I would say it is one of my favorite superhero films.
I am therefore looking forward to Captain America: The Winter Soldier quite a lot. Though I am a bit worried for it in some ways — but I’m mostly so excited for it that I don’t think about it too much. The reasons for my worry though are because it will of necessity be such a different film from the first film. The first film was set in the past during WWII, The Winter Soldier is set in the here and now — in a post-Avengers world. I’ve also heard that the Russos really like to shoot handheld and shaky cam. I really, really hate that style so that is probably the most worrying thing.
But, so many people, critics and the like, who have had early access have said that this is Marvvel’s best film. Regardless, I’ll be seeing this film tonight, count on it! And I’m expecting it to be great!
After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Capt. America (Chris Evans), lives in the nation’s capital as he tries to adjust to modern times. An attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague throws Rogers into a web of intrigue that places the whole world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and a new ally, the Falcon, Rogers struggles to expose an ever-widening conspiracy, but he and his team soon come up against an unexpected enemy.
2 hr 15 min
PG-13 | Gunplay, Intense Sequences of Violence and Action Throughout
Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Genres: 3D, Action/Adventure
See or not: SEE!!
Noah — PG-13
I’ve been hearing a lot of things about this film both good and bad. Darren Aronofsky has apparently talked about the liberties he has taken with the text. At the same time, I would actually be okay with some liberties being taken with the story because they are telling a story about only a few verses in the Bible. There’s a lot of speculation about what that period of time might have been like. And there’s some stuff like, the dove Noah sends out isn’t what. So what? I’m not going to quibble about that.
So, we’ll see.
The Biblical Noah suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.
2 hr 17 min
PG-13 | Disturbing Images, Brief Suggestive Content and Violence
Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
See or not: Should be worth seeing and being aware of
Divergent — PG-13
This film was better than I was expecting. The trailers looked so cheesy. I really did like the film once I got past some initial plot contrivances. Shailene Woodley is a far better actress than I at first thought, and The James wasn’t too bad either.
DIVERGENT is a thrilling action-adventure film set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader (Kate Winslet) to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four (Theo James) and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it’s too late. Based on the best-selling book series by Veronica Roth.
2 hr 20 min
PG-13 | some sensuality, intense violence and action and thematic elements
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Ray Stevenson
Director: Neil Burger
See or not: See
Muppets Most Wanted — PG
This is a pretty good one, folks! It has all the humor you would expect, a good Muppet plot, and a lot of great cameos. What else could you ask for? Chad and I talked about it on The MovieByte Podcast and we thought it was a lot of fun. Chad didn’t like it quite as much as I did, but he also recommends it.
Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard, and Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon.
1 hr 46 min
PG | Some Mild Action
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Ray Liotta, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson
Director: James Bobin
Genres: Comedy, Family
See or not: See!
What can I say? I wasn’t expecting to like this film, but I did anyway, despite having some problems with it. It was fun, it was entertaining, and it had far more heart than I was expecting. Chad wrote a review, and we talked about it on The MovieByte Podcast.
Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), the most accomplished canine in the world, and his boy, Sherman (Max Charles), use a time machine called the Wabac to embark on outrageous adventures. However, when Sherman takes the Wabac without permission to impress his friend Penny (Ariel Winter), he accidentally rips a hole in the universe and causes havoc with world history. It’s up to Mr. Peabody to mount a rescue and prevent the past, present and future from being permanently altered.
1 hr 31 min
Cast: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter
Director: Rob Minkoff
Genres: 3D, Animated
See or not: See
Starring an evil looking Eva Green, a ludicrously tall evil “god” king, water, ships, and slow motion! To be honest I don’t think the first film in this series is as great as many seem to think it is. That said I did enjoy it. Then again, part of the reason I enjoyed it as much as I did was because of Gerard Butler. Since his character is [SPOILER] dead, I don’t see how he’s going to be in this second film and therefore I’m not sure how much I will enjoy it. Then again, again, Eva Green looks appropriately menacing and terrifying. I expect this installment in the series to be about the same as the first — which is to say slightly better than mediocre and entertaining.
Chad, on the other hand would rather be horsewhipped than be forced to watch what he considers to be a monstrously terrible sequel to a terrible film in the first place. So alas, I won’t be watching this film this week methinks.
While King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans have their date with destiny at Thermopylae, another battle against the Persians is brewing, this time at sea. Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton), a Greek general, sees the threat posed by the God-King Xerxes of Persia. He knows that he must unite all of Greece if he is to stand any chance of repelling the Persian invasion. Even if he accomplishes his mission, Themistocles must still face Artemisia (Eva Green), the ruthless leader of the Persian armada.
1 hr 43 min
R | Strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some language.
Cast: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey
Director: Noam Murro
Genres: 3D, Action/Adventure, Drama
See or not: Maybe
Non-Stop — PG-13
I liked this film better than I thought I would. I would say it was quite an enjoyable experience at the cinema, actually. It’s not going to be the best film you see this year, or probably even in the next couple of months, but it was quite a fun ride, even if it did have some flaws. Liam Neeson is a great actor and when you put a gun in his hands on a plane, well, things usually don’t work out for the bad guys, but they work out okay for us. That’s certainly the case here.
I wrote a review which you might be interested in, and Chad and I talked about the film on The MovieByte Podcast.
Global action star Liam Neeson stars in “Non-Stop,” a suspense thriller played out at 40,000 feet in the air. During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the airline to transfer $150 million into an off-shore account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes. The film reunites Neeson with “Unknown” director Jaume Collet-Serra and producer Joel Silver, and co-stars Golden Globe Award winner Julianne Moore.
1 hr 47 min
PG-13 | Intense sequences of action and violence, some language, sensuality and drug references
Cast: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Nate Parker
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
See or not: SEE
The Lego Movie — PG
This film was quite good. Well worth catching in the theater. I heartily recommend it. It may not quite live up to my beloved Wreck-it Ralph or anything like that but it is quite good. The characters are perfect, the story is solid, the laughs are all great and in good taste, and the bad guys are complex.
I wrote a review which you might be interested in, and Joe joined in with me and Chad on The MovieByte Podcast episode 79 to talk about it. They both liked it even better than I did.
Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as the Special – an extraordinary being and the key to saving the world. He finds himself drafted into a fellowship of strangers who are on a mission to stop an evil tyrant’s (Will Ferrell) plans to conquer the world. Unfortunately for Emmet, he is hopelessly – and hilariously – unprepared for such a task, but he’ll give it his all nonetheless.
1 hr 35 min
PG | Mild Action and Rude Humor
Cast: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Genres: 3D, Animated
See or not: SEE