Currently browsing the "Samuel L. Jackson" tag.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Sitting in the theater watching Kingsman: The Secret Service, I was in front of an older couple who talked through the film, at one point declaring, “This is the worst movie!” In front of me were a couple of young men who laughed raucously throughout the film, thoroughly enjoying the silly ride. I’m not sure what the couple behind me were expecting, but I do think the audience for this one is teenage (or slightly older) boys. It’s basically an adolescent James Bond flick, with all the cool gadgetry and a hot chick villainess you’d expect from the genre. There is nothing of the suave nature of Bond though. It’s crude humor and cartoon violence. But if you just go with it, a lot of it is mindless fun.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I’m always a bit torn when it comes to Captain America, the first Avenger. Chris Evans wears the suit extremely well, but his storylines never seem to grab – or entertain – me the way Iron Man (my favorite Avenger) does. CA: Winter Soldier is thin on plot and heavy on fight scenes, so it’s more of a means to an end for advancing Marvel’s Avengers franchise and less of a stand-alone movie. Here’s the gist of the plot as far as I could discern:Oh wait. First, a quick refresher: Captain America, aka Steve Rogers (Evans) was a scrawny kid transformed by a super serum into a super-soldier during World War Two. At some point while battling the evil HYDRA organization, Steve fell into some ice. Fast forward a couple of decades, and a newly-defrosted Captain America is struggling to reconcile his time-honored morals, sensibilities, and tastes in music with what’s evolved in the modern world. It’s classic ‘fish out of water’ stuff.

Turbo

Gotta love a good underdog movie, especially when the underdog is a snail. Sure, Turbo is predictable and formulaic, but it’s also cute and sweet and fun, with a winning message: No dream is too big. No dreamer, too small. Aw shucks. What can I say? Turbo is a solid entry in the animated field of kid-friendly flicks for summer. Just ask our Special Guest Chicklet, 10-year-old Raquel Sklar. Here’s her two cents:

Jurassic Park (3D)

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that you know you should see, but for one reason or another, you just don’t. Such was the case with the 1993 Steven Spielberg classic Jurassic Park, based on the book by Michael Crichton. Fortunately, life is all about second chances. So 20 years later, I can finally say “Of course, I’ve seen Jurassic Park – in 3D no less!” I went into the theater armed with the vast knowledge that the movie had something to do with dinosaurs. I came out of the theater armed with the knowledge that this flick is indeed really good, but scary as sh*t for young kids. It seems trite to yell “Spoiler Alert!” when a movie’s been out for 20 years and spawned two sequels (with JP4 due out next year). But just in case it’s new to you, I’ll tread carefully:

Django Unchained

I am not a huge Tarantino fan. I was when he started out with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, but then he went through a phase that I can only call his “look at me, ma! I’m a Hollywood director” period, where he got funding to make whatever was in his adolescent head. Then came the critically acclaimed Inglourious Basterds, and I swore I’d never go to another of his films, ever! But, something inexplicably drew me to see his latest, Django Unchained, and I can only say, I forgive you Quentin. It turns out to be a very entertaining mix of Mel Brooks, Sergio Leone, and Gordon Parks, with a lot of gore (and the controversially prodigious use of “the N word.”)

Marvel’s The Avengers

I’m no comic book aficionado (far from it), but I really liked The Avengers. And that’s mostly because I really like watching Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. You’ve got to love a superhero who’s cynical, sarcastic, witty and walks around in tight jeans and a “Black Sabbath” tee-shirt when he’s not suited up for battle.

The movie also features a host of other reluctant heroes from the Marvel Comic Universe, including the Shakespearean thunder god Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the recently defrosted World War Two soldier-extraordinaire, Captain America (Chris Evans), the mild-mannered doctor-turned-green-monster-when-he’s-angry The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), the brooding guy who’s good with arrows, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and the psychologically damaged superspy chick in a form-fitting bodysuit, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

The Other Guys

Hmmmm. This movie isn’t bad. But it sure is weird. My inclination is to say “skip it”, but a lot of people laughed, a lot, during the course of this movie. They also groaned a lot, “ewwwwww”ed a lot, and said “Say Whaaaat?” a lot. So who am I to judge?

Mother and Child

I’m not quite sure how I ended up watching Mother and Child instead of Shrek 4 this weekend, but I think it was the casting that ultimately roped me in. Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits. Really – how can you go wrong? Performance-wise, you can’t. These pros can make anything watchable. But the movie does have some major flaws in character development, and I’d be hard-pressed to recommend it except to those particularly interested in the subject of adoption.