MovieCriticND's blog

Ant-Man

Somehow Marvel keeps taking chances on weird titles like Guardians of the Galaxy and now Ant-Man and turning them into weird hits. I'm not sure how they're managing this, exactly, but if anyone ever figures it out then all major Hollywood studios need to be informed immediately so that the secret will hopefully not be lost.

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The Ant-Man and his trusty steed, the flying ant.

Self/less

Money can't buy happiness, etc., but if it could buy you a new, healthy body whenever you wanted one, like it does here, then I think a lot of people would call that close enough. Of course this happiness has its dark side or it would be a very different sort of movie, but you can't have everything. You see, while Science has perfected the art of transferring the entire contents of the human brain from one body to another, it has sadly neglected the art of creating fresh bodies in the lab, so it has to make do with whatever it can find lying around.

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Damian and his "wife" share a really awkward hug.

Terminator: Genisys

Those darn time-traveling robots are up to their old tricks, covering their tracks again. Certainly they've found a new, scary way to blend in better, though thankfully not the same sort of way they had in the last Terminator flick, which is probably better forgotten. It's a good time to forget anything about the previous Terminator movies that you might not have liked, of course, since everything's been rebooted and all you really need to know is the basic plot of the first movie.

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Arnold "smiling".  It still needs work, as you might imagine.

San Andreas

I'm still wondering if it's possible to wedge a 6'4" person into a normal helicopter, but they make it look possible, at least, since movies are good at that. Dwayne Johnson, aka Hercules, gets to be the hero again, this time an airborne one, though this is a bit like a Bond movie in that the main characters get to try out all sorts of different forms of transportation, some of them stolen, though to be fair, they are right in the middle of a disaster by the time the legal aspects start getting a bit hazy.

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The title character, the fault itself.

Tomorrowland

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson is president of the United States, George Clooney is a little kid, and everyone's looking forward to having their own jet-pack. The young George Clooney (I mean the young John Francis Walker, played by Thomas Robinson) is trying to help everyone out by getting the $50 prize at the Hall of Invention at the 1964 World's Fair for his jet pack. Except, as he reluctantly admits to David Nix (Hugh Laurie), who is clearly someone Very Important, it doesn't quite work yet.

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A steampunk gadget. The movie totally needed more of these.

Mad Max: Fury Road

In the post-apocalyptic future, everything is scarce: fuel, water, food, but most of all actual first names.

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Immortan Joe & company on the prowl, aka Fast & Furious 287.

Avengers: The Age of Ultron

They keep jamming more and more into these movies and making them harder and harder to summarize. Someday I'm going to give up on discussing the plot and just list all the things I thought about and discuss what the audience did, sort of a meta-review, but that day is not today. I'll do my best to hit all the high points.

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The obligatory cast photo. I couldn't find anything else good, sadly.

Ex Machina

At some point in the not too distant future -- at least according to this movie -- the mighty Google will be replaced by the mightier BlueBook, the search engine to end all search engines. It's named after the Blue Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the great 20th century philosophers, though it's a slightly odd sort of book. It was really a collection of his notes and letters, made while he was studying at Cambridge, or rather half of a collection, the other half having been published as the Brown Book, named for nothing more exciting than the colors of the covers.

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Ava's brain. Not the Arkenstone, but I'm sure a lot of people want it.

Unfriended

The people who develop programs like Skype must spend considerable amounts of money trying to make sure that their products sound nice and look friendly, and now here comes the movie industry doing its best to make programs like Skype sound eerie and look sinister. Hollywood has kind of an uphill battle at this (that ringtone is just so bouncy!) and that shows sometimes, but at least they're trying something a little different from the standard horror movie fare.

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The Skype default avatar. Not scary at all, right?

Insurgent

Technically the movie is called Insurgent: The Divergent Series, but that just feels awkward and doesn't actually keep the titles together alphabetically. Calling it Divergent: Insurgent is even more awkward, though, and Divergent: Allegiant won't be much better. Heck, my spell check doesn't even recognize allegiant, though it is a real word, just like all the faction names.

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Tris crashes the party. I know, too easy, but I couldn't resist.
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