MovieCriticND's blog

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.

The Lazarus Effect

In retrospect I probably should have gone to the new Will Smith movie, but the previews really didn't make it seem all that exciting. So I gathered up my courage and went to a horror movie, which, as so often seems to happen these days, turned out to be not nearly as scary as I expected. I mean, it was scary while I was watching it, but it isn't the sort of scary that makes me think there's something evil under the bed for the next three or four nights.

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Zoe with the gadget they use for their tests. Looks like an eggbeater, huh?

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Unlike last week, I know exactly where this movie went wrong, and at least it wasn't until the very end, but it is kind of a letdown when things go awry so close to the finish line. But it wasn't all bad news, which can happen all too often this time of year, so could have been a lot worse.

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Galahad demonstrates why you should always carry your umbrella.

Jupiter Ascending

I wasn't too sure what to make of the previews for this movie, which makes sense since now I'm not sure what to make of the movie. It was fun and all, I wasn't bored, but it also never quite grabbed me like it should have. But let me try explaining a little of the plot and see if I can figure out where things might have gone a bit awry.

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Jupiter with gun. She doesn't need any rescuing at the moment, thanks.

Project Almanac

What would you get if you gave five teenagers the plans and equipment to build a time machine? You'd get this movie, pretty much, though of course you'd have to make sure that at least two or three of the five are very good at the techy stuff. A bunch of English geeks like me wouldn't have gotten very far at all. But face it, any high school kid given the chance to fix past mistakes is going to start out doing exactly the same things this bunch does -- redeem the botched class presentation, get to see that missed concert, and of course try again to get the girl who got away.

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The boys demonstrate the proper safety gear for time travel experiments.
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