Tag Archives: Avengers

Box office report: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ scores a record-breaking $94 million weekend

Meet-The-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy

These numbers actually surprised me. Marvel was taking quite the risk with this movie but it appears that their brand name alone seems to be able to draw any audience no matter the content. Currently Guardians has the second highest opening of the summer and third so far this year. That’s quite impressive considering this year has been a dull year at the box office.

Advertisements

Under the Skin Review, A Mesmerizing Look at Human Existence

under-the-skin-poster

Under the Skin

Directed by: Jonathan Glazer

Starring: Scarlett Johansson

When you look at science fiction you always end up with two different kinds of executions. On the one hand you have the ones that rely on action and on the other hand you have the slow burning think pieces. Under the Skin is the perfect example of the second one. The movie is vague and purposely so. The director made it this way so that the audience can think and figure out the purpose of the film on their own instead of being explicitly told what the movie means. It works to the movie advantage because it leaves this sense of mystery. The actions of the main character are never spelled out for you, it’s left to you to figure it out. A TV trailer compared the director to Stanley Kubrick. I wouldn’t agree with that entirely. I feel like the movie feels like a Kubrick movie. Kubrick’s films have the same level of mystery to them. He liked to challenge his viewer and make them think. He has made films that no one else can duplicate but Under the Skin accomplishes the mystery that Stanley Kubrick’s movies were able to portray.

In Scotland, an unnamed motorcyclist (Jeremy McWilliams) retrieves the body of a dead woman on the side of the road. At an undisclosed location, a naked woman (Scarlett Johansson) strips the dead body of it’s clothes and taking up the position that she held. She rebrands herself and starts on her quest to lure men into a trap and harvest their skin for her alien race. Along the way she begins to feel the emotions that plague the human race. She abandons her quest and makes her way into the foothills of Scotland.

This movie says a lot about how fragile we are the human race. The men in this movie want to feel affection from a more attractive individual. It makes us feel special when someone notices us and finds something interesting about us. Our lives depend on the affection of other, especially the opposite gender. The male characters in this movie all essentially let themselves go for woman. The main female is played by Scarlett Johansson and I don’t think anyone else could have played her. She is cold and beautiful yet at the same time very vulnerable and curious. In the beginning, she is the killing machine, on the prowl, for lonely men and does’t care about them only for their skin, a necessity for the alien race to blend in. As time goes by she begins to evolve and learn about the emotional state of human kind. Due to encounter with a young man, who suffers from the disease neurofibromatosis, and after their encounter she begins to see the beauty in the world and the curiosity about the live of humans. You see life through the eyes of another being. She is like a newborn baby, always discovering new things and learning about the world around them. You get an interesting look at a character that has fresh eyes towards the human race. The development of her character is done so well without to much exposition or dialogue, they are given the ability to develop along with the story.

Like The Rover, Under the Skin is minimalism at its best. Unlike other movies this year, Under the Skin uses the idea of less is more. Nothing is spelled out in this movie and it adds to the mystery of the film. Scarlett Johansson’s performance is by far the best work she has done and it shows that she is much more than a pretty face. Many people know this movie as “the movie in which Scarlett Johansson gets naked”. For whoever plans on seeing it for that fact alone than you should probably watch a different movie. She is never overtly sexualized but it is used for the character and he curiosity with human life.

The production values of the movie are spectacular. For such a low budget you wouldn’t even be able to tell that it was so cheap. The cinematography is something of note. It uses long takes to linger on the world around her. The shots linger a little longer than most but I feel that is a strength of the movie. The look of the film is bleak and beautiful. The soundtrack is also breathtaking. It gives it a haunting and foreign feel to it.

Mind you the movie is a lot more fun to think about that it is to watch but I feel the need to watch this movie. It is simply amazing and that’s what I can take away from it. I loved every minute of it and I know that I will be returning to it in the future.

Grade: A+

Iron Man 3, the flawed return to the marvel universe

Iron Man 3

Directed By: Shane Black

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, and Ben Kingsley

It surprises me that the Marvel Cinematic Universe became as successful as it did, two separate billion dollar grossing movies and nearly ten movies either out or in the works. With every new entry I start disliking the series even more, they are producing far too many movies in a short period of time and it is starting to get redundant. Iron Man 3 looked as if they were going with a much more serious tone with a villain that actually looks threatening compared to every other villain that was in the movies so far. What they did instead was make a movie that relied more on the comedy aspect than actually making a good story and you wanna know what that is the biggest flaw that Marvel is doing now a days is that they are making these movies appeal to the younger audience and they choose to make it light hearted instead of focusing on the characters journey.

Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 3″ pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

I have deep admiration for the road that Shane Black wanted to take but I think in the end the final product is by far the weakest the series has to offer and doesn’t live up to first one or even The Avengers, which I am starting to dislike as a movie. I had feeling that Mandarin could have finally brought in a villain that poses a threat for Iron Man instead of machine on machine but boy was I wrong. Spoilers Ahead So Beware. The Mandarin is actually an actor hired by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) so that he could be the scape goat and Aldrich can get aware with the crime. I can’t think of a worse way of including a villain in the movie, he is just reduced to some bland actor who doesn’t pose any threat to the main character. The studio decided to reduce Iron Man’s prime villain to a stupid twist like this movie. This is my biggest problem because he was marketed to extremes, making him seem like the Joker or Bane of this series but once again the villain in these movies don’t live up to expectations. It also doesn’t help that the real villain is a terrible excuse for one. At one point he breaths fire at one of the characters and that is when I was done with this movie. First you ruin what could have been a great villain and then you add something as ridiculous as someone who has healing abilities and fire breathing abilities that you would never coming from a movie like this. Then you include the Iron Patriot, another departure from the comics, and you give him absolutely nothing to do. This movie is not what it could have been at all. About halfway through the movie really falls apart and ends with a less than stellar fight sequence that could have been truly awesome.

There were definitely moments in the movie that I really enjoyed such as the barrel of monkeys catch seen that used real stunt actors falling in mid air and Iron Man catching them. I also liked the small diversion in Tennessee which shows that Tony Stark is just a man who needs help from even the smallest person. There were moments that I was entertained by but ultimately this has to be the biggest disappoint of the year so far and a very poor way for marvel to start their Phase Two of their Cinematic Universe I hope the likes of Thor Dark World, Captain America Winter Solider, and Guardians of the Galaxy don’t suffer from the same troubles.

5.5 out of 10

Iron Man 3 a tense view of the Iron Avenger

Well this is long overdue, I was meant to post this back in October when the first trailer came out. My personal feelings toward Iron Man are very favorable, even if the second movie is slightly disappointing. After switching directors and continuing off the Avengers, Iron Man 3 looks to bring in a very dark and less comical tone which the previous did not have. The inclusion of the Mandarin is a good thing considering he is his arch-nemesis and Ben Kingsley looks to be a great villain. Overall I am super pumped for this movie and May 3rd cannot come soon enough. Marvel has found a way to adapt their characters successfully to the big screen and their next films, Captain America The Winter Solider, Thor Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-Man, should be on par or even better than their previous versions. Right now Guardians of the Galaxy is my most anticipated because it brings Marvel some where they haven’t been to yet and is the most interesting and intriguing of the rest of the line up.

I quit reporting about the box office number because nothing looked to outpace The Dark Knight Rises but this weekend is the first time a movie looks to be able to beat it. The Bourne Legacy may be a sequel to the Bourne Trilogy but it is lacking the main character which I feel is really going to make this movie a bit different from the rest. I have some hope for the movie but it never really sparked my interest like the other film, is it that Matt Damon is no long the lead I think so. It is going to be tough to tell if this movie is going to be any where close to the others. Another release this week is The Campaign which really sparked my interest since I tend to enjoy Will Ferrell comedies and this looks to follow in line with the rest of his movie. The Other Guys opened around the same time two years ago and I can see The Campaign replicating some of the same success. It is not going to be nearly as successful as as the surprise hit Ted that opened earlier this summer but I know it will be more successful then both That’s My Boy and The Watch, both were considered failures and both were R-rated comedies with big stars leading both movies. It looks to me that The Dark Knight Rises is not going to be as successful as it’s predecessor or The Avengers, which is sad since I thought it was a solid movie and probably the best of the summer. I don’t if the Aurora shooting had an effect or people just didn’t flock out to see this like The Dark Knight. I still see it at least making a billion dollars worldwide, more than the Dark Knight internationally but not domestically which i think will be close to 450-500 million. In my eyes The Dark Knight Rises is still a success and the second best movie in the trilogy, which is difficult to decide since it is such a fantastic trilogy with no weak links in the trilogy. This weekend is going to be a big one for me since I have to see Total Recall, Bourne Legacy, and The Campaign and it is hard to decide which one I’ll see during the weekend and what two I’ll see during the week. With summer coming to an end I would like to see what movie in August can make it big and which don’t (sorry Total Recall you are going into the bomb category following the likes of Battleship and John Carter).