1. Edge of Tomorrow - From the trailer, this movie seemed to be a mediocre, predictable action thriller, but the reviews argued that it was one of the most original action movies in years. I felt bad that I missed it in theaters, because I love to support originality, but honestly, I don't really get what everyone is talking about. It's Looper, Groundhogs Day, Deja Vu, and Source Code all rolled into one movie. I wouldn't call that "original". However, I did have fun with it. Its quality action sequences and witty dialogue had me engaged through its entirety. I just don't agree with most critics describing it as "unexpected" and "surprising". It played out exactly how I expected it to. I did appreciate that most of the repetition is implied, so we don't have to sit through the same scenes over and over again. Tom Cruise gives it his all, as usual. I'm not really a fan, but I can't deny that he can hold an action movie. I love Emily Blunt (I mean, who doesn't?), I would love to see her STAR in an action movie instead of relegated to the side-kick role.
2. Begin Again - I wasn't expecting much with this movie; just a cute, light move. It's actually quite good. First, I was in complete shock the second I heard Keira's voice. It's so beautiful; sort of sounds like Jill Sobule (and I LOVE Jill Sobule). Second, the movie is really, very funny. I laughed out loud several times and it was totally unexpected. Third, I love Mark Ruffalo. He is so perfect in roles like this. It reminded me a bit of his role in 13 Going on 30. Just really authentic, charming, self-deprecating, smart and witty. It's so weird to think that last year's "Sexiest Man Alive" is in this and he doesn't even compare to Mark. (and really, what the fuck were they thinking with this year's choice? Does personality count for anything these days?). Speaking of the guy from Maroon 5 (I can't even think of his name right now. That's how boring he is), he is a TERRIBLE actor - clearly the worst part of the movie. Also, I didn't really like the scene where they walk around the city with earphones listening to the same songs - first, it's weird and a bit disturbing that he would re-enact something that he did with his ex, and second, they were supposedly listening to each other's "guilty pleasure" songs, and no song by either Frank Sinatra or Stevie Wonder should ever be considered "guilty pleasures". Those are, like, legitimately great songs. The movie is a commentary on the fall of record companies and the ever-changing music industry. The only thing needed to become successful is a little bit of luck and a really amazing idea - and recording a live album on the streets of NYC is actually a GENIUS idea. I could see that being a huge hit.
3. Bad Words - I love Jason Bateman. He can be hilarious (Arrested Development), but when he is faced with bad material, he's not good at overcoming it. This movie isn't necessarily bad, but it's not really funny. The entire beginning of the movie is featured in the trailer, which I thought could be a good thing - maybe they saved all of the funny stuff for the actual movie?! But no, it's just not funny. I found the end slightly amusing (when they keep spelling the words wrong), but then it repeats the joke too many times. The whole motive behind his ridiculous charade of entering a spelling bee contest is really obvious (and dumb). There are some seriously funny women involved, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, and Rachael Harris, so it's sad that they couldn't scrap some of the lame jokes and give these women some material worthy of their talent. The part that bothered me the most is the Office Space type montage featuring a white male wreaking havoc while a hip-hop song played in the background. So cliche it hurts.
4. Lucky Them - I didn't really hear anything about this movie, but I saw a trailer for it and was instantly intrigued by the cast - Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church! I will watch anything with Toni Collette, and THC is probably at his oddest/funniest role since Wings (awwww...remember that show? I loved it.). He cracks me up in this movie, especially as he remembers the only music he likes (*spoiler* it's Bryan Adams! LOL). Also, Ryan Eggold shows up playing the guitar! Yes, please. The movie is really cute, but ultimately forgettable. That is, until the end, because there is a surprise cameo that will blow your mind. It's actually a really perfectly cast role, but completely unexpected. Now I will remember the movie solely for the cameo (and the shirtless Ryan scenes).
5. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - I could go into a long-winded account of how much I love the first one, but I'm sure it's all already been said before. Visually poetic, beautifully violent film noir. It was my favorite film of 2005, and it's still currently one of my all-time favorites. I'll still be the first to admit, it's a little late for a sequel. I'm over it; the world is over it. It's pretty much what I was expecting; except the editing is TERRIBLE. It makes me wonder if the first one is like that, and I just didn't notice. I haven't seen in it probably 7 years, and I didn't really pay attention to editing until I worked directly in films (I went to school for Film Studies, but it was mostly theoretical, not hands-on). I worked a little bit as a Script Supervisor about 5 years ago, which is the person that the Editor relies on the most and now it's hard to enjoy films with mistakes and rough editing (which is why I decided not to continue. I love films too much and working on them made me hate them). This movie was actually hard to watch because of the choppy editing (for instance; the Juno Temple sex scene - she takes her top off, as in bare skin, and then suddenly she is wearing lingerie. WHERE DID IT COME FROM?). There are still some really cool shots; but nothing as memorable as the first. The plot is typical revenge movie territory (but I wasn't exactly watching this movie for the plot, anyway). I would recommend it if you were a fan of the first, because it brings some closure to the original plot and some characters.