1. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - I didn't watch this movie with the highest of expectations. There hasn't been a "Will Ferrell comedy" that I've truly liked since Elf, and even that movie is a bit overrated (side-note, I do love The Other Guys, but I don't think of that as a "Will Ferrell comedy", mostly because Mark Wahlberg outshines him in every single way possible). I rated the first Anchorman ** 1/2 stars, which, for me, means "average". I don't really remember anything about it, but I don't think I hated it (like Semi-Pro, Blades of Glory, etc). I absolutely HATED this sequel. First of all, why the fuck is it 2 hours long? I already knew from the run time that it was going to be painfully repetitive. Second, Meagan Goode is a horrible actress, and those eyebrows are the worst (sorry, it's superficial, but I just can't with those). Third, I didn't laugh once! Through the whole entire 2 hours?! How is that possible? The epic ending could have been hilarious, but it just dragged on for FOOOREEEEVVER. The cameos at the end, were pretty interesting but then I screamed out "Marion Cotillard, what the fuck are you doing?!?" Overall, it is just a disaster of a movie and a waste of some truly great talent.
2. Draft Day - Two reasons I wanted to see this movie: Jennifer Garner, and someone told me it reminded them of Moneyball (which I loved). I get the comparison, but I don't really think it's in the same league. There are several scenes that are eerily similar to it, but Moneyball was driven by its dialogue, and this movie is not nearly as well written. I think I also enjoyed Moneyball more because I know a tiny bit about Baseball, but Football is a blank slate for me. I know absolutely nothing about it. I wasn't sure if the players that they were talking about are real players, or even if the teams are real or fictional. Also, Jennifer is relegated to the "girlfriend" role, which is disappointing. However, I actually still enjoyed this movie. I feel like I learned a little bit about the draft process, and it is super complicated and dramatic. It was very obvious how the draft was going to go down, and who his first pick would be, but that's not really a bad thing - it's a classic "sports movie" move, but still good.
3. Magic in the Moonlight - I was really excited about this movie, until I saw the trailer. It looked super corny and really poorly acted. And, unfortunately, by all accounts, it is. The beginning is strong, and is a nice reminder that Colin Firth *can* actually act, but then he gets set in his rom-com awkwardness, and it killed me. Emma Stone is so beautiful; her hair, that skin - so stunning, but she isn't as great of an actress as some make her out to be. I love her in light-hearted comedic roles, but her acting has never blown me away. I don't think she did a good job at making this character likeable. Instead, I found her grating, needy and attention-seeking. Their romance is really hard to believe (and yes, I realize that is part of the "point" of the movie), but they just seemed mis-matched and awkward around each other. Certainly not a couple that I wanted to root for. The movie is just "rational" thought versus "passionate" thought, with a bit of "ignorance is bliss" thrown in. It's a little too simple; a little too obvious. It's Woody Allen "light", which can be a good thing, as I consider Midnight in Paris the same (and I adored that movie), but this one fails at being anything above mediocre.
4. A Most Wanted Man - I really wish I wasn't so bored during this movie, because there is some great stuff in it. Overall, I just wanted it to end. I don't know why I couldn't get into it. The comparisons for this movie are The Lives of Others and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which is interesting because the former is a perfect movie, while the latter is one of the most boring movies in the history of movies. This movie is definitely closer to the latter. Part of the reason that I had trouble getting into it, is the terrible accents across the board. I love Philip Seymour Hoffman, he is definitely missed in the acting world, but I can't get behind this accent. And Rachel McAdams? Oooof. It was painful on the ears. I really don't understand casting decisions sometimes. It's a shame because 10 years from now, when I think of this movie, that is all that is going to come to mind. Terrible German accents.
5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - The first one took me by surprise, but this one blew me away. The first one was hindered by the human actors (*cough* James Franco) and its lack of sociopolitical commentary (other than "animal testing = bad"). It's fixed in this one. Possibly, a little too in your face with social and political allegories, but in the world we live in, I don't know if that's a bad thing. There are just so many scenes that are perfectly executed. My favorite is probably the scene in which Koba tricks the humans into letting their guard down. I knew it was coming, but it is still fantastically shocking to watch. The tracking scene in the tank is pretty fantastic, as well. I really, really, really wish I saw this movie in the theaters because the special effects are so good and the action is paced perfectly. A perfect summer blockbuster. On a side note; I knew that Kirk Acevedo's character would be the one to instigate a problem - he always plays the asshole (I love him, though. The epitome of a "New Yorker." And on another side note, he went to the same college as me, in the same program, just 10 years earlier. Other famous actors, who went to my school, include, Parker Posey, Melissa Leo, Stanley Tucci, Wesley Snipes, Edie Falco and Josh Hartnett. In other words, all the cool people.). Anyway, I loved this movie. It should make it into my top 10 of the year. It's at number 8 right now, and I have A LOT left to see, so it's not a guarantee, but either way, it is fantastic.