Peter Parker longs to resolve the mystery of his parents’ disappearance, but when a genetically altered spider grants the high-schooler superpowers, he finds himself closer to both the cause of their vanishing and his own new found perils.
Written by: James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, & Steve Kloves Directed by: Marc Webb Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, & Rhys Ifans
A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
Written by: Damon Lindelof & Jon Spaihts Directed by: Ridley Scott Starring: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron & Idris Elba
Through a series of loose interviews and freestyle verses with his personal friends and icons of hip-hop, Ice-T seeks to discover the artistic heart and masterful techniques behind a genre that’s known in the mainstream primarily for drugs, violence, and shallow lyrics.
Directed by: Ice-T Starring: Ice-T, Common, Dr. Dre, Grandmaster Caz, Chuck D, Nas, Snoop Dogg, and many others.
Woody Allen’s black and white love-letter to New York, that tells the story of Isaac, a 42 year old recently divorced comedy writer, who finds himself torn between the 17 year old he’s dating and the intriguing mistress of his best friend.
Written & Directed by: Woody Allen Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, & Mariel Hemingway
This Oscar-winning documentary takes a look at the public life of Robert S. McNamara, former president of Ford Motors, Secretary of Defense to both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and President of the World Bank. Narrated by McNamara himself, this is an unusually personal look at a hugely influential life, and one that is unafraid to address the broader context of past decisions as McNamara details the “eleven lessons” he has learned about the nature of modern war.
Directed by: Errol Morris Starring: Robert McNamara
Iron Man (2008) ★★★★☆ |The Incredible Hulk (2009) ★☆☆☆☆ | Iron Man 2 (2010) ★★★☆☆ | Thor (2011) ★★★☆☆ | Captain America (2011) ★★★☆☆
The Avengers (2012) | ★★★★★
A cosmic threat to the planet brings together Earth’s mightiest heroes, who, though sometimes unwilling, work together to save it.
I can’t even form cohesive sentences about how incredible an effort this film is. There is absolutely no way it should work. A movie of this scope, uniting 4 franchises, should fall under its own weight and fail to bridge the gap in tone; it should come across as contrived and unbelievable, the sheer number of characters involved should spread the story thin and make it feel weak and jumpy. It does not. In every way it should fail, The Avengers succeeds brilliantly and results in one of the most genuinely exhilarating, guiltlessly enjoyable movie experiences I can remember. See it, then see it again.
(Brilliantly) Directed by:Joss Whedon (Well) Written by: Zak Penn &Joss Whedon (Ably) Starring:Robert Downey Jr.,Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth,Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner & Tom Hiddleston
The year is 2019, the Earth is lousy with toxins and grime, and 6 replicants—ultrasmart, ultrafast, unnervingly human-like androids—have killed dozens in order to escape enslavement. Deckard, a retired “blade runner”, is charged with tracking and killing the runaways.
To be honest, this movie was a pretty big disappointment. The visuals are wonderful, and Blade Runner can be happily viewed as a masterclass in aesthetics and world-creation in film. However, coming from the philosophically rich source material, Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, the actual story taking place in the world feels a bit hollow. Characters act without clear motivation, and in Deckard, rather than the provocatively ambiguous hero the filmmakers intended, the audience is left with a poorly developed prop who meanders through brilliant sets as various things happen to him. Perhaps I’m reacting poorly because I’m seeing this immediately after finishing the novel it’s based on, but I’m hardly an adaptation purist (pretty much the opposite), and I was enthusiastic to see a loose cinematic interpretation from Scott, especially since the original novel is itself incredibly cinematic. But all of the changes from the novel (a lot—essentially only the premise and tone are left intact), from the name to the backstories to the bizarrely different third act, seem deliberately chosen to favor style over substance. On the whole it was a let-down, but Blade Runner still gets a good rating because of the incredible vision behind it (and noir. I’m a sucker for noir).
Written by: Hampton Fancher & David Webb Peoples Directed by: Ridley Scott Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Young & Rutger Hauer
The Great Depression is in full swing when newly paroled small-time robber Clyde Barrow meets frustrated small-town waitress Bonnie Parker, and history is made. Their exploits carve a path of blood and bank heists through middle America, and soon gain the couple the notoriety they so desperately dream of.
Roger Ebert called this the first masterpiece of cinema he ever saw, a “milestone in the history of American movies, a work of truth and brilliance” that “permanently changed the way movies depict violence”. These praises are all true (that final scene remains one of the most iconic in all of cinema). And yet, somehow, Bonnie and Clyde is more than that. It is at once simple and expansive, breathtaking and quiet, tragic and hilarious, sad and beautiful and punctuated by adrenaline shots of desperate love and violence, the red flash of blood and the clear blue of open skies. Patrick Goldstein declared it “the first modern American film”, and it is. It is also one of the absolute best; erratic and pulse-quickening and filled with the bittersweet longing that exists so easily in life, and so rarely in film.
Written by: Dave Newman & Robert Benton Directed by: Arthur Penn Starring: Faye Dunaway & Warren Beatty
Six months in the lives of a brigade of Danish soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, less than a kilometer from Taliban positions.
Expertly shot, brilliantly edited, this is the best, most well-crafted war documentary I’ve seen. However, it relates to a lot of troubling issues; on these matters, Armadillo not only fails to provides answers, but it neglects to even ask questions. While it is not the responsibility of a documentary to provide a road map for progress, when that very film is contributing to the problems it should instead be illuminating, it concerns me. Still, its visceral art cannot be denied—though it should perhaps be questioned.
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again.
The Cabin in the Woods tries to do for contemporary horror what Scream accomplished in the ’90s: make it fresh and exciting, use the conventions of the genre to show just how inventive the genre can be, and act as a game-changer for a genre that has been weighed down by tired tropes, torture porn, and seemingly unending sequels. For all intents and purposes, it succeeds. Without giving it away (this is one of those films where spoilers should be avoided at all costs), this is a movie that manages to raise the stakes, upending and deconstructing horror all without ever taking itself too seriously. This is not a capital-g Great film, there are plot holes and other problems. But it is Great fun, and it gets five stars because it so perfectly fulfills everything I look for in several genres.
Written by: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard Directed by: Drew Goddard Starring: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchinson & Jesse Williams
A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding both friends and enemies.
It’s a landmark film, and one that’s almost unfair to judge. Aside from Ray’s able directing, all the power comes from James Dean’s performance, one of quiet intensity and delirious compassion. It’s fictional tragedy is inseparable from real-life circumstance; it’s this film, released 3 months after Dean’s sudden death, that immortalized him, and remains as haunting today.
Written by: Stewart Stern Directed by: Nicholas Ray Starring: James Dean, Natalie Wood & Sal Mineo