Flaunt It or Flush it – Spring Movies 2014

flaunt-flush

You certainly wouldn’t know it by the weather but the Spring movie season is upon us. The winter movie season is notorious for its flops, particularly in January and February. But usually things start looking up come Spring time. So here is how this works: First I’ll talk about Spring releases that I am genuinely interested in and want to spread the word about. These are films I’ll certainly flaunt. I’m also going to pick five releases that are (from my perspective) toilet ready. These I’ll flush. It’s Flaunt It or Flush It time again.

FLAUNT ‘EM

BUDAPEST1. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (March 7, 2014) – It doesn’t take long for Spring to get rolling. March 7th brings us one of my most anticipated movies of the year. It’s Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Anderson is one of the few comedy filmmakers who I think does it right. His quirky original worlds and subtle themes have always worked for me and it looks like we are getting that again. Ralph Fiennes leads what is one of the best looking ensemble casts of the year and he looks to be a perfect fit with this special brand of comedy. The trailer looks insanely funny and I can’t wait for March 7th.

NOAH2. “Noah” (March 28, 2014) – I’ve noticed several people approaching “Noah” with a bit of skepticism. I can definitely see why. But I also think this has potential to be an amazing film. As frequent readers of my site know, I’m a huge fan of Russell Crowe. I think this role is right up his alley. Plus there is the good supporting cast of Ray Windstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, and Jennifer Connelly. The big question is Darren Aronofsky. His past work makes me wonder what kind of approach he will take. On the other hand he is a fine director and if he respects the material there could be great results.

CAPTAIN3. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (April 4, 2014) – My deep roots as a comic book fan makes me a sucker for good superhero films. I was a big fan of Marvel’s first Captain American movie. This one looks like it could be even better. Ed Brubaker’s “Winter Soldier” story from the Captain American comic book series was one of my favorites of all time. It’s perfect for the big screen treatment and the early trailers look to be capturing what made the story so great. Chris Evans is perfect as Steve Rogers and the addition of Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford are intriguing. Plus this is set to be the first big tie to the next Avengers film. Sign me up!

LE WEEKEND4. “Le Week-End” (March 14, 2014) – This is a film that has been on my radar for a while. It has already opened up overseas and it makes its United States debut on March 14. This British drama from director Roger Michell follows an older married couple who celebrate their 30th anniversary by going to Paris. Their intent was to rejuvenate their marriage but things don’t go as planned and they are forced to build back their relationship from the ground up. The wonderful Jim Broadbent and Lindsey Duncan play the lead roles which automatically attracted me. The trailer shows a great wit and some beautiful Paris locations.That’s enough to excite me.

XMEN5. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (May 23, 2014) – Yet another Marvel comics superhero movie, but it’s another one that looks really good. Bryan Singer is back and he’s bringing the whole gang. The cast members from the original X-Men films including Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, and Ellen Page meet the cast members from First Class including Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult. Throw in some brand new mutants and you have a huge cast of characters. This could blow up in Singer’s face, but it could also be a spectacular film.

FLUSH ‘EM

TYLER PERRY1. “Tyler Perry’s The Single Mom’s Club” (March 14, 2014) – Tyler Perry is becoming a regular on these lists. This Spring he graces us with what looks like the corniest, dopiest, and most cliched movie of his career. I never judge a movie solely on its trailer but it gives us one goofy line, lame gag, and eye-rolling moment after another. Supposedly a group of mothers come together after an incident at school and they become big buddies. Then they partake in a host of silly antics and dopey romances which is supposed to be fun and entertaining. Well I can’t imagine this thing being fun or entertaining.

BLENDED2. “Blended” (May 23, 2014) – If an Adam Sandler movie is released it automatically gets consideration for this list. Perhaps that isn’t the most objective approach but Sandler has a track record that I can’t shake. His consistency would be impressive if it didn’t involve stupid and unfunny movies. I have no reason to believe that “Blended” will be any different from the other garbage he churns out. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is a turning point in Sandler’s career. Maybe this is the film that gets him back on track. Personally I don’t buy it and I can see this as a flusher all the way.

HAUNTED3. “A Haunted House 2” (March 28, 2014) – Can someone please explain to me how a crappy movie like last year’s “A Haunted House” could inflict a sequel upon us? Well, I guess if you have a $2 million budget and you pull in nearly $60 million at the box office a sequel is inevitable. I guess the better question is how on earth did that thing make $60 million? The first film was completely unwatchable and this new thing looks like a carbon copy of it. Sitting through the trailer alone is as entertaining as having a root canal. I know there is an audience for this movie but I promise you it doesn’t include me.

OTHER WOMAN4. “The Other Woman” (April 25, 2014) – I suppose there may be a decent idea stashed away somewhere in “The Other Woman” but to be honest I can’t find it. Three woman come together under the bind of being cheated on by the same man. According to the trailer their quest for revenge features dopey missteps, vomit jokes, lame anatomy gags, and an assortment of other things that I don’t find remotely interesting. This is a comedy that could potentially squeeze out a laugh or two. But personally I think it looks like another clichĂ©d and formulaic comedy that will probably find an audience despite its mediocrity.

NEIGHBORS5. “Neighbors” (May 9, 2014) – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – Seth Rogan in a raunchy comedy. Look, I know this guy has a big following but I don’t get it. This time he and Zac Efron rip off the great Belushi and Aykroyd comedy from 1981. Rogan’s one-trick pony act features the same vulgar, juvenile nonsense that we always get from him and his friends. I know there is an audience out there who will find shooting firecrackers out of your butt and an infant baby chewing on a used condom as funny. I find it to be another example of how void of smarts and originality Hollywood has become when it comes to comedy. This is a flusher through and through.

MOVIE CONFESSIONS

Well Nostra over at My Filmviews is at it again. The master blogathoner has put together a little thing called “Movie Confessions”. It’s a chance for movie fans to come clean and answer a series of questions that expose some of their cinema shortcomings as well as their past cinema vices. So I thought I should get in on the action. Nostra has asked and here are my answers:

1. Which classic movie don’t you like/can’t enjoy and why?

There are several that could easily be mentioned here – “Easy Rider”, “Toy Story 3”, “Fight Club”. But the main movie that instantly came to mind was Stanly Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange”. This is a movie that’s considered monumental for the science fiction genre but I thoroughly detest it, and I’m a huge sci-fi guy! I’ve tried on three different occasions to watch it all the way through and to see what all of the hype was about but I just can’t. Kubrick’s blabbering self-indulgence didn’t work for me at all and I don’t see myself trying to watch it again. I know most consider it a great film and it’s certainly garnered it’s share of accolades, but I promise you, it’ll never make my list of favorite movies.

2. Which ten classic movies haven’t you seen yet?

Sigh. To my shame, I’ve yet to catch “Lawrence”

Gulp! This was the question that I feared the most (Nostra, how could you ask such a question?). Anyway, here it goes:

  1. Singin’ in the Rain” (Sorry, I HATE musicals)
  2. Lawrence of Arabia” (I’ve seen bits but not enough to say I’ve seen it)
  3. My Fair Lady” (Yes, another musical. I’m sorry, ok!)
  4. All the President’s Men” (This just never appealed to me. I know, no excuse.)
  5. West Side Story” (Sense a trend here?)
  6. East of Eden” (Dean’s first major role. Again, I have no excuse.)
  7. The Lion King” (I’m always slow to animated features. It’s to my shame.)
  8. Dr. Zhivago” (Incredibly popular yet I’ve never seen it.)
  9. A Streetcar Named Desire” (Another that I haven’t seen enough of to say I have.)
  10. Any of the “Harry Potter” films (It’s true…yes, it’s true.)

3. Have you ever sneaked into another movie at the cinema?

No. At least not to sit in and watch a full movie. Now I have walked into another room just to see what was happening on the screen. But I’ve never sneaked into a theater or another movie without paying. My hands are clean!

4. Which actor/actress do you think is overrated?

There are several actresses and actors that come to mind. Julia Roberts is certainly one. While she hasn’t been as big lately, she’s still considered a wonderful actress and honestly, I can’t see it. She’s a one-trick pony and so often her roles are just variations of the same performance. Jennifer Aniston is even more overrated. Sure she has the looks but at some point you have to be able to act. I think the roles she’s taking points to her serious lack of acting chops. But ahead of them both would be Angelina Jolie. Talk about someone getting roles for her looks alone (and now even her looks are long gone). She has flirted with decent performances but I’ve yet to see her do anything to warrant the attention she gets.

As far as actors go, Will Ferrell is popular and he seems to be a “love him or hate him” kinda guy. I’ve yet to see anything that earns him the praise he often gets. Worse than Ferrell is Seth Rogan. I know that since I don’t like raunchy comedies he naturally isn’t going to appeal to me, but does he really ever do anything else. Not only is he one-dimensional but I find him extremely annoying. But above all is Ashton Kutcher. Sure, I know he’s mainly reserved for TV these days but he still is a big attention-getter and people really like him. WHY? How does this guy have an acting career. I’ll never understand his popularity.

5. From which big director have you never seen any movie (and why)?

This one was really tough because I have seen films from most of the great directors. But one classic director that I have yet to see a film by is the Italian great Federico Fellini. He’s a highly accomplished and stylish film director and a winner of five Academy Awards. The sad part is that I have no good reason for not seeing any of his films, especially “8 1/2”, a movie that has been in my Netflix queue for months and months. I should have already watched some films made by this influential director.

6. Which movie do you love, but is generally hated?

Yes, I love “The Time Machine”. What of it?

One movie that comes to mind is “The Time Machine”. Now I’m not talking George Pal’s movie from 1960. I’m speaking of the 2002 film directed by Simon Wells and starring Guy Pearce. This adaptation from the H.G. Wells classic was generally panned by critics (its Rotten Tomatoes standing is an abysmal 29%) and by moviegoers alike, but I truly love the film. I whole-heartedly concede that the special effects in the second half of the film aren’t the best. But I still think Pearce was wonderful, the storytelling is strong, and it features a great score. And I still get a warm and almost misty feeling during the wonderful final scene. Yes, I know I’m one of the few, but I loved this version of “The Time Machine”.

7. Have you ever been “one of those annoying people” at the cinema?

I can honestly say no. My mom and dad began taking me to the theater at a very young age. They pretty much taught me early to be quiet, watch the movie, and not ruin it for others. That even stuck with me through my doofus teen years. And still to this day, I can’t stand people talking or being disruptive during a movie. It drives me crazy.

8. Did you ever watch a movie, which you knew in advance would be bad, just because of a specific actor/actress was in it? Which one and why?

Oh yes! I am a HUGE Humphrey Bogart fan. I have the majority of his films in my collection and there were a lot of them. I have even some of his older low-budget pictures and movies where he played only a small part. Some were, to be honest, real stinkers but I not only watched them but added them to my Bogart collection. Yes, I’ve actually watched films such as “Isle of Fury” and “The Return of Doctor X” solely due to Bogart’s participation.

9. Did you ever not watch a specific movie because it had subtitles?

 I’m not going to say I never have, but as a big fan of foreign cinema, subtitles don’t bother me at all. In fact, I would rather there be subtitles that English voice-overs which do more to take away from the film than help it. So for me, subtitles are no problem at all.

10. Are there any movies in your collection that you have had for more than five years and never watched?

Hmmm, yes I have DVDs that I own and haven’t watched but they aren’t movies that I haven’t watched. These are DVDs of movies I have seen before but have never watched my copy. I’ve seen them but may have found them on DVD really cheap or they were given to me. But I don’t think I have a single movie that I haven’t at least seen.

11. Which are the worst movies in your collection and why do you still own them?

Yep, that’s “Van Helsing”!

I mentioned some of the earlier Bogart movies that are pretty terrible but I have them because they are Bogart films. But after briefly looking at my collection there were a handful of others that stood out. Movies like “The 13th Warrior” . I’ve watched it but never again. Then there is the Kevin Sorbo “Kull” movie. I’m not sure why I even bought it. Oh, and how about “Van Helsing” . Kate Beckinsale is in it so there’s the only reason for owning it….maybe.

12. Do you have any confessions about your movie watching setup at home?

I wouldn’t say there is anything I want to confess about it, but it works good for me. I have a 55-inch HD TV, a Playstation 3 for my Blu-Ray and DVD player, and Direct-TV’s HD package. That’s really it. It’s not the greatest setup but it certainly works for me.

13. Any other confessions you want to make?

Well, I’m definitely not the emotional type but good movies have a way of getting to me. If a film packs an emotional punch that’s well done, I’m certainly vulnerable to watery eyes. It may not be the most macho thing to announce, but it’s the truth.

And there it is. My movie confessions. If you’re interested in more information about Nostra’s blogathon, head over to his blog site My Filmviews . There you can find out how to participate and read the confessions of other movie-oholics like me.