What an interesting month May has been for movies, kicking off with Spider-Man swinging around NY for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But that is not the only super hero film we were given this month as Wolverine went back in time for X-Men: Days of Future Past. While we are on the topic of the past, a monster, the god of monsters to be exact, that has been wrecking havoc since 1954 makes a new appearance in Gareth Edwards' latest remake of Godzilla. These are only three of the many films that were released in May, and believe it or not, none of these are my top pick for May. Here are my top 3 picks and my most disappointing film of the month.
3. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bryan Singer returns in the director's seat for his fourth X-Men film with the prior three all being very successful. Many will probably be upset and say that this is by far the best film of the month, as some cry that this is the best X-Men film ever and some may go as far as saying that is is better than Avengers. There is no way you can possibly tell me that it is better than Avengers but you can make a case that it is the best X-Men film. But to me my favorite X-Men film is X-Men: First Class. X-Men: Days of Future Past introduced us to a new group of mutants which was a smart move but we saw very few from these new characters. Bishop, Blink, Warpath, and Sunspot were introduced but we don't really learn anything about these characters but their powers. They were just thrown into the film just to make it look cool, doing nothing else for the film but that. The same can be said about the Sentinels which were only really impressive in their battle scenes against the future mutants. Which was ghe first strike I had with the film. The other was that there was a lot of background of past X-Men films that they never cleared up for us. There are two particular situations I am talking about: Charles Xavier being brought back to life in his own body and Wolverine having his claws back. If you remember in X-Men: The Last Stand, Charles Xavier died but in the post-credit scene, he transferred his consciousness into another body. X-Men: Days of Future Past never explains why the character looks exactly the same, or is still a paraplegic. As for Wolverine's claws, if you remember from The Wolverine, his metal claws were ultimately removed. How did Wolverine get his claws back? We were never told how. But Quicksilver is by far the highlight (not including the post-credit scene) of the film. I wouldn't mind taking out that Quicksilver scene and looping it over for two hours.
In order to prevent a grim future in which mutants and their human sympathizers are systematically hunted and killed by towering, unstoppable robots called Sentinels, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) travels back in time to change the course of history in this sequel that finds X-Men and X2: X-Men United director Bryan Singer returning to the helm.
The film opens in a dark and desolate future that was set in motion in 1973, when brilliant scientist Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) created a series of giant robots called Sentinels for the sole purpose of wiping out mutants, whom he claimed were a direct threat to the human race. Although initially programmed solely to target mutants, the Sentinels soon began eradicating humans who possessed the DNA to breed mutants, and eventually, any mortal mutant sympathizers. Desperate, Prof. Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) devise a plan to have Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) send Wolverine back to the year when Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) assassinated Trask -- it turns out that Mystique inadvertently accelerated the Sentinel program when she was subsequently captured by Sgt. William Stryker (Josh Helman), who succeeded at harvesting her DNA to make the robots more powerful than ever before.
Upon arriving in the past, Wolverine quickly seeks out a much younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), as well as Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and together they help break a young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) out of a heavily fortified prison cell hundreds of feet beneath the Pentagon. Meanwhile, with the help of Havok, Ink, Toad, and Spike, Mystique is already moving in for the kill. Although Wolverine, Beast, Charles, and Magneto manage to thwart the assassination, Charles and Magneto once again find themselves at odds after the latter attempts to alter the plan at the last moment, creating a mass panic during a post-Vietnam War peace summit in Paris. And Dr. Trask, still fuming from having had the Sentinel program rejected by Congress, takes his proposal directly to President Nixon (Mark Camacho), laying the groundwork for an even darker future than the one Wolverine was sent back to prevent.
2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
On May 2nd Marc Webb released the sequel to his Amazing Spider-Man franchise. The Amazing Spider-Man was released in 2012 and made a huge splash amongst comic book fans, mostly because the last Spider-Man film was quite awful. I agree roughly with the reviews that it received on Rotten Tomatoes, and with the 73% rating it received on the Tomatometer. Along with the post-credit scene, I was quite excited for the sequel. So here we are, two years since The Amazing Spider-Man and ten years since Spider-Man 2, which happens to be my favorite Spider-Man film from Sam Raimi's trilogy. Back to Webb's sequel, it wasn't as much of a swinging hit as the first, it does have a lot of flaws but overall it still was a good film. The biggest flaw of the film is that Webb tried to fit too much into it, way too much. Just in this film alone, Felicia Hardy, The Daily Bugle, J Jonah Jameson, Alistair Smythe, Doc Oct, Vulture, Rhino and Mister Fear were introduced. That is way too much for any film. I blame it mostly on the studio’s want for building the franchise. With Sony planning on making at least two more films in the The Amazing Spider-Man series and spin-off films that include a Venom and Sinister Six film, introducing new characters are a must. But this film isn't filled with only negatives as the action sequences were amazing, especially the one at Times Square. I was literally in awe when Webb slowed down the speed and showed us Spider-Man's spidey senses in action. Truly a work of art. The chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone was so good, which is the main reason why I was upset that she died at the end. With the way the film ended, it leaves you expecting something epic from the next film and almost makes you upset at the same time that you have to wait for another film to come out to know what is going to happen to Peter Parker next.
We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.
It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.
Some might be utterly surprised with my top movie of the month but if you have seen it then you shouldn't be. Jon Favreau started off his career through independent film starting with the 1996 film Swingers. Since then Favreau has played the actor-director role with his biggest hit being what some consider Marvel’s best stand alone film, Iron Man. Not everything Favreau has touched has been gold, he received criticisms for his last two films: Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens. The latter came out in 2011 and three years later Favreau is back and is taking the indie route again with Chef. The movie takes you on a two hour long sentimental self-realization journey filled with one-liners, social media jokes, and tasty mouth drooling dishes. This film isn't perfect and most likely won't be nominated for an Oscar but when considering the film as a whole, it out does the rest. Every single character was used perfectly, its sentimental level is perfect and the overall story was told very well despite it dragging a tad towards the middle. Perhaps the biggest problem with Chef is that the film came out on a day seven films came out as well or a month which included four blockbuster films, making it very easy to over look the film. Luckily for me and perhaps even you, if you take my word on it, I watched the film and didn't overlook it one bit.
An out-of-work L.A. chef (writer/director Jon Favreau) opens a food truck in a bid to realize his culinary potential and reconnect with his estranged family in this indie ensemble comedy co-starring Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, and Bobby Cannavale
Most Disappointing Film
This was a decision between either this film or Godzilla but because I was anticipating Maleficent way more, it just made my disappointment that much higher. Maleficent had everything going for it that made one assume that this movie would be a huge hit. The trailers were highly promising, a concept that was appealing to all ages and a lead actress that everyone loves. But Disney’s live action re-imagination of Sleeping Beauty fails to live up to this potential. It is very upsetting at the end of the day. I recall when I first saw the trailer for the film I thought this film was going to be very dark and jokingly said, "Why isn't Burton directing this?" But the man, Robert Stromberg, who did take the directing seat was just as good of a choice looking at his past line of work. Although this is Robert Stromberg’s first directorial debut, he is no stranger to the film business having already being nominated for THREE Oscars and winning two of those nominations. He won in 2010 and 2011 for Best Achievement in Art Direction for Alice in Wonderland and Avatar, with 2004 being the only time he hasn’t taken home the hardware when he was nominated for Best Visual Effects for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. So there is one thing we can expect from Maleficent and that is that it will be a visual masterpiece, WHICH IT WAS. But the visuals and Jolie were the only thing worth talking about, everything else was a complete fail. The supporting actors didn't really give anything to the film, scenes could of benefited from being longer and not being rushed. Stromberg might have given another visual beauty but when it comes to the other aspects of directing, Stromberg has a while to go. As for the dark vibe I assumed the film was going to have, it was the exact opposite. Yes, there are some dark scenes but as a film as a whole it is not. It is actually directed towards the kids 100% as they painted the Mistress of All Evil into a heroine. Womp womp womp.
The untold story of Disney's most fearsome villainess comes to life in this dark fantasy starring Angelina Jolie as the dreaded Maleficent. As a young girl, Maleficent possessed radiant beauty and a pure heart. Her life in a quiet forest kingdom was a happy one until a fateful day when invading humans carved a swath of chaos throughout the land. Maleficent's selfless heroism during those dark times would become the stuff of legend, though it was an unspeakable act of betrayal that would ultimately shape her into the dreaded Mistress of All Evil. That diabolical transformation begins to take place when the vengeful Maleficent seeks to defeat the noble invader's successor, and places a curse on his infant daughter Aurora. Later, Maleficent discovers that the child she once cursed may possess the power to not only pull her back from the dark side, but to restore the peace in their battle-scarred land as well. Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, and Miranda Richardson co-star.
Labels: Chef, Maleficent, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past