Movie – Guardians of the Galaxy: A+

guardians of the galaxyA+
I’ve always convinced myself I was a fan of Marvel’s cosmic series, but to be honest, I would classify very few as “good”. But now, finally, I am rewarded for my vigilant fandom. Guardians of the Galaxy threw more cosmic comic references than I could’ve dreamed, and topped it with nostalgia for things non-comic-bookers love too, most notably the music. But even the space adventure structure felt warmly familiar. The humor exceeded expectations (which were already high) and the action flowed gorgeously. And for a movie overflowing with characters, each was granted enough time to find a purpose.

Movie – American Hustle: B+

american hustleB+
American Hustle had all the ingredients for a favorite; five actors I like, a director whose previous works I’ve enjoyed, and critical acclaim. Alas, all that didn’t congeal into the cinematic dish I was salivating over. It had the humor of Silver Linings Playbook, but not consistently. The characters were strong, but not as strong as in The Fighter. The performances, however, were absolutely up to expectations, especially Bale, Lawrence, and Renner. The soundtrack was also awesome and perfectly utilized.

Movie – The Place Beyond the Pines: A

place beyond the pinesA
Certainly stylish, and wonderfully thought-provoking. Gosling’s performances are getting familiar, but Bradley Cooper shines here. I suppose this film made me realize I’m a fan of his. It experiments with an ambitious, and a little awkward, structure. But once the third act started and I realized where the themes were taking me, I became a fan of this film as well.

Movie – Silver Linings Playbook: A

silver linings playbookA
Upon examination, it’s a romantic comedy I suppose, but it certainly didn’t seem like that loathed genre during the viewing. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro’s characters are all beautifully nuanced and perfectly acted. The humor is smart and continuous. It’s a script where everything just worked.

Movie – Limitless: B-

It is very difficult to write a first-person story about a genius without being a genius. Comic books and other genre stories often run into this problem. I think Flowers for Algernon remains the most successful implementation. Limitless didn’t utterly fail in this regard, but any amount of scrutiny creates doubt. I enjoyed the visuals of the film, such as how it replaced the drab world in which he began the movie with a bright, almost yellow, sheen when on the genius-enabling pill. Overall not boring, but forgettable.