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 Bourne Legacy: A-

Spy thrillers seem a genre I always forget I love so much, and the Bourne trilogy is among the best out there. I enjoyed this new direction, but felt the motivations were a little off, though I admit in retrospect Damon’s Bourne’s amnesia is also fairly weak. The action, however, was solid and entertaining. Lots of it reminded of similar scenes in the other Bourne films, but I enjoyed that rather than lamenting any stagnancy. Renner remains an actor that I’ve enjoyed watching, but not one that excites me.

Movie – The Avengers: A+

Avengers represents everything that is great about the summer blockbuster. It was witty, entertaining, and full of memorable moments. The characters were portrayed exactly as I’d hoped, with a surprising amount of depth given the limited amount of screen time available that comes from having such a large cast. My only real complaint was that the enemy aliens were fairly bland, though to counter that, their big snake ship things were fairly awesome.

Movie – Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol: A

Apparently the transition from animation to action movie is a good one, as Brad Bird crafted another gem here. The locations were great, the characters entertaining without being ridiculous, and the action continuous and  thrilling. The entire segment in Dubai was stupendous. Definitely the best of a (previously) lack-luster series.