Movie – Transformers: Age of Extinction: C+

transformers age of extinctionC+
Well it worked again. I was surely done with Transformers but the siren call of fire-breathing robot dinosaurs was too much to resist. The film opens with dinosaurs getting turned into metal, teasing the only reason I’m in the theater. Then I sat through almost three hours of non-sensical and repetitive action until they finally showed up. And then didn’t talk. Or have anything to do with the dinosaurs from the beginning. Or the rest of the “plot” for that matter. Then they left without ceremony. Don’t get me wrong, they were awesome, and other new autobots who did get the screen time were fine, but not worth the dozens of pointless characters, awful dialog, aimless plotting, convoluted set-pieces, and pure excess that must be endured to get there.

Movie – Ted: B+

tedB+

Like most comedies, Ted takes a standard plot and wraps a silly concept around it. Oddly enough, it manages to be as raunchy as you’d expect with an R-rated comedy, but still sentimental like a romantic comedy. Like Family Guy, there’s a lot of disjointed scenes, a heavy reliance on nostalgia, and many segments that run a little longer than they probably should. But there’s plenty of funny to make up for most of it.

Movie – Lone Survivor: A+

lone survivorA+
You know those scenes where, after they’re over, you can hear the audience release their collective held breath? Well that’s basically the entire second act of Lone Survivor. It’s intense and engaging in a visceral sense. Every time the characters start to have a cliche war-film conversation, BOOM! Explosion in your face. Ain’t no time for talking! It’s a little yee-haw-go-America and had some somewhat sappy moments with the “good” Afghans, but probably less so than most other modern war films. I just wish the title wasn’t so spoilery.

Movie – 2 Guns: B+

2 gunsB+
Denzel played himself, naturally, and Wahlberg played the funny version of his two personas, and with the help of some good dialog, they gave the film some great buddy flick humor. The story wasn’t terribly original, and the twists were pretty standard fair for such a film. I went into this without really having any idea what it was about, and that lack of presumptions certainly helped that poor plotting seem less detrimental.

Movie – Broken City: C

broken cityC

Broken City was so bland I can barely recall the flavor. Perhaps I was tapped out on political thrillers after watching House of Cards and The Killing. Wahlberg, Crowe, and Catherine Zeta Jones all portrayed their boring characters admirably while the story lumbered on around them. You’ll forget this film while the credits are still rolling.

Movie – Contraband: B


B
Every once in a while, the story would stumble across something clever, but mostly its plot was just another “ex-con turned family man doing one last job” snore, but still somehow needlessly complicated. Mark Wahlberg idles through his performance and the rest of the cast follows suit.