Movie – The LEGO Movie: A+

lego movieA+
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kids movie so consistently funny and purely entertaining. Every character was distinct and I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite. I was pleasantly surprised by how many LEGO franchises made cameos. And the animation blew me away. The dedication to keeping everything 100% LEGO produced astounding cohesion and immersion. A definite candidate for best film of 2014.

Movie – Now You See Me: B+

now you see meB+
Like Trance, you can expect a movie about magicians and misdirection to have a high level of plot twistiness. Unlike Trance, the final twist is incredibly forced and doesn’t make any sense under even slight scrutiny. Fortunately, the ride along the way is entertaining enough and is populated with actors I like enough to enjoy, though surprisingly Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman aren’t up to their usual standards. It starts with some awful spinning camera tedium and is filled with terrible dialog by bystanders, audience members, and news reporters. But these annoying details are largely forgiven by some fun scenes, such as the initial police interrogations and the various magic performances/heists.

Movie – Oblivion: A

This has been the summer of Post-Earth stories, but I think Oblivion is the only one that really did it right. The story has a few turns, but allows you to see around the corners instead of yanking you through twists. It could be argued that this equates predictability, but I think it’s just sound story structure. Tom Cruise’s casting couldn’t have been better, and his co-stars worked well too. It’s a world both beautifully imagined and visualized. Good, solid science fiction.

Movie – Olympus Has Fallen: C

olympus has fallenC
Events happened as the plot needed them, rather than attempting any semblance of believability. The villain’s logic was riddled with more holes than the annoyingly incompetent secret service men who were slaughtered so pointlessly. The “good guys” weren’t much better in the decision-making department though. It was so hard to feel concern for characters I thought were so dumb. The initial attack was fairly actiony, but it’s hard to enjoy the game if your team is losing by a wide margin. The action picks up, allowing Gerard Butler to Die-Hard his way through the White House, but never amounts to much and is littered with terrible CG.

Movie – The Dark Knight Rises: A

As a fully indoctrinated Nolan-ite, it’s difficult for me to judge this movie honestly. Simply giving it an A instead of A+ required some serious mental anguish. But it’s not a perfect movie. It’s a great movie, but I felt some off-balance pacing and a bit of predictability hurt its *ahem* rise to meet the hype. Though this predictability may only present itself to those versed in Batman lore. There were dozens of sequences I loved, and that fantastic Nolan dialog I can’t get enough of. It brought the conclusion the series needed, but the effects weren’t as awe-inspiring as its predecessors.