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.

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Movie – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: A-

catching fireA-
Catching fire is a true rarity: a film that’s significantly better than the book. The book bored me nearly to the point of giving up, while I felt the film was even more entertaining than the first. Gone were all the unnecessary detail and tedious filler scenes. Even more impressive, I liked it better than the first film, which I liked more than the first book. The focus shifted to the places it needed to, and thankfully we’ve moved away from shaky cam. After my disappointment with the Catching Fire novel, I never bothered with Mockingjay. Now I find myself wanting to see the end on film. (Though, lamentably, it’s being split in two. Hopefully that’s the next trend we can escape.)

Movie – Jack the Giant Slayer: B-

jack the giant slayerB-
The combination of bad dialog, heaping tons of CG, and Ewan McGregor makes me amazed George Lucas wasn’t involved. The plot plods along a well-worn path littered with McGuffins and tired tropes. Lame humor, dull action, a boring story, and pale acting all add up to a film you’ll (happily) forget easily.

Movie – Captain America: A-


A-
Captain America offers no surprises and no scene truly wowed me. That said, I wasn’t at all disappointed. It took a while for him to really get down to the real Captain America-ing, but that was ok, since that time was spent building interesting characters. Hugo Weaving was great as Red Skull but his accent wavered, and that’s being generous. I also really liked how it began to tie everything together for Avengers, such as the elder Stark and Norse references. Forgoing a scene post-credits for an Avengers trailer however, was not cool.