By Shane Sellar
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The problem with killing a radioactive human/arachnid hybrid is it rains for, like, six weeks straight.
Luckily the wall-crawler in this action movie is hard to squash.
Concerned that his actions as Spider-Man could jeopardize Gwen (Emma Stone), Peter (Andrew Garfield) breaks things off with her.
To keep his mind occupied, he bonds with Aunt May (Sally Field) and battles with Rhino (Paul Giamatti), Electro (Jamie Foxx) and the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan).
And while fate ultimately brings Peter and Gwen back together, it also heralds Spider-Man’s greatest loss.
Although it’s bloated on villains, this sequel is the closest to the character this franchise has come.
Garfield’s bogus Brooklyn accent notwithstanding, his sinewy stature and breezy banter evokes Marvel’s mascot better than his predecessor.
What’s more, its treatment of the infamous Gwen Stacy storyline is longwinded but laudable.
However, nothing is more humiliating than a superhero walking his girlfriend’s teacup Chihuahuas.
When combining two families into one you may find redundancies amongst the children.
However the blended family in this comedy is keeping their brood intact.
Lauren (Drew Barrymore), a single mother of two, goes out with Jim (Adam Sandler), widowed father of three girls, and it ends terribly.
However, happenstance reunites them at the pharmacy, then again at Lauren’s home, and lastly in Africa, where their families are amalgamated and sent on a “familymoon.”
Forced into couple’s activities, Lauren and Jim soften towards each other, if only until they return stateside.
While this third pairing of Barrymore and Sandler endeavours to deal with weightier issues, like children losing a parent and the complications involved in moving on, but any hope of sincerity is lost in a sea of trivial humour and offensive stereotypes.
And as always, the best way for new families to break the ice is to get shitfaced together.
Muppets Most Wanted
If the Muppets ever died in a theatre fire, it would be the most delicious tragedy ever.
Fortunately, the anthropomorphic entertainers in this family film don’t have a theatre to charbroil in.
Riding high off of their return to pop culture, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the rest of their vaudevillian comrades ponder their next step.
Approached by talent agent Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) to tour Europe, the gang naively agrees.
However, the gigs are just a cover so Kermit’s criminal doppelganger can steal the Crown Jewels of England.
Meanwhile, the real Kermit rots in a Gulag inhabited by Russia’s roughest prisoners (Ray Liotta, Tom Hiddleston, Jemaine Clement, Josh Groban) and cruelest guards (Tina Fey, Toby Jones, Stanley Tucci).
With cheeky ditties, self-deprecating celebrities and social satirizing at their finest, this eighth addition to the canon ranks among the franchise’s funniest.
Coincidentally, in prison, most inmates are treated like hand puppets.
The ingenious thing about hands-free is it allows you to put both hands on that circular device that guides the tires.
Luckily, advanced mechanics is not required for this drama.
On the eve of the biggest concrete pour of his career, Locke (Tom Hardy) faces the biggest quandary of his life when the woman he had an affair with goes into labour.
Unwilling to abandon the child like his father did him, Locke drives to London to be with her, at the expense of an evening with his family.
Meanwhile, it’s up to Locke’s assistant (Ben Daniels) to save tomorrow’s pour, under Locke’s guidance.
Told through phone calls had in a car, Locke makes great use of voice acting to propel the narrative; however, the humdrum subject matter doesn’t lend well to the medium.
Besides driving, the only other calls you need to make hands-free are to phone sex workers.
The upside to being a corrupt cop is that you’ll have plenty of friends when you go to prison.
And while this crime-dramedy isn’t about being the new fish, it is about being a pig.
Tasked with finding the street-gang that killed a Chinese student, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) stumbles his way through the case drunk, high and horny.
All the while scheming his co-workers (Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots) out of a coveted promotion, and making dirty phone calls.
Plagued by animal faced hallucination and sexual deviancy, Bruce descends into self-medicated madness where he uncovers the reason behind his hesitancy towards the case.
Based on the book by Irvine Welsh, Filth is a grimy farm animal allegory that will offend with its amorality and brutality as often as it entertains with its over-the-top scenes of absurdity and drug-fuel debauchery.
Incidentally, joining a corrupt police force is relatively inexpensive.
A Haunted House 2
The best way to protect your new home from becoming a haven for supernatural entities is to convert into a sage grow-op.
Mind you, the homeowner in this comedy would likely grow something greener.
After his girlfriend (Essence Atkins) is killed, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) moves in with a white girl (Jaime Pressly) and her daughter (Ashley Rickards).
Shortly after moving in Malcolm again feels the presence of evil. However, this time it comes in the form of a demonically possessed doll and teenager.
Seeking the advice of religious and spiritual experts (Cedric the Entertainer, Missi Pyle, Hayes MacArthur) Malcolm attempts to exercise his abode.
Meanwhile, his reanimated ex has moved in next-door.
The same low-end parody as the first, part two continues to lampoon the latest crop of exorcist inspired horror movies with disastrously and humourless results.
Furthermore, aren’t all blended family homes required to have a black-and-white picket fence?
In most dystopian scenarios the human race is divided into two groups: meat and not meat.
However, the futuristic civilization in this sci-fi film is split into five.
Abnegation (altruistic) from birth, Tris (Shailene Woodley) was raised in a post-apocalyptic Chicago.
On her 16th birthday, she gets to decide if she would rather be Amity (passive), Erudite (academic), Candor (truthful) or Dauntless (fearless).
While she chooses the latter, her State aptitude test revels she is all five, and thus Divergent.
Meanwhile, the head of Erudite (Kate Winslet) is using mind-control on Dauntless soldiers to eradicate the Abnegation.
Based on the popular YA novel, Divergent mimics others of its ilk in terms of it hierarchical society and puerile romance; however, it deviates from the pack when it comes to its higher caliber of acting and directing.
Incidentally, allotment in any setting – apocalyptic or not – is usually by someone’s race.
Need for Speed
The key to a successful video game movie is getting women excited about watching their boyfriend watch it for hours.
Fortunately, this cartridge-based action movie attempts to engage ignored girlfriends as well.
Released after serving time for his brother’s street racing death, Tobey (Aaron Paul) sets out to catch the real culprit, car enthusiast Dino (Dominic Cooper).
But to prove it was Dino who killed his brother, Tobey must do the impossible and win a cross-country race organized by the elusive Monarch (Michael Keaton).
Riding shotgun is the owner (Imogen Poots) of the Shelby that Tobey will be careening the Pacific Coast Highway at high speeds in.
Based on the popular racing game, this big-screen adaptation delivers the stylized street-races the franchise is known for, but fails to trick it out with a credible story or capable leads.
Incidentally the winner of street races that end in driver fatality is the general public.
Until now, the only monsters in mirrors were women before they put their makeup on.
However, no eye shadow could titivate the mirror-eyed apparition in this horror movie.
Eleven years after confessing to police that a possessed mirror murdered his parents, Tim (Brenton Thwaites) is released from a mental institute.
Reunited with his sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan), who can attest to supernatural involvement, Tim is also brought back together with the antique mirror he believes is responsible.
Purchased by their parents (Rory Cochrane, Katee Sackhoff), who were driven insane by it, Kaylie and Tim plan to capture the creature within its surface on camera and kill it.
With both timelines told simultaneously, Oculus reveals its intricacies methodically. Well told and well executed, the scares are psychological and startling.
By the way, the best way to ward off evil spirits living in old mirrors is to install it above your bed.
A good prank to play on God would’ve been for Noah to load the Ark with only same-sex animals.
Unfortunately, there are few practical jokes to be found in this drama.
Fed up with how corrupt humans have become, The Creator decides to cleanse Earth with a fatal flood.
Sharing this with Noah (Russell Crowe) in a dream, The Creator instructs him to build a large vessel for him, his family (Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman, Leo McHugh Carroll) and Earth’s fauna to dwell in during the deluge.
Standing in their way, however, is an army of the forsaken lead by the son of Cain (Ray Winstone).
Loosely based on the biblical account, this visually striking re-imagining establishes its otherworldliness early on with angelic rock giants, but later balances it with earthbound quandaries concerning Noah’s extremist views.
In addition to animals, paddle boarders also survived the flood.
The Other Woman
Married men have had women on the side since biblical times – just ask Adam’s first wife Lilith.
And while this comedy is a modern take on infidelity, the scorned wife’s retribution is biblical.
Carly (Cameron Diaz), a successful lawyer, is stocked by Kate (Leslie Mann), the insecure wife of Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the man Carly has been sleeping with.
Eventually, the pair plans their payback, which includes hair-removal product in Mark’s shampoo and estrogen in his food.
But things take a turn for the worst when they not only discover he has a much younger second mistress (Kate Upton) but has been making bad business deals in Kate’s name.
While the chemistry between the women works to a degree, their childish brand of reprisal is ruthless and reprehensible. Meanwhile, its formulaic ending offers little female empowerment.
Furthermore, if women keep degrading themselves like this they won’t need men anymore.
He has Remixed Emotions. He’s the…