Monday, May 4, 2015

Wknd Box Office: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Adult Beginners, Clouds of Sils Maria

Here is an interesting article from reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post about some of the movies from last week and THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to choosing good movies to watch yourself!

Wknd Box Office: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Adult Beginners, Clouds of Sils Maria

By Debbie Schlussel


Here are my belated reviews of the movies which debuted in theaters this weekend. If you haven’t seen any of these, you aren’t missing much:
* “Avengers: Age of Ultron“: While I liked this Avengers movie much better than the first one (read my review), it was just okay. Nothing spectacular, and the special effects were the same you’ve seen before in every other superhero flick. I saw it in 3D, and the only good 3D in the movie was the part before, where they tell you to put on your 3D glasses and have a numerical countdown flying at your face.
The story: a robot-like villain, Ultron (voiced by James Spader), wants to create a superior computer-robot-human hybrid, after which he wants to destroy the human race. First the Avengers are fighting him off and also fighting his allies, a pair of brother-sister Slovakian twins with special powers. Ultimately, the twins–one of whom is Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the other of whom is the Red Witch (Olsen Twins’ sister Elizabeth Olsen, doing a crummy Slavic accent)–realize that Ultron is doing evil and lied to them. So, they turn and join the Avengers, helping them to defeat Ultron and his league of cloned Ultron robots bent on destroying humans.
At two hours and 21 minutes, the movie is thankfully shorter than most superhero movies today, but it’s still too long. Also, I could have done without the language–it’s rife with four letter words and this becomes part of a running joke–since we know that it’s a superhero movie and throngs of kids will go see it. I mean, did we really need to hear raunchy–and very cheesy–dialogue like the lines between David Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), who are romantically involved. Banner: “You’re being too hard on yourself.” Black Widow: “I thought that was your job.” Or dialogue in which Captain America calls something “a dick move”? Superhero movies used to be family-friendly. Now, they are only adult-friendly but don’t have the appropriate rating to go with it. Yeah, yeah, yeah/I know, I know, I know–kids hear much worse from their friends today and see far more on the internet. But that doesn’t mean this stuff was necessary and should have been served up by Disney, which owns Marvel and approves of this stuff.
Like I said, this movie was better than the first Avengers movie, but the bar was low. At least this plot was easier to understand and the movie wasn’t as much of a mess. Still, it was too long and I didn’t feel like I got much after coming out of it, other than nearly 2.5 hours of life I’ll never get back. The brain-addled masses of superhero fan boys will spend oodles of money and rave about it, regardless of the merits, so it will top the box office takes, this weekend, no matter what.
Watch the trailer . . .

* “Adult Beginners“: Watching this felt like wasting valuable time on the world’s worst reality show. The movie was slow, boring, stupid, and pointless. The story: a young tech entrepreneur (Nick Kroll) is about to become a multi-millionaire when word gets out over the internet, just before his new product’s introduction, that his product is faulty and the parts are defective. So he loses everything–everyone else’s money–and he is forced to grovel to his estranged sister and her husband and ask to live with them while he figures out what to do with the rest of his life. They tell him he can stay in exchange for being the nanny to their son. As he does this, he smokes pot, sleeps with other nannies, and spies his brother-in-law cheating on his sister. Who cares about this loser? I didn’t. And you won’t either. You were forewarned about this utter waste of time.
Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Clouds of Sils Maria“: Yet another long, slow bore with zero point or relevance to you or me. This pretentious film is an inside baseball story of an aging actress who was a big star but must now deal with aging and playing older, less glamorous parts. I’m making it sound far more interesting than it actually is.
The story: Juliette Binoche is a big star who is now in her 40s. Her favorite poet has died just before she’s scheduled to accept a prestigious award on his behalf. After that, she’s asked to play a role in his play that first made her a star decades ago. Before, though, she played a young seductress. Now, she must play the older seduced female boss. She goes back and forth on whether or not she wants to do the play. The woman who played the older role opposite her, years ago, died in a horrible car accident, and she apparently thinks it’s an omen of bad luck associated with the role. She reads lines with her personal assistant Kristen Stewart and then gets in fights with her. As they read the lines of the play, it’s quite apparent that the lines may apply to their roles in real life, and it becomes harder to see where it’s the play they are reading and where they are just speaking their minds. Also, they hike to see the elusive “snake” cloud of Sils Maria in the Alps–the cloud for which the play is titled.
As I said, I’m not sure what the point of this was nor why I had to sit through this. But it’s boring and a waste of time. Nothing redeeming in here.
Watch the trailer . . .

Remember, you can always hear my movie reviews live, first thing every Friday morning on “The Mike Church Show” on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 after 7:05 am Eastern and on “The Pat Campbell Show” on KFAQ 1170 AM Tulsa at 7:35 am Eastern. I do my movie reviews on both shows, as well as some discussion of current political issues and pop culture topics.

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