This week is the first time this summer that every movie that is releasing has some genuine buzz and excitement surrounding it. If there is one weekend to go out to the movies, THIS is your weekend. From a new Marvel movie to a follow-up to one of the best documentaries of the past ten years, you’re $10-$15 spent at the theater is going to be money well spent.
Opening In Wide Release
What on the surface seemed like a strange choice for Marvel to close Phase 2 of the MCU, Ant-Man makes perfect sense along with Avengers: Age of Ultron to introduce a new group of major superheroes and setup the next four years of Marvel movies. Like last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man is much bigger risk as a superhero because of his relatively unknown nature in the mainstream and also the fact that he doesn’t seem all that impressive. While that is NOT true to those who know and love this original comic book Avenger, it remains to be seen if Paul Rudd and the store up Marvel goodwill can propel a movie that has been mired in script problems and director controversy to success. Personally, I am excited, but I honestly have low expectations for this Marvel movie that will only be rivaled by the expectations I am taking into Spider-Man in 2017. I’m still excited, just not as over-the-moon excited as I was for AoU.
This weekends other wide release certainly garnered a lot of attention with Amy Schumer posing in a Princess Leia gold bikini with C-3PO on the cover of GQ. However, it is unfortunate that Schumer needs to drum up her movies by baring all when her down-to-earth, crude, and biting comedy typically speaks for itself. She is incredibly talented and really funny, so I do not doubt this movie is going to be pretty great. Throw in Bill Hader in a supporting role to Schumer and you have two great comedians to make a funny movie with. Hader is as unassuming good guy who has a one-night stand with the uncommitted Schumer. She is shocked when he keeps calling her back and trying to setup return dates and what ensues is her coming to grips with the possibility of a serious relationship with a great guy. Definitely worth your time this weekend and let us know what you thought if you see it.
Opening In Limited Release
At first glance, you may have thought this was the Marvel superhero movie you had never heard of, but then you saw it was by Woody Allen and you knew that couldn’t possibly be it. Nope, it’s the latest output from the quirky, rom-com master himself, and this time he’s got two big stars in Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone. Phoenix is a renowned professor tormented and stuck in a rut. When he meets Stone’s character things turn around for him and he begins to feel alive once again. I’m holding out hope it is better than some of Allen’s more recent films, however initial reviews have been mixed, which is surprising considering the stars but not surprising considering Allen. Check it out and prove those mixed reviews wrong or right and let us know what you thought.
Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow up to the incredible The Act of Killing from 2013, The Look of Silence finds Oppenheimer returning to Indonesia. This time, he is not interviewing just the men who killed in the horrible death squads, but he interviews a family as they confront one of these men that killed their brother. It has won a ton of festival awards and I have heard good things from a couple people in the Chicago area who saw it at the Chicago International Film Festival in 2014. If it is playing in your area, go see this movie. You will not be disappointed.
I’ve been eyeing up this movie with intrigue since I saw it was Ian McKellen starring as Sherlock Holmes and directing is Bill Condon, who is directing the forthcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast movie for Disney. This looks to be an extremely interesting premise and something very different for everyone’s favorite London sleuth. What starts as Holmes looking to correct and downplay many of the embellishments of his distinguished career, an elderly Holmes looks back on his life, an unsolved case, and finds some new life and resolve in a quaint town with family when a murder plot is uncovered. Very excited for this one and one thinks this might be a chance got Ian McKellen to snag an Oscar? Too early for that? Well, those who are fortunate enough to have this in theaters this weekend will definitely see.
I don’t remember much about my college Sociology classes, but I certainly do remember talking about the Stanford Prison Experiment. It was a landmark study where 24 out of a pool of 75 students were selected at random to be prisoners and prison guards to study the psychological effects of being put into those roles. Put on in the basement of the Stanford Psychology Department’s basement, Professor Philip Zimbardo conducted and led the study on these students. It was an important study, but was highly disturbing for how the experiment pacified the prisoners and led the guards, and even Zimbardo himself as the Superintendent, to psychologically abuse and harass the prisoners, despite it being an experiment and they were all peers.
The premise is interesting enough to make a movie, however I am more excited by the exciting young talent in the movie like Ezra Miller (playing Barry Allen/The Flash in upcoming DC movies), Tye Sheridan (Joe, the new Scott Summers in X-Men: Apocalypse), and also the veteran presence of Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, Big Fish) as Zimbardo. Very exciting and I can’t wait to see this one!