Movie Roundup: Which of this month’s Blockbusters are Studs and which are Duds?

Godzilla 2014 Movie Poster

Captain America: The Winter Soldier more than whet my appetite for the onslaught of blockbusters in the month of May. The Godzilla trailer had me excited if it could be this summer’s apex predator while I was cautiously skeptical if Days of Future Past could be X-Men’s equivalent of the Avengers.

There are also some older films that I watched this past month, some of them I wouldn’t have heard of it wasn’t for recommendations from movie bloggers. I’ve included excerpts from the best blogger reviews I came across on all of these movies. Check out the full write up by clicking on the link and remember to follow those awesome blogs.

What do you think of this summer’s blockbusters so far? What is your favorite movie, new or old, you watched in May?


Amazing Spider-Man 2

The_Amazing_Spiderman_2_poster

Sidekick Reviews: While the sequel is anything but amazing, there are some positives to take away. The chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone comes across really well on-screen.  I also liked how ASM2 embraced its comic-book roots, including Spidey retooling his web slinger to get the edge over the villain. ASM2 could have benefited from streamlining the number of plot threads and villains. The studio has it’s eye on setting up the Sinister Six spin-off but neglected to fully develop these villains into engaging, complex antagonists in this movie. The Average Spider-Man doesn’t have the same ring to it.


 Neighbors

Neighbors_(2014)_Poster

Sidekick Reviews: A raunchy, obscene, frat-boy comedy. If you’ve never been a fan of Seth Rogen’s brand of humour, Neighbors won’t change your opinion. But if you’re a fan like me, this comedy delivers some big laughs as the war between neighbours escalates into the absurd and the amusingly inane. Neighbors is about being afraid to grow up and avoiding adult responsibilities, something that perhaps many can identify with, even if everything else in the movie is fun, far-fetched silliness.


 Godzilla

Godzilla_(2014)_poster

Tim Film Reviews: Godzilla is a disaster film that also features Godzilla, this is both a strength and a weakness of the film. I liked the tone and serious nature of the film and how it portrayed the title monster but it had problems. The human element was strong to start with but quickly became bland and lifeless. The story whilst for the most was fresh in its delivery did at times revisit monster franchises that it clearly wanted to be and came very close.

Sidekick Reviews: Director Gareth Edwards has an eye for some very cool shots. I got goosebumps when Godzilla first roared in all his gargantuan glory and during the soldiers’ halo jump out of the plane into a cloud of dust & debris. Where Godzilla falls short are the lack of characters that I can invest in with exception of Bryan Cranston’s Joe Brody. Although I can suspend my disbelief for a monster flick to a certain degree, there are a number of logistical problems with the story that unfortunately mar a visually impressive blockbuster.


 The Act Of Killing

The_Act_of_Killing_(2012_film)

Sidekick Reviews: I first heard of this chilling, haunting documentary from Flixchatter. The title has multiple meanings, one of which is the film’s premise: a behind the scenes look at the re-enactment of killings by the perpetrators of the 1965-66 genocide in Indonesia where an estimated 500,000 to a million people perished. It’s quite astonishing to learn that the truth of these mass killings are unspoken or obscured from the Indonesian people and that the death squad leaders are revered as heroes. It’s an important yet difficult film to get through, I had to watch a light comedy right after to cleanse my thoughts before going to bed.


 The Hunt

The_Hunt_(2012_film)

Sidekick Reviews: This Danish film would have been completely off my radar if it wasn’t for many positive reviews from movie bloggers. The Hunt stars Mads Mikkelsen, best known as the Bond villain in Casino Royale and as television’s Hannibal Lecter . There’s a point in the movie where I wished Mads’ character would turn “Hannibal” by having some old friends for dinner because of the way he was unjustly demonized as a child abuser. But at the same time, the story unfolds in a terrifyingly plausible manner that we can’t fault the parents for acting out of fear and love for their children. In lesser hands, this could have come across as a TV movie of the week but a great lead actor performance, smart screenplay and solid direction elevate it to a very fine film.


 Monsters

MonstersUK

Sidekick Reviews: Before Godzilla (2014) there was Monsters (2010), the debut feature film from Gareth Edwards. It’s interesting to try to put my finger on what the studios saw in this low-budget sci-fi movie which made them believe Edwards is the right director for Godzilla. In Monsters, a deep space probe comes back to Earth and crashes in Mexico releasing an extra-terrestrial life form. Surprisingly, despite the movie title, this isn’t an alien invasion or monster movie in the strictest sense. It’s a decent drama with sci-fi elements featuring likeable characters who behave in a realistic manner.

Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews: Though it’s not what every sci-fi movie aficionado would like, Monsters is still an impressive debut flick from Gareth Edwards who gives a very original movie with great chemistry between the leads, a story that you care for, and some impressive, low-budget special effects. Hope to see this guy more often!


Drinking Buddies

Drinking_Buddies_poster

Sidekick Reviews: After filming her scene in Spike Jonze’s Her, Olivia Wilde flew from China to Chicago to begin work on the indie relationship dramedy Drinking Buddies. Olivia Wilde and Jake Jackson play co-workers in a craft brewery who have strong chemistry but are both already tied-up in relationships with their significant others. The improv dialogue is fresh and natural, making these characters instantly feel like real people. The story is more like a slice of life – a getaway weekend, after work drinks with friends. Nothing momentous happens. There’s no ‘meet cute’ or any other romantic trope, if you’re open to that, Drinking Buddies is a refreshing flick.


 Blade Runner

Blade_Runner_poster

Marked Movies: Director Ridley Scott released “Alien” in 1979. For many, it stands as one of science fiction’s best. A mere three years after it though, he delivered “Blade Runner“. It was wrought with production problems, a less than happy crew and abundant studio interference. The end result, however, would lead you to believe that everything went smoothly. This is the definitive of science fiction movies and Scott’s finest film.

Sidekick Reviews: Recent reviews of The Machine, got me interested in re-watching Blade Runner, the movie it is compared with.  Based on the novel, “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?”, Blade Runner is a complex, methodically paced, sci-fi noir film.  The story is set in a dystopian future where androids called replicants are ‘more human than human’. Some of the themes are more apparent to me now on my second viewing. What makes us distinctly human? Is it our ability to empathize? Do our memories make us who we are or is it how we face our mortality? Although I appreciate the great directorial vision of Ridley Scott and recognize how influential this movie is, I can’t say that I’m emotionally invested in it.


 X-Men: Days Of Future Past

xmen_days_of_future_past_02-250x370

Sidekick Reviews: Director Bryan Singer returns with the most ambitious and satisfying X-Men movie to date. Singer made a good decision to focus on a core group of mutants while for the most part effectively utilizing a huge supporting cast with Quicksilver as a stand out  The screenplay had depth, humour, inventive action scenes, and criss crossed through the timelines without it ever becoming confusing.  After developing the relationships between Xavier, Magneto and Mystique in First Class, I was very invested in their character arcs and interplay in this movie. While not at the level of greatness that is The Dark Knight or Avengers, DOFP is the best 2014 summer blockbuster so far.

The Hypersonic55’s Realm of Reviews:   In conclusion X-Men: Days of Future Past is a great comic book film, it takes the source material, adapts into a film format that bridges to worlds of X-Men films while also setting up for future X-Men films. While not everything works and some people could have used more screen time, it is hard for me to criticise a film that gave me everything I could have wanted and then some. I left the cinema thinking to myself “I feel good about that film and I can’t wait for the sequel.” I highly recommend this film as it is X-Men in probably its finest hour. P.S. All I can say is thank god Bryan Singer didn’t mess this up, Mr. Singer you are alright again.

Other Posts You May Like

All New X-Men Vol 1: Yesterday’s X-Men Review

Guardians Of The Galaxy: What You Need To Know About The Movie

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About Eddie@Jaccendo

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on May 31, 2014, in Movies, Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 41 Comments.

  1. This blockbuster season got off to a solid start with “The Winter Soldier,” but has been rather rocky as of late, apart from “Days of Future Past.” Hopefully things will smooth out in the not too distant future!

  2. Godzilla was a major disappointment. Weak human characters and too less screentime for Godzilla himself.

    X-Men: Days of Future Past was good, but still did not live up to its hype. Michael Fassbender saved the movie. Evan Peters was hilarious as Quicksilver.

    B2B.

    • Godzilla received a lot of mixed reaction, I also felt the human characters are weak and it took a long time to get to see Godzilla fight after a couple of teases earlier on.

      I also thought DOPF was good but didn’t reach the greatness of some other comic book movies. Evan Peters did a solid job and another performance I really liked was McAvoy as Xavier.

  3. Didn’t mind Godzilla, but it took a while to get going. Really enjoyed Amazing Spiderman 2 and X-Men Days of Future past, but my favourite film so far this blockbuster season has been Captain America The Winter Soldier.

    • It’s been a great year for comic book movies and there’s still more to come. The Winter Soldier is a movie I’ll be rewatching for years to come. I also enjoyed X-Men and I’m really looking forward to see what they do with Apocalypse.

  4. I think Godzilla is the best movie I’ve seen this summer while X-men is the worst. Spider Man is somewhere in the middle for me since I’m not a Spider Man fan.

    • It’s the best Godzilla movie I’ve seen, it’s also my first Godzilla movie haha 😀 . I know someone who dislikes DOFP and he’s hasn’t even seen it yet haha.

      • Lol. I can understand people not liking it without watching it. I knew I wasn’t going to love it because I know how all the X-men movies are. I’ve seen just about every Godzilla movie and I have to admit that this is the best one by far.

  5. I really like this post. You should make this a monthly thing.

  6. Great post! Much obliged for the linkage as well. 🙂

  7. Great reviews. I thought Neighbors looked really funny, Maybe I’m a bit easy to please, but it sounds like something I’d enjoy. I’ve never heard of Drinking Buddies, but I really like the cast. Might have to give that one a shot as well.

  8. I think Neighbors has quite a few funny bits and the cast is good too. Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson are really good playing off of each other in Drinking Buddies. I never heard of it either until I read a blogger review, it’s worth a shot for those into down to earth indie movies. Thanks man!

  9. Victor De Leon

    Awesome Post! Really very cool to hear all of the different perspectives on so many cool movies. I have yet to catch Cap and X Men but I am very stoked for them both. I liked Godzilla despite the human drama bottoming out and turning cliche. I may wait for Amaz. Spider-man 2 to come out on blu ray before I watch it. Great work!

    • The combo of Cap and Black Widow together is terrific. I had my doubts with X Men but it turned out to be better than I thought. Two exciting movies for you to catch up on! While watching Godzilla I kept thinking, ‘I don’t care about any of these characters’, yeah that was disappointing but I do like other stuff about it. Thanks man!

  10. Great film review round-up yo, seems like you’ve been busy checking out films last month, I’m jealous, had it not been for uni I would have seen more films in May. I’m glad to hear your thoughts about ASM2, Godzilla and X-Men: DOFP. Just saw Bad Neighbours today and it was good, mainly liked it for Zac Efron and Dave Franco, but the film was nowhere near as funny as some had made it out to be. Also I really want to see The Acting or Killing, I’ve heard so much about it and wonder if it is as shocking as people have made it out to be.

    • Thanks a lot man, always appreciate you taking the time to check in and comment. 🙂 It must have been tough getting through the final month of Uni, hope you have more time to see more films now. 🙂 This is first I’ve seen Dave Franco in anything and I thought his Robert DeNiro facial expression was funny and bang on. The Act Of Killing is not so much entertaining as it is informative and disturbing. I actually watched even more movies but I’ll probably write about them in the next round up. 🙂

  11. Great round-up! I also thought DOFP has been the best summer blockbuster so far. It seems like overall this summer’s offerings might not be as strong as some years past, but I have high hopes that Guardians of the Galaxy will be a fun film and a surprise box office hit.

    • Thanks a lot! Aside from DOFP and if you count Cap 2 from April, most of this summer’s movies weren’t as strong as I’d hoped but there are still good elements in most of them. I hope Guardians will be fun too and that there’s more good, funny stuff not shown in the trailers. Let’s cross our fingers it’ll be a surprise hit! 🙂

  12. Thanks for the mention. Great post 😀

  13. “ASM2 could have benefited from streamlining the number of plot threads and villains. The studio has it’s eye on setting up the Sinister Six spin-off but neglected to fully develop these villains into engaging, complex antagonists in this movie.”
    Yes, yes, yes. I agree 100% with you. I would have loved to see Harry’s metamorphosis carried over two movies. Also I could have done with at least one more movie for Emma.

    Godzilla: I thought the first movie was pretty good except for the quick exit of Cranston. It bugged me a bit that every time we were getting ready for some epic monster on monster action we cut to the humans but I understood building up our anticipation levels. What I do not agree with is the direction for the sequel as the director plans on approaching the battles and monsters exactly the same way. It worked for the first chapter but not for the next.

    X-Men: Days of Future Past: Simply great. I’d have to see it again from the comfort of my own home to determine if it was the best of the franchise but I really enjoyed it. Only thing that bugged me was not featuring that epic Magneto theme from X-Men: First Class.

    • Harry’s transformation at the end was rushed, I would have liked to have seen it over two movies too but I guess they needed him to cause the death. One more movie with Emma would be great!

      During the teases where monster vs monster are about to fight in Godzilla I was getting excited then … doh! I hope there’s a whole new set of human characters for the sequel, except for Ken Watanabe he has potential to be better utilized. I don’t think the sequel should wait for the final act to let Godzilla loose.

      On rewatching First Class, I liked it more. Or maybe more accurately, some of the issues I had, I was better able to overlook them the second go around. I hope DOFP is one of those movies that just keeps on getting better on repeat watches.

  14. I should start learning to write review as short as you so that I can cover more movies in one post.

    I have so much to share. I love that Godzilla poster on the beginning of your post. Agree on Godzilla, it could be a lot better but I have seen the Japanese versions so I can easily accept it. I still haven’t seen The Act of Killing, I know it will take special time to see that because I can imagine how it will depress me as I have been taught about that dark history since I was in school. I am interested in seeing Monsters because I am curious with the director.

    That’s it 🙂
    I like it when you review other than TV Series

    • I like writing shorter reviews, some times I don’t have that much to say about a movie haha:)

      Godzilla has many great posters, this one is pretty cool and had to share it. 🙂 This is my first Godzilla movie, I haven’t see the Japanese versions or the other Hollywood version that I heard was crap. So you learned about that dark history in school, that’s interesting because I got the impression from the interview with the director it wasn’t openly talked about. The director of Monsters/Godzilla is pretty hot right now, he’s already signed up to do a Star Wars spin off.

      I hope to do more posts other than TV series. Nice of you to comment and check in! 🙂

      • No…we learnt it but according to many people what we learnt was different to the real truth. We know about the existence of Communist Party but which history was correct is unsure.

        Here’s the propaganda movies that the government shared for many years> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddYExsNtX6w

        Star wars spin off of which characters? I love to see spin off of Hans Solo and Chewbacca

        • The rumour are Hans Solo and Boba Fett may each get their own spin off or maybe that’s what fans are hoping for. I heard Harrison Ford got injured on the set of Star Wars Episode 7 :(.

          • I haven’t read about starwars since the last trilogy was extremely boring. I am glad Ford joins again (hope the injury will be cured soon)…hopely the story will have the same feeling as the old trilogy

  15. What a great idea for a post! In regards to Godzilla, y’know I thought it was just ok not great. It was way too serious for its own good and frankly, not enough of the big monster itself, I hated those praying mantis monsters, they grossed me out. So far I think my fave Summer movie so far is How To Train Your Dragon 2.

    • Thanks Ruth! Some humour would have been great in Godzilla. It’s one those movies that the more I think about it, more plot holes become appearant. I hope in the sequel we’ll get to see more of the big monster itself. Great choice for fave summer movie so far, lucky you got to see it early, I hope to catch it too 🙂

  16. Godzilla has definitely received mixed reactions – some loved it, some hated it. I guess I’m a little in the middle but I’m leaning towards being disappointed. Heard good things about neighbors though – I have to say my expectations weren’t high but I’m eager to check it out.

    • I can understand how you’re leaning towards being disappointed, I had some issues with Godzilla myself though there are parts about it that I liked as well. Going in with little or low expectations is a good way to see Neighbours. After watching it, I was in a good mood for the rest of the day.

  17. You are absolutely right about X-Men: DOFP. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next.

  18. I love these kind of posts. Nice 🙂

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