The month of June has so far not been kind. Of the movies I’ve seen, one can be categorized as a disappointment and 2 others have a spot firmly secured on my worst of the year list. That doesn’t mean things can’t change and this weekend appears to be a return to some form of quality. Of the three films coming out this week, there is one from a studio whose release record barely has a blemish, an end of the world comedy and a former president kicking vampire booty. First, let’s allow Pixar to take us to Scotland.
Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. *
I am not one to attend animated films. For the most part, I find their constant pop culture references distracting and dated, the comic relief characters (well almost all of the characters) annoying and find the humor and story driven mostly by how adolescent they can be. If you have seen one, you’ve seen the majority. Most of these animated films are harmless, though and, if well made, a decent diversion for the kids.
The one exception to this is Pixar movies. Pixar films are the high standards that all animated movies should strive to emulate. They approach the material with an eye towards story and not how much stuff they can cram in. They care about the final product, making their films timeless. Pixar is not out to make the quick buck, instead focusing more on making good movies. I have yet to see a bad film from Pixar (I have avoided the Cars series). I count some of the early catalogue in my list of favorite films (The Incredibles is incredible).
Brave does not appear to be the exception. From the clips I’ve seen, the quest by Princess Merida to defy her destiny looks to be another winner. The story may seem familiar but with Pixar, I have no worries that it won’t deliver. I’m not sure when I can make it to the theater to see it, but it is definitely on the must watch list. I’m grabbing up my bow and unleashing 4 arrows out of 5. Brave is rated PG for some scary action and rude humor.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them. *
Kentucky native Abraham Lincoln… is hunting vampires. That’s as simple as one can get. It’s a concept that I should be bashing and yet I can’t. This has a chance to be a fun filled romp through an alternate history of the start of the Civil War. Whether or not Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) and producer Tim Burton (Cabin Boy) can pull it off is another matter. Here’s hoping they do. I’m putting on my top hat and delivering 3 Gettysburg Addresses out of 5. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is rated R for violence throughout and brief sexuality.
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan. *
What’s funnier than the whole planet being wiped out by an asteroid? Steve Carell (Curly Sue) and Keira Knightley (Princess of Thieves) star as neighbors who must journey through the refuge of a society without morals. The inhabitants of Earth start to act out their wildest fantasy, living as if there were no tomorrow.
Since this is a more independent film, I am not expecting a last second save. There should be no oil drillers called up by NASA to split the rock into two just at the final moment. I’m expecting the asteroid will hit. The end will probably be tragic but it’s not the destination that matters. It’s the journey. From the trailers I’ve seen, this film looks good. It may be sad and a tear jerker but after the way the early month has gone, I need something of true quality and not a blockbuster. This looks to be it. I’m looking up at the sky and seeing 4 asteroids hurtling towards us out of 5. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is rated R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence.
That will do for this week. Stay tuned next time when we beat the stuffing out of a teddy bear without assistance from the Real American Heroes. Until then, keep doing the Tomahawk Chop.
*all movie summaries taken from IMDB.com