Posts tagged summer movie
MOVIE REVIEW: Pete's Dragon

Blooming out of a cradle of artistic and narrative perseverance, it is clear a philosophy of great care and pleasant patience was given to “Pete’s Dragon” by Lowery and company.  The film enhances the magical charm audiences remember from the original with newly gained maturity to operate as a loving family drama and touching adventure of friendship.  It is a welcome and calming addition of heft painted by that superb idyllic tone.  The wonderment never overplays its moments.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Suicide Squad

In the words of professional wrestling Hall of Famer Razor Ramon, “Say hello to the bad guy!”  Warner Bros. and their DC Entertainment wing need a rebound from the maligned “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and are banking getting you to cheer for villains instead of heroes with “Suicide Squad.”  Packed with a head-turning cast of wild cards and very little shame for spectacle, this film aims to combine the delicious referential villainy you loved in “Deadpool” with the anti-hero team dynamics of “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

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MOVIE REVIEW: Star Trek Beyond

The toothpaste is out of the tube, so to speak, for this current “Star Trek” franchise stewarded by J.J. Abrams.  Seven years into a reboot of erasure, there’s no going back.  This new cast and new timeline is here to stay.  If the die-hards haven’t dealt with it by now, they likely never will.  Those who arrived in 2009 with wide eyes and a fresh heart have not been disappointed.  “Star Trek Beyond” pushes a stellar and steady progression of shiny and modern blockbuster filmmaking with the right salutes to beloved nostalgia that warm from within.

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MOVIE REVIEW: X-Men: Apocalypse

After two movies of turn-back-the-clock course correction, it is fair to rank the "X-Men" series right next to "The Fast and Furious" as a film franchise that was derailed, left for dead, and since rescued with a filmmaking resurgence.  "X-Men: First Class" introduced new youthful vigor and was followed by the return of original franchise steward Bryan Singer for the slate-wiping "X-Men: Days of Future Past."  The latter film grossed more than double any of its franchise predecessors and enabled the series to pass the torch from the seniors to the juniors.  Flush with success, good graces, and a new lease on life, "X-Men: Apocalypse" arrives with the goal to top everything that's been done in 20th Century Fox's offshoot shingle of a Marvel universe.  

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COLUMN: 2015 Early Summer Movie Preview

It's business time!  The wait is over from the very slow winter and spring seasons!  The massive movie slate of the summer of 2015 has been touted on this website for over a year.  We knew these big hitters were coming and they are finally here.  Let's see how many box office records fall.  If you thought "Furious 7" was a big hit, then you've seen nothing yet.  The summer is where the big boys play.  To split the long season up, here is my complete preview for the early summer months of May and June and their prospective film releases.  As always, dates change and shift all of the time.  Here's what we have to look forward to!  Enjoy!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

After taking in "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For," the second collaboration between legendary graphic novel creator Frank Miller and virtuoso technical filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, I feel like coining a new term.  "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" is a "genre-buster," meaning that it is a film that pushes far beyond the boundaries of its generally assigned category.  In my opinion, to be a genre-buster, you have to break the confinements of at least three genres.  Two isn't enough.  Two is an "action comedy," "romantic fantasy," or etc. and those are plain as day and too easy.  You've got to mix three and do it well.

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REVIEW RE-RUN: The Expendables 2

HUMOROUS DISCLAIMER:  I had pretty overwhelming feeling going in that The Expendables 2 was going to be a carbon copy of the first movie from 2010, only bigger, louder, busier, and very few minor differences of note.  Well, I was right.  While redundant enough to come across as Xerox as The Hangover Part II was to The Hangover with just a change of setting, this doesn't make The Expendables 2 any less awesome.  To have a little fun and prove this point, I have copied my EXACT 2010 review of The Expendables word-for-word below (follow the link and see) and added strike-through edits and red text additions of those very minor differences.  Enjoy!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Boyhood

What makes "Boyhood" this extraordinary experience and achievement is the opposite of that adjective: the ordinary.  Linklater and company sought to deliver a genuine interpretation of a life experience without flashy movie bells and whistles.  There is a subdued beauty behind the technical expertise.  They know real life events don't play out or turn out like they do in the movies.  They aren't announced with inane plot-descriptive dialogue by supporting characters and sidekicks.  Real lives move in moments and operate in nuances.  Our lives aren't backed by an orchestrational score and neither is "Boyhood."  By operating in that style, the uniqueness of this divorce, divided family, and period of long change becomes approachable and even ordinary compared to other over-the-top family dramas that require multiple grains of salt to accept so many contrivances.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Magic in the Moonlight

Woody Allen has the Midas touch of artistic credibility.  Non-actors become notable presences.  No-name actors become discovered somebodies.  Name actors look better than they normally do and great actors get even greater, even when the films aren't that great.  In his latest film, "Magic in the Moonlight," Allen bestows that touch on one great actor and one name actress with Colin Firth and Emma Stone as his leads. 

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MOVIE REVIEW: Sex Tape

If you've seen that trailer, then you've seen 90% of the best that this movie has to offer.  As is often the case when a 2-3 minute trailer is better than a 90-minute-and-change movie, something I call "The 'Nacho Libre' Effect," the filmmakers had a really good pitch, premise, and starting idea, but couldn't develop it right from there.  The wandering cliches pile on and they start to lose their sense and value by the time we get to the necessary end.

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MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Jump Street

Disclaimer:  I pulled this trick out a few years ago in comparing “The Expendables” with “The Expendables 2” where, because of the incredibly repetitive scenarios between the original and the sequel, I literally wrote on top of the first review for the review of the second movie.  After seeing “22 Jump Street,” a movie that intentionally aims to copy its first effort, I knew this was a good chance to have a little editor’s fun again.  Follow the strike-throughs below for edits and the bold writing for new language inserts.  Other than that, the review for the first film might as well be the review for the second film.  It’s that similar.

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GUEST CRITIC: Think Like a Man Too

As busy I get from time to time, I find that I can't see every movie under the sun, leaving my friends and colleagues to fill in the blanks for me.  As poetically as I think I wax about movies on this website as a wannabe critic, sometimes a simple sentence or two from a friend says it all.  Sometimes, it inspires me to see the movie too and get back to being my circle's go-to movie guy.  Sometimes, they save me $9 and you 800+ words of blathering.  In a possible new review series, I'm opening my site to friend submissions for quick-hit movie reviews.

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MEDIA APPEARANCE #4: Guest on "Day at the Movies" weekly radio show!

Fans of the website will know that "Every Movie Has a Lesson" frequently collaborates with "Day at the Movies" run by Lubbock, Texas blogger +Tim Day.  We commonly compare our reviews, interests, projects, and tastes to both of our groups of followers.  As a staff member of Lubbock Christian University, Tim hosts a one-hour weekly radio show on Chap Radio to showcase "Day at the Movies" and share his opinions on recent theatrical releases, upcoming films, the latest movie gossip, new Netflix and Redbox recommendations, and much more.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Chef

Buyer beware, do not go into this movie hungry.  You will chew the arm off of the person next to you and that's never a good date move (unless you're watching a zombie flick, which this is far from).  Folks, do the dinner before the movie on this one, ladies and gentlemen, or you will willingly overeat afterwards.  I warned you now.  You'll see.  

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MOVIE REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past

The successful revitalization brought by “X-Men: First Class” and the unfaded star power of Hugh Jackman have brought us to “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”  Original series director Bryan Singer, fresh from “Jack the Giant Slayer,” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” screenwriter Simon Kinberg have returned to correct old mistakes, untangle the knots, and realign this previously failed franchise for a healthy new lease on cinematic life and relevance.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Godzilla

Amazingly, I’m happy to report that this “Godzilla,” while actually having a trainwreck in it (two in fact), is not a complete trainwreck itself.  This is a legitimate summer blockbuster in scale and in quality.  The promised size and scope of monster carnage that the 1998 film failed to compellingly deliver and, honestly, we never thought we would see done right on the big screen is successfully accomplished in a big way.  This new film makes “Pacific Rim” look as silly as it really is, “Transformers” look downright weak and tiny, and even makes the controversial city destruction final act of “Man of Steel” look like a knocked-over sand castle or two. 

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MOVIE REVIEW: Neighbors

That said, the peak occupied by any R-rated comedy isn’t very high and far from snow-capped among the clouds of cinema greatness.  Rarely do movies like “Neighbors” create any watershed or bedrock.  In terms of peaks and heights, let’s go ahead and just call “Neighbors” your new favorite sledding hill or deluxe tree house.  Besides, that’s not the “high” this film is looking for anyway, if you get my drift.  The target is decidedly, and rightfully, low-brow.

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