Gearing up for Action

We’ve finally put Winter behind us. Oh, I’m sure we’ll see another nasty week or two before Spring really gets a strong foothold, but the calendar is on our side, now. Trees are starting to bud. Grass is starting to turn green. Flowers are pushing up from the cold soil. And action movies are emerging once again to the theatres.

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Yes, this month has already seen the release of 300:Rise of an Empire, and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and Need for Speed, providing action and adventure for every age. This week adds Divergent and Muppets Most Wanted, both filled with excitement. Next week we’ll see Noah make the scene with its sweeping apocalyptic message.

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April will feature big titles like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Rio 2. May will really usher in the Summer block-busters with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Maleficent. June tries to extend the momentum with 22 Jump Street, and Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.

Think all of these sound done and re-done? How about some more original tales. July brings the roll-out of sci-fi films like Earth to Echo and Jupiter Ascending. And then there’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Hercules: the Thracian Wars.

Then we’ll finish off the summer with Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, LucyExpendables 3, and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

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While the action genre is not always known for deep plots and award-winning acting, they are the catalysts for amazing stunts, ground-breaking special effects, and future-forward technological advances in film-making. They also get our adrenalin pumping and our imaginations soaring.

As I look over this list, I see films I’m anxious to watch, as well as a few I’ll probably skip. I imagine a whole new slew of ComicCon costumes. I see fun.

What films are you most excited to see this year?

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.

My 1st Movie Review: The Avengers!

Here is my disclaimer: I am terrible at reviewing movies. I love them too much to write anything truly mean about them. There. I said it. So, here goes my first attempt at a review.

The other night I went to see Marvel’s The Avengers in 3D. I am not a huge comics devotee, and I’m not always impressed with wearing 3D glasses. To be honest, I usually become a bit woozy.

Until Iron Man came out in 2008, I had never heard of Tony Stark or his bad-boy/ good-guy escapades. I grew up watching the 1978 series of The Incredible Hulk, with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, on the small screen. I didn’t love the whole idea of the show, but the special effects were cool—I was ten. My superhero knowledge is limited to what I glean from movies and TV. I watched Batman and Wonder Woman on TV and Superman on the big screen. The only thing I knew of Thor and Loki was from Norse mythology. I had heard of Captain America, but never of Hawkeye or Black Widow. I have sons, so I watched both Iron Man movies, along with Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).

With that little background behind us, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed The Avengers. Joss Whedon impressed me yet again. When will he stop that?

The banter between the characters was clever and actually served to propel the story, and the actors really endeared me. I am now a Hulk fan. Really. He has one particular scene that absolutely cracked me up. Okay—maybe more than one. Mark Ruffalo is a terrific Bruce Banner. He’s so laid back that it’s not difficult to believe that he must be fuming inside.

I laughed aloud at one of Black Widow’s very first lines in the film. “I’m working…”

While Stark retains his selfish façade, Captain America leads with his do-good-always persona. The fact that it’s sincere makes it even better.

As the end credits began, I asked my boys which was their favorite Avenger. My husband and older son like Iron Man best, and my younger son refuses to answer. I think he’s like me, and can’t really decide.

The Avengers broke records with an opening weekend box office bringing in over $200 million. That makes sense to me. It was pure fun. I laughed, I (almost) cried, I jumped out of my seat a few times, too. It’s what a movie should be. Even the 3D was great—no wooziness. If you are one of the eleven people who didn’t see it this weekend, you should go. This is a family-friendly movie with lots of action.

I only have a few negatives to add. If you haven’t seen the other Marvel movies, you might be a little bit lost on minor points. I’d recommend watching them first. In addition, I would warn that the film is over two hours long—visit the theatre facilities before the movie starts.

There’s my first review. I’m sure some critics can find all sorts of ugly things to say about this film, but I was too busy watching it.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.