If it is summertime, then Tom Cruise must be saving the world from an alien invasion again, and so it goes with Edge of Tomorrow, the new sci-fi flick that is a cross between Groundhog Day and War of the Worlds, with some Elysium style exoskeleton action thrown in for good measure.
Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” only got made as a means for Sony to maintain the film rights to everyone’s favorite non-Avenger Marvel superhero. For a film that didn’t have to exist, though, Webb and company still delivered an inspired take on Spidey that improved upon Sam Raimi’s 2002 blockbuster. Now that the familiar origin story is out of the way, Webb is allowed to tell a fresher tale that’s even darker and more riveting than his predecessor. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” still doesn’t quite top Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2,” which got just about everything right. However, it does definitely have some of the best moments of any Spider-Man film to date.
First, we had to sit through “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” to finally get to “The Avengers.” Now, we have to sit through “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” to finally get to “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
LOS ANGELES — With less than a week to go before the Academy Awards, the Dolby Theatre in the heart of Hollywood is on lockdown. Guards stand at every door, and handlers with walkie-talkies keep a close eye on any visitors.
Remember the good old days when a big-budget action picture could earn a hard R rating? It looks like those days are officially dead. “Die Hard,” “The Terminator,” “Total Recall,” these were three of the best action movies of the late ’80s and early ’90s, complete with all the gleeful violence and profanity a kid could desire. Nowadays, everything must be toned down to a PG-13 rating, including the recent sequels and reboots of the three aforementioned films.
“Kick-Ass” was one of those movies that seemed to have everybody split. Either you found the film morally reprehensible or you soaked up every minute of the film’s colorful violence and profanity. Personally, I was among the latter group.
In a cluster of big-budget extravaganzas about superheroes, zombies, robots, monsters, and things that blow up, two little comedies about the magic of summer have stood out this season. One of these films is “The Kings of Summer,” perhaps the most overlooked picture of the year, thus far. The other film is “The Way, Way Back.” Both of these movies are humorous and identifiable with a familiar, yet eternally meaningful, message about growing up. “The Kings of Summer” and “The Way, Way Back” additionally seem to exist in timeless eras, mostly devoid of new-aged technology and modern references. There’s just one key difference between the two coming-of-age tales.
The round, white, paper light shades sold at IKEA for $5 are a familiar item in contemporary interior design. But these inexpensive lanterns are knockoffs of light sculptures created by the renowned artist Isamu Noguchi in the early 1950s.
With the onslaught of Oscar contenders that debuted last November, there’s a good chance that a little-seen indie gem, “Starlet,” managed to fall off your radar during its short, theatrical run. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2011 SXSW film festival, “Starlet” explores the unlikely friendship between a cheerful, aspiring actress (played by the winsome Dree Hemingway) and a cantankerous, elderly widow (the late Besedka Johnson).
Along with Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Iron Man 3” is one of the rare superhero threequels that doesn’t disappoint. While Jon Favreau remains an executive producer and co-star, he passes on the directorial duties to Shane Black of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” Black maintains all the action, humor, and character development that made Faverau’s first two films so enjoyable, while also incorporating his own unique signature. His film continues to raise the stakes and pushes its characters to their critical limits. In addition, “Iron Man 3” makes some hilarious commentary on the media’s role in terrorism with several inspired twist. The result is the darkest of the “Iron Man” trilogy and, ironically, the funniest.
The Ahwatukee Foothills News hosts a forum with the 9th Congressional District US House of Representatives candidate Andrew Walter.For more from this forum, see our playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8ZTVzyUoWKlnx1J8_dcjjX94IwjMgeS5[Video: Vincent Cota/Ahwatukee Foothills News]