Scrawny but brave Steve Rogers (Evans), the first and only super soldier created by a government experiment during World War II, is tasked with taking down evil Red Skull (Weaving) with the outcome of the war hanging in the balance. I wasn't sure about Captain America going in and even less sure about Evans as a bankable star. I was wrong. For my money, this is unquestionably the superhero movie of the year and one of the most enjoyable experiences of the summer. This film neither takes itself too seriously nor becomes too campy and that creates a fun, exciting atmosphere.
In Home Viewing Recommendation: My pick for the week. If you like comic book movies, definitely see this. Loads of fun.
Winnie the Pooh (2011) - Jim Cummings, John Cleese, Craig Ferguson
In a new set of stories that bring Winnie and friends home to a new generation, the gang must gather together to find a new tail for Eyeore. On paper, a new Pooh movie makes sense. It has a built in audience because everyone knows these characters and it's relatively low cost ($30 million) should have made it easy to score a moderate summer hit. And then for some reason Disney decided to put it up against the final installment of the Harry Potter series. You know, only the number one grossing movie of the year. This might be the best Disney movie ever and no one would know it because EVERYONE got their Hogwarts on during the first two weeks of release. Stupid.
IHVR: I'd wager that this is a solid film for young families and if you've got a small kiddo, why wouldn't you want to introduce him/her to Tigger and the rest?
Attack the Block (2011) - John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Nick Frost
A group of London hooligans find themselves in the fight of their young lives when they are forced to protect their homes against an alien invasion. I had the fortune of catching Attack the Block at a preview screening and let me say it is an absolute blast. Produced by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead), Attack the Block is very similar to his films but with a more manic energy that heightens the environment of the youngsters who would serve as our heroes. Could I understand all of the dialogue? Not so much. But did that hinder the experience? Absolutely not.
IHVR: Be aware that this is a sci-fi-horror combo so there's a fair bit of gore but if that doesn't bother you, Attack the Block is hilarious and extremely well-done.
The People vs. George Lucas (2010) - Mark A. Altman, John Barger
A documentary shot in the style of a courtroom exposition in which lifelong Star Wars fans examine the post-1990 career of George Lucas. I'm not sure how it's possible but I've never heard of this little film and now I feel like my life is incomplete having not seen it. Sounds a lot like my Open Letter to George Lucas. Totally in.
IHVR: Stay away if you're not a Star Wars dork (all 17 of you). Otherwise, check it out.
Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy (1993, 1997, 2001) - Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
All cards on the table: The Lost World is exceedingly mediocre and Jurassic Park 3 is downright awful. If I had a choice, I'd strike both of those films from the record. But despite how bad those films are, they in no way take away from the utter spectacularness of Jurassic Park. One of my ten favorite films, JP is also one of the three best, most memorable experiences I've ever had in a movie theater. I will never forget how incredible it was to see this film in a theater at the age of 10. It changed my world and I could probably put a significant amount of stock in this film being the reason that I'm writing this blog now. Love, love, love that film and can't wait until it gets an individual Blu-Ray release.
The Conversation (1974) - Gene Hackman, John Cazale (Blu-Ray)
Dazed and Confused (1993) - Jason London, Rory Cochrane, Matthew McConaughey (Blu-Ray Criterion Collection)A Little Help (2010) - Jenna Fischer, Chris O'Donnell
Father of Invention (2010) - Kevin Spacey, Camilla Belle, Heather Graham