Did anyone else look at the list of movies coming out this summer and think, “Eugh, pass” like I did? Maleficent looks like it could be good, but now that I’ve publically documented that thought there’s no longer any conceivable scenario in which it won’t be awful. The Fault In Our Stars should be good. And Guardians of the Galaxy. And 22 Jump Street… maybe it will be a good summer for movies actually. I dunno. Summer.
Anyhow it’s that special time of year again where I rank every movie I’ve seen and reviewed in the past few months. This round the entrants are, in the order I saw them:
Welcome to the neighborhood
With its heaven-sent combination of actors and director, Neighbors could have been better. The film moved in to Nicholas Stolling’s impressive community of comedies (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, and The Five-Year Engagement), but that’s like comparing a modest abode to an opulent mansion. Neighbors is never as goofy or sentimental as it should have been. Still, it vaguely hits on both, and what more can you ask from a movie about a frat house?
Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) are optimistic about their new house and neighborhood in which they plan to raise their new daughter, even if that means no longer going to spontaneous raves with their friends. Maybe they can start going to frat parties instead, because the house next to them is quickly claimed Delta territory. Frat leaders Teddy and Pete (Zac Efron and Dave Franco in the most significant pairing of actors in film history) promise to keep their partying down for the Radners as long as they leave the police out of it. Both promises are quickly broken, and soon it’s war between the neighbors.
Peter Parker has a lot on his plate. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is more of a continuation of the character’s life than it is a sequel with a clear thesis, as director Marc Webb juggles numerous plotlines entertaining to watch alone, but muddled when played side-by-side. Which is why the movie reaches its Amazing potential in its second half, when the plot lines finally start weaving together.
There’s the thing with Peter and Gwen; there’s the thing with Electro; there’s that one thing with Harry Osborn, and then there’s that other thing with him. Last and definitely least, there’s the story with Peter’s parents, which began as an attempt to justify the reboot series’ existence, but is now unnecessary as the series has beyond proved its worth five short years after Sam Raimi’s trilogy.