July 2011


Monthly Archives: July 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

DIRECTOR: Joe Johnston


Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Dominic Cooper, Sebastian Stan, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke


Captain America is an adequate, serviceable comic book superhero origin movie that doesn’t merit any scorn but also doesn’t generate overwhelming enthusiasm.  Tying in with Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Thor, it’s the last of the Marvel comics movies introducing each of the individual Avengers who will be united onscreen in 2012’s The Avengers, and it’s debatable whether the Cap’n would have seen the screen otherwise.  Despite his long-running existence in the comics (since 1941), Captain America is no longer considered among the top tier of comic book superheroes.  Part of the problem is probably also that audiences and reviewers are suffering comic book superhero fatigue; with so many superhero origin stories hitting the screens, it’s hard to make them all stand out, and the fact that they all inevitably follow the same basic formula makes it start to seem generic after so many times.  I enjoyed the film, but was mildly underwhelmed.  The self-consciously titled The First Avenger isn’t a terrible movie, but it lacks the certain spark that set Iron Man above the pack. Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

DIRECTOR: David Yates


Daniel Racliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Helen McCrory, Jim Broadbent, John Hurt, Warwick Davis, Ciaran Hinds, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, Miriam Margoyles


All things must come to an end.  After ten years and eight movies, one of the most successful fantasy series ever committed to page or screen has reached a solid and satisfying conclusion with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Continue reading

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

DIRECTOR: Rupert Wyatt

CAST: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo, Andy Serkis


Following Tim Burton’s unsuccessful 2001 attempt to reboot the Planet of the Apes franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which bears no connection to Burton’s loose remake of the original 1968 film) is technically a prequel, but is really intended as a springboard for a new rejuvenated series based on the famous property.  The movie accomplishes this well enough to get the job done–a second installment is due out in July 2014–but suffers from a rushed pace, thin characters (with one somewhat ironic exception), and the open ending that is a frequent symptom of prequelitis. Continue reading