Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Reel Deal Podcast

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Episode 9: In this week’s episode, Mike Rogers joins Ian and Cassie to review X-Men Days of Future Past. Plus, we talk about what Edgar Wright’s departure from Ant-Man means for writers everywhere, and then we play the True Detective game.

Movie Review: The Double


Image via Time

Whether he’s accidentally taking a stranger’s seat on the train or facing off his doppleganger, Simon is always a little bit out of place.

The Double, based on a book by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, doesn’t necessarily seem like the next logical step forward for a director who was previously known for comedies such as The IT Crowd. However, with just his second feature, Richard Ayoade proves that he has already nailed down his voice and style. He has done with just two films what most people wouldn’t be able to accomplish with many more under their belt.

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Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past


Professor X, or rejected member of Creedence Clearwater Revival? Image via Total Film

“Must be some kind of…hot tub time machine.”

Most prequels are not necessary, because a lot of stories are a lot better if you know a lot less about the characters and the world. As Patton Oswalt said, “I don’t want to know where the stuff I love comes from. I want to love the stuff that I love.”

Enter X-Men: Days of Future Past, a cross between a sequel and a prequel that justifies its existence by being the most consistently entertaining blockbuster released so far this summer. It succeeds in bringing back the feel of the original X-Men movies while expanding the universe greatly. I have always been a big fan of X-Men, partly because its built-in allegory works so well. It is one of the darkest of all superhero stories yet as a movie franchise, it does not try too hard to be gritty.

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Never Mind the Explosions: Five Summer Movies That Will Make the Cynicism Go Away


Here’s where I would make a Kroll Show reference if any of you watched it. Image via Salon

I hate to say it, but summer movies make me feel more and more cynical by the day. It is a bad sign when “good enough” seems like the nicest thing you can say about any given movie.

Sometimes, it feels like Hollywood has lost so much faith in itself that it needs to have a million different voices contributing to just one project. Just look at The Amazing Spider-Man 2: it feels like every person on the Sony lot, from a top studio executive to a random janitor, got to contribute their ideas to the final product. Plus, with all of the sequels and remakes coming out, it feels like there isn’t a single authentic voice left in Hollywood anymore. I have no interest in seeing another superhero movie again, and I will repeat that to myself begrudgingly while buying a ticket for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Hey, it is good enough.

While not all original ideas are good (see: In Your Eyes), I nevertheless appreciate and celebrate every time film embraces something new, as opposed to something that can be turned into a toy six months before the movie actually comes out. There are some films to be excited about this summer, and I would like to take some time to acknowledge them. Here is a list I have compiled of five upcoming films that celebrate good ideas and likable people. Here are five upcoming summer films that might make all of the cynicism go away:

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Movie Review: Godzilla (2014)


This was so boring that it actually made me fall asleep. Image via Screen Rant

Godzilla finally opens in theaters this weekend after months of hype and a few incredible trailers. The truth is, I have no idea if this is a Godzilla movie, or the idea of what a modern blockbuster should look like.

Godzilla is a character who does not need too much introduction, as he (her?) is now a part of international folk lore. While there is never a bad time for a giant Japanese monster to cause some chaos, Godzilla is a product of nuclear fallout, an issue that is maybe a little less scary and timely than it might have been during post-World War II or post-Chernobyl.

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Movie Review: Neighbors


I’m still laughing at this scene. Image via Ace Showbiz

It’s a classic setup: a rag-tag fraternity goes up against their stuffy, adult neighbors. The underdog rebels go up against the establishment. However, what Neighbors wants to presuppose is: what if we are actually rooting for the adults?

Here comes Neighbors, which is the first big comedy blockbuster of the summer. It promises big laughs and gratuitous party scenes. It delivers on both these promises, but more on the latter than the former.

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Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2


“And that’s why you always leave a note!” Image via Digital Spy

Oh Spider-Man, why do you always play with my emotions like this?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a movie that didn’t need to exist, given that a perfect Spider-Man sequel already exists. Yet, here it is. While it is here, it might as well be loud, proud, and filled with search engine product placement.

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