While I’m sure there were other people looking forward to it, I was the only person I knew who actually wanted to see The Amazing Spider-Man. People I know, forums I frequent, and podcasts I listen to all shared feelings that ranged from disdain to apathy for the reboot. It’s hard to blame them. It feels like just yesterday that we were all severely let down by Spider-Man 3. Add in the sheer volume of superhero movies we’ve received every year since, and it’s not surprising that the movie-going public could be experiencing some backlash towards the genre. Since people were actually wanting to see The Avengers, and seemingly can’t wait for Dark Knight Rises, their vitriol has to stem from something. That something happened to be a reboot no one was clamoring for.
Seth MacFarlane is one strange person – and I’m not just saying that because of what Ted is about. I point it out because as a one-time fan of Family Guy, I now find the show more annoying than ever. To make matters worse, only American Dad shows any remaining sign of life (The Cleveland Show was never worth my time). So with the announcement of his first film (and him returning to essentially the Peter Griffin voice), I once again looked on skeptically thinking that he might not be able to pull it off. That was until I noticed Mark Wahlberg was cast as the star. My trepidation against the movie finally started subsiding.
Ted‘s plotline might be slight, but it’s how the film handles it that makes it such a memorable fantasy. In 1985, young John Bennett from Boston has no friends and is the odd kid out. For Christmas, he receives a teddy bear and soon wishes for the bear to be real. The next morning, the bear comes to life. Even his parents are in shock (“You’re like the baby Jesus,” his mother exclaims), and before he realizes it, Ted is a nationwide celebrity, even appearing on Johnny Carson. As the fame dies down, Ted does his best to try and live a normal life, even if it is with John (Wahlberg, now grown up), but how is it normal when he is doing drugs and countless other unspeakable things?
I’m almost certain that everyone has something they’ve done that they’ve regretted and wanted to go back and change. A lost love, a horrible business decision, maybe even a decision that changed your life for the worst. Well, what if you had found a way to travel back in time to fix it? Safety Not Guaranteed expands on this notion and delivers a truly original spin to the idea of time travel.
Over the last few years, the teen comedy has gone through a radical change. Thanks to films like Superbad and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, the teen comedy is going back to the roots of John Hughes by going the route of Judd Apatow. The new teen comedy High School is looking to be the film that manages to do both instead of one or the other. Basically a film for anyone who spent the better part of their high school days being high on drugs, High School actually manages to have a lot of laughs along the way.
By every possible scenario, Men in Black 3 should absolutely not work. The original Men in Black, released in 1997, was a box office blockbuster that caught everybody by surprise. On the other hand, its first sequel, released ten years ago, was a out-and-out disaster. Despite still being a box office success, many moviegoers felt cheated by what was essentially a rehash of the first movie with a weak villain (played by the usually capable Lara Flynn Boyle). Despite the issues with the second film, I was willing to give the new sequel a chance. After all, I already knew that if it was at least a step up from Men in Black II, then it would have already done its job. Well, surprise, surprise, the new sequel is not only a step above the previous movie, but it is also something else: A film almost as good as the original.