Staff Picks: Summer Movies
Summer 2015 was an exciting couple of months in the film industry. Personally, I enjoy a good laugh, and who better to deliver the laughs than ex-Saturday Night Live actor Bill Hader and stand-up comic Amy Schumer in a hilarious romantic comedy?
Trainwreck, directed by Judd Apatow and written by Schumer, is a funny yet touching film about a girl who breaks societal norms but still finds love in an unexpected place. The movie centers on Amy (Schumer), whose father has suffered immensely after his divorce and convinced both of his daughters that monogamy is not real.
Naturally, growing up with a father who never recovered from such a difficult life event impacts Amy’s own life and her views on relationships. Amy’s life is chaotic, and viewers witness her trainwreck through Amy’s lack of emotional connection with numerous average-looking guys. Her lack of emotional connection and physical attraction make it easy to carry a commitment-free life.
Unfortunately, the pitfalls of Amy’s casual lifestyle become more apparent when she begins falling in love with a “good guy.”
Amy meets this “good guy” while writing a news story about a sports doctor, Aaron Conners (Hader), who is set to perform the first leg adjustment surgery on a professional athlete.
On the case, Amy is obligated to follow Dr. Conners through his research and preparation for this historic event, which forces Amy to become vulnerable with a partner.
Many romantic comedies involve an opposites-attract storyline. Similarly, in this film, Amy begins falling in love with Dr. Conners and genuinely struggles to accept this new emotional attachment.
Astounded by her feelings for Aaron, Amy seeks advice from her friends and family on how to engage in a mature relationship.
Toward the end of the movie, Amy’s wild lifestyle catches up to her and prevents her from establishing a secure relationship with the doctor.
Although this film has a sappy ending, the drama of the film never eclipses its comedy; laughter begins from the minute the film starts until the last second of the final scene.
I highly recommend this film to anyone craving to laugh along with Hader and Schumer in their train
A typical day in Nerdfighteria, the online community surrounding brothers John and Hank Green, involves puns and deep discussions. The Green brothers run a Youtube channel called vlogbrothers in which they discuss current events and make jokes.
Lately, the brothers have found that their own work shows up more and more in the media and pop culture.
John Green is a writer known for his popular books such as The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Towns.
The Fault in Our Stars’ movie adaptation opened in summer 2014 to incredible and laudatory reviews.
Paper Towns, Green’s most recent movie adaptation, opened this summer on July 25.
Directed by Jake Schreier, the movie follows the nerdy, 18-year-old Quentin “Q” Jacobson (Nat Wolff) as he chases his elusive and popular next-door neighbor, Margo (Cara Delevingne).
In the film, Margo recruits Q for her night of pranks and shopping trips before she disappears the next day.
Q is baffled by Margo’s disappearance and romanticizes her departure and her identity while positioning himself as Margo’s savior.
After a lifetime of crushing on Margo, Q does not want to lose his shot to “get the girl.” He decides to try and find Margo, eventually teaming up with his friends Radar (Justice Smith), Lacey (Halston Sage), Ben (Austin Abrams) and Angela (Jaz Sinclair) to go on a roun trip to find Margo.
Paper Towns helps capture the easy way in which teens (and people in general) fall in love with the ideas of people rather than the people themselves.
When Q finally finds Margo, she explains that Q has idealized her and that she did not leave town just so he could find her.
Margo’s explanation is heavy handed, but it gets the book and film’s point across. To quote from the Paper Towns book, “What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”
‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) is a visually stunning look into a barren post-apocalyptic world.
The film is the fourth installment in the Mad Max franchise and is directed by George Miller who directed the three earlier films in 1979, 1981 and 1985 respectively.
The film begins in Immortan Joe’s (Hugh Keays-Byrne) citadel, a small hierarchical cult surrounded by wastelands that serves as one of the few places where humans can actually survive. One of my favorite aspects of the movie is that while Mad Max (Tom Hardy) may be the titular character, the movie really focuses on Furiosa (Charlize Theron).
Furiosa is an exceptionally driven female character who leads an escape out of Immortan Joe’s citadel. Joe’s wives are held as breeding prisoners because they lack physical deformities, unlike the majority of the population.
Max ends up joining Furiosa in the escape, but Furiosa proves again and again that she is just as capable as—if not more than— Max in every way, even with only one biological arm.
Furiosa, in my opinion, is the true victor of the movie.
The world of Mad Max is one ruled by water, oil and transportation.
The movie is packed with car chases across all sorts of landscapes.
In fact, the entire movie can be viewed as essentially one giant car chase between Furiosa’s escape party and Immorten Joe’s army which is sent out to bring back his wives.
While people driving cars taking up the majority of film might have made it boring, the chase stays fully attention grabbing.
The cars move in non-cliché maneuvers, the obstacles they encounter are original and the cars themselves, the “war machines,” are decked out in weapons with intense war decorations.
One car in the army of The War Boys serves the sole purpose of having giant guitar amplifiers and the Doof Warrior strapped in, playing an electric guitar that also shoots out flame.
Amid all of the post-apocalyptic films currently being produced, Mad Max: Fury Road manages to be excitingly original.
Marvel has been taking the world by storm with its production of movies about superheroes. Films centering on Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor and several other well known superheroes have done exceptionally well at the box office.
It may seem that Marvel’s making of a movie focusing on Ant-Man is simply a last-resort attempt to squeeze all the money it can from the popularity of superhero movies. However, Ant-Man proves that Ant-Man can stand on his own.
Directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man tells the story of bad-guy turned-superhero Scott Lang, played by the ever-charming Paul Rudd.
After being ousted from his own company, scientist Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas, tricks Lang into taking on the guise of Ant-Man.
Pym is cognizant that the technology to shrink human beings down to the size of ants would be dangerous in the hands of the all-encompassing Marvel Universe cult-of-bad-guys, Hydra. So Pym coerces Lang, recently released from San Quentin prison, to infiltrate his company and destroy all of the evidence that such technology ever existed.
Ant-Man, who was one of the original Avengers, first appeared in Tales to Astonish in January 1962.
Movies featuring Ant-Man have been in the works since as early as 1980, and the most recent incarnation of a script was written in 2003 and pitched for the first time in 2004.
Rudd actually helped rewrite the script in 2014 with the departure of Edgar Wright, who wrote the original script with Joe Cornish.
It is clear, at the very least regarding Rudd’s own character, that Rudd had a hand in writing a lot of his own dialogue, as he seems to very much be playing himself.
The Los Angeles Times review of the film remarked that it was “playful in unexpected ways and graced with a genuinely off-center sense of humor,” which the most dedicated of Paul Rudd fans have come to love.
Ant-Man did a phenomenal job of embracing the plot’s inherent silliness while still serving up enough action to satisfy the part of me that just wants to go to a summer blockbuster and watch things blow up.
All in all, Marvel’s casting was what made this movie what it was—an enjoyable and endearing addition to the Marvel Universe.