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I hate to say this as a film geek, but I’m pretty darn tired of the old Marvel formula.
For anyone who needs a different kind of superhero, it doesn’t get much more different than ultra-violent Kick-Ass.
Following Dave, a high-school student and comic fanatic who one day decides to rid his town of offenders, the best part of it is that Kick-Ass has zero powers, abilities or even strength to fight anyone.
He gets by on luck and will-power, and the film lets the viewer decide whether he’s a vigilante or a hero.
With an impressive cast including Aaron-Taylor Johnson, a hilarious Nicolas Cage and a star-making turn for Chloe Grace Moretz, this is a keeper.
It launched the career of Matthew Vaughn, who went on to do Kingsman, and is bloody, foul-mouthed action at its best.
He may be one weird guy, but Tom Cruise is one of the most appealing, versatile actors working in Hollywood.
Here with Valkyrie, he stars as a German Army officer with an eyepatch and is thoroughly convincing.
The story of the July 1944 assassination and coup plot by German officers against Hitler is propelled by Cruise’s incredible performance.
It’s tightly directed, and a taut political thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Co-starring Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilkinson and Carice van Houten, the ensemble really brings it home.
This spot-on raunchy comedy gives star Aubrey Plaza a fantastic vehicle she deserves, and she makes the most of it.
Not for kids, it stars Plaza as Brandy, who tries to become more sexually experienced during the summer before she goes to college. She makes herself a “to-do” list of experiences and tries to get through them all.
Plaza is so funny here and she makes the film. She is one of my choice comedians, and she brings so much to each role.
What could have just been an American Pie rehash has some really nice touches, and with Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg and more onboard, this is such an eclectic, great cast.
The Trial of the Chicago 7
In one of the absolute best efforts of the year, writer-director Aaron Sorkin delivers us this incredible film, based on a true story.
This is about the courtroom exploits and trial of seven men who are charged in connection with a riot that occurred at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, as people protested Vietnam.
Sorkin — known for The Social Network and The West Wing — makes a film with crackling dialogue and fantastic intensity.
The ensemble is a treasure, from Eddie Redmayne to the Oscar-worthy Sacha Baron Cohen to Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton and more.
Of note is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who plays a Black Panther on trial, but who has no connection to the others other than his presence in Chicago on the day.
This is one of the best of the year, and a true treat for film lovers.
This is — by far — the best Adam Sandler film to ever come out. His recent endeavours have been lukewarm at best.
But Happy Gilmore harkens to a place in time where Sandler was at his height.
As Happy, a hard-hitting, rude, crude hockey player, he’s a man-child with a temper. But also, somehow, he’s entirely likable.
He tries his hand at golf to save his grandmother’s house from being foreclosed on, and he turns out to have a fantastic drive. But it’s the finer points — in his life and golf game — that could use smoothing out.
This movie is quotable, hilarious and a sight to behold. I absolutely love it and it’s held up so well over the years.
Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.