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Back in the day I used to go see a lot of movies. I’d go to the cineplex at least once a week, sometimes twice–maybe even three times. It used to be important to me to see the “big movies” on opening night with the masses. I would see all sorts of movies of varying genres. Nowadays, I’m more likely to see a new movie in the theater maybe once a month. It turns out, that in my old age, I’m a little more particular about what I’ll spend my money and time to see in regards to a movie’s initial release. And, my tolerance of crowds has greatly diminished.

Half way through 2014 (or thereabouts) I have ventured forth to the darken cinema five time so far. Four out of the five times has been to my local cineplex that offers early weekend matinees at around 9:00am that tend to be void of crowds. Also, four out of the five times I’ve gone alone–and, I’m perfectly content with that. I’m really turning into a curmudgeon.

What have I seen so far this year? Below is a list of the five flicks with “star-ranking” (just for kicks).

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ★★★★★
This movie would have six stars if the ranking system I have adopted wasn’t limited to five. This movie is one of the rare instances in which the sequel is better than its predecessor–and I loved Rise of the Planet of the Apes. (Side note: I probably cried more watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes than any other movie other than Toy Story 3.) I’m also a sucker for the original Planet of the Apes movie of ’68.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier ★★★★★
Captain America is my favorite super hero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Captain America: The First Avenger being my favorite of the franchise to date. CA2 worked as a political thriller, but also had a lot of heart as the WWII era Steve Rogers continues to acclimate himself with the modern era.

"Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier" L to R: Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) & Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) Ph: Film Frame © 2014 Marvel.  All Rights Reserved.

The LEGO Movie ★★★★☆
It turns out this movie wasn’t really what I was expecting–and it was awesome. Seriously, immediately after the movie was over I ran to Target and bought myself a Lego set. Having grown up playing with Lego this was a no-brainer. Sure, it’s a kid’s movie, but there’s a solid message (not so) hidden in there for us adults.


Edge of Tomorrow ★★★★☆
Saw this movie on a whim. I had a free morning, and it was playing at my favorite theater. It turns out, I dug this movie–a lot. As a time travel movie it works on all sorts of different levels, even if it does get a little sloppy at the end. Tom Cruise starts out as a very unlikable character in the beginning, but won me over rather quickly.


Godzilla (2014) ★★★☆☆
I so much wanted to like this movie more than I did. Sure, there are some fun monster-on-monster battle sequences, but overall there’s just not enough Godzilla. And, the one character that I cared about gets killed off early in the flick. At times I sound myself shaking my head at the absurdity of what was happening on screen. And unfortunately, I found myself comparing it to the 1998 Roland Emmerich directed Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick. This Godzilla is way better than that Godzilla, but still…


What’s next on my early matinee docket? Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here (I loved Garden State), Guardians of the Galaxy (this looks epic), and maybe Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

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