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Captain America: The First Avenger

Hollywood seems to be suffering from a superhero complex. Its latest obsession with comic-books-turned-action-movies have been flooding the box office and director Joe Johnson is no exception. Marvel comics has been resurrected, yet again, in the form of Captain America: The First Avenger. The film stars Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, a hapless and tiny man who wants to enlist in the army during World War II but is unable to do so because of his small stature. After a chance encounter with Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), Rogers is transformed into a lean, mean, man-fighting machine. Rogers quickly abandons his desire to join the army and turns his attentions to Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), the film’s archetypal villain and one of Erskine’s botched experiments. While the incredible special effects transform a muscular Evans into a believably scrawny, frail character, and the action scenes are engaging enough, there is something lacking in this movie. It could be the fact that the film moves along too fast and there is no real character development, or maybe it’s that the acting was mediocre and the plot satisfactory at best. Newcomers to the series may enjoy the film, but diehard fans will be severely disappointed.

—Sofia Hashi

Crazy Stupid Love.

CRAZY, STUPID LOVE. breathes new life into a tired genre. Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have sidestepped many of the problems that plague romantic comedies and have delivered a must-see movie. Filled with a star-studded ensemble, including Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, Ryan Gosling, and Oscar-winning Marisa Tomei, Crazy, Stupid Love. does what other romantic comedies fail to do: Make people laugh. The story follows  Cal’s (Carell) character and how his life drastically changes when his wife, Emily (Moore), asks for a divorce after 25 years of marriage. Other subplots are weaved into the main storyline, allowing actors Gosling and Stone to shine. Excellent acting and terrific comedic timing are not the only stand-out elements of the film. Writer Dan Fogelman has created characters that are believable and relatable, something often lacking in the modern day rom-com. There’s no wondering about this film—you’d be crazy and stupid not to see it.

—Sofia Hashi 

One Day

DAVID NICHOLLS’ NOVEL One Day has been adapted onto the big screen for the latest romantic drama. Taking place primarily in England, One Day recounts the love story of Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) throughout the span of 15 years. What seems to be another unoriginal tale takes a twist for the better. The audience is only allowed glimpses of the lovers’ lives on one date: July 15, the very same day the couple met in 1988 on their school’s campus. The unique way in which Nicholls wrote the novel could have made for a fantastic film. Unfortunately, novels don’t always translate onto the big screen and that was the case for One Day. Hathaway’s attempt at a British accent coupled with her poor performance made for many cringe-worthy moments. The film also relied solely on costuming, hair, and makeup to convey the fact that it spans 15 years, but without much character development and growth, audiences are left with a very one-dimensional movie. The only redeeming aspect of the film is Sturgess’s acting; he somehow makes a bratty, rich English bloke lovable. One Day is an enjoyable film to watch—if you aren’t expecting the love story of the century.

—Sofia Hashi

30 Minutes or Less

CONSIDERING THE TWISTED, hard-to-follow plot of 30 Minutes or Less, the hilarity of the film is somewhat surprising, but it seems director Ruben Fleischer has found his niche and delivers in his latest film. The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg as Nick, a pizza delivery boy who has a bomb strapped to his chest by two wannabe criminals and is told he has a few hours to rob a bank. While the plot sounds sporadic, unbelievable, and outrageous, it works. Filled with dark humour and witty one-liners, the movie moves along at a pace that brings enjoyment and keeps laughs rolling, although the incessant obscenity and at times crass humour may go too far for some. All in all, 30 Minutes or Less is a solid film, and if you’re not laughing throughout, you’re grinning from ear to ear. Isn’t that reason enough to watch this summer comedy?

—Sofia Hashi