Thoughts on Summer Movies


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Let's set some things straight. This thread is for discussing summer/spring movies after they are released. The other thread is for discussing summer movies before they are released. And the thread from January is the same as this thread, except it related to winter movies. I figure I'll start his thread out.

Smart People

I saw this one a few weeks ago and it was really good. It's a dark comedy about a self-centered professor whose daughter is set to get a perfect SAT and his son is attending the University that the Dad (Dennis Quaid) teaches at. The mother has died, and the daughter (Ellen Page of Juno) has pretty much taken the role of housewife. The father's adopted brother comes to visit after the Dad is injured and one of the ways that he attempts to bond with the daughter involves smoking pot with her, or getting her drunk. Very good movie. Not the same type of funny as "Anchorman," but it still provides laughs. It's a comedy for smart people.

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Run Fatboy Run

Now, I really like Simon Pegg. He was hilarious in both Shaun of the Dead and Hott Fuzz, and I was curious to see how he'd do in a more serious 'coming out' role. Fortunately, I can say that he actually performs rather admirably. Unfortunately, the movie was a bit too much on the romantic side, and not enough on the comedy side for my tastes. It is pretty well done, but when I saw it I was far more in the mood for a comedy. Keep that in mind if you're going to watch it.

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Forgetting Sarah Marshal

In the same vein as Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin, it's the same group of guys doing the same old "guy's romantic comedy". I have to admit the formula is getting a little tired for me, but overall it's still pretty darn funny. There weren't as many crazy funny moments as the aforementioned titles, but it still had it's moments. There were quite a few pop culture references, which are funny now, but in 10 years will act as a differentiating factor between elitist know-it-alls and regular people.

Overall I'd recommend watching it on video if there's nothing else out, but not really worth going out of your way.

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Iron Man

I saw this last night and I have to be honest, I was particularly underwhelmed. After all the hype of "BEST MOVIE EVARRR!" I was obviously looking forward to something special. And yet all Iron Man was is the same formula with a shinier coating... literally:

  1. Long introduction to the character in their "before life"
  2. the event happens that introduces them to their POWA!
  3. montage sequences where they learn and control their POWA!
  4. Small fights with sub-bosses
  5. Most trying low point where they can't use their power, often coupled with some sentimental moments
  6. Angry and badass with a big climactic boss fight

This formula works well sometimes, and maybe I'm just jaded, but after so many Super Hero movies it starts to become tired and routine. For what it is though, the special effects are great, and there are a few COOOL moments. Sooner or later Hollywood will start getting more influenced from flashy asian cinema and hopefully start introducing more crazy moves. We saw a couple of them in Transformers, and again a couple in Iron Man. I want more!

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Following my titanic ego, I decided to watch this one while doing some movie-critic like thinking, and will publish my thoughts on this page where all my non-existent avid readers will discuss and view for all eternity. Now for the movie.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

It had a very nice beginning that I liked a lot with a sterotypically Indiana Jones army jeep chase, except this time instead of Nazi's, there was KGB. One of my first thoughts was that this movie looked much better and crisper than the older ones, which I am sure is partly due to modern special-effects technology, but also due to the scrappy analog broadcasts and VHS tapes that I watched the old movies on.

As the movie progressed, you learn it has to deal with the same "City of Gold" from National Treasure: Book of Secrets, which kind of took a way part of this films glory, but this time the city was actually in South America, not underneath Mount Rushmore. The city also turned out to not be made of gold. Shia LaBeouf makes his entrance in the movie relatively early in, and does a pretty good job throughout the entire movie. However, I personally am not a LaBeouf-as-an-action-star fan, because I remember the days the he was on the Disney Channel, or in the movie Holes.

Karen Allen also returns in this movie, and the usual arguments between Indiana Jones and her character, Marion Ravenwood, ensure. You also learn (spoiler alert) that LaBeouf is Marion and Indy's son, even though the two never did get married. The acting in this movie I thought was pretty good and it did get me excited all over again. Until the aliens came up.

That's right. In this installment of the Jones series, there are aliens. Technically they're "inter-dimensional beings," but they're complete with elongated skulls and have the complete space man look, minus the green-ness. You don't actually get to see them until the end, and the major alien role is actually that of the interior of the alien's head, which happens to be a "crystal skull." This skull has odd powers, one of which is a magnetic effect with gold. The whole alien concept I thought was really cheesy, and I had hoped for a more original idea coming from Spielberg, rather than an extension of War of the Worlds.

Overall I thought the movie was good, but definitely could have been better. I don't think it topped the originals, but it still had good old Harrison Ford with his whip and hat, taking down the foreign bad guys one truckload at a time.

This post was edited by dialupinternetuser on 5/26/2008 8:25 PM
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Figured I also add that the Janitor from Scrubs makes an appearence. I started laughing, even though the janitor was being serious, but not as much as if I had seen Iron Man, in which Jeff Bridges, a.k.a. "The Dude" from The Big Lebowski played the villian.

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"Overall I thought the movie was good, but definitely could have been better. I don't think it toped the originals, but it still had good old Harrison Ford with his whip and hat, taking down the foreign bad guys one truckload at a time."

What more could you ask for in an Indiana Jones movie :)

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Saw Iron Man and I thought it was thouroughly entertaining. Certainly not the best movie ever, but not the worst way to spend eight bucks. Tony Stark is the man.

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The Fall

An artsy movie about a early 1900's stunt man who injured himself trying to win back his girlfriend. He ends up in the hospital and starts telling this made up story to a young girl, and uses the story as leverage to get her to do stuff for him, such as bring him massive amounts of morephine he can overdose on. The story told by the man IS the movie as well, and some of the cinematography was really great. I the cinematographer might have also done 300. It was a pretty good movie, but I hated the little girls voice and by the end of the movie it was driving me insane. Ah well.

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The Incredible Hulk

While I was harsh on Iron Man, I have to say that Hulk was actually pretty damn sweet. Maybe it's because of the difference in expectations going in, but Hulk really surprised me. They didn't spend too much time on back story, and the fight scenes were AWESOME. If you were to critically analyze the story you'd there'd be a ton of faults, fortunately they don't spend too much time on narrative and quite a bit on HULK SMASH!

Just to punctuate my point, one scene sees Hulk rip out the elbow bone from his enemy and STAB HIMS WITH IT! That makes it an instant classic.

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