Way back on Valentines Day i listed all the summer blockbuster movies i was amped about seeing. Now that we're most of the way through the movie season, i thought i'd give a bit of a recap/update with mini reviews since i didn't make posts after seeing most of them. Don't worry, i'll warn and censor any possible spoilers.
First, i'd like to point out that unlike the summer before, this summer wasn't all sequels and remakes. There were several, but they were not nearly as dominant as last year. I'm not saying every movie was terribly original, but it was nice to be treated to more of the unexpected, and get introduced to new characters for a change.
Feb 14th - Jumper
Didn't see it. Heard it sucked. Will probably grab it on Netflix eventually.
April 18 - The Forbidden Kingdom
Didn't see it, though i heard it was decent. Still want to see, but is on my Netflix queue now.
May 2 - Iron Man
Great movie. Started the summer off right. Just the right balance of substance and just having a ton of fun. Special effects were awesome, acting was solid, script was tight. Not fine art cinema - no Oscars here - but really good movie that should be very rewatchable.
May 9 - Speed Racer
This one was ok. I was fairly disappointing that there was much more language and violence in this than i think should have been allowed as a PG movie. Having said that, if it had been rated PG-13 i would have enjoyed it more. I also think the acid-trip visuals worked for me after a while. It was much more of an art film in that regard than i expected - almost to the point of being avant-garde or experimental really. Once i got used to that, i think it was a good film. Middle of the road, but good.
May 16 - Chronicles of Narnia: Price Caspian
Excellent, but like Speed Racer this one should have been PG-13. It was pretty much in line with the first Lord of the Rings movie, but without blood. Literally. Same number of bodies falling. Same number of swords stabbing, etc...just no blood squirting when it happens. But like i said, very good. True to the book (almost too much - those who haven't read it might be confused) and well acted and written. I hope they keep moving through the books - at least make it a trilogy. These Narnia movies could have been drivel, but so far so good.
May 22 - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I went in with mid-level expectations and didn't bury myself in spoiler-filled coverage before it came out and i think it paid off. I really liked this one. I think what i liked best was that it assumed that Indy kept doing things for the last 20 years. [SPOILER ALERT - HIGHLIGHT TEXT TO READ IT] It referenced Young Indiana Jones Chronicles events, assumed that Indy was in the service during WWII (which of course he would be), etc. He wasn't just old, he had a life. The only gripe i had on this one was the scene with Mutt swinging from the vines with monkeys...and the truck/cliff/tree moment that was straight out of a Wiley Coyote cartoon. Otherwise the suspension of disbelief was within what i was willing to deal with, and loads of fun. I also think this one worked better because it tapped into a mythos that i was familiar with. Indy 1 and 3 were great because i grew up hearing about what they were after. Temple of Doom didn't reach me as well because i didn't care about the MacGuffin. In this one, it worked because i've heard about Rosewell aliens for years and mysterious temples in South America, so i was ready to see those fantasies played out on screen. [END SPOILERS] Wish i could see this one again, but i guess i'll have to wait for the blu-ray for a second go-round.
June 20 - Get Smart
Didn't see it. Might get around to this one eventually, but the closer it got and the more i saw about it, the more it looked like it wasn't my kinda movie.
June 27 - WALL-E
Great movie. I can see where most people are coming from with the reviews that the first act was great, but the later parts of the movie dropped off. While yes, the first part was fun and light and enjoyable, a whole 2-hour feature of that would have gotten boring after a while. I enjoyed this one thoroughly, though it still ranks behind A Bug's Life, Cars, and Finding Nemo for me in the Pixar pantheon. [MINOR SPOILER ALERT - highlight text to read] I also didn't take issue at all with the concerns some had with the message of the movie. Firstly i don't think it was that much of a message movie. On first viewing i definitely got a message, but on further examination, really this was a love story set on the backdrop of a humorously exaggerated extreme future. [ END SPOILERS]
July 2 - Hancock
Awesome. I really think people that didn't like this movie went in with too many expectations. This wasn't Pursuit of Happiness or Independence Day, but a wonderful balance between the two. [MINOR SPOILER ALERT - Highlight text to read] I also love that though this movie had a major 'twist' (which was by some miracle not spoiled in the trailers), the movie wasn't about the twist. It had a twist, then moved on to what the movie was really about. Kudos to the writers and i think they also thankfully avoided dealing the the alcoholic/tortured super-hero issue too much, which leaves room for those stories in Ironman sequels [SPOILER END]. Highly recommended.
July 11 - Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Haven't seen yet, but still hope to see before it leaves theaters. If i have to wait for blu-ray though, i can.
July 18 - The Dark Knight
Great movie but... It was a little too dark and a little too long for me. Good movie, but it needed to be tightened up. Many subplots that could have been cut (one in particular) and well...gonna have to go into spoiler mode: [SPOILER ALERT - Highlight text to read] All of the acting was spectacular, and the overall direction was good, but the script needed work. The entire Hong Kong sequence should have been cut, and overall it just needed a few nips and tucks. My only other major gripe was Two-Face. One that he didn't get enough time, and two that he looked ridiculous. He looked like Imhotep from The Mummy. He just had gas on his face which caught on fire. Batman was right there and put the fire out. Unless Batman put it out with a brick, Dent's jaw shouldn't have been broken and his face should have been burned, not missing! Then even at that...if his face was missing...he wouldn't be walking around and talking the same. His voice would sound different, etc. Normally i wouldn't nit-pick something like this, but Christopher Nolan has gone out of his way to make a very realistic world here. We can believe that what we are watching could actually happen - but not Two-Face. Overall though, the Joker was great, the increased role of Lt/Commissioner Gordon was great, and it was a very good movie. Just not as good as it could have been (read: over-hyped and not as good as the amazing movie it followed) [END SPOILERS]
NOT OUT YET:
Aug 1 - The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Nov 21 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Might checking out (or wait for video):
March 14 - Horton Hears a Who!
Saw the last 15 minutes of the movie at a showing in the park. Looked cute. Might get around to seeing more eventually.
June 6 - Kung Fu Panda
Haven't seen, but plan on it. A friend of mine said he liked it more than Ironman at the time, which says a lot.
June 13 - The Incredible Hulk
Didn't see. Not planning on it anytime soon. Just looked poor. Never been a big Hulk fan anyway.
June 13 - The Happening
Didn't see, but looked like it would be good. Still plan on catching on Netflix.
July 11 - Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D
Haven't seen yet, but would like to. Plan on seeing it before it leaves theaters just so i can see the 3D experience.