The summer movie season came, and is essentially gone, and if it weren't for the heat Im not sure many would have noticed. This years summer movie season seemed as uneventful as i expected it would be. Im not trying to be too critical, I did have fun at the movies a few times this summer, but like last year Im leaving the summer season in hopes that the fall will provide some redemption. In a week we get “Get Low” where I live, and I'm excited for that, and the George Clooney film “The American” looks like it might have promise, but then it will officially be awards season and the stakes become high. Can movies like “Stone”, “Hereafter”, and “Red” save the year in film?
Here is my brief summer run down:
The best film of the summer had to be “Restrepo”, with “Inception” coming in at a dramatically close second. Restrepo got to me. This little known documentary takes us inside the thick of the most dangerous place on earth - a hostile valley in the heart of Taliban activity in Afghanistan. The film presents a striking and unbiased look into U.S. operations there, and features excellent and insightful interviews from some of the soldiers who survived the fighting there in 2007. Obviously Inception was also a gem, proving that Christopher Nolan is as good as we thought he was, and that DiCaprio is the best actor in the business right now.
The best family option this summer was “Toy Story 3”, despite the significantly darker tone from the first two films. Im elated to see that this is now the highest grossing animated film of all time, taking that crown from the decent but nowhere near as good “Shrek 2”.
The two most surprising films of the summer for me were “Iron Man 2” and “The Karate Kid”. Iron Man 2 was a surprise in the wrong direction for many who expected a comic masterpiece, but for me it was a pleasant surprise in that I didn't expect to like it much, and I did. The first Iron Man is a tad overrated in my opinion, and I actually find the second to be better. The Karate Kid was the true surprise to me however, as the film was already the butt of many jokes before people had even seen it. I was enthralled with it, and I still have it as one of the top ten films of the year to this point. It turned out to be great family fun and a solid retelling of a wonderful story for a new generation.
My biggest disappointments of the summer had to be, in order, “The Last Airbender”, “Grown Ups”, and “Prince of Persia”. Of the three, I guess I only expected the first to be any good, but I was hopeful for all three, and none truly delivered. The summer as a whole wasn't great, but these films stand out above the rest of the dunces as major misfires.
Overall, I give The summer a C+. What would your grade be?
Also, Im in on 10 more films for this month:
The Maltese Falcon (rewatch)
The Kids are All Right
Flags of our Fathers
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
Vivre Sa Vie