2011 summer @ the movies

21 Aug

So I’m taking a more unusual approach to my movie posting this summer — I’m posting at the end of the summer instead of the beginning.  Yeah.  I’m a maverick.  But what that actually means is that there’s just not a lot to say about what was out there this year.  So for those of you planning what to put in your Netflix cue or to buy for a Christmas gift, here are my two cents.

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides
Not bad.  Good flick for munching popcorn on a triple digit day.  But I’m still having trouble with any PotC that does not include Orlando Bloom.  Yes, we love Johnny, but one good character does not a franchise make.  The good news is this film was not nearly as bad as critics were moaning about before it opened.  Barbosa’s hobby is a hoot.  Best line of the flick: “You don’t have termites, do you?”  And, of course, the best thing about May blockbusters is that they have the best previews of the summer: Muppets, Hanx & Julia finally team up, Transformers 3, Cars 2…soooo much to look forward to.

Bridesmaids
The first thing you need to know is that I’m all for women getting paying gigs in Hollywood, especially screenwriters.  The second thing you need to know is that this movie is a poop movie.  And I am not one of those poop girls.  But if you are, hey, this film is for you.  It’s not a chick flick.  It’s a dude flick with chicks in it.  It’s The Hangover: Girl Edition.  The two things I did enjoy about this film were 1) I got to see it with one of the most awesome people I know on the planet, and 2) the scene where Megan slaps Annie around and tells her the world does not revolve around her.  Perhaps the whole point of the movie is that poop is what your life is like when you act like the world does revolve around you.  Perhaps.  But for me it just wasn’t enough.  I checked out after the first five minutes.  I kept rooting for the main character to get run over.  Is it too late to ask for a refund?

Thor
Pretty enjoyable.  The design of Asgard is beautiful, and the special effects are fantastic. The hospital scene is hilarious.  But the funniest part of the whole flick was when the boom appeared in the pet palace shot.  Have to admit I was surprised to see Kenneth Branagh’s name in the director’s credit.  That’s a story I’d like to hear.

X-Men: Origins
Liked it.  It was hard for me to adjust to Mr. Tumnus wearing sweats.  But I tried my best.  The Jekyll/Hyde comment about “fearing what you’ll become if you unleash what you are” was the most thought-provoking moment of the flick for me.  The film did not quite live up to all my hopes, but it was still worth seeing.  Even if only for the Hugh Jackman cameo.

Midnight in Paris
What you need to know is that I — as Mr. Grinch says — “loathe entirely” the work of Woody Allen.  I am allergic to it.  I break out into hives when anyone mentions his name.  But my love for my friends who love to see films and my naive hope for mankind overcame my personal feelings and planted my poor suffering soul in that movie theater chair at the Burbank AMC.  At the very least I felt I was getting my money’s worth just by watching a flick with the town that makes them.  I owed it to them to be big-hearted and open-minded…right?  So all I have to say to you about this film is: if you have ever seen Woody Allen’s work, you have already seen this.  It’s all the same.  The same dialogue.  The same character(s).  The same boring, I’m-going-to-shoot-myself-before-this-is-over “drama.”  It wins the distinction of earning the most eye rolls of any movie ever.  Beautiful location.  Great title…such a waste.  Now if anyone wants to make a decent film or chick flick called “Midnight in Paris” they’re going to be haunted by this albatross.  The one benefit of this film was it was a great inner exercise in not allowing a hopeless flick to ruin a perfectly lovely evening with wonderful friends.

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon
I must confess I was already predisposed favorably toward this film because I was on a rare date with my youngest brother.  We had a wonderful breakfast and went to the early show happy and full.  And truthfully the film did not disappoint.  Lots of action.  Lots of cool cars.  Decent story.  Speaking for the female audience, I’d just like to say I could seriously do without the butt shot at the beginning, but I’m sure no one is listening (though maybe Chevy would, right #chevygirls?).  The trailers for this one were also interesting: the new Mission Impossible actually made me gasp out loud (but I don’t know if I’ll hold my breath for the film), Moneyball — pass, thanks, and finally, HP 7.2.  Your Transformers homework:  Try going to see Transformers 3 early in the day.  Then tell me if you don’t have trouble driving down the highway without expecting other cars to morph into Transformers right there in front of you.  Freaky, right?

Harry Potter 7.2:
(For my full review, click here.)  A generation has passed before our very eyes, and it can be measured by this franchise.  No way was I going to miss the midnight showing of this at the biggest theater in town…with the most costumes in town.  So worth it.  Good flick.  Good adaptation.  But don’t go get it if you haven’t already seen the others.  I LOVE Snape.  He rocks the whole thing, and I cried for his sacrifice.  It was good to see Percy made it in the end, but I would have liked to have seen Narcissa’s big scene shot differently — it could have been so much more powerful.  Oh, well.  It’s over, and we all survived.  Well, most of us.  RIP Dobby.  RIP Severus Snape.  RIP Tom Riddle…don’t let the door hit you in the booty on the way out.  My favorite Twitter comment after the show was from @Lord_Voldemort7: “Albus Severus Potter?  A.S.P.?  The kid’s initials spell ASP.  Someone’s going to be a Slytherin…”

Smurfs:
I would NOT have gone to see this except that my nieces & nephews MADE me take them.  Good ol’ Aunt Jenn.  She does what the kids want…it’s their parents’ job to say no, right?  The reason I wouldn’t have gone is because I am a child of the 80’s, and I have trouble believing they’re not going to trash my little blue memories.  I ate off a Smurfs tv tray every Saturday night while I watched “The Barbara Mandrell Show” for Pete’s sake.  And now, I’m a little old for being, or feeling, Smurfy.  The kids seemed to enjoy it, but it didn’t ring any bells for me.  I wanted it to be all animated…like a long episode of the Smurfs.  But overall there were two things I was grateful for: 1) Hank Azaria was in it, and 2) they did not sing “la, la, la la la la, la la la la la” the whooooole movie.  Cute, but you’re not missing anything if you don’t see it.

Cowboys & Aliens:
I could watch the trailer for this a thousand times.  So it truly pains me to say this — I will not see this film more than once.  Love the cast.  Love the concept.  So disappointed with the story.  I was soooo looking forward to a cowboys and aliens shoot ‘em up, like Independence Day or something.  But instead it was X-Files meets the original Battlestar Gallactica — gory organ harvesting, dark and murky alien rooms.  Aliens looking for gold?  Really?  Sci-fi usually goes looking for what makes us human, but this doesn’t probe at all.  In westerns the guy goes off with the girl into the sunset.  But there’s no real love story here (and what a waste!).  So both the exciting crossover concept and the story bombed.  Where is John Wayne when you need him?

Captain America:
Entertaining, decent popcorn flick.  No army is complete without Tommy Lee Jones.  And HP fans will be thrilled that Mr. Filch makes a return to the big screen.  Loved meeting Papa Stark.  My main beef with the film is the female character.  She’s the same one that’s in just about every film you’ve ever seen.  Unreal, unbelievable.  Her answer to everything is to flip her hair and shoot a gun.  Shooting a gun doesn’t make you tough, and it doesn’t make you one of the boys.  The other soldiers wear their uniforms into the pub.  She wears a flaming red dress and stands there like she’s mad they’re staring at her.  Whatever.  Next time around we know we’ll be getting another girl.  I hope they ask a girl for help writing a girl.  The good news is the strength of Captain America’s character well overshadows any weaknesses of hers.  His character is strong and enjoyable.  Hard to imagine an enemy worse than Hitler, but Hugo Weaving does a great job.  Is there any role he can’t play?  Get popcorn.  Go see it.

Monte Carlo:
The good news is this flick is nothing so ridiculous as its trailer makes it out to be.  It was cute and enjoyable, and I never would have bothered seeing it after watching the trailer if Plugged In had not given it a good review.  It’s refreshing to have fun in a teen flick without somebody getting knocked up.  The guys are dishy, and the characters are likeable.  It’s no Oscar film, but who wants the Oscars when it’s this hot outside?  The cool Mediterranean coast will do far better, I think.

Winnie-the-Pooh:
Go.  See.  This.  If you loved Pooh as a child, do NOT wait until you have a child to take with you.  Just go see it.  I loved the music.  Songs are sung by Elf star Zooey Deschanel, and she wrote the precious closing song, too!  Her voice absolutely made the movie for me.  Pooh’s tummy is a character, folks.  I loved that reading pages is part of watching the movie.  I laughed out loud several times, and I wasn’t the only one.  The film is a conglomerate of several Pooh stories rolled into one.  It’s thoroughly adorable and engaging and nostalgic.  The only moments that were more ‘modern’ than the stories were when Rabbit imagines winning the contest will bring kingship and the adoration of girls and when Rabbit wallops Pooh (acting more like Bugs Bunny than Rabbit).  Other than that, I’d almost have to say in a summer with no clear blockbusters, this may be the best I’ve seen yet.

Green Lantern:
Not a bad little flick.  Top Gun fans will be pleased to see Tim Robbins in another high-flying flick.  Ryan Reynolds is fun to watch on screen.  He’s growing on me.  This was interesting to watch, and the story is decent.  I’m not big on all the Will stuff, though, which of course is the underlying premise and what must be protected and what powers us, blah blah blah, but I can still appreciate a fun franchise and look forward to what comes next.

What I wish I’d seen:
Larry Crowne — How long has it taken for these two screen giants to team up??  Too long.
Cars 2 — OMG — Materhosen!

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BONUS: Box Office Commercials 2011

I HATE that you can’t go anywhere without being pummeled by commercials.  So I’m making lemonade:

Best:
Chevy – “You may never have to outrun a Decepticon invasion.  But it’s nice to know you can.”
Burger King – Minis commercial where everyone is stealing everyone else’s minis.  Hilarious.

Worst:
Sprite – The exploding head.  You know which one I’m talking about.  No brainer for the top of this list.  Make it stop.

Vote for your own best/worst commercials in the comments.

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2 Responses to “2011 summer @ the movies”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My summer in review « In Which I Blog - September 11, 2011

    […] did see a few movies, but it really was too hot to do that, either.  It was too hot to walk into my garage to get into […]

  2. Christmas flick #6 « In Which I Blog - December 19, 2011

    […] you read my 2011 summer movies post, you already know the reason I watch this film.  Three words: Zooey Deschanel sings.  That, […]

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