Sunday, June 22, 2008

Top Ten Summer Movies - Summer Solstice Progress Report

Here we are, close to midway through the summer movie season. Time to check in on how the movies are doing.

It's just about time for the Summer Blockbuster Season to roll around, so I'm starting to plan what I actually want to see. Usually I INTEND to see most of them, but wind up only seeing half or less. Unlike many recent summers, I'm actually really looking forward to quite a few films.

So without further ado, here's the list (and not necessarily in order of looking-forward-to-ness)

1) The Dark Knight - Doesn't come out for another month or so. Getting more excited about it, though.

2) Iron Man - 9/10 This movie was lots of fun. Perfect sort of superhero movie. He's not as well-established as most other superheroes that have had movies made of them, so it was easier for them to play around with the history and not have it come across as false. For 99% of the world, this will be THE Iron Man. Sequels galore are already in the works.

3) Narnia: Prince Caspian - 6.5/10 This movie left me a bit whelmed. It was good, but nothing really memorable. However, that said, I wish the first film had had this look and tone to it. Narnia is more like a real place this go-round, whereas the first movie was more like a fairy land.

4) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - 4/10 I was RIGHT to dread this film. What a mess. What a miscalculation. It reeks of George Lucas's myopic vision. For a really good list of what's wrong with this film, check this out.

5) Speed Racer - 0/10 Well, that's not a totally fair rating, because I didn't see it. But the closer it got, the less interested I was in seeing it. However, while waiting for Indy IV to restart (glitch in framing of the film), I wandered over to Speed Racer to catch a couple of minutes of it, just to see. The five minutes I watched were excruciating. I don't know who this film was made for. What a wreck...

6) The Happening - n/a This also looked more and more like a disaster the closer it got, and reviews have been universally bad. As I was only kinda interested in seeing it, this made my decision easier. I'll catch it on cable one day... maybe.

7) The Incredible Hulk - 7.5/10 The closer this one came to release, the more optimistic the reviews became. While the Hulk's CGI never got any better over the course of the previews, the reports were that the story and presentation were right in line with the precedent that Iron Man set earlier in the summer. And those reports were right. This was a mostly fun film, firmly set in the Iron Man version of the Marvel universe. I look forward to the next Marvel Studios film.

8) Hellboy II: The Golden Army - Still waiting for this one to come out. Recent previews make this look really epic.

9) Wall*E - This comes out next week. Latest previews are even stronger. Hard to imagine this not being a great Pixar film.

10) Tropic Thunder - Still the film I have the highest hopes for. Should be fun.


10.5) Hancock - I'm still on the fence about this one...

11) Honorable mentions - The rest of these films I'm going to keep my eye on, but they all seem like DVD rentals at best.

Get Smart - It opened this weekend, but I'm less than interested in seeing it...
Love Guru - It also opened this weekend, and it looks like total dreck.
Wanted - Growing more meh about this by the day.
Kung Fu Panda - This got great reviews and is a huge hit, but I just can't bring myself to see it yet. Looks like a DVD rental for sure.
Meet Dave - Whatever interest I had in seeing this has evaporated.

And as always, there's going to be at least one film that comes out of nowhere to become a surprise hit. What will be this year's Knocked Up?

Time will tell.

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