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Summer’s movies in the rearview mirror

Well, the summer is over and I’ve had my two weeks in the box to try to recharge what passes for my energy level. As usual, the column I wrote at the beginning of the summer had very little to do with how the movies actually turned out.
I should give you some background because I understand that my perspective is that of a mutant, and my movie watching experience is significantly different than most. I won a drive in theatre  and if the film is even remotely successful I’ll play it 20 or 30 times I work every night because it isn’t like I could get a real job so once I hit the low end of the labour pool I hired myself. Out of the 20 or 30 times I play it I’ll watch it or rather sit through it half of those times. If I like it I’ll listen and watch. If it stinks I’ll avert my eyes.
There are some films that don’t even bear a single watch. If I don’t have to review it I’ll skip it entirely. Things like Resident Evil Afterlife or The Last Exorcism doesn’t even get a blink.
I’ll watch the middle of a movie and see if it captures my attention and if it does then I’ll sit thru the entire screening another time.
But I see a lot of films and despite the fact that I unashamedly charge people to get in, a lot of them stink. So now that the dust has settled I’m trying to think if I have a Top 10 for the films I saw this summer. I can probably come close.
Without doubt the best movie was Despicable Me. This was important because Universal hadn’t had an animated hit despite a seemingly unending parade of misses. The head of Foxs’ animation was hired away and the result is an absolute delight. Steve Carrell voices a wannabe CNN bad guy. He doesn’t really want to rule the world, he just wants to be recognized for his evil ways on the news at night.
It’s funny silly and ultimately sweet I saw it 8 or 9 times, not always front to end but it was always a good watch. Final box office  #5 at the box office 243 million

For grown up flicks certainly The Other Guys was a lot of fun. I despise Will Ferrell. He’s obnoxious and I think relatively lame in almost everything he’s in. Except when they straight jacket him You can tell he wants to lapse into full moron mode but the writing won’t let him and it works. Mark Wahlberg is very funny as the peacock cop who wants to fly but regrettable shot Derek Jeter so he’s really limited in his career advancement. It’s a great watch Very funny and never loses sight of the story line. # 11 at the box office115 million

I know the critics’ choice was Inception and it’s good. I don’t think I even included it in my predictions for the summer’s top 10 and it was the fourth  highest performing film for the summer It’s smart and thought provoking and 153 minutes long which just grates.  And yes, I am bitter.
I like Christopher Nolan’s writing and directing and just watching it without sound was a treat. It really did capture the essence of dreams I thought it unfortunate that Leonard Di Caprio last film which had just finished its theatrical run, also featured him as a murky not sure what’s real leading man. It didn’t ruin it but it did impose him against the landscape a little and I thought that made it less than it could have been but it was still brilliant filmmaking. I think.  #4 at the box office 285 million which is really quite remarkable

Please Give I love Catherine Keener. End of story She’s reunited with her Lovely and Amazing film which is a brillinat film and I think about 37 people will see this but it’s such a great watch you should rent it as soon as it comes out or go watch it if it hasn’t already played the screening room. Oliver Platt co stars as Keener’s husband and they’re all just delightfully flawed, and entertaining characters. Doesn’t track at all on the box office charts

Iron Man 2 I liked it better which according to everyone I spoke with makes me the only one. It had more sass and more of the Tony Stark character. I don’t get all caught up in the Iron Man junk. I like attitude and Stark is nothing but. Also Gweneth Paltrow as his foil and partner in crime fighting is a perfect fit. It’s just fun and I watched it over and over and really enjoyed it. As a small aside it continued the Mickey Roarke renaissance  He made an ok villain. It logged in at #2 at the box office 312 million

Toy Story 3 was cute and charming and I really did enjoy the story even though my granddaughter found it pretty scary. I thought the treatment was really quite sweet. It was the biggest hit of the summer  #1 at 409 million

Knight and Day may have been Cruise’s biggest bomb in terms of what it did vs what they were expecting
I liked it.
It’s funny and impossible and never took itself too seriously. Cameron Diaz is well cast as the unlikely heroine and I like Tom Cruise. So sue me. Dude is charming and funny and of course true blue and red blooded. I liked this movie a lot but it didn’t even break 100 million.

Shrek Forever After was fun but predictable and not really enough to restore this franchise to its previous glory. According to Dreamworks this was the last one. It came in #6 at 238 million Something tells me they lie.
Salt was good. Not fabulous, but good. I’m not a Jolie fan but she disappeared into the role enough that the character mattered and not the star. That impressed me. Lots of people getting knocked out and otherwise eliminated and since it’s # 9 on my top 10 I can live with it being mentioned here. #10 at the box office with 116 million
I have no # 10
Nothing was good enough.
There were a lot that weren’t good at all.
I thought Eclipse was tedious. It did 300 million and was the third biggest film of the summer but who cares?
I suppose The Karate Kid was  horrible but it wasn’t anything I needed to see.
I tried.
I watched parts of it twice . Nothing Not a biscuit. Will Smith’s ego didn’t skip a generation and regrettable we’re probably going to hear from his sprout for quite a while. Shoot me now.
The worst film of the summer was Grown Ups. I just can’t make the jump. I was cursed with a low three digit IQ and a mediocre Canadian education. It doesn’t allow me to enjoy Adam Sandler’s filmmaking, or lack thereof.
So what do I know?  It came in #8 for the summer, grossed 160 million and people seemed to love it. Then again I’m not switching to a fly’s diet even though they’re eating it up.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: Paul Peterson


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