The Top Ten Of The Summer

Summer Movies, Had Me a Blast

The Summer film season kick off was Wolverine, which was the worst thing not named Swine Flu, Paul Blart or Blue Dog Democrats to emerge this year.  Fortunately, the rest of the Summer with a few exceptions, turned out to be pretty damn good.  Although I was pleased with last Summer’s movies, especially The Dark Knight, I think this year’s were overall stronger.  Here’s my top 10 if you want any recommendations before heading back to school, work or prison:

1. Up – Amazing and touching Pixar film about an old man who is too busy having an adventure to complain about Obama’s death panels.

2. District 9 – The most creative movie of the year and probably going to get a Best Picture nomination now that the Academy can nominate ten movies.  In short it is about an alien who lands in Africa who is harassed by locals when they begin claiming he was born in Hawaii.

3. Bruno – People were mixed on this – whether they liked it or hated it.  I thought it was brilliant and more daring that Borat.  So what if the only redeeming message was that the only thing more gross/funny to watch than gay male sex is angry, homophobic rednecks and disgustingly ambitious L.A. parents; it was all absurdly hilarious.

4. Drag Me To Hell – This film was gross, creepy and hilarious.  And like Joan Rivers – it was all intentional (have soem Comedy Central Roast people).  I probably enjoyed this movie more than any others this Summer.

5. The Hurt Locker – Interesting and tense movie about a guy who diffuses IEDs in Iraq and seems to like it.  They are talking Oscar potential for this one, but my guess is because it is not political enough and because Sean Penn is not blowing anybody, its chances are not that high that it will be remembered in February 2010.

6. The Hangover – This will be remembered as the comedy of the year and the film that finally made Las Vegas a destination for young men to go party.

7. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – I thought this was the best adaptation from the books and Alan Rickman does more with little dialogue than anyone I’ve ever seen.  But I wish one of Potter’s classmate’s name’s was Joseph Takagi.

8. Public Enemies – I was disappointed by this film, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good.  Oddly enough I thought Johnny Depp was the weakest part of the film – stick to playing weirdos and heartthrobs.

9. Star Trek – This movie surprised me in that it did not suck.  In fact it was pretty good.  Of course I found it strange that the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage was still relevant centuries later (I do not equate Mike D as the Mozart of the 2300s), but it was well done by JJ Abrams and company.

10. Terminator Salvation – Fu-k you, I enjoyed it.  The second half of the film made the first half make a lot more sense and seem relevant and I actually hope they make a fifth and final one.

The only thing left for me to see this Summer will be Inglourious Basterds.  If it is amazing I will make note of it, but more than likely it will just annoy me.


Orlando Magic

Just got back from Orlando (wedding and a trip to Universal Studios).  A few things I learned and confirmed this weekend.

JetBlue is a fantastic airline.  The leg room, unlimited snacks and television are all great.  The old European bitch sitting near me with her poodle was the only drawback.  She got into it with a flight attendant about placing the dog underneath the seat (it was a small one), to which she proclaimed, “I travel to Europe all the time with the dog,” as if the flight attendant was supposed to reply, “Oh, you travel often… and to EUROPE, welllllll I did not know – excuse me and my provincial sensibilities.”  People should not be able to bring dogs onto an airplane unless they are blind.   At one point, as the dog started whimpering I almost shouted, “Somebody get these motherfu-kin’ dogs off my motherfu-kin’ plane.”

Caricature drawings are interesting experiences.  I had one drawn of me at Universal Studios.  As people walk by you know they are judging.  They are saying one of two things:

  1. Damn!  – that dude is fu-ked up looking and she is drawing all of it or
  2. That artist sucks and that dude sitting right there is getting ripped off.

Fortunately I think it came out well (resembling me, but funnier looking).  However, it is the first time I feel like instead of Obama-Adam Sandler my combo has come out to look like Billy Zane mixed with Milton Berle.  Enjoy:

Billy Zane's skull, Milton Berle's mouth and Jay Leno's chin
Billy Zane’s skull, Milton Berle’s mouth and Jay Leno’s chin

So this week has a lot of promise.  Tonight is my first trip to Yankee stadium and the season finale of 24 (can it possibly suck any more?), Tuesday more Laker basketball to hate and The American Idol finals to enjoy (Lambert has been the star all season and must win) and then Thursday is Terminator Salvation.  Stay tuned. Or stay whatever it is when you read stuff.


Angels & Demons: An Unholy Experience That Can Be…

In what is quickly shaping up as a Summer of ups and downs, this week, after the solid (but I would not say better than that) Star Trek the ghost of Wolverine has appeared in the new Dan Brown adaptation, Angels & Demons.  I should say that I like the book The DaVinci Code and found the film decent, but at least pretty true to the book.  I liked the book Angels and Demons better, so I was hopeful.  Well, Ron Howard crushed that hope.

In what is becoming a cinematic Christ-like sacrifice by me, I have been seeing Thursday night shows in an effort to be first to to discuss (or warn people) the big movies of the Summer.  Well, consider yourself warned – Angels and Demons is really bad.  It even has the power to offset joy at seeing the Lakers lose to the Houston Rockets.

About twenty minutes into the movie the projector burned the reel, which was probably a sign from God, not because the film contained blasphemy, but because the two hours remaining were so terrible.  Even the Catholic Church is not protesting the film as much because seeing it will actually help people believe that there are evil forces at work in the world.  To sum up the movie imagine Tom Hanks delivering a so-so performance in a movie that appears to be only the most preposterous segments of a season of 24.  The End.

I liked the book Angels and Demons and I have never seen a movie make so many adjustments to critical plot points in my life.  People may have been wondering how this film would play in terms of the religion-science divide, but it may bring those factions together in declaring this film both an unholy experience and terrible based on empirical evidence.

Next weekend is a big one with Terminator Salvation (a PG-13 Terminator?) and Dance Flick.  Is it scary that my bet is on Dance Flick delivering the goods?  Well I got a free pass to another movie because of the projector mishap, but hopefully something comes out soon that is worth a free ticket.