Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ten Random Thoughts on Summer 2011 Movies

While the summer season doesn't really end until near the end of September, I'm sure many kids on their way back (or already back) to school will tell you differently. In fact the summer movie season is essentially over and so before we say adieu, here are ten random thoughts of the films I saw this summer.

1. The first film I saw this summer also became my favorite film of the summer and that was Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. With a truly original concept and a great cast, it's the only film I saw twice this year. Unadjusted for inflation, it is Allen's highest grossing film ever. Now for the past two years, my favorite film for the entire year was also my favorite summer film (District 9 and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). Will it be the same this year? Time will tell.

2. It's pretty insane how there were three films this summer that reached $1 billion worldwide, but what's even crazier was that I only ended up seeing one of them (Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows). I don't even know anyone who saw Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and Transformers 3. HOW DID THEY MAKE ALL OF THAT MONEY? At least I can take solace in the fact that domestically the latter two films made much less than their predecessors while the last Harry Potter flick is the highest grossing film in its series.

Marvel Superhero Hotties

3. Perhaps because I'm a Joss Whedon fanboy, but I was shocked how much I enjoyed the two pre-Avengers superhero flicks this summer namely Thor and Captain America. They both had their flaws, of course, but good vision from their directors and assured performances by their leading men (and some of the supporting characters) elevated both films. Both films also made more than $165 million, which while not blockbuster status, is still good. Speaking of Marvel and lovely leading men, X-Men: First Class starring Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy also impressed.

4. Speaking of not seeing certain films, here are the 10 films I wished I had seen: Hesher, The Tree of Life, Beginners, Beautiful Boy, Submarine, Another Earth, The Devil's Double, Fright Night, One Day, and Our Idiot Brother. I'll watch all of these eventually, but if anyone has seen any of these, let me know how they were, okay?

5. Women fucking rule. I mean this is already a fact, but sometimes people forget this during the summer amidst all of the testosterone-superhero-robot-action orgy. Bridesmaids kicked ass in the box office making $168 million and counting suddenly making Kristen Wiig a big movie star while the much talked about Viola Davis-Emma Stone film The Help just passed $100 million in the dead of August. Both casts had other great actresses as well.

6. Wait, didn't I just see that? The trailers, the marketing, and everything about No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefit felt like they were the same movie. Fortunately the summer film (Friends) had the youthful vigor and palpable chemistry between its leads that its spring counterpart seriously lacked. Of course a week after Friends with Benefits premiered, a similarly-looking star-studded Crazy, Stupid, Love came out. Again, not really the same film once you see them, but all the samey sameyness beforehand got a little tiring. Also Ryan Gosling either needs to always wear tailored suits or be naked. One or the other. Seriously.

7. Netflix helped me by making a couple of films available. So I was able to see the Keira Knightley-Sam Worthington film Last Night, which was pleasant but a bit forgettable as well as the the Mel Gibson-Jodie Foster film The Beaver, which despite my own personal feelings for the lead, I actually quite enjoyed. So there, I confessed. I liked The Beaver. Now shut up about it.

8. Kids, what are they good for? A lot actually, especially when faced against aliens. The young ensembles of Super 8 and Attack the Block had to face extraterrestrial threat and they both did it in style. The kid cast of Super 8 was the best part of the uneven and self-conscious film while Attack the Block made everyday British kids look like superheroes.

9. I didn't expect much from either Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Cowboys & Aliens, but one film turned out to be surprisingly touching and epic while the other featured Daniel Craig wearing the hell out of leather chaps. I poke fun, but it's true. He really did. Who else was fantastic? Andy Serkis as Caesar in Apes. Just an awards-worthy performance through and through. In any case, Apes is looking at an impressive $170 million gross while Cowboys will struggle to reach $100 million (with a $163 million budget!)

10. The summer wasn't that bad! All of the films I just mentioned that I watched? I didn't really hate or even dislike any of them. I was disappointed in 1 or 2, sure, but I was also pleasantly shocked by a handful of them. I think all in all I saw 15 films over the summer and with that I say, bring on the fall season.

What were some of your favorite films of the summer?

1 comment:

  1. I saw POTC 4. It was... okay? Not especially memorable; needed a dose of Orlando and Keira.


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