Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Summer Movie Season

Yes, it’s true.  The time is upon us.  Cue music, roll credits.  It’s Summer Movie Season.  Can I get a what what?

Okay, so I’m a little late, seeing as three, no wait, four of the biggest summer movies are already in theaters, but I can give you a little review, no?  Plus, there’s still more to come in the summer movie madness.

Well, I guess I have to go with Julie Andrews and start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start).

So the big kick off this year (much better than last year’s DaVinci Code, I might add) was none other than Spider-Man 3.  Though it was plagued with bad reviews, it went on to break the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time by making $151 Million, domestically.  Now, I read all the bad reviews, but I couldn’t stay away.  I love comic book movies and I won’t miss any of them (unfortunately, that means I have watched Ghost Rider).  Now, I’m the only person on earth that didn’t really like Spider-Man 2 (which is shocking, seeing as my favorite author, Michael Chabon, wrote the script).  It was a great movie until the end.  Spider-Man gives up his secret identity, and not just to Mary Jane…He gives it to a whole subway full of people.  What is that?  The comic book lasted for 40 years on the premise that Spider-Man had a secret identity, that’s what drives the story.  He can’t have real relationships, he can’t be with M.J. because he’s got a secret identity and he can’t be there for her.  Needless to say, I was skeptical when walking into Spider-Man 3.  But as I sat down, a miraculous thing happened.  The third movie actually made peace with the second movie.  In other words, I understood in the third movie, why it was imperative that M.J. find out that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.  The third movie explores their relationship in way that is so new and refreshing: even though M.J. knows that Peter is Spider-Man, they still can’t have a normal relationship.  He can’t be there for her in the way that others could because he has to save New York City…over and over again.  Now, the movie itself…could they have cut out the Sandman?  Yes.  I would have loved to explore the genesis of Venom (Venom is awesome because he knows Spider-Man’s weaknesses…the venom’s been in Spider-Man and thus knows him).  I would have loved to explore Gwen Stacey because in the comics she’s not the dumb blonde she’s portrayed as in the movie.  She’s actually a very real, potential threat to M.J.   But really, all in all, Spider-Man 3 was great.  And it achieved it’s purpose…it entertained me.

Now, since i’m going in order, the next Big summer movie opening was the ever-loveable Shrek.  Shrek The Third, made by the studio I am currently employed at, is funny, but overall it was a pretty big dissappointment.  Definitely not as funny as the first two, but it’ll do.  The one thing I will say is that Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots is constantly hilarious and the Dreamworks Animation team certainly has a knack for making the feline very cat-like.  Shrek’s a good one for the kids, but really, the only reason I’ll buy it is because I have the first two, and it only costs me $4.

So the next Big movie was the most swashbuckling adventure of them all…the one I was most looking forward to:  Pirates of the Carribbean: At World’s End.  Who doesn’t love a good adventure with swordfights, cannons, and the ever-delightful to gawk at, Johnny Depp.  Now, this, like the other two trilogy movies, got horrid reviews as well, but like Spider-Man, I loved it.  It is true that it’s not the Johnny Depp show.  It is also true, that there is alot of talking.  I’ve never really understood this complaint.  There’s a lot of talking in a movie, okay, what’s the problem?  I get that you want sword fighting and swashbuckling, but you’ve got to get somewhere.  Without talking there’s no story.  There’s only one place I’ve seen a story work with little to no talking and that was in an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (hello, it’s like 45 min. long and part of a larger narrative) and there was some freaky shit going on.  But I digress, so yes there’s a lot of talking in Pirates.  But let me say a few things…talk a little bit.  Actually, there’s only one thing to say about the beginning of Pirates: Chow Yun Fat.  What a genius casting decision that was.  For real, he’s a badass and he plays a badass pirate and he does it with gusto.  I loved him.  Let me say another thing about the movie.  Pirate council, fucking genius.  I love that.  I love the ancient ritual part of the movie, it seems so realistic, even though it isn’t.  I like that they called back to the Pirate Code from the first movie.  And one more thing I’d like to say: Keith Fucking Richards.  Pure Genius.  He plays the guitar all aloof and weird and just totally Keith.  I actually kind of wished Mick had made a little cameo as well, but alas, can’t always get what you want I guess.  Now, one of the major complaints about the movie is that it focuses a lot on Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom and that relationship.  But I liked it.  You finally got to see that it wasn’t all happily ever after, the end, tra la la, skip off into the sunset.  There was miscommunication and non-communication.  There was hotness, there was anger, there was sadness, in sum, there were all the elements of relationships and relationship problems.  I loved that Will and Elizabeth’s relationship was explored so thoroughly.  Also, the main talking part of the movie is the first hour or so, then we get into the action, and I have to say, there’s some great action.  Lots of boat battles, lots of cannons, and swinging across a whirlpool to swordfight.  It was great.  The ending, which I won’t give away, was the perfect amount of bitter and sweet, and of course, there was an opening for a fourth (which is already in pre-production).  In short, it wasn’t the first two movies, but I loved it anyway.

Now, the big, non-action movie, non-animated hit of the summer is sure to be KNOCKED UP.  And with good reason: it’s awesome.  I laughed the whole time, but it’s surprisingly heartwarming and hopeful.  The thing is, Judd Apatow, who wrote one of my favorite shows, Freaks and Geeks, and who wrote The 40 Year Old Virgin, is a master at working in a really and truly sweet story to an outrageously funny comedy.  He’s basically the best of both worlds: he can make a movie that takes the best of Wedding Crashers or Something about Mary and combine it with Sleepless in Seattle.  The end result is pure, comic genius that makes you feel good at the end.  I must say that Seth Rogen is a great leading man.  He’s totally the kind of guy you have a one night stand with and then go, what was I thinking, but he pulls off this sweetness that makes you go ‘oh yeah, that’s what I was thinking.  Go me.’  And Katherine Heigel.  I have to say, she’s an actress I want to hate (mainly cause she’s a bitch in real life), but I love her in Grey’s Anatomy and I love her here.  She’s the perfect blend of highly emotional (she is pregnant for god’s sake), intensely vulnerable, and a great guys girl.  Basically, she’s every man’s fantasy, but she’s also the kind of girl you want to be best friends with, and she’s not annoying about it.  Knocked Up is the one movie you shouldn’t miss.

Now, as for the preview part of this email…

Unfortunately, even though I work in The Biz (as some douche bags say), I’ve not had any sneak peaks at the movies coming up this summer.   What I will say is this: Friday, Ocean’s 13 comes out.  In all honesty, I couldn’t really care less.  I might see it if it plays for free at Paramount.  I liked Ocean’s 11, but didn’t see 12.  I get that these movies make A LOT of money and I get that everyone loves seeing George, Brad, Matt, and all the rest, but really, I’m not really a fan.  They’re usually fun though, so don’t let me discourage you. 

I feel the same way about the Bourne Ultimatum.  I haven’t seen any of them, I know people love them, but in all honesty, I really have no interest.  I will say this.  Doug Liman, the director, directed some of my favorite movies, including Swingers (with Vince Vaughan and Jon Faverau) and Mr. And Mrs. Smith (the movie that created Brangelina).  I have no interest, but I’m sure it will be good.  I have faith in Mr. Liman.

Now, I’m SUPER excited about the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.  I mean, I love comic book movies as it is, and I’m one of the only people who really loved the original Fantastic Four movie.  I thought it was very true to the comic book, and it’s one of the only comic books where the identities of the superheroes are known.  This makes it a little interesting.  The Fantastic Four, unlike Spider-Man, have to deal with fame.  They deal with being recognized on the street, they deal with being a group of Superheroes, they deal with the fact that they are all related (except for the Thing, but he’s like family).  They deal with much different issues than most superheroes and that makes them interesting.  But that’s not the only reason why I’m excited, no no.  Growing up in a little surfer town makes you prone to liking little surfers.  So it is not shock that the Silver Surfer was my favorite comic book character when I was growing up.  I absolutely love him, and I can’t wait to see him on the big screen…hopefully, he’ll get his own movie out of it, and not in an Electra kind of way. 

There’s a couple animated movies coming out : Surf’s Up and Ratatoullie.  I’m not big on the animated movies, but I might see the rat one, who knows?  Surf’s Up could be good, but I’m so damn sick of penguin movies that I think I’ll skip it.  I get that March of the Penguins was good, but seriously it seems like every movie that’s come out since then is about Penguins.  Just stop with the damn Penguins already.  People went to see that movie because it was good.  Make a good movie about some other kind of animal so that I don’t have to see the fucking penguins anymore. 

Evan Almighty might be saved by Steve Carrell, but I don’t know.  Did anyone see Bruce Almighty?  Didn’t think so.  It was crap.  This one might be ok, but I’m going to skip it.  It’s got a pretty funny premise: Steve Carrell as a modern-day Noah has to build an arc, whatever.  I feel like this is one of those situations where it could be good, or it could be really really bad.

And on to the last of the summer movies I’m not all that excited about.  A little movie called Hairspray.  You know why I’m not that excited about it?  Because John Waters already made it and it was one of the best movies ever.  Ricki Lake, Divine, Debbie Harry ( a.k.a. Blondie), fabulousness.  Now, I’m not a big fan of remakes, sometimes they’re good, but mostly no.  I mean, the only reason people remake a movie is because the original is so popular, but really, this makes no sense.  Why not remake all those movies that could have been good, but were really really awful.  I mean, I know the reason why.  Basically, who’s going to go see a movie that was originally really awful, but there are a lot of great stories out there that got made into crappy films.  Anyway, the thing that I think is kind of stupid about this Hairspray remake is that John Waters isn’t involved at all.  The thing that made the original hairspray so good is that it had John Waters written all over it.  He used the freakish looking people, he filmed in Baltimore, I mean Ricky Lake and a drag queen starred in it…and I’m sorry, John Travolta is no Divine.  I get that this has become a big broadway musical and I’ve seen it and it totally works, but rerelease the original into the theatres, don’t make a new one.

Okay, enough negativity, let’s get on to the good stuff.  Live Free or Die Hard.  Guarantee this will not dissappoint.  Bruce Willis is doing what he does best, entertaining.  Lots of explosions, lots of action, it’ll be great.  Plus, you’ve got Timothy Olyphant (from Deadwood) as the bad guy, and what a fine sick bastard he makes.  You’ve got John’s daughter to tug at your heart strings, and you’ve got the famous line.  So when you fall through the ceiling, landing on your comfy theatre cushion, be sure to yell it out to the world.  ‘Yippee Ki Yay Mother Fucker.’

Next up, The Simpson’s Move.  Okay, so it’s like 10 years overdue, but this will be awesome even though I stopped watching the Simpsons like 8 years ago.  I have a friend that works at this company that screens movies before they come out.  She said that they’re getting great feedback about it.  I’m super excited, and what more is there to say than The Simpsons in a movie?

And now for another movie that’s 10 years overdue…Transformers.  Yep, you probably remember the cars that transformed into a pterodactyl looking robot.  You might have watched the cartoon on Saturday Mornings and now, the great Paramount Pictures is bringing this experience to the big screen.  It’ll be awesome.  Great visual effects, great action, and Shiah LeBouf.  Now as much as it pains me to say this Shiah LeBouf is actually a really funny actor and he has a way of charming and winning over an audience (and not just an audience of 13 year old girls).  This will definitely be one that you’ll want to see on the big screen. 

And of course, the one we’re all waiting for because not only is the movie coming out, but the last book is coming out like three weeks after…it’s HARRY POTTER.  The movie coming out is the Order of the Phoenix (for those who aren’t total freaks, it’s the fifth in a seven part series).  This is my favorite Harry Potter book.  And everyone takes a collective gasp of air.  Yes, it’s true this is my favorite book.  And I’m excited about the movie (in case it didn’t come through the email that ‘excited’ was sung in a high pitched voice, it was awesome, too bad you missed it).  Plus, let’s just stop for a minute to talk about the casting.  We all know the leads are the leads.  Yes, to all the Brits, we here in america love Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and those who play them.  But Alan Rickman as Snape, awesome.  Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange, brilliant.  Ralph Finnes (who i’ve met and is super nice and not creepy at all…this must mean he’s a good actor…ponderous) as He Who Must Not Be Named, genius.  And my favorite actor of all time, Gary Oldman as the ever-wonderous Sirius Black, fucking amazing.  This is going to be GREAT.  And if it isn’t, you only have to wait three weeks for the seventh book to come out and then you never have to think about it again….until the next two movies.

Peace, Love, and Happy Summer Movie Season,

Julia

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June 14, 2007 - Posted by | Hollywood, Movie Reviews, Movies

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