Shallow Thoughts

because deep thoughts smack of effort

Stewart Summer Blockbuster Series

Posted in Nonsense by Bridget on July 29th, 2008

My husband Scott and I classify new movie releases based on how we intend to view them. We either plan to see them at the theater or we will wait until they are released on DVD. We are not alone employing this classification system, as I have run into many other people who do the same. There has been a disturbing trend in the past few years where we plan to view most movies when they come out on DVD. Going to the theater had become a rare event. Not much seemed compelling enough to spend the extra money or endure the company of strangers to experience it via the big screen.

This summer was different. We were compelled to see six! In this post, I will give a brief review of each of these movies without any spoilers whatsoever.

The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian

I loved the Chronicles of Narnia books as a child and Scott remembered that about me. Out of a sense of loyalty, we have gone to the theater to see both Narnia installments. Much like committing to the Star Wars prequels it was something we felt we had to do – out of a sense of duty.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was pretty good. Prince Caspian, not as much.

There wasn’t enough Aslan face time, and I don’t recall if his lack of presence was the same in the book. Regardless, I found the kids more annoying than in the first movie. While it wasn’t awful, it was the movie that Scott and I liked least this summer.

It comes in 6th place of the 6 movies viewed at a theater this summer.

Iron Man

Kudos to everyone involved in the making of Iron Man. If I could thank John Favreau in person, I would. In fact: @ioubeer @johnfavreau for Iron Man. There. I said it.

I liked the direction. I liked the writing. I liked the effects. I liked the acting. I liked the character development. All around, I enjoyed this movie. I even liked Gwyneth Paltrow, which I normally don’t. I’ve got nothing against her, per se…not like Angelina Jolie who I despise. I just don’t favor Gwyneth as an actor.

I didn’t know how I would feel about the oft-troubled Robert Downey, Jr. carrying a film, but it made no difference whatsoever from the opening scene through the rest of the flick. I was able to forget who he was as a notorious person and enjoy him as the character. Fantastic movie if you are into the super-hero genre as Scott and I are. This is a must own when it is released on DVD.

It was our favorite movie this summer. Or, at least tied for first (see below). It was a close call.

Get Smart

When we saw movie trailers for Get Smart we figured that this was the quintessential perfect vehicle for Steve Carell. I wasn’t so sure I’d buy Anne Hathaway as Agent 99, but surprisingly she did a fine job. I even enjoyed The Rock Dwayne Johnson‘s performance quite a bit. Plus, throw in a dose of Masi Oka (Hiro from Heroes) and a cameo from Larry Miller and I’m happy as a clam!

This movie was amusing enough. It was funny – really funny in some parts. The story was good, considering the vehicle. The only downside was that it was plopped in the middle of an onslaught of summer films that were destined to outshine it.

Even though we enjoyed this movie, it falls near the bottom of the ranking. Again, not due to it being a bad film in any way. It just was squeezed out by bigger, better flicks.

Sadly, it ranked number 5 of the 6 we saw this summer. Sorry, Steve. Honestly, it was just the timing. (That’s what she said.)

Hancock

I guess I’m a Will Smith fan. I don’t think I realized that until I had to convince Scott to go see a super-hero movie. From the first time we saw a trailer of Hancock, I was sold. Scott had to be prompted, quite heavily by me, to make the effort. I mean, what’s not to like? A drunken, pissed-off superhero?! It’s gold, baby! Gold! Plus, there is a little twist in the story line that makes it even more interesting.

Additionally, I have made a commitment to do my part to support the career of Jason Bateman. If that requires shelling out meager amounts of my money in comparison to what he gets paid per gig – so be it. Ever since Arrested Development ended, I have to utilize whatever means necessary to get my Jason fix. I think he’s fantastic, in his oh-so-offbeat way.

Somehow, in all the Hancock promotion, I failed to realize that Charlize Theron is also in this movie. Bonus! She doesn’t bother me like the arm-candy of Brad Pitt or, say, Catherine Zeta Jones. Charlize is okay in my book – thanks to her stint on Arrested Development. God, I miss that show. Good thing I own the DVDs.

This movie would have ranked even higher with us this summer, if there weren’t other high caliber contenders. We’re both glad we made the effort to see this movie. It was good enough for us to consider purchasing the DVD when it is released.

Nevertheless it gets a very solid, shining bronze metal. Welcome to third place, Hancock.

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight was being filmed (at least parts of it) in Chicago while I was there in 2007 for An Event Apart. I didn’t get to see this particular movie being filmed, but I heard rumors of the Bat Signal in the night sky and saw what was alleged to be helicopters for the movie flying by. No, instead I saw the filming of Wanted starring my nemesis, Angelina Blowme (see above), which was actually pretty interesting.

Anyway, back to Batman. Scott and I were not big fans of Batman Begins. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great as far as we were concerned. We rated it a resounding, “Meh”. In fact, we had every intention of skipping The Dark Knight due to lack of interest and no sense of duty. Also, I was so enthralled with Jack Nicholson as the Joker all those years ago, that I couldn’t comprehend why anyone felt a need to return to that well. I mean, for the love of all things holy, Batman DOES have other foes to dispatch. Try one of them out!

Quickly, all the Oscar hype about Heath Ledger‘s performance started up. Then the sales-pitch machine went into overdrive and we decided we would give it a go. Sort of like an experiment. It paid off. The Dark Knight was better than Batman Begins, in our opinion. We actually liked it. I have my doubts that Heath Ledger, although fantastic as the Joker, would have gotten a nod from the Academy if he were alive. He was really good, but I think the hype for award nomination is heavily influenced his tragic death. Still, it was worth seeing. No doubt the guy could act. By the way, so can Aaron Eckhart. His portrayal of Harvey Dent/Two Face was quite good, too. Sadly for him, his performance was overshadowed by the death of Heath.

Even though this film was very good and we are glad we saw it, it comes in at number 4 of the 6 movies we saw this summer.

Step Brothers

Scott and I are fans of the pairing of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. We liked Talladega Nights so much that we bought the DVD. As soon as we saw the commercial for Step Brothers, we committed to seeing it. We were so excited about this movie’s arrival that we saw it on the first showing, the first day of it’s release in our area.

You know how commercials and trailers for movies show all the funniest stuff and the rest of the movie is sort of lack luster? Not this film! If you are looking for something high brow, this isn’t for you – but I’m all for low brow comedy. This movie was hilarious from start to finish and I absolutely loved it. We can’t wait to own it so we can start memorizing lines to incorporate into our daily lives (like so many other movies we have enjoyed over the course of our 41 years).

We liked this film so much that it is the one that comes in at such a close second that it may actually tie Iron Man for first place. It’s hard to say because the genres are so different and we like them both for entirely different reasons.

Conclusion

There were many, many more movies that were released this season, most of pet nutrition supplement
which we have no interest in seeing - not even on DVD. I heard horrible things about The Happening, so my initial interest has waned. Also, even though I like Mike Meyers and Adam Sandler I have no interest in their movies this time around. I also couldn't have cared less that there was an other Indiana Jones flick in the offering. Sex and the City isn't really my speed. The X Files? Yawn. Hasn't that ship sailed, like, a decade ago?

I may be willing to see The Incredible Hulk on DVD out of loyalty to Edward Norton, but I'm hesitant because I did not like the first Hulk movie. I'll surely want to see Wall-E on DVD, but it didn't warrant seeing it in the theater, especially since we already went an unprecedented 6 times in one season.

There you have it! My opinions of 6 summer movies of 2008. Feel free to share your own opinions or refute mine if you are so inclined in the comments below.

3 Responses to 'Stewart Summer Blockbuster Series'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Stewart Summer Blockbuster Series'.

  1. Kris Johnson said,

    on July 30th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I haven’t quite managed six theatrical movies this summer, but I’ve seen four:

    The Incredible Hulk was (for me, at least) definitely worth seeing in the theater, even given (or perhaps especially given) the somewhat rocky legacy begun by its predecessor. I enjoyed it enough that it earned a coveted spot on my list of The Top 10 Superhero Films of, OMG, teh EVARS!

    Speaking of that list, Iron Man is at the top spot; it’s another of the movies I’ve seen this summer.

    Then there’s The Dark Knight, which is on the list, but not so high as many people expected.

    Finally, we have Hellboy 2, also on the list.

    My wife and I intended to see Get Smart, but never worked out the scheduling, and I haven’t found time to see Hancock yet, either.

  2. Bridget said,

    on July 30th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    @Kris – So, the Hulk was that good? Interesting. Ok, I’ll definitely see it on DVD when it comes out.

    So, was going to the theater 4 times in one season out of the norm for you, too?

  3. Kris Johnson said,

    on July 30th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    @Bridget – Since becoming a parent, seeing four movies in the theater in the matter of a couple of months does seem pretty unusual. We used to go all the time, but now it’s almost like a special occasion.

Leave a Reply