Since I’ve been pretty bad about keeping up with this blog recently, I feel like I need to do justice to some of my favorite movies of the summer. People have been complaining about the quality of the movies this summer and the drop in Box Office revenue. Hello– maybe it’s because by May, theaters across the U.S. had already increased their ticket prices on average by 8%. Maybe it’s not the movies that suck it’s the prices. Regardless, there have been some awesome movies this summer, and that’s what I’m here to tell you about, so you can spend those hard-earned dollars on things like Inception (5 stars) and not The Other Guys (barely 2 stars).
Inception (2010): Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine and Cillian Murphey; Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan
If you haven’t seen Inception yet, drop everything you’re doing and get ready for the mind-trip of the century. Having seen Inception in the theaters 4 times now (embarrassing, maybe, but worth it), I can safely say that it is probably the most intelligent movie I have ever seen, and certainly in my top five favorite movies of all time. The concept is rather hard to explain to someone who hasn’t seen it– in fact, the first 1.5 hours of the movie are basically a training course for the audience just so you can understand the next 1.5 hours of the movie. Come in more than 15 minutes late, and you will be super confused. Before seeing the movie, I read that it took Christopher Nolan ten years to write the screenplay. After seeing the movie, I totally get that.
Without saying too much, Inception is basically a heist movie that takes place in the dream world– hence the tagline, “Your Mind is the Scene of the Crime.” Not a sci-fi fan? Doesn’t matter. This world is surprisingly not too far from our own. And who could sit through a movie with such a smoking hot cast and NOT enjoy it? Very few. I also highly recommend seeing this one on the big screen– the special effects are astounding. After you’ve seen the movie, message me about the soundtrack– the story behind it will ALSO blow your mind. Seriously– need I convince you any more? Go see this movie. Right now. And bring your 5 Hour Energy because you really need to stay awake for this one.
Toy Story 3 (2010): Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and a bunch of other awesome people…
Why are kids movies these days so damn sad? If you want to cry for two hours straight, go rent Up. It’s literally impossible not to start crying during that montage at the beginning. Just hearing the soundtrack to that movie brings tears to my eyes. And it takes a lot to make me cry in a movie. And then there’s Despicable Me (below)– so touching that a story about cats drinking milk will make you tear up. But the mother-load of emotion comes to us in the form of Toy Story 3. Bring your tissues, people. This coming of age story hits you in the heart like a 18-wheeler on fire. And aside from all the emotion, this movie is a masterpiece of screenwriting, character development and especially 3D animation. I kinda liked Toy Story 1 and 2, but this movie deserves a lot of recognition. Seriously, Pixar, stop being so awesome. You’re making me nauseous.
Despicable Me (2010): Starring Steve Carell, Julie Andrews, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Jason Segel and Kristen Wiig
Despicable Me is your classic “hooker with a heart of gold” story. Gru, a criminal mastermind who is planning the ultimate crime– stealing the moon, finds his true calling in life when three orphaned girl scouts show up on his front porch selling cookies. Cliche? Perhaps. Predictable? Definitely. Adorable, fun and totally worth your money? Absolutely. While Despicable Me isn’t quite as astounding of an achievement as Toy Story 3, this is another awesome animated movie that all adults will appreciate. While Toy Story 3 was making me cry, Despicable Me was cracking me up. All the adults in the audience were beside themselves laughing… and then crying… and then laughing again. I really liked Despicable Me, but unlike Inception and Toy Story 3, I don’t feel like I’d be missing anything if I just watched it on DVD and not in the theaters. So if Despicable Me has already left theaters in your area (which it probably has), throw it on that Netflix queue and wait for DVD.
Going the Distance (2010): Starring Justin Long and Drew Barrymore
I had pretty low expectations for Going the Distance, but as a girl, it is my imperative to see basically every romantic comedy that hits theaters aside from those starting in “Pride” and ending in “Prejudice” (don’t even get me started on that one…). However, despite misleading advertising, Going the Distance is more in the vein of popular “guy comedies” like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Role Models, or basically anything starring Seth Rogen or Paul Rudd. If you can’t handle a lot of sexual guy humor, maybe this isn’t the movie for you. However, I haven’t laughed so hard in such a long time. The cast has a great dynamic and the comedic timing was spot on. Christina Applegate’s character was, at times, over the top. But aside from that, I have no complaints. And for all you ladies out there– who could go wrong with Justin Long? Seriously. He’s the mac guy. What can beat that? Okay, well, Josh Holloway and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon– but! that is another story. My point is that if you’re looking for a great comedy that is good for both girls and guys, go see Going the Distance. Watching Justin Long getting a spray tan is worth your money.
Knight and Day (2010): Starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz
And here I thought Tom Cruise’s heyday was over years ago. Wrong. With his new action comedy Knight and Day, Tom Cruise proves he’s back in the game. I only decided to go see the movie because it was filmed in Boston two summers ago and I feel like I need to support my beloved college town. But much to my delight and surprise, it takes place in 3 cities which I have spent a lot of time in: Boston, Brooklyn and Sevilla, Spain. Though I assume this movie has already left your theater, definitely throw it on the Netflix queue. Plane crashes, car chases, and Tom Cruise being chased by bulls in Spain? You can’t go wrong. My favorite part of this movie was ridiculous (and yet amusing) device used several times– drug Cameron Diaz and she wakes up in a new city. I love old Tom Cruise– Top Gun, Rain Man, A Few Good Men, Jerry Maguire, etc. but I was sure his career was over. If he keeps making movies like Knight and Day, he will definitely make a come back.
Other summer movies I’ve seen:
8: The Mormon Proposition
The story of how the Mormon Church single-handedly destroyed gay marriage in California. Very well researched. Very well documented. 4/5 stars. Available on Netflix
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
The third installment in the infamous Twilight series. While it is much better than the first two, it is still corny and still girly. Luckily there is more Jacob and less Edward in this one. 3/5 stars.
An Indie hit about the relationship between a family and their dying neighbor. Very hilarious, even though I don’t like Catherine Keener. 3.5/5 stars.
The Other Guys
A police action/comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlburg. Certainly not Ferrell’s best. I slept through a good portion of it. 2/5 stars.