Monday, September 1, 2014

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Labor Day. It’s one of those days that you can actually feel in the air, like Christmas or a Friday or the day that big paper is due at 11:59 and you have a hyperawareness that it’s only 11:57 and you can somehow get four more pages in during those two minutes… It’s the unofficial end of summer. Even though the weather still calls for you having your “guns out” as a popular shirt might say, the pools have closed down, schools have opened, and everyone gets back on the road and forgets that how to drive during rush hour.

And, as you know for me and this blog, it’s a very special day in that we say goodbye to Summer Movie Season, watched over by Saint Joss, who will be stuffing something extra special up our stockings next year in the terms of a certain superhero fighting team. Truly something for us to look forward to.

So, it’s time for us to look back on the summer that was, and look forward to the Fall Prestige Season, which is a completely different animal than Summer movie season. Partly because I want to be surprised for the Oscar Movie Marathon in March. Mostly because I’m back in school, so having to do homework cuts down on my movie time. Except maybe my movie class where I have to watch movies. But that’s a different story.

I want to start out this entry with a quick story. One of the final movies I saw this summer was the 30th Anniversary run of Ghostbusters. It was a bigger theater so I rather than take my usual space in the front, I sat near the back so I could see the whole thing. I also got there early so I got to see the people come in.. and I was amazed at the number of parents bringing their kids to come see the movie. It made me smile. Ghostbusters was the first movie I remember seeing with my dad in the movie theater. So it always holds a special place in my heart, and I’ll go see it whenever it’s out. I’m a the point now where I can quote most of the movie, but I’ll still laugh at all the appropriate parts. 

But that’s just the one movie. Despite the annual “This Summer was terrible for movies! Are Blockbusters doomed?” that are used to fill a slow Labor Day Weekend, I managed to enjoy this movie season, with a few missteps here and there. Tomorrow I will be reviewing all of the movies I saw, Wednesday I will be discussing the five movies that managed to disappoint me, and Thursday we’ll the five that exceeded my expectations. The funny thing is, looking back on what I was really looking forward to this year, Kiera Knightly and Mark Ruffalo making music wasn’t one of them, but somehow managed to crack the top five. Spoilers, I guess.

It was a great summer, one filled with romance… from the expected of dying teenagers falling in love to the unexpected of two Expendables finally cutting through the sexual tension. It was filled with cops trying to be funny, dragons being trained, and WWE Wrestlers teaming up with Glenn Close. It was a summer where anything could happen… literally… from apes starting to take their place at the top of the food chain, to a little plant dancing that stole the show. Also a raccoon somehow being the action star of the summer. We got bad guys as good guys, Spider-man doing… whatever it is he does, and more young adult adaptions than you can shake a stick at.

Anyway, here we go with the wrap up!

Best One Liner of the Summer: “We’re just like Kevin Bacon!” - Gamora, Guardians of the Galaxy. (Runner up is also Gamora, referring to Star-Lord’s “Pelvic Sorcery.”)

Best Cameo: Doc Brown in A Million Ways to Die in the West. Great Scott! Now if you could put that comedic magic into the rest of the movie!

Worst Cameo: Anyone from the Avengers in Guardians of the Galaxy. Wait… you mean there weren’t any mention of the Avengers in Guardians of the Galaxy? Despite two characters dealing with the fallout of actions from The Avengers in two separate movies? Stop trying to pretend these characters only exist together in your big event movie, Marvel. It’s what made you popular, now you’re bending over backwards to not say the “A” word in any of your standalone movies. 

Best scene: The music in Mark Ruffalo’s head in Begin Again. Probably one of the best shot scenes of the summer, starting with a small bar where no one cared about the open mic night, and ending with a great musical scene.

Worst Scene: There’s a scene in a Million Ways to Die in the West with Neil Patrick Harris, and a hat… you know I’m going to stop there. Just… right there. Take my word for it, it was pretty horrible.

Best Use of Music: I’ll forever associate “Wrecking Ball” with a fat dude, high, plowing through a store trying to escape the cops. Thank you for that scene, Let’s Be Cops.

Best use of Kelsey Grammer: X-Men, of course. He should have spent more time showing that other beast that it’s cool to be blue. 

Best Tom Cruise: I was ready to make fun of Edge of Tomorrow as being Halo meets Groundhog Day meets Tom Cruise’s ego. Damn you for defying all expectations and being good. You had no business exceeding all expectations. 

Worst Marketing, Ever: Tammy was a great drama about a woman who didn’t understand her problems and her grandmother on a road trip. Why it had to be marketed as a zany road trip comedy for fourth of July Weekend was beyond me. 

Best Use of the Dude: The Big Lebowski. I went to go see it in the classic series. That should tell you all you really need to know about the Giver.

Favorite Dying Teenager That Learns Important Life Lessons: I’m amazed that there’s more than one to pick from. But I’m going to say Hazel Grace in Fault in Our Stars

Funniest Movie of the Summer: 22 Jump Street. You had no business being that funny. I missed half the lines because I was laughing so hard.

Best former WWE Champion turned actor: Dave Bautista in Guardians of the Galaxy. Sorry Mr. The Rock. He just pulled it off a lot better. Also, let’s talk for a minute… Dave Bautista and Glenn Close. Their resumes don’t intersect very often, do they?

Biggest Surprise(s): Let me say a hearty wow to Edge of Tomorrow, Begin Again, Let’s Be Cops, and Maleficient. It’s not that I thought Maleficient was going to be be bad, I just didn’t think it was going to be that GOOD. Ditto for Let’s Be Cops

Best Couple: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jet Li in the Expendables 3. It’s nice to see a couple who can do things together. Also that comes out of left field, but still feels kinda natural when you think about it. 

Movie that Should have been Solved in Five Seconds: Sex Tape. Yes, you’re a computer expert, Jason Segal. You invented a special syncing system. We know because you mentioned it fifty times. But instead of fixing it, you subject us to 2 long hours of an Apple iPad commercial. 

Best Scrubs Reunion: Which I Was Here. Zach Braff and Donald Faison should just make movies together and stop trying to sell us on the newest indie band.

Movie I Could See Getting Myself Accidentally Getting Into:  Let’s Be Cops. It’s got a stupid premise that anyone would half a brain would stay away from, but seriously… It was better than advertised. 

Best Dame To Kill For: Eva Green in Sin City, A Dame To Kill For. If it feels like I’m wedging this one in, I am, because I enjoyed the movie. 

That’s about it for superlatives or other things that stood out from the Summer Movie Season. I should point out that I managed to see most of the movies I wanted to see, however, I missed a big one: Snowpiercer. I plan on catching  up on it today, but I can’t include it in the total because I didn’t see it in the theaters. By the way, including the Doctor Who Season 8 Premier, the three old movies back on the big screen, and the two movies I saw twice, I went to the movies 37 times this past summer. That’s for a total of 35 unique experiences, for those counting at home.

Tomorrow: I review all the movies! 

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