Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer 2009 Movie Review Pt. 1

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Unfortunately, the dog days of summer are slowly winding down for many of us....for me, it means that I've seen a ton of movies in a short period of time as me and the cinema have a standing date every weekend. If you're a movie buff, check out my reviews of some of this summer's stellar (and forgettable) flicks:

*X-Men Origins: Wolverine: This was summer's official opening film...and it started off with a bang! Hugh Jackman proved he was more than capable of handling his own film, albeit with the assistance of a great supporting cast that includes Ryan Reynolds and Will.I.Am. The movie is awash in special effects and great fight scenes and it actually runs at a perfect time....there are no slow, boring portions. Most people have probably seen this one already but definitely check it out again once it arrives on DVD.

*Terminator Salvation: Why in the world did they do this reboot? While the action scenes were pretty impressive, the movie seemed to drag for significant portions. Christian Bale was definitely upstaged by newcomer Sam Worthington. With its dismal box office performance, I doubt there will be another one but this is a sad goodbye to a pretty good series. Side note: the Governator does make an appearance!

*Drag Me To Hell: This film represents the return of director Sam Raimi (known now for his Spiderman films) to his original horror roots. The movie is scary, tense, funny and a tad bit over the top - perfect ingredients for a horror movie. It's a must see...just make sure if you have a sensitive stomach, that you pass on the hot dogs and nachos...there are some pretty gross scenes.

*Up: another perfect collaboration between Disney and Pixar. This movie ranks as one of the best of the year so far. It is colorful, engaging, exciting and visually impressive. Don't discount it as a children's film either - the themes are pretty universal and the first ten minutes will actually make you tear up. A must see!

*Angels & Demons: I was not a fan of the original Da Vinci Code movie and neither am I a fan of this. It is dark, depressing and a drag. If you like thrillers, there are some pretty good elements that you will enjoy but overall, I would pass on this one. Tom Hanks needs a return to his comedic roots stat!

*Star Trek: hands down, the best movie of the summer. And no, I am NOT a Trekkie...I didn't even watch the original shows. This film was well written, well acted and well is the perfect example that blockbuster films can be smart ones too. The cast meshes incredibly well and the special effects don't become the whole movie...but they sure do enhance it. A must see!

*Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: this is a cute sequel to the blockbuster original. Amy Adams as Amelia Earheart steals the movie from Ben Stiller with her charm, wit and theatrics. Kids will love it and adults will too.

*Dance Flick: this is the kind of movie I want to dislike seriously....but it was sooo funny I had to laugh. The Wayans have expanded their clan in large amounts and the baton is most worthy of being passed. There are some questionable moments (like when the film spoofs Twilight) but there are some hilarious scenes that more than make up for it.

*Next Day Air: this movie seems out of place in the middle of the big summer event films and it shows. It made little box office and did hardly anything to advance the careers of Donald Faison, Mos Def (who usually makes pretty good choices) and Mike Epps (who is typecast in the dumb sidekick role). Take it or leave it....once was enough for me.

*Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: I may get cussed out for this but I wasn't blown away by this much anticipated and hyped sequel. It was okay but it wasn't the benchmark film it was supposed to be. It's a tad too long and most of the dialogue could have been cut. If you love special effects (and that alone), you will enjoy! If not, look elsewhere or wait for the DVD arrival.

*The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3: two classy actors in a classic thriller. Perfect formula, perfect story, perfect acting. John Travolta shines a tad bit brighter than Denzel because he's in a different type of role while Denzel is once again the good guy. It's a refreshingly adult movie in a season awash in kiddie fare. A must see!

*My Sister's Keeper: I won't easily dismiss this as a "chick flick" - it's a moving, family drama that works on so many levels. A child dying from cancer seems a bit out of place for this time of year at the box office but the movie is eerily effective. Cameron Diaz has matured into a competent and capable actress and she holds this movie up very well. Take your tissues though - it's a tearjerker.

*The Hangover: summer's best comedy, hands-down. With a cast of mostly unknowns, this hit shocked everyone but when you actually see it, you won't be surprised whatsoever. It gives you exactly what you expect - a lighthearted, crazy romp in the lives of four crazy guys. A must see!

*The Proposal: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds shine greatly in this romantic comedy. Betty White shows she still has her comedic flair as well. A must see!

Whew! That was a lot of movies, right? If you're looking for an escape from summer's heat or from your own life, hit up a movie me, you shouldn't regret it.


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