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Mpls, MN, United States

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Summer Movies

As far as I'm concerned, it's been summer here since May, when we had our first day in the 90s. Since summer movies are starting earlier and earlier, too, I don't think it's too early to at least get started on a summer movie round-up. I've hit quite a lot of them already, a fact not unrelated to our muggy summer.

Iron Man 2
I liked the first Iron Man,* and I liked this one too, if not quite as much. I find Robert Downey, Jr. quite charming, which is probably most of the reason. The sequel kept the same tone as the first one, and was basically more of the same fun.

Robin Hood
I had really low expectations of this one, after its less-than-stellar reviews, which is probably the main reason I didn't hate it. I did roll my eyes a few times, but unlike my friends with unnaturally elevated expectations, I found it satisfactorily entertaining, if too long and with the ordinarily celestial Cate Blanchett in quite the horrifying wig.

Clash of the Titans

Again, my expectations of this one were low. Really low. So I didn't hate it. Brainless entertainment.


This film I actually had been looking forward to, after seeing in the preview that it was by the director of Amélie (probably my favorite movie of all time) and shared several of the same cast members. It too was a tiny bit too long, and the plot a bit too tortuous for subtitle-reading, but it was visually delightful, very clever, and, predictably, uberquirky. Bonus: when an arms-dealing bad guy gloats to his small son that he had given a speech in which he compared himself to Rimbaud, the little guy pauses dubiously and tells him he needs to work out. The somewhat-chagrined father replies, "Rimbaud, not Rambo!"

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Apparently I hadn't set my expectations quite low enough for this one, liking Jake Gyllenhaal and having read a positive Time review. I would have walked out early--especially since, despite my hooded fleece and long jeans, I was chatteringly cold in a theater approximately 30 degrees colder than the evening's heat--but David wanted to stick it out. Alfred Molina was a small consolation in a dreadfully long, loud, and clicheed abomination that not even Jake's pretty eyes could save.

Date Night

I love Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, and they were mostly funny and charming in a movie that was nonetheless too long and ridiculously implausible. A shirtless Mark Wahlberg was also a pleasant diversion, as was a (scruffy) James Franco. There were a few clever bits, but it's probably telling that my favorite parts were the outtakes during and after the credits. And, uh, actually, I just re-watched them on YouTube... and, yeah, not that funny. Although, the different accents they do starting at about 1:11 are pretty awesome.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Again, low expectations paid off! If you wonder why I have anything to do with these films, you can read my review of the books here. Also: Robert Pattinson. I thought they did a good job with what appears to be an ever-increasing budget, and appreciated the relative reduction in both Bella's sulky poutiness and scenes so cheesy they unintentionally make the entire audience laugh out loud (remember how in New Moon, when Bella crashes the bike, the first thing Jacob does is take his shirt off?). Apparently Breaking Dawn (book 4) is in production; I have no idea what they're going to do with that one.

Knight and Day
Oh boy. For all his totally whacked-out craziness, I still like Tom Cruise, and wanted to like this movie. But I didn't. It was too long, too loud, too cheesy, and way too unbelievable, with too many changes in location, clothing, and personality--in sum, too ridiculous for even a summer Action Comedy Adventure. It was nice to see Cruise back in action-hero form, but mostly it just made me want to re-watch the Mission(s):Impossible.

*When I went looking for that link, I discovered that I posted that summer movie review exactly two years ago today. Also, I thought that four was a lot of summer movies to have seen by that point in the summer.


Leah said...

I thought about seeing Robin Hood, but I can't bring myself to go to the theater because of the glacial temperatures of indoor spaces here. It's really amazing, to think that I'm dying to get back out into the 90% humidity.

CëRïSë said...

Ugh, isn't that crazy? I do like knowing that the theater's a cool refuge, but if I bundle up (which I always do) and am still cold, I'm very unhappy indeed.

Daniel said...

Micmacs is coming to the Ross in a couple weeks, so I'm glad for your review. I just saw The Secret in Their Eyes, the Oscar winner from Argentina. Very good.


Adrianna said...

Oh my Gosh! Why had I never read your Twilight saga book review?!! I loved it! It is exactly my sentiments on the whole thing. I felt my intelligence got knocked down a whole peg just for liking the darned things! The dialogue and editing and inane writing were just atrocious! And yet, somehow, like April said they ARE like Crack! I think I read the scene where she kisses Jake in the mountains like 5 times until the hot flashes wore off. :)
ANYWAY, I too liked Robin Hood more than I thought (despite disliking Russell Crowe excessively). The big eye roll for me (as you say) was when Marian almost drowns and he pulls her up and immediately crushes her in a prolonged, full-mouthed kiss (not to mention that people are still FIGHTING and could easily have dispatched them both)! Ugh. Why? Why ruin it?
And thanks for the warning about Prince of Persia, I was really hoping it would be good... Jake is so pretty...

Larissa said...

THanks for the reviews! I have seen only one movie this summer. Toy Story 3. Oh and date night! I loved the accent part too.

Nic said...

I can't wait to see Micmacs. I should check to see if it's still playing here!

Saw Eclipse too... by far the best part was all the catcalling that everyone in the theater was doing. "Oh No She Didn't!" constant laughs and constant comments.

CëRïSë said...

Daniel, I would like to see The Secret in Their Eyes; I think it's still showing here.

Adrianna, I'm glad you liked the Twilight review, and the Robin Hood scene you mentioned was definitely one of my eye-rollers, too!

Larissa, we just watched Toy Story 3 last night. So good!

And Nic, I just read this Time review of Eclipse, my favorite so far: "On a poorly planned camping trip, Bella (Kristen Stewart) is freezing. Undead Edward (Robert Pattinson) can't help. Shirtless Jacob (Taylor Lautner) arrives to warm her with his pecs. "Let's face it," he tells Edward. "I am hotter than you." Finally, a Twilight movie that is in on its own jokes."