Well summer is winding down; kids will be starting school (and college) in a couple of weeks, so I thought it might be a good time to do my summer movie wrap up for the year. I saw a lot of movies this summer. Usually what I do is just go see the first showing of something early in the morning because the tickets are cheaper. Especially since I don’t go see anything in 3-D anyway, since I’ve been blind in my left eye since birth, I can’t see the 3D effects anyhow. I also like to take my brother Jeff and his friends to these movies, too, because I’m nice like that. So here’s a roundup of all the movies I saw this summer, I guess I should warn you folks that there might be some spoilers here and there, but nothing too bad I don’t think.
One day Thor leapt onto his trusty steed and with a mighty bellow yelled out, “I’m Thor!” Then his horse turned to him and said, “Well thit on the thaddle, thilly!” OK I know I probably told that joke before, but I think it’s funny. Anyway, Thor was probably the first movie of the summer I saw. I enjoyed it pretty well, especially considering I don’t know anything about the comic book character. Really, my knowledge of Norse mythology only extends to video games I play like Odin Sphere, Final Fantasy, and Legend of Valkyrie. Speaking of which, I was kind of sad the Thor movie didn’t have any Valkyries, because I think Valkyries are cool because they have helmets with wings on them. But Thor did have a warrior lady friend in the movie who was kind of neat I guess. This is one of those super hero movies you can take kids to, because there wasn’t a whole lot of scary stuff in it. The only other thing I remember specific about the Thor movie is they sure were proud of their CG renders of Asgard. They even showed one of the same scenes twice! Anyway, I still have a Thor & Dr. Pepper movie themed background on my Xbox 360, because it has bolts of lightning coming out of Dr. Pepper cans and I think that’s pretty cool.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Man I really need to get the LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean movie game. This movie was pretty entertaining, too, I guess. They could’ve just called it Pirates vs. Mermaids, however. The main mermaid character looked like she needed to eat some spinach or some extra mermaid chow, though. I remember that after we went to the Pirates movie, we all went to Denny’s for their Baconalia promotion and ate a bacon sundae. It was pretty weird. So we saw a pirate movie and ate bacon. We were ‘Baconeers!” Har har!
Kung Fu Panda 2
Originally I wasn’t too interested in seeing this one. But when I asked Jeff and his friends if they wanted to see it, they seemed pretty into it, so we went! It was typical DreamWorks fluff. Fun, but forgettable. I think Po the Panda may end up being the next Shrek (though they are making a Puss N Boots movie). One good thing I can say about the Kung Fu Panda movies is they animate the fight scenes really well. And fights must be pretty hard to animate, because they don’t do it too much in regular cartoons. One interesting thing was that when we got out of the theater, they had a kiosk set up to promote martial arts classes.
X-Men: First Class
‘X-Men Baaaaabies, we make our dreams come truuuue. X-Men Baaaabies, we’ll do the same for you-oooo!’ OK it wasn’t that bad, but the younger set of X-Men in this movie made me think of that. Only problem is that I didn’t know too many of the X-Men in this movie since I don’t know much about comic books. I remember the blue lady from before, and Magneto, and I knew who Professor Z was, since he’s the leader. But the other ones I didn’t know so I made up my own names for them. The bad guys had The Guy Who Absorbed Explosions, Tornado Guy, Diamond Lady, and Warpy Devil Man. The good guys had Hands For Feet, Screamy Kid, The Guy That Died First, and uh, that’s all I can remember. There was one cool X-Men lady who had fairy bug wings and could spit out flaming lugies. I was kind of sad when she went over to the bad guy’s side, but when your super power is hawking flaming lugies, you’re pretty much predestined to be a bad guy at that point. Maybe some of you comic book experts could help me with the names of these characters in the comments section.
Now this one was just plain weird. I didn’t know what was going on half the time. But then, I don’t know anything about the Green Lantern either. My favorite version of the Green Lantern was the one episode of the new Daffy Duck/Duck Dodgers cartoon they aired a few years back. Did anyone see that one? There was an episode where Daffy Duck switched laundry with the Green Lantern and got to be a superhero for a day. It was a pretty funny episode. I also like the one where they made fun of Samurai Jack. I think it’s kind of silly that Green Lantern is weak against the color yellow. Yeah I know it’s really that he’s weak against ‘fear’ and yellow represents it. So he’ll never be able to play Pac-Man. Or eat bananas. Jeff and I had a funny conversation in the car and Jeff said that “Green Lantern is weak against bananas, but he can overcome bananas.” That cracked me up!
They should’ve just called this one “Mater: The Movie.” Not my favorite Pixar film ever, but I still enjoyed it a lot (my favorites are still Up and Finding Nemo). I especially loved the backgrounds in Cars 2. I wished I could’ve paused the movie in the theater just to admire the detailed scenery. I had a few problems with the Cars 2 movie, though. It jumped around too much, which was a departure from the original film. I also thought the message about finding alternate sources of fuel borderlined on being too preachy, which was a problem I had with Wall-E, too. And finally, I think it also got a bit too commercialized. Mater sang the entire State Farm Insurance jingle for crying out loud! But oh well, still a fun movie for the whole family.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
I loved Transformers as a kid, but these new movies just don’t have the same kind of charm. But then, they’re just toys, people get too into these kinds of things. This movie had a lot of great special effects, however, and if you wanted to see a movie in 3-D, I bet this one would be a good choice. Again, like the other movies, the human characters were too annoying and they took too long to get to the good robot fights. But at least that one kid didn’t go to robot heaven like in the last movie. My favorite Transformer from the old toys and cartoon was Ironhide. All the other robots turned into cool things like mac trucks and tanks and race cars, but Ironhide was just a red van. And he was cool in the cartoon, but I was sad as a kid when they killed him off in the animated movie. That’s about the time I stopped being into Transformers as a kid.
It was a little hokey, but that’s OK because it’s a comic book super hero movie: it’s supposed to be that way. It was fun learning about the history of this character. Make sure to stay for the credits so you can see the preview for the Avengers movie coming next year. Again, it’s another super hero movie you can take most kids to, because there wasn’t TOO much scary stuff. Before this movie, the only things I knew about Captain America came from the old Captain America and the Avengers arcade game. Anyone remember that one? It was a sidescrolling beat ‘em up riding the coattails of the TMNT arcade game. I loved how you could pick up soda machines, and the Engrish was hilariously bad. And when you died, your character would say, “I…can’t…mooooove!” Maybe you guys can help me out here. In the movie, did they make Captain America strong by giving him Super Syrup? That doesn’t sound right. Did he get any Super Pancakes to go with the Super Syrup? Too bad we can’t eat Super Pancakes and get strong like that!
Cowboys and Aliens
This was one of those summer movies where you just need to turn your brain off and enjoy it. Once you do that, and not think too hard about it, the movie is pretty entertaining. I did think the reason why the aliens came to Earth was pretty stupid, though. They wanted gold. “Yee-Haw, thar’s gold on that thar planet!” What’s an alien need gold for anyway? What are they going to do, bling out their UFOs? I was sad when that one cool lady exploded in the rocket, but since she survived being thrown in a fire, maybe she survived that, too. The previews before this movie showed the upcoming Battleship film. Yeah, based on the board game. I can’t wait for the Hungry Hungry Hippos movie, or the Connect 4 movie! Ha ha!
Summer Movies I Haven’t Seen Yet, But Kind of Want To
And that’s all the movies I saw this summer. It was a lot, really. But there were some that I missed for various reasons, so I’ll mention them here, too.
Winnie the Pooh
I actually like Winnie the Pooh, it’s one of the few Disney licenses they haven’t ruined yet. And the Winnie the Pooh world was my favorite in Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2. Plus, where I work we sell a lot of baby stuff, and Winnie the Pooh is a very lucrative baby and preschool license that does well. If I had a kid, decorating their nursery like Winnie the Pooh would be a definite possibility, unless my future wife would agree to a Yoshi’s Island, Kirby, or Muppet Babies themed nursery. I wanted to see this new Pooh movie to support 2-D animation, but I was too embarrassed to buy a ticket for it. And I didn’t want to make my brothers go see it either and embarrass them. They’re getting too old now, I miss the days I could take them to see kiddie movies like this. Oh well. Maybe I’ll just rent it on Netflix and watch it when no one is looking.
I couldn’t tell what this movie was about from the previews, but I might rent it when it comes out on Netflix. I think it might have an alien in it.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
This is another movie that I didn’t have much interest in seeing in the theaters, mainly because right now I’m pretty busy helping my mom on the weekends since she’s recovering from knee surgery. So I’ll probably Netflix it. Hopefully one of the apes in the movie will climb on some construction equipment and throw barrels down at people. That would be funny.
This was a CG movie shown by Fathom Events, who do a lot of one time movie showings. But they were showing it on the same night that my mom was having her knee surgery, so I missed it. Oh well, it was probably really bad anyway. Who are your favorite Tekken characters? Mine are the kangaroo, the bear, Nina Williams, Asuka Kazama, and the pink haired robot lady. I wonder if any of them were in the movie.
Rifftrax: Jack the Giant Killer
Speaking of Fathom Events, this is another one they are doing. And it’s coming out August 17, so I’ll definitely be seeing this one. I might even take off about 30 minutes early from work to make it in time. Anyway, Rifftrax is done by most of the same folks who did Mystery Science Theater 3000. Rifftrax is kind of the same idea, but I liked MST3K a little better because of the robot puppets. Speaking of MST3K, I just got a new DVD set in the mail called MST3K vs. Gamera, and it has all five of the MST3K Gamera movies all in a nice tin holder! That’s what I’ve been watching lately.
Conan the Barbarian
I haven’t seen this one yet because it’s not even out. I thought about writing this summer movie round up after I saw it, but I may not see it next weekend. And then the weekend after that is PAX so I won’t be able to see it then. And then it’ll be September and summer will be over. So I’ll probably go see this movie in the theater eventually, just not right away. Remember in the 80’s when Conan movies were popular and everyone had to have their own Barbarian movie? I also liked how they made fun of Conan in the Captain Smiley video game.
Summer Movies I Refuse to See
There were some movies this summer that I did not want to go see at all, so here’s a handful of them that I felt like talking about.
When I took Jeff and his friends to see Cars 2, they showed the preview for this. I turned to one of Jeff’s friends and said, “Don’t worry; I won’t make you go see this.” And then he turned to Jeff and their other friends and said, “Hey guys, I was wrong, Cary won’t force us to sit through that!” Even though I watched the Smurf cartoon as a kid, I didn’t really like it much. I only watched it because it came on right before the Pac-Man cartoon. Plus I don’t think my favorite Smurf would’ve been in the movie anyway. My favorite was Jokey Smurf. He’d always give the others exploding gift wrapped presents. He would even open his own presents and they’d explode right in his face and he’d still laugh. When I was a kid I thought that was pretty awesome.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
OK, penguins are cool and all, but for a while Hollywood was making WAY too many penguin movies. But I guess they’re still not done yet because we have this and Happy Feet Two coming out. Ugh. The only penguins I liked were the ones on Madagascar. They have their own cartoon show on Nick now, and it’s pretty funny actually.
I might’ve seen this if it were based on the old arcade game of the same name. My mom wanted to see it, but I had to explain to her that it wasn’t based on her favorite DS puzzle game either (yeah, two video games have the same name).
I got kind of tired of Harry Potter after the fourth book. I tried to watch the movies after the fourth one and they didn’t make any sense so I didn’t even bother with Year 7 in the movies. Plus, Harry Potter is a pretty unlikable dorky character anyhow, and the books reminded me of Scooby Doo.
And that’s all the movies I feel like talking about! What movies did you see this summer? –Cary