Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The First Annual WDYMS Annual Summer Report Of The Summer

So another summer season has come and gone full of CGI and questionable acting.  There were some true stinkers, but there was tons of great stuff as well. So here we present our top movies of summer 2011.

Javi Top 5 (in no particular order):

ATTACK THE BLOCK- The over-hyped but still enjoyable alien invasion movie of the summer was really that much fun. With a proper dosage of catch phrases, swords, and crazy gorilla aliens, it's a fast paced action movie with unfortunately under-developed characters.

CAPTAIN AMERICA - It pains me to say that I've liked more Marvel movies this summer, but it's true! Unlike GREEN LANTERN, which suffered from a lot of issues, with CAPTAIN AMERICA, Marvel created a fun and goofy origin story that feels like the old pulpy comics brought to the big screen.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS- Since it came out so early, a lot of people might have forgotten about this movie, but I still can't help but remember how much I enjoyed the crap out of this movie.  It was sleek, stylish, and had good characters that were not named Emma Frost, and I had my Michael Fassbender-man crush at all time high. This movie competes with X-MEN 2 as my favorite in the franchise.

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS- Hate comparing movies like this, but FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS is this year's EASY A.  It's a very charming, rather unconventional romantic movie that pokes fun at the genre while becoming a decent entry in the genre.  Justin Timberlake might become one of those rare guys that's a decent actor and musician and Mila Kunis is even more charming than she was in FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL.

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES- Damn what a surprising way to end the summer.  The movie has a lot of problems with editing and the overall morality or (or lack thereof) of James Franco's character, but this has to be one of the few times that I have rooted for the end of the world.


I think I might have said a thing or two about HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 and TRANSFORMERS:DARK OF THE MOON....

The biggest disappointment for me was GREEN LANTERN and just how mediocre it was.  After reading the whole Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night and Brightest Day saga, I was hoping that we would get something similar to the sprawling space saga that was depicted in the comics.  However, what we got was a DAREDEVIL/FANTASTIC FOUR-like origins story.

Jonesy's Top 5:

BRIDESMAIDS-  It has its problems, sure, but BRIDESMAIDS is witty, charming, fun and is still one of my favorite comedies I've seen since 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN.

ATTACK THE BLOCK-  A perfect example of a generic genre movie plot with an original and interesting spin.  A small movie with an already huge following, ATTACK THE BLOCK is my biggest surprise for the year so far.  A movie I knew next to nothing about and walked away absolutely loving.

SUPER 8- I didn't realize how many adaptations/sequels we're subjected to until I saw SUPER 8.  Seeing an original story was very refreshing, and some may argue it's a copy of the Spielburg-esque movies of the 80s, but I don't care.  Yes the story is weak, but the child actors were fun, quarky and engaging. 

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES- I was very excited yet apprehensive about this reboot, as I adore the original series.  However, I was pleasantly surprised and happy that my excitement paid off in this truly fantastic summer movie.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS-  I'm always very skeptical of origins stories because knowing the end result usually means there's no sense of conflict within the origin story.  However, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed FIRST CLASS.  The main draw of course was the chemistry between Fassbender and McAvoy, but here's to hoping for more X-Men movies!


HANGOVER 2: I'm so angry at this movie that I could punch it in the face.  I understand recreating a successful formula, but to havethe sequel be BEAT FOR BEAT like the orginial to the point where I'm guessing what the punchline of jokes are going to be is inexcusable and ridiculous.  And the rumor is there's going to be a 3rd?  Ugh.

Jessica's Top 3:


BRIDESMAIDS- I am not one for romantic comedies, usually ever unless Woody Allen is making them (see below), but this was one that I had been looking forward to since all the talk of it at SXSW in March. I knew with the genuinely hilarious Kristin Wiig behind it and all the other wonderful ladies in the cast (not to mention some Jon Hamm action) that it would not lead me down the typical path I despised. I'm so glad I was right. BRIDESMAIDS was such a great blend of everything I ever want in a summer movie.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS- I saw MIDNIGHT IN PARIS about a month ago, and cannot get it off my mind, in the best possible way. I left the theater so happy that Woody Allen had finally managed to make another film that I can adore and embrace fully, unlike his last attempt with YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER.  MIDNIGHT IN PARIS was just so charming, and I was pleasantly surprised at Owen Wilson's performance. I was very skeptical about him playing a lead in an Allen film when I went in and left convinced that he nailed it.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER- This film surprised me the most this summer. I went in knowing that I would at least love the aesthetic 1940's pulp vibe of it and came out having watched one of the most fun superhero films I've ever seen.

FINAL DESTINATION 5- I debated far too long about whether to include this film. I was psyched for FD5. I have seen every FD in theaters since the first one and adore the first two. 3 & 4 of course, are terrible, so while I was excited and for 5, I was not expecting to be blown away. And I wasn't blown away, until the end. Most of the movie was mediocre, honestly. The death sequences were fun, but not as elaborate as they could have been. I wasn't sold on the movie until the end. I don't think I've ever smiled quite as big as I did for the last 10 minutes of the film. I refuse to say anything more about it, but for me, the payoff at the end was enough to make it a favorite of the summer.

Biggest disappointment:

SUPER 8- I wanted to love this movie so much. The nostalgia of the film would usually be right up my alley, but I walked out of the film very underwhelmed. I think it was beautifully shot, but the characters and plot were so forgettable. Even now, I can't really remember more than 2 scenes in the entire film.

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