Hello, dear readers! It's been nearly a year since Jimmy and I mysteriously disappeared. The mystery is somewhat lessened by the knowledge that we both just completed our final year of college and were so busy we usually couldn't type straight. But fear not; now we're finished, thanks to the economy we're jobless, and we've got plenty of time to watch movies and write about them for YOU!
By this time, you've all probably seen basically all the summer blockbusters, so I won't bore you with separate reviews for all of them. Instead, I give you a quick rundown of all the films I've seen this summer. From worst to best...
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Man, I so wanted this film to kick ass. I love superhero origin stories, I love the X-Men, and I especially love Gambit, who makes his first franchise appearance in this film. But it was weirdly uneven, especially in the directing. There were some genuinely heartfelt moments, but they were few and far between, and drowned under layers of CGI. Fun drinking game: count the number of times Hugh Jackman throws his head back and screams at the sky. You'll be getting your buzz on in no time. (Bright spot: Liev Schreiber is basically just a badass, no matter what he does.) Final rating: D+
Angels & Demons - I honestly can't believe I'm rating this higher than anything, after The DaVinci Code, which was one big yawnfest. The only reason it gets a higher review than X-Men is that the people who are constantly in peril are actually likely to die; it bores me to watch immortals pound the shit out of each other. Also, Tom Hanks' hair is not nearly as offensive as it was in Code. That doesn't make it good; I guess I just need a greater reverence for the history of the Catholic church. Final rating: C-
Terminator: Salvation - Man, why is everybody hating on T4 so much? I grant you, it isn't a movie to think about, but I suspect that if you wanted that, you'd be watching something else. Sure, the characted development is stilted (did we seriously not know Mrs. John Connor's name until the last five minutes of the film?), the dialogue is contrived, the plot is nothing you haven't seen before. Shut up and watch the badass robots and big explosions, and turn your brain off for a while. (Actually, Sam Worthington is pretty fantastic. I expect to see more of him in future.) Final rating: B-
Star Trek - As Wolverine and Angels & Demons were too close for me to easily rank, so are Star Trek and Up. But I'll try. I went to see Star Trek happily, with a big bucket of popcorn, expecting an enjoyable but ultimately forgettable franchise reboot. I was pleasantly shocked at how freaking good this movie was. The actors are fabulous and look bizarrely like their original-series counterparts; the special effects are nice but don't dominate the movie; and there are a good sprinkling of touching scenes, many of which involve Leonard Nimoy. I can't wait to go see this again. Final rating: A
Up - Pixar. Oh, Pixar. Every time I think you've outdone yourself, you go and do it again. After my review last summer of Wall-E, I couldn't imagine another Pixar film even getting close to that. And while Up doesn't quite top it, it just about equals out. Funny in the right places, incredibly emotional, and breathtakingly beautiful, Up made me want to leave the theater and Go Do a Thing, which is usually the hallmark of a good adventure movie for me. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried a bunch during this movie (in the first ten minutes, even!), and I'm not afraid to bet that you will, too. Final rating: A+