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Lucky 13 BEST Movies of the 2011 Summer Season

August 12, 2011

Well the Summer movie season is pretty come to a close, and the Fall Award Season is upon us. Here are my lucky number 13 BEST picks of the Summer season movies, based on my past reviews:

13. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (B-) – You know I could go off and say that Michael Bay is like a horny 12 year old who loves hot girls and big explosions, and that seems to be the majority of the audience, but even with the incoherent mess, the movie still works and it’s entertaining for what it is. But, Bay seems to have mend the major wrongs of the previous films and for that I have to give him some credit.

12. “Cowboys & Aliens” (B) – A western/sci-fi, cowboys & indians battling aliens in the Arizona canyons. It’s quite something, it’s…exactly what you’d expect. Cowboys are literally fighting aliens. The cast is really having fun here, Daniel Craig & Harrison Ford are forces you don’t want to mess with.

11. “Horrible Bosses” (B+) – There were a lot of R-Rated comedies this summer, “The Hangover Part II”“Bridesmaids”“The Change-Up”. But, one to me seems the best in entertainment, comedic value, and cleverness, and that was “Horrible Bosses”. The cast is all over the place, everyone has there great moments, Jason Bateman rocks, Charlie Day is a scream, and Jason Sudekis is that loveable doofus you cannot hate. The bosses were perfectly cast, but the best of them was Jennifer Anniston in her first real Anti-Rachel role, she nailed it!

10. “The Trip” (B+) – The movie itself is quite an amusing one, though it tends to slow down here and there, but is picks up strong when leads Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon are eating their meals and having these hilarious banters. The Michael Caine impression duel is unforgettable. I never laughed so hard in my life when two comics are doing impressions of the same actor they’re trying to impersonate.

9. “The Tree of Life” (B+) – A haunting &  extremely visual movie about the beginning of life and the life of a family in 1960’s Texas. The performance are hard to see since the movie isn’t really much about performance rather than visual style and the visual outlook of life itself. It’s not for everyone, but it’s an experience you should have once, so you can say, “I saw this movie”.

8. “Midnight in Paris” (A) – Woody Allen movies are just a delight, he’s a few slumps here and there, but he bounces back in the Award seasons every few years. This summer gem goes back to the magical styling of his film “The Purple Rose of Cairo”. Owen Wilson finally gives a great performance and the large cast of iconic literary & artful figures is an amusing good show.

7. “Thor” (A-) – This movie was a blast & really brought the thunder (pun intended), it has some great easter eggs to prep you for “The Avengers”, and unlike “Iron Man 2”, which felt like nothing more than a prologue to “The Avengers”“Thor” manages to balance the subtle hints to that future film, while still maintaining this film as its own adventure. With a strong cast, this movie is a solid superhero film that will keep you engaged every step of the way.

6. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II” (A+) – It’s over, it’s finally over. The final Harry Potter movie, is certainly the most emotional one. There was not a dry eye in the theater. The performances from these actors who we’ve seen before have really brought something special to the table in this one. Could we see this movie garner some Oscar nods?

5. “Crazy Stupid Love” (A) –  What a great comedy, with a wonderful romantic tone, and enough drama to settle that tone, plus a dash of the classic crudeness that directors Glen Ficarra & John Requa (“Bad Santa”) are known for. It’s my favorite rom-com dramedy in recent years, not since “(500) Days of Summer” has a movie made me feel this connected to a relationship genre. Kudos to the entire cast & crew!

4. “Super 8” (A-) – J.J. Abrams really embraced his love for sci-fi and Speilberg films of the 70’s/80’s in this mid-summer season hit. The cast of kids are a bunch of unknowns (except for Elle Fanning), but everyone of them give incredible performances. The movie may be a typical kids against strange happenings story, a-la-“Goonies”, but that’s what I found appealing about this movie. It felt like an authentic classic summer movie that could’ve been made in the early Speilberg days.

3. “X-Men: First Class” (A-) – This was X-Men movie fans deserved. “Kick-Ass” director, Matt Vaughn, shines in this movie, giving us a gritty in your face X-Men story, and telling the story right for a change. And not only that, this is one of those comic book films where the performances are the absolute strongest. I said in my review that this movie had more focus on it’s story than it’s VFX, which I’m actually proud of the filmmakers for doing. I can forgive cheap EFX for a strong story.

2. “Captain America: The First Avenger” (B+) – I thought I would put this movie at #1, since it’s the movie I’ve seen the most this summer (3 times), but #1 pick is #1 for a very good reason. But, I’m perfectly fine with giving Cap a second place. By far, “Captain America: The First Avenger” is my favorite Marvel Comic film since the first “Iron Man”. I was skeptical at first when Chris Evans was cast as Steve Rogers/Cap, but after seeing this film, I cannot see anyone else in the role. So so so so PUMPED for “The Avengers” now, after seeing this movie.

1. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (A-) – The smartest and the most thought provoking film of the summer arrives near the end of the of summer season, but better late than never I say. Lead by a power house performance by Andy Serkis as Caesar, the ape that changed our feature, this reinterpretion of a beloved franchise, askes the viewer questions and frightens you with what if scenarios. If you’re a fan of the original movies or you’re at least familiar with them, you should like this movie a lot. Out of all the summer blockbusters this year, the “Rise” has the best chance to getting nominated for Best Picture come next Oscars.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 26, 2011 11:09 pm

    Good list. Harry Potter and Tree of Life were great. I skipped a lot of these movies, but will be seeing #1 tomorrow.

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