Summer Score Card (2/4)

Here’s a look how the first half of Summer 2011 ranked for me…

16} X-Men: First Class – Failed on every level for me. Every level a film works on, this did not work for me. Pure hate.

15} Bridesmaids – Walked out an hour in and demanded refund for the hour of my life that I’ll never get back. (and I love Kirsten Wiig!)

14} On Stranger Tides – An insult to the attraction and to Walt’s legacy. Made me need to take a hiatus from New Orleans Square for the time being.

13} Thor – Hemsworth does what he can, but Portman and Dennings suck the Marvelousness out of what is truly the biggest dropped potential of the year.

12} Priest – Tried hard, succeeded in setting up a cool world, but then reduced its Priest to a story worse than any associated with typical Catholic touchy-feely ones

11} The Hangover Part II – I didn’t dislike this because of its recycled remake approach, I disliked this because it just wasn’t funny. Boring even. But credit is due for Phillips raising the bar in one scene, a predictable one, but fun nonetheless. For that alone it ranks higher than the rest of this summer’s fare.

10} Green Lantern – I like the movie this wanted to be. What a shame. Peter Sarsgaard only thing good here.

9} Dylan Dog: Dead of Night – Yes, its humor bites, but kudos to the filmmakers for trying to bring us a good ol’ fashion 80’s-esque creature romp, a nice antidote to the current crop of teen werewolf and vampire dreck.

*8} Transformers: Dark of the Moon – It’s as though Bay listened to the hatred, held back on everything that sucked, gave us more of what didn’t. The last hour truly has some astonishing action. Still, that odd, slightly off Bay style of comedy still manages to interfere wherever it can, making this have no repeatability. But glad I finally (semi) enjoyed a Transformers movie.

*7} Fast Five – The summer started off promising with this mindless fun. Justin Lin is one to watch.

*6} The Beaver – Ventures into melodramatic TV movie territory at times, but its fearlessness to travel into dark places puts this unique film near the top.

*5} Everything Must Go – A fantastic breather from Farell’s usual roles that had me wanting more.

*4} Submarine – If you’ve never seen Richard Ayoade as Dean Lerner in “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” then you suck. And if you have not seen his fantastic cinematic debut then you suck even more.

*3} Cars 2 – Yes, it’s in the Cars and A Bugs Life section of the lower end of Pixar’s arsenal. But Even Pixar’s weakest are better than any other studio’s best. Cars 2 boasts amazing visuals, a cool spy plot, a slick Giacchino score and the return of our Toy Story friends beforehand in their “Hawaiian Vacation.” All add up to must see Pixar fun.

*2} Midnight In Paris – Woody’s best in as far as both you or I can remember. Despite a borderline-grating performance from Rachel McAdams, this romantic fantasy transcends Allen’s usual core audience and will be enjoyed by anyone who gives it a chance. Thank goodness Wilson didn’t kill himself a few years ago. He is fantastic in this and the perfect Allen protagonist without all out copying the Woody mannerisms that have made others fail. Oh yes and — The less you know going in the better. Don’t even watch the trailer, just go. Pure MAGIC.

*1} Super 8 – With this years Pixar offering a bit under P(ix)AR, THIS is this year’s real Pixar experience. More than just a “cover” of early Spielberg, SUPER 8 brings back a special flavor of magic that movies should not be allowed to forget again.

Stay tuned to see how July’s final Harry Potter experience, Captain America, Cowboys & Aliens and Attack the Block fit into all this madness, and hopefully redeem what has truly been the worst summer ever so far.

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