Despite the fact that “Summer” won’t be over in Florida for another month or so, my first sighting of pumpkin flavored beers in my local Publix is as close to the leaves changing as I am going to get. With another summer behind us, I feel the need to talk about my favorites. Well, enough talking! On with the countdown:
5. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter–
What can I say? I have a deep weakness for action packed historical adventures. Is that a genre? Anyway, I listened to the book on tape (actually on mp3) three times and was super excited for this movie. I had already prepared myself for it to deviate from the book. After all, the book was REALLY detailed about every aspect of Lincoln’s life. The book took itself seriously and so did the movie. While I think the focus on the action was a little more then I would have liked, I can understand why they would go that route. Film is, after all, a visual medium. Overall, it was entertaining and something I will own on blu-ray. On a more personal note: Dominic Cooper as Henry Sturges turned me into putty.
One of the most talked about films of the summer, I was very much looking forward to when it came out. I went into the film, however, trying to wipe all preconceived notions of the movie out of my head. It was the (non)prequel that tried to take some interesting ideas and use them in the same way movies have always used them. It was a beautiful film to watch and worth seeing in IMAX 3D. While the movie suffered from some issues, the biggest to me was the characters. There were too many and they were all (with the exception of David) poorly defined beyond the roles they had (The funny guy, the science guy, the black guy). I do hope they make a sequel with David and Elizabeth at the center. I think that would be an interesting film.
I love Pixar. I look forward to the day that I might have a small child in my care and can over saturate them with all things Pixar. Despite the somewhat stale aspect of the story, it was told in such a way that it felt fresh and new. When was the last time we had a mother/daughter centered story? What helped push the movie over the edge for me was the soundtrack. The blending of folksy music with traditional Scottish music was brilliant. Considering the Scots have their roots in American Folk music, it made sense. It was lovely to see a strong female character, but what made the movie for me was the numerous hilarious characters that populated this world. Also: as if I DIDN’T want to visit Scotland before, the landscapes and lush settings (even if they are animated) made me want to roll down the hills and frolic. (Side note: The opening short was possibly the best short from Pixar ever.)
Being an avid Family Guy fan, I knew I was going to go and see Seth McFarlene’s first dabble in directing a live action film. Honestly, I didn’t have too high hopes for it. Not that I didn’t have faith, but how much was it going to be like a live action Family Guy? While there was a spirt of the show woven within the film, the film itself was quite funny. There was a lot more heart and soul then I expected and it made for a truly touching film. Who hasn’t held onto something in their lives longer then they should have? While maybe to not the extreme a talking teddy bear, it’s safe to say we all may have faced a moment where we somewhere between letting go and moving on. The movie was overall a funny experience with excellent bits by Joel McHale and Patrick Warburton. Bonus points to anyone who laughed at the ALIENS reference.
1. Moonrise Kingdom–
I am a huge Wes Anderson fan. The worlds he create and the characters in that world are always so interesting. This movie is no exception. In fact, I dare to say it blends what I love about The Royal Tennenbaums and Life Aquatic into one awesome movie. I was worried that it wouldn’t come to Tallahassee, but I got lucky and caught it on the big screen. Like all Wes Anderson films, it has a distinct look and style that shapes the world. The characters are all flawed, but relatable. The soundtrack is spot on and integrating into the action of the film perfectly. There is something pure about the love between the two kids. My only issue with the film was Bill Murray. Oh, he was excellent in it, but I just wished he could have been utilized a little more. Hands down, this was my favorite movie to come out this summer.
So there you have it. My Top 5 for the summer films. Now you tell me: what did you just love this summer? or just hate? What was spot on and what missed the mark?