The summer movie season has ended. Honestly though, I think it had its last gasp at the end of July with the release of the ho-hum COWBOYS & ALIENS. That movie, like the entire summer season, was simply uninspired. One of the least beguiling seasons in some time. Best to move on to autumn with its promise of better movies. But as we depart August, here’s my assessment of the summer highs & lows:
|Owen Wilson takes Marion Cotillard to a party just after MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.|
HIGH: Woody Allen’s MIDNIGHT IN PARIS was the summer’s best film - a charming, thoughtful examination of one man’s search for art and truth in a crass and phony world.
LOW: THE GREEN LANTERN was the worst. It was that crass and phony world.
HIGH: Justin Bateman showed he could play straight man in HORRIBLE BOSSES and Ryan Reynolds in THE CHANGE-UP.
LOW: Ryan Reynolds didn't do Ryan Reynolds nearly as well as Bateman did.
|The cast of BRIDESMAIDS, the summer's funniest film.|
HIGH: BRIDESMAIDS was a female THE HANGOVER.
LOW: THE HANGOVER 2 was THE HANGOVER. Xeroxed.
HIGH: FAST FIVE opened early to good reviews and made money.
LOW: FRIGHT NIGHT opened late to good reviews and bombed. (Summer fatigue?)
HIGH: BEGINNERS proved less is more.
LOW: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4 proved more is less.
HIGH: The all-American hero CAPTAIN AMERICA.
LOW: The all-American Joe LARRY CROWNE.
|Elle Fanning is mesmerized (and mesmerizing) in SUPER 8.|
HIGH: Steven Spielberg produced the sublime SUPER 8.
LOW: Unfortunately, he also produced the 3rd TRANSFORMERS.
HIGH: Women made hits out of BRIDESMAIDS and THE HELP.
LOW: Hollywood still is making too much for 12-year-olds.
HIGH: Ryan Gosling, the bad boy in CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE.
LOW: Cameron Diaz, too tame in BAD TEACHER.
|Rachel Weisz deserves Oscar consideration for THE WHISTLEBLOWER.|
HIGH: Rachel Weisz's heartfelt work in THE WHISTLEBLOWER.
LOW: Her husband's phoned-in role in COWBOYS & ALIENS.
LOW: 3-D. (But not the price! Still about 5 bucks more a ticket.)
HIGH: THOR. Yay! X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. Yay!
LOW: CONAN THE BARBARIAN. Meh.
HIGH: A star is born, Michael Fassbender. (He played Magneto.)
LOW: Not so fast, Jason Momoa. (He played Conan.)
|Brad Pitt marvels at his newborn son in THE TREE OF LIFE.|
HIGH: Terrence Malick’s THE TREE OF LIFE was a beautifully observed movie about life's events, both big and small.
LOW: Sean Penn starred in THE TREE OF LIFE yet dissed it for being confusing. Talk about being small.
HIGH: We'll miss seeing everyone at Hogwarts on the big screen.
LOW: Not the same with those William McKinley High kids. (Those Gleeks are fine on TV, but their concert film was a yawn.)
|Rob Brydon cracks himself up in THE TRIP. Steve Coogan, not so much.|
HIGH: The intentionally funny documentary THE TRIP.
LOW: The unintentionally funny documentary THE UNDEFEATED. (Sarah Palin takes herself way too seriously.)
Those are my thoughts. What are yours? And please get here soon TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY and WAR HORSE and THE DESCENDANTS and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and THE ARTIST and THE IDES OF MARCH. We need you!