Saturday, September 11, 2010


The summer movie season is officially over now and I am back in school attending classes at the University of Minnesota. In light of this depressing fact, I thought it would be appropriate to give a run down of my top five movies from the summer. I can't say this summer movie season was a disappointment by any means, but the number of quality movies did seem less than usual. However, the amazing movies featured on my list made this summer season a success in my book. I'm convinced picking Eclipse as the best movie of the summer will surely stir up some debate, but wait to argue until you read the article. So, let's check out my top movies of the summer after the break.

 5. The Karate Kid

This movie was loved by many and hated by a few. Seeing the previews, one would expect a lot of action, but the real karate doesn't "kick" in until the second half. The first half spends time setting the scene, story, and developing the characters. The second half delivers all the karate action that movie goers came to see. Seeing the young Jaden Smith showing off his real life martial arts skill provided some exhilarating action sequences to compliment the well constructed storyline. One grievance I had with The Karate Kid was the script only focusing on Smith's character. Despite this, Jackie Chan and Taraji P. Henson play their supporting roles to perfection when they get their screen time. Thankfully, the 12 year-old actor can carry a movie like this on his own.

4. Iron Man 2

Robert Downey Jr. and Co. started off the movie season with a boom as the sequel put audiences in awe of the stunning beauty radiating from the flawless computer generated action sequences. While the sequel is not as smart as the original, the movie is entertaining from beginning to end. One thing I particularly loved was the witty and clever dialogue delivered by Downey Jr. While he lead the way as Tony Stark, the supporting cast of  Iron Man 2 was what made this movie one of the summer's best. It featured Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, and the bombshell Scarlett Johansson. This definitely wasn't the best sequel of the summer, but it set the stage for The Avengers as well as another possible Iron Man flick.

3. Despicable Me

This movie will be swept aside by the cash cow Toy Story 3, but Despicable Me surprised me when I walked out having loved every minute of it. Forget Pixar, this movie has all the essentials to intrigue audiences of all ages. The characters were well written, the story was enjoyable to watch unfold, the movie was filled with hilarity, and the people voicing the characters have some real talent (see Steve Carell, Jason Segel, and Russell Brand). My favorite thing from Despicable Me had to be the three little girls that Carell's character, Gru, adopts. Not only were they adorable, but they provide some of the movie's funniest parts, and then the tear-jerking emotional arc towards the end of the movie. 

2. Toy Story 3

Remember when I said forget Pixar? Well I was just kidding. The latest Pixar gem, Toy Story 3, is the company's biggest box office success to date pulling in over $1 billion worldwide. Even rehashing the same characters audiences have seen in the first two movies, the creators came up with another captivating story following the "lives" of a bunch of toys. The movie profiled the toys as their grown up owner Andy is putting them in storage while getting ready for college. This is a reality that any toy needs to deal with. All my toys are gone or sitting in my closet (I can't throw away my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and it must have been hard for them to deal with this neglect. I'm sure they come to life and have adventures just like the movies right? Poor toys. All joking aside, Toy Story 3 had me choked up at the end of the movie rooting for Woody, Buzz, and Co. to find happiness after Andy.

1. Inception

Of course my favorite movie of the summer was not Eclipse. On a serious note, selecting Inception as the summer's best was an easy choice for me. Yes I loved Toy Story 3, and I will definitely be seeing it again compliments of the DVD market. However, Inception is the only movie this summer I saw multiple times at the theater and even shelled out the IMAX dollars to see it on Minnesota's largest movie screen. It's easy to say that Christopher Nolan still has a perfect resume as a filmmaker, just like Pixar. It is only fitting to mention those two names together as they are responsible for the summer's two best films.

Some may not have fully understood Inception the first time through, but part of the intrigue of the film comes from the plot's complexity. Nolan brought a movie that challenges the viewer to really pay attention; a movie that isn't a cookie cutter piece of cinema, predictable from start to finish. There was not a weak piece to this puzzle unless you want to nit-pick story elements which boil down to one person's opinion versus another. The acting by the star-studded cast, the mesmerizing action sequences, the breathtaking visuals, and the resounding score from Hans Zimmer, were all executed with perfection making this the summer's best movie. So, when does Batman 3 come out?

There you have it, my top five movies from this 2010 summer. I am sure some of you may see it differently, but if you want to discuss it, I am up to a healthy debate. For further analysis, see my full reviews for each one of these five movies by clicking the links attached to the movie titles before each breakdown. While my top five may not match yours, what was your number one movie of the summer?


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