Saturday, September 3, 2011

Best movie summer ever

Best movie summer ever...

Well, not really. That will probably always be 1982 (E.T., Blade Runner, Poltergeist, Star Trek II, etc.). Although the best overall year in my books would be 1968 (2001, Planet of the Apes, Barbarella, Night of the Living Dead) with 1987 (Empire of the Sun, No Way Out, Wall Street, Robocop, The Untouchables) as a runner up.

The summer of 2011 cannot compare to any of those years.
But with one instant classic (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), two immensely entertaining, well crafted comic book blockbusters (Thor, Captain America), a fresh and shockingly good addition to a tired series ( X-Men : First Class), a super teaming of two storytelling geniuses from different generations ( Super 8), and a sleeper smash hit surefire Oscar contender (The Help) - this past summer was easily the best movie going season in many, many years. Perhaps even back as far as that fabled summer of 1982.

My favorite seven things from the summer films of 2011.

1) Chris Hemsworth in Thor

Fantastic casting (in all of the roles) and what a find Chris Hemsworth is. Finally, a young actor with the both the charisma and the physical presence of Vin Diesel and The Rock.

2) The period setting of X-Men: First Class

Setting the film in the story fertile early 1960's was the perfect way to invigorate a movie series that was based on a comic book created in the very same era.

3) Elle Fanning in Super 8

There is a quiet scene in Super 8 when Elle Fanning’s and Joel Cortney’s characters are watching some home movies. Elle Fanning’s work in that scene, and her entire performance in this film, is astonishing.

4) The art direction of Captain America

The director of the underrated The Rocketeer seemed like the perfect choice to visualize Captain America into a movie. Boy was he ever. Every frame of the movie is a beautifully designed piece of retro pulp art.

5) Viola Davis in The Help

Thanks to the smashing success of The Help brought on by good old fashioned word of mouth, this unsung actress is finally getting some long overdue recognition.

6) Climb Caesar Climb

When a young Caesar first sees the Redwood Forest and soars up into the trees, it is a wonderful, soaring, euphoric, moving moment of pure movie magic. My favorite scene in my favorite film of 2011 so far.

7) The music of Patrick Doyle.

His scores for Thor and Rise of the Planet of the Apes were the best one two punch by a composer in the same summer in a long time.

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