End of Summer – Time for a Report Card – My Favorites

Well we are fast approaching Labor Day aka The End of Summer. I have been blessed this year to have been able to see most of the summer films. Here are my favorites:

The Avengers: The Avengers is absolutely the best of the summer movies.The heroes are all wonderful (even if Hulk gets all the big laughs), the villain is quite heinous, the action is constant and for comic book fans, there are tons of character beats and plenty of hero face-offs before the big finale.

The Dark Knight Rises: How do you follow-up the best Batman movie? Christopher Nolan did it by making an even better Batman movie. That was The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight Rises is wonderful but flawed. The themes are marvelous and the plot intricate but some of Bane’s dialogue remains unintelligible, a key scene between Bruce and Alfred is thrown away, and a few things just don’t gel right.

Prometheus: I really wanted to love this film and I did. That does not mean that I’m ignorant of the glaring faults contained within. I really enjoyed Charlize Theron’s ice cold executive but it is Michael Fassbender’s performance that commands every scene.

The Amazing Spider-Man: I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this, especially as I thought Sam Raimi and his cast had done two definitive Spider-Man movies with all the definitive roles perfectly cast. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are wonderful here and they are the reason the movie is so good.

The Hunger Games: Okay not technically a summer movie but I only just caught this one at a second-run theater. I found The Hunger Games to be quite good though necessarily skimming through the book. The funny thing is that the action scenes are terrible – the usual over-reliance on shaky-cam to give the impression of urgency. The rest of the movie is really good as are the performances, particularly Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss.

The Dark Knight Rises 2 – Addendum

Wow! I just went to check Fandango for other showtimes at the Regal Biltmore Grande. The 6:30 Dark Knight marathon in their RPX (Regal Premium Experience – basically their best of the best theater) has sold out and they are selling tickets to a non-RPX marathon. In addition four of their other midnight Dark Knight Rises showings (not including the one in the marathon) are sold out. They have tickets available for a fifth/sixth midnight showing and a C-R-A-Z-Y 3:30 A.M. showing.

This is one of the perks of converting to full digital – you can add as many showings as you have theaters.

I think that I had better arrive early!

The Dark Knight Rises – Regal, Best Buy, and Rotten Tomatoes

I am so looking forward to going to the Dark Knight marathon tonight. The funny thing is, I’m only going to see the first two movies, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The theater is over half an hour from my house and The Dark Knight Rises won’t begin until 12:01. Fandango clocks The Dark Knight Rises at two hours and forty-five minutes so I wouldn’t be home until after 3:30 in the morning. Sadly I passed my twenties half a lifetime ago so I’ll catch the first two and then catch some sleep. Besides, I have a date with the mecca of used books and movies on Friday.

I will catch The Dark Knight Rises in the next week. Thanks to Best Buy, I have four coupons, each for $5 off an admission ticket. I used their upgrade and save promotion and turned in five DVDs. For a whopping $25 and tax, I got the Batman Begins steelbook blu-ray, The Dark Knight steelbook blu-ray, the Constantine Blu-ray, the Blade blu-ray, and the Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol blu-ray/DVD combo pack. All but Mission Impossible had $5 off coupons for The Dark Knight Rises.

The Dark Knight Rises has already grossed $25 million in pre-sale tickets. Will it set new records? Can it beat The Avengers juggernaut? The Man of Steel trailer premieres in front of it. I may be tempted to stay long enough after The Dark Knight to catch that but what if I’m lured into the full movie?

The Dark Knight Rises has already generated some controversy over on the Rotten Tomatoes website. Several people had already rated The Dark Knight Rises very highly in spite of not having seen it. When someone came along and gave it a bad rating (again not having seen it), they actually received death threats from the fanboys. Rotten Tomatoes, for the first time ever, turned off the comments section. Too bad they don’t actually turn off reviews until a movie has been viewed by people not involved with making it.

Spider-Man, Batman, Green Arrow and Kevin Smith

“Even a bad day at the multiplex is better than a great day at work.” – Kevin Smith

* My wife and daughter went to Rock of Ages over the weekend. They brought me back some huge Spider-Man cups that I’ll re-purpose as popcorn servers (same size as my Men in Black III and Pirates of the Caribbean ones) and a giant Ice Age popcorn bucket that I’m not sure what to do with.

* I splurged and bought my ticket for Regal’s Dark Knight triple feature on 7/19. I’m really looking forward to seeing Batman Begins and The Dark Knight again on the big screen (in this case really big – it’s in their RPX theater). This is followed of course by the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises at 12:01. The ticket price was $25 and included a FREE small popcorn. My understanding is that AMC theaters is running a similar marathon.

I love the marathon concept but I’m not convinced at my age that I’ll be able to stay up until almost 3 a.m. and then drive forty-five minutes home. I’ll make a judgement call but I’m likely to leave after Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and catch The Dark Knight Rises after I’ve had some sleep.

* I went to see The Amazing Spider-Man over the weekend and found it to be a lot of fun. It is not nearly as good as The Avengers but I look forward to the next two installments of the new Spider-Man trilogy.

* I am looking forward to the new Green Arrow television series, Arrow, on CW. I should not be surprised that CW is going back to the comic well after ten seasons of Smallville. I was surprised to see that this is going to be a different version of Green Arrow than was found in Smallville, with a different lead actor as well. It is expected to premiere on October 10th.

* For those who want me to tie the title topics together, Kevin Smith has written comic arcs for Green Arrow (Quiver, The Sounds of Violence), Batman (Cacophony, The Widening Gyre), and Spider-Man (Spider-Man/Black Cat – The Evil that Men Do).