Here… we… GO!

I usually comment here on the site whenever I’ve seen a movie, but recently I’ve been Twittering quick posts after I see a new movie. Usually it’s nothing worth repeating here. Nevertheless, after seeing The Dark Knight Saturday morning, I think I’m done with Summer Blockbusters. I’ve seen just about everything I’ve wanted to see. I still like discussing movies with you guys, so I figured I’d comment on everything in one post.

So let’s do a list of the movies I’ve seen this summer, Top 5 countdown-style. I’ll try to avoid it where possible, but spoilers are possible. (You’ve been warned)

5. Hancock – “One of these things is not like the others.” In a summer full of super-hero movies, Hancock stands alone. Contrary to what the trailers would have you believe, Hancock is not a super-hero movie. That’s not to say it was a bad movie, it just didn’t fit the mold of the rest of this year’s blockbusters.

I didn’t mind Hancock. I’m a sucker for summer movies headlined by The Fresh Prince (although I’ve been disappointed more than once) and Hancock is no exception. This certainly wasn’t his finest movie, but it wasn’t horrible, either. The movie has a lot of flash and eye candy, but was weak in parts.

I’m a big fan of Jason Bateman, who carried this movie for me. His dry humor (somewhat reminiscent of his Arrested Development character) along with his good heart made him a likable character, even when things come apart for him.

Overall, Hancock had everything a popcorn movie should have. But not much more.

4. Hellboy 2 – I’ve sort of adopted Hellboy as a favorite comic book character. I’m not familiar with the comic book itself, but I’m a fan of Ron Perlman’s interepretation of the character. I’m also in love with Guillermo del Toro’s fanciful imagination. (Nat has implored that I see Pan’s Labyrinth). Oh, and Hellboy has a really big gun and likes to punch people with his demon hand.

Hellboy 2 had its moments. Moments of excessive cheesiness and moments of awesome. On a visual level, I loved Hellboy. The Golden Army was a sight to behold and the monsters impressive. Bits of the story weren’t my favorite.

Overall, Hellboy 2 gets a demon thumb up from me.

3. The Incredible Hulk – I didn’t hate Ang Lee’s version of the Hulk. Take away the Hulk Poodles and the daddy issues and you’ve got a pretty good movie. Nevertheless, The Incredible Hulk is better in pretty much every way. Ed Norton was better than Bana, Hurt was marginally better than Sam Elliot and the Tyler/Connelly matchup is probably a push. Roth is a much better villain than the super freak dogs.

Again, Hulk doesn’t disappoint in the SMASH department, either. There is a lot of that. When the Hulk gives Roth’s character (in human form) the big boot, I think I cheered. It was awesome. This version of Hulk has a perfect balance of frenetic running and a tenuous balance between Banner and Hulk. It felt a bit claustrophobic.

I give it an irradiated third thumb sideways (pointed up).

2. Iron Man – For me, Iron Man comes this close to super-hero perfection. It just needed that little extra butt kicking, high-tech suit-of-armor style. It just needs moar action. That’s about the only bad thing I can say about Iron Man — if it had a wee bit more action, it would have been almost perfect.

Downey Jr. was great (he sort of played himself, right? He had to be good) and Howard and Bridges were good, too. Acting was good, the story was great and lots of fist pumping action. Just not enough.

It gets a mechanically assited digit straight up.

1. The Dark Knight – And of course, that brings us to Batman The Dark Knight. I’m almost hesitant to write too many words about this movie. Not that I would spoil too much, but that my clumsy words would lessen it’s greatness in some way. That’s probably impossible, it was so good. So good, that after some consideration, I’m thinking of putting it my “Top-5 All time” list of favorite movies.

Where to start? One way my friend and I determine how much we like a movie is whether the movie is “quotable” as in “how often do we quote the movie?” The Dark Knight has some great, quotable lines. It has some memorable moments that also will be reminiscenced over and over again. It jammed so much into one movie that it’s just begging to be seen multiple times.

And let’s get this out of the way — Heath Ledger’s performance stands alone. It’s every bit of amazing that you’ve heard and read. I’m not sure there’s more I could say that would add any more credence to the mindswell. He was maniacally amazing.

And he does great magic tricks.

Everyone else? They did a pretty bang-up job as well. My secret man-crush on Christian Bale probably biases me, but his Batman is probably the best. Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent was also believable. Gary Oldman delivers another underrated performance.

The Dark Knight is an hundred and fifty minute thrill ride that never slows down and barely even lets the viewers relax or catch their breath. I saw the movie in IMAX (my first IMAX experience) and that just enhanced the experience. If you have a chance, this is the way to see it.

It’s my movie of the year for 2008. I can’t wait to see it again.

I give The Dark Knight one demented crazy round of applause.

What a summer this has been for movies!


  1. I’ve seen none of them. πŸ™

    Hopefully, Batman tomorrow.

    Anyway, Indy was just marginally better than Temple of Doom and Wall-e had a fantastic first 30 minutes.

  2. Hellboy is dependably fun; for sure that director has an amazing imagination, reminded me a lot of his work in Pan’s Labyrinth

  3. I’d probably rate your movies on the exact same scale. Batman just bowled me over in a way that I didn’t expect. Easily one of the best movies I’ve seen, period.

    My biggest problem with Hellboy 2 was that the parts where they tried to be funny REALLY DID NOT WORK!

    The creature design and core story were solid. The funny parts? Not so much.

    I’m still very excited for Star Wars: The Clone Wars (which looks to redeem the Prequel mess by being AWESOME!) and the new Mummy movie looks fun.

  4. Quotable?
    “I’m going to make this pencil disappear!”

    It’s been a good summer but simply too many movies to see.

    I think Iron Man would have been a lot better if they hadn’t gimped the hero for the final battle. Iron Monger was plenty powerful and I longed for a serious smackdown between the two. Other than that, great movie.

  5. @Nat – I forgot about Wall-E! I loved it, of course. It’d probably fall in between Hulk and Iron Man. As for the new Indy, I enjoyed it enough, but it would probably be my least favorite movie this summer.

    @patrick – I have heard lots of good things about PL. I defeinitely need to give that one a try.

    @Brock – I was actually wondering how much better the prequels would have been if they had done all three of them in the style of the Clone Wars. I think they would have been received MUCH better. I’m a big Mummy fan, too, but I’ll probably wait until the new one hits the cheap theater.

    @Jason – That moment sealed the deal for me. From then on, it was like OH YEAH. I thought the same thing about the Iron Man/Monger throwdown. I’m sure there will be many more opportunities to see Iron Man kick some butt.

  6. I was just talking with someone the other day about some of the ridiculous BS in Batman that everyone ignores like the sonar in everyone’s phone that can see places where there aren’t phones and the magic 3d reproduction of the bullet. It’s nitpicking, but for a nerd movie, you expect people to get upset about that. I liked Dark Knight.

    Wall-E was my movie of the summer thusfar though. That’s a perfect movie.

  7. PS – do you only see Superhero movies? πŸ™‚

  8. It’s funny how one little thing with a pencil set the tone for the rest of the film.

    Also, I’d never seen an audience react en masse with nervous laughter. That was a first.

  9. @Zack – I’ll agree, the sonic 3D cell phone/glasses thing was ridiculous, but I shrugged that one off. The brilliance of the other parts overshadowed a lot of the nit-picky things that bothered me.

    And at least this summer, it’s pretty much Superhero movie time πŸ™‚

    @Jason – Nervous laughter is a perfect description of the reaction in our theater, too!


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