It’s September and this summer’s blockbuster movie extravaganza has officially ended. That also means its now time I give my movie awards out for the good, the bad and the ugly. Just so you know every movie on this list I have seen in the theaters and some twice or even three times.
30 Minutes or Less
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest
Cowboys and Aliens
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Fast and the Furious: Fast 5
Friends with Benefits
Kung Fu Panda 2
Midnight in Paris
Mr. Poppers Penguins
Planets of the Apes
Pirates of the Caribbean 4
Spy Kids 4
The Hangover 2
X-Men: First Class
So here’s the deal with Harry Potter…
I never got caught up in the whole cult following of the most successful movie franchise ever. For some reason when the movie first came out, my impression was that its corny and I just didn’t want to be bothered by it. Next thing you know more and more of them kept coming out, so I stayed stubborn and never got caught up. I say all that because I’m sure it was the best movie of the summer but it’s not receiving any awards here.
Best Action movie: Cowboys and Aliens/ Transformers 3
Western are my favorite genre of movies. I like the fact that back then you could pretty much do whatever you wanted to do. I would of lived life literally by my own rules, just as long as the Sherifs didn’t catch me. I’m sure I would have been an outlaw causing havoc in every new town I stepped foot in. At that rate I probably wouldn’t have lived very long, but hey that’s how it was back then. Anyways, back to my selection. I loved everything about Cowboys and Aliens, there’s a reason I went and saw it 3 times. I never heard of a movie concept (at least that I know of) like this, it made me think what if something like that did happened back then? If a movie can put me in deep thought, you get extra points in my book. There were a couple loopholes in the movie, but it was so good I didn’t care.
Transformers 3 definitely made up for the dreadful sequel that came out a couple summers ago. This is probably the best of the 3 because it actually uses some American history and puts a twist on it. Plus the actual build up to the final showdown was way better than any of the other movies. All the action scenes were good and kept my attention for the most part. I did fall asleep a little bit but only because I saw it at midnight and it was almost 3 hours long. I really do hope they don’t make anymore though, this was a good note to send it off on.
Biggest action movie disappointment: Super 8
Looking at the poster I didn’t know what to expect from Super 8, it really left me baffled and that made me more curious about the movie. Usually that can either work out in a good way or bad way. In this case, this was one of those times that it didn’t fair so well. After seeing the movie, the first film it reminded me of was E.T., but on steroids. The only thing was that this extra terrestrial was bigger, uglier and instead on sitting in a basket front of a kid bicycle looking kind of cute, he was snatching people up during the night and taking them underground to eat as snacks until he figured how to fix his spaceship and leave the planet. And just like E.T. the humans were the bad guys who had no remorse for the creature or helping it get home. Regardless, he eventually makes it home safe with some help from a group of teenage kids from a small town. Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams, can we be more creative next time please?
Biggest action movie surprise: Thor
Unlike the other better-known comic books out there that had a cartoon on television when I was growing up (X-Men, Batman, Superman, etc.). I was never a big fan of Thor growing up; not because I didn’t like it I just barely knew the storyline or what even made him a superhero. The good thing about me is if you turn any cartoon or comic book into a movie, I’m going to see it no matter what and that’s exactly what happened with this film. The movie was good and written very well; they didn’t follow the typical superhero movie cliché. It was even funnier than I expected. At one point Thor pops banned him from the heavens (he was a loose cannon and needed to learn a lesson) and became a mortal, but he still thought he was powerful and above everybody still (but he wasn’t), so he received some real funny reality checks. He ultimately learned his lesson but it wasn’t in a corny way, somewhat realistic and he didn’t get the girl at the end either (Captain America didn’t either, what’s up with that?). I guess Hollywood wanted to change it up a little bit this summer.
Best Kids film: Kung Fu Panda 2/ Smurfs
I really thought The Smurfs movie was going to be just ok but I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. I love going to see remakes of childhood cartoons from when I was little because now my daughter and I can both go together to enjoy them now. It was funny, cute and best of all not corny like some other kids film I saw this summer. It stayed in its lane and it was solid from start to finish.
Kung Fu Panda was just as good as The Smurfs but with way more fighting, action scenes. It was definitely more well suited for an adult audience to enjoy as well as kids. I wanted it to exceed the original but it wasn’t as good as the first one. Maybe it had something to do with villain being an antagonizing peacock this time around instead of the tough, intimidating leopard who they built up to so well to be an unstoppable force. This time around we knew Po (the panda) was good at Kung Fu so it wasn't as intense to see if he would ever come around to being the Dragon Warrior. I was expecting something even better this time around but then realized it was just ok, but still amongst the best of the summer in this genre. Maybe the third installment will come back around to being just as good if not better than the first movie, something like what Transformers 3 was able to do.
Biggest disappointment/ Worst movie of the summer/ Burn every single copy of this movie ever made: Spy Kids 4
I see why I never seen any of those other Spy Kids movies that proceeded this one. It was just so corny. I wanted my daughter to say so badly, “Daddy can we go please because this movie is hurting my brain”. What made it even worse was that “Ari” from Entourage was casted to play the bad guy, what was he thinking? The only good thing this movie gave me was imagining what comical rant his “Ari” character would say about this movie being produced with Vince wanting to star in it.
Best Romantic comedy: Crazy, Stupid, Love/ Jumping the Broom
For Crazy, Stupid, Love I didn’t get to see any TV commercials or movie previews, so coming into it I really didn’t know what to expect or have an idea what it was going to be about. I’m happy I didn’t because I liked it more this way. I loved this movie, it was creative, funny, gave many different perspectives on love and how everyday people on all ages deals with it. Then I got caught off guard when they made all the characters love interests all came to one accord and blow up all at once, it was perfectly written. It did remind of the movie Valentines Day, but extremely better and not overwhelmed with big star names either.
Jumping the Broom was the first movie I saw when I first returned to the states and I was so glad it was entertaining. I would of hate to have my first movie of the summer suck balls. The movie was funny at the right times and sent a very serious message about family and getting married. And it was nothing like those Tyler Perry movies either; thank God! I do like most of his movies though, but happy to see another black themed movie not having a black man dressing up as a women acting ghetto as hell. Every black family doesn’t have a drag queen in it either. You never know, after awhile people (other than black) might start actually thinking that is the case and we wouldn't want that.
Biggest romantic comedy surprise: Midnight in Paris
Didn’t see too many independent/low budget films this summer but I did see this one. I realized the last couple movies Woody Allen movies have gone a little something like this: Take a handful of Americans on vacation, put them in a foreign country and see what happens when they’re out of their normal surroundings and see life in a different (good or bad) light. He might have to make a movie about me next then. Midnight in Paris was good if you like those kind of dry humor movies. I thought I could predict the ending (I usually do this with all movies I see) but it caught me off guard like most of hiss movies do. And for that, way to keep people like me on our toes Woody Allen. I like a good challenging movie ending sometimes.
Best documentary: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest
I only saw this documentary for the whole summer, but that didn’t matter. I’m pretty sure no other documentaries were going to beat this one out. If you’re a fan and appreciate good music then you must see this film. It just made me respect A Tribe Called Quest even more than I ever would have.
The biggest surprise movie of the summer (regardless of genre): Rise of the Planets of the Apes
Yeah you read it correctly!!! Basically this movie shows what happens when testing on animals goes horribly wrong, for more than one reason too. The movie was great at giving you a first hand look at the human race closest relatives and shows what happens if they became smarter or just as smart as us. After awhile I felt sorry for the Caesar (the only smart ape), but once he made more apes smart like him I eventually started rooting for them. If you seen the movie you know that it wasn’t like the apes all of a sudden just conquered the world and imprisoned us; we just about doomed ourselves and they took over in an insinuating way. I won’t totally ruin the ending but if you ever see it you will know what I mean.
Best Comedy: Bridesmaid
I would of never saw Bridesmaids if it wasn’t for so many people telling me it was so damn funny. For one, it was released before I came back to the states and only to selected theaters. Secondly, the movie poster looks like a straight chic flick and I don’t see those unless I get forced into it. Even with all the heads up on how funny it was, it still ended up being funnier than I could have predicted. I can appreciate an all women cast putting it down like that, I didn’t think that was possible to be quiet honest. Bridesmaids puts both Sex and The City movies to shame (yes I seen them, don’t judge me ok?). It’s a reason why it grossed more than either Sex and the City movies, women do love them some Carrie Bradshaw too so that’s saying a lot.
Biggest comedy disappointment: The Hangover 2
Here’s the thing, at first I was kind of disappointed with The Hangover. But after thinking about it for the next couple days, what else was I expecting the movie to be? It should be exactly like the original because that’s why we loved it in the first place right? I was jus let down on how much they actually stuck to the original concept and format. For example, instead of a baby hanging around the crew, there’s a monkey now. They accidentally took somebody’s money “again” and have to figure where it is and return it. Oh yea and somebody’s missing once “again” and have to find them before returning to the wedding. Just be a little more creative from that standpoint, maybe they needed another summer to think of better material instead of rushing to film the movie after pressure from everybody because of the success of the first one.
Biggest surprise: Bridesmaid
It won best comedy for me and I wasn’t expecting that, so why wouldn’t it win biggest surprised too?
Best movie of the summer: Cowboys and Aliens/ Planets of the Apes
What can I say, this summer I was a sucker for Sci-Fi Westerns and Apes taking over the world.
I finally gave into twitter about a month ago so follow me @bobbysworld84
Happy born day to my father, he turns 56 (September 3rd). My beautiful daughter Aaliyah, she turns 5 (Sept. 14th). My niece Kyra (September 16th) and both of my brothers Jermel and Kareem (r.i.p.)