Summer 2008: Why the Movies Were So Nerdtastic!
August 27, 2008
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To all the avid readers of the Charger Bulletin, I welcome you back to another exciting year here at the University of New Haven! In addition, a special welcome to the hordes of new freshman on campus, may the next fours years be fun-filled.
Anyway, back to the important matter at hand: the movies! As most of you know, the film industry continues to make movies throughout the year. If you didn’t know that, please remove your head from the hole in the ground and pay attention! Most of you know that the movies that were presented to us this summer were, well…awesome. As a self-proclaimed nerd, you would know it if you knew me, I have the need (nay, the right!) to put my two cents in on the summer movie titles. Especially because a lot of them were right up my alley!
As we all know, Hollywood was smitten with the superhero/comic movie concept this summer. It seems like an up-and-coming fad as well, with multiple flicks in the making relating around comic book superheroes. For the most part, DC Comics, the makers of Superman and Batman, have been the creators of the typical juggernaght movies in this field. However, Marvel Comics, those that made Spiderman and the Fantastic Four, truly took the field in most respects.
Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk were great films. Both Robert Downey Jr. and Edward Norton’s respective performances were very well done. Norton, who seems to be great in every film he’s involved with, scored big points with his handling as Bruce, the man behind the big green mean. Meanwhile Downey took the Tony Stark character to another level…being the best man for that job by far, easily bringing the character to life. The action in both movies was spectacular, and the multiple references to Nick Fury and the Avengers really excite those who understand the true comic book origins…like me.
Other comic book movies like Hellboy 2 and Wanted (didn’t know it was based off a comic did you?) also did well. I never saw the original Hellboy, so the majority of this film was spent making jokes about innuendos and other possibly “that’s what she said” moments. Although I will give it the fact the graphics and CGI were amazing…it seemed a little too Pan’s Labrynth-ey.
Wanted was fun and action-packed, but seemed at a lot of points repetitive. Again, the CGI and bullet effects were stunning, but some of the sequences were long and some points of the movie seemed like it was trying too hard to grab your attention.
Another superhero movie that seemed like a surefire hit was Hancock. Will Smith performed well once again in a role we normally aren’t used to seeing in him: a boozed-up immortal superhero…right. Either way, it was funny, but not nearly as humorous as I thought it would be. It also had some good action scenes and tense moments. All in all a decent movie, it just might not win an Oscar this year.
Did you think I forgot about it? You did, didn’t you! Why so serious? Ok, I’m going to admit…I had been waiting for The Dark Knight since I saw the Joker’s card at the end of Batman Begins. By far, Christopher Nolan has done it again, and DK is easily the best movie of the summer…in sales, in acting (despite batman’s serious case of a hoarse throat), and in action. Besides all that, it almost perfectly followed the comic line, and brought the Batman franchise back to its darker roots. I’m sorry, but the upbeat George Clooney/Adam West Batmans are hopefully a thing of the past. With that said…Heath Ledger was freaking amazing! He kept us guessing and played the part perfectly. You can disagree, but I swear I will find you and pencil trick you…yeah that pencil trick. Don’t be messing with this Joker. Ledger’s performance was funny, real, and scary as hell. He should be winning an Oscar this year, and it is truly a tragedy to have lost such a true talent.
Indiana Jones holds a special place in my heart, as does the entire Star Wars chapter. George Lucas, in his infinite wisdom, has created both an Indy and a Star Wars flick for the summer season, and both were disappointing on various levels. Don’t get me wrong, I watched them multiple times, but they still lacked some of the magic the old ones had.
Indiana Jones had some great action, and Harrison Ford can still really play the part well, and the flip to Russian bad guys in the 1950s worked out well. However, Shia Labeouf, in my opinion, ruined that movie. There were multiple parts where his mannerisms and acting seemed very similar to Transformers, and I was really hoping for something more from him. Either way, the movie played on classic jokes, and created some great new touches to the Indiana Jones legacy.
For the legacy of the stories from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…more disappointment followed. The thing that really made me dislike this movie a bit was the unorthodox way of going about the introduction, and the changing of all the character’s voices. Almost none of the voices for the major characters are from Episodes I, II, and III, but are from the new animated series coming out. While the action scenes were fun and the battles are always exciting, The Clone Wars left much to be desired.
Disney and Pixar always put out the quality movies that are fun for all ages. They did it again with Wall-E. Despite having literally less than 20 minutes of human dialogue in the movie, I loved every second of it, from Wall-E’s hum as he made garbage cubes to the noise of a Mac booting up when he recharges his solar batteries. I think the best part of the movie was the big issues it brought forth, without putting them in to your face. The issues of our over dependence on technology, how we are destroying the planet, and our ever-increasing sedentary lifestyle, are all big selling points, and they really hit home. All in all, this movie is something that is getting bought on DVD when it comes out, because it is sure to be another classic.
Those are all the movies I have deemed worthy of you to see this summer, with the exception of the Mummy sequel and Death Race. Have a great first week back!