Summer Movies: A Mid-Season Recap

7/10/2010 Posted by Admin

Summer Movies: A Mid-Season Recap

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Ah, summer. No better way to escape the scorching heat than to hop into a movie theater and see this year's selections of exciting summer features! Well, that would be the case. But this year, something's felt a bit off.

This year, Hollywood finally took the bull by the horns and brought 3D into theaters in full force. There's literally not a single weekend you can walk into a theater these days without a movie or two playing in 3D, and honestly, things aren't quite as James Cameron promised. 3D has become, yet again, a gimmick, a tired trick thrown into movies in post-production to bring in more audiences and charge a couple bucks more than the absurd prices movie tickets already cost. Sometimes it works--"Toy Story 3" didn't let down, 3D-wise--but when the feature is tacked on long after production, as with "The Last Airbender," movies just become an ugly, blurry mess.

Truthfully, the real standouts so far this summer (outside of "Toy Story 3," maybe the best film of the summer and the year thus far) have been the non-3D releases. "Get Him to the Greek," "Iron Man 2," and others managed to work despite not having 3D at all.

That's not to say a lack of 3D is enough to save a film, though. "Iron Man 2," "Prince of Persia" and "MacGruber" were decent but underwhelming, "Robin Hood" failed to impress much, and "Jonah Hex" was such a massive disaster that I'm not sure if people even remember it was released. It's probably best if we all forget about that one.

Despite the summer being full of rather forgettable stuff, the good news is that for the most part, nothing has been too bad. "Killers," "The Karate Kid" and "Grown Ups" were actually better than they've been given credit for--I can't speak for "Sex and the City 2," though--I avoided that one like the plague. The worst the summer has offered so far has to be M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender," which suffered from far more than just tacked-on 3D. It's making a fair share of money, but even many regular moviegoers have expressed distaste for the film.

But like every summer, the good comes with the bad. There's been some bad stuff and there's been some so-so stuff, but we've also been given the best film of the year with "Toy Story 3," one of Pixar's best and pretty much the best you can ask for when it comes to sequels. "Splice" went somewhat underseen, but it's one of the better sci-fi films of the last few years. Another impressive Adrien Brody film, "Predators," was just released, bringing the dead franchise back to life. And surprisingly enough, even the tween-sensation "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" proved to be a solid film in its own right.

The best the summer has to offer may be just around the corner, though. In less than a week, Christopher Nolan's "Inception" hits theaters (see photo above), hopefully proving 3D is unnecessary to have a truly amazing visual experience at the movies, and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Salt" are also coming soon. One can only hope something can redeem this bland summer.

A final breakdown of the summer movie season thus far:

The best: "Toy Story 3," "Splice," "Get Him to the Greek," "Predators," "Eclipse."

The worst: "The Last Airbender," "Jonah Hex."

Upcoming movies to look out for: "Inception," "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," "Salt," "The Other Guys."

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