It’s about time for the seasons to change, for my final year of college to begin, and for my free time to come to a standstill. So here is the final Summer Series update. With 7 movies, we finish off with 124 movies total watched in about two months. Not having a job really opened up my summer to let me work on my writing, to see some great new movies, and to watch some fantastic older ones that I had never seen before. So let’s finish this thing up:
111. Away We Go
Away We Go is a really delightful little film from Sam Mendes who proves that he can direct any genre and make an exceptionally memorable film. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph make for a truly winning couple as they travel around finding which parenting style and home will best suit their coming baby. A lot of the dialogue packs a sorta forced emotional punch as some of it feels like the last line in rom-coms. It’s hard to explain, but just imagine all of the sappy final lines in romantic movies and spread them across an entire film. It works for the most part but also comes off as forcibly cheesy.
113. The Shawshank Redemption
Holding the top spot on IMDB’s top 250 list isn’t the Godfather, Citizen Kane, or anything like that…it’s The Shawshank Redemption that has the honor. It is simply a phenomenal film that hasn’t aged a day since its release in 1994. It is also a film that never won best picture or anything, but instead lost to Forrest Gump. If you have seen both, and get past Forrest Gump’s tropes, you realize that Shawshank is a far superior film that is crafted in a magnificent manner. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman convey the eternal power of friendship, hope, and determination as we watch them become the best of friends through their years in prison. It is not about the crime or getting away with anything, but being free and having friends.
Anchorman’s staying power brought it a sequel nearly a decade after its release. While it didn’t exactly do the first a lot of justice, we were still reminded just how funny the original is. The perfect cast, which includes Will Ferrel, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Christina Applegate never gets unfunny as we see Sex Panther, Afternoon Delight, the fight scenes, and everything in between. Yeah, it’s pretty stupid humor, but once you see it a few times it all somehow becomes magically hilarious.
119. Hot Rod
Andy Samberg, back when he was a big part of SNL, made this hilarious, stupidly funny little film that like Anchorman, gets better with age and viewings. It is the story of a loser stuntman who desperately wants to beat his stepfather in a fight, but that dream is potentially shattered when his stepfather learns he needs a new heart. The movie does not really care for smarts, heart, or anything that isn’t just pure idiocy, but there are some moments that just make you tbust over laughing until you cry.
120. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Scott Pilgrim is a gamer’s movie. While on first viewing it might feel outrageous, a little long, and just plain over-the-top, repeat viewings allow you to pick up on the complex, subtle humor in a lot of the scenes. It is a film entirely rich in just the little details that you don’t even notice until a 4th or 5th viewing. If you’ve ever played any video game, Scott Pilgrim is the movie for you.
121. Step Brothers
Rounding off a series of stupid-humor comedies is Step Brothers, a film that asks you to really just give up intelligence for enjoyment. If you can, you’ll be treated to some really funny moments, but if you can’t you’ll probably just end up hating the entire thing and turn it off. It is really a love it or hate it type of movie because Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly really amp up the comedy game…or in a way downgrade it…to a different level. Their antics, friendship, and falling out are all hilarious as they unfold with a bizarre absurdity on screen.
123. Star Trek
With JJ Abrams new Star Wars coming out, his Star Trek films are an interesting look at what the new saga might bring us. If you ask a true Star Trek fan, one who has watched the original series’ and films, they will probably either love it or hate it. I for one absolutely love this Star Trek, though I only just finished the original series. It does an excellent job at introducing new viewers to the world, the people, and the relationships that were already set for the TV series. The whole cast is an entertaining, exciting bunch that all manage to fit themselves into the shoes left by the original actors so many years ago.
So for those who do not know, I will be writing for my school’s newspaper this fall, hopefully doing most of the movie reviews. This means that I will be able to post those reviews here with a disclaimer, so there is no need to fear on that side of things. However, I will also be interning for the Seattle Weekly, which supposedly gets me published or something in the magazine occasionally. I do not know how much or how little I will be published, but there is a chance that I will be getting my work in there which means I will probably have to just link to the articles on there from here. You will be getting all of my work, just in different places, which is an unfortunate reminder that this blog isn’t something permanent. Anyway, thank you for joining me along for the ride this summer, but now we have some excellent looking films coming our way so be on the lookout for Awards Season posts!