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Ode to Popcorn Flicks: 5 Blockbuster Films and 5 Others to Look Forward to This Summer
According to the dictionary, summer is primarily defined as being between June and August as the hottest days of the year. In Hollywood, some moviergoers believed that summer was the end of films focused more on popcorn action instead of substance. Explosions and bawdy comedy outweighed the emotional depth that many would rather focus on come Oscar time instead of just before July 4th. Sometimes that's what the doctor ordered (The 40 Year Old Virgin) and othertimes just simply a speed bump before September came (last year's The Expendables).
Here is a list of five blockbuster films worth spending $10 or more to see and five anti-blockbusters worth taking a chance on when the opportunity arises. Those cinematic departures also help to shake the dog days of summer once they're in full swing and the heat is simply too much. Read on to find some moviegoing possibilities, which include a list of ten honorable mentions that should be seen this summer as well.
The Popcorn Films
1.) The Hangover Part II- A sequel to the successful 2009 original that picked up with the friends celebrating yet another bachelor party in Thailand. Of course, the group's best intentions to have a much simpler bachelor party than last time doesn't go according to plan. Chaos ensues. The groom (Ed Helms) gets a tattoo and a monkey causes some additional trouble, even possibly stealing the show. See this movie and expect your funnybone to be tickled. (The Hangover Part II is out now and is Rated R.)
2.) Bridesmaids - Meet Annie (Kristen Wiig) a bridesmaid on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She watches her best friend head into a happy marriage and wonders where her life went wrong. Annie's misery and attempts at covering it up make the comedy worth watching again and again. (Bridesmaids is out now and is Rated R.)
3.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II- The day has finally come for Harry Potter fans to bid adieu to favorite young wizard as he prepared to confront Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in a final battle that only one was meant to survive. Even though the audience clearly knows who will, the movie will still be a thrilling and emotional rollercoaster for fans as they say goodbye to Daniel Radcliffe's Harry on the big screen. At least fans still have the DVDs and the books to keep them company. (Death Hallows Part II will be released on July 15th.)
4.) Green Lantern- What would you do if you were given a ring that gives you superpowers? Would you do good things or evil things with it? Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a goofball pilot who takes nothing seriously until an alien give him a ring that could either help or destroy the world if it fell in the wrong hands. Will Hal and the movie live up to the potential? (Green Lantern will be released on June 17th and is Rated PG-13).
5.) Cowboys & Aliens- Is it possible for cowboys and indians to work together? In the case of this film, they will have to when some aliens attempted to invade Silver City, Arizona. This new alliance will also have a criminal (Daniel Craig) with a mysterious connection to the creatures and a seasoned lawman (Harrison Ford) joining forces to stopping the pending invasion. Will they kill each other before they do it? Who cares! James Bond and Indiana Jones sharing the screen is worth the price of admission. (Cowboys & Aliens will be released on July 29th.)
Non-Traditional Summer Fare
1.) Midnight in Paris- Can you picture Owen Wilson in a Woody Allen film? That's maybe why the famed director decide to cast against type and cast Wilson as the lead. The film followed a writer on vacation who falls in love with the city and pretends he sees writers from the 1920s guiding him through Paris. A treat for Allen fans and romantics alike. (Midnight in Paris is in limited release and is Rated PG-13.)
2.) Beginners- Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer play father and son who both struggled with living their lives like they should be. Plummer's character comes out of the closet later in life and finally lives his lfie to the fullest. Like his character's father, McGregor is stuck in neutral until he embarks on his first serious relationship and begins to understand his father long after his passing from a terminal illness. A film that focused on relationships (father-son and romantic) that most summer films would shy away from. Take a chance on an unexpected summer treat. (Beginners is out now in limited release and is Rated R.)
3.) Horrible Bosses- Bosses followed three friends unhappily tortured by their bosses finally had enough with their abusive ways. The friends plot to have their supervisors whacked instead of quitting their jobs. Expect a male version of 9 to 5 mixed with Strangers on A Train. This film could either be the comedic cure for people who hate their bosses or a disaster waiting to happen. It could also be the cure to revive Jennifer Aniston's stale movie career. (She plays against type as one of the horrible bosses.) (Horrible Bosses will be released on July 8th.)
4.) Bad Teacher- In an effort to revive her career, Cameron Diaz plays a foulmouthed teacher who goes to extremes to win the heart of a fellow teacher by any means necessary. Will her plan backfire or win her the new man of her dreams? Should the audience take a chance on a bawdy comedy or choose a family film instead? (Bad Teacher will be released on June 24th and is Rated R.)
5.) The Help- Based on the popular novel, the story followed a young writer (Emma Stone) who returns home from college who strikes up a friendship with two African American maids that sparked a new book. Will her book give a voice to the unheard or cause more trouble for her than she expected? The Help has an all-star cast that helps give voice to the Kathryn Stockett novel. Will audiences agree with the adaptation or loathe it? (The Help will be released on August 12th and is rated PG-13).
In the end, a summer blockbuster isn't always defined by how much money it cost or the special effects that cover up a faulty script. On a rare occasion, substance does actually triumph over style. Moviegoers just have to know where to look and what popcorn flicks are truly the cure for the summertime blues, or less of a pain on your wallet once the film ends. Lately, there hasn't been many. Choose wisely and you should take what you see onscreen with a grain of salt, unless its necessary to take it seriously.
Crazy Stupid Love (Out July 29th)
X-Men: First Class (Out Now)
One Day (Out Aug 19th)
Larry Crowne (Out July 1st)
Friends With Benefits (Out July 22nd)
Captain America: The First Avenger (Out July 22nd)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (Out now)
Our Idiot Brother (Out August 26th)
Cars 2 (Out June 24th)
The Change-Up (Out August 5th)