site stats WhizGidget Wonders...
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
A Random Element of the Friday Forum...

...a couple of weeks ago I got a Friday Forum that I didn’t answer, because it had lots of really interesting random questions, and just about all of them were worthy of longer blog entries. I’m going to answer another one of those entries today.

What summer movies have you seen so far? What did you think of them? Which ones do you most want to see? What's the worst summer movie that you've ever seen? Do you enjoy drive-in theaters?

Summer movies. I love summer movies. They’re usually the best of the blockbusters with lots of things blowing up, car chases and really awesome soundtracks. This year just doesn’t seem to fall into that. There’s no big Will Smith movie, there’s no Spider-Man, and the best thing we’ve got for action, it seems, was that ‘War of the Worlds’ movie. If there’s anything I want to see for the summer, it’s a big action filled Will Smith movie or something very futuristic with explosions. Or both (like ‘I, Robot’). Don’t recommend ‘Hitch’ to me folks, seen it. Good movie. But that’s not what this is about. This is about the lack of blockbuster movies that I want to see this summer, with the exception of ‘War of the Worlds’.

That certainly wasn’t a blockbuster of any major note. In fact, there was more press about the leading actor’s embarrassing and over the top antics involving a new, much younger fiancée that some suspect is being brainwashed. I’ve already covered *that* in detail, I don’t need to go further into that story.

So far this summer, I’ve not seen a lot of movies. ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, and that’s it. If there *was* anything else, then it was entirely forgettable. I wanted to see ‘War of the Worlds’ and never got around to it. DH wanted to see ‘Fantastic Four’, but we decided on taking the kids to see Charlie instead.

‘Batman Begins’… pretty darn good movie. I’d like to see a sequel and I’m relieved that the female lead (who happens to be the previously mentioned alleged brainwashee) will not be back. She just didn’t seem right for the part, associated press on her personal life aside. The character was flat and one dimensional. But Batman – seeing the backstory, and how he became who he was, and the overall dark feel of everything really made the story come to life for me. Especially since I’ve been a fan of the darker Batman story for a long time, and really liked the undercurrent of power and darkness that Tim Burton brought to the first two movies.

Now, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. Really good movie. I can’t compare it to the first one made in 1971 because they were made so far apart, and they are so very different with the second being a little more true to the original story. But I have some head scratching moments about it – I hear so many people call it less creepy than the original movie, and I can’t fathom *how*?

Color me dense, but I don’t get it. The only thing that I can find that’s creepy in the original movie was the boat ride (“is it raining, is it snowing”), but that was more psychedelic than anything else for me. Depp’s performance in this movie was a creep out (but an entertaining one) all to itself. But when you put it in the perspective of who was doing that performance, it all makes sense. He’s always been an off-color sort of guy, and he made Wonka come alive. More alive than Gene Wilder? I think not, as they’re both different actors who worked with different scripts at different points in time. Still, wonderful movie, just don’t get how it was less creepy.

Maybe I’m just cracked or have a tolerance for creepiness if I didn’t find the first one creepy. After all, this is someone who watches ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Gremlins’ as Christmas movies, and finds ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ more a comedy than a horror flick.

Worst summer movie I’ve ever seen? Well, whatever it was, I can’t remember it. It’s been overshadowed by just remembering the worst movie I’ve ever seen even though it had a rather inspired cast. I think I’d rather watch ‘Clerks’ again than try and get through the first 5 minutes of that awful movie again. Oh wait, I turned ‘Clerks’ off after 20 minutes. Never mind.

Oh, Drive-ins. Love drive-ins. First movie I ever remember seeing at a drive-in was ‘Bambi’ in a re-release early in the 1970s with my parents. I was in my footed jammies and had my Pooh Bear and a blankie and all was happy. That’s one of my few happy memories of my childhood. I’ve not spent a lot of time at drive-ins, since they all seem to be disappearing. In my area I think that there’s one last hold out, and I wonder when that’s going to go the way of the dinosaur since there’s a 16 screen theatre right next door to it. But I hear it’s still popular and the one time I went there with a group of friends, it was still busy. But that was years ago. I’d love to take my kids to the drive in and let them experience the fun just once before they get too much bigger. Ok, I’m going to stop now, because I could probably go on about movies, theatres and drive-ins for hours, and I don’t think you’d like that…

...or maybe you *would*, I guess we’ll all just have to stay tuned.