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My Summer at the Movies
by Tim Josephs

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With summer officially over I decided to take a look back at all the movies I saw over the last three months. However, I soon realized I hardly saw anything. I wasn't about to waste time and money seeing all those big (and mostly bad) blockbusters like TRANSFORMERS and TERMINATOR SALVATION. But there were a lot of films like COLD SOULS and AWAY WE GO and MOON that I meant to see but for some reason or other just didn't. I can actually only recall seeing eight and three of those I rented, and two of those were from last year.

So without further ado, here's what I saw over the summer of 2009.

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE

I'm a big fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, and I thought that after number two they progressively got better. Until this one, that is. That's not to say I didn't like it - I did - but it wasn't as good as THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and I think it's because - just like in the book - not a lot happens until the end. Plus I was discouraged that it took so long to be
released and the fact that the last book (which I found somewhat disappointing) has been made into two movies and the whole series won't be finished until 2011.

STAR TREK

I'm not a big sci-fi guy and truthfully had only seen one other Star Trek movie - the one about the whales - so I was kind of surprised I even wanted to see this. But after seeing the cool trailer (and the fact that Simon Pegg was playing Scotty), I was in and I really enjoyed it. It was fun and exciting, the characters were interesting, the story was captivating (if a tad bit confusing), basically everything a big summer movie is supposed to be and - from what I've heard and read - everything movies like GI JOE and WOLVERINE were not.

(500) DAYS OF SUMMER

I really enjoyed this film and thought the story was told in a wonderfully unique way. Both lead actors were very good and I found myself getting emotionally involved with them. My only problem was the very Hollywood-ish wise-beyond-her-years little sister. But the film
was so strong it didn't end up being a deal-breaker.

INGLORIOUS BASTERDS

I'm sure I could have seen every movie released this past summer and this one would probably still have been my favorite. Great characters, fun but sometimes hard to watch bloody action sequences, and typically witty Tarantino dialogue. And there's something very satisfying about seeing Nazis get what they deserve (and what should have happened to them).

SIN NOMBRE

This Spanish film came out earlier in the year but I only just saw it. It's about a family trying to make it through Mexico and into America, and the problems they encounter involving border patrol and gang members. It was raw and gritty and felt incredibly real.

DOUBT

I finally got around to seeing this one, and I'm glad I did. The acting was great and all those Oscar nominations were well deserved (with the possible exception of Viola Davis. She was very good but was onscreen for what, twenty minutes?). Anyway, after seeing the movie something
gnawed at me and I finally figured out what. DOUBT didn't feel like a complete movie. Most films have a main plot and at least two or more sub-plots. Did it have any sub-plots? Interesting topics were alluded to: Amy Adams' character being by far the youngest teacher at the school, the boy possibly being gay, but nothing really got fleshed out. A good movie but not great.

HAPPY-GO-LUCKY

Another 2008 film that took me a while to see. Sally Hawkings is terrific and the whole film is just fun and charming (if a little sad at the end).

DISTRICT 9

I knew a little about this before I went but was still blown away by the imaginative story, the way it was done using documentary-like interviews and news footage and the amazing effects. (I heard this film was made for around $30 million while a stinker like GI JOE was made for more than five times that.) A great sci-fi/action movie with a biting social commentary.

So there it is, my rather meager list of summer movies. I'll try to do better in the fall.

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Movie Musings
Every other Tuesday

Thoughts, observations, conjectures, complaints about movies and mostly how they relate to me personally. If you're looking for something a little broader, try Ebert.


Other Columns
Other columns by Tim Josephs:

So Long 2013, and MatchFlickers!

The Season for Peace, Presents, & Puncture Wounds

Women are Once Again Kicking Ass

Chewing the Scenery

The Greatest President We Never Had

All Columns


Tim Josephs
Born to write (literally much to the displeasure of his mother, he emerged with a pencil clutched in one tiny fist), Tim spends most of his days crafting epic monosyllabic poems, new comical titles to his favorite Beatles' songs (Hey, Dude), and angry letters to local businesses that have wronged him in some way. He's really an okay guy once you get to know him.


Contact
If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Tim Josephs by clicking here.


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