Top Ten Thursday: Best Movies of the Summer

by mr sparkle on September 3, 2009 · 8 comments

in Uncategorized

wolverine - 090309This summer got off to a shitty start (remember Terminator: Salvation? Sorry for reminding you), but I think we ended with an overall very strong season. Sure, there was no Dark Knight to blow our collective minds into a squirmy, slimy piece of goo that covered the back wall of the theater. And surprisingly, there wasn’t one worthwhile superhero film (no, Wolverine doesn’t count). But I think there was still plenty of fun to be had at the megaplex the past three months.

The following are the best Summer movies of the summer – I.E., no smaller (if great) films – I’m thinking of flicks like The Brothers Bloom, Ponyo and the totally ignored Tetro.

I’ll even throw out Funny People and Public Enemies which, even though they might have been major studio fare, still felt like they were out of place on a list that should ideally hold dozens of explosions, boobies and, well, actually that’s about all I’m asking for.

So go on now and read ahead, because if there’s a scarcity of anything on the internet, it’s Top Ten lists. And boobies.


10 / District 9

The independently produced actioner made all of us Sci-Fi geeks smile on the inside when it hit theaters, and for good reason. First time feature directer Neill Blomkamp effortlessly throws an always pertinant topic of racial segregation into a movie about aliens and super lazers. I might complain that the second half of the movie devolves into an action piece that wouldn’t be exciting without the first half that invested us in the story, but I’m still a fan. The ‘monkey was perhaps more on board with the flick, as you can tell from his review.


9 / The Hangover

I don’t have to tell you about The Hangover, which became the sleeper hit of the year – if not decade. With $270 million in the bank (that’s more than Star Trek or any of the Bourne movies made), you’ve probably seen it at least once. And with good reason – it’s hard to imagine a straight-up laugher working any better than The Hangover. It’s not a great or interesting film, but the jokes work with flying colors and just keep rolling off of the screen without relent.


8 / Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

If you read this Harry Potter fan’s review, you know I was impressed. I was flat-out shocked to find a Potter flick that worked after a long line of suckers. After the initial surprise, my high opinion of it deflated a bit (I got bored when I sat through it a second time); but there’s a lot to be said of a $250 million tent-pole picture that’s willing to let you just hang out with its characters instead of throwing them in a new action set-piece every twenty minutes. I’ll be satisfied if the final two Potter flicks – set to roll out over the next two years – are this good.


7 / G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

I don’t know what you’re talking about – G.I. Joe is seriously an awesome movie. Director Stephen Sommers has always churned out brain-dead product, but they’re always fun. His latest is no exception, embracing the stupid premeses of a stupid cartoon series, and launching full-speed ahead into an action movie stuffed with stupid clichés plot points so joyfully embraced, you laugh at every single one of them. You really have to hand it to a movie that features Dennis Quaid screaming into a zoomed shot, “SEND IN THE SHARKS!” Cap’n Carrot wasn’t in on the joke, though, lambasting the flick in his review.


6 / Star Trek

When I heard that Paramount was “rebooting” the Star Trek franchise, all I could think was “guuuhhhhhh.” Haven’t we had enough of these pointless reboots? Could we get an original movie in here between these remakes and fucking Hasbro productions? I still think that, but at least we had J.J. Abrams guiding Star Trek in the perfect direction – a fun, light weight sci-fi action that hasn’t been done this well in a while. His biggest strength is giving a cast that we love going on an impromptu adventure with – Chris Pine, in particular, straddles the line between action hero and comedian with impeccable ease.


5 / Up

At this point, I feel like praising a Pixar film is utterly and completely redundant. I’d love to go on about how awesome its newest feature, Up, is, but it’s like the vault of good things to say about Pixar is totally empty. But it does have heart and laughs falling out the wazoo, and the Carrot concurs.


4 / (500) Days of Summer

Indie High Schoolers have had a dry run at the Movies ever since Garden State played almost five years ago. So thank goodness they have a new flick, (500) Days of Summer, to start quoting and downloading the soundtrack of. But you don’t have to be in High School to enjoy the insanely relatable and likable Rom-Com, all you have to be is someone who’s ever had a crush on someone out of their league, or someone who’s had their heart-broken. Hey! Cap’n liked it too.


3 / Moon

If you blinked, you missed it; but one of the best sci-fi movies in recent memory blipped onto the screen this summer. Moon, a hybrid of a thriller and a thinker that never fails into convolution or an preaching, feels like the kind of movie that never gets made – a high concept piece not marketed towards Middle Schoolers. I’d love to discuss the film more, but to give away some of its plot is almost to spoil it; so just take my word for it when I tell you that you need to see it. Don’t believe me? What if I told you Kevin Spacey plays HAL 9000? Alright, your hooked.


2 / Inglourious Basterds

When you can start off the summary of a movie by declaring it Quentin Tarantino’s most fun movie, you know you’ve got a winner on your hands. Tarantino is a master of cinematic entertainment, and in many respects he’s at the top of his game with Inglourious Basterds, a WWII movie that’s not afraid of not being 100% reverent of the war, its heroes or its events. Instead we get dynamite, power chords and a German who’s evil in a delicious way, as opposed to just in a disgusting way. You’ll be howling and cheering the whole way through. Cap’n Carrot totally gave into this one.


1 / Drag Me To Hell

Fuck you. No, I’m serious, fuck you for not seeing this movie. We had a chance to correct the course for the unforgivably shitty condition of Horror movies the studios give us, but we blew it, because it everyone skipped out on the most fun, gross, giddy and rollercoast-iest scary movie to reach screens in my movie-going life. Sam Raimi’s return to the genre that birthed him was all we could ask for and more. I was so confident in this movie’s ability to entertain, I offered all my friends to reimburse their ticket price if they saw it and didn’t like it. No one asked me for their money back.

But those are just my thoughts. What was your favorite movie of the summer?

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  • Matthew

    Pretty solid list. Drag Me to Hell was pretty effin’ awesome. My girlfriend and I snuck sushi into the theatre because we hadn’t eaten supper yet. We sat down to watch Drag Me to Hell… well, suffice to say she wasn’t as hungry anymore. But we both found it hilarious as well. Truly one of Sam Raimi’s finest movies.

    I probably would have put 500 Days of Summer at the top (haven’t seen Basterds yet…) but that’s cause I’m a sucker for indie romance.

  • JohnCoop

    Great list, very good ordering. Star Trek would be higher on mine, but only cause I’m a Trek geek, and I’m ashamed of myself for letting myself miss DMTH. In all fairness, though, it was only in theaters here for like 2 weeks.

  • Cap’n Carrot

    I’m surprised Up and District 9 aren’t higher, but what I’m really going to give you shit about is your #7. G.I. Joe, Ian? Really??

    And I’m still really jealous that you saw Moon and I haven’t yet.

  • Mr. Sparkle

    Carrot, I’d debate the merits of ‘G.I. Joe’ with you; but more than anything I just feel bad for you for not being able to appreciate its campy glory. Maybe once you see ‘Moon,’ that will somehow make you see the light. And DO see ‘Moon.’

  • Djinni


    Did you hear that? That was my faith in this website shattering just the tiniest. G.I. Joe #7?? I can’t believe that got a higher rating than D-9.

  • Matthew

    I’ll defend Sparkle a little here – G.I. Joe is SO BAD, but I think in the right company it would be absolutely hilarious.

    “Whatsit accelerate?”


    Comedic gold!

  • .alphamonkey.

    In Sparkle’s defense: He sniffs a lot of glue.

  • Mr. Sparkle

    Monk, it’s called Holistic Honeysuckle Paste, and it’s totally legit.

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