This Friday harkens the beginning of one of the major seasons in America: summer movies. I’ll admit it–I love going to the movies. Always have. Stephen King once wrote that while part of him goes to the movies to analyze and consider, part of him is just geeking out that he is at the movies. I am the same way.
I love the whole experience: the shared moment with strangers, the popcorn, the tension, the absolute darkness that carries you away to another time and place. For me, even now with rising prices, the movies are still pure magic. Actually, even more so because with the birth of my daughter, my movie-going as taken a dramatic drop. I’m not one of those people who believes, “Well, I want to see Dark Knight so I’ll just take my 2-year old.” My message for those people? You decided to have a kid. If you can’t find a babysitter, you just don’t go. And so often I don’t. I have a limited number of babysitter passes available, so it is with great care I pick the movies I do attend. Generally, because summer is the land of special effects, big guns, and big explosions, I tend to select those movies because I just know they won’t be the same on my tiny home TV.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome this season, which officially starts Friday with the release of Iron Man 2, by giving my list of the five summer flicks I can’t wait to overpay for.
1. Iron Man 2–From the moment I heard Robert Downey, Jr. was set to sport the gold and red suit, I was game. I know enough about the comics to appreciate what the brilliant, yet troubled Mr. Downey could bring to the role and he did not disappoint. That, coupled with Jon Favreau’s cheeky, yet emotional directing made the first film a winner. The sequel looks to follow that happy trend set by X-Men, Dark Knight, and Spiderman where the second time around is even better. The shot of Mickey Rourke, another reformed bad boy, with the laser whips shredding the race track had me from go.
2. Sex and the City 2–Unlike Iron Man, when I heard they were doing this sequel, I was like, “Why?” Don’t get me wrong; I adore Carrie and Co. I laughed, cried, and cringed through 6 seasons of fashion and frivolity and I saw the first one opening day. But I feel (still do) that there is really not much story left to tell. Be that as it may, this is one of those movies that for me is about the experience. I will probably go opening day again. I will put on my most stylish maternity clothes and the highest heels my swollen feet can manage. I will probably have lunch with my BFF and then we’ll go to an afternoon showing filled with other women like us. We’ll oohh over the fashions, laugh at the antics, and cry at those sly emotional moments. And maybe it won’t amount to more than the movie equivalent of cotton candy. But just like that–we’ll all have a little taste of a big girl fairy tale. Maybe that’s the point, afterall. Not the story but the fantasy. Nothing wrong with that.
3. Inception–Christopher Nolan has become one of the most interesting directors of recent years. Even his mask-less works, such as Memento and The Prestige are intellectually stimulating and visually intriguing. I love that going into his movies, even if I think I know what they are about, they still manage to entertain and surprise me. In this case, I am particularly interested to see what Nolan will do with DiCaprio. The actor finally managed to grow up and become the actor he foreshadowed in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape under the tutelage of Scorsese, particularly in The Departed. Now let’s see what someone else can do with him.
4. Toy Story 3–As it’s release date approaches I will probably dedicate an entire entry to the wonder that is Pixar. For now, I will just say that the studio has consistently turned out some of the most original, creative, touching, and entertaining movies in the past almost 20 years. Toy Story 2 followed the Godfather 2 in doing everything right–deepening the characters from the original while adding new faces and complications. But unlike the schlocky GF 3, I have faith that Pixar wouldn’t have made this one if they didn’t have something else to say. I’m all ears.
5. Salt–This one is probably pretty polarizing since people seem to look more at Angelina Jolie’s personal life than her work. But if Wanted proved anything, it’s that Jolie knows how to pick action roles and she doesn’t mess around when it comes to taking a hit. Add in a little more dramatic gravity and hopefully this will finally allow her to marry her formidable acting skills with her love of all things that go bang.
And while I said 5, I will add on that should I not be having a baby, I will probably also go see Eclipse. Can I wait to see it? You bet. But it sure will be fun to grab my BFF and watch teen angst and chastity at its height. My only sadness is that it will lack the fabulous Michael Sheen this go around. I’ll have to wait until Breaking Dawn for his return. And that I won’t miss.