Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Best Summer Blockbusters of All Time.

With the release of M Followed By Colons and I's and The Da Vinci Code, the summer movie season is now basically pushed up well in advance of Memorial Day. And it's a great time for those rocketsaucy event movies, of which, as you know, we are most looking forward to Snakes On A Plane. I, sadly, don't get out to the movies much anymore. Movie theatres these days suck balls and the movies are often worse. That's why I'm the guy who's only now pulling things like Hustle and Flow out of my mailbox. But I remember more carefree times when I got to the movie theatre more, both as a young kid and as a worn out graduate student who needed a fucking break from the endless litany of craptastic scene study and paper writing. I've cast my mind back, and I offer you my personal list of the greatest Summer movies of my lifetime.

Gone Fishin' (1997)
Are you kidding me? Joe Pesci and Danny Glover together again, working their summer box office magic? This movie was pretty much a sure thing, considering the fact that if you take a thousand people and ask them to make a list of the Thirty Most Memorable Things from the Lethal Weapon Franchise, Pesci and Glover would almost certainly be on more than half!

Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
Summer is a carefree season of vacations, and fireworks, cookouts and lazy days on the hammock in the backyard. Certainly, many filmmakers throughout history and across the globe had long endeavored to communciate the impressions and feelings of summertime and sum them up in a manner so singular and succinct that it could be packed onto Voyager and blasted into space without any fear whatsoever that it wouldn't be appreciated by even the most retarded of alien cultures that happened upon it. But, until the release of Capturing the Friedmans, those attempts were all horrible and embarrassing failures not worth a dollop of your excrement, let alone your time.

Big Momma's House (2000)
Wow. Many filmmakers had the vision to put Martin Lawrence in a movie. Many others realized that the morbidly obese were funny. Today, we can see the date on the calendar--June 4, 2000--and silently pay homage each year that on that very date, Hollywood crossed over into a new frontier of filmmaking--Big Momma's House proved that if you dressed Martin Lawrence up like a morbidly obese person--in drag, on top of everything else!--that film as a medium might indeed approach a sublimity bordering on the music of the celestial spheres.

Cock Smokers 31 (2001)
A no brainer. I'm sure this is on everybody's list!

Le Temps Retrouvee (1999)
Every summer, Americans from all walks of life seem gripped by two major infatuations that all but define those hot months of June and July: French art-house cinema and biographies of Marcel Proust. When Le Temps Retrouvee opened in the summer of 1999, it's no wonder it touched off a major crime wave--you can only imagine how inflamed the passions of moviegoers were that fateful summer after this French-language masterpiece, starring Catherine Deneuve AND Emmanuelle Beart (that's right bitches--AND Emmanuelle Beart!), opened across the country.

Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
I'll never forget when my friend told me that they were making an unprecedented sixth movie in the Friday the 13th franchise. "No, way!" I said, as flabbergasted as any gast full of flabber had ever been in recorded history. "No shit ass damn way. No way Jason survived Part 5!" But my friend insisted it was true. Sure enough, I went to see Part 6, only to be stunned to see Jason appear in the movie! I think it was that summer when it occurred to me that bringing characters back from the dead on the thinnest of pretexts could be potentially lucrative. Maybe a part of my innocence died that summer.

Ran (1985)
In July of 1985, America was gripped by a fever...a fever for Ran.

Nine Months (1995)
Summer brings out the best in people, and it's hard to point to a time when Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore have ever been closer to the summit of ultimate awesomeness as they were in this classic film. Many people credit director Chris Columbus, whose career pretty much peaked right here with his fearless, cliché-free directing, but I say the real rocket fuel in this summer blockbuster is Tom Arnold, who, like a Michael Jordan of the silver screen, simply brings out the A-game in everybody! Except, of course, for Luc Longley.

Arthur (1981)
No surprise here. If you were ten years old at the time of this film, as I was, there's no doubt that you were among the legions of children whose imaginations had been captivated in a way that only a film with Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, and Jill Eikenberry could. Bewitching and transfixing. The greatest thing ever seen by the naked human eye during the month of July since the month of July was invented.

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)
Wow! Okay, when it comes to debating the great summer blockbusters, right here you get game, set and checkmate! No discussion necessary. When you look up "Summer Blockbuster" in the dictionary, right there on the page you will see a picture. A picture of a movie poster. That poster: depicting the movie that every man, woman and child born of woman and possessing the tongue to speak it's abbreviated name called, simply and unpretentiously "S4TQFP." The best part, of course, is that this movie taught the whole world about the dangers of nuclear weaponry, and, of course, we were never troubled by the thoughts of grim, radioactive annihilation ever again.

1 comment:

Rusty said...

Here's what's really scary: Gone Fishin' was written by none other than J.J. Abrams.

And, as for Friday the 13th Part VI, Jason wasn't killed in Part V. I mean, duh. Part V featured a paramedic pretending to be Jason to avenge the murder of his mentally retarded son. Jason died in Part IV (the best one) at the hands of Corey Feldman before being reincarnated by a lightning bolt in part VI.