Summer 2011 has quite the array of movies, most of which are sequels, remakes, or based on a comic book. With such a large selection, ticket price inflation, and tighter spending from the average moviegoer, which of these movies released this summer are actually worth your time? To help you decide whether or not to visit the movie theater, here are a couple of summer films with my positive and brief reviews.
'Midnight in Paris' stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Marion Cotillard. It tells the story of a young author who believes a life in another era is better than his own. Every midnight, he takes a stroll through Paris and meets with literary figures of the past who provide inspiration for him. It's a sweet story and one of Woody Allen's best. You will laugh and think a lot, especially if you have your own fantasy of a 'Golden Era.' I never thought it was possible to make Paris lovelier until I saw this light-hearted film.
'The Tree of Life' stars Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, and Sean Penn. This is a much deeper film than the average moviegoer is used to. Director Terrence Malick takes the viewer on a journey through the eyes of a boy who loses his innocence. It is a simple story told through breathtaking visuals and philosophical imagery. If you're one who spends plenty of time thinking about the complexities of life, this is a film to watch. At over two hours long, this movie may leave you talking and thinking for a while.
'X-Men: First Class' stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Kevin Bacon. It's the prequel to the 'X-Men' series, and a good one at that. It tells the story of how Professor Xavier and Magneto were once good friends and joined forces to stop a global threat. It has great chemistry from the two lead actors, spectacular visuals, and it gives each mutant his/her time to shine. A lot of people were upset by ‘X-Men: the Last Stand’ and ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine,’ but don’t take those films into account when watching this one. It’s a new take and fresh start for what could potentially be a great franchise.
‘Horrible Bosses’ stars Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell. It’s definitely one of the better comedies released this summer. A good amount of moviegoers can relate to the premise of having a horrible boss or a hellish workplace. There are a decent amount of laughs, which is difficult to attain in a movie that centers around something as dark as murder. If raunchy comedy is your field and you were a bit disappointed in ‘Bad Teacher,’ you may want to give this one a chance.
‘Captain America: the First Avenger’ stars Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, and Hugo Weaving. In my opinion, it’s one of the better comic book movies released this year. While not as deep or serious as 'First Class,' it’s still fun to watch and filmed in a fitting style of 1940s America. For those of you unsure of which comic book movies to watch this year, ‘Captain’ is surely a go. Another enticing factor is at the end where there is a hint to the upcoming ‘Avengers’ movie.
‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ stars James Franco, Freida Pinto, and John Lithgow. The title is probably the worst thing about this movie. It’s a fresh take on the beloved series, and it shows how the impending uprising all begins. For those of you unfamiliar with the franchise, the film may not be as fun and enjoyable. However, if you are a fan of the original ‘Apes,’ it is highly likely that you will like this. The visuals are spectacular and the acting is splendid. It is a film that is more character driven rather than focused on pure action. A definite treat.
So there you have it. These movies released this summer are worth a look at your local movie theater. The reason I didn’t include the recent ‘Harry Potter’ is because if you’re a fan, you have already seen it or are planning to watch it anyway. Hopefully you enjoy these films as much as I did.