Pop5: Movies of the Summer!

Hey-yo Geeks and Geekettes, here’s another Pop5 list! What is a Pop5 list? Well, it’s a Top 5 List presented by the PopTards! See what we did there? Pop + Top 5 = a not even remotely clever title! Well here it is:

Pop5 Lists of The Best Movies of the Summer!

Slai Washko

Wow, this summer flew by. There are so many more movies I haven’t yet seen and still want to see, but here is what I got:
1. BRIDESMAIDS – First, I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard.  I loved each character and all the awkwardness of very different individuals having to come for the love of one friend.  As a stylist, I’ve seen this scenario so many times in weddings, power struggles and competitions amongst the women involved.  It’s a breath of fresh air to address how ridiculous it can be.  And for all the men who want to belief female defecation is mythological, well sirs, let this movie hysterically prove you wrong.


2. SUPER
– I am a huge fan of dark comedy and this did not disappoint.  I don’t know that I can actually classify this as comedy, though it did have comedic happenings.  Mostly, I’m not easily shocked and it definitely jolted me.  Technically, I guess this was more of a spring movie, but it’s stuck with me.


3. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
– Loved the casting except for January Jones.  Who knew Professor X had swagger once upon a time?  I enjoyed all of the comic book movies this summer, but this one just had a little bit more in content with story, relationships, and humor.


4. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
– I was surprised.  This was not on my list of theater must-sees due to skepticism over the cgi, but I’m glad I did. This movie stressed me out, I was clenching in my seat.  Loved the casting in this movie as well.  It made me want to see the rest of the story again, even though I wasn’t a big fan of Planet of the Apes.


5. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
– I’ve enjoyed this whole series and thought this was a great wrap up.  I didn’t read the books, though I hope to find time to do so.  It’s been great seeing the cast grow up and I look forward to their future projects.

Master Film Maker Mark Mackner
5. HORRIBLE BOSSES – This one kinda ends up on here by default, as it was one of the few films that I was able to go and see this summer. Don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoyed it. It wasn’t a classic by any stretch, but there were some genuine laughs in there. Good cast, too. It was nice to see Kevin Spacey in a villainous role again. Guy’s got an insane amount of talent, but he’d been squandering it in recent years. And Charlie Day is always fun.

4. KUNG FU PANDA 2
– I was about to put RANGO or RIO in this spot, but then I did some research and found that both those films came out before the summer movie season. And I didn’t get to see CARS 2. So that brings us here, to KUNG FU PANDA 2. It’s just as good as RANGO or RIO, which were both just dandy. Plus, it boasts my very favorite actor, GARY OLDMAN, as a villainous goose. And it found some room for JCVD, so it gets a few points for that, too. “You can take your fancy clothes, and your black silk AHNDAWIR, and go back to Disneyland!” Tell ‘em, JCVD!

3. GREEN LANTERN
– Yeah. GREEN LANTERN. I liked it. I liked it quite a bit, actually. It was fun! It was a nice entry point into the character , the Corps, and the universe they inhabit. All the whiny fanboys who wanted to hate on FIRST CLASS were so dumbstruck when that turned out to be a great film, that all their pent-up nerdrage ended up being unleashed on GL, and that’s really unfortunate. I thought the cast was solid, I thought the action was well-staged. My kids liked it, too! I’ll be picking it up on DVD, for sure. I hope they go ahead with a sequel. Suck it, haters!

2. THOR
– A star is born in Chris Hemsworth! Another star is born in Tom Hiddleston! A career is resurrected for Kenneth Branagh! Destroyer, Frost Giants, and a little “Hammer of the Gods” action made this a surprise hit for a lot of people. I had a feeling it was gonna be better than the average comic movie, and boy is it ever! A fun time at the movies! Oh, and I LOVE YOU, KAT DENNINGS!

1. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
– I loved Ian McKellen as Magneto. I was convinced he pretty much owned the role. Then, along came Michael Fassbender. WOW! That guy’s got the goods! In the months leading up to this, all these fanboys were already decrying it as the worst atrocity to ever be inflicted upon mankind (Fanboys really hate Fox Studios, it seems). I wasn’t sure if it’d be GREAT, but I was fairly confident that it would be better than that WOLVERINE movie. Bleck. Anyway, not only is it a GREAT movie, but it rivals the very best X-movie thus far (X2: X-MEN UNITED), and might even be a little better than it in some ways. Say what you will about Fox, but have a little faith in Matthew Vaughan. The dude can direct, no doubt. And don’t underestimate the power of ROSE BYRNE in black lingerie. Oh, and KEVIN BACON as the villain?! Come on! That’s a can’t-miss cocktail for success right there! Though I will say that the scenes where the students give each other their hero names were groan-inducingly awful. WHOEVER: “Wow, look at you. You’re a BEAST, aren’t you? In fact, we’re just gonna call you that from now on! BEAST! That’s your name!” BEAST: “Sure, that’s cool.” SOMEBODY: Where are Charles and Erik?” SOMEBODY ELSE: “Oh, we call them Professor X and Magneto now.” SOMEBODY: “Oh, that makes sense. OK.” Still, a minor gripe to an otherwise excellent film. The fights were awesome, and HOLY FUCK, MICHAEL IRONSIDE IS IN IT!!!!! ‘NUFF SAID!!!!!
Matt Adler

 

5. GREEN LANTERN – Yeah, I know this got terrible reviews, and terrible fan reaction. What can I say, out of the 8 movies I saw this summer (the ones not making this list are Conan, Transformers, and X-Men: First Class), I liked it fifth-best. In all seriousness, I didn’t think it was as bad as everyone else did. It didn’t break any barriers for superhero movies, but it was a nice outer-space adventure with some amusing moments. It’s also faithful to the comics, while leaving room for further development in the sequel. Many argue XFC is a better film, and maybe it is, but to me, it was more exciting to see Green Lantern exercising his willpower on the big screen for the first time, than to see Fox scrape the bottom of the barrel for a bunch of second-stringers (Darwin? Azazel? Really?).

 

4. HORRIBLE BOSSES – This was the only comedy I saw this summer; it had some very funny trailers, the great Jason Bateman, and hey, who hasn’t had a horrible boss at one time or another? It mostly lived up to expectations, especially with a very funny turn by Jennifer Aniston away from her usual good- girl image. A little far-fetched at times, but still well worth seeing.

 

3. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 – I’ll confess I’m not the world’s biggest Harry Potter fan. Haven’t read the books; saw the first movie, and decided that was enough until I was dragged to see the Deathly Hallows Part 1 last year. That film was decent enough, although given that it stops midway through the story, it was a little unsatisfying. So I decided I’d give the second part a shot, and I was actually pretty impressed; it’s a dramatic story, centered around some intriguing arcane lore, and you really don’t need to be a devotee of the series to get a thrill out the great special effects and intense action scenes.

 

2. THOR – I grew up with the Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz run on Thor, and the prospect of a big-screen adaptation of this larger-than-life mythological being, who comes to our world armed only with his godly strength and his mighty hammer to save us, had me really excited. Marvel Studios didn’t disappoint. It seems almost cliché that Kenneth Branagh, known for his Shakespearean productions, should direct a movie with a character known for that kind of talk, but surprisingly the result wasn’t faux-Shakespeare, but simply a great adaptation of a great character. And the jerks screaming about Idris Elba have egg all over their faces, given his commanding performance.

 

1. CAPTAIN AMERICA – This clearly wasn’t just the summer of the superhero movie; it was the summer of the Marvel superhero movie. It was a close battle for first place in my eyes between Thor and Captain America, but Cap ultimately wins out because the director, writers, and perhaps most importantly, actor Chris Evans, captured what is so difficult for many who aren’t familiar with the character to understand; Captain America is not about mindless flag-waving patriotism; it’s about a man with ideals, who struggles against overwhelming odds to live up to them. It’s a message we could all learn from in this age of cynicism.

Flannel Guy

5. SUPER 8 – This movie kicked off my summer and did it so in the most magical way possible. It was like Sandlot meets ET meets Cloverfield…and I gotta tell ya, that’s a winner in my book. JJ Abrams does it again and with such an amazing cast, you wouldn’t believe they were under 21. Hell, you wouldn’t believe they were under 15. These kids knocked this movie out of the park with humor, suspense and even a great love story. I sat there in the first 15 minutes wanting to see alien/monster goodness, but as I kept watching, I just wanted more screen time with the kids, making movies….because I felt I was right there with em’.

4. HORRIBLE BOSSES – Talk about cast. Wow. That alone is worth the 10 bazillion bucks it cost for the movies. Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Anniston, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx and new comers (and awesome duo in Going the Distance) Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day all did such a stupendous job making  up for what was Hang Over 2. Just a breath of fresh air in a summer filled with sequels. From the reason to why they want to kill their bosses to why they need to, just makes for a clever comedy that provided little downtime….and hopes, maybe Horrible Bosses might see another summer of sequels.

3. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS – This was a summer of Action, let alone sequels. We had Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern, Transformers and a few other Blockbusters….but nothing compared to Matthew Vaugn’s reinvention of the X-Men franchise. What was intended to jump start the franchise in an Episode 1 esque fashion ended up being better than the other 3 and most certainly better than that solo Wolverine disaster. This flick was dark, villains were evil, special effects were undeniably awesome and wrapped up to be a super hero flick filled with supers that is on par with Nolan’s Batmans. This was the Xavier and Magneto I’ve been dying to see and hope we at least get another flick or 2 from them.

2. CAPTAIN AMERICA –  Indiana Jones had sex with the Rocketeer and had Cap as their baby. I think this was a film that had a lot of people skeptical. Both fan boys and movie goers. This was a period piece with Chris Evans as yet, another super hero. But I gotta tell ya, he owned it! From the scrawny Hobbit to the Super Soldier, I believed Evans every step of the way that he loved his country and he would do anything to save it. It was the grenade scene that sold me in the trailer to go see it and it was the movie that will have me owning it. This was exactly the right way to get us prepared for the Avengers movie and Chris Evans was the missing piece that just might make it one of the baddest assiest super hero films OF ALL TIME.

1. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – Wow, even typing it is a pain…but worth it because as awesome as Super 8 kicked off my summer, Rise definitely wrapped it up nicely. I have no idea if this was an intended prequel or jumpstart to a new waive of Ape  films, but this was just a great flick and stands on it’s on 2 feet either way. The effects were amazing…and maybe even Oscar worthy. You’ll probably even root more for the apes than the humans because Caesar…the cgi monkey, actually gave the best performance! Yes, I think the scariest thing about this film is that CGI characters are on their way to stealing the movie, but that’s fine by me.

 

Wedge Wegman

5. SUPER 8 – This film would be higher on my list if it weren’t for the “letting go of the past” crap they tried to shove in as a message.  (Really??  The kid’s mother only died months before, wearing a locket with her photo is NOT unhealthy.)  The children, a larval stage of human that I usually dislike, were (for the most part) surprisingly good actors.  The concept was a little weak, but the alien was cool.  The Goonies of 2011, ladies and gentlemen.


4.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS – I know a lot of you didn’t care for this film…..but the UST between Professor X and Magneto made my inner fan-fiction adoring teenager geek out.  It made me revisit my old Mulder/Skinner stories that I TOTALLY DON’T have saved on my computer from 1997.  Extra points for Kevin Bacon.


3. THOR
– Beautiful animation is what put this film on my list.  And Natalie Portman, who I have had a bit of a crush on for many years.  It wasn’t as AWESOME as Iron Man, that’s for fucking sure, but it was a fun film and at least it was more entertaining than that Captain America bullshit.  It got me excited for The Avengers, something that I really wasn’t before.  So, it did it’s marketing job.


2. TROLL HUNTER
– The Scandinavians are starting to take over the Koreans as my favourite region producing foreign films.  First “Rare Exports” and now this?!??  This film had some great CGI and didn’t skimp out on letting the audience see those pesky trolls.  Great acting and a decent plot, also I have a weakness for doc/mocumentaries so I was hooked from the first time I heard about it.  And it’s super low budget proves that you don’t always need money to make a good film.


1. APOLLO 18
– Honestly, it wasn’t a great summer for films.  This is my #1 only because they did it mocumentary/exposition style and because MOON SPIDERS ARE FUCKING COOL.  This is one film that I can now point to when people complain that the monster wasn’t given enough screen time.  The small bit of screen time that they gave to the moon spiders was just enough to creep me out and let my imagination fill in the blanks.  Of course…..I went home and looked up screenshots of closeups like any hotblooded geek.  Cinema magic be damned.  I have the interwebs.

 Johnny Destructo

5. Kung-Fu Panda 2 – I didn’t have any interest in the original Kung-Fu Panda came out, despite my love for Kung-Fu and Pandas. Gawd-DAMN they’re cute little fuckers. I know right? Why wouldn’t I want to see that? So imagine my surprise when it quickly jumped to the top of my POP5 Animated Films About Comically Large Animals Learning Martial Arts. And then they had to go and make another one! The BALLS on these people. There’s no way that this new one is going to be anything but a lame rehasOH-SHIT-IT’S-AWESOME! Yup, it was even better than the first one.

4. Bridesmaids – This is a movie that is far funnier than it has any right to be. Woman? Cracking jokes? Yeah right, ladies, try getting back into the kitchen where you belong and leave the funny stuff to fat dudes. This movie was hilarious and I can’t wait to see it again!

3. Thor – I was a little worried about this one. I’ve never care about Thor as a character, but by Odin’s Beardcrumbs, this movie was awesome! As soon as it came out, I KNEW, without a shadow of a doubt that it was destined to be the best comic book related film of the summer!

2. Captain America: The First Avenger – Well, shit. There went that idea. Captain America was even BETTER than THOR?!? I HATE Captain America! The man is pure propaganda! He doesn’t even have America-powers! He only has a shield! It doesn’t make any sense, but it works. And it works pretty damn well on screen. (I still think that Red Skull should have been less latex-y, less red and more scary, but still)

1. X-Men: First Class – Without any doubt in my mind, this was the movie of the summer for me. If there is any argument on your part, you just haven’t seen it yet. 😉

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4 Comments to “Pop5: Movies of the Summer!”

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  1. Grim_Noir says:

    I know, I know, I’m the guy that always pushes an “anime agenda” on the site, but the only thing I wanna add to your list(s) is the AMAZING “Summer Wars” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsLwVoZqEjk). It was supposed to have a limited run last year, but was delayed until late Spring 2011. The DVD is out now and deserves a helluva lot more attention than it got in the theaters.

    “Listen to me now and believe me later…”

  2. jaydee says:

    Thanks, Grim! I’ll have to check that out!!

  3. jaydee says:

    Grim: Holy crap, that looks pretty great. It says from the director of The Girl Who Lept Through Time…have you seen that one?

  4. Grim_Noir says:

    “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is also a good movie, but it is a little slower paced and a bit time-twisty in its plotting.

    I liked it, however, I would say check out “Summer Wars” first and if you like that, then, by all means, move on to “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” …

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