Summer of Suck

    Summer used to hold the promise of good popcorn, air-conditioned theaters and a list of good movies to watch. This past summer, however, things took a turn for the worse, with week after week of new releases that were so terrible, itís an amazement the scripts got through the door. Sure, there were some movies that were supposed to be cheesy and terrible (think flicks like ìTerminator 3î), but then there were the ones that were so hideously awful, you walked out of the theater wanting the $9 and two hours of your life back.

    And where do you begin the list? You could always start with ìGigli,î but really, who hasnít already heard enough about that film? The next-worst film would have to be ìFrom Justin to Kelly.î The most important thing to know about this movie is that watching it will force you to lose up to 400 brain cells per minute. Lowlights of the film included two hours of painfully, painfully bad dialogue, horrific acting, and the crappiest songs since ìMacarena.î Highlights? Absolutely none. There have been movies in the past that were so appalling they were actually good. This was not one of them.

    Then there was ìLegally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde.î The first ìLegally Blondeî was a lighthearted upbeat movie that had you leaving the theater smiling. On the other hand, ìLegally Blonde 2î was a dull film that only picked up towards the end. While Reese Witherspoon was delightful as always, the constant Valley-girl voice left you with a headache and an itch to slap the perkiness right out of her. The plot line was also a huge stretch and too many lines in this film were replicas of the last filmís high points.

    Like ìLegally Blonde 2,î ìAmerican Weddingî failed to live up to its predecessors. After two movies of fairly humorous gross-out jokes, the pattern falls flat and becomes dull and uninspired. Besides the lame jokes, however, the fact that many members of the original cast werenít in the movie made ìWeddingî seem pointless. And really, what happened to Mena Suvari, Chris Klein and Tara Reid? What important thing are these three doing that made it impossible for them to show up for the third film?

    Then, of course, there was ìDumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloydî a prequel to the Farrelly brother hit ìDumb and Dumber.î Like ìAmerican Wedding,î the film lacked the return of the original stars. However, unlike ìWedding,î ìDumb and Dumbererî featured no one who was involved with the original. Both of the lead actors as well as the director were new. Is there really any point to a prequel that features no elements from the original? While the first film had you screaming with laughter, this film just had you screaming for it to end.

    Not all films were wrecks, however. ìPirates of the Caribbeanî proved to be one of the best movies of the summer. Not only was the plot entertaining and engaging, the acting was some of the best all around. The always fantastic (and hot) Orlando Bloom lit up the screen as Will Turner, and the chemistry between him and co-star Kiera Knightly lit up the screen. But no one shined more than Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, however. Deppís flamboyant, over-the-top portrayal of Sparrow was the best thing about the film; the one-liners and physical gags were perfect for Depp. The combination of a brilliant script and wonderful actors helped make what seemed like a hokey film one of the most action packed, humorous movies of the summer.

    ìLíAuberge Espagnoleî was a beauty of a film. Telling the story of a group of European students living in Barcelona, ìEspagnoleî was heartwarming and lovely; the cast, featuring ìAmelieî star Audrey Tatou, meshed together brilliantly and showed just how beautiful true friendship is. The cinematography was also wonderful, making what would have been an ordinary film something stunning.

    While the indie fans were thrilled with movies like ìEspagnoleî and ìWinged Migration,î horror fans were thrilled with ìFreddy vs. Jason.î ìFreddy vs. Jasonî brought onto the big screen two of horrorís most notorious killers: Jason Voorhees (from the ìFriday the 13thî series) and Freddy Krueger (from ìNightmare on Elm Streetî). The movie was a way for horror fans to get their fill of creepiness and gore, without subjecting themselves to the ridiculousness that was ìJeepers Creepers 2.î

    There was also an element of cheese this summer. ìCharlieís Angels 2: Full Throttleî was one of the movies that you went to see just for pure entertainment. The film featured the return of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, and was just good fun. Although chock full of preposterous special effects and action, the lovely trio added humor to an otherwise silly film. While definitely not something youíd see more than once, it was a great way to use up the movie theatersí free air conditioning while turning your brain off for a while. And we mustnít forget the triumphant return of Demi Moore as the evil former Angel (letís face it, she was hot).

    Beyond these few films, however, the summer seemed completely devoid of any good movies. While some were critically acclaimed, most were total failures. While some films looked good in the previews, many were letdowns. One example was ìThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.î While the movie wasnít a complete disappointment, it wasnít nearly as good as most people expected it to be either. But then again, how could anyone really expect an action flick with heroes that included the likes of Dorian Gray, Tom Sawyer and The Invisible Man to be anything other than laughable?

    So, Hollywood, please sit up and take notice. Instead of recycling old plots and reworking comic book characters, try being creative and making films that are actually worth something. While this summer completely flopped, letís all hope that next summer will have more interesting films than ìDickie Roberts: Former Child Star.î Because, really, none of our brain cells could handle another summer of insipid films.

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