The Summer Movie Showdown
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The summer line-up was pretty predictable. Theaters 1 through 7 showed sequels and remakes, theaters 8 through 11 showed lackluster blockbusters, and theater 12 had “Inception.” With only so many choices and rising ticket prices this summer, people were nearly forced to choose very carefully what to see. in five categories, two movies face off in a summer movie showdown. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and box-office earnings based on boxofficemojo.com and critical reactions of the Hollywood Reporter and Roger Ebert will now gauge the successes or lack thereof. This is not an exact science, but a number 1 through 10 is given based on the two categories. whoever has the most points wins.
-— Compiled by Melissa Cohen
“Inception,” written and directed by Christopher Nolan (“The dark Knight”), has been a top earner and top crowd pleaser since its release on July 16. With an all-star cast including Leo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page, one might have expected something a bit overdone and a bit hokey. however, the careful balance between an intensely complicated screenplay, star filled cast, and astounding cinematography put “Inception” at the beginning of the race for best film of the summer, and perhaps of 2010 thus far. Critics agree. four stars, two thumbs up, and a big round of applause. Having earned $67.8 million its opening weekend and a domestic total thus far of more than $237 million, “Inception” has won over the fans and the box office race for the thriller category. however, “Inception” earned only about a third of the opening weekend winnings of “The dark Knight.”
“Salt” suffers from a bad case of the cliché trailer. People feel as though maybe they have seen the Russian spy movie once before. oh yeah, like the entire cold War. Therefore, the high-voltage thriller starring goddess of cinema Angelina Jolie has not quite lived up to its potential, financially speaking. however, critics seem to consider “Salt” a “damn fine thriller … It’s gloriously absurd,” said Roger Ebert. Jolie is Jane Bond. so, with an opening weekend of only $36 Million, the showing “Salt” gives at the box office does not quite live up to its potential. but in a summer full of sequels and remakes, both this movie and “Inception” have been quite a breath of fresh air.
“Despicable Me” transforms the bad guy into the good guy with hilarity and energy. Such a task shan’t be an easy one for an animated film catering to a young audience with the notion of clear-cut heroes and villains. Furthermore, it features the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, will Arnett, Russell Brand and Julie Andrews. Earning a respectable $215 million since its opening on July 7, “Despicable Me” has pulled through as a solid competitor to be this year’s “Up.”
“Toy story 3” was my personal favorite movie of the summer. I often yearn for those Disney/Pixar movies of yore, and this movie filled my craving. the seamless and touching story of familiar characters helps unite generations of cartoon watchers. Time Magazine considers “Toy story 3” as quite possibly the best Pixar movie ever made. Though this may or may not be true, other (not all) critics concur regarding its cinematic merit. and it was by far the most profitable movies of the summer, raking in nearly $400 million in domestic earnings, and $110 million opening weekend.
“TOY STORY 3” WINS
Will Ferrell has been so hit and miss lately. Remember “Semi-Pro?” This time around, a jovial yin and yang pair of cops slapstick their way fighting crime, all the while resulting in a surprisingly fantastic bromantic comedy. from the director of “Step Brothers” and “Talladega Nights,” “The Other Guys” has proven to be “arrestingly funny,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. however, not even mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes and Samuel L. Jackson can rake in more than $35.5 million opening weekend. but it took over the number one spot this week, so…
“Dinner for Schmucks” was released just one week before “The Other Guys,” and has seemed to already be forgotten by its target audience. the occasional laughs don’t add up to a worth-while, well-rounded comedy. a remake of the French film, “Le Diner de Cons,” “Dinner for Schmucks” lacks the European sense of ironic timing and instead turns to the cheap laughs of Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis. yes, these men are beloved in our culture, and particularly us college kids. and yes, uber-critic Ebert gives “Schmucks” 3 of 4 stars, but box office goers seem to gravitate towards other choices this movie season.
“THE OTHER GUYS” WINS
Check back tomorrow for the second installment of our summer movie roundup.
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