By Oliver Joszt
For four months a year, movie theaters are usually dominated by a series of noisy and extravagant blockbusters with little artistic value or originality. Yet, this summer has shown that things have begun to change.
One cannot think of this summer movie season without thinking of one of the best (if not the best) superhero movie ever made: The Dark Knight. Even calling it a superhero movie may not do it justice. One can see it as a highly engulfing and engrossing crime-action thriller.
The Dark Knight has redefined what people know about the possibilities of comic book movies. Director Christopher Nolan touches upon deep fears, traumas, fantasies and hopes that are rarely ever seen in big-budget films.
However, it is Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker that pushes the film to definitive greatness because he is supremely sinister to watch. The Joker is a walking nightmare with his ratty purple suit, blondish green hair and smoldering makeup. His scarred mouth is more often a smirk than a smile and is downright stomach-turning.
But The Dark Knight wasn’t the only great movie of the summer. Pixar’s Wall-E captured the hearts of all who saw it and has grown to be one of Pixar’s best films. It’s not only a captivating animated film, but also a visual accomplishment. Each scene involves great thoughts and ideas, instead of senseless actions that fill most cartoons.
The movie works amazingly with barely any spoken dialogue. Wall-E expresses everything he needs to say with body language. The movie hearkens back to early Walt Disney stories where dialogue was not needed to capture human expression in the broadest sense. Don’t pass on your chance to see this movie just because it is an animated film.
Nevertheless, with every summer there is always a movie that leaves audiences with mixed feelings. No arguments were more rampant and and widespread than those that arose over Hancock and a sub-plot involving Charlize Theron’s character. Some people believe that the unforeseen twist turns an action-comedy into a bad soap opera. Others believe that with this twist the movie begins to progress, and so does Hancock; he grows, he learns and he tries.
Whether Hancock is a movie that ends up being confusing or a great superhero film is something that only the viewer can decide.
Not all of the summer movies left audiences varied on whether they thought it was good or bad. Some were just universally accepted as terrible. The Happening is one of those movies. After Signs, M. Night Shyamalan has struggled to make another high-quality film. With The Happening, Shyamalan hit a new low point. Instead of scares, Shyamalan has produced an unintentional comedy.
I won’t spoil the theory surrounding the film, but it is one of the most ridiculous things to be featured in cinema in a while. Shyamalan showed so much promise less than a decade ago with films like The Sixth Sense and Signs, but has been slowly diminishing from becoming a prominent, or even good, filmmaker.
However, do not be limited just by the movies mentioned here. There still are movies out there that are worth your time and money (Iron Man) and some that you would be better off never laying eyes on (Speed Racer). Make up your own mind and see whatever summer movie you still can before they fade away like a summer’s day.