Feature: Summer 2009 Roundup, Part 1



Every year in May, the biggest of movies are released by Hollywood. These movies are fitted with the hottest of stars, tried and tested formulae like superheroes, end of the world scenarios and established franchises in spectacularly explosive circumstances made possible by the embarrassingly huge budgets allocated to them. Why this specific time of the year? It is the beginning of summer in the western world (upper parts of northern hemisphere) and the attendance rates in theatres skyrocket as a result of the holiday season. The kids are free, lets give them a movie and then create merchandise based on the same lines for them to play with. That is their philosophy and usually it works. Year after year such movies come out and they make oodles of money, for a good reason too. The movies are visual treats couple with good film making. But this year they didnt do so well and again for a really good reason. No! It is not the recession, it is the sorry state of films.



2009 has been the year of impending or post apocalyptic future. Terminator, Transformers, 9, GI Joe and Star Trek all were either dealing with saving the planet or dealing with whats left after the worst has happened. This theme business isnt unique for this year as I am pretty sure all of you remember the Superhero Summer last year with Iron Man, Hancock and Dark Knight. Indiana Jones and James Bond arent any less than your average superheroes either as they have been still kicking some good amount of evil ass even after decades of existence. 2007 was the year of threequels, with Spidy 3, Bourne Ultimatum, Shrek the Third and Pirates of Carribean's third part too. Also the forgettable Rush Hour 3. Far too many 3's I say!

Back to disappointing 2009, I not only see many movie marvels coming out this year(oscar types) I have also been through the most boo..(yawn)...oring of so called blockbuster movies. They did not create any cinematic road blocks with showstopping marvel and they definitely dint bust any chops. JAWS would turn in its grave or maybe come back for the 20th part and still do better like in the back to the future movies. So with so many movies to cover I better get started.

1. Terminator Salvation:


Talking about bores; I start with the biggest one of the season. I dont know why Christian Bale signed up for this and he is still doing the sequel when he can earn as much as he wants doing other projects. This movie was made with a budget close to 200 million $ and earned only 125 million $ in US and 320 million$ worldwide and that means it has been an epic flop inspite of the "terminator" and Bale brand name. Except for a couple of pretty cool explosions sequences and the performance of Sam Worthington the movie had nothing. I almost fell asleep. I always though John Connor was a dud not THE Dude who was going to be leader of human resistance and this movie sets out to prove that despite the pain they take to portray his alleged heroism. Worthington's character Marcus was the star of the movie not some brainless punk Connor.


2.Angels and Demons



This movie was fun to watch as it was based on interesting source material (the book of same name) and according to many it was better than The Da Vinci Code. I beg to differ not in saying that it wasnt better but in saying that Da Vinci Code itself was a decent movie considering the material it was based on. Da Vinci

Code, the book is not as good as Angels and Demons and however people put it the movie wasnt a let down unless you are a fan. I had fun then and better fun here but at the end of the day it was just another treasure hunting save the world/city/civilization story where you follow a couple of very witty people. National Treasure took up Dan Brown's game and beat him at it considerably. Even the last Indiana Jones was a dud. But this movie does as much as can be expected from it. A lazy afternoon well spent.



This is another movie which was better than its previous installment. We all know what Michael Bay can do and expecting the moon out of him is stupid. So go in for the sickest of explosions and the coolest of graphics with IMAX sized 100% oomph called Megan Fox and you are a happy man. Michael Bay gives what every man wants and this time without the vomit inducing editing or shallower than paper characterization. Not that Martin Scorsese has possessed him but this time he does better. But yeah if you could stand the wince inducing one liners you are good to go and its a marvellous feat of human achievement, both in terms of seduction and graphics.




Leaving aside the mammoth movies for a while and dealing with the one which made the greatest waves this year for its unadulterated pure fun. The Hangover is the most hilarious fare of the year so far and was far removed from the studios bullshit. Thank Apatow for that and I must say its my favourite work from his production house. Though 40 year old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad were fun they were not as spectacular as this insane journey. The gag reel substitute at the credits is as hilarious and the very feeling that it makes you beg for more shows its Awesomeness. It was a Legendaaaary Vegas night Barney Stinson would be proud of.




Speaking of laugh riots reminds of this movie. I love the first two installments to bits and have had the time of my life actually rofling for them. Yet with all the warnings I go to this movie with not so high hopes and I am not disappointed with those who warned. The first half an hour of the film all that was

coming out the mouth was 'cliche', Cliche this and cliche that. They used everyone in the book. A heavy ode to almost every popular movie too. However things pick up with the introduction of a marvellous character called Buck. Voiced by my idol Hugh Laurie the always awesome Simon Pegg(updated), this character single handedly saves the film from mediocrity. Its get better with Scratte Scrat (update) and his two love interests. Yes there is competition to the nut. Truly brilliant score during this love triangle is one screen.

6. 9


No not a 69. Just a 9. Not even a ninth as interesting. Tim Burton picked up a short film of the same name and gave its director Shane Acker a free hand at making a movie out of it. I am pretty sure he will think now that it wasnt such a wise decision after all. Not only did it not make much money it was a drab of a movie. The 6/10 I gave it was because it was animation and it was good. Good, mind you not great like the next one. A good animation movie exploits its strength to make a compelling movie going experience. This on the other hand was just like Terminator Salvation in animation. Yes it rhymed and the movie is as cornily predictable. Not only did I know where everything was going from the beginning till the middle. The ending I couldnt predict. Sorry, because it was so bafflingly stupid or nonsensical.

7. Up


And finally one of my favourite films of the summer: Up. Pixar never fails to deliver. With this movie they have a perfect 10. 10 movies, 10 superhits. Can you believe that?! After the daringly refreshing WALL-E, Pixar is back doing what it does best. Tell a wonderfully human story touching the deep emotions with such innocence and wild fantasy that you say "choo chweet". The balloon powered house, talking dogs, hidden nature's wonders are few of the fantasy elements in this movie and it leaves you with warmth and fuzziness. But this movie wasnt perfect. The story was predictable and took the usual animation direction and dint wow me in ingenuity of plot as it did in storytelling. However as I mentioned before the character were very cute, especially the kid and the adorable couple. Must must see!



So this was one half of the summer round up of 2009 and there are many more movies to cover including the best movie of the season. So come back in a couple of days for the rest. Meanwhile leave a comment on what you thought of the above mentioned movies and the reviews.

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3 comments:

Nikki said...

Nice write up. I loved UP and transformers!

trustnoone1018 said...

"Speaking of laugh riots reminds of this movie. I love the first two installments to bits and have had the time of my life actually rofling for them. Yet with all the warnings I go to this movie with not so high hopes and I am not disappointed with those who warned. The first half an hour of the film all that was

coming out the mouth was 'cliche', Cliche this and cliche that. They used everyone in the book. A heavy ode to almost every popular movie too. However things pick up with the introduction of a marvellous character called Buck. Voiced by my idol Hugh Laurie, this character single handedly saves the film from mediocrity. Its get better with Scratte and his two love interests. Yes there is competition to the nut. Truly brilliant score during this love triangle is one screen."

WHA?? This makes no sense at all. Did you read this before you posted it?

Buck in Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was voiced by Simon Pegg. If Hugh Laurie is truly your idol, you would have instantly known that Buck was not voiced by Hugh.

And it's Scrat, not Scratte.

PS - FAIL. Dude, don't give up your day job.

Vemana said...

@Nikita Thank You

@Trustnoone1018
You seem to have so issue reading some lines, so please read them again.
Yes I am sorry about the two errors have made the changes. I confused Hugh Laurie in Monsters Vs Aliens and this.
FYI Scratte is the female companion of Scrat.

P.S: LOL. Dude I am not giving up by day jobs, none of them.