Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekly Top Ten #7- Best Summer Movies

Weekly Top Ten- #7


Even though the official day of summer is June 21st, the summer movie season usually begins the first weekend in May. Some years, as early as March. It usually depends on what is being released and when, and soon enough the competition begins. I know the weather lately in June has been disappointing and it certainly hasn't felt like summer, but big summer movies are piling up now and beginning to make bank at the box office.

I decided this is the perfect time to reflect upon my favorite summer movies. Each movie on this list was released in the summer months, whether or not it was a big moneymaker I don't know for sure, but when I watch these movies I think summer. I bet you will too.

One thing you'll notice off the bat is that a lot of these titles are older films. For me personally, I feel the best films have made their way to that pedestal by time. I feel like I have lived with each movie on this list for awhile, therefore they make the list. Someday when more recent titles have lived with me for a bit, they could top the list eventually. The best thing about movies in general is that nothing about your opinion is ever set in stone and you can change your mind at anytime. My list of favorite films of all times changes at least once a year, so keep that in mind as you read along.

10. Con Air (1997)
Originally released in early June in 1997, "Con Air" told the story of a man going home after serving a sentence in prison for accidentally killing a man in a bar fight. On the flight home, the convicts he shares the plane with take over and begin causing all types of trouble. Nic Cage's southern accent maybe atrocious, but the rest of the film is adventurous, funny, and full of action. You can learn several different ways to kill human beings (not that any of you honestly wonder about that.) It is truly one big fun movie, and its a movie revisit ever so often.

9. Armageddon (1998)
This film was almost universally panned by critics, and I understand why. It's a loud, silly movie. With hilariously logic-less scenes at every corner. But "Armageddon" was one of my oldest, fondest memories of going to the movies with my brother and Dad. And still to this day, despite all of its silliness, I get wrapped up in it pretty easily. That's because the cast, which includes Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thorton, Liv Tyler, William Fichtner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Owen Wilson and Steve Buscemi all make you believe in the absurdities of the film. I laugh and cry every time and I am not ashamed.

8. Jurassic Park (1993)
Even though I was incredibly young when this film first hit the theaters, I remember a trip to the theater with my brother and grandparents to see "Dennis The Menace." I remember the huge line to get in and every person in front of us was buying a ticket to "Jurassic Park." Apart of me has always wished I could have been a little bit older when "Jurassic Park" first came out, just so I too could get caught up in its energy. But still to this day, this film shocks, charms, scares and delights me to the bone. I can't ask for a better feeling from a summer movie.

7. Back to the Future (1985)
Not only is this one of my favorite sci/fi films ever made, I love that it came out in summer and was a huge hit too. Even though we live in world with much better special effects compared to those of 1985, "Back to the Future" never ceases to astound me. Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox are still wonderful to watch all these years later, and I can't wait to share this with my kids someday.

6. E.T. (1982)
Usually, when you think of summer movies, you think big actors, bigger explosions, guns, bombs, hot suns and high concepts. But sometimes, a film smaller in scale and dramatic in storytelling can make the box office soar. Even in the summertime. Which is what happened back in 1982 with "E.T." The secret weapon to E.T. is how amazingly it creates emotions. Who would of thought a little alien could punch you so hard in the heart, but Spielberg pulled it off.

5. The Rock (1996)
"The Rock" is easily the best pure action movie ever made. It's got hilarious one-liners, big action, lots of stuff goes boom, fast cars, good-looking women and they cast Sean Connery in the movie. He's an old man that can still kick a lot of ass, which makes me happy every time I watch it. I never thought that someone like Nic Cage could have great chemistry with someone like Connery but they are a perfect match.

4. Ghostbusters (1984)
High-concept comedies barely ever work, but that is the genius of "Ghostbusters," This movie does something which has never really worked since, it puts special effects together with a great comedy. Usually when you think of comedy you don't think of something giant or grand in scale, but that is what I love about "Ghostbusters." This movie not only is a great summer movie, but one of my favorite films of all time.

3. The Dark Knight (2008)
I know I just talked about above how you wouldn't see many recent films on this list, but sometimes when you recognize something so great, you got to show love. "The Dark Knight" still remains an experience I never believed I had. It's odd in the fact that it doesn't feel like a summer film, even despite making a billion dollars worldwide. It never once feels like a superhero movie, but that is what is great about it. Its a reminder of an important lesson for all upcoming filmmakers, when you make a movie its a chance to say something you have to say. No movie ever has to follow certain rules because it belongs to a certain genre. "The Dark Knight" relishes that advice and we are richer for it.

2. Star Wars (1977)
Yes, it's true I am huge Star Wars fan. I can't imagine my life without it. So of course it cracks this high on this list. Everyone knows how classic "Star Wars" is. Looking at the success it has now, I still find it funny when George Lucas discusses in interviews how he and many around him thought this idea would fail. This reinforces the idea from my above post for "The Dark Knight," if you have something to say, don't ever be afraid to say it! I so look forward to more Star Wars on the way come 2015.

1. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Indiana Jones is number one because still to this day, after views hundreds and hundreds of summer movies. I truly believe Raiders pulls off what all summer movies try to do, what the other movies on this list tried to do...but Raiders does it best. It pulls off magic. This movie is pure magic, from start to finish. It feels like lightning in a bottle. It has action, romance, scares, adventure, and great stars...what else really matters in a summer movie!?

Even though it didn't make the official list, it came pretty darn close. This is very similar to batman in the case as it was an experience I never dreamed of having. Reading comics as a young boy (and still today) I never once believed I'd ever see a superhero brought to life onscreen. When I saw that post-credits scene after "Iron Man" in was so surreal, I had to pinch myself to make sure I was alive. For five years, I hoped and prayed that "The Avengers" wouldn't suck. I was so relived just how well director Joss Whedon put the final product together, and now I can't wait for his sequel in 2015.

So that's my list. What are your favorite summer movies?

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