Monday, September 01, 2008


If last year's award season wasn't enough, it turns out that apocalyptic times also produce brilliant summer movies.

Not that you needed any reminding, but it's worth cataloguing:

Iron Man
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II
Pineapple Express
Tropic Thunder
Hamlet 2 (can't recommend that one highly enough. It's unbridled genius)

Of course, those are mostly the biggest hits of the summer (we've all forgotten there was an Indiana Jones movie this year).

On the other Indy front, there have been quiet films released that included two with Ben Kingsley (Elegy, The Wackness), Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World, as well as The Edge of Heaven, Man on Wire, and Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg. Depending on where you were, you caught these between your Batman screenings, or perhaps you're about to get them.

Of course, I listed three comedies, failing to include M. Night Shyamalan's howler from the very start of summer. Funny, funny stuff, Manoj, and don't worry, you won't catch us eying your lemon-drink much longer.

Most years, we'd have had movies about as good (but usually not) as The Incredible Hulk, which itself was really (thankfully) a prelude to the greatest superhero movie of all time. Before that, with Iron Man, we got the second greatest. Maybe it's better to conclude that we witnessed the greatest Marvel movie and the greatest DC movie that we're ever going to, respectively.

Aside from that, it'd be a shame to forget the greatest animated movie I've seen since at least Finding Nemo, Pixar's beautiful, timely, ethical, mind-expanding visual masterpiece (perhaps their greatest visual work), Wall*E. If there was a film of more character, conscience and decency released in the recent past I can't remember it, and I dare you to.

The industry has attempted to cloud this otherwise brilliant, rich, character filled summer season with mummies and disaster movies and dangerous bangkoks, but audiences for those films have short, stoned, adolescent memories (though Pineapple Express probably served them well)

American films are back.

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