With the Labor Day Weekend approaching fast, it’s time to look back at the 2010 summer movie season and what it was (or more likely, at what it wasn’t). Have you ever experienced as unexciting a summer at the movies than this one? Despite it starting off with Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and the long awaited sequel Iron Man 2, summer 2010 felt very blah, and it started to feel like everyone was now impatiently for summer 2011 to come around. With the onslaught of sequels, franchise reboots, and a plethora of endless remakes, the saying that Hollywood has run out of ideas felt like it couldn’t be more true than over the past three or four months. As for independent films and documentaries, they continued to struggle in an overwhelming marketplace full of blockbusters and unrealistically hyped anticipation.
Still, there were some memorable movies out this summer both good and bad. Not everything was a washout, and around July, it started to look like Hollywood was daring to make more films that actually felt rather original. I didn’t get around to seeing all the movies I wanted to, but I wanted to take the time to list the movies from summer 2010 that I feel deserve a mention of some kind.
BEST MOVIE – Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Edgar Wright’s adaptation of the comic book series was the most fun I had at a movie all summer long, and it is certainly the most creative movie I have seen so far this year!
WORST MOVIE – The Last Airbender
No other film released this past summer solstice infuriated audiences more than this one. M. Night Shyamalan’s horrendous adaptation of the animated Nickelodeon series failed in just about every a movie could, and no one will let him forget that.
BEST SEQUEL – Toy Story 3
The third movie in a trilogy is usually where everything falls apart, but those folks at Pixar continued their run of animated epics which was just as entertaining (and perhaps even more moving) than its two predecessors.
WORST SEQUEL – Sex and the City 2
Even Sarah Jessica Parker was embarrassed at how badly this one turned out. Whatever was great about the HBO series certainly wasn’t on display here.
MOST DARING MOVIE RELEASED BY HOLLYWOOD – Inception
Christopher Nolan once again makes a brilliant movie that enthralled us as much as it made us think. Unlike other summer blockbusters, this one stayed with you long after you left the theater as you wondered if it was a dream or reality.
MOST FORMULAIC MOVIE RELEASED BY HOLLYWOOD – Prince of Persia
Despite a cast featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and the always entertaining Alfred Molina, this latest video game turned movie proved to no more special or any different from any of the other Jerry Bruckheimer productions to come out in recent years. It just makes you pine for Jack Sparrow’s return.
BEST INDEPENDENT MOVIE – Winter’s Bone
This blisteringly intense thriller featured a great breakout performance by Jennifer Lawrence, and it was far more visceral than just about every other big budgeted release to come out at the same time.
BEST COMEDY – The Other Guys
Both Will Ferrell and Mark Whalberg left us in hysterics with their take on the mismatched pair of cops who appear to be better off at desk work than being on the streets.
BEST ACTION MOVIE – The A-Team
Say what you will about The Expendables, but this big screen version of the 80’s television show was ridiculously overblown and all the more entertaining for it.
BEST ACTION HERO – Angelina Jolie for Salt
Tom Cruise would have had nothing on her in this role. She was born to play it, end of story.
MOVIES THAT DESERVED A BIGGER AUDIENCE THIS SUMMER
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World – It has made $30 million to date while The Last Airbender has made over $220 million worldwide. BLASPHEMY!!!
MacGruber – I don’t care what anybody says, this was hilarious and easily the best SNL movie in over a decade.
The Kids Are All Right – It didn’t do badly, but more people need to see it.
Middle Men – Well done Goodfellas-like movie that spans over a number of years and is about the beginnings of internet porn that was directed by Midnight Run screenwriter George Gallo.
Knight and Day – Regardless of what you think of Tom Cruise, seeing him let loose in this film was a blast.