Summer Movie Wrap-up -mts

Alex Schaaf

As we settle back into our school lives here at Lawrence, it is important to take the time to pay tribute to the cinematic successes of the summer and to take the failures out to the parking lot and beat them until they promise to never come back in, especially not in sequel form.
This past summer provided a few gems in the theaters, a few near misses, and a whole lot of “even Christopher Walken can’t save this one” movies.
The hit of the summer was clearly “Superbad.” A late bloomer, coming out in late August, “Superbad” is “that” movie of the year, the one that will be quoted over and over again for the next few months.
It is also the “oh no, Mom and Dad, you do NOT want to see that one, I just don’t think you’d find it funny” movie, where the appearance of anyone over the age of 40 in the theaters makes all the teenagers squirm.
With more jokes about the male reproductive organ than all other movies of the year combined, excluding “Knocked Up,” we were finally presented with a movie that showed high school life as it is, not filtered through a PG-13 content censor, or beefed up to include ridiculous plot lines.
My only fear is that the movie will be doomed to a “Napoleon Dynamite,” or “Anchorman” destiny. We all have “that friend” who speaks solely in movie quotes, and overuses catchphrases — “McLovin!” — from legitimately good movies to the point that you never want to hear about the movie again.
So please, people, refer to “Superbad” in moderation, and only when said quotation will guarantee you points with the ladies.
Another keeper for the summer was “The Bourne Ultimatum.” If any movie can be truly described as “kick-ass,” this is it. The only other action film of the summer that came close was “Live Free or Die Hard,” and, let’s get real, a car flying through the air knocks down a helicopter? I think I’ll stick with Bourne.
Jason Bourne is a thinking man’s Jack Bauer, with the Bourne movies being like a season of “24” that actually makes sense, and could happen in the real world.
If “Superbad” got you motivated to finally talk to that girl across the hall, or to finally throw a decent party, “The Bourne Ultimatum” got you motivated to go for a jog across some rooftops, or to beat the hell out of someone just for the fun of it.
On the other side of the spectrum, we had plenty of movies that should not have made it out of the writers’ minds onto paper in the first place. “Hot Rod”? “Balls of Fury”? “Rush Hour 3”? Please.
First of all, “Hot Rod” was sort of like “Napoleon Dynamite,” except not even remotely funny. It tried to pull off the random, meaningless plot that survives on memorable characters and witty one-liners, but just became a boring movie with an astoundingly ridiculous plot.
Aspiring writers, hear this: If you ever come up with a plot for a movie that involves a stuntman raising money to save his stepfather’s life so that he can beat him in a fight, therefore earning his respect, please, just quit life now, before you affect anyone else around you.
The same goes for “Balls of Fury.” While usually any film can be saved by the presence of Christopher Walken, this one just never had a chance.
A few laughs were had, I’ll admit, but overall I just kept hoping that one of those poison darts that Walken’s “assistant” kept shooting would somehow make it through the screen and into my neck, therefore ending my obligation to watch the rest of the movie.
Anyway, the point is that these movies, along with “Rush Hour 3,” and several others, should have been left on the drawing table, for the sake of young minds everywhere. Think of the children, Hollywood. Think of the children.