New Jack City: KC’s Celluloid Movie Summer—The Good. The Bad. The Easily Forgettable

As Kansas City’s movie summer flickers to a screeching halt let’s reflect on what approximately $4.4 billion in North American ticket sales bought moviegers at the nation’s boxoffices.

Here then my take on the endless summer of 2011

First there were the this summer’s three major sleeper hits

Translation: Pictures that far exceeded expectations and where great word-of-mouth built their ongoing performance

* Judd Apatow’s BRIDESMAIDS written by and starring Kristen Wiig. This one started out totally as a chick flick. But once the guys discovered it they loved it just as much!
 
* The Woody Allen written and directed comedy MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Owen Wilson.
 
* THE HELP which made its debut on the weekend of August 10 in the # 2 slot and has shot up to claim # 1 status ever since. Something that almost never happens.

Biggest Summer Surprises (in a good way)
 
* RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES with James Franco.
 
* HORRIBLE BOSSES starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis.
 
* CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE with Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Julianne Moore.

Biggest Summer Disappointments (in a bad way)
 
* Cameron Diaz as BAD TEACHER
 
* Kevin James as ZOOKEEPER
 
* Tom Hanks as LARRY CROWNE
 
* Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman’s THE CHANGE-UP

Best Summer Action Flicks
 
* Vin Diesel’s FAST FIVE
 
* Ryan Reynolds as GREEN LATERN
 
* Chris Evans as CAPTAIN AMERICA

Summer ‘Tentpoles’ That Delivered As Promised
 
* HARRY POTTER AND THE DEADLY HALLOWS-PART 2
 
* PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
 
* TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

Summer ‘Tentpole’ Flame-Outs
 
* THOR
 
* COWBOYS AND ALIENS
 
* CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Best Summer Family/Animated Films
 
* KUNG FU PANDA 2
 
* CARS 2

Most Overlooked Summer Entry (i.e. deserved to do much better than it did)
 
* J.J. Abrams nostolgic Steven Spielberg tribute adventure SUPER 8
 

Best Specialty / Art House Summer Entry
 
Terrence Malick’s TREE OF LIFE starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain.

Best Picture Of The Entire Summer And Sure-Bet 2011 Oscar Contender!
 
(drum roll, please)
 
* THE HELP based on Kathryn Stockett’s best selling novel of the South during the 60’s with knockout performances by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jessica Chastain.
 
 
Agree or disagree, that’s my bottomless popcorn box in review and I’m sticking with it
 

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7 Responses to New Jack City: KC’s Celluloid Movie Summer—The Good. The Bad. The Easily Forgettable

  1. jon says:

    good pickin
    Damn it Jack there’s nothing in your lineup that I can disagree with. Granted we haven’t seen half of the movies you’ve listed but based on the one we have seen you’re right on. Keep the great columns coming my friend.

  2. chuck says:

    With the notable exception of “The Tree Of Life”,
    and “Midnight In Paris”, this list of eminently forgettable flicks, is as creatively vapid and vacuous as the accountant spread sheets which must be the sole motivation for pointy headed philistines who continue to provide such drivel and tripe for our mass consumption.

    I get it, that Jack’s mesure of success, is a straight line reference, from a balance sheet to success, and I understand ya gotta make money.

    Those fuckin movies suck. They are in no way worthy of a review. Fact is, that WAS the review. A working, pithy, cogent and to the point review, that works for most of the shit served up on the proletarian platter for Friday Night dinner. “Those fuckin movies suck”.

    They have their place. Like fast food they provide mental sustenance, and a distraction for the Roman mob.

    But the implication, that the moveis submitted, transcend our current and ever decreasing expectations for quality entertainment, is patently absurd.

    Those fuckin movies suck.

  3. smartman says:

    My Three Cents
    BRIDESMAIDS- This movie sucked! Wife dozed off and it made me consider turning gay.

    MIDNIGHT IN PARIS- Brilliant

    THE HELP- Good! Responsible for bringing us the 9PM curfew

    RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES- I’ll pass on this. Too much art imitating life for me.

    HORRIBLE BOSSES-Confirmed my belief that Jen Aniston is a SQUIRTER.

    CRAZY, STUPID,LOVE-Best ending since SIXTH SENSE.

    Did not waste my money on these:
    BAD TEACHER ZOOKEEPER
    LARRY CROWNE
    THE CHANGE-UP
    FAST FIVE
    GREEN LATERN
    CAPTAIN AMERICA HARRY POTTER AND THE DEADLY HALLOWS-PART PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES

  4. Craig Glazer says:

    Nice Job Jack
    Jack, you do such a great job, really. I have to admit I trust your picks. So if you say don’t go, I don’t, if you say worth the trip I go. So far you’ve been right each time. Thank you.

  5. Blackjack says:

    Your three cents ain’t worth a nickel!
    Smartman, please go back to your day job. Because your feedback on movies is absolutely horrendous! You must be trying to be sarcastic or something.

  6. Rick says:

    Smartman you’re not???
    Gay????

    I agree with Glazer about Jack’s predictions other then Green Lantern which was miscast.

    Now if Glazer could just get Jack’s track record in regards to picking winners………

    Also didn’t anyone think it was a sign months ago that a certain poster was at the beginning stages of losing her mind when she talked about how BAD The Help was. Should of been a clue folks.

  7. PB says:

    Another…
    …who agrees mostly with Jack at least as far as those I’ve seen.

    Few exceptions:

    Somewhat disappointed in Rise of the Apes. Starts out strong, like the smaller human-chimp relationship movie that took up the first 2/3s of the film, lost me with the rushed, big-action ending.

    Disagree with a couple of your flameouts although I’m guessing you were speaking more from a box-office perspective, but I liked (mostly) Cowboys & Aliens and to a lesser extent, Thor. Good summertime movies. I’d also add one that you seemed to have overlooked, X-Men: First Class to that mix.

    Maybe a weaker than normal summer, but it’s just wrong to say everything sucks. Obviously most summer films are made to lure in audiences with explosions, effects and attractive stars for our overheated, short attention spans. If you only want French New Wave and intelligent documentaries, subscribe to Netflix.

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