The Summer is Complete!

Dear blog readers, the summer is complete.  Self has seen all the action and/or special effects movies that are available to be seen in multiplexes right now (with the exception of The Conjuring — self hates horror movies.  She skipped Saw, The Ring and its sequels, all the Nightmare on Elm Street sequels, and all the Exorcist sequels.  The only time she can take horror is when it’s science fiction horror, like Alien or Predator).

This summer, self has seen:

  • The Lone Ranger
  • Man of Steel
  • Pacific Rim (Self attended the first screening in the Redwood City Century 20, earlier today)
  • Star Trek:  Into Darkness (a disappointment)
  • White House Down (Mah Man Chan is in top form!)
  • World War Z

The only one that made her fall asleep was Man of Steel.  And the best of the lot is definitely Pacific Rim.  That’s because Pacific Rim was directed by Guillermo del Toro.  And he is way more refined than Michael Bay.  That is, he never does action just for action’s sake.

In Pacific Rim, he does great with a No-Name actor in the lead (though, if the young man does have a name, self would like to apologize in advance).  And with minor characters, like that small guy with the distinctive voice from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  And most of the extras are Asian, which would remind self every so often that there is a reason this movie is called Pacific Rim.  And it held true to all the summer action movie tropes, such as:


  • Opening with a big bang:  whatever you do, dear blog readers, do not miss the opening sequence. If you happen to be a die-hard popcorn aficionado, and are debating whether to line up for popcorn or head straight for the movie, dispense with the popcorn.  Because the first five minutes of Pacific Rim are where you get reminded of all the Godzilla movies you’ve ever seen (and even a few of those you haven’t) and nothing transports you to your childhood quicker than a really scary opening sequence involving monsters.
  • When a character nuzzles his dog for perhaps a beat or two longer than is absolutely necessary, you can be 100% sure that the character will shortly be mincemeat.
  • When there is extreme altitude loss, and the hero is involved, and his life hangs in the balance, and you and everyone else in the audience is on the edge of your seat, there can only be one outcome:  the hero will survive!  Not only will he survive, his smooching abilities will be greatly enhanced.  Because in the back of the hero’s mind will undoubtedly be the thought:  “Life’s too short!”  And so he will (naturalmente) throw all caution to the winds and plant a big, juicy wet one on the most attractive of his female co-stars.
  • When there are robots, there will be extreme mechanical malfunctions.

Not since Predator 2, dear blog readers, has self watched any movie that held more stringently to its genre tropes.

Hugely satisfying, an A+ experience.

That said, Mick La Salle of the San Francisco Chronicle was extremely cruel and mocking in his review of The Lone Ranger. He said Armie Hammer played The Lone Ranger like an “antihero imbecile.”  (OMG, has the man never heard the words “screwball comedy” before?)  He also called TLR the “worst movie of the year.”  The cartoon that accompanies his review in the Datebook actually shows an empty seat.

Well, self would just like to inform Mr. La Salle that there are many, many things worse than spending two hours in a movie theater watching Armie Hammer.  For instance, one could be watching a really depressing documentary about bulimia.  Or one could be watching a Michael Bay movie.  Or one could be with The Man in one of his Bad Mood Days, in which case he’ll be making maximum divertissement with the popcorn bucket.  Or one could be watching a French thriller, one not starring Gerard Depardieu.

Dear Mick raved about White House Down, and although self thinks Chan was extremely excellent and convincing in it, no way does this movie earn the top accolade (of a man jumping out of his seat).  It was OK, of course — any movie with Chan is OK — but if Chan hadn’t been in it, it would have been a “C” in self’s book.

There is one movie about which La Salle and self agree, however, and that is James Franco and Seth Rogen’s This Is the End.  It was truly hilarious (though, come to think of it, there are a lot of laughs, too, in Pacific Rim).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


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