Sizzling Hot Summer Movies in Review

Reviewing this summer's cream of the crop

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Summer Snapshots: Transformers, Harry Potter, Bourne Ultimatum, The Simpsons

In the summer, it’s often difficult to transition from the academic lifestyle to the monotony of drinking, beach-going and working without craving some kind of mental stimulation. Summer films fill the intellectual void.

This year, the movie-going public had a number of releases to choose from. One of the top movies on viewers’ to-see lists was Transformers. Apart from the nostalgia factor for any twenty-something raised on the cheesy cartoon, the movie offered a host of kickass battle scenes and astounding visuals.

The portrayal of the Transformers was true to form: they exhibited action-hero determination with subtle undertones of naïeveté and wit. The film incorporated a healthy dose of humour, including the Maxim-esque cast of leading ladies against a backdrop of nerdy leading men.

Particularly noteworthy was lead actor and relative newcomer Shia LaBoeuf who showed potential as a future dramatic superstar with his ease of range and emotion, despite the film’s campiness.

Another blockbuster worth watching was the highly anticipated adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The fifth installment in the series surpassed its predecessors with action and adventure to spare.

It was a treat to watch young actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint blossom in maturity and talent. The true-to-novel representation of the mythical creatures and events proved equally satisfying. Phoenix is a definite must-see for anyone craving a healthy dose of mysticism and excitement.

In the summer of the sequel, it would be criminal " no pun intended " to miss The Bourne Ultimatum. This film includes everything the Bourne series is notable for: impressive stunts and car chases, a driven pace, and plot twists that keep the action exciting. The fast-paced cinematography helped the action unfold in a visually arresting way without slowing the plot.

Ultimatum paved the way for another sequel by leaving some questions unanswered. If this film is any indication, a fourth installment would be more than welcome.

Of course, there was the most highly anticipated movie of the decade: The Simpsons Movie. Like classic episodes of The Simpsons, the film was full of bizarre humour from start to finish. The plot " Springfield is encased in a dome to contain its toxicity " was strange enough to allow for numerous quirky twists, and the lessons learned toward the end left viewers feeling warm and fuzzy. In addition to the welcome inclusion of all townspeople in some form, Tom Hanks made a hilarious guest appearance as a government tool of coercion.

Since the summer is pretty much over and students are preparing for the trials and tribulations of first semester, one can look back on this summer’s movies and remember the good times that were had " and look forward to a killer lineup of DVDs arriving just before the exam crunch.

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