Saturday, July 6, 2013

Weekend Weigh-in: What is the Ultimate Summer Movie?

The Weekend Weigh-in is back!

WW-i took a a month-long break during Junesploitation, but now it's back and better the same as ever!

The summer movie is more than halfway over, and I have found it to be alternately depressing and disappointing overall. Have summer movies just changed, or are they really not the same as they used to be? What is the ultimate summer movie? And can I just watch that instead?


  1. I don't know that any summer blockbuster has ever truly topped Jaws, which is one of those elusive "perfect movies" we talk about here and there. It's still scary even if you've seen it 20 times, it's got real flesh-and-blood characters, great quotable dialogue, and it's entertaining as movies get. It's the dragon all the other summer movies have been chasing for almost 40 years now, a movie that works as pure popcorn entertainment as well as being a genuinely great movie where all the pieces just clicked into place despite bloating budgets, a crazed shooting schedule, and a highly undependable mechanical shark. One of the few movies you can use as an example that just because a movie is wildly popular doesn't mean it has to be brain-dead and committed to making things go boom louder than all the other movies.

  2. I'm going to go with the first movie that occurred to me, Jurassic Park.

    As for your questions.

    Name any summer when the movies were good, and someone can name a year they were bad.

    If we sit around talking about the great summer movies, they'll probably be from different years. We have 100+ years of film making and we're comparing those to this year. All the good movies from all those years are jumping out, while we forget the bad ones.

    The Summer Blockbuster as a thing HAS changed. Or rather it has evolved over time. You can watch a progression towards "safer" movies, those with guaranteed results. The formula is more obvious and rigidly followed than it was before.

  3. Jaws, of course. To kind of echo JP, it's a summer blockbuster that's genuinely awesome, entertaining and scary without being stupid. There are other summer movies that are great, but none that reach the level of quality that Jaws attains.

  4. I gotta go with Jaws 2, and by 2 I mean "as well". It just doesn't get any better - when I think "summer" I think "watching a 10 year old get eaten by a shark".

    Yes, you can and should just watch that instead.

  5. Die Hard. Best summer blockbuster and Christmas movie too! Always an excuse to watch the greatest action film ever not once, but twice a year!

  6. I could not agree more with the choices of Jaws and Jurassic Park. (Jurassic Park was actually the movie that came first to my mind.)

    However, I will go in a different direction for my answer and give a movie that to me embodies summer. The summers that meant the most, to me at least, were those experienced when I was in grade school. And the film that for me most exemplifies those lazy childhood summer days filled with the promise of adventure is Stand By Me (1986).

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  8. For me it's The Dark Knight. It had the fun hook of Batman vs Joker coupled with the thought provoking arc of Harvey Dent.

    I don't buy into the premise that "feel good" = better or more summer appropriate or whatever the underlying idea there is. I nearly always find tragedies or ambiguous endings more thought provoking, and I find thought provoking a more satisfying experience, regardless of what time of the year or is.

  9. I'll have to echo the sentiment of a lot of other posters and go with Jurassic Park cause my goodness it just has every damn thing you could want,

    Great Action(T-Rex attacks and Raptor attacks)
    Great Comedy "Johh when the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down the pirates don't eat the tourists"
    Awesome Deaths (T-Rex toilet and clever girl)

    This movie was Spielberg's last perfect film, he's made some very good movies since and came close to perfect IMO with Catch Me if You Can. I really hope the new JP 4 director Colin Trevorrow can deliver on his "I want it to feel like the last day of school" promise.

    If it wasn't for that though then yes Jaws totally all the way.

  10. The Original Star Wars Trilogy