Saturday, September 2, 2023

How’d You Spend the 99 Days of Summer 2023 (Part 1)?

Scott D. Parker

I read at lot and watched a lot of movies.

There. End of post. See ya.

What did I see and read? I'll recap the reading next week. Here's what I watched...and hopefully you did, too.

Summer 2023 Movies Were Great

When was the last time we had a summer movie season like this? I think many of us earmarked certain dates on the calendar to get ourselves to the movie theater. I did that nearly every weekend this year. The end result was that, with the exception of the Pixar film, Elemental, I saw every movie I wanted to see this summer. And I enjoyed just about every one of them.

The nostalgia of seeing Michael Keaton as Batman was one of the highlights. The film was quite good and I seriously loved the cameos. Speaking of nostalgia, it was great to see Indiana Jones one last time in a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. Heck, it even prompted me to rematch Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls (and it’s not as bad and you or I remember).

And how visually stunning was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse? Is that the best example of what you can do with animation to tell a rich, engrossing story like that? Asteroid City was another example of a visually interesting movie by local Houstonian, Wes Anderson.

Then there was Barbenheimer. Two great films, polar opposites, but the same weekend. The wife and I saw Oppenheimer on opening night. How stunning was it that a 3-hour movie largely consisting of people in rooms talking went by so fast? And that last line? Barbie was phenomenal. I found myself laughing one moment and tearing up the next. Such a bold, fresh, exuberant film. It’s probably the best of the summer.

But not my favorite. I only saw one movie twice in the theaters and that was Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Part 1. It’s all there, in this film, everything you’ve come to love about M:I films, and this time, we get Henry Czerny back, chewing up scenery and dialogue. Hailey Atwell is a great addition to the franchise, and her chemistry with Tom Cruise is right there on the screen. And that final sequence…with the train? Fantastic. Just as breathless the second time as the first…and I knew what was coming. Love, love, love.

I saw an enjoyed other new films including Meg 2 (it’s exactly what you think it’ll be), Haunted Mansion, and, after watching the first one, Book Club 2. How frigging charming are those movies? More please.

I had the hankering to watch Mad Max: Fury Road (the fourth one) but after about 30 minutes, my wife suggested we go all the way back and start with the original. After the first two (which were interesting), she told me that I was going to feel compelled to watch Thunderdome but that I shouldn’t. She nailed it. What the heck was that? Fury Road was quite good.

There was some great TV as well. The finale of Ted Lasso! Season two of The Bear, especially that episode entitled “Forks.” A stunning hour of television. The old TV series “Brothers and Sisters” and our new favorite thing we’re catching up on: Parenthood. Oh, and on Netflix, there’s a spellbinding documentary called “Cave of Bones.”

Those are the highlights of what I watched this summer. Come back next week when I talk about what I read.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

We certainly have similar tastes. It was a good summer for movies indeed. Also enjoyed THEATER CAMP and PAST LIVES.