Thursday, September 18, 2008

Summer movie blockbuster review

By Rick Baustian
Cardinal Staff

After seeing the enormous pools of cash being raked in for movies this summer, it seems easy to believe that Americans could spend more money on movies than they do on food. In fact, over 2.3 billion dollars has been spent on the top ten films this year, according to the Box Office Mojo website.

So, after 2007s list of AAA threequels, how could 2008 possibly stack up? For starters, the studios took the idea of a trilogy and decided that four movies could be worth more money. Then, they looked at what had yet to become a movie and adapted away. Finally, they gave us sequels to movies that people have been wanting for some time.

The unofficial start of this year’s movie season was May 2, the day Iron Man was released. It managed to bring the so-called “B level” superhero to the big screen, earning rave reviews for Robert Downy Jr.’s performance and generating over $100 million its opening week.

Then came one of the most anticipated movies of the past decade. If it was possible to turn hype and anticipation into energy, Lucas, Spielberg and Ford could have powered a small country for a year. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the movie for which fans have been waiting nearly two decades, was released. It received a critical lashing but managed to rake in around $100 million. Perhaps it wasn’t the age, it was the mileage.

Every previous movie that dared to call itself a blockbuster was then crushed under the high-octane, dark and media-blitzed wing of The Dark Knight. If you have yet to see this movie, you are missing out on an awe-inspiring look into what being a hero means and why we need them, along with what may be the best villain to ever appear on screen. If you like good movies, you owe it to yourself to see this film.

With that, the blockbuster season was, more or less, over. Sure, Mamma Mia!, Hancock, Wall-E and others were released this summer, but they often were not as good as the source material. They did not live up to their predecessors or simply had the audacity to release within a month of The Dark Knight. Overall, this was one of the most fun summers since the asteroid craze of 1997.

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