A Geeky Girl’s Guide to Summer Movies: Winner Take All

Congrats to all those who have made it past Comic-Con’s endless Hall H lines, sat through countless hours of the studio’s pleading with you to buy movie tickets, and made it back home in one, tired piece. What awaits you is a month filled with the studio’s last line of blockbuster attack ads until the holiday season.

Fear not, as the lines will be vastly shorter than the wait for Eclipse. Instead of emos and soccer moms in “Team Edward” T-shirts, you’ll find yourself beside teenage boys who watch Rocky V on their Evos while waiting for The Expendables.

Curiously, the generals of Universal and Lionsgate both decided to fire missiles into the 13-30 years old guys camp. With the troops dispersing, you should be able to deftly maneuver yourself to the safety of a comfy recliner at the multiplex.

My advice, do like Julia Roberts and Eat some buttery popcorn, Pray for a film worth the ticket price, and Love the below reviews. Let’s check out what’s in store for us in August.

August 6th

The Other Guys

While I thought I had my fill this summer of action movies that make light of themselves a la the vacuous writing of Knight and Day, The Other Guys took me by surprise as it was actually wildly entertaining. Although Ferrell’s diversions could have been easily trimmed by 20 minutes, the film expertly mocked buddy cop flicks. From the moody saxophone score, to car chases that cause more destruction than the crime itself, the film has fun with this worn-out genre. Stay tuned after the credits if you want to see Mark Walberg crack a smile.

Geekiness Factor: What Community’s “Modern Warfare” was to action movies so The Other Guys is to buddy cop films. It delightfully takes all the played out buddy cop go-tos that Cop Out so very unfortunately tried to bring back and artfully makes you laugh. Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson steal the show for far too few minutes as star cops plucked from the days of Bad Boys. However, in an age of prequels and recycled material, they may very well live to put the smack down on criminals another day.

Screen Steamer: I was very fond of seeing Marky Mark sans shirt in Date Night and was hoping for a similar view. Sadly, Mark keeps his shirt buttoned and manages to keep on several layers of clothing through out the film. Dwayne Johnson, however, hams it up as the action hero cop and wears a skin-tight shirt that shows off his “Rock”-hard muscles. Again, he doesn’t lose his shirt, much to my sadness. There’s also Will Ferrell, who must have sprayed on some of Brian Fantana’s Sex Panther because the ladies swarm to him like bees to honey.

Great Expectations: In a summer strewn with blockbusters that lack entertainment value, this comedy stands apart as actually being funny. Expect Will Ferrell to raucously veer from the script and the plot to spew tangents of pure hilarity. Unlike Jimmy Fallon, Mark Walberg will keep a straight face while playing a rage filled straight man. Michael Keaton also plays the frak out of a Police Chief who‘s less concerned with property damage and more with the epicness of the bad guy take-downs.

August 13th

The Expendables

This movie will either be totally awesome or so bad that it’s awesome. Either way, I intend to be entertained by this ensemble dedicated to kicking ass, taking names, and sauntering slowly away from explosions. These are men of few words, but all of them the right ones.

I heard Jean-Claude Van Damme and Stephen Segal turned down Sly in favor of doing absolutely nothing with their lives. The film also lacks Jackie Chan, Dwayne Johnson, and Vin Diesel- not to mention a single woman who isn’t waiting to be rescued.

I’m sure Sly didn’t want to risk being laughed at by Angelina Jolie when she rejected his offer in lieu of kicking ass and changing names in her solo adventure, Salt. But, even if Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez were still busy collecting checks from Pocahontas in Space, I’m sure Rhona Mitra and Lucy Lawless would be more than willing to grab their guns and take up the fight.

Geekiness Factor: The list of actors in this film is geeky enough to warrant excitement with the sole image of a crow in flight. I look forward to seeing the old guard teach the new guys a thing or two about causing countless causalities of war while remaining unscathed in their black tees.

Screen Steamer: With all that Louisiana heat beating down on the ripped muscles of the cast, I can just hope the costume designer thought of giving the leather jackets a break and opted for just a pair of camo pants. By the looks of the trailer, I will not be disappointed.  Now if only these men would do a few scenes akin to the glimmering bods showcased in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, I would be one happy lady.

Great Expectations: I expect manly men doing manly things. I expect a lot of grunting, sweat, and bullets aptly whizzing by the heads of meaty men. I will cheer when the team pummels goons without names into oblivion. Sadly, I do not expect G.I. Jane to join the ranks and call the men on their idiotic battle plans. I guess I’ll have to watch Salt in order to see a female action hero who was blessed with the same healing factor as Stallone’s characters.


Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Movies where geeky boys get the hot girl are what romantic comedies are to women: fairytales. While I’m tired of this over-hyped genre, this at least goes beyond the smelly sex comedy variety. I’m happy to see Michael Cera dispatch his 7 evil adversaries in a way Street Fighters would be proud of.

Geekiness Factor: As it was snapped up by Universal after reading the first issue, the comic book was unfinished by the time production had ceased, much like Kick-Ass. What it lacks in Adam West send-ups, it makes up for with nostalgic graphics. Anyone who played Nintendo in the days of Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt will appreciate music from “The Legend of Zelda” and graphics reminiscent of their former 8-bit glory.

Screen Steamer: It may surprise you to know Peter Pan-esque Michael Cera does not make my heart skip a beat. With his preteen voice still in tact and t-shirts from Hot Topic, Cera would have more luck with the girls on Team Edward. Chris Evans thankfully breaks up the boy bravado by playing an ex with a score to settle. It seems he’s cropping up in every geeky endeavor his agent throws his way. Hopefully he sticks around for more than one scene.

Great Expectations: I expect to see some chapters from Cera’s diary of a wimpy kid take flight in the Rainbow Bright world of Scott Pilgrim. I also expect the geek to shockingly bring a rain of roundhouse kicks on the poor solar plexuses of his lady love’s castaways and (spoiler alert) win the heart of the hottie.

August 18th

Vampires Suck

Vampires are alive in well in 2010, figuratively speaking of course. They stroll around in sunlight, sip o negative at dive bars, and fall in love with plain janes with sweet-tasting blood. If Buffy was around she’d be brandished as a murderer who kills vampires simply seeking equal rights or a quiet residence in a rainy town.  Kudos to the aptly named title.

Geekiness Factor: With all these vampires running around, you’d think this flick would reach out to the Cullen’s brethren in Bon Temps, Louisiana, Mystic Falls, Virginia, or Barrow, Alaska. But no, the writers seem keen to stick with angsty, sparkly teens. Aw, well at least Buffy lends a hand.  You can tell because in one of the movie’s posters she subtly wears a shirt emblazoned with her name, “Buffy.” I guess blondie just needs a reminder she’s the saving grace of humanity.

Screen Steamer: Apparently the director has watched Robin Hood: Men in Tights one too many times, if the werewolves dancing in the woods wearing only short-shorts are anything to go by. Hopefully I will gaze upon the wolf pack with as much glee as I did the tanned and taut cubs of Forks.

Great Expectations: I expect the quality to be somewhere between Dracula 2000 and all of Keanu Reeve’s scenes put together in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Unlike The Other Guys‘ strategic use of available Office cast members, I expect the cameos here to be cast from Vegas’ collection of celebrity impersonators. I expect a few laughs and a few hours of my life I will not get back.

I salute all of this summer’s troops who made it past the studio’s bombs to witness sweet victories strewn with explosions, super triple agents, and men of iron.

After August is over and the studios finish their skirmish for summer supremacy, rest assured they will retreat from the bloody battlefield. They’ll only be throwing smoke bombs in the coming months and save their nukes for the snow filled season to come at Hogwarts.

Until August is complete, though, I recommend you hold your lines and stay strong with the knowledge that any movie this month will be better than Tom Cruise’s failed attempts at self-satire in Knight and Day.

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