Summer flicks: the top ten

By Tappan Parker

With the end of the summer comes the end of the summer movie season. To commemorate the end of all the great – and not so great – summer blockbusters, here’s a list of 10 movies you should have seen instead of lounging around on the beach. Here’s what you missed.

“Get Him to the Greek”

Remember Russell Brand’s eccentric rock star character, Aldous Snow, from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall?” Well, he’s back in “Get Him to the Greek,” a wild and raunchy adventure where music intern Aaron Green, played by Jonah Hill, must attempt to get Snow to Los Angeles’s Greek theater for a concert in order to save Snow’s dying career. The comedy even includes P. Diddy in a not so minor role, and surprisingly, he is actually pretty funny. If you liked any of the big budget comedies of the last few years you will love “Get Him to the Greek.”

“Toy Story 3”

“Toy Story 3” may have been one of the most emotionally moving movies of the summer. Andy, the young kid from the first two “Toy Story” films, has grown up and is preparing to leave for college and must decide what to do with his old toys. The movie marks the return of Woody and Buzz and the introduction of some brand new characters, each more engaging than the last. Never before has so much emotion been brought to life by toys. This is definitely one of Pixar’s finest films to date.

“The Expendables”

The Expendables is note worthy, purely because it stars almost every big name action star with a beating pulse: Sylvester Stalone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Mickey Rourke just to name a few. The movie itself is about a group of mercenaries hired to overthrow a South American dictator – a pretty basic action plot that ends up leading to, you guessed it, a ton of mindless violence. If you are an action movie fan you should have already seen this movie.

“The Karate Kid”

No, not “The Karate Kid” from the 1980’s, the remake. Dre Parker, played by Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son), is a young kid who moves to China from America where he faces language barriers, cultural divide, and a ton of bullies who know kung fu. Mr. Han, played by Jackie Chan, ends up teaching young Parker martial arts to fight back against the bullies. While not as good as the original, this is a great modernization of the film and contains some truly inspiring scenes. Smith also gives a good performance and shows promise as an actor.

“Scott Pilgrim Versus the World”

“Scott Pilgrim Versus the World” is the cult classic of the summer. The plot goes something like this: boy (Michael Cera) meets girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), boy falls in love with girl, and finally, boy must defeat girls seven evil ex-boyfriends in order to date said girl. Boasting an incredibly unique visual style and some absolutely fantastic fight scenes, this is a fast paced joy ride through the creative mind of director Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz”). The movie is filled with pop culture references and a ton of alternative music. This one is definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

“Despicable Me”

The other great animated comedy of the summer, “Despicable Me” stars the voice of Steve Carrell as evil mastermind Gru, who plans to steal the moon. However, upon adopting three orphaned girls in order to fulfill an evil goal, Gru slowly begins to learn the values of love and parenting, despite his wicked ways. Sure it may be a movie meant for kids, but when has that ever stopped an animated film from being incredibly entertaining? Do yourself a favor and check this movie out; you will be glad you did.

“Get Low”

“Get Low” is based on equal parts true story, folk tale and legend. The plot follows the tale of a Tennessee hermit who throws his own funeral – while he’s still alive. Robert Duvall and Bill Murray star in this quirky movie, which had been featured at numerous film festivals before its summer release. With a compelling story and some fantastic acting, this one may have gone under the radar but is well worth a movie lovers’ attention.

“The Kids Are All Right”

Another movie that may has slipped under the radar, “The Kids Are All Right” has also been featured at many of this year’s film festivals. The plot is simple: two children who were conceived by artificial insemination decide they want to meet their biological father and bring him into their lives. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore star as the mothers in this heartwarming film about the family dynamic. This one will definitely be seen on the Oscar list this year.

“Iron Man 2”

“Iron Man 2” was one of the few superhero movies this year. Starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, “Iron Man 2” follows Stark as he contends with the difficulties of sharing his secret identity with the world as he confronts the military, new rivals, and his own personal demons. With more action, more technology, and the film series first actual super villain, “Iron Man 2” is definitely a worthy sequel to the first.

“Inception”

If there is one movie you should have seen this summer it is “Inception.” In the world of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” technology exists that allows people to enter the minds of others through dream invasion. However, rather than creating a plot to just steal some idea, the plot of “Inception” is much more complex: planting an idea in someone’s mind without them knowing it. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this film is one of the most original heist movies of all time and is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat until the credits roll. With strong performances from every actor and amazing visual style this movie is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Tappan Parker can be reached at [email protected]