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David Poland

By David Poland

And What Did You Think?

And so, with the summer at an end, what were your favorite moments, worst moments, and most memorable moments… on or off screen…

56 Responses to “And What Did You Think?”

  1. abba_70s says:

    I was surprised by how much I didn’t like Superman Returns…VERY surprised at the lack of 250mil+ grossers…Loved ‘Snakes’ and really amazed at the lack of business for it..Oh well, it’ll be big on DVD

  2. abba_70s says:

    Can you imagine what the bloodshed could look like a year from now? Even with all those ‘gotta see’ titles something’s gotta give…

  3. Adam says:

    Monster House knocked my socks off, I really loved that film.
    Clerks II made me laugh nonstop, and I appreciate that.
    Pirates was non stop fun that had it’s moments but wasn’t perfect, like the first film was. But damn that three way sword fight in the water wheel was really damn awesome.
    The plane rescue in Superman was perfectly done, too bad the rest of the movie was more goofy than an average episode of Smallville.
    I saw fewer movies than any summer in recent memory. not much out there that I felt like spending ridiculous quantities on a ticket for.

  4. William Goss says:

    It was the little moments:
    -Davy Jones’ tentacles securing his hat as the Flying Dutchman dove in POTC:DMC
    -Jason Mewes’ tuck in CLERKS II
    -Jay Chandrasekhar waking up naked next to a dead deer and saying “Not again!” in BEERFEST
    Maybe something more substantial will come to mind later.

  5. waterbucket says:

    The Devil Wears Prada was the best movie of the summer.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    I was surprised at how insubstantial this summer felt. Last summer we had Revenge of the Sith, War of the Worlds, Charlie, Batman Begins, Land of the Dead, Howl’s Moving Castle, Last Days, Devil’s Rejects, and 40 Year Old Virgin, all of which I loved. This year the only movies that fall into that same category are Scanner Darkly, Prairie Home Companion, Talledega Nights, and to a lesser degree, Nacho Libre and Snakes. Not a single big action/event movie felt especially satisfying to me this year no matter how many hundreds of millions they spent on them.

  7. Goulet says:

    Fave of the summer: LADY IN THE WATER. Yeah, I’m that guy.
    Worst: JUST MY LUCK. And I used to looooove Lindsay.

  8. EDouglas says:

    I’m working on my Top 10 list of the summer, and I think it’s going to be equally unconventional. (I’ve decided to only include movies in wide release because so many of my faves–like Worldplay and Once in a Lifetime–never really got into other areas of the country.)
    Worst movie of the summer was definitely Material Girls, followed by See No Evil… but I walked out of You, Me and Dupree, so I think that probably would have been the worst if I stayed to the end.

  9. Direwolf says:

    The last 15 minutes of Little Miss Sunshine.
    It is a good movie until that point but the payoff is just fantastic. No wonder it is expanding and growing. You walk out on such a high that you won’t hesitiate to recommend it.

  10. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    My favourites were Cars and Snakes on a Plane. Pirates was pretty good, Miami Vice decent, Superman was a dud.
    I skipped a lot of stuff though. That or it hasn’t been released here yet (Prada, Prairie)

  11. Josh Massey says:

    The lasting memory of this summer will be the complete and utter disappointment of “Superman Returns,” a movie I’ve been really looking forward to since Bryan Singer signed on. I could never have imagined it would have been that off-base.

  12. Rob says:

    The Proposition, The Descent, MiamI Vice, Prairie, Prada, The Great New Wonderful, The OH in Ohio (in which Parker Posey is fantastic) and Talladega were my favorites.
    I will remember this as the summer in which people’s bizarre, inflated expectations for comic book and superhero-based movies spiraled into complete hysteria.
    The worst movie of the summer is Trust the Man, a film so awful that Julianne Moore could legitimately consider it grounds for divorce.

  13. montrealkid says:

    Favorite moment: Seeing a preview screening of Little Miss Sunshine with an audience that was literally screaming with laughter. Gasps, shouts and genuine enthusiasm from the crowd for what is hands down the best movie of the summer. I really hope Sony does the right thing and re-releases it in theatres for Oscar consideration. This could be this year’s Sideways.
    Worst moment: Every minute of My Super Ex Girlfriend (which I also managed to see at a preview screening). Awful.
    Most disappointing moment: Lady In The Water. A beautiful fairy tale ruined by M. Night Shyamalan’s need to be loved. But Goulet, don’t worry, my girlfriend absolutely LOVED Lady In The Water, so you’re not alone.
    Most suprising moment: Inside Man – Spike Lee’s take on the heist flick was inspired, clever and wonderfully entertaining.

  14. jesse says:

    I, too, felt a paleness this summer, compared to last. However, one of the best bits of the summer for me was deciding to sneak into a second viewing of Superman Returns just a couple days after seeing it for the first time in IMAX.
    I didn’t LOVE it the way I loved Batman Begins, but I loved a lot about it, and found it so thoroughly and sometimes surprisingly entertaining that I was eager to see it again. That just didn’t happen very often this summer.
    Oh, and laughing my ass off at Strangers with Candy was a great experience, too.
    Best of the summer in no particular order: Superman Returns, Talladega Nights, Strangers with Candy, Mission: Impossible III, Prairie Home Companion. Add in Brick and Inside Man and that’s just about all of the notable movies of the year so far for me (though there’s been some other stuff I liked and just didn’t love — Cars, Half Nelson).

  15. Spacesheik says:

    Not much of a summer to be honest but the Superman-747 landing in the stadium was an audience pleaser. Pity the rest of the movie didn’t live up to that.
    I also liked the Magneto “betrayal sequence” in X3 and the prologue with the de-aged stars.
    Haven’t seen SNAKES or PRADA yet. Or POTC.

  16. djk813 says:

    Watching a woman literally fall out of her seat laughing… and then just sitting on the floor continuing to laugh during Little Miss Sunshine.
    Catching up with Brick on DVD.
    The best pure action movie of the summer, District B13.
    Being part of the group that thought that Pixar had finally lost its touch just by looking at the trailer for Cars and then being pleasantly surprised at how wonderful the movie was.

  17. SpamDooley says:

    Summer ends September 21 you incredible moron David.
    Instead of lunch every Thursday how about read a calendar.
    I am Spam Dooley and I think THUNG blows.

  18. Hallick says:

    Two favorite moments from Miami Vice –
    On screen: The “this is what’s going to happen…” speech in the trailer park standoff, which is an immortal piece of movie greatness that unfortunately topedoed the last half hour of the movie.
    Off screen: Yelling “shut the fuck UP!!” at a cellphone happy jack-off during the movie – and he actually shut up! Of course, the ushers showed up a couple of minutes later, and I couldn’t tell if they were looking for him or the guy who screamed the f-word in their theater.

  19. MarkVH says:

    The worst thing for me this summer was seeing the voracity with which people tore into Michael Mann for making what I felt was a really excellent film in Miami Vice. I don’t mind people not liking the film – that’s their right, despite my disagreeing. But people really seemed to take Mann to task for this, which scared me a little. If it’s not the most original concept, it’s certainly an expertly-made film with some gorgeous photography and brutally effective action sequences. I really don’t understand what people were expecting from it, but I was completely satisfied.
    Best thing this summer? Er, that Miami Vice kicked so much ass, as I expected it to.
    Biggest dissapointment – Pirates 2. Thought it was just ok, but a complete mess structurally with precious few of the “yes” moments of the original.

  20. Krazy Eyes says:

    The biggest surprise for me this summer was liking X-Men III more than Superman Returns. Overall though it was a summer of waiting for the DVD for me.

  21. palmtree says:

    Favorite moment…when Pirates opened. It blew away people’s expectations, and though not a great movie by any means, it showed that people do want to be entertained. Sounds pretty simple but too many movies this summer lost sight of that.
    Too bad Owen Gleiberman didn’t get to review it cause in the EW summer wrap up, he got it.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    Spam, you’re deliberately trying to pick fights now, right? Everyone knows the calendar year and the movie year are two different things.

  23. Cadavra says:

    The duct tape commercial in PRAIRIE was my high point. That, CARS, PRADA, CLERKS, B-13, SUPER EX-GF and the plane rescue in SR were the best of the summer for me, though I still have a few more yet to see, including SCOOP and SNAKES–there’s a double-bill you’ll never see–as well as WTC and SUNSHINE.

  24. T.H.Ung says:

    The best part of summer has been hitting the trifecta:
    a platinum record (well produced, DP, aka the Rabbi or Peanut Butter),
    a hit TV series (serialized story made up as you go, JW, aka the Reverend or Jelly),
    and an Oscar (AT, the only one with a real job, she gets invited to the red carpet).
    I’ve taken cover in a bomb shelter. Will deal with Spam I Am layta.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    Who’s AT?

  26. T.H.Ung says:

    jeffmcm, go to
    and you will see a simply elegant trifecta. Three really is perfect company.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    I see a blog posting by someone named Nicole Sperling…

  28. Crow T Robot says:

    Not a good season for cinema but for my money, MI:3 was the V-8 engine of lean, mean summer fun. What it may have lacked in originality it made up with real energy and some clever takes on what we’ve come to expect in this franchise. And yes, Cruise kicks ass in it.
    (And I agree Ung, AT is a perfect Dorothy Lamour to DP & JW’s bumbling Hope and Crosby)

  29. T.H.Ung says:

    I’ve been beating that drum, MI:3 was the best summer movie, who’d have thunk when it came out. I like Tom the vein popping, muscle bulging, crazy eyed, too busy for sex, cyborg actor.
    NF isn’t so crazy, she doesn’t allow comments.

  30. Sandy says:

    My favorite was being at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood on opening night of Pirates…a sold-out weekend, and it was great to be with people who dressed up as pirates, yelling AARGH in the balcony! The popcorn in the Pirates bucket was cool too as were the prizes and the costume/set exhibit.

  31. Pat H. says:

    Liked – Brick, Sunshine, The Illusionist, District B-13, Scoop
    Disliked – virtually everything else
    Laughed at – people convincing themselves that SoaP was anything other than crap

  32. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t think anyone thinks Snakes is not crap. But it’s good crap.

  33. Tofu says:

    Miami Vice easily takes the cake. Far more vivid than Collateral, and even more brutal than Heat. It was all business, and treats the viewer with some damned respect.
    Mission: Impossible III would follow. Uninterested in giving the audience a breather, this is one that ranks with GoldenEye and Die Hard 1 & 3 as a pure action film in the modern vein.
    X-Men 3, Monster House, and Poseidon just came and went. Nothing at all to remember from those entries. Superman Returns… People want to talk about Miami Vice being the dreary picture of the summer?
    The DaVinci Code and Pirates 2 played it safe, but with style. Thumbs up to two pictures I’m surprised weren’t backed by the majority of critics.
    The Break-Up was a nice surprise, playing it more close to contemporary life than any other comedy this year. Had a ball with Super Ex-Girlfriend, and wasn’t too impressed with Talladega Nights. Odd.
    Inconvenient Truth and Scanner Darkly were quite nice, but will play better for me at home.
    A positive summer for myself to be sure, as I’ve blocked Lady in the Water, Ant Bully, Pulse, and Clerks 2 entirely from my mind at this point. That didn’t take long.

  34. Tofu says:

    Best Moment: Ethan Hunt’s inventive airbourne interrogation method.
    Worst Moment: Any random scene from Any Bully.
    Memorable Moment: Midnight opening of Pirates. Actually, right after the movie was finished to be exact. An entire convoy of parents in their SUV’s were waiting, leaving the parking lot to be traffic jammed for a good hour.

  35. Aladdin Sane says:

    Favourite moments:
    – Danny Huston replying when asked if they’re misanthropes, “Lord no! We’re family,” in The Proposition. I got a good chuckle from that. Maybe it’s just me but I think I was the only one in the theater that thought it was really funny.
    – Alan Arkin’s advice on women to his grandson and the last 15 minutes of Little Miss Sunshine.
    – Miami Vice for not giving any lame expositions…instead just dropping us in the middle of something new.
    – Call me a family sentimentalist, but I still think fondly of the speech Supes gives to his son at the end of Superman Returns – and it’s a great movie, no matter what you say
    – MI3’s Maggie Q in that awesome dress…a star is born.
    – Snakes on a Plane for living up to it’s promise of being stupid pulpy fun. I imagine a double bill of that and Deep Blue Sea in my living room with some rowdy friends in the winter.
    – Keira Knightly and Johnny Depp’s chemistry in POTC2 – I’m not one to usually point it out to my friends, but I told one girl that I was with, that (spoiler warning) the kiss at the end was one of the best (hottest)on screen kisses I can recall in some time.
    – Will Ferrell’s uncanny ability to get from clothes to underwear in less than two seconds.
    – Everything about A Prairie Home Companion – probably the breeziest hour and a half or so that I spent in the theater this summer. Didn’t dislike a second of it.
    – X3. Except the first ten minutes and the last scene.
    – The useless cannibal island sequence in POTC2
    – The fact that the DVD release date is shrinking…Poseidon’s already out? Are audiences really that stupid that they can’t remember a movie 6 months down the road…? Too soon is all I can say (and that still doesn’t change the fact that I won’t watch it).
    – Lady in the Water for being so visually interesting yet the more I think about it, the more frustrating it is.
    – The fact that more films weren’t made that are as purely enjoyable as A Prairie Home Companion
    – The media’s obsession in destroying our matinee idols, like Cruise and Gibson. Sure they both could be whacky, but between them they represent probably a lot of our own favorite memories in a theater…so cut ’em some slack! they’re only human.
    Special Jury Prize to A Scanner Darkly for being perfectly nihilistic and entertaining (often at the same time).

  36. jeffmcm says:

    What was the ‘something new’ in Miami Vice? The cops going undercover or the shootout or the doomed romance between people on either side of the law?
    (Answer: the Jamie Foxx/Naomie Harris sex scene, the only visually interesting thing in the whole movie)

  37. Tofu says:

    … And the reveal of Montoya’s fallside mansion… And the underlit bridge… And the flight into the sunset… And plenty of wonderful close-ups of that skinhead leader chewing his mouth away.
    Aladdin Sane: Superman Returns – and it’s a great movie, no matter what you say
    No, it is only a good movie… Because I say I am the emperor of the known universe. Bow before me Whatever-El!

  38. jeffmcm says:

    We must have different ideas of what constitutes ‘visually interesting’. I’ve seen a mansion, a bridge, and a skinhead before in other, better movies. I don’t remember the flight into the sunset, I must have dozed off then.

  39. palmtree says:

    “I still think fondly of the speech Supes gives to his son at the end of Superman Returns”
    You mean the one they lifted directly from Superman I?

  40. Tofu says:

    jeffmcm: We must have different ideas of what constitutes ‘visually interesting’.
    Well, I’ve shown my hand. What has struck you as visually interesting before in other movies?

  41. Pat H. says:

    I don’t think anyone thinks Snakes is not crap. But it’s good crap.
    No people want it to be but it fails at even that for me. It could and should have been but the director blew it.

  42. jeffmcm says:

    Well, Collateral was more interesting to look at in terms of video grain/texture/lighting. United 93 was more interesting in terms of handheld action. Sin City was more interesting as a stylish neonoir. I could go on, but I think the burden of proof is on Miami Vice and not the other way around.
    Pat H. agreed that the director of Snakes on a Plane is massively incompetent…which lends the movie much of its charm.

  43. Tofu says:

    Collateral holds up much better visually than remembered, but is held down by being staged entirely at night. Miami Vice had the freedom to show clear nights and dirty days, and this accent appeals to multiple highlights, catching just the right time of day to present a location.
    Don’t remember too much of United 93… Total blur.
    Sin City and Miami Vice clearly couldn’t be more different. The stilted and locked down inside work of Sin City is an entire world apart from Miami Vice’s desire to shoot in real (and dangerous) locations while moving in tandem with the cast.
    The burden of proof is on all movies, of course. That is apart of the fun!

  44. Monco says:

    My most memorable moment was going to see Pirates 2 on opening night and the craziness that was in the theater. Just packed to the brim, almost got into a fight with someone cutting in line. Oh, and the movie just blowed me away.
    I may be in the minority but I love Superman Returns, so that was another highlight.
    My worst moment was Mission Impossible III what a laughably horrible mess of a movie.

  45. jeffmcm says:

    Tofu, I like you. You can come over to my house and screw my sister. *
    Sin City and Miami Vice are very far from each other, I just was thinking of recent movies in the same genre that impressed me. Basically, even though Miami Vice had ultra-realism as its goal, to me the writing and acting still came off as so Hollywood that instead of being immersed into gritty realism, I felt like I was just watching a direct-to-video action movie from the 90s. It’s not just the cinematography, it’s also the direction. I will agree that Miami Vice had some great location work in the clouds etc. but as my friend who is an award-winning cinematographer says, anyone can point a camera at something pretty and get a good shot out of it.
    *[I don’t have a sister]

  46. EDouglas says:

    “Pat H. agreed that the director of Snakes on a Plane is massively incompetent…which lends the movie much of its charm.”
    I don’t agree with this at all. I’ve enjoyed all three of Ellis’ last three movies because for what he’s doing, which is generally high concept low budget horror-thrillers, he makes more generally entertaining movies than so many other directors out there, who make unwatchable crap…just think of movies like Boogeyman and The Fog and so many others that were far far far worse than any of Ellis’ movies. I mean, why are people expecting Citizen Kane from this movie? If you compare it to either of the Anaconda movies, it’s a freakin’ masterpiece. (The only thing that generally bugged me was the sloppy way the new scenes were cut in…but hey, they should have made it R from teh beginning and then cut back if need be)

  47. Snrub says:

    I didn’t think this summer was particularly worse than any other. There were disappointments, there were surprises… enough good to outweigh the bad, enough bad to make people say the year wasn’t as good as last year (as they do every year).
    Biggest surprise – Monster House. Went in expecting a fun kids movie that offered about as much as your average Dreamworks animation, came out with a new film to add to my favourites list. Best summer flick without a shadow of a doubt.
    Biggest disappointment – Superman Returns. Went in expecting the best summer flick of the year, came out with a new film to add to my boring, bloated blockbusters list.
    Best scene – Depp and Bloom escaping cannibal island in POTC 2.

  48. ployp says:

    This is the summer of surprises for me. The big movies I waited for disappointed me. Da Vinci Code, Xmen3, MI:3, Superman, Pirates (it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be), Miami Vice. It’s not that they didn’t entertain me, but I expected too much. It was really my expectations.

  49. Tofu says:

    Jeff’s nonexistent sister? Total. Hottie.

  50. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “What was the ‘something new’ in Miami Vice? The cops going undercover or the shootout or the doomed romance between people on either side of the law?”
    How about we have this discussion when The Departed is released and people start sprouting hyperbole like “masterpiece!”
    The underlit bridge from Miami Vice looked stunning on the digital video. There was some really good work there, not as good as Collateral with it’s smog-filled skies and Cruise’s silver hair and suit looking great against it.
    One criticism I don’t understand about Vice is people complaining that they couldn’t understand Gong Li. Firstly, she ISN’T AMERICAN. and secondly, her character WASN’T AMERICAN. It’s not like every single Asian-American speaks perfect English. Hell, people can’t even understand the Australian accent (I loved reading Ebert’s review of one Aussie movie saying he thought it needed subtitles!)
    And my theory on the Snakes on a Plane bashers is that they didn’t want to like it because that would mean they were part of the trap. Yes, it’s silly idiotic claptrap, but it was lovable. It reminded me of the Final Destination franchise. Yes, they feature lots of people dying is grotesque and macabre ways but they do it with love and they give you a big fat hug when they’re done (not the third one. that was bad).
    I love that people complain about the acting or the writing or the directing or whatever. Like… that’s sort’ve the point.

  51. Pat H. says:

    I love that people complain about the acting or the writing or the directing or whatever. Like… that’s sort’ve the point.
    That’s exactly not my point. I think it fails as an exploitation movie. It didn’t even reach the low level it was gunning for – thats my point.
    It’s not a good bad movie it is just a bad bad movie.

  52. jeffmcm says:

    We’ll have to agree to disagree, Pat H.
    I agree with Edouglas that Ellis is a better director than the people who made The Fog or The Cave or Boogeyman, but I still don’t think he’s very good. He made the weakest of the three Final Destination movies (sorry KCamel, 3 was better) and did a just barely passable job on Cellular. He only sort of half-knew how to make Snakes on a Plane – you can tell he got the basic joke but didn’t really know how to ramp it up, improve upon the script most of the time, which I think is Pat’s complaint. Imagine if this was a Tarantino or old-school Joe Dante movie – or in the other direction, an Ed Wood movie.

  53. Spacesheik says:

    Who would have thought the ludicrous POSEIDON – at $60 million – would outgross SNAKES ON A PLANE – the hyped internet geek darling (that will probably top out at $35-40 million)?
    Another interesting issue was the way DA VINCI went from being the potential “huge hit of the summer” to an irrelevant non-entity, forgotten by an audience that felt the film was dull and unexciting. sure, it’s made $750 million worldwide but does anyone really recommend the film. It’s most notorious feature were Tom Hanks’ locks.
    Worst written character of the summer was the Kevin Dillon drunk in POSEIDON – might as well have stamped “evil expendable character” on his forehead and given him a twirling moustache. Might as well have had Spam Dooley play the character.

  54. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I continue to see people say Poseidon made $60mil and think “THAT much? That’s A LOT”
    considering what it had to work with, it was lucky to get over $40mil.

  55. palmtree says:

    “sure, it’s made $750 million worldwide but does anyone really recommend the film.”
    Yes, they are the same people who loved the book. I have a feeling that it was a “non-entity” among younger, hipper audiences but among older audiences it had more cache and repeated viewings (hence longer legs than X3).
    More people are talking about Superman still, but that’s only because WB has been pushing Singer and Horn to smooth the path to franchisedom and have to explain why they didn’t get $750m.

  56. Reginald_Applegravy says:

    A Summer of many disappointments and sheer lack of good stuff in quantities BUT that said, Superman Returns is one of the best summer movies of the last 20 years. Flawed, yes, but utterly engaging, enjoyable, moving, thrilling and moreish – could watch it again and again. Simply cannot understand peoples disdain towards it.
    Also, M:I3 absolutely ROCKS. THE pure action film of the year hands down.
    POTC: DMC was a mjaor diappointment. After the light, frothy, fun thrillride that was the original, the sequel is just overlong, dull and turgid. Lets hope 3 perks things up.

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