By Max Sandler
5. Horrible Bosses
By far the biggest surprise of the summer, Horrible Bosses was everything a comedy should be: funny, well written, and thoughtfully casted. The movie surrounds three friends who each work for the most obnoxious and antagonistic people you will ever meet (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell). When their bosses begin to significantly ruin their lives, they decide to work together to kill them. The movie is such a riot because it makes sure that the characters themselves are just as funny and memorable as the plot. Each boss is obnoxious in their own special way. When I laughed at these characters, I laughed at each one for a different reason. I haven’t seen a comedy with this many funny, memorable characters since “Billy Madison”. Spacy, Aniston, and Farrell steal the show due to their ability to portray characters with very distinctive personalities.
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The film itself is the best of the Potter movies. The plot is simplified: Harry must kill Voldemort before Voldemort kills him. It’s a straight forward “good verses evil” story, and the film is better off because of it. Also, some of the characters, particularly Voldemort, are more three dimensional in the new installment. In the third act, Voldemort starts to act insane when he realizes that Harry might defeat him. Therefore he’s not as confident as he was in the previous films. Yet this makes him more unpredictable and scarier. Overall, it was a great way to end a great series, even if the last scene was ridiculous (the adults look like teenagers dressing up as adults; believe me, it’s silly).
When the credits began to roll for Harry Potter, I realized that the cast of the film series has been beyond dedicated to the franchise for over a decade. With the exception of Dumbledore, the entire main cast has stayed the same for every film. Our generation has grown up with these characters. This is a cinematic achievement that will hopefully be recognized in the years to come.
3. Captain America: The First Avenger
This movie is great because it’s campy. It’s campy because the script feels like it was taken straight out of a comic book: the antagonist is the epitome of evil and the protagonist is the epitome of good; the main character falls in love; it’s beyond patriotic; and it’s a basic “good verses evil” story (no more and no less). The film is as cliché as it gets, and that’s the way a comic book movie should be. While I like movies like the Dark Knight for creating their own vision of a superhero, I love movies that are faithful to the feel of the original superhero while adapting them to modern film. Although Captain America has lines like, “I don’t like bullies”, the action scenes are the quality you would expect from a 2011 summer blockbuster. Even if you’re not a comic-book movie fan, check this one out.
2. The Help
The Help is an extremely moving story about a young Caucasian girl (Emma Stone) who interviews African-American housekeepers about their experiences working in white family homes in the 1960’s. The performances are what will make this movie memorable. Octavia Spencer blew me away with her outstanding performance in her portrayal of a strong and determined person. She should be nominated for an academy award. Bryce Dallas Howard also does a great job playing the meanest housewife you’ll ever meet. All of the characters are so engaging, this is sure to be one of those movies you wish would never end.
1. Fright Night
Although I’m not a fan of horror movie remakes, I have to make an exception with Fright Night. Based off the 1985 original, Fright Night breathes new air into the classic. The film is based around a teen that lives in the suburbs of Las Vegas. One by one, his childhood friends begin to go missing. He eventually discovers that his next-door neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire and that he is responsible for all of the missing people in the town. The rest of the movie is a battle to stay alive and to kill the vampire. What makes this stand out from other vampire movies is that all of the traditional vampire “rules” apply in Fright Night. Jerry can’t come into a house unless he’s invited, and holy water and sunlight can potentially kill him. The movie also succeeds to make fun of Twilight, which was pretty funny. But the best part about Fright Night was Colin Farrell’s performance. I never imagined him playing a vampire; yet he fit the part perfectly. He was confident and did an amazing job of making sure no one discovered he was a vampire. But he also acted very hungry. I know it sounds weird, but he looked at other people as if their blood were equivalent to a slice of pizza; and that’s how a vampire should act.