We’ve already passed the temporal midpoint of the Summer 2010 movie season, but this weekend marks a kind of center to this year’s blockbuster frame. There’s a particular film we’ve all been waiting for, especially given that few other Hollywood spectacles have wowed us to this point. Will “Inception” be the game changer for what has until now been an unremarkable summer? Although not outstanding, the early reviews for Christopher Nolan’s original action-fantasy are about average in relation to his other works, and while it’s unlikely to be anywhere close to the box office behemoth that “The Dark Knight” was, it should at least be one of the season’s most popular films.
It has been the most anticipated summer movie, after all, but what have you been doing while you wait? Seen anything great? How about good? Surely if you’ve watched the impossible-to-dislike “Toy Story 3” that must be one of your favorite mainstream titles of the season. And how about from the pool of counter-programmed indies? The most perfect film I’ve seen is Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone,” which is both a gripping detective story with supporting character actors as distinct and wonderful as those that once populated classic Hollywood crime films and a wrenching drama with one of the year’s best lead performances at its core. As for documentaries, I was especially impressed with the proximate intimacy of “Restrepo,” one of the most moving war films I’ve seen in years.
Other than those three favorites, I kinda liked “Iron Man 2,” a decent allegory for the current tech and telecommunications wars (like Mickey Rourke, the Droid has finally shown up after a long tease, but can it defeat the black and white iPhones?) and I also love “Animal Kingdom,” but that doesn’t exactly count since it hasn’t yet opened in the U.S. At the moment, though, it is the best reviewed film of the summer. So maybe we can also talk about what else we’re still looking forward to through September other than “Inception.” Another upcoming mainstream movie currently with slightly better reviews is “Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang,” which makes me wish I had kids so I didn’t feel weird about wanting to go see it (I really enjoyed Emma Thompson in the first one). And a lot of you are also likely even more excited about “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” than this weekend’s opener. Remember when the most exciting stuff came at the head of the summer?
Discuss: what do you think of the season up til now?
Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.