It’s nearing the end of June, and I have no clue how we’re only halfway through this miserable year. While we have to wait a bit longer for the respective releases of Wonder Woman 1984, Soul, or Top Gun: Maverick, we got some movies On Demand and streaming services that were worth watching (The King of Staten Island, Da 5 Bloods).
But like every month, it’s about time to look back in the past to see what came in theaters in the past with the latest entry in Throwback Session- Remember These Movies?. We were right in the middle of the summer movie season, but we already have gotten the best movie thus far that involves animated toys, believe it to not. From what I can remember around this time the years back, I just wrapped up seventh grade and was about to enjoy my summer vacation. What was the first thing I when school was out? I literally went to the movies and saw Knight and Day. Out of what’s talked about, I saw eight in theaters. So, take a glance at what June brought to theaters ten years ago.
June 4: ‘Marmaduke’
Cast: Owen Wilson, Lee Pace, George Lopez, Emma Stone, Judy Greer, Kiefer Sutherland, Steve Coogan, Fergie, and William H. Macy
Director: Tom Dey
Synopsis: With the help of his best feline friend, a lovable Great Dane named Marmaduke (Owen Wilson) helps his family (Lee Pace, Judy Greer) adjust to their new lives in Orange County, California. Although he is loving life and living large in The O.C., he is discovering that fitting in with his new pals at the dog park is not always easy.
My Thoughts: I should’ve listened to my friend who thought it looked stupid since the trailer showed dogs dancing. Sitting through the entirety of Marmaduke wasn’t the best way to spend a pleasant Saturday afternoon when there was no fun found with very unfunny that made me feel bad for Owen Wilson, who voiced the title character that shouldn’t be talking. Just like with Garfield, studios shouldn’t touch comic strips and turn them into live-action family movies. This brought dog movies down a whole other level. You honestly feel bad for everyone involved, including the voice cast and the humans.
‘Get Him To The Greek’
Cast: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Elisabeth Moss, and Rose Byrne
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Synopsis: An ambitious executive at a record company, Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) gets what looks like an easy assignment: He must escort British rock legend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) to L.A.’s Greek Theatre for the first stop on a lucrative comeback-concert tour. Snow, however, has different plans. Learning his true love is in California, the rocker vows to win her back before starting the tour, forcing Aaron to pull out all the stops to get Snow on stage in time.
My Thoughts: Get Him to the Greek is an underrated comedy, in my opinion. With this being a spin-off of the hilarious Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I was worried since this was going to be focusing on Russell Brand’s rock star character Aldous Snow and the antics that come when getting someone to their destination on time. Yet, writer/director Nicholas Stoller and company made this worthwhile. Hill and Brand had good comedic chemistry with each other, and this is the only time where I’ve liked Brand in a movie. Most of the jokes might not hold up, especially a controversial scene where Hill’s character gets raped, but from what I remembered, I laughed hard a lot in this.
Around this time a decade ago, Get Him to the Greek was the funniest comedy to come out so far, and I’m surprised it doesn’t get talked about anymore. Even the soundtrack wasn’t that bad of a listen.
Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara, and Katheryn Winnick
Director: Robert Luketic
Synopsis: Three years after a fateful trip to the French Riviera, Jen (Katherine Heigl) enjoys the good life in suburbia with her handsome husband, Spencer (Ashton Kutcher). That comes crashing down, however, when gunfire rings out the morning after his 30th birthday. It turns out that Spencer has not been honest with Jen about his job; he’s a deadly spy. Now she must learn to dodge bullets while keeping up an appearance of normalcy.
My Thoughts: Was anyone else bummed this wasn’t a biopic about the band, The Killers? I checked it out from the library months after it came out, and what did I expect? Everybody knew Killers would be atrocious when it stars both Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl, two of my least favorite actors of all-time who had the vapidest chemistry in the world. Every minute of this was very dull when it turned into the poor man’s version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The worst action comedy released that year that made The Bounty Hunter look redeemable. And why was there an Usher cameo in this? Did he need the money or something? Kutcher, who produced this, won the Razzie for Worst Actor, along with Valentine’s Day. That’s what you get when you don’t pick good movies.
Cast: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, and Delphine Chanéac
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Synopsis: Geneticists Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) specialize in creating hybrids of species. When they propose the use of human DNA, their pharmaceutical company bosses forbid it, forcing them to conduct experiments in secret. The result is Dren, a creature with amazing intelligence and physical attributes.
My Thoughts: Never something I wanted to see. Ever. The trailers I didn’t like since made it look like Species crossed with Jeepers Creepers. Splice is one of those horror movies where you either love it or hate it. So, despite the polarizing opinions, I still didn’t care to check it out because it sounded stupid.
June 11: ‘The A-Team’
Cast: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Jessica Biel, and Patrick Wilson
Director: Joe Carnahan
Synopsis: A man who loves when a plan comes together, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) leads a close-knit team of elite operatives, Face (Bradley Cooper), B. A. Baracus (Quinton “Rampage” Jackson), and Murdock (Sharlto Copley). Framed for a terrible crime, Smith and his men go rogue, using their special talents to clear their names and find the perpetrator.
My Thoughts: Saw it opening day. The A-Team had a long way to finally get made for those who grew up watching the popular ’80s action television series. Never have watched a single episode of it but was familiar enough with it, this ended up being a ridiculous action movie that ended up being Charlie’s Angels and Mission: Impossible together. Overall, it’s fine. The performances were fine when playing these well-known characters, yet the performance I couldn’t get enough of was Copley as Murdock, he was having fun with his role and the funniest moments came from him.
The action scenes are where it gets stupid when your brain overthinks how physics plays into everything because there’s no way a tank can stay that long in the air with a parachute. I mean, it’s more believable than buying Jessica Biel as an agent. After 10 years, The A-Team leans more into the forgettable side of shows turned into movies. There were talks about a sequel, but one movie was enough for me.
‘The Karate Kid’
Cast: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson, Wenwen Han, and Zhenwei Wang
Director: Harald Zwart
Synopsis: When his mother’s career results in a move to China, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) finds that he is a stranger in a strange land. Though he knows a little karate, his fighting skills are no match for Cheng, the school bully. Dre finds a friend in Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), a maintenance man who is also a martial-arts master and teaches him the ways of kung fu.
My Thoughts: I knew a lot of people just hated the fact Will Smith was producing a Karate Kid remake. The 1984 original starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita is a classic I love, but this 2010 remake wasn’t too bad. Though it’s dumb to call it that since it’s “kung fu” and not “karate,” it turned out to be more of a surprise than most thought. This was the last time where a Jaden Smith performance was considered decent, but Jackie Chan as Mr. Han gave one of his best roles, as he showed off some dramatic chops I haven’t seen before. The scenes between both of them worked when they’re training together in a student-teacher relationship that ended up being a strong element to the movie.
But did this need to be over two hours long? No, there was no reason for this to be 140 minutes long, and this was one of those times where Taraji P. Henson annoyed me as Dre’s mother. The fight sequences here were pretty awesome, especially when Chan beats up the bully and his friends early on and during the tournament. Overall, there’s some enjoyment out of this remake, and it’s much better than the sequels. The Karate Kid also gave us Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never,” which might be the only song from him where it’s a guilty pleasure.
Side note: When I saw this with my family opening weekend, there was a karate lesson going on in the main lobby of the movie theater I used to go to.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, and Shelley Waggener
Director: Debra Granik
Synopsis: Faced with an unresponsive mother and a criminal father, Ozark teenager Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) does what she can to manage the household and take care of her two younger siblings. Informed by the sheriff (Garret Dillahunt) that their father put their home up for bond and then disappeared, Ree sets out on a dangerous quest to find him.
My Thoughts: Winter’s Bone wasn’t on my radar until I heard about it on The Rotten Tomatoes Show. I only saw three minutes of it when it was on TV, but that was it. It looks like a drama that could get under my skin or be depressed realizing how bleak it really was. This was the earliest movie of the year to get a Best Picture nomination. Jennifer Lawrence earned her first Oscar nomination at age 20, and the movie itself also saw nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for John Hawkes.
June 18: ‘Toy Story 3’
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, Jodi Benson, Timothy Dalton, and Michael Keaton
Director: Lee Ulrich
Synopsis: Now that Andy has all grown-up and is about to leave for college at the age of 17, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), and the rest of the remaining toys from Andy’s days as a young kid have been stuck in his toy chest for a long time, without being played with. After accidentally being donated to a daycare called Sunnyside instead of going up in the attic, they meet all these wonderful new toys, but it’s not until later they must find a way back before Andy leaves.
My Thoughts: If you read my recent review of this, you would know I love Toy Story 3, and I called it the best animated movie of the decade. Disney/Pixar has done it again with a sequel everybody in the world loves as much as its two equally great predecessors. We were all certain this would be a great entry filled with fun moments with the characters some have grown up with since the beginning, but many of us didn’t expect it to make us cry, and let it sure it’s okay. Everything is flawless from the beautiful animation, vocal performances, humor, and heart that never missed a beat.
You don’t have to be a kid to full-out love Toy Story 3. It’s a movie made for everyone. Probably the only thing I don’t like is the Rotten Tomatoes score- 98%. There’s nothing wrong with a movie holding that score, but it should be a perfect 100%, no thanks to five critics with no souls. As someone who watched the first two constantly, what’s there to dislike.
Want to read my review?—–> Right Here
Cast: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender, Michael Shannon, and Will Arnett
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Synopsis: Having cheated death, gunslinger and bounty hunter Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) has one foot in the natural world and one in the supernatural. His unusual nature gives him the ability to track down anyone or anything, so the Army makes him an irresistible offer: It will erase the warrants on his head if he will find Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich). Turnbull, his oldest enemy, is preparing to unleash hell on Earth and will stop at nothing to kill him.
My Thoughts: I love comic book movies. Jonah Hex is one of the few superhero movies I avoided to see, and I was going to see it until the box office numbers came out. This failed so badly as a western it made Wild Wild West looks like Jaws compared to this. From what I heard, Josh Brolin as the title character wasn’t the problem, even if he didn’t want to be in this, but it’s much so Megan Fox, who earned a Worst Supporting Actress nomination, and everything else that made this 81-minute movie horrible.
June 23: ‘Knight and Day’
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis, and Paul Dano
Director: James Mangold
Synopsis: While catching a plane from Wichita to Boston, June Havens (Cameron Diaz) bumps into Roy Miller (Tom Cruise), twice, at the airport and catches a ride home. But she soon discovers he’s a fugitive super-spy who on the run from the CIA once she finds out he killed everyone on the plane and must protect her at all costs when he carries a battery that could power a city these bad guys want to sell.
My Thoughts: There’s a review of Knight and Day coming up this weekend to begin Tom Cruise Week, where I review a movie he has done during the week of his birthday. Since this was the one to start, this is a pretty bad action-comedy that lacked excitement. This was the movie I saw on the last day of seventh grade, and I just it was alright from the couple times I saw it. Now, I see why some didn’t like it. Cruise does what he can, but the chemistry between him and Cameron Diaz wasn’t the best. As for the action resulted in being underwhelming with a poorly written wrapped around it. An action movie like this should’ve been in the same vein as something like True Lies or Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Knight and Day is not one of James Mangold’s finest, but there might be those out there who enjoyed this. But the one thing this is good for is the Schmoes Know review were in their review, it was the birth of the character called “The Cartoon Cat.” Hilarious stuff right there.
June 25: ‘Grown Ups’
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello, and Colin Quinn
Director: Dennis Dugan
Synopsis: Five best friends- Lenny (Adam Sandler), Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock), Marcus (David Spade), and Rob (Rob Schneider)- gather their families to stay at a lake house during the 4th of July weekend after their former basketball coach died.
My Thoughts: This is one of many movies from ten years ago I thought was watchable, originally, and I now realized it’s terrible. Basically, Grown Ups was just Adam Sandler and his friends hanging out, just laughing at anything remotely dumb every five minutes. A movie where comedic actors reconnect with their youth wasn’t interesting to watch when there wasn’t a plot anywhere. You got your predictable jokes that aren’t funny with moments that were supposed to be sweet are ruined when it’s a fart joke or something. I only remember a few scenes where chuckles were involved.
Like any movie from Happy Madison, it earned big bucks at the box office but received negative reviews, maybe because nobody wanted to see a more lighthearted version of The Big Chill. Schneider even earned a Worst Supporting Actor nomination. How shocking? Now we know why he didn’t return for the sequel nobody asked for. And let’s not forget this won an MTV Movie Award for the line “I wanna get chocolate wasted” over better lines from better movies that came out later. Winners like this are why the award show has become such a joke.
June 30: ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard, Billy Burke, Dakota Fanning, and Xavier Samuel
Director: David Slade
Synopsis: Danger once again surrounds Bella (Kristen Stewart), as a string of mysterious killings terrorizes Seattle and a malicious vampire continues her infernal quest for revenge. Amid the tumult, Bella must choose between her love for Edward (Robert Pattinson) and her friendship with Jacob (Taylor Lautner), knowing that her decision may ignite the long-simmering feud between vampire and werewolf.
My Thoughts: The fact I saw this on opening day and thought it was good made me realized I lost my man card that day. What’s even worse was when I got the DVD for Christmas? No worries, I sold it. Something was wrong with me back then. Out of everything in the franchise, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is probably the second-best, but that’s not saying much. Either way, it’s an awful movie. In my mind, I want to enjoy them, but it wasn’t possible. Another reason why I wanted to see this was to check out that incredible Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows trailer, but they never played it.
Will Bella end up with Edward or Jacob? Why should we care about this pointless love triangle? Not even 30 Days of Night director David Slade couldn’t save this third installment when he has to deal with a boring script and horrible performances from nearly everyone. The only thing that made this memorable when this series was still revenant was the fight scene between the vampires. How exciting? I still have Muse’s “Neutron Star Collision to listen to, which they played during the graduation party scene.
If you need to know another reason why the MTV Movie Awards went downhill since this series began, this won Best Movie over not only Inception, but Black Swan, The Social Network, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Things like this made me realize why society is losing.