How I Saw Every Summer Movie in One Day

Lately I’ve been yearning for someone who gets as excited about movies as I do. The trend seems to be that I get excited about a movie, no one else expresses enthusiasm, and I save it to my Netflix queue for 6 months down the road.

However, I really like seeing movies on the big screen. Perhaps not as much as I used to (there were summers when I’d go every other week), but I still enjoy the experience.

I have a friend in Kansas City who gets as excited about movies as I do, so recently I proposed that we each drive two hours and meet in Columbia, Missouri, which is almost exactly midway between us. So that is exactly what we did yesterday: Drove to Columbia, watched a movie, ate dinner at Shakespeare’s Pizza, watched two more movies, and then drove our separate ways. It was awesome. My eyes got a little tired near the end of the third movie (probably because it was in 3D), but otherwise everything went without a hitch.

Here are quick spoiler-free reviews/reactions of the three movies we saw:

The Karate Kid: Although the movie should have been called “The Kung-Fu Kid,” this movie respects the original while adding new layers of depth that I think actually make it a stronger movie. There’s a scene in this movie about honor that brought me to tears, while I don’t remember the original having that effect on me. The only complaint I have about this movie (the same goes for the original) is that the true bad guy (the teacher) seems to be pure evil for no particular reason. I never buy characters like that–to me, it’s lazy writing.

Get Him to the Greek: This R-rated comedy made me laugh out loud the most of the three movies. Only a few jokes truly missed, and although there are scenes/moments that are more dramatic than funny, it comes together well. I don’t quite understand the point of the movie, as there’s no lesson learned or character arc completed, but I forgive all of that for a scene close to the end that was one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever watched. Let’s just say that it involves drug cocktail, a fight, and a furry wall.

Toy Story 3: This movie had the toughest job because we watched it last, and there were tons of little kids in the theater who wanted to talk to Woody and Buzz during the movie. Despite that, I loved the movie. It mixes themes like letting go, moving on, and loyalty with a roller coaster of a plot, amazing animation, and a horde of memorable characters (my favorites were three stuffed creatures who talked about their jobs as toys as if they were improv actors, adopting different personas and backstories every day). The only misfire in my opinion involves Woody’s stubbornness to stay with Andy even if Andy’s never going to play with him again, which is probably a toy thing that I don’t understand.

Have you seen those movies? What did you think?

13 thoughts on “How I Saw Every Summer Movie in One Day”

    • I was exaggerating for the sake of a catchy title :). But yes, Splice came out a few weeks ago–I want to see that too.

  1. I love the movies! Two of my favorite summer time activities are movie theatre marathons (buy a ticket for one movie and stay for as many as you can handle) and theatre drinking (less thrilling now that St. Louis has theatres that sell alcohol). I also almost always have free AMC passes, so let me know next time you want to see a comedy, an animated film, or an action flick. I tried to see Get him to the Greek this weekend, but apparently all of my friends think getting drunk is more fun than watching people get drunk.

  2. Sounds like a fun day, Jamey! I hope to watch all of those soon. Get Him to the Greek sounds hilarious. My 7yo really wants to watch the Karate Kid and The Last Air Bender. Doesn’t Jayden Smith look JUST LIKE HIS Dad? It’s crazy.

    • Jayden does look like his dad–and like his dad, he’s a solid (but not yet great) actor. I think he’s going places.

  3. The Motivation of an Antagonist: In the Old Karate Kid, I think you only see that Cobra-Kai master twice (When Pat Morita goes to the class and at the tournament). That’s Because the story is about the kid’s development. That’s why the movie’s not “The Badassary of Cobra Kai.”
    The Fantasy Genre does a great job of identifing a character’s role with history and archetypes rather than motivation. When Beowulf battles Grendel, you don’t hear that Grendel had a bad childhood, because mommy didn’t hug him. Grendel killed a bunch of guys, and keeps comming back and killing more. Dude’s got to go! Or when the Wicked Witch wants to steal Dorothy’s shoes. Until Wicked,you had no idea why. She’s just evil. Same with characters that are good. The Knight kills the dragon because he’s a knight, and that’s what knights do.
    To tie back to your Iron Man review, this also allows the opprotunity for more character development in a possible sequal. I think the pervious Karate Kid franchise was up to like 5 films before Ralph Macchio did My Cousin Vinny.

    • You’re right that the story is about the kid’s development. But I don’t think it would take much time away from that to round out the evil teacher character a bit–for example, the Incredibles gives you a very good idea of why the bad guy is who he is, but the focus is on the development of the four family members (and their family as an overall unit).

      Hasn’t Wicked gotten more acclaim than the Wizard of Oz in some circles? I think people want to know what makes “bad” people tick. I’ll maintain that it’s lazy writing to have a purely evil, unexplained character.

  4. I’ve seen Karate Kid and Get Him to the Greek (seeing Toy Story this weekend), and I actually really enjoyed both movies. I went into the Karate Kid with very low expectations – rip off of a great original with Will Smith’s kid as the lead? Get out of town. But in the end, I really liked it. I thought Jackie Chan’s Mr. Han had a bit more depth to him than the original Mr. Miyagi (pretty sure I’m butchering that spelling), and I felt a lot more emotion. I thought it was a bit slow at times, but overall, I was not disappointed.

    Get Him to the Greek was just pure comedy, plain and simple. “When life slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.” Come on, that’s funny stuff. There was no point to the movie, so I don’t think you missed it, but it was still a definite summer laugh-out-loud flick.

    • I completely agree with you about the latest Karate Kid, especially your point about Mr. Han. His character definitely had more depth.

      Ha ha ha…I love that line (and that whole scene) from Get Him to the Greek. If the point was to laugh, it achieved its goal.


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