Nothing puts me in a better mood than watching an old, movie musical, especially one starring either Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly (whom George Balanchine himself called them two of the best dancers he’d ever seen). This particular clip comes from Broadway Melody of 1940 and features a lot of fancy footwork from Astaire and tap legend Eleanor Powell. It doesn’t get much better than this, kids.
I think we all can agree that this has been one of the most dismal summers in recent memory for movies. Box office is down. While I know the economy is basically still in the shitter, and people don’t have the money to take the whole family to the movies plus buy snacks and drinks, there’s a stronger force at work here.
Maybe the movies just aren’t very good.
The best movie of this summer so far (in both box office and critical acclaim) has been the hilarious, poignant Toy Story 3 from the awesome people at Pixar (can they do any wrong? I think not.). It’s been the lone, true “blockbuster” of this summer. Other so-called “blockbusters” like The A-Team and Iron-Man 2 have done solid business, but didn’t leave much of an impression on audiences.
However, (if you’ll pardon my perceived sacrilegiousness) a savior is coming…in the form of Christopher Nolan’s new thriller Inception. If you’ve been watching TV at all the last several weeks, you’ve no doubt seen the awesome confusing teasers ads for the movie, which show Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, my future husband Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, and Cillian Murphy discussing something about entering people’s dreams and a lot of images of buildings folding over themselves. The movie looks twisty, dark, thrilling, and undoubtedly awesome (How is Michael Caine in anything NOT awesome?).
Here’s why Inception is going to be awesome (and save this summer’s movies):
- Christopher Nolan is a cinematic genius. Before he rebooted Batman, he was making interesting, dark thrillers like Memento which kept audiences guessing. Nolan knows how to make old-fashioned thrillers/dramas on a huge scale without making them feel overproduced. In addition, he wrote the screenplay to Inception with his brother, whom he also collaborated with on Memento, so it should be a head trip.
- The cast. Nolan gets big names who also have serious acting chops (save for Katie Holmes as Rachel in Batman Begins…ick). The cast for Inception includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, and Nolan-favorite Michael Caine. While we’ve seen that a lot of big names does not always equal a good movie (see Valentine’s Day), Nolan is smart enough to pick actors who can back up their hype with the goods.
- The visual effects. Buildings folding into themselves, anybody? How is that NOT cool?
- It’s not a sequel or prequel to anything. Need I say more? How refreshing to have something original.
- It’s for adults. There’s nothing animated (no offense to Pixar). There are no talking animals. There are no lame vampires and werewolves fighting over a dull, spineless human girl (Offense is meant to you, Twilight). It’s a movie for adults who want a good, old-fashion head trip at the movie theatre without having to deal with crying children or texting tweens.
Early reviews are already buzzing about this movie. We’ll see next weekend how it does, but if I’m right, then we’ll all have Christopher Nolan to thank for saving our summer.