MCF's 2008 Movie Checkpoint

I don't see a lot of movies in theaters, but there's a definite distinction between those I must see immediately and those I can wait for DVD. Earlier this year, I made a calendar of the geek flicks I planned to see. Now that the Summer is more or less over, it's a good time to look back and see how I'm doing so far:

Iron Man 5/2/2008:
Saw it; loved it. Robert Downey, Jr. transformed himself into Tony Stark, though that wouldn't be his only great transformation of the Summer. I can't wait for the sequel and other related movies.
Speed Racer 5/9/2008:
I never did see this one, but I'll get to the DVD eventually and find out how accurate the bad reviews were. To be honest I wasn't sure I wanted to see it in theaters to begin with.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian 5/16/2008:
This was a worthy sequel with some truly epic battles, and I hope this series continues with the same level of quality as the first two films.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 5/22/2008:
People were divided on this one. I don't think it was the best one in the series, but it was definitely better than Temple of Doom and the nostalgia factor was high. I had no trouble suspending my disbelief through most of it and my biggest problem had to do with a refrigerator. Overall, I'm glad Harrison Ford had one more of these in him.

Kung Fu Panda 6/6/2008:
SKA_DOOSH! Hey Jack Black, stick to voice work. This was your most hilarious role all year and my favorite character since Shallow Hal. Dustin Hoffman was pretty awesome as well.
You Don't Mess with the Zohan 6/6/2008:
I just never found the time for this one, so I'll have to look for it on DVD. After some semi-serious roles or comedic roles with dramatic undertones, it seemed like Adam Sandler was going back to his pure sophomoric comedy roots, but it looked damn funny.
The Incredible Hulk 6/13/2008:
Reboot SMASH puny Ang Lee mess!!! A lot more faithful to the source material with nods to both the comics and the TV series, this popcorn flick succeeded in restoring the franchise and paving the way for more sequels and crossovers...
The Happening 6/13/2008:
Nothing happened. It takes a lot for me to bash a movie, so trust me when I say this is bad. If you must see it, find a group of friends with a good sense of humor, or you won't last the 90 minute running time.
Get Smart 6/20/2008:
This is another one that slipped through the cracks. Reviews weren't great, but I'll still get to it eventually.
Wanted 6/27/2008:
Of all the films I missed this year, I suspect this will be the best one. From what little I was told from friends who saw it, this needs to be the first one I rent when it's available.
WALL-E 6/27/2008:
This is another glaring gap, and certainly another priority rental. June just got busy.

Hancock 7/2/2008:
Personally, I loved it. In a tight running time, it builds a good mythology and Will Smith carries the movie, which he does with every July movie he's been in. There's a nice twist, and a hilarious cameo and one-liner during the credits, and I liked the blend of comedy and drama it offered while paying homage to the comic book movie genre.
Batman: Gotham Knight (DVD) 7/8/2008:
Japan's best animators and directors collaborated. Kevin Conroy returned to voice his most famous character. Special features included an awesome biography of Bob Kane and a rogues gallery spotlight. It was everything I hoped for and more.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army 7/11/2008:
I keep forgetting about this one, as I did when it was in theaters. I'll make a note to catch the DVD.
Meet Dave 7/11/2008:
I'm not sure why I had this on the list. I must have done so based purely on a description, before I saw an actual trailer. There are plenty of good Eddie Murphy movies I need to see before I start working on his flops, family films, and combinations thereof.
The Dark Knight 7/18/2008:
Do I really need to say anything about the highest-grossing movie of the year, which is still holding its own at the box office? Heath Ledger was a force of sheer chaos cutting his way through an excellent crime drama reminiscent of the ‘70s, with definite elements of James Bond as well. It works as a movie first, and a comic book movie second, and a great cast and story made for my favorite movie of the year thus far.
The X-Files: I Want to Believe 7/25/2008:
I knew going in that it was going to play like a standalone episode of the television series, that the alien mythology was more or less dealt with in the series finale and after all these years they didn't want to force their audience to have good memories, or turn away filmgoers who never watched the show. I was glad to see my favorite characters again and liked the story, though I found the ending abrupt, something the credits eventually redeemed for me. I could have waited for the DVD, but I don't regret seeing it in theaters.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor 8/1/2008:
Reviews were iffy as was I, but the trailer showed decent action and humor. I'll see it on DVD.
Babylon A.D. 8/29/2008:
It looks like some interesting apocalyptic future sci fi, and I'll eventually rent it despite the wooden lead, who actually excels in these roles.

I'll check in again at the end of the year when I've seen some or all of the movies from the rest of my list. Death Race is in theaters now, but I'll probably wait for DVD, while Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has been pushed back until next Summer. I didn't realize Clone Wars was a theatrical release when I made the initial list, but at this point I'll wait until I can see it at home. The one movie I saw in theaters that wasn't on my list was Tropic Thunder, which started out strong with some awesome fake trailers, nearly lost me while it introduced the characters and set up the plot, and finally won me over by the end. Robert Downey, Jr. outdid himself and Tom Cruise steals the show, as you've never seen him before.

It's nearly Autumn, though the thermometers say otherwise, and as the movie season quiets down I should find time to catch up with the ones I haven't seen yet.


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