Usually when I open up my annual “Guide to Summer Movies” in Entertainment Weekly I get excited by at least 5 to 10 of the action, art house or romantic comedies that are coming out that year. But this year I turned each page with nary even one pulse raising moment. When the best Hollywood can come up with is remakes of “The Karate Kid,” “The A-Team” and a schlocky “Twilight” sequel it is clear the industry is in big trouble.
So what is a movie lover to do? Well, it’s time to dust off your old DVD collection (or order them via Netflix) because the following old summer favorites bear a repeat viewing. And there is something for everyone-a couple of dramatic blockbusters, a foreign language art film and some romantic comedies.
In addition you won’t have to wait in any lines, spend $18 on a ticket or take out a second mortgage on your house to get some snacks at the refreshment counter. And that is what is truly priceless.
Aliens (Director’s Cut)-In this much longer version of “Aliens” (the theatrical version was cut short because back then 3 hour movies were a no-no) you really see the brilliance of director James Cameron’s original vision. For instance, you learn that Ripley actually had an 8 year old daughter who had passed away during her 57 years of hyper-sleep in deep space.
That one plot point explains why she was so protective of Newt, the young orphan she finds abandoned and alone on planet LV-426. There are also scenes depicting what Newt’s life was like at the Colony before the aliens took over and generally is a more well rounded film. Definitely worth a look.
Run Lola Run-This frenetic, fast paced action movie/romance/art film is entirely in German with English subtitles but it works as a film without even needing words. And the techno soundtrack is positively amazing. And I hate techno.
Clueless-The film that made Alicia Silverstone a movie star (for about 5 minutes) and launched the career of the recently deceased Brittany Murphy who later starred in “8 Mile” with Eminem. This movie is sweet, funny, romantic and kind of pointless. But who cares when it is this much fun?
Fast Times at Ridgemont High-School’s out so why not revisit the world’s most famous stoner-a character named Spicoli so brilliantly portrayed by a young Sean Penn. It’s a shame that Mr. Penn has given up comedy because he is a truly gifted comic actor.
The Goonies-Want to feel like a kid again? Just watch “The Goonies” with your kids and rediscover what it’s like to go on “another Goonie adventure.” And it’s always worthwhile to see Chunk do the Truffle Shuffle.