We’ve invited our Movie Critic; Paul McGuire back to share his movie picks for an end of summer movie party! As these final days of summer approach, why not gather some friends for an outdoor movie marathon. Have some appetizers, beers, fruity tropical beverages, and catch up on some old favorites. Don’t forget to have plenty of blankets to sit on, pillows and lawn chairs. You will also need bug spray of some sort, you don’t want the mosquitoes ruin a good night! And of course, the fixings for S’Mores!
There are so many different themes you could choose from: summer movies, blockbusters, classic comedies, musicals or movies that are so dreadful that they are funny. Here are some ideas for outdoor movie fun:
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider
The movie opens with a camera lens moving around in the ocean and the sounds of the infamous two note minor second interval created by composer John Williams. Cut to a bunch of students relaxing by a fire on the shore. Two young, drunk, and horny students decide to go skinny dipping when all hell breaks loose. The girl is yanked under water by a great white shark. Police Chief Brody (Scheider) gets a call about the attack and orders that all beaches are closed until further notice. Naturally, he is overruled by the mayor who insists the beaches remain open as it is high tourist season. After another attack, this time on a small young boy, the town is on full alert. After a few local fishermen capture a tiger shark, cheers ensue as they assume they’ve captured the beast that attacked the girl and young boy. Brody enlists the help of Hooper (Dreyfuss), a marine biologist, to learn more about what kind of creature they might be dealing with. Hooper does not believe that the tiger shark is the same shark that did the attacks. The diameter of the jaw is not big enough to have done the damage that was found on the girl’s body. On a late night lookout, they find the tooth of a great white shark amongst some under water wreckage. Hooper and Brody along with Quint (Shaw), an alcoholic shark hunter, set out on Quint’s boat to find and kill the great white.
Steven Spielberg is the king of summer blockbusters. Long before Michael Bay or Will Smith tried to conquer the summer box office, Steven Spielberg created wonderful stories of adventure, horror, and mystery. Whether they ignited our passion for extra-terrestrials or made us afraid of sharks or
snakes, he knew how to tell a fun story. He created an adventure full of great characters and took the audience on a journey. Jaws has all of that. I wish I would have been born in 1975 to have witnessed Jaws on the big screen.
Sophie (Seyfried) is getting married, and she would give anything to have her father walk her down the aisle. There’s a bit of a problem. She doesn’t know who her dad is. After finding her mom’s (Streep) journal she realizes that it could be three different men: Harry (Firth), Sam (Brosnan), and Bill (Skarsgard). She writes them each an invite to come to the wedding thinking she will learn who her real father is all while keeping it a secret from her mom, Donna. Donna invites her former backup singers (Christine Baranski and Julie Walters) to join in the festivities. Set to the music of ABBA, Sophie sets out to figure out which one is her dad while Donna faces her romantic past with each of these gentleman.
Mamma Mia is a light, fun, and fluffy musical. The gorgeous scenery from the Greek islands and the catchy music make for a perfect summer movie. If you like ABBA music, you can’t help but smile and sing along. Some of the actors don’t have the best singing voices. Their vocal qualities aren’t near the caliber of typical Broadway musical theater actors. I think with this style of music, it isn’t as distracting and important as it would be in other movie musicals. Christine Baranski and Julie Walters are hysterically funny. They steal the scenes whenever they pop up. Meryl Streep is wonderful as always. That woman can do no wrong in my book. You’ll want to watch this with a big fruity tropical alcoholic beverage!
Chet Ripley (Candy) takes his wife and two sons to a lake resort in Wisconsin for a summer vacation. He thinks he’s going to have a nice relaxing trip. Chet’s sister, Kate (Bening), and brother-in-law, Roman (Akroyd), decide to surprise them by showing up unexpectedly and crashing the good time. Roman is the exact opposite of Chet. Chet can’t stand being around Roman. Roman’s a know-it-all investment broker that insists on trying to do things his way, which is far more extravagant than Chet’s ways. Hijinks ensue as Chet tries to have a good time and impress his family all while Roman seems to be stealing
his thunder. Bats, bears, raccoons, water-skiing, and a steak-eating contest are just some of the situations that Roman and Chet find themselves in.
The Great Outdoors is one of the classics starring the late John Candy. He was a one-of-a-kind comedian that left the world far too early. It also marks the first screen appearance of Annette Bening. It’s a great summer movie that was written by John Hughes who’s known for other ‘80s classics like The Breakfast Club, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Happy End of Summer!
Paul McGuire – Movie Critic, Professional Actor, Life-long Movie Buff
Check out his current movie review on The Help: http://elblogdepmcg.blogspot.com/2011/08/movie-review-help.html