Weekend Viewing Roundup & My Top Fave Summer Movies

So the weekend just flew by… poof, that was fast! It’s actually been pretty hectic, back to the usual after a super mellow one last weekend as we recovered from our holiday. We saw Rango Friday night and yesterday, after a hot and humid day visiting a local art fair, we cooled off in a movie theater to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

I’ll have the reviews later this week but first I just want to share my thoughts of the Summer movies I’ve seen so far. It’s interesting that the movies which trailers didn’t impress me initially end up being the ones I enjoy more, ok with the exception of X-Men: First Class as I like both the trailer and the movie itself. The one that surprises me the most is the ‘Ape’ movie as I never had much interest in the ‘franchise’ if you will, never having seen the original with Charlton Heston. But after seeing this, I’m now curious to see it and I’ve added it to my Netflix queue. My husband said we actually rented the Tim Burton version a while go, but I completely forgot about it (maybe I fell asleep watching that? ahah).

Turns out that the Apes prequel to the 1968 film definitely um, rises to the occasion with $54 million, making it the box office winner this weekend. Per box office mojo, despite narrowly beating The Smurfs last weekend with $36 mil, Cowboys & Aliens fell to third place this time, losing out to the little blue people by about $5 mil (Ouch, that’s got to hurt Jon Favreau!)

Well, if I had to rank the Summer big-budget movies I managed to see this year (those released from May until now), it’d look like this:

  1. X-Men: First Class
  2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  3. THOR
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
  5. Captain America

I’m kind of going back on forth between #4 and #5, I think I like both of them equally so both Captain America and HP 7.2 could easily be a tie. The only other movie I want to see in August is The Debt, which is scheduled to open on 8/31 but hopefully that is a wide release instead of a limited one.


Well, what did you end up seeing this weekend, folks? And how would you rank the Summer films you’ve seen this year?

35 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup & My Top Fave Summer Movies

  1. I’m not really into the summer blockbuster, usually because they just don’t interest me. However, last year Inception made me realize how cool the summer blockbuster could be, so I might check some of this year’s stuff out.

    I watched Burton’s Apes remake back in 2001 and hated it. At the time it made me incredibly angry since I love the 1967 original soooooooo much. I saw Rango in theatres. Didn’t love it, but appreciated all the references, especially a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas reference which flew over my head at first, until I got the DVD out and watched it again. Fun movie.

    Sounds like you had a fun weekend, Ruth!

    1. Hi Tyler, I hear ya man, you have such a distinguished taste in films 🙂 I’d recommend the first two out of my list, I think you might enjoy both of them.

      Oh yeah, the Burton’s ‘Ape’ movie was forgettable, I mean I completely forgot I even watched it, must be a defense mechanism, ahah.

      Rango was fun but more of a rental, so good thing I waited. Hope you enjoyed your weekend, too.

  2. PrairieGirl

    Haven’t seen any summer movies yet. I’m totally hooked on USA channel’s Burn Notice. I just saw the ninth episode of season one, four more seasons to go – yipee! (not including 2012). Also saw How to Steal a Million, a 1966 rom com with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. It was a fun romp, and I can’t believe PO is the same actor as Lawrence of Arabia… that guy can play any part brilliantly. He held my interest more than Hepburn did in the quirky heist film.

    1. Hey Becky, I saw that you sent me a Burn Notice clip, I’m so behind on tv shows, but I heard good things about that one. Bruce Campbell is always fun to watch!

      Glad you enjoyed HTSAM, can’t go wrong with those two… I think PO was sooo handsome in his younger days. Gorgeous blue eyes!

    2. Hi, PrairieGirl, Funk and company:

      What’s not to love about ‘Burn Notice’? Equal amounts of eye candy, cool explosions and firearms for both sides of the audience make for a great series.

      Great catch on ‘How To Steal A Million’, PrairieGirl!

      O’Toole is one of those actors whose work is consistently good no matter what. One of my favorites is O’Toole playing a drunken, 1950s Errol Flynn type Swashbuckler star in ‘My Favorite Year’.

      1. PrairieGirl

        Hey Jack, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that BN is filmed in Miami, either. I like it because it’s not the usual, and love the trio approach to their “freelance projects.” The narration by Jeff Donovan and captions for the new characters in each episode keeps it interesting. And it’s ever-so amusing, too ; – )

  3. Yea I couldn’t even rank this summer’s blockbuster because I wasn’t a big fan of most of them. Harry Potter would easily be ahead of everything else I have seen and I guess I would have Thor in second by default even though it’s overall only above average.

    1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


    2. THOR
    3. Super 8
    4. X-Men First Class
    5. Captain America

    1. That is so interesting how much you love the last HP movie, perhaps because you had just seen all the movies this year so things are still fresh in your mind? I like it enough for it to make my top 5, but First Class is still the winner for me, even just for the Magneto & Xavier scenes! Glad Capt. America at least still make your list 🙂

      1. It’s not really so much that I loved the last Harry Potter movie than I was left completely unimpressed by all the other big tentpoles of this summer. Basically, I expect all blockbuster to at least reach the level of entertainment of the Harry Potter finale which overall was just good but not great.

        I liked Thor but it was just mindless fluff. Then moving down to Super 8, it didn’t quite click for me and I would rate it a B-. Same for X-Men. Then Captain America is a whole notch below those so I would rate it a C+.

        If I was to include non-tentpole studio movies, Horrible Bosses would be second and Bridesmaids third, easily ahead of those flicks.

  4. I caught a midnight showing of Speed on Saturday, and just watched Hobo With a Shotgun tonight. Had a great time with both.

    Looking forward to your review of Rango.

    1. Oooh, I’d love to see Speed on the big screen! As for the other one, for some reason I always laugh every time I saw that title 😀

  5. Ted S.

    I have to say this summer is by far the most disappointing to me since probably the summer of 2001. I didn’t really have a favorite of all the tent pole pictures that I’ve seen so far, still have yet to see Harry Potter or Rise of the Apes, will go check them out this week.

    My true favorite summer film has to be Fast Five, I know it doesn’t count since it opened way back in the last weekend of April but it’s the only pop corn flick I truly enjoyed this summer.

    I finally watched The Adjustment Bureau, it was okay. I thought it kind of got a little silly towards the end.

    1. Sorry to hear that Ted. I guess for me, I don’t compare my movie watching from one year to the next so I don’t know what ‘disappointing’ means. Who knows you might enjoy the ‘Apes’ movie as it was a pleasant surprise for me and it’s been getting good review.

      Yeah, Adjustment Bureau is just ok for me, too, I’m sure the literary version is much more compelling. The running around at the end is a bit silly, I agree.

    2. Same boat Ted. As I was saying above, Harry Potter ranks first for me by default because all the other tentpole were just tepid at best. Have yet to see the Apes movie though.

      The Adjustment Bureau was just okay for me too. The romance wasn’t epic enough to make it worth it and the “bad guys” aren’t nearly bad enough.

      1. Ahah, there it is again… you just LOVE that word ‘tepid’ don’t you, Cas? 😀 In any case, I think we’re all in agreement about AB… Emily Blunt was lovely though.

  6. FUNK

    Hi ya, and hope you had a fun filled weekend.
    Unfortunately I’ve not seen any of those as of yet, waiting for them to come out so I can get them online. Purchase them that is, but when I do, I think it will make for a huge blockbuster weekend hunker down in the house for sure.
    This weekend I finished up watching the remarkable 1st series, the 3 episodes of “Zen”, and gosh darn that is goooooooood. So I hope they do a 2nd series but don’t have to wait a year and a half to see it. Looks like I’m going to have to do what I did after seeing the 1st episode of Game of Thrones, and get the books.

    1. Hello Funk, yeah, busy but fun indeed. Hope yours was too. Hey, I’m curious to hear once you get a hold of some of these movies.

      Ha..ha.. Prairiegirl will love you for your ZEN comments 🙂 I have yet to watch any episode but from the clips I’ve seen, Rufus was spectacular. It’s really a shame they canceled it!

      1. FUNK

        Ya Sewell is superb, each episode just kept getting better. There is one thing that I noticed which I thoroughly enjoyed about the show which you don’t see in American TV, is the characters smoking in the offices, bars, outside the workplace. I thought that was cool. Kinda took me back to the golden days of TV.
        Then this wild thought brewed in my mind, I think he would make a darn fine Bond….

        What they cancelled it!

    2. PrairieGirl

      Hi Funk, I so agree with you about Zen, it’s the classiest detective series ever! And the books are just as good, you’ll enjoy them too. Be sure to order the ones with Rufus on the covers!

      1. FUNK

        Ahh Ok thanks for that tidbit of information.
        That was a classic and well done show thats for sure. I can’t believe they’ve cancelled it. 😦

  7. I’ve been working on a post for my faves of the summer too, Ruth! this is a great, and I think necessary, post!

    Like your list! Glad to see 3 of them Marvel movies…esp for a D.C. girl like yourself!

    I must agree with Castor here…Super 8 is def on my list. But i will wait to rank them all, myself, until after the summer ends.

    1. Hi T, curious to see your top 5 list. I feel like since it’s August already, it’s time to rank ’em. I might swap one of them once I see The Debt though, that one looks really good.

      Super 8 was just ok for me, I don’t think I want to watch that again, whilst I would easily re-watch any of these in a heartbeat.

  8. Summer blockbuster I haven’t until recently been that lucky on. But it is getting better. I used to have to wait until Blu Ray but as you know I ma getting more screenings now.

    I had to forego my Apes screening as Daisy had 3 parties over the weekend and we just couldn’t fit it all in,

    Super 8 is coming this week though.

    Have a lovely Monday Ruthy!!

    1. Hey Custard, there you go again rubbing it in about your free screening 🙂 I’m just a wee little blogger so I still have to pay for my tickets 😦

      I love you for prioritizing Daisy over seeing Apes… you’re an awesome family man, Custie, that’s why I love you 🙂

      Enjoy your Monday, matey!

  9. Glad you had some nice time in cinema, Flixy.
    I wasn’t overly amazed by this year’s summer in cinemas, but I think 2013 will be more of my year and 2012 possibly as well 🙂

    1. Hi Dezzy, yeah I’m looking forward to the next 2 years as well, a few new movies of Henry and GB coming out, as well as other good ones! 😀

  10. Wow!! The Rise of The Ape is in number 2….you’re making even more curious about it!! Not sure whether it will be played here or not 😦
    I have been intrigued ever since I saw the trailer…I really really want to see it. So far, only 2 blockbuster movies were (and still are) played here, Harry and Transformers because so many people demand those movie to be played. I will see Transformers soon.

    I wish these apes could also be played one day (before the dvd is out)

    1. I think you’ll enjoy ‘Apes’ Novia, I came in with high expectation because of the reviews and wasn’t disappointed! Man, they’re ONLY playing HP 7.2 & Transformers there? Man, I hope they will show more new releases soon, ‘Apes’ is really worth seeing on the big screen.

  11. I saw “Rise” this weekend and was stunned by how good it was. It could be my favorite film of the summer next to “First Class” and it doesn’t even have a super hero….unless you count Caesar of course! Markus is home……apes ruled!

    1. Yay, glad you put First Class together with this ‘Apes’ movie. I put First Class well, first, because I just love the X-Men franchise and both McAvoy and Fassbender were simply amazing. I never thought ‘Apes’ would be in my top 5, let alone beating Thor and Cap. America! But yeah, it was good filmmaking… that last quote is definitely gonna be the one for the ages.

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