One upside to the storms: You can spend a lot of time catching all the summer movie releases.
Here are one guy's mini-reviews (pardon the popcorn-butter-stained notes), from good to best:
Transformers: I've never been the right age for Transformers. Sure, they're fun, but I've had a grudge against them, especially the hard-to-assemble action figures. When my kids would turn to me to put one of their Transformers back together in vehicle form, I couldn't do it. Wayyyyy too complicated. I would usually threaten Optimus Prime with a trip into the blender if he didn't cooperate. The movie is the same way: Fun in some ways, complicated in other ways, and too much of an investment in my time. Click here to see the trailer.
Surf's Up: My theory on why we see so many animated penguins: Penguins are easy to animate. You draw an oblong figure, add circles for eyes -- done. You don't even have to draw fingers. This movie will make kids giggle, and adults will find some connection. The Big Z, the legendary surfer penguin, is voiced by Jeff Bridges. So if you close your eyes, it's like hearing The Dude from The Big Lebowski. Click here for trailer.
Live Free or Die Hard: You're sitting there watching this movie and you wonder this about Bruce Willis: He can launch a police cruiser into a hovering helicopter full of terrorists and lunge off a crashing jet fighter, but he can't steal Demi Moore away from Ashton Kutcher. If you can get past that, you'll enjoy this movie. Click here to see the trailer.
Ratatouille: Who can knock this movie? Out of 132 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, Ratatouille is hitting 95 percent on the Critics Tomatometer (a good thing). Our own Christopher Kelly loved it. One-third of the bad reviews come out of Orlando. But what do reviewers there know about animated mice anyway? Ratatouille is your best choice if you have time off this week. The animation is amazing. The storyline works. There's not an animated penguin in sight. And best of all ... no Randy Newman music. Click here to see the trailer.
-- Tommy Cummings | firstname.lastname@example.org