The Why So Blu Crew’s Favorite Flicks Of Summer 2011

So the summer movie season has come to an end, but that does not mean us here at Why So Blu can’t have one last hurrah.  With such an assortment of different films that came out this past summer (a particularly crowded one, which benefited from having a lot of good crowd pleasers to offer), I thought it would be a fun idea to have a majority of the group contribute some thoughts on their top picks for this past summer.  With that said, anyone else should feel free to submit their thoughts on the films they enjoyed most this summer in the comment section below as well.  But for now, keep reading to hear what a bunch of us had to say about our picks.

Brian’s Picks

1.  RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – In my opinion, no movie this summer has come close to the emotional stakes raised in this blockbuster.   Much like the qualities of Avatar, Apes sucks you in and before you know it you’re invested in the story, not trying to nitpick the CGI.  I have not felt this level of satisfaction, on an emotional level, with a movie since How to Train Your Dragon, point in case.




2.  FRIGHT NIGHT – Never having seen the original, I knew not what to expect here.  But what I got was a rootin tootin good ole time…in 3-D!  Yes, I said 3-D!  This is actually the first movie of the year, besides some rare moments in Transformers, that I even recommend the extra priced ticket purchase in the 3-D format.  And even better…Collin Farrell is back, baby!  It’s a fun, no frills thrill ride.




3.  HORRIBLE BOSSES – For reasons left unsaid, I love this film.  Having worked in the corporate world my whole life, it’s refreshing to see a film that extends and goes beyond the antics of the original office comedy, Office Space.   Jennifer Aniston, although growing older every day, just looks amazing in this and every cast member is just downright entertaining and equally exhilarating.   Now, while I won’t endorse the lengths taken in this film to “exterminate” their bosses, I will say this…I’ll agree to look the other way, because in my opinion, this was the funniest movie of the year…sorry Hangover II.



Gregg’s Picks

1.  X-MEN: FIRST CLASS – I love comics, but I’ve never been a huge X-Men fan.  I always had this air of indifference toward the mutant super team.  Still, the previous X-Men films were enjoyable (save for the third one).  Enter First Class.  This film just blows away the trilogy.  It was well cast, well written, well directed, and lead by the superior acting talents of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.  In my opinion, this is the best Marvel movie to date.  Shame on you if you missed it in the theater.



2.  THE HELP – Oscar bound.  The 1960’s tale of the treatment of black maids in the Deep South was a potent film to say the least.  It was by far and away the best-acted movie of the year thus far and contained aspects of humor and love amidst a dramatic backdrop.  Simply put, The Help overflowed with emotion and attachment.  Chick flick my a**.  This was a great movie for anyone, plain and simple.




3.  TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON – I could’ve done without some of the unnecessary cheese and parts of a lagging first half.  However, the build-up and final stand in Chicago was so absolutely epic that any negativity in the first half of the film was soon forgotten. When we played with Transformers as kids, this was the massive scale battle we envisioned. Plus, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley not only served as a great Megan Fox replacement, but she was also quite easy on the eyes.



Mary’s Picks

1. FRIGHT NIGHTThere is nothing like a cool, seductive vampire to brighten the night.  Colin Farrell was it for me this summer (Sorry Edward Cullen).  Fright Night was fun, entertaining, and had a few twists along the way.  Great cast overall.  Very good performances by everyone.




2. INSIDIOUSI love horror movies and haunted houses, but to find out “It’s not the house that is haunted, it’s your son,” is a real nightmare come true.  This physiological thriller that had some terrifying moments one of my favorites this summer.





3. PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDESI loved “On Stranger Tides” and I love Captain Jack!  It was fun, adventurous, and made me laugh.  It was easy on the mind, not everything has to be so deep and complicated. I was able to let go and sail away in search of the fountain of youth.  If you are looking for a fun summer family movie “On Stranger Tides” is your ticket to adventure.




Gerard’s Picks

1.  THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE – What’s to be said that hasn’t already been said? The concept of evil so singularly personified in the stand out (and hopefully Oscar nominated dual performance) of Dominic Cooper who up until then was a virtual unknown in cinema. He played the psychotic son of Saddam Hussein with such viciousness that it was too real at times. He also played Latif with torturous despair. Latif and the people of Iraq were the real victims of this regime.



2.  X-MEN: FIRST CLASS – I was ready to write this mutant entry off, because I hated Wolverine and Last Stand was very mediocre. Good thing I didn’t. Matthew Vaughn was brought on board and my fears were quickly squashed. Here is a person that, for all intents and purposes, understands the source material and knows what he and his collaborators have to do with it: Not make it stupid. They succeeded with equal parts style and equal parts substance. Standout performances include: Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, and James McAvoy.



3. TREE OF LIFE – Malick be thy name. Some people love his films and some people REALLY hate his films. I fall into the first category. Whether you care about his narrative or subject matter, watching Tree of Life makes you think and ponder the world around you. It also makes you question how insignificant you really are in the grand scheme of things. You really have no say in the matter. The only thing you really have control over in this life is your own mind.




Aaron’s Picks

1.  ATTACK THE BLOCK – Similar to 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in more ways than one, this was the movie I fell in love with this summer.  It’s a small budgeted film from overseas that happens to be about an alien invasion.  What makes this film better than any other giant-scaled sci-fi alien thriller that has come out in recent months however is that Attack the Block has an incredibly unique voice, fresh and clever writing, great use of practical effects, good characters, thrills and humor, along with a sweet soundtrack by Basement Jaxx.  Producer Edgar Wright and more importantly writer/director Joe Cornish made a wonderful little flick that will easily become a cult classic.



2.  MIDNIGHT IN PARIS – I can always appreciate a really enjoyable Woody Allen movie.  Something I did not see coming was how much I ended up enjoying this one, as it was enough for me to consider this easily in my top 10 of Woody Allen’s films, if not higher.  ‘Midnight’ features a large cast, headed by Owen Wilson, who shines in the “Woody Allen” role, in a film that has a very charming feel, even as it transcends into its fantastical story line, which evokes past Allen film’s like The Purple Rose of Cairo, but still manages to feel incredibly fresh and very entertaining.  Maybe not the biggest laugh out loud comedy of the summer, but easily one of the most endearing.



3.  RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APESWhile the top two picks were easy, choosing between a lot of solid blockbusters that came out this summer was a bit more difficult.  Still, I have decided to stick with the film that no one seemed too keen on leading up to its release.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes seems like one of the biggest surprises of the summer, but I was on board early on and glad to have been.  The work done by Andy Serkis and WETA to create the character of Caesar was fantastic and the film managed to be a step above average in its storytelling.  The human stuff may be a bit weak, but once the film puts Caesar front and center, the film fires on all cylinders and even manages to stick the landing with an exciting action climax.


And there you have it.  Summer 2011 has now come to a close, with many of these flicks either available or coming to Blu-ray very soon.  Not all of us were able to catch as many summer movies as some of the others, but it was still fun to pool a bunch of our thoughts together and maybe get some more feedback below.  Now it is time to gear up for the Fall movie season, which has a lot of promise as well, which I will be covering in another “most anticipated” article in the near future.


Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

11 Responses to “The Why So Blu Crew’s Favorite Flicks Of Summer 2011”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    Damn, I missed Midnight In Paris. I heard it was the bomb, yo!

    Good stuff, Aaron!

  2. Jordan Grout

    I can’t believe Aaron was the only one that mentioned Attack the Block! Easily the best film of the summer and one of the best of the year.

  3. Sean Ferguson

    Nice job Aaron. Sorry I couldn’t participate but I only watched four movies this summer because I was too busy but they were all good.

  4. Gregg Senko

    Jordan, I don’t think a lot of people, myself included, are aware of “Attack the Block.” The movie, being low budget, hasn’t received a lot of promotion or coverage. Still, I’m definitely game to see it. As for Planet of the Apes, that one just missed the cut here for me. Damn good movie.

  5. Keith Thomas

    For me it would be easier to pick my top five. 1. X Men First Class, 2. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, 3. Transformers Dark Side Of The Moon, 4.The Fast Five, 5. Fright Night.

  6. Brian White

    Yeah, I don’t even recall ATTACK THE BLOCK being in theaters around me 🙁 Transformers 3 was good the first time for me, but lost me the second time around. I think I just don;t like the Patrick Dempsey character/element in the story. Could have done without him and replaced him with even more Rosie 🙂 I just saw X-Men today…it’s my #6 of the year thus far! Thanks for putting this together Aaron!

  7. Gerard Iribe

    Brian, I’m surprised you liked Rosie, because it seemed that NOBODY liked Rosie. Attack the Block is already out on Blu-ray in the UK, I think. It did play near me, but I didn’t get around to it, so that means I will blind buy it!

  8. Matt Goodman

    1. Attack the Block
    2. X-Men: First Class
    3. Horrible Bosses

    Honorable Mentions: Thor, Harry Potter, Transformers 3, Rise of the Apes, Fright Night, Midnight in Paris, Red State

  9. Matt Goodman

    1. X-Men
    2. Attack the Block
    3. Horrible Bosses

    Honorable Mentions: Thor, Transformers 3, Red State, Fright Night, Rise of the Apes, Midnight in Paris, Hangover 2.

    Worst Movie of the Summer: Cowboys & Aliens

  10. Jiminy Critic

    Good lists! Didn’t see “Another Earth” listed… Really liked that one…

  11. Aaron Neuwirth

    I kept missing it while it was in theaters, looking forward to checking it out.