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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

June 15, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Got a favorite summer movie?

It’s mid-June, the sun in shining (here in Seattle, anyway), and thoughts turn to summer movies. (OK, now my thoughts just turned to the guy in his baggy underwear who just walked past the window in his condo opposite from my office, and not in a good way. Never mind. Curtains are a good thing.) Anyway, I’ve always found it fascinating that summer is the only season to get its own movie adjective; nobody ever talks about “spring movies,” and we talk about fall movies only because in theory that’s when the awards bait comes out. Summer movies need to be just a little bit fizzy (though they can still be smart, like a lemonade that’s refreshingly tart), and often just a bit larger than life — who wants a superhero in October? Over at Vulture, they’ve been talking about summer movies and have determined that the best recent year for summer movies was 1988, the year of “Die Hard,” “Bull Durham,” “Big,” “A Fish Called Wanda,” and “Midnight Run,” among others. The ever-wonderful Alamo Drafthouse, meanwhile, is presenting a series called “Summer of 1982 – The Greatest Summer of Movies . . . Ever,” which features “E.T.,” “Star Trek II,” “Tron,” “Poltergeist” and more.
It’s a lively debate, and one in which I’m not about to take sides. But it did get me thinking about favorite summer movies; movies that I associate with warm summer nights, air-conditioned theaters, and the happy satisfaction of being thoroughly entertained. Here are some of my favorites from the past (yikes) 30 years of summer movies, in no particular order. (You will note a strange lack of Pixar movies; it’s not that I don’t love them — I do, except for “Cars 2” — but many of them open in May or early June, which just isn’t summer yet in Seattle.)
“The Dark Knight” (2008)
“Bull Durham” (1988)
“Star Trek” (2009)
“Spider-Man 2” (2004)
“The Sixth Sense” (1999)
“Ghostbusters” (1984)
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007)
“Batman Returns” (1994)
“(500) Days of Summer” (2009)
“My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997)
“Midnight in Paris” (2011)
“The Devil Wears Prada” (2006)
“X-Men” (2000)
“Hairspray” (2007)
“The Naked Gun 2 1/2” (1991)
So, what are your favorites?
Here’s one of my favorite scenes from “Bull Durham,” which seems right for the weekend. (Obligatory disclaimer: the language is a little colorful.)

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