So far this year I have seen “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” “Thor,” “Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer” and “X-Men: First Class” at the local movie theater, which means I’m already, totally way ahead in my prep to cast my “Best Picture” vote.
These movies — excellent all — actually have a lot in common:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is about a kid named Greg who has to cope with middle school and his parents’ misguided attempts to make him and his big brother, Rodrick, bond. At one point, when their parents are out of town, Rodrick locks Greg and is goofy friend Rowley in the basement. Eventually, Greg and Rowley escape banishment and join the party, where they are a hit. Except… there’s a big mess so Greg and Rodrick bond over cleaning it up in record time and then keeping the secret as long as they can.
Thor is about a god named the Mighty Thor, a guy with not wimpy muscles and excellent golden locks who has to cope with his father Odin’s well-intentioned attempts to teach him humility by banishing him to the basement, also known as Earth. While Thor is there, he misses all the big parties with huge plates of meat and tankards of mead. Plus he misses all of his friends. But makes new friends! Especially Natalie Portman, if you know what I’m sayin’. Once he’s back at home, Thor has to clean up the mess made by his brother, Loki, the Norse god of mischief. Those guys really never bond.
Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer is about Judy Moody, a double RARE, way-not-boring third-grader with excellent-but-messy red locks who sets out to have the most thrilling summer of her life. Her friends go off to even more exciting places, though, like Circus Camp or Borneo. Oh, plus HER parents are going out of town so that leaves Judy to cope with a summer with her Aunt Opal, who is played by Heather Graham, if you know what I’m sayin’, although Judy does not handle this situation the way Thor likely would. Oh, and Judy has to deal with her little brother Stink and his obsession with Bigfoot.
X-Men: First Class is about a brilliant young academic, Charles Xavier, and the man he comes to know like a brother, Erik Lensherr. The trouble is, Erik spent his youth in a Nazi concentration camp, saw his mother shot right in front of his eyes and is out for nothing short of revenge. Oh, yeah, and they both have mutant powers. Charles has the ability to read minds and Erik has the power to control metal, so he takes the name Magneto. They spend their summer putting together a class of young mutants — who all feel like wimpy kids because they are so different from everybody else — to take on a big bad guy named Kevin Bacon. Eventually, Charles Xavier has no hair at all.
Of course, there are a lot of cool movies still to come, which means there’s really no reason to have a bummer summer. I bet the main characters in many upcoming movies have interesting hair, either do or don’t get along with siblings, are either separated from their friends or make new friends and either do or don’t feel like they fit in.
What’s the best movie you’ve seen so far this year?