Every year I intend to do a list of my favorite Summertime Movies, and every year I don't do it. So here it finally is...10 movies that are all great at capturing the spirit, fun and warmth of the Summer!
Blue Crush (2002) Surfing is one of the few sports I can really sit and watch it. It amazes me. I've always loved a good surfing movie too. According to Sports Illustrated, wearing a bikini is also a sport. If that is the case, that too is another sport that I could sit and watch. It too amazes me. So when they put surfing together with bikini clad gals, I was all in. Blue Crush is the story of a group of girls who take their surfing very seriously. Awesome surfing footage is mixed in with a couple of auto-pilot story lines involving crappy jobs and a strained relationship between two sisters, but it's all so fun. If you can't make it to the beach, Blue Crush defiantly brings the beach to you.
Ernest Goes To Camp (1987) Folks, with Ernest P. Worrel on the scene, you just can't go wrong. Ernest takes charge of a group of juvenile delinquents at Kamp Kikakee and teaches them a thing or two about the great outdoors. And in the process, he teaches us all a little something about ourselves. If you like parachuting turtles then this movie is for you. If you don't like parachuting turtles, they why are you even reading this blog?
Hoot (2006) I guess, technically, this isn't a Summer movie, since it takes place somewhere in the school year - but they are in Florida and it's hot and sticky and that comes across loud and clear in this family film about a trio of kids who stop the construction of a new pancake house to save an endangered species of owl. A few weeks ago when we were at the National Zoo, we saw the Burrowing Owls featured in the movie and my kids and I all simultaneously exclaimed, "Those are the owls from Hoot!" A proud fathering moment.
Jaws 3 (1983) Obviously, the original Jaws is a classic. But for my money Jaws 3 is where it's at. High on my list of summertime activities is Amusement Parks and Jaws 3 has plenty of great footage of Sea World Orlando circa 1983. True, this third instalment in the franchise has nothing at all to do with the other three flicks, but it sure is a good time. Bess Armstrong, Dennis Quaid, Lou Gosset Jr., and Lea Thompson try to save the guests at Sea World from another killer shark. It's even all the more fun when you realize it was originally released in 3D and several shots in the film serve no purpose other than to stick things into theatre goers faces. It doesn't work on TV, but if they ever put out a 3D Blue Ray of this movie, I'm upgrading my entire home theater system - TV and all!
Kidco (1984) Kidco is about a group of kids who spend their summer working. Not exactly the kind of thing a good summer movie is made of, but these kids work together to make a little more money then a paper route or lemonade stand would allow. This was required summer viewing every summer when I was a kid. It was a time when kids movies were loaded with cursing. From Kidco I took away the phrase "crock of shit" which I still lovingly use to this day. The film hasn't had a release in years, never popping up on DVD and the VHS copies that are out there are hard to come by. It pops up on the movie channels every now and then and is definitely worth keeping an eye out for.
Meatballs Part II (1984) By the time I had seen the original Meatballs (just a few years ago) I had already seen so many rip-off's that the original now seemed stale. Part II of the Meatballs saga is the version that I grew up with and I LOVE this movie. I would have to crown it as THE BEST SUMMER MOVIE OF THEM ALL! Wacky hi jinks at Camp Sasquatch include the discovery of an alien ( as seen above.) The fantastic cast includes Richard Mulligan, John Larroquette and Paul Reubens. Meatballs Part II really makes me nostalgic for summer camp...which is odd because I never went to summer camp.
One Crazy Summer (1986) This is director Savage Steve Holland's lesser known, and lesser loved follow up to the cult classic Better Off Dead. Although it's not a direct sequel, it has the same tone and sense of humor as John Cusack, Demi Moore and group of other semi-recognizable faces descend on a Nantucket, Mass. for the summer. The flick perfectly captures the feeling of having the whole summer in front of you as an empty slate for all sorts of adventures.
Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977) The Peanuts Gang's third big screen outing finds them spending the summer at Camp Remote, which like the rest of the Peanuts universe has very little adult supervision. As such, some bullys push Charlie Brown and his friends around until they all have a showdown with a raft race on the open river. This flick was broadcast, without fail, every summer of my childhood. Sometimes more than once in a single summer. I never missed it and to me it's as much of a summer tradition as the beach and cook-outs. However, one thing has bothered me since I first saw this movie at 6 years old....why does it snow while they are away at SUMMER camp?
Summer Rental (1985) John Candy and his family rent a run down beach house for the Summer in this light and breezy comedy that is perfect for popping in the DVD player on a rainy night during your stay at the beach. This was one of John Candy's first independent staring vehicles and it's a perfect spotlight of his gentle humor and warm personality. Like most good summer movies, it ends with a race on water based vehicles.
Summer School (1987) For those of us that may have spent more than one summer sitting back in school, this is a film near and dear to our hearts. Even if you were some sort of smarty pants and managed to pass your classes each year this is a really funny movie with slacker Mark Harmon taking charge of a group of other slackers sentenced to Summer School. It's hard to believe there was a time when Mark Harmon could headline a movie, but it's captured on film for historians to note.