Thank you, Karen Valby, for “The Cure for Pop Culture Exhaustion” (Hacks and Heroes)! I just finished a two-week “vacation” in Bon Temps, La., starting with season 1 of True Blood. Although others had buzzed about it in recent years, I had never sunk my teeth into that wicked wonderland. I enjoyed this diversion so much that I’m already planning my next “trip” by revisiting an old favorite in Cicely, Alaska. Season 1 of Northern Exposure is calling me back, and because of your essay I will enjoy every minute of detox!
Thanks to the Twittersphere, people are now seeking instant pontification as well as instant gratification. Karen Valby’s commentary was written for those of us who grew up loving the emotional suspension of disbelief found in a long afternoon in a dark movie house. Let’s sit back and watch the artist at work, over a good book, TV series, or movie — and leave the instant critic behind. We may just find a renewed joy in art and pop culture.
Requiem for a Heavyweight
I grew up on Mickey Rooney‘s films, so I was sad to hear about his death. But when I read Shawn Levy’s tribute (Monitor), I started to actually shed tears. It was beautiful and so fitting for such an endearing man.
Don’t Fear the Sweeper
I was disappointed to see curling was missing from “Sports Movies at the Box Office.” Men With Brooms may have had a small take at the theater, but Paul Gross, Molly Parker, Leslie Nielsen, and beavers have a cult following, especially around Olympics time!
Messing With Perfection
What was FX thinking? Fargo is the perfect movie — cast, script, settings, everything. Why try to make it into a series (TV)? While I really like Billy Bob Thornton, the series’ characters could not come close to the original’s. My husband and I made it through the first 29 minutes of the pilot, then bailed. We had to watch the movie again to clear the series from our minds.
Dry Prong, La.
Correction: In our Summer Movie Preview, we interviewed Jon Hamm about his upcoming baseball movie Million Dollar Arm, plus his love of other sports. We mistakenly said he was not a fan of hockey. In fact, Hamm is a huge hockey fan and devoted to his hometown team, the St. Louis Blues. EW regrets the error.
The Best Summer Blockbusters of All Time
With the box office’s splashiest season fast approaching, the EW.com team tapped the 20 films that will stand the test of summertime. Here, readers offer up their own memories of these momentous movies.
2. Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope
3. Jurassic Park
4. The Dark Knight
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark
6. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
7. Forrest Gump (1994)
The older I get, the more I appreciate its layers. It makes you think critically about your own life while being downright entertaining. I’ll definitely show it to my kids someday. —Captain Awesome
9. Animal House
10. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The scene at the end where the T-800 gives the “thumbs-up” to Sarah and John is just as memorable and emotional as it was all those years ago. —Guest
11. Top Gun
12. The Sixth Sense
13. The Lion King
14. Superman II
15. Back to the Future (1985)
For me, it’s about as perfect as a film can get. The finish with the clock tower, the lightning, the stalling car, the torn-up note…I was on the edge of my seat. —POOGOO
16. The Avengers
17. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2
19. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
20. Toy Story 3 (2010)
The furnace scene just destroyed me and my niece and nephew. There are no words to describe its power. —PadraigTipton