While everyone else may be crowding the patios and the beaches this weekend, you may be inclined to escape the heat in favor of the air conditioning you’ll find inside your local movie theatre.

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed three mediocre movies that should be available on DVD, so I thought that it would be nice to highlight three movies that are still playing at the multiplexes for this go-around. Better still, all three of these movies are actually pretty good.

It’s summertime, so you’re allowed to shut off your brain for a couple hours at a time. Watching a good movie is a great way to relieve the stresses related to work. Relax for a change and enjoy yourself. 🙂

When I first saw the trailers to WALL-E, I thought that it was a rather lame concept. Why would Disney and Pixar make an animated film that would involve next to no dialogue? It’s just a stupid robot bandying around in a pseudo-postapocalyptic world, picking up garbage all day. Big deal. Even though the film started to receive overwhelmingly positive reviews, I remained skeptical. And then I was wowed. Yes, there is no real dialogue — aside from robot noises and body language — for about the first half of the movie, but there is enough chemistry and communication there for you to totally understand what is going on between the trash-compacting WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class) and EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator). It’s gut-wretchingly cute at times and it almost feels like Pixar is trying too hard to melt your heart, but the end product (and love story) is incredibly endearing and you can’t help but love the open-eyed innocence of WALL-E.

Iron Man with Robert Downey, Jr.

Iron Man
Superhero movies typically aren’t that great unless you’re a big fan of the series. When you watch Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider, for instance, you should expect little more than some character recognition and giant explosions. Iron Man still offers character recognition and big booms, but you really start to believe that Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark. He is absolutely terrific in the role and I think that Iron Man could have easily held its own without the backing of a Marvel fanboy-base. It does drag on a little longer than it should and I found Gwyneth Paltrow to be a little awkward in her role, but Iron Man is definitely worth the price of admission. You have to see it on the big screen to truly appreciate it.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Although I’m a relatively big fan of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, I was never really all that big on Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford is not the young man he used to be and he looks even older next to the babyfaced Shia LaBeouf. The action is a little slow to get going and the story behind the crystal skull is nowhere near what I was expecting (I won’t spoil it for you), but the acting is right where you’d expect it to be. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull may have bigger proportions than earlier Indy Jones movies, but it’s still not nearly as epic as the Temple of Doom or Raiders of the Lost Ark.