This isn't a ranked list, because I don't have the patience to sit and mete out the pros and cons of each film, but here are the first nerd movies I have seen this summer. So, in chronological order of when I saw them:
01. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (05/22/2008)
The first movie I saw for the summer, and it fit perfectly into the summer blockbuster, popcorn movie mold. Which is what I was expecting out of it. Maybe it's because in an attempt to bring some of my roommates up to speed we watched Temple of Doom right before we went out to see this one, but the camp and ridiculousness felt right at home in the Indiana Jones universe. I know they were these super butch action movies or whatever in every dude's mind, but c'mon. Evil monkeys? Hilarious seduction scenes? Explicit racism? Spielberg through and through.
02. Iron Man (06/12/2008)
SO much better than I anticipated it being. Robert Downey Jr. was clearly a perfect choice to embody the boozin', hard livin', reckless millionaire Tony Stark. The origin tweaks transitioned smoothly into the new universe Marvel Studios are building for their heroes.
03. The Incredible Hulk (06/13/2008)
Seeing this in a double feature with Iron Man made more sense in theory, especially because Marvel Studios is clearly gearing up for some sort of ridiculous Nick Fury movie, but the contrast between the films was, well, stark (hurr hurr). While Iron Man was both fun and retained just enough gravitas to make itself meaningful, The Incredible Hulk had a lot of dudes breaking shit. I enjoyed the parts of the Hulk that were sans Hulk, but after a while the violence grew both tedious and Michael Bay-style incomprehensible.
04. WALL-E (06/27/2008)
Pixar has had some relative misses for me (I wasn't crazy about Monsters Inc., Cars was a letdown as well), but they still produce movies that are all solidly a B- or higher in quality. Wall-E is a solid A+, if only because it is a cartoon that doesn't talk down to its audience, and in fact has no target audience. Aaah I might do a separate post on this.
05. The Dark Knight (07/18/2008)
Believe all the hype. If you could win an Oscar for casting then this movie would be a shoe in -- now that Katie Holmes is out of the picture every single character is played perfectly. Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordan, Heath Ledger is the Joker. Not the funny campy Joker of the television show, or the demented murderous Joker of Batman: The Animated Series (Mark Hamill!!), but the Joker from The Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum. Demented, the perfect foil. Many of the critics say that this is a Batman movie without enough Batman, but it really felt like Batman to me, through and through. The likelihood of their being a better movie, or a movie I connect with better, this year is slim to none.
Nerd movies I have yet to see, or have yet to come out:
Wanted -- This is on my list of things to see, and it is based on a comic book that I know I should pick up, but it came out the same night as WALL-E, and I do hate seeing movies based on books I haven't read. James McAvoy could get me to break that rule, since he did it Atonement and it was totally worth it.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
God this looks pretty. The first movie actually gets worse with every repeat viewing, but Guillermo del Toro has like, money and stuff now.
X-Files: I Want to Believe
Besides being belaboured with unfortunate subtitles (X-Files: Fight the Future? C'mon Chris Carter), I'm not sure what could tie these films together. Considering the series ran for four more seasons after the first movie, I am hoping that somehow the movie can be both accessible to casual fans of the series while still tying up loose ends. Also, there'd better be a sex scene.
Also, I'm watching X-Files right now.