The movie blockbuster has become a summer tradition as millions of moviegoers make the trek to theaters across the country to take in a new batch of films each year. While theaters remain comfortable locations to take in a new movie, an increasing number of widely available home projectors have made watching movies at home a popular alternative. With only a small bit of work, it’s easy to set up a projector and screen anywhere there’s a few free outlets, making viewing movies under the night summer sky an enjoyable alternative.
“Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”
There’s always room for family fare with summer night flicks. One of the movies that easily passes the family-friendly test is an old favorite that continues to gather fans more than 20 years after its initial release. The second film in the Star Wars franchise, “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” is often considered to be the best of the six released Star Wars movies. The movie continues to follow the adventures of young Jedi Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamil; Han Solo, portrayed by Harrison Ford; and Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia. The movie focuses on the larger battles of the heroes and the Rebel Alliance against the Empire. There are plenty of large-scale battles, displays of the mystical Force powers held by the Jedi, and character growth as the main characters move from planet to planet in a personal match against the Sith Lord Darth Vader. The movie is perfect summer night popcorn fare, with a storyline that’s interesting enough to hold adult interest combined with enough action to satisfy younger audiences.
“The Dark Knight”
Few films pack in the same level of action as the second film in the Batman franchise, “The Dark Knight.” This Christopher Nolan-helmed movie stars Christian Bale as Batman versus the penultimate villain in the Batman universe, The Joker, played by Heath Ledger. “The Dark Knight” is dark and moody, with wall-to-wall action and brilliant performances put in by the lead actors. Bale’s Batman is a wonderful combination of vulnerability in his Bruce Wayne persona combined with staunch champion of justice in his masked persona. Ledger’s Joker, on the other hand, is a big ball of crazy, with Ledger displaying true skill as he brings the character from the comics to the big screen flawlessly. Toss in the usual batch of gadgets for the Batman, a strong supporting cast, and an intriguing plot and you have a summer night movie that’s sure to appeal to teens and adults both.
“Toy Story 3”
A summer night flick can be a real streameast treat for younger audiences. To keep the attention of children for the full length of a movie can be difficult though. With “Toy Story 3,” short attention spans are not an issue. The quick-moving film starring the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen runs through scenes fast enough to keep children from wavering. The plot is simple enough for younger children to follow easily, and the comedy is broad enough to keep older siblings entertained as well. The story revolves around the toy’s journey from a daycare center where they’ve been dropped off for the children to play with after their owner leaves for college, back to their old owner’s home. The outside world is full of obstacles for the toys to maneuver through, offering plenty of peril to keep the suspense going throughout. The animation of the film also stands out, bringing the toys to life right there on the screen. “Toy Story 3” is 90 minutes of fun-filled action, perfect for early night viewing by children.
Summer nights at the drive-in were often filled with the shrieks of scary movies, but for a modern summer night flick the parody “Scary Movie” is a great choice for a comedic touch on the evening. “Scary Movie,” directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans, is a mishmash of movie parodies, taking elements from a variety of actual scary movies to present a funny, sarcastic approach that pokes fun at traditional horror film tropes. The actors show spot-on comedic timing as they play around with the typical horror film plot of the movie, complete with a masked killer, clumsy running teenagers, and a plot that’s as filled with surprises as it is with truly funny moments.