I don't know about anyone else, but I thought that was a pretty exceptional summer, as far as good, entertaining movies went. I've seen summers in which almost every movie seemed mediocre and not one standout ever emerged (2000 and 2006, for example). But this year, there were at least five standouts and at least five more really good movies. Call me crazy, but I caught up with Speed Racer on DVD this week, and even that one didn't seem so bad. (Sure, it's no Iron Man. I think it probably plays better on the small screen, although I did have trouble with the length and with the annoying Spritle character.) And, of course, we saw a lot of stars at their best this summer: Robert Downey Jr., Heath Ledger, Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Ben Stiller, James Franco, Meryl Streep, Penelope Cruz, etc. Good times! It was all so exciting that I nearly forgot about some of my other favorite stars.

It's weird. You can get caught up in the ebb and flow of this business and it may not occur to you that, say, Neve Campbell hasn't been around lately. I miss her. I interviewed her in early 2004, just after Robert Altman's The Company came out. That was a masterful film, a great piece of work, on which Neve had writing and producing credits. It looked like she was really going places: from there, she was poised to play the great silent film star Louise Brooks in a biopic. I saw her again in James Toback's twisted When Will I Be Loved, which I liked more than just about anyone else.

categories Columns, Cinematical