Looking back over the summer of 1994, I can safely say that it's a serious candidate for the worst movie summer of all time. It's a jumble of big-budget flops, bad sequels, awful kids' movies, all-but-totally-forgotten comedies and other general misfires. Worse, and even more alienating, there were three high-profile, highly-acclaimed and much-beloved hits that I just couldn't go crazy for. Yet I remember that summer very fondly for delivering one perfect summer movie, which I saw on the perfect day, with all the right friends. Even if I never saw anything like it again all summer, it was worth it. (The titles of my favorites appear in bold.)

May 13: The summer started out early and promisingly with Spike Lee's warm, nostalgic Crooklyn, which is still one of his most underrated films. Then we got Alex Proyas' remarkable The Crow, which, despite the eerie overshadowing of Brandon Lee's untimely death, turned out to be a solid sci-fi/action/comic book movie.

May 20:
Right now, we're in the era of remakes and reboots, but there was a time when the hottest ticket was big-screen remakes of old TV shows. Director Richard Donner put aside his profitable Lethal Weapon series for a version of Maverick, which seemed to me too slick and self-aware to make much of a lasting impression. (It was a big hit, though.) That same weekend, Gus Van Sant dropped the first of the summer's big bombs, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.