Good news: after a hiatus last year because of the drought, this year, fireworks in Austin are back on! And if you're in Round Rock, go check out Frontier Days and the Sam Bass Shootout, where Tim Crow provides the narration.
In addition to Fourth of July celebrations and picnics, when I was growing up, summer meant movies! And this year, Cyn and I have seen a lot more movies than usual. I'm not sure whether it's because they've gotten better or whether there are just more that we've been inclined to see (It could also be that movie theatres have gotten better). At the very least, this summer seems more blockbuster-y than usual. Here's the current run-down:
The Hunger Games
Snow White and the Huntsman
Men in Black III
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The Amazing Spider-man
Of these, my definite favorites were The Hunger Games, The Avengers, and The Amazing Spider-Man.
The Hunger Games was, in general, a successful translation of the book to the screen. Cyn and I saw it twice and it was interesting to see audience reactions: The first time, a pair of adults came in with a group of kids. At certain of the more, err, brutal parts, we heard the adults gasp aloud (the kids -- who I assume had read the book -- seemed fine with it).
The Avengers is terrific fun overall and it's great seeing the ensemble together. Whedon also does his trademark good job of bringing out character with individual tags. And it's got a flying aircraft carrier.
I went into The Amazing Spider-Man wondering if we actually needed to see a re-boot so soon. If anything, though, I enjoyed it more than the first movie franchise. The characters were likeable and felt more real somehow.
Overall, Marvel has done a great job with translating its comic books into movies.
Up next: The Dark Knight Rises!