Two guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Pages

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer Movie Report Card 2011

That's right, the State Fair is over and the movies are decidedly less blockbuster-y, which means it's time once again for the summer movie report card!

I'm going to these "one sentence review" (or so) style, as any more than that and I start to get repetitive. 

Thor


The Marvel film with the greatest potential for disaster, it actually turned out pretty good, keeping the events on Earth from getting too boring and managing to make the action on Asgard fun without being too campy.
A

Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides


More of what I wanted to see in a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel in the first place (standalone adventures featuring recurring characters, not an ongoing saga centered on the films' most irritating characters), but still a bit bloated and overly long, with an with an antagonist who possessed a few too many gimmicks (He can shrink ship's into bottles! He's got a zombie crew! And a magic boat! And a magic sword!).
C+

The Hangover Part II


It jumped through a few too many hoops to recreate, as much as possible, the conditions of the original, but it still managed to be damned funny; my hope, if they truly do make another sequel, is that they're more willing to deviate from the rigid structure and just toss these characters into a wacky adventure and let us watch the hilarity ensue. 
B

X-Men: First Class


Though a bit fast-paced, with some scenes that felt like they ended too soon, this was easily the best X-Men film since X2 (not that the bar is very high...), succeeding on the strength of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, who do a great job portraying Xavier and Magneto, as well as some nifty retro production design.
A-

Super 8


Stephen King meets The Goonies by way of JJ Abrams, it was nice to watch an enjoyable, well made summer blockbuster that wasn't a sequel or adaptation.
A

Green Lantern


Not terrible. Not great, either, but not as terrible as I was expecting. Not the groundbreaking superhero movie DC was probably looking for, but good enough that I wouldn't mind a sequel (even if just to get more of Mark Strong's Sinestro). 
C

Transformers Dark of the Moon


The movie that proves even giant robots whaling on each other can't save everything: an awful, awful film, with too many unnecessary characters (Patrick Dempsey, John Malkovich), too much focus on non-transforming robot antics, and shit tons of plot holes large enough for Optimus Prime to drive through. Worst of all: it managed to make Optimus Prime kinda act like a douche. 
D-

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


Exciting and, at times, surprisingly moving. Like any Potter movie, those of us who have read the books all probably have little things here and there we'd like to change or have seen done differently, but all in all, this is a worthy finale to an up-and-down, but ultimately entertaining, film series. 
A-

Captain America


Little details bugged me (like the film's insistence on separating Hydra from the Nazis, and an ending that suffered from having to do the most direct setup for the forthcoming Avengers as any Marvel film), but overall, it succeeds at telling a rip-roaring adventure in the style of old movie serials, with Chris Evans doing a great job as Captain America. 
B+

Crazy Stupid Love


A better-than-average romcom, buoyed by a good cast with a strong script that was funny and genuinely surprising at times. 
B+

20 comments:

Anne said...

i'm suprised you gave Thor a higher mark than Captain America. I mean, i liked Thor, but i lurved Captain America.

Pirates wasn't great- i especially didn't like the hanging plotline with the religious guy/mermade. it's like they got rid of Will Turner just to add him right back in in a different format. But i still had some fun. i appreciated how horrible the mermaids were (as they should be)

Still need to see Hangover, Green Lantern and Xmen (not sure we'll get around to Green Lantern considering how crappy i figured it would be based on the trailers).

Super 8 was as great as i knew it would be- JJ is a good bet.

I enjoyed Transformers clearly a lot more than you did- thought Shia was hilarious in it, and the only problem i had with it (that i can remember) was the freaking buliding collapse scene was 100% unneccesary (didn't move the plot forward at all) and therefore 30 minutes longer than it needed to be.

Umm...A- for Harry Potter? what's wrong with you? that shit was AH-MAZING. You really thought THOR was better than Harry Potter?!
you crazy

Jeff said...

Here are my rankings:

1. Captain America - I loved it like Anne. I don't think you could make a much better Cap movie and the USO scenes were brilliant.

2. Harry Potter - Great ending to the series and no camping scenes, thank god.

3. Super 8 - Great Spielberg homage. How the hell did the teacher survive that train wreck, though?

4. Thor - Really well done.

5. Hangover 2

6. Crazy Stupid Love

7. Pirates 4

8. Green Lantern - I thought this was a turd. Parallax looked like a video game character.

I didn't see X-Men but I want to. I hated the first Transformers so much I didn't see the second and don't plan on seeing the third. Michael Bay sux.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

wow, i actually totally forgot about pirates. Even as i was reading your sentance (sentence? that's one of those words i can't ever spell) i couldn't remember it at all and thought maybe i hadn't even seen it.
But, once i remembered the mermaids i remembered more of it. Crazy.
I wouldn't say transformers was d-, i would've given it like a c+, ok, not great.

Anne said pretty much what i had to say about everything

Matt said...

Perhaps not surprisingly, I tend to agree with a lot of your assessments. I didn't see Super 8 or Crazy, Stupid Love, but my thoughts on the others:

I liked Thor way more than I thought I would. It was probably the biggest surprise of the summer for me.

I agree there was too much extraneous stuff in Pirates, but like you said, it was nice to have a (hopefully) stand alone adventure. I also have to say that I don't think Will and Elizabeth became irritating until the second movie. I liked them just fine in the first one. Extending them past it (undoing their happy ending and forcing them into a totally contrived love triangle) is what made them irritating!

I agree with everything you said about The Hangover 2. I'd also like to see a less contrived sequel.

Agreed on First Class. They did the best they could under the constraints of the existing movie continuity, and pulled it off way better than I could've expected.

Green Lantern was something I really wanted to like, but as you said, it wasn't great. I thought it would be absolutely awful based on reviews, but it wasn't that either. It was just... a movie.

I almost want to give Dark of the Moon a lower grade than you did! There was pretty much nothing in it that I liked. I agree with Anne; the collapsing skyscraper was totally unnecessary. It did nothing for the plot.

Besides that, as you said, Optimus came across like a douche. And what's up with the super bloodthirsty Autbots in these movies? In this one, Soundwave captures a group of Autobots. And he keeps them as prisoners. Yes, he eventually starts to execute them, but only after it's suggested that he do so. For all we know, he was going to imprison them or something. But every time the Autobots come across a Decepticon, they immediately execute them -- usually in the most savage, brutal fashion possible. Prime executing Sentinel and murdering Megatron (who had just proposed a truce) made me sick. That was not the Optimus Prime I grew up with. As far as I'm concerned, I'm done with all the Michael Bay Transformers movies. I didn't care all that much for the second one either, but now the third one has retroactively made me dislike the first one, too.

(Sorry, Transformers are near and dear to me.)

As someone who has not read the Harry Potter books, I always get this feeling that I'm missing something in the movies. They seem to jump around a lot, and there are lots of little leaps in logic that I feel would be better explained in the books. They basically feel like they're made for people who've read the books, which leaves me in the dark a lot of the time.

I agree with your nits about Captain America, but the rest of it was so good that I have to give it an A. I mean, it nailed Steve Rogers perfectly, and that's about the best you can hope for in a superhero movie! I can't wait to watch it again.

Teebore said...

@Anne: I mean, i liked Thor, but i lurved Captain America.

Yeah, I think maybe we're focusing on the grade too much (which is why I loathe using them, but, well, it IS a report card...). I mean, twist my arm and I'd say I liked Thor more than Cap, but not by a huge margin or anything. Captain America just had a few little things that didn't sit right with me. Still enjoyed it a lot though.

i appreciated how horrible the mermaids were

Ditto. I like when the Pirates movies play around with sea-based mythology like that. It's much better than stupid love triangles.

not sure we'll get around to Green Lantern considering how crappy i figured it would be based on the trailers

If you enjoyed Transformers at all, then you'll be able to enjoy Green Lantern. I mean, it's biggest problem is that it's just average, not awesome. It has some issues, but it's still a competently-assembled film. Which is more than I can say for Transformers.

Also, I can't believe you guys haven't seen X-Men yet. Nerd fail.

I enjoyed Transformers clearly a lot more than you did- thought Shia was hilarious in it

I have a lot of patience for, and occasionally even some enjoyment of, Shia's antics, and for the most part had no issues with him in the first two ones. This one though...yeesh. By the time he was "hilariously" wrestling with Senor Chang in the bathroom, I remember thinking, "hey, remember when there were transforming robots in this movie?".

.A- for Harry Potter?

Again, the grading trips me up. I greatly enjoyed HP; in fact, it was the only movie of the summer that I saw in theaters twice. It just suffered a bit from the same kind of plot issues the book did (the wand lore business is a bit dodgy, at best, and the fact that Dumbledore's entire plan would have come undone if Voldemort had killed Snape the exact same way he killed everyone else (with a curse) instead of in such a way that enabled Snape to pass on info to Harry before dying) and, like all HP films, there's little things I'd have personally liked to see done differently (like have Harry and Voldemort's final battle occur in front of everyone), so I knocked it down half a grade. It's really no biggie.

@Jeff: I hated the first Transformers so much I didn't see the second and don't plan on seeing the third. Michael Bay sux.

I can enjoy some Michael Bay films on a "stupid fun" level; The Rock is one of my all time favorite "watch snippets of it when it's on cable and I'm flipping channels" movies, and I enjoyed the pure spectacle of giant transforming robots fighting each other enough to get through the first two Transformers movies, but this one was so bad nothing could salvage it.

Teebore said...

@Sarah: i couldn't remember it at all and thought maybe i hadn't even seen it.

Yeah, when making the list of movies I saw for this post, I totally forgot about it too until I double-checked a list.

@Matt: I liked them just fine in the first one. Extending them past it (undoing their happy ending and forcing them into a totally contrived love triangle) is what made them irritating!

100% agreed. They were fine in the first one, but their story ended in that movie, and thus everything that happened to them in the sequels felt contrived (because it was). I always felt like the movies should be about Jack and someone else, with Jack and his experiences carrying over to the next movie and the the "someone else" staying behind.

(And really, as annoying as Orlando Bloom's continued presence was in the second and third movies, by the end, I almost felt sorry for him, considering how he was the co-star of the first movie and totally marginalized and almost-forgotten by the third).

Prime executing Sentinel and murdering Megatron (who had just proposed a truce) made me sick. That was not the Optimus Prime I grew up with.

Seriously. I mean, I'm pretty sure when Optimus Prime agreed to that one-on-one, winner-takes-all duel with Megatron in the episode that introduced the Constructicons, he knew Megatron was up to no good, but he went along with it anyway to flush out Megatron's plan.

And conversely, how about Megatron, who has shown to be pretty ruthless in the movies, not killing Not Megan Fox after she convinced him to betray Sentinel? Like, "thanks for the idea, human" and then "squish". Instead, he just lets her walk away?

(I also loved how they made a big deal about how the Decepticons controlled the air around Chicago, then sent in their crack team of Transformer-fighting commandos into the city via...planes, that were, unsurprisingly, shot down. And then those commandos met a group of SEALS who simply came into the city via the river.

Also, someone should tell Michael Bay and company that the "dark side" of the moon changes throughout the lunar cycle.

Seriously, that movie had so many plot holes and problems, I could go on for days...).

Sorry, Transformers are near and dear to me.

No apologies necessary. Dr. Bitz and I are both big Transformers fans, and both of us hold of great deal of affection for the originalanimated film as well.

As someone who has not read the Harry Potter books, I always get this feeling that I'm missing something in the movies. They seem to jump around a lot, and there are lots of little leaps in logic that I feel would be better explained in the books.

Absolutely (though there are some leaps of logic the movies inherit from the books, of course). I feel great sympathy for anyone watching the movies without having read the books, as huge swathes of stuff gets sidestepped or goes under-explained. For example, I like the fifth HP movie quite a bit, but I don't know if I could like it at all if I hadn't read the book.

I agree with your nits about Captain America, but the rest of it was so good that I have to give it an A.

As much as I enjoyed it, I just can't in good conscience give an A to a Captain America film in which the Red Skull fights more Nazi's than Cap does. :)

But I am pleased THAT is the biggest problem I have with it, instead of Cap being wildly out of character or the Red Skull being Italian or something like that.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

ok, after reading all the transformers problems, i realize i forgot a lot of the issues i had with it besides the stupid skyscraper scene. I was totally bugged that megatron didn't kill "megan fox" and irritated that optimus murdered megatron like a douchecanoe. I also had huge problems when the autobot executions started that bumblebee was just going to sit there and take it. I mean, if you're going to die no matter what, might as well give it a fighting chance.

But i laughed hysterically when Shi's shit car got skewered and he just freaked out.

Anne said...

wait- i thought the Moon's revolution matched it's rotation and so we ALWAYS see the same side of the moon

Teebore said...

@Anne: i thought the Moon's revolution matched it's rotation and so we ALWAYS see the same side of the moon

Yes, but the side we never see is known as the "far side of the moon", not the "dark side of the moon". The dark side of the moon changes as stuff (Sun, Earth, Moon) moves around. From what I understand, the dark side and the far side of the moon are the same during Full and New moons, but otherwise are different.

Teebore said...

@Sarah: also had huge problems when the autobot executions started that bumblebee was just going to sit there and take it.

Oh yeah, that bugged me too. It was clearly designed just so Shia and Bumblebee could have a dramatic, teary little stare down, but made little sense given the context.

Matt said...

"By the time he was "hilariously" wrestling with Senor Chang in the bathroom..."

I had read that Ken Jeong was cast in TF3, but by the time I saw the movie I'd forgotten, so his presence was a pleasant surprise -- possibly the highlight of the movie for me. If only we'd had a scene of him jumping naked out of Bumblebee's trunk...

"...when Optimus Prime agreed to that one-on-one, winner-takes-all duel with Megatron in the episode that introduced the Constructicons..."

"Heavy Metal War" -- one of two episodes where Optimus Prime voluntarily exiles (or prepares to exile) himself and the Autobots from Earth because his code of honor demands that he do so. Dark of the Moon kind of borrowed that plot point, actually, though Prime was not very honorable about it.

(I just read your links to the Transformers: The Movie stuff. Dr. Bitz's breakdown of the greatest scene in film history -- a sentiment I agree with, by the way -- is hilarious, and spot on. So much so that I'll forgive him for accidentally referring to Blitzwing as "Blitzkrieg".)

(Also, way to have Clue on your "favorite movies" list. I love, love, love that one. I miss when it used to be on Comedy Central like every other day. I would always stop to watch it, even though I owned it on DVD.)

By the way, the talk of "not Megan Fox" reminded me of the other thing I liked about Dark of the Moon -- in the original cartoon, Spike Witwicky's girlfriend (and eventual wife) was named Carly. She was even blonde! Though not British. But anyway, that was a nice tribute, from whoever came up with it.

"...the Red Skull fights more Nazi's than Cap does."

Good point! They really played down the Nazis in the Cap movie, and even the bad guy didn't like them (for his own reasons). I get that Nazis are evil and all, and we don't want to expose our kids to that sort of thing, but isn't that why they make such great villains? No one feels bad when Indiana Jones machine guns down a room full of Nazis, because -- they're Nazis!

Teebore said...

so his presence was a pleasant surprise -- possibly the highlight of the movie for me.

I had no idea he was going to be in it until he showed, but by then, I just felt sorry for him. And I couldn't fully enjoy his presence because at that point I was in full-on "enough with Shia! Bring on the Transformers!" mode.

I'd have loved it if he'd come out of Bumblebee's trunk at some point, though.

Dark of the Moon kind of borrowed that plot point, actually, though Prime was not very honorable about it.

Yeah, somehow in the film version, they got "honorable" mixed up with "petulant/douchey".

It's funny/sad, because clearly someone involved in the production of those movies knows Transformers pretty well, because they slip all kinds of little nods in there (like the Carly reference you mentioned), but then they also manage to get some stuff just so completely wrong.

I miss when it used to be on Comedy Central like every other day. I would always stop to watch it, even though I owned it on DVD.

Ditto.

I get that Nazis are evil and all, and we don't want to expose our kids to that sort of thing, but isn't that why they make such great villains? No one feels bad when Indiana Jones machine guns down a room full of Nazis, because -- they're Nazis!

Exactly! I don't have a problem with Cap principally fighting Hydra, headed up by Red Skull. I just can't wrap my head around why the film went out of its way to separate Hydra from the Nazis as much as possible, especially in a film set during WWII!

I mean, it's the Nazis. They're the perfect default villains for most any action movie, let alone one starring a character who's specifically made a career out of fighting them.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe the studio was worried that having Nazis prominently featured, even as villains, would harm international business, and the movie was already going to be a tough enough sell in some places because of the whole Captain America thing?

But if that's true, it's pretty lame...

Blam said...


Thor: I wasn't sure how it would turn out. While I'm not too well-versed in the comics, relative to stuff that I've really followed, it hit all the right buttons. Very pleasant surprise! B+

Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides*: I'm not sure I saw either of the previous sequels, although I liked the first film. I haven't seen the latest and probably won't. [*Yay for cut-'n'-paste!]

Hangover Part II: We just missed the planned showing of Super 8 and went to see this. I liked the gonzo, crude-yet-heartwarming original, but this just lay there on the screen so badly — except for Mike Tyson, whom I'm totally conflicted about enjoying in any respect — that we'd have left the theater if we weren't just biding time until the next showing of Super 8. Agree to disagree? D

X-Men: First Class: For some reason it was so low on my radar that I kept forgetting it was coming out this year. Marvel certainly had a bigger stake in Thor and Cap, while DC couldn't hype Green Lantern enough. I was at least as pleasantly surprised by this as by Thor, in a quite different way — Thor because it was so close to the comics where it counted, but obviously updated for modern movie audiences as necessary; this because with virtually no actual era-appropriate original X-Men in the film I had no idea what to expect, but it had a nice retro-chic appeal to it and was far more streamlined in its cast than I'd feared it would be. Agreed that it's the best X-Men film since the second, and possibly tied for second with the first but with different strong points. B/B+

Blam said...


Super 8: I liked the kids more than the creature, but the mix was a good one — as you suggested, Cloverfield + ET + Stand by Me + The Goonies + Close Encounters = worth sitting through The Hangover Part II. A-

Green Lantern: I'm sorry that I didn't get to see this in theaters, not because I expect to like it much but because I will see it and I'd at least like to see it on the big screen with a theater crowd. Me at 10 years old can't believe I didn't see this and have in fact been dreading just how bad the soulless CGI would look, but he doesn't know how saturated we'll be with superheroes across various media platforms when he's 40 nor how infrequently he'll be able to get to the multiplex (not that he's ever heard the term "multiplex").

Transformers: Dark of the Moon: I have zero nostalgia for the franchise, didn't see the previous installments, and obviously don't make it to as many movies as I'd like to, so skipping this was a no-brainer.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Opening up without any kind of recap of what had come before in Part 1 really bugged me since I hadn't seen that since it was in theaters. I had to get my footing on where we were in the story, not having read the book in even longer, and that hurt the narrative. Also, Part 1 may have covered the scenes that some felt were too rambling in the book, yet I recall it holding better together as a film; I missed something here akin to the great animated sequence in that one, and just felt that it suffered a bit too much from skipped/truncated-scene syndrome the way Half-Blood Prince did. I also kind-of didn't want to really see the grown-ups' faces in the epilogue; believe it or not, as I read it, the "camera angle" in my mind's eye stayed on the level of the kids and didn't quite let us see Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Hermione. I still got optically moist, though, just because it was really the end, and some parts they did do undeniably well. B/B+

Captain America: The First Avenger: I really had high hopes for this and they were pretty much met across the board. The separation of Hydra from the Nazis, I think, was so Hydra and not the Nazis could be carried over into the present-day sequels and spinoffs, so that didn't bother me; Bucky's demise did, more than aging him (which was just weird and totally unexpected), because they could have found a way to incorporate his traditional death (or "death" now, I guess) with Steve flying that jet into the ground in the climactic scene. Great stuff from the costumes to the hidden winks like the Human Torch at the World's Fair! A

Crazy Stupid Love: The cast is an instant sell for me. I'm looking forward to catching this one at home sometime before Crazier Stupider Love: On Darker, Stranger Tides of the Deathly Hallowed Moon.

Blam said...


Among the summer films I saw that you didn't list, I'd give Midnight in Paris a solid B for its highlights, although I didn't love it the way some did; Source Code a very conflicted B/B+ as a fascinating film with an ending that makes no sense, which I'll get to post on in some lifetime or another; and, if you consider spring part of the summer-movie season, The Adjustment Bureau a B+/A- for being a nice, somewhat overlooked human-scale tale of Phillip K. Dick fantasy.

Dr. Bitz said...

To be fair (and defending any part of Transformers: Dark of the Moon gives me hives) in the original cartoon movie Megatron begged Optimus Prime for mercy but Optimus seemed ready to blast Megatron's head off. (Optimus thought Megatron was made of sterner stuff.)

I think Optimus would have gone through with it too (since Megatron must be stopped, no matter the cost...even if that cost is a piece of Optimus' honor). Too bad stupid Hot Rod got in the way....it was Prime's fight!

Anyway, @Teebore, you're half right. On a full moon the far side of the moon and the dark side of the moon are one in the same. In a new moon they're opposites. (The dark side of the moon is facing the Earth, which is why you can't see it.)

Matt said...

"...in the original cartoon movie Megatron begged Optimus Prime for mercy but Optimus seemed ready to blast Megatron's head off."

Yes, I've always thought that too. After a one-on-one duel, he picks up his rifle and walks towards the defeated Megatron and it really looks like he's going to finish him off. But when Megatron pleads for his life, Optimus hesitates.

In Dark of the Moon, when Megatron then Sentinel Prime plead for truces and their lives, Optimus kills them anyway, with no hesitation. That's what bothered me. He did seem regretful that he had to kill Sentinel at least, but in both instances he pulled the trigger (or ripped out the spine as the case may be) without apparently even considering an alternative.

Teebore said...

@Blam: but it had a nice retro-chic appeal to it and was far more streamlined in its cast than I'd feared it would be.

Agreed on both counts. The retro-chic appeal counted for a lot, for me.

Agreed that it's the best X-Men film since the second, and possibly tied for second with the first but with different strong points.

I could definitely make a case for it being the second-best film.

I liked the kids more than the creature, but the mix was a good one

Ditto. I'm generally not a proponent of the "leave it to their imagination" style of horror (or pseudo-horror) filmmaking, especially in summer blockbusters, but this was a case where I almost didn't want to see the creature fully, because I didn't really care all that much about it in the first place.

...but he doesn't know how saturated we'll be with superheroes across various media platforms when he's 40...

Honestly, if I went back in time and told my 10-year-old self about all of the different comic book and sci fi properties that will become films, 10-year-old me would call me a bold faced liar and walk away.

I mean, the idea that we've had enough decent live action comic book movies that we can afford to be critical of them would have blown my 10-year-old mind.

I had to get my footing on where we were in the story, not having read the book in even longer, and that hurt the narrative.

I'm a huge HP nerd, so I had no issue picking up where it left off, but I definitely can't fault anyone who found the opening abrupt.

Also, Part 1 may have covered the scenes that some felt were too rambling in the book, yet I recall it holding better together as a film .

I agree. I probably enjoyed the second part more, just cause wizards fighting and all that is exciting, but the first one definitely holds together as a complete film better.

The separation of Hydra from the Nazis, I think, was so Hydra and not the Nazis could be carried over into the present-day sequels and spinoffs

Ah, that's a good point. And the best explanation I've heard yet. Still, they probably could have kept Hydra affiliated with the Nazis and managed to bring Hydra into the modern age without too much issue.

because they could have found a way to incorporate his traditional death (or "death" now, I guess) with Steve flying that jet into the ground in the climactic scene.

That was another detail that bugged me. If you're going to have Bucky in the movie, and kill him, and have Cap's final mission involve a plane, why not put all the pieces together? Bucky easily could have been blown off that plane before Cap crashed it in the Arctic.

@Dr. Bitz: Too bad stupid Hot Rod got in the way....it was Prime's fight!

Stupid Hot Rod. Always messing up.

Anyway, @Teebore, you're half right. On a full moon the far side of the moon and the dark side of the moon are one in the same. In a new moon they're opposites.

That's what I get for using Wikipedia to fact check...

Blam said...


Dr. Bitz: On a full moon the far side of the moon and the dark side of the moon are one in the same. In a new moon they're opposites. (The dark side of the moon is facing the Earth, which is why you can't see it.)

I couldn't get this to jibe with what I knew until I realized that it makes more sense (for me, anyway) if you say it the other way around. One side of the moon always faces Earth, like Anne said, because its rotation around its axis and its revolution around Earth are essentially the same. The other side is the far side, which we never see; I think that many people just call that "the dark side" because we never see it, but of course when its facing away from Earth (as it always does) yet facing the sun it's not actually dark; it is always, however, far. So it's not really that the dark side of the moon is facing the Earth during new moon, it's that the side facing the Earth is dark, just as the far side of the moon (which is a permanent nomenclature) is dark much of the time but not dark approaching, during, or leaving the new-moon period when the sun shines upon it.

Now where was the Blue Area? 8^)

Teebore said...

Now where was the Blue Area? 8^)

Wherever the Watcher says it is, natch. ;)