Aside from Star Trek, I've been rather unimpressed with the summer of '09 thus far, which is why this weekend couldn't pop up at a better time. Today marks the arrival of two (very different) wide releases, and each one of 'em is better than Wolverine, Angels & Demons, and Terminator 4 combined.

The first flick is, of course, Up, which comes from the stunningly reliable Pixar crew and was just reviewed by our own Jette K. right here. I won't steal her thunder, as her review is quite good, but I will say this: Up is one of the strangest, sweetest, warmest, and funniest animated films I've ever seen. The kiddies will lap up every single frame, obviously, but I suspect the film will strike its strongest chord with the grown-ups of the audience. About as close to perfect as a family film can get, Up is (easily) one of the best movies of the year.

And you just know an animated flick is good if I focus on it before I even get into a new horror movie! From Sam Raimi no less! Yes, after you're done flying high from Up, you're going to adore that sinking feeling once Raimi starts dragging you through his old stomping grounds. Drag Me to Hell is a straightforward but deliciously twisted morality play in which a frantic young woman tries desperately to rid herself of a gypsy curse. It's like a campfire tale combined with one of the better Tales from the Crypt episodes. (Check out the review by Peter M.)

So yeah: For the first weekend in many a month, I offer one simple suggestion: the double feature. Most theater chains offer cheaper tickets for the pre-noon screenings. Start movie one right there and you'll still have plenty of day left with which to go home and watch DVDs. Like a Pixar classic or Evil Dead 2.