What were your top top 5 films of summer, everyone? Here’s mine.
Honorable mentions: Fast and the Furious 6 rocked; Star Trek Into Darkness was fun, and if that cast can receive a more coherent screenplay they could be a Trek crew for the ages; Iron Man 3 was great as long as you accept it as the Robert Downey show; and Elysium was better than a lot of people would have you believe. Hope you all had a great summer, and cheers to fall-time Oscar bait!
#5 – Pacific Rim
Seriously. I spent a lot of the summer ranting about AWESOME HUGE ROBOTS fighting GIGANTIC MONSTERS FROM THE DEEP. Surely some of you have heard me blah blah blahing, right? I know that certain concepts in Pacific Rim are nothing new, but Guillermo del Toro did what he does best; he directed the you-know-what out of a movie featuring AWESOME HUGE ROBOTS fighting GIGANTIC MONSTERS FROM THE DEEP. It was, to be honest, just a fun time at the movies. Here’s hoping for more! Word’s still out on whether or not overseas box office is strong enough to warrant a sequel.
#4 – Man of Steel
Some folks has problems with Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, and others loved the you-know-what out of it. I myself found it to be a great “retake” on the Supes mythos, although I still do scratch my head at the way they decided to remove Pa Kent from the proceedings. (Seriously guys. You already had an “I’m Supes but even I can’t fix this” angle prewritten for you.) I felt like many that the first half of this flick outshined the latter half, mostly because of the sensory overload of a near one hour climax. More than anything, I really bought into Henry Cavill as Superman. Welcome to The Planet, Clark.
#3 – World War Z
Sure, it was probably a little watered down due to its PG-13 rating, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t find Brad Pitt and World War Z incredibly effective. The action was great, and certain situations ramped up the suspense, dread and “whoa” way more than this plagued production had any inkling of conveying given all the behind the scenes hullabaloo. And please keep in mind that I’m saying all this as a huge fan of the source material. Barring a Walking Dead-like cable TV adaptation, I think Pitt and company made a perfectly acceptable, non-disrespectful use of Max Brooks’s novel. Box office numbers and critical opinions convey the same, with some rumblings of a franchise coming.
#2 – This Is the End
This meta comedy came completely out of left field for yours truly. I didn’t really know what to expect, and I quite possibly haven’t laughed as hard at the movies in a decade as I did while watching James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, and Jay Baruchel party together, some reluctantly, some overboard enthusiastically, when the Rapture occurs. Outrageous and fun, this flick is definitely worth your time to check out if you missed it in the theaters. Danny McBride is stellar as always, and some supporting work by folks like Michael Cera (say cheese, baby”) left me howling. Here’s some additional Numbers and Inspiration thoughts on This Is the End if you’re interested.
#1: The Conjuring
To me, The Conjuring is the perfect example of the little movie that could. James Wan’s creepy thriller documenting an Ed and Lorraine Warren haunting/exorcism investigation was made for $20M and has taken in almost $260M in international box office dollars. In a summer full of blockbuster and superhero madness, it was great to see a quality horror flick — well, acted, well directed and just the right mix of jump scares and atmospheric dread — enjoy such success. For my complete thoughts, check out my Renegade Review.