5. My Disappointments
I know this is a “Top 5 Films of Summer” list, but I honestly couldn’t think of 5 films this summer that I saw and really enjoyed. This was a very blah summer filmed with a ton of films I couldn’t have cared less about, and the with some of the few that I did, they turned out to disappoint. 2 that come to mind are Kick-Ass 2 & Iron Man 3. Why it’s impossible to create a perfect comic-book movie trilogy is beyond me. Kick-Ass 2 lacked interesting characters as well as a decent story. Iron Man 3, well, it rehashed a plot from Married With Children and totally blew any chance of giving Iron Man an actual bad-ass villain to fight. The biggest offender this year [I’m very sorry, Adian] was Man of Steel. The MOS is one giant POS. As Zack Snyder & Christopher Nolan did whatever they could to completely suck the joy & fun out of the Superman franchise. Gone is the color, the humor, and even the basic structure that made up Superman’s character & World. In it’s place are a Superman that cares more about looking cool than saving lives. Children will not grow up to look at this Superman film fondly, they’ll refer to the Donner classics, mark my words.
4. The World’s End
Getting back on track, we start here with the first film of this Top 5 Films of Summer list that deals with the end of the world. Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost complete the trilogy that started with Shaun of the Dead, and then lead into Hot Fuzz. Measuring up to two classics is certainly not an enviable task, but if any team is capable of it, they are. While I wouldn’t put it with Shaun & Fuzz on the quality scale, that isn’t to say it isn’t an awesome film. The humor is on point as always, as the film also delivers some of the best action I’ve seen in years. Wright’s direction is crisp as it ever was, giving him is own indelible style that helps him stand head & shoulders above the crowd. Fans of Shaun & Fuzz are rewarded with inside jokes & references, which is something I always appreciate. Do check it out.
3. The Wolverine
It’s no secret that almost every comic-book fan hates X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Despite having a lot of promise to it, and some very worth while scenes, the crimes committed in the film were too much to save the film. Naturally, we all waited for Wolverine to finally get his due in a solo film, and The Wolverine is what we’ve been waiting for. Honestly, even though I’ve dug the character since childhood, I always felt he was a bit too powerful, which can be a fatal flaw for a character. So, one of the things I loved with this film is that for a large portion of it, Wolverine is no longer semi-invincible. He can not only be hurt, but he stays hurt. Thus he has to rely solely on his skill & his rage to get him through, which is what I’ve always wanted. Although the villains in this movie leave quite a bit to be desired, the action sequences, atmosphere, and stinger scene help to make up for it. Suck it, Iron Man 3.
2. This Is The End
As the years go by, with all the remakes, sequels, covers, and everything else in the World, you start to think it’s all been done. That there’s nothing left that can be original. Then something comes along that reminds you how that isn’t true, and how instead people are just lazy hacks. This Is The End is that film that puts most others to shame because it absolutely shines in it’s creativity, humor, action, and delivery. The idea itself is nothing short of brilliant, and the execution of it bares the same status. The biggest compliment I can give a film is watching it numerous times without tire, and I can rest assure that for the rest of my life, This Is The End will receive continuous play.
1. Pain & Gain
F the hipsters who hate Michael Bay because he’s Michael Bay. Pain & Gain is fantastic. Wahlberg plays a body-builder who’s a con-artist, and an idiot that worships infomercial giants, wanting all the big things in life but unwilling to work for it. The Rock plays sort of simpleton who wants to do good in life, but is easily persuaded otherwise. He also has a passion for coke. Together with another friend they make a plan to rob a client of Wahlberg’s who they deem unfit to have such luxury. They succeed, and things are going just as planned, for a while.
The film is paced well, and flies by on a slick story that never falters. Bay’s large commercial style works perfectly for this film, giving a gloss to the grimy feel of the whole journey these morons take. Also, for those who are into bodybuilding there’s that much more to enjoy. From trying breast-milk because you hear it’s anabolic, to asking everyone you meet who lifts what sort of supplements they take, or what their workout routine is. Bay & the writers absolutely nailed the bodybuilding culture in all of it’s glory and absolute ridiculousness. One of the things I didn’t expect was just how funny the film would be. It’s not only the funniest film I’ve seen this year, but one of the funniest films I’ve seen in the last decade. The Rock steals the show with his dead-pan delivery, at times earning the biggest laughs by simply describing what’s going on. An absolutely fantastic film that everyone should see. Then afterward, get a pump.