The summer has come and gone and many large movies have been on display during it. We had the return of Superman, a few ensembles fighting off the apocalypse, and giant robots fighting giant aliens. While I am still working on my list of the five to ten best films overall that I’ve seen, here are the five blockbuster-type movies that I loved this summer.
5) This is the End
You’ve probably seen them before. They are are some of the more recognizable faces in comedy today as well as drama. But in This is the End, we got to see these guys basically playing inflated personalities of themselves and it was utterly hilarious. With the backdrop of the apocalypse making them stick together, this group gave you loads of self-reflexive humor as well as the usual crude jokes that you would come to expect from the stars of such comedies as Pineapple Express, Superbad, and Knocked Up. What really impressed me though was their skill of actually giving us a strong story with some redeeming moments that make those comedies so fantastic. Rogen and Goldberg, who both wrote and directed the movie, did a outstanding job of giving us consistent laughs with a solid message and a crazy ending.
4) The World’s End
While I just recently saw it, The World’s End blew me away with just how much I would gradually take away from it. The moment I got out I thought, you know what I really enjoyed that, and as the night progressed I realized more and more that I did actually enjoy that movie and that it was something special. The final film in the “Blood and Ice Cream trilogy,” The World’s End was another comedy that contained a multitude of laughs but also gave a well-written and heartfelt story that was somewhat of a parable on the trials of growing up and letting go. Each character played another window into the life of a man wishing he could go back to his younger days and it was great to see how director Edgar Wright portrayed that. It was funny, heartfelt, and just a fantastic experience at the movies.
3) Pacific Rim
Easily the movie that could be labeled as the year’s hidden gem blockbuster, director Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim was also one of the more fun experiences you’ll have at the movies this year. There was action, cheesy dialogue, and insane fights that had you cheering the entire time. The movie came with some flaws but it is one of those that can forgiven due to the large amount of fun you had. Idris Elba and Charlie Day stole the show as two great characters and scene-stealer Ron Perlman made a memorable appearance, It was an original and inspiring movie that did not get the recognition by audiences that it should’ve for being something new and something fun. Yes, it has its problems but it also was the reason you go to the movies, to have fun.
2) The Wolverine
I feel like I wasn’t the only one going into this movie with low expectations following the previous entry, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was a giant stinker. But I ended up leaving absolutely loving this one. The Wolverine plays to the blockbuster chords but does something distinctly different in the realm of superhero blockbusters, it focuses on the character. What should’ve been the focus on X-Men Origins, finally is given to us through this highly entertaining and interesting fare. Hugh Jackman has crafted this character into something different from all other superheroes outside of maybe Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man. He is Wolverine and after the events of X-Men 3, he has changed and with him the character changes. This not only was a fantastic standalone movie but also a perfect set-up for X-Men Days of Future Past next year.
1) Star Trek: Into Darkness
My absolute favorite from the summer came early and that was Star Trek Into Darkness. While it seems to have taken some heat around the place lately, I stick with it as the perfect blockbuster of the summer. Not only was I just totally enthralled with all of the characters and action but I felt like the story and directing blew me away as well. Director J.J. Abrams showed us that he knows how to craft a blockbuster and how to do it well. I had reflections of Star Wars while watching it as the shots and sounds of the film made me think back to a galaxy far far away (not to mention Giacchino’s score was very Williams based). But while people have their problems with it, mainly with it stealing from Wrath of Khan, I feel that it was not that big of an issue. I know that people today probably have not seen Wrath of Khan or even know about it so what this film did was not only gain a more mainstream audience but also maybe make people notice it more. Benedict Cumberbatch stole the show and gave us an upgrade in villains from Eric Bana’s character in the first movie. It was just all around fun and one that stuck with me all summer.
Man of Steel