This summer has come off as being probably one of the most disappointing in terms of movie releases. I am confident that a lot of people will disagree with this viewpoint, but from what I have seen there just has not been anything eye catching or memorable. Now I’m not discounting every film to have come out. Some were great and there were others that I enjoyed that seemed to completely come out of left field. "Iron Man 3" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" were the first two great films of the summer. They were not anything unique and original, but they were fun and engaging pieces of entertainment. They focused on what they knew they could do well and came across the screen with craftsmen like quality and precision. After that, my summer movie list went downhill from there.
It has become increasingly apparent to me that the majority of films being released are either remakes or some form of rehashed material. I'm confident that this is because the summer season is positioned to entertain the younger generations and those of us who weren't alive for the best years of filmmaking. I know that one of my favorite films of the summer, already mentioned above, fits into this mold 100%. "Star Trek Into Darkness" borrowed heavily from its 1982 grandfather film "Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan", but I’m okay with this. This is mainly due to the caliber of J.J. Abrams' filmmaking, but the fact remains that it still felt uninspired in places.The two films that I was looking forward to most were actually two of the most awful pieces of canned celluloid I have ever witnessed. Neill Blomkamp’s "Elysium" and Guillermo del Toro’s "Pacific Rim" truly left my quest for blockbuster satisfaction laying dead at the bottom of a pike filled pit.
What ruined my experience of these two films were my expectations. Admittedly I know now that they were too high, but they had every right to be. I absolutely loved "Iron Man 3" and "Star Trek Into Darkness"so why couldn’t these two films have been just as good? That’s why I am angry, because they could have been. They were disappointing because their stories and characters were not fully fleshed out. The films did not accurately mirror the directors’ brilliance and creativity that we have seen previously in such films like "District 9" or "Pan’s Labyrinth". Both of those films blew audiences and critics away. I knew what these directors were capable of and they dropped the ball. Knowing who’s to blame, I have to aim my reticle at the studio system. Flashy visuals and CGI explosions are not all that make up a movie, not even a Summer Blockbusters.
Now just to be clear, I am not completely disillusioned with the Hollywood machine. There were a number of films that came out over the course of the last couple months that I thoroughly enjoyed. There were also a bevy of semi-independents that were great too. "The Worlds End" was hilarious, it was absolutely everything I was hoping for from Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. "Despicable Me 2" was also a lot of fun; truly better than its predecessor. "The Wolverine" was another welcomed surprise. I was pleased that its plot focused on the humanity of its central character in place of too many over the top fight scenes and action set pieces. I will say that the film’s ending was slightly over the top, but the rest was right in place with my expectations. The last film that I sort of saw was "Man of Steel". I was never able to write a review for it because the projector in the theater broke and I wasn’t able to see the ending. The film had its share of faults, but I found them to be forgivable. I may feel differently when I see the full product. Anyways, now that October is right around the corner, Oscar season will be beginning. "Rush" looks great and I’m very interested in "The Fifth Estate". Films just need to focus on their plots and characters, not always on their action sequences. I will continue to provide my opinion on the remainder of this year’s feature films. Stay tuned right here everyone!