As summer comes to a close, I decided to do a top ten list of summer blockbusters for you. I look forward to the summer movie season every year like a sports fans counts down to baseball or football season. Summer is the season of action and comedy movies that are over the top and in your face!
But as I perused the IMDB list of releases for summer 2013, I realized something. I have been slacking, and my movie list is lacking. There were no superheroes in my summer.
I missed the Lone Ranger galloping along with Captain Jack Sparrow in KISS makeup. I missed the Man of Steel’s new wardrobe. I am heartbroken to have missed Hugh Jackman’s abs in Wolverine, and I’m kind of irritated that I let Great Gatsby dance on by.
Even non-Trekkies tell me I should have beamed myself to the theater for Star Trek. But based on comments from anyone anywhere, I’m glad I missed After Earth. (Which hurts to say, because Will Smith has lit up the sky on my 4th of July many years in the past saving the planet from all sorts of invaders.)
So my lack of box office stubs limits my ability to tell you what the top ten blockbusters were. So I guess I’ll just give you a list of ten movies I saw this summer.
#10: Movie 43:
This has to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. And not just because it’s disgusting and vile. It. Just. Wasn’t. Funny. It had an all-star cast list that reads like the Oscar red carpet line-up. Which means they were either all black-mailed, or they had a family member being held hostage.
I did not expect or plan to like a Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller. And I am not going to say it was great, or that you need to run right out and rent it tonight. But it was better than I thought it would be, and we actually enjoyed it. It offered some unexpected moments, and it had Morgan Freeman. As Dr. Smooth said when Freeman appeared onscreen, “Now it’s gonna get good! Morgan Freeman’s here!”
I’m a sucker for a movie that takes an existing social issue and throws it in our face in such a way that we have no choice but to say, “That’s terrible. That’s wrong.” Matt Damon’s character lives in a world where the wealthy and privileged have access to the best healthcare, the best education, the best security, and all the luxuries of life. The less fortunate labor away in dangerous, filthy conditions scraping to get by and watching their loved ones suffer from afflictions and diseases they have no resources to fight. People risk everything, including their lives, to get their family members to a better place for the chance of a better life, but they are hunted down, imprisoned, and treated as animals. Good thing it’s a work of fiction set in the future and not anything we need to worry about, right??
#7: World War Z:
Not a huge zombie fan, but I guiltily admit that I liked this film. I didn’t read the book, so I wasn’t upset that it didn’t follow it. The floods of zombies moving like raging rivers were cool effects. The storyline was a bit weak, but it’s a freakin’ zombie movie. They’re not known for their plots. And yes, of course I realize Brad Pitt could not have survived everything that happened to him and single-handedly save the world, but isn’t that what we want to see in a summer blockbuster? A hero who overcomes all obstacles and not only survives, but wins – good prevailing over evil? And it’s another thinly veiled social message. This time about those among us who are perceived by society to be less than or weak, and yet their purpose in life is just as important as any other.
#6: Warm Bodies:
It isn’t a summer blockbuster, but I saw it this summer so I’m counting it. Again, zombie movies aren’t my thing, but I really liked this one. Ever the hopeless romantic, I am a fan of any movie where love conquers all – even being a zombie. I loved the narration and the dry, tongue-in-cheek humor. Sometimes you have to see a movie without expecting a whole lot from it and just enjoy the ride.
#5: A Late Quartet:
Another one that wasn’t released this summer, or even this year (2012), and it definitely doesn’t qualify as a blockbuster. But I am putting it on the list because I saw it this summer, and it was really good! Christopher Walken and Seymour Phillip Hoffman were incredible, as always. I loved the way this movie illustrated Beethoven’s String Quartet No 14, opus 131. The piece is written to be played non-stop, no matter what happens (like life). And since the instruments are not made to be played non-stop, they occasionally slip out of tune or encounter difficulties (like us in life). So the other musicians must work together to support each other and balance out the ones who are out of tune (life, anyone?)
#4: Iron Man 3:
Robert Downey, Jr. Right there, I’m already in. Got me. I’m there. I love the Iron Man series. I hear the arguments that he’s not a superhero. That’s he’s just a rich guy (hello, Batman?) That he has a heart condition that makes him weak (hello, Kryptonite – Superman?) I’ll take Tony Stark’s cocky confidence and sarcastic wit over Spiderman’s whiney, complaining, wimpy persona any day of the week. This installment in the series allowed Pepper and Stark to be in love and fight for that love, and y’all know how I feel about love conquering all. And hello—the chick got to be a bad-ass warrior rescuing her man and helping to save humanity instead of standing around weeping and waiting to be kissed. Loved it!
#3: The Heat:
H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S. I absolutely love Melissa McCarthy. She is the bomb. Huge fan of Sandy Bullock (notice the familiar use of Sandy – we’re close like that) No great social message. No deep exploration of the meaning of life. No huge love conquering life. Just fun. Who doesn’t like fun?
#2: Now You See Me:
LOVED THIS MOVIE! Rent it as soon as it is available for rent!! It was smart. It was funny. It was well-written. It was sassy. And it totally, completely got me. I am usually very good at catching the twist, but I was frantically sewing together theories right up until the end and ended up surprised. I am thrilled when a movie keeps me intrigued enough to want to figure it out but has me guessing til the end.
AND #1 IS…2 Guns:
If you did not see this movie, I will watch it again with you right now. Excellent summer blockbuster. Action. Humor. Sentiment. Guns. Cool Cars. Hot Leading Men. Even hotter Leading Lady. Twists and Turns. Great soundtrack. Denzel Washington. And Mark Wahlberg. I mean, really, honestly…..if it has Mark Wahlberg in it, does it even need anything else? 2 Guns has it all.
So there you go. Maybe there’s something there to add to your Redbox list. Now you tell me which of the blockbusters I missed should be first on my list to rent!