Summer Movie Wrap-Up

And Fall/Winter Preview

I wrote about 20 movies in my summer movie preview. Of those 20, I went and saw only 8; though to be fair two of them were pushed back to next year. Those I didn’t see either looked much less interesting when they finally came out or maybe weren’t playing near me (I live in the backwoods of nowhere) or maybe I just missed them. Whatever the case, I did see 8 movies this summer. Though the highs were pretty high, I would call this a definite down year for summer movies. There was nothing this year as good as The World’s End last year and nothing approaching the trifecta of The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and John Carter (Don’t question John Carter inclusion, I’ll fight for that movie. I really love it) from the year before. Still, there were a handful of movies that were really good.

8: Amazing Spider-Man 2. There was almost nothing to like in this movie. Just a blah experience.

7: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There were glimpses of competence here, but it is mostly just kind of gross.

6: The Expendables 3. This was mostly enjoyable, but it feels like a case of diminishing returns. This series feels a little tired.

5: Hercules. Flawed, yes, but so darn enjoyable. Dwayne Johnson really sells the physicality of the role even when the plot goes to some stupid places.

4: X-Men Days of Future Past. What an amazing recovery for a faltering series. First Class was good, but I doubted their ability to make it gel with the first three. Singer managed it, while not excising just enough of the cancerous X3 to keep things palatable. I want to see where this goes next.

3: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Between this and GotG, this was Marvel Studios best summer yet. As far as

2: Godzilla. This movie really rocked. My expectations were guarded, I’ve seen what Americans do with Godzilla before, but this turned out to be awesome. They may have spent a little too much time with characters that weren’t Godzilla, but they let him be a good guy for the first time in forever. It was just great.

1: Guardians of the Galaxy. Really, this was just the best thing to hit theaters this summer. A perfectly fun film.

It is a top heavy list; lots of bad at the bottom and lots of good at the top. I am usually pretty good at determining what movies to go see, but this year I missed a few that looked like they were good, like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Edge of Tomorrow. Not having seen either of them, I still feel confident saying that both of them would have been better than Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Next summer might be better, it will Avengers 2, but I just hope that I do better at weeding through the crap.

How about this fall? There is a good handful of movies coming out before the end of the year. I am sure there are a lot of great movies coming out that I’ve missed. Please, inform me of them, I want to know. However, these are the ones I am aware of.

Book of Life: This is a really neat looking animated film. The preview I saw in front of TMNT looked nice.

Interstellar: I’ll stop watching Christopher Nolan movies when they stop being good. He hasn’t disappointed me yet.

Big Hero 6: Disney has been hitting it out of the park in the last few years, and this one is based on an obscure Marvel property. It looks distinctly Pixar-ish, which is a big compliment.

The Imitation Game: All I know about this is that it stars Benedict Cumberbatch, which is enough for me.

Exodus: Gods and Kings: I like everything I’ve seen about this movie so far. Ridley Scott has gotten it all right too many times for me to not be excited for something he’s done.

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies: This is going to be bittersweet. I have greatly enjoyed the first two Hobbit movies and I fully expect to enjoy this one. But it is also likely to be the last trip we get to take to Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth. I am going to miss it.

American Sniper: I added this to the list based solely on the fact that it is directed by Clint Eastwood. Angry old man or not, that man can direct a movie.

Anything I didn’t mention look good? Tell me about it in the comments.