Once again, it’s time for the 2WC’s summer movie wrap-up.
It’s been several months and 15 movies in the making.
It was a long summer, with some highs and a lot more lows, but we made it through somehow and now it’s time for the final weigh-in.
So here it is, the second annual summer movie wrap-up. And to all of the movies not mentioned below, we can’t all be winners or even “winners.”
Stephanie: If there is a category that single-handedly describes the much larger group of less than fantastic movies this summer it is this one. They’re not bad, they’re disappointing (and yes, that is worse). “Rock of Ages” gets this one, and I admit it is completely and entirely (and redundantly) because of the stage show. Had I not seen the stage show after seeing the movie I never would have known how epically they messed with the story and ultimately destroyed it. I still give props to individual performances, but as a complete work…disappointing and needlessly so.
Zer: It pains me to say this, but I have to give “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” this “honor.” The movie was entertaining enough, but it played a little fast and loose with historical events. Considering the flawless integration of the supernatural into actual history is the best part of the book, well, it was a bit of a let down.
Stephanie: “ParaNorman” is without a doubt one of the best movies this summer. Is it the best? You’ll have to keep reading. The charm of this sometimes scary but still kid-friendly flick is indescribable. It’s heart-warming, relevant message mixed with the ridiculous, whimsical and sometimes gruesome zombie and witch-driven plot line was a welcome and refreshing end to a summer of (sometimes disappointing) blockbusters.
Zer: This is a tough one, but I have to give this one to,”The Amazing Spider-Man.” While there were a few other strong contenders, “Spider-Man” had the greater obstacles to overcome. Right on the heals of the very popular Tobey Maguire series, this reincarnation had a lot to prove. It managed to keep the integrity of the story while completely separating itself from its predecessor.
Stephanie: My choice for this is a little bit less than conventional, but I have to go with Julie Walters as the Witch in “Brave.” Perhaps it isn’t so much for the performance, as it is the character itself, but nonetheless the honor has been passed. The choice to have the obvious villain not be the villain, was one that struck a chord with me. Especially given the history Disney has, creating worlds full of witches (of all varieties) and evil step-mothers. It’s refreshing to see women (even of the animated nature) cast as decent human beings, with a knack for whittling and wish-granting.
Zer: I have to agree with Stephanie on this one. Although I’m not sure if I should give credit to Julie Walters, the writing team or the animators. So, I’ll give it to all three. The rest of this film was enjoyable, but fairly predictable. Whether or not you agree that Pixar took the appropriate number of risks with it’s first female lead, it’s hard not to love the Witch. Despite her lack of name, his cooky witch with a passion for whittling was a pleasant surprise. Completely aware of the stigma attached with her trade, she’s actively working to separate herself from the stereotype.
Most Likely to Make It Into the Personal Movie Collection:
Stephanie: “ParaNorman” again. This movie really touched me. Plus, I love Halloween movies (that aren’t actually scary, you won’t see me anywhere near a horror flick…don’t ask). Add animation and a beautifully balanced story that kids and adults can enjoy and just try to stay out of my DVD (don’t be a Blu-ray hater) collection…just try.
Zer: As a fan of the Marvel Universe,”The Avengers” is a shoo-in. The fact that it also happens to be a decent film that didn’t completely let down the legions of loyal fans, is just an added bonus.
Stephanie: This one was rough, but I have to go with “The Avengers.” The amount of planning and excellent film making that went into this franchise is astounding and they delivered all that I’d hoped for. It is an ensemble piece of truly epic proportions and seeing such huge stars (of comics and screen) come together and mesh so well together is impressive to say the least. “The Dark Knight” was my runner up…by the way…
Zer: Believe it or not, this is a tough one to pick. While this summer had quite a few lows. The few bright spots were pretty impressive. After much debate and deliberation, I have to go with “The Dark Knight Rises.” The hype around this film was overwhelming. The bar set so high, that there was no way it could live up to expectations. Despite the odds, this conclusion to the “Dark Knight” trilogy managed to meet and surpass expectations. It may never be the best film in the trilogy(“The Dark Knight” in my opinion), but it is the best blockbuster of the summer.
And on that note, I can’t believe we’re about to say this (once again)… That’s all folks… for now.