Well, we’ve finally made it to the end of our Summer of Blockbusters. Now it’s time for our final judgment on this year’s offerings.
It’s been an interesting season, with some amazing highs and incredibly depressing lows. Overall though, it was a pretty good year for the summer blockbuster.
So now, without further ado, here’s our final four cents for this year’s summer blockbuster season.
Zer: “Jurassic World“ — This shouldn’t come as a surprise if you read my review earlier this summer. The only thing worse that this film’s blatant sexism, is the fact that it was by far the highest grossing film of the summer, and there’s already a sequel in the works. Here’s hoping they take some time to reconsider their portrayal of women. I suggest re-watching the original “Jurassic Park” for inspiration.
Stephanie: “Jurassic World”— You know what hurt the most about the thoughtless sexism that went into this film? It was that the most offensive line was uttered by one of my favorites, Judy Greer, who assures her sister (Bryce Dallas Howard) over the phone that marriage and children are not an “if” but a “when.” Treating marriage and children as the ultimate goal for a female character in this day and age is insulting and thoughtless. Do better.
I maintain that the editors must have cut the rest of her line, which I’m sure read something like: “No, when. Unless your happiness lies in pursuing your career, in which you’ve already achieved some incredible things, running the world’s largest theme park, in heels. I’m so proud of you. Thank you for babysitting my children while my husband and I get divorced, but don’t tell the kids, we haven’t discussed it with them yet.”
Zer: “Ant-Man” — It’s not that I didn’t expect to like “Ant-Man,” it’s just that I didn’t expect it to be as good as it is. It’s funny, sweet, and has all the action you would expect to see in a Marvel movie.
Stephanie: Alicia Vikander — I’m expanding this category a bit to include breakout performers and Alicia Vikander was that breakout performer. Ms. Vikander starred in two of this summer’s films: “Ex Machina” (as Ava) and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (as Gaby). The two roles could not have been more different, and she’s fantastic as both as a cyborg (who ultimately turns on her maker and her friend to achieve the thing she wants most—freedom), and a spy (who for a time appears to have turned on her friends to achieve the thing she wants most—her father’s freedom). So, maybe there are a few similarities.
Zer: Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” — There’s something really captivating about a villain who explains the logic behind their need to wipe out humanity. The cold-calculating nature of the artificial intelligence known as Ultron was fascinating. Plus, he had a creepy fascination with Pinocchio.
Stephanie: Ava in “Ex Machina“, Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron“, and Genysis/Skynet/Alex in “Terminator: Genesys“ — This may seem like a cop-out, but let me explain, all three of these villains (although Ava’s more an anti-hero than a villain) are enemies of our own making (literally). What’s most terrifying is that every day we get closer to the potential of a reality that’s being presented as science fiction. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Zer: Melissa McCarthy in “Spy” — There were plenty of deserving candidates this summer, but I have to give this one to Ms. McCarthy. She turned the spy-thriller genre on its head, by proving that she can hold her own as a lead in an action flick. Oh, and she was funny too.
Stephanie: Rose Byrne in “Spy” — I completely agree with Zer’s choice, and I thought I’d spread the “Spy” lady love. Rose Byrne is one of those comedic actresses, who everyone seems to be surprised when she’s hilarious, which just doesn’t make sense to me at this point. She’s been amazing in “Bridesmaids”, “Neighbors”, and I’ll even throw “Annie” in there (because she’s kind of great in it too). Maybe it’s because she’s British? Anyways, she’s incredible in this too as an enemy turned friend (sort of).
Most Likely to Make It Into the Personal Movie Collection:
Zer: “Inside Out” — There’s not much to say here, other than I’m a sucker for a good Pixar movie. And this most definitely is a good one. Fair warning, although Pixar should be warning enough, you will cry.
Stephanie: “Spy”— This movie was one of those instances where I was afraid to get excited about it because I didn’t want to be let down. The female-driven action-comedy has a recent history of coming up just short of amazing. “Spy” on the other hand flew past amazing from the moment the movie started. What was most incredible about this movie about a female spy is that it didn’t get too heavy-handed with the fact that it was about a female spy.
Zer: “Ant-Man” — This is a tough one, but I’m giving this to the best true blockbuster of the season. It proved that Disney’s Marvel empire still has the Midas touch. They can turn even the most obscure superhero into a box office giant. Of course, this one also got some help from its star (and co-writer), Paul Rudd.
Stephanie: “Spy”— This was a really hard decision, because aside from a few disappointments (I’m looking at you “Jurassic World,”) this was a movie full of really enjoyable movies, which is why I’m going to dedicate this space to listing my runners-up:
- “Inside Out” — Pixar did what they do best, make us ugly cry while being completely enchanted.
- “Ant-Man” — Marvel continues to push the boundaries of our superhero universes and excel at it.
- “Mr. Holmes” — This movie is incredible, but let’s face it, it actually has a shot at having a successful award season (although my fingers are crossed for “Spy”).
…just for fun: