The Summer Movies of 2015

I love summer movies.

Truthfully, I love all movies, but there’s something about big, loud, loaded tent-pole movies that seem to come out in the summer that always draw me to the air-conditioned theatres to see what spectacles will be flashed upon the screen.

This summer had a couple of movies I was really looking forward too, a few surprises, and once again, my suckage-senses about a movie were right about a movie that was supposed to be big, but wasn’t.

So, here’s my list of movies. I kept the stubs so I’d remember what I saw. I’m odd like that.

 

The summer season started for me with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Although being biased because the movie was directed by the ruler of all geekdom, Joss Whedon, I’ll be honest, I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the expectations.

Wrongo!

It may not have been “fresh” because we saw the Avengers as a team already, but it was still damn good! As expected, the writing was top-notch. The banter, oh the witty and humourous banter, was quite enjoyable. Honestly, seeing a slice of normalcy at Hawkeye’s home was a welcome break and reality check. James Spader as Ultron was surprisingly hilarious! It reminded me of Glorificus from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Vicious, dangerous, but whacked out of his skull!

The only down-side I will say is that the Avengers fighting masses of easily disposable villains (aliens in the first one, Ultron clones in this one) is getting old. They need to face some actual threats. Hopefully that will be fixed in future movies.

 

Honestly, Mad Max: Fury Road was the movie I was most looking forward to seeing. Having grown-up on the original trilogy, and loving all three for different reasons (Mad Max for its wild, dangerous, and maniacal brutality. Mad Max 2 for its journey of the hero and for my still all-time favourite car chase. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome for being different enough, even a little lighter, yet showing more of the post-apocalyptic world), I was excited and nervous to see what Fury Road would be like.

I’d have to say its a mix of the first and second Mad Max movies. Tom Hardy as Max is good, but he takes a back seat for the first part of the movie to Furiosa, played by a bad-ass Charlize Theron. They journey into the wasteland, and what a bleak, frightening place it is. The whole movie is a chase, and it is an incredible chase! Through a massive dust storm, into a canyon, with nasty, violent vehicles and people after them.

If you loved the previous Mad Max movies, you’ll love this. This is probably thanks to George Miller, who started it all. Having his fill with animated penguins and talking pigs, it is great to see him back to where it all started. What is also neat is he doesn’t hold your hand while you watch the movie. It just unfolds. If you’re in, you’re in. If not, you’ll get lost.

 

I always like a great big disaster movie, and San Andreas didn’t disappoint. How could it? It had Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fighting to save his family as California erupts with massive quakes, fires, and floods. This movie gives “2012” a run for its money when it comes to the destruction of California.

For those who dislike these kind of movies, calling them “destructo-porn”, bugger off! These movies are what is called “escapism”. we don’t really want these things to happen. Just like we don’t want a gun-totting vigilante to gun down everyone in sight out of vengeance, or a zombie apocalypse to eat what we call our “brain”. In the “real” world, these things would be horrific and terrifying. But in the movies, especially if it’s not supposed to be based on real events, then it is a way to enjoy the spectacle without the horror.

I also liked Carla Gugino in this, but I like her in everything she does. the daughter of her and the Rock, Alexandra Daddario was a little distracting. Correction, her breasts were a little distracting. Yes, I know, this is very lame-ass guy of me, but it just seemed to me that, towards the end, it became more about titillation, and less about drama. If I want titillation, I’ll watch something else.

 

One movie that sorta came out of left field for me was Jurassic World! I don’t know what I was expecting, but I definitely liked what I saw. In hindsight, I was kinda tired of these people trying to create this theme park. It was cool to see it finished. Chris Pratt was nice touch, playing Starlord… I mean Dinosaurlord, or whatever. He was cool. Bryce Dallas Howard was iffy at first, but I came around to like her too. But honestly, the big finale was what put it over the edge of awesomeness for me.

!!! Spoiler Alert!!!

If you haven’t seen the movie, skip past this next paragraph.

Some people didn’t like Jurassic World because it was the furthest from the accuracy of the other movies. Well, this IS a “science fiction” movie, not a documentary. So, once I jettisoned those stupid people’s comments, the climactic battle between the dinosaurs was SO COOL! I’ll admit to being biased when it comes to giant lizards/ monsters fighting (hello, when’s the next Godzilla movie Gareth Edwards?! Stop dicking around with that Star Wars crap!), and this was unexpected. I was wishing they were gonna fight, so when Howard’s character goes and gets the T Rex, I was so stoked! I loved it!

!!!Spoiler Alert Ended!!!

Hopefully, the next movie will continue the awesomeness they have started.

 

Tomorrowland was one movie that not a lot of people liked, but I did. People said it was poorly written, and didn’t have a good storyline, but I also some many criticisms leveled at it for being “optimistic”. How lame is that!

The movie is about optimism! It’s about holding onto your goals and dreams even when you lose your way. In all honesty, this movie touched me the most this summer. It spoke to me. It reminded me of my own dreams, to become a professional writer, to make a living from my creations.

The negativity towards this movie reminded me of the movie “John Carter”. It did poorly and got bad reviews, but I enjoyed it! But it was kinda what people had been asking for, something sans superheroes, not based on a toy a la Transformers. It was based on “A Princess of Mars”, part of the Barsoom series written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The series may not be considered “classic literature”, but it inspired many of the most creative minds and storytellers of the century (Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein), as well as many scientists, including Carl Sagan.

In my mind, this was, supposedly, something people and film critics had wanted. Something fresh. But they crapped all over it. They did the same thing with Tomorrowland, which is quite disappointing because it is a good movie. Britt Robertson could have stepped out of a deleted scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. She is spunky, wide-eyed, strong, also a young female, which should have been praised.

That’s why critics suck ass.

 

I was hoping Ted 2 would be as close to funny as the first one, and it was close… but not close enough. It wasn’t terrible mind you, and I laughed quite a lot, but honestly, after watching “A Million Ways to Die in the West” for a second time, it was funnier than Ted 2.

And what was with the Liam Neeson cameo in Ted 2?! I thought there was gonna be a pay-off at the end or something. Oh well.

 

I wasn’t expecting much from Terminator: Genisys. The trailers looked interesting, and it was nice to see Arnold Schwarzenegger back, but I still wasn’t sure. Thankfully, I was wrong. It was very cool, and kinda mysterious. Waaay better than Terminator:Salvation (damnit, why was Sam Worthington’s characters cooler than Christian Bale’s John Connor?! Eh? Answer me that!)

How Arnie’s Terminator got back to when Sarah was a little girl is unknown, but one this is for sure, he was sorely missed! Thanks to aging living skin over his metal skeleton, he can look older, but still kick ass. Emilia Clarke was a good Sarah Connor, despite what critics said (jackasses!), and I even liked Jai Courtney, who I’ve never really liked, even in “A Good Day to Die Hard”.

I’m curious to see where this will go next… if there IS a next.

 

Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy was a foul-mouthed hoot. But for me, what really stole the show was Jason Statham, as a ballsy, kinda moronic spy, who rhymes off a bunch of things he’s survived at one point, and its hilarious. It also had some surprisingly good action, but it is McCarthy’s movie, and she does a good job of being funny and holding her own in a knife-frying pan fight. I doubt I’d buy this movie, but it gives me hope that the new Ghostbusters will be pretty good.

 

Phase 2 of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe concluded with Ant-Man. A few people weren’t sure if it was going to be good, after Edgar Wright left in a snit over something or other (he probably forgot that Ant-Man is Marvel’s property, not his, and they are footing the bill for “their” movie, not “his” movie). I just hoped that whatever they made would be cool and continue whatever it is Marvel has up its sleeve.

Well, thankfully, they did a good job. I liked it about as much as I liked the first “Iron Man” movie. It was a good introduction, had enough Easter eggs and inter-connectivity to keep geeks like myself all excited (Oh crap, that’s Avenger’s base, as seen in Age of Ultron. Oh shit! it’s Falcon!). Plus, the teases (Wasp, Captain America: Civil War) are always cool. I don’t know if they’ll make an Ant-Man sequel, but if they do, I’d like to see the Mirconauts!

 

There are times when my intuition tells me that a movie isn’t going to be good, yet I hold out hope that it will be. Sadly, I was wrong about the new version of the Fantastic Four. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be good, yet I wanted it to be good. Why? Well, I don’t really know.

Although the previous versions of the Fantastic Four weren’t as popular as many had hoped, I still enjoyed them… well, the first one at least. Why the hell was Galactus a giant cloud?! Damnit! Anyways, I was hoping that this new version of the FF would be better. But when I saw Ben Grimm, I was worried. Since they were going full CGI with him, why not make him look EXACTLY like he does in the comic books?! But NO! They make him look like the giant rock dude that Thor smashed to bits in “Thor: The Dark World”!

The one thing that Tim Story, director of the first FF movie for Fox was the tone. They were a family, they were hopeful, they were heroes. In this new one, Josh Trank makes them unlikable. He makes them like bummed-out teens from his one cool movie “Chronicle”. In rebooting the franchise, Trank sucked out all that made the FF likeable, and filled it with 21st century crappola.

All I can say is, give the FF back to Marvel, so they can fix all this!

 

Finally, Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation. Honestly, it was good, but it was like pretty much every other M:I movie. Cool action, Tom Cruise does his own stunts, other people do stuff, Simon Pegg makes comments, etc. etc. It was good, but predictable. And Paramount wants another M:I movie. *sigh* sure, ok. I’m sure it will be good too… unless they get Josh Trank.

Here’s a list of directors I’d like to see do a M:I movie: Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Taratino, Luc Besson, or Timur Bekmambetov. Maybe do an all-Chinese M:I with Donnie Yen as the villain, featuring Jackie Chan &/or Jet Li. Or maybe, even do one in Canada!

Anyways, that was long, my apologies. If you made it all the way through, thanks! I’ll try to see less movies next summer… Hahaha! doubt it!

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