Summer 2013 officially meets its Maker today, and I couldn't be happier. I hate almost everything about the summer: the oppressive heat; the unruly hordes of seemingly orphaned children at the neighborhood pool; the weird notion that "hey, it's Summer--let's go outside and do something" everybody seems to have; the sweating; the ice cream truck that plays nothing but Christmas carols; the unrelenting humidity. Go ahead and enjoy Summer if you must, but, in the immortal words of Steven Patrick Morrissey, I was bored before I even began, the second "I" here meaning, of course, "it," by which I mean "Summer." Follow?
One thing I don't hate about Old Man Summer is the summer blockbuster. Man oh man, do I love me a good Summer movie. Since becoming a father, I have been unable to go out to see a movie as much as I used to. I also watch a lot more Elmo-centric films. This year, however, I was able to get out and see almost every movie I wanted to see. There was one huge omission (Pacific Rim) and one I would've like to have caught in theaters but haven't lost any sleep over missing (The Conjuring), but for the most part I'm pleased with this Summer's accomplishments.
I officially saw 8 movies this Summer, and I am prepared to rank them. I will include a one sentence description of each film's plot (Warning: it'll prolly be silly.) and one or two fun facts. It should be fun for all involved, and will hopefully spawn important conversations in your household. Or whatever the opposite of important is these days.
Plot: Tom Cruise encounters a variety of mediocre plot twists on an Earth devastated by some such bullshit. (Give me a break, I saw this a long time ago)
The Good: I like the weird electronic-y sounds the robot drones make; the female leads are pretty...and empowered, yeah, they're also empowered; one of the twists genuinely surprised me.
Best Line of the Summer: "Fuck you, Sally!" Should've faded to black right after Cruise says it. Fade to black. Explosion noise. Credits.
Should you watch it: If your cable company is providing 6 months of free HBO and it comes on one Sunday afternoon after football season is over and your two-year-old is down for her nap and you've finished all the chores on the list your wife gave you, I'd say skip it and watch Breaking Bad on Netflix.
7. Star Trek Into Darkness
Plot: The crew of the starship Enterprise is back for another trek through the stars and into darkness.
Khaaan!!!: I haven't seen any of the old Star Trek movies (I only recently got into the original TV series), so when Bumbershoot Cumberbund is revealed to be Khan, it didn't really do anything for me.
The Good: I remember it being pretty exciting. There was punching sometimes. Simon Pegg was funny.
Ready for more star treks?: Eh. Not really.
6. The Wolverine
Plot: Wolverine goes to Japan and mixes it up with the locals.
The Good: the bullet train scene; that part where Logan says "fuck"; the female leads are pretty...and empowered, yeah, they're also empowered; I thought the Silver Samurai was pretty cool until it was revealed that it was that old dude inside.
Viper issues: So many reviews I read or heard on podcasts complained that the Viper character nearly ruined the movie. She was fine. What did she do that was so terrible? She was barely in it. Leave Viper alone, guys. C'mon, there are bigger problems in this world.
Best Part: After the film, my dad and I had dinner at Chipotle and had an epic conversation about religion.
5. Iron Man 3
Plot: Iron Man must deal with a new threat (The Mandarin), health problems (panic attacks) and a precocious irritant (some annoying kid) before the films 130 minute runtime is up.
The Good: all those awesome Iron Man suits.
The Bad: Tony Stark destroys all those awesome Iron Man suits for his girlfriend (Blech!).
The Really Bad: that kid (Blech!).
The Twist: It's Gwyneth Paltrow's head in the box.
4. This Is The End
Plot: The stars of all your favorite raunchy comedies ride out the Rapture at James Franco's house.
The Good: Michael Cera as a coke-snorting asshole; the demons look very, very cool; James Franco and Danny McBride's masturbation argument.
Biblical Inaccuracies: This Is The End would have you believe that the Backstreet Boys are getting into Heaven. Not bloody likely!
3. Man of Steel
Plot: Superman comes to Earth, engages in a super-powered fist-fight that results in the deaths of several thousand people and splits the fanboy community in half.
Which half am I a part of?: The half that thinks Man of Steel was pretty sweet!
The Good: The Smallville fight. The entire movie could've been the Smallville fight for all I care. It was so much fun; the opening scenes set on Krypton; Elliot Stabler basically saves the universe.
The Bad: probably too much product placement; Kevin Costner; moaning fanboys; genuinely enjoying something directed by Zack Snyder.
2. Monster's University
Plot: In this prequel to Monster's Inc., we witness the genesis of the lifelong friendship between monster buddies Mike and Sully.
The Good: Everything. This movie was so great.
The Bad: The trailer of Planes.
1. The World's End
Plot: Old friends are conned by an alcoholic into reuniting in their home town for an epic pub crawl, only to discover that said town has been overtaken by "robots" from outer space.
The Good: Again, everything. I got no complaints.
The Bad: Accidentally saw a poster for Planes on the way into the theater.
An inspiration: The World's End inspired a modified pub crawl undertaken by myself, sometimes GEP-writer and always friend, Jonathan, and visiting chum, Nathan. We ate delicious food, I got so drunk I lost all feeling in my face, and Nathan played a pinball machine inspired by the No Fear line of t-shirts. No blue-blooded blanks, but fun was had by all.