Best movie of the Summer:
The best movie you could have treated yourself to this summer was J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” This sequel to 2010’s blockbuster delivers in every way. The action is intense, the emotion always runs high and there are more than a few laughs to be had. It is an almost perfect summer blockbuster.
Starring Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, Into Darkness takes place a few years after the events of the first movie. Benedict Cumberbatch is a newcomer to the series and adds a certain panache as the villain. His towering stature and silent demeanor did well for his role as Khan, which older fans will recognize as the Khan from the 1982 movie “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.”
In the movie, Khan has a feud with the United Federation of Planets. A few terrorist attacks on the Federation’s outposts leave Captain Kirk with a personal vendetta against Khan as they chase him to the edge of Federation space, aboard the USS Enterprise. The action quickly begins in the movie, and hardly lets up.
Simply put, this movie is a bunch of fun. Although classic fans of Star Trek might see this movie as having too much flash, the stellar cast and writing do their part to engross old and new fans alike. With enough references and throwbacks to the old Star Trek movie series to keep serious Trekkies happy, and enough new and exciting material to draw in a broader audience, Star Trek earned its spot as the best movie to see this summer with Into Darkness.
Most Surprising: There is really only one choice for most surprising movie of the summer season of 2013, “World War Z”. The newest in the long line of zombie based film and television that has taken over much of today’s entertainment industry.
“World War Z” is the story of Gerry Lane, played by Brad Pitt, an ex-member of the DEA who specialized in diseases that popped up in remote places of the world. When a new and fast spreading disease begins to take over the world, Lane is called back into service by the DEA to find what the disease is and how to cure it, all while fighting off hordes of zombies.
There are several reasons why this is the most surprising movie of the summer season. First and foremost are all the problems that this film had in production. Throughout the production there were many problems with the script and the direction that the film was going. Over the year that followed filming there were several reshoots in which third act of the film had to be re-written and re-shot. Usually when a film has as many problems as this one did in production, it is never made or at least poorly made. Instead, the movie earned over $66 million in its first weekend in theaters, attesting to its quality.
Another reason why this movie was so surprising was the zombies themselves. In the initial trailer for the film the only zombies they showed were the massive hordes of computer generated (CG) zombies. This insinuated that all of the zombies were going to be CG. This was a scary thought for those that wanted to see the movie to succeed, especially when comparing it to the effects that the popular TV show, “The Walking Dead” has been using.
Throughout the film, though, there were many practical zombie effects used and much to our surprise, even the CG zombie hordes looked great. Overall the film was great and was one of the highest grossing films of the summer for very good reason.
Most Disappointing Movie of the Summer:
The age of the Comic Book movie continued this summer with the next installment of the Superman franchise with Zach Snyder’s “Man of Steel.” “Man of Steel” was easily the most anticipated film of the summer for many moviegoers.
That also might have been part of why this movie was so disappointing.
Let me start by saying this was in no way a bad movie. The action was awesome, and the film looked so great throughout. Also it was amazing to see a “good” Superman film again. But with such high anticipation, came a big let down when this film was less than perfect.
Henry Cavill was good as Superman and definitely looked the part, but the script he was given was lacking at best. Cavill had very little to say throughout the film, and this also correlated to the lacking of a very good story, which correlated with the extreme lack of story.
The first half hour was fantastic, giving a great intro into this world and introducing us to Snyder’s vision of Superman. But after that, the rest of the movie felt like one long fight sequence.
The relationships between Superman and his love interest Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, and his nemesis General Zod, played by Michael Shannon, were never really allowed to develop.
Overall, “Man of Steel” was a good movie and you should definitely check it out, but it just did not live up to the high expectations many had for it.
Worst Movie of the Summer: “Lone Ranger”, starring Johnny Depp as essentially himself in a costume and Armie Hammer as the legendary Lone Ranger, is full of unnecessary fluff. With Gore Verbinski in the director’s chair as he had been for the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and “Rango”, audiences do not have to stretch their imagination when it comes to predicting how this movie plays out.
Johnny Depp plays the eccentric sidekick, Tanto, Armie Hammer plays the hero with something to prove, the villain plans on doing dastardly deeds for the sake of being dastardly, and Helen Bonham Carter makes an appearance because, well, I don’t know why to be honest.
It’s not only the excess amount of underdeveloped characters that made The Lone Ranger feel lifeless and two-dimensional, but the plot as well. After the first hour and a half of mediocre action sequences that you have come to expect from Verbinski films, it still has another hour to go. Set pieces for the sake of destroying said set pieces are what chugs the movie along from point A to point B.
The acting isn’t necessarily bad, but uninspired. Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow…er, I mean Tonto, is a rehashed act. Armie Hammer doesn’t do anything special to cause awe or inspire as the old Lone Ranger did back in the original TV series. Save your money instead of seeing Lone Ranger. You are better off popping in the first Pirates movie into your DVD player and enjoying an adventure movie with some heart.