Anyone who is a fan of a good old-fashioned trip to the pictures knows the summer is the best time for such excursions. Articles, blogs and Facebook alike claim this was the ‘best summer of cinema’, but don’t they say this every year? In 2011, we witnessed blockbusters such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Bridesmaids, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Thor. So how does this year’s summer of cinema fare in comparison to 2011?
The bar was set high with Joss Whedon’s Avengers Assemble, which opened at the beginning of the summer grossing more than any other film on opening weekend in the history of cinema! The film was praised for its killer cast and explosive special effects. It was such a box office success that it didn’t take long for Whedon to secure his position in directing the sequel which is due to open May 2015. Although the biggest, it was not the only success for Marvel this summer with The Amazing Spiderman reboot winning over audiences. The decision to revive the popular superhero with a slightly new take just five years after Spiderman 3 was surprising, but nevertheless it was a success. The film’s strengths lie in the strong performances of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, creating a beautiful chemistry between the two leads, and even though the overall story is rather familiar, it never failed to excite and surprise.
After this summer it is evident that Marvel is looking stronger than ever. Those suffering from an Avengers addiction can look forward to Thor: The Dark World (2013), Iron Man 3 (2013) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). Marvel is also taking a few big risks with Ant-Man (no release date as of yet) and Guardians of the Galaxy – due to open 2014, a futuristic superhero film set in space. After years of being treated like DC Comic’s less “superior” cousin, Marvel is finally giving DC a run for their money – quite literally!
As predicted, The Dark Knight Rises was a huge success, and also my favorite in the trilogy (though most prefer the second). Going above and beyond in terms of special effects, music and most importantly performance. Christopher Nolan’s ‘regulars’ including Tom Hardy, Christian Bale and Joseph Gordon-Levitt all gave spectacular performances, and an OSCAR worthy speech was given by legend Michael Caine.
As for comedy, audiences were crying with laughter after watching Bridesmaids last summer. The film was by far the most successful and talked about comedy of the year! However, after watching The Five Year Engagement and The Dictator earlier this summer, I must admit that I was disappointed with the unoriginal and predictable comedies being churned out year after year…until Ted. Seth MacFarlane dazzled audiences with his wit and humor never before seen on the big screen, and it was then that my faith in comedy was restored. Critics argue that Ted’s plot was flawed and scrambled, but it made me laugh uncontrollably – and isn’t that exactly what we want from a comedy?
Looking back, this summer released some pretty decent films. It was the Marvel releases that brought this summer up a notch. Disappointments such as Dark Shadows and Chernobyl Diaries bring the summer down and don’t get me started on Piranha 3DD. Every year is the same: you get a few big blockbusters, a few comedies promising to be the biggest comedy of the year and some fun animated films such as Brave. There was something for everyone to enjoy, I’m sure there is someone out there who just loved Piranha 3DD…