Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Another Disappointing Summer?

And so, another summer movie season has come and gone.  With August 9's Elysium, the 2013 season of blockbusters has officially ended.  I would argue that it was another disappointing summer.

My biggest emotional investment rested in Man of Steel (June 14), and that film was the biggest letdown of the year for me.  I cared less about Iron Man 3 (May 3), the kickoff movie of the season, and while I enjoyed it, it in no way distinguished itself from the dozens of comic book movies that have been made since 2000.  Star Trek Into Darkness (May 15), like its predecessor, was unnecessary and derivative.  The best blockbuster of the summer, for me, was Pacific Rim (July 12).

No, I didn't see every blockbuster this summer; I never do.  But I do catch up with them eventually.  And this trend of sloppy, shallow, horribly written movies with immaculate special effects doesn't change.  Think about the movies with the biggest hype from the last few years and consider how many of them were actually memorable for any reason other than effects.  Remember The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Battleship (2012), Green Lantern (2011), Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (2011), The A-Team (2010), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)?

Thankfully, there were some great blockbusters sprinkled throughout these years (like Inception, 2010).  I acknowledge that, and if I am dismissing any of your favorite movies with my list above, comment and tell me why I am wrong.  But I have found so many of these action blockbusters to be worthless, a waste of money, not even worth $8 on Blu-ray to show off my home theater setup.

What do you think?  And how were the 2013 blockbusters that I missed?  Did The Wolverine (July 26) justify its own existence?  Was The Lone Ranger (July 3) as awful as it looked?


  1. "Iron Man 3" was awesome -- not perfect, but a great superhero flick. Though it lacks the freshness of the first, it is a better-directed film overall and has a totally different sensibility than anything in the genre that preceded it. (Taking away Tony Stark's iconic suit for the second act and forcing him to rely only on his wits was a stroke of brilliance.)

    Also, J.J. Abrams' first "Star Trek" is one of the best summer blockbusters of the past decade, and I say that after seeing it half a dozen times. It may be derivative, but that's not always such a big flaw. I agree with you about the sequel though; even though I kind of enjoyed it, when I start thinking about it, it falls apart rather easily.

    "The Lone Ranger" was terrible. "The Wolverine," while it had quite a few glaring problems, was an interesting and unique superhero film.

    You already know I agree with you about "Man of Steel," but I think you're harsher on it than I am, if that's even possible. And yes, "Pacific Rim" is the best of the summer, by far, and could end up being my favorite of the year. (I didn't want to pay money to see it. Then I saw it a second time.)

  2. One more thing: I'm 100% certain you meant to reference "The Dark Knight Rises" instead of "The Dark Knight."

    1. Right you are, sir, I meant "The Dark Knight Rises." Updating...