Monday, September 7, 2015

Summer 2015 Movie Season Overview

The summer of 2015 was a letdown, weather-wise. I don't know where all of you are from, but here in the midwest of the United States, it rained most of the summer. We barely had any sunshine, and on the days we did, it was cold. There was no telling when you woke up if it would be a rainy day, a sunny day or a colder day with the sun out. This season weather-wise was a rollercoaster, something that went up and down, fluctuating with ease. I bring this up because that pretty much represented how the summer movie season went this year.

Taken as a whole, I felt the summer movie season was underwhelming. That doesn't mean it was terrible, that doesn't mean it was bad, it means underwhelming. There was a lot of bad cinema stinking up theaters this summer, but there were good movies too. It just seems the good movies didn't live up to the hype that they advertised. It seems lots of movies played it safe this year, instead of making movies that blew our minds, or just trying to be entertaining. I don't mean to sound like every movie has to be this larger-than-life experience, because it isn't. Especially in a summer movie season. When I go to the theater, I want to be entertained, more than anything. The summer movie season is supposed to be one of the lighter-hearted, entertaining moments of the year, and still it just seemed like movies as a whole were going through the motions instead of trying to be entertaining.

That trend started early this year, with "Avengers: Age of Ultron." I have been thinking about that one ever since I saw in early May, the unofficial start to the summer movie season. What was supposed to be a big moment to one of the biggest franchises right now, ended up feeling an episode to a TV show. It felt like a big commercial for what's next, something Marvel felt like it needed to get out of the way in order to get to the movies they are truly interested in. I didn't think at the time that this one movie would define exactly how the rest of the summer would go.

"Ted 2" was fun, but not an improvement on the first movie. "Minions" was your standard sequel with little imagination or laughs. "Jurassic World" was just like every other sequel to "Jurassic Park." "Pitch Perfect 2" was good, but was spawned from the same template as the first movie. "Southpaw" was a regular boxing movie which featured impressive performances. It seemed most movies took up this type of response. There were good movies, the thing is these movies had a "but..." attached to them. It seemed the movies didn't want to diverge into their own convictions. I think all the movies I listed hear could have been very special, it just seemed like nobody wanted to try. This was a summer of quick cash. I don't know if I really expected this summer to add up to the summers of 2014 and 2013, but I was expecting many more fun times at the theater than what I got.

It wasn't all bad though. I think both "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Inside Out" will both make my list of best films of the year. Yes, I am calling it right now. They are that quality of films and I think I could discuss those movies until the sun came up the next day. I can't wait to get both of them on blu-ray to explore them further. I think Marvel made up for "Avengers" with "Ant-Man" and I think "Mission Impossible- Rogue Nation" proved that there is still lots of life left in that franchise. The biggest suprise for me this year? Its a movie I never reviewed on my blog. Its called "Magic Mike XXL." Yes I saw it, and yes its that good. Its really not much of stripper movie, not quite. The big dancing scene takes place in the last twenty minutes. The rest of the movie is a warped road trip between a group of pals, these pals just happen to be male strippers. I sat back stunned as I watched "Magic Mike XXL" and how much I was entertained by it. I also would pick any of the movies I listed in the above paragraph over crap like "Tomorrowland," "Fantastic Four," "The Gallows," "Pixels," "Terminator: Genesys," "Hitman: Agent 47" or "Trainwreck." Those were, for me, the truly horrible movies of the summer.

My favorite films of the summer 2015 are as follows:

1. Mad Max: Fury Road
2. Inside Out
3. Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation
4. Straight Outta Compton
5. Ant-Man
6. Spy

Those are the six movies I will really take away from this summer, and this is the first summer season where I took so few movies away from the experience. Perhaps that would have changed if I saw "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." or "Entourage"  or "The Gift," or "Mr. Holmes." Perhaps that would have changed if I got a chance to catch all the independent fair this summer that was supposedly specatacular. As with any season, I don't see everything I want to see, but I do my best. As the years roll on, there will be good summer movie seasons, great summer movie seasons, and bad summer movie seasons. There have been worse summer movie season's than this, and I am sure one in the future will disappoint worse than 2015 did. That is the nature of being a fan of this stuff. Now that this season is over, all I can hope for is a strong finish for the year. There is plenty to look forward to over the last four months of 2015, and I hope to sit front and center for all of it. Here's to hoping its all awesome.

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