2016 Summer Movie Wrap-Up

Photo Credit:http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/captain-america-civil-war/40290/captain-america-civil-war-where-does-it-leave-the-mcu

So comes the end of a long summer blockbuster season that will most definitely go down as one of the worst collections of blockbusters in a long time. There were bloated sequels, lifeless indies, and just a general sense of boredom throughout the entire movie industry. Still, there were things to celebrate throughout the season. Here’s how we’ll be remembering summer 2016 at the cinemas.

 

 

Best Action Sequence: Sure, X-Men: Apocalypse finally cam together for its rousing climax, The BFG played with size incredibly well in the titular character’s workshop, and Jason Bourne had an excellent foot chase with a massive protest as the backdrop. All great set pieces, but none of them come even close to the airport battle in Captain America: Civil War. Sheer comic book bliss evolved onscreen with different power sets finally coming together, genuine emotion from the story, and that pure comic book charm Marvel has perfected. Oh, and one hell of an Empire Strikes Back reference. Winner: Airport Battle (Captain America: Civil War)

Captain-America-Civil-War-Trailer-1-Avengers

 

Funniest Moment: Since Sundance, everyone’s been talking about how weird Swiss Army Man was. It is a movie about a farting corpse after all. But with the opening sequence, the film had just one chance to sell us on its brand of black comedy. Sell us it did as Paul Dano hilariously discovers a purpose for Daniel Radcliffe’s contorting, farting body, which is to use his farts as a jet ski to the mainland. The Nice Guys and Popstar may have been funnies movies overall, but there was no harder laugh than this in summer 2016. Winner: Swiss Army Man‘s Opening Scene

Photo Credit:http://www.splicetoday.com/moving-pictures/swiss-army-man-isn-t-strange-at-all

 

Best Hero: In another summer crowded with superheroes, the best hero was most certainly Jack from King Jack, a smoking, drinking teenager forced to embrace his more heroic side in the face of bullies with serious mental issues. His last moments standing tall, proving he can’t be beat, were more heroic than any display of superpowers this summer. Winner: Jack (King Jack)

Photo Credit:http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/king-jack-film-review-901497

 

Best Anithero: Okay, back to the superhero game. Russell Crowe in The Nice Guys and Chris Pine in Hell or High Water sure gave her a run for her money, but the best character to walk that thin line between good and evil this summer was Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Suicide Squad may be one of the most hated moneymakers of the season, but Harley made all that hate relatively undeserved. Robbie vibrantly brought the character to life in about as fun a way as fans could have imagined. Winner: Harley Quinn (Suicide Squad)

Photo Credit:http://screenrant.com/harley-quinn-suicide-squad-trivia-facts-need-to-know/?view=all

 

Best Villain: With superhero movies virtually devoid of great villains aside from Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, movie fans have had to look elsewhere for great antagonists in recent years. In this case, the summer’s best villain came right at the end, when three teenagers broke into a blind veteran’s home in Don’t Breathe. Stephen Lang’s haunting machine of a man tore was the perfect kind of villain for a horror film: one you really don’t ever want to see. Winner: The Blind Man (Don’t Breathe)

Photo Credit:http://screenrant.com/dont-breathe-stephen-lang-interview/

 

Worst Villain: As a huge X-Men fan, it pains me to say this one is easy to call. Sure, Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress from Suicide Squad was an incredible bore, but the kind of typical bore we’re used to in routine superhero movies. But the great Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse was just plain laughable. With no clear motives outside of world domination for no real reason, Apocalypse breathed through his lines with a self-seriousness that just didn’t match the movie. Winner: Apocalypse (X-Men: Apocalypse)

Photo Credit:http://www.comingsoon.net/movies/trailers/687903-oscar-isaac-talks-power-and-destruction-in-x-men-apocalypse#/slide/1

 

Breakout Character: I know, Spider-Man has been a summer staple for over a decade. But the character finally came home this summer when Tom Holland put the iconic costume on in Captain America: Civil War. Younger and funnier than his predecessors, even in just a few scenes, this new Spidey was the most pure to his roots here than he ever was on the big screen. The future is certainly bright for the most relatable superhero. Winner: Spider-Man (Captain America: Civil War)

Photo Credit:http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2016/03/11/the-new-captain-american-civil-war-trailer-shouldnt-have-spoiled-spider-man/&refURL=https://www.google.com/&referrer=https://www.google.com/

 

Best Performance: As usual, many of the summer’s best performances were in the indie market rather than the big blockbusters (though we did get Mark Ryalance’s perfect giant in The BFG). But with Kate Beckinsale in Love & Friendship and Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins, choosing the winner here was particularly difficult. But there’s just no denying that Ben Foster’s unhinged performance in Hell or High Water was something magnificent. Foster strikes a balance between crazy and emotionally grounded that so few actors ever truly pull off. Winner: Ben Foster (Hell or High Water)

Photo Credit:http://dailyhive.com/vancouver/movie-review-hell-or-high-water-will-be-one-of-the-best-films-of-the-year

 

Best Comedic Performance: More so than anything else, this summer was an embarrassment of riches with comedic performances. Colin Ferrell in The Lobster. Kate Beckinsale in Love & Friendship. Andy Samberg in Popstar. Ellen DeGeneres in Finding Dory. Daniel Radcliffe in Swiss Army Man. Kate McKinnon in Ghostbusters. Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins. The list goes on, but again, the standout is obvious. Ryan Gosling owns The Nice Guys, hitting every comedic beat he needs to, physical or otherwise, to really own the movie. Winner: Ryan Gosling (The Nice Guys)

Photo Credit:http://ryangoslingaddicted.blogspot.com/2016/05/photos-new-stills-for-ryan-gosling-nice-guys.html

 

Biggest Surprise: In all actuality, a lot of the summer tentpoles lived up to at least one expectation. Civil War was outstanding just as we hoped. Star Trek Beyond and The BFG were as perfectly solid as their trailers made them out to be. Suicide Squad was right inbetween saving DC and dooming it. That leaves the surprising to a couple of very simple, yet effective, thrillers. The Shallows and Don’t Breathe delivered old school horror in a refreshing manner. No one was really pumped about either, but they were great anyway thanks to just plain good filmmaking. Winners: The Shallows/Don’t Breathe

Photo Credit:http://www.vulture.com/2016/03/blake-lively-the-shallows-trailer.htmlPhoto Credit:http://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3403256/review-dont-breathe-hitchcock-crack/

 

Biggest Disappointment: Before summer even started, it was understood that in a sea of potential disappointments, Jason Bourne would save the day. What should have been a merry reunion for series director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon ended up being a slog of zeitgeist cliches and an overall lack of justification for even being made. Winner: Jason Bourne

Photo Credit:http://variety.com/2016/film/news/jason-bourne-trailer-super-bowl-watch-1201699658/

 

Worst Movie: But even Jason Bourne had a few redeeming set pieces to save it from complete defamation. Unlike Sausage Party, a concept that should have worked but came up empty. Genuine humor was replaced with excess profanity to fill the gaps in a great idea no one apparently wanted to work on. It’s redeemable qualities are few and far between, making it a film that reached a new low in a summer full of lows. Winner: Sausage Party

Photo Credit:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VoNgLnjzVg

 

Best Animated Movie: Where lots of other genres struggled, animation mostly stood tall this summer. Finding Dory and Kubo and the Two Strings provided exactly what they promised, which is both a good and a bad thing, even though the film’s themselves were still generally great. But the most emotional ride came from Netflix’s The Little Prince, an adaptation of the classic that breathed new life into the tale. The story was effective and likely didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. Winner: The Little Prince

Photo Credit:http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/12/the-little-prince-goes-pixar/383587/

 

Best Indie: The indie scene was relatively low key this summer until August hit. King Jack and Swiss Army Man effectively broke things up between blockbusters, but it wasn’t until Hell or High Water debuted that we got something so well-rounded. The Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges starring western was a tense and emotional commentary on American masculinity and culture. The film was beautifully made and may even make some waves come awards season. Winner: Hell or High Water

Photo Credit:http://collider.com/hell-or-high-water-new-trailer/

 

Best Comedy: There’s no question, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is the most consistently hilarious film of the year. An effective blend of Christopher Guest and Judd Apatow, the Lonely Island’s film cuttingly satirizes the music industry with constant belly laughs and insane, ridiculous humor. Winner: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Photo Credit:http://www.avclub.com/review/popstar-gives-gives-todays-top-40-little-spinal-ta-237566

 

Best Summer Blockbuster: Not only the best blockbuster, but best movie of the summer overall, Captain America: Civil War plays like the best episode of your favorite TV show. Thirteen films in, Marvel delivered a story they could only tell now, one that encompasses everything these films have been building to without sacrificing any of what makes them great. What we got was a taut thriller featuring incredible action and the biggest batch of lovable characters in any superhero film. Once again, no one did summer better than Marvel. Winner: Captain America: Civil War

Photo Credit:http://heroichollywood.com/martin-freeman-crossbones-scarlet-witch-captain-america-civil-war/

 

What were your favorite films and moments of the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

 

By Matt Dougherty

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