Now that Summer is closing out, it’s time to reflect on what was Summer 2014. We’ve started cheering for our favorite football teams and soon we shall pick some apples, but first we’ll discuss what we liked and disliked about the Summer Hollywood Blockbuster 2014 Season. We are including films that came out in May since Hollywood seems to start their Blockbuster season earlier and earlier each year. Myself and Editor Mike Spring give you our favorites, our picks for worst film, and more from Summer 2014.
Ken: Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure it’s easy to pick the Summer’s blockbuster/break out success, but I genuinely had the most fun with this movie. I’ve been a huge Chris Pratt fan for years and he is fantastic as Peter Quill/Star-Lord. From the characters to the soundtrack, a perfect Summer film.
Mike: Oh, I’m gonna catch hell for this one, but I have to say Amazing Spider-Man 2. I don’t understand why people hated this movie so much. For sheer “most fun I had in the theater,” though, this one takes it. I’d Give Guardians of the Galaxy a pretty equal tie status, but since Ken picked that one, I wanted to change it up a bit.
Ken: Boyhood. It’s going to be tough for any film to top this as my Best Film of the Year never mind Summer. As someone who works in film, this movie is just mind blowing to me. Fourteen years to make it and it’s amazing.
Mike: Sadly, I haven’t seen Boyhood yet or I’m sure it would make the list. I guess I’ll have to put Guardians of the Galaxy here for just being able to balance humor, drama, action, and crazy special effects so well.
Ken: It’s easy to list Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hercules, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers 4, or Tammy here, but the absolute worst film I saw at the theater this summer was Obvious Child. I wanted to walk out so badly during this, but couldn’t. I hated every character especially the guy in it. Just a preposterous film.
Mike: I’m going to have to go with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles themselves look terrible, the film’s dialogue is awful, the bad guy’s plot is ridiculous, and it’s a terrible interpretation of one of my favorite franchises of all time.
Ken: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I really liked the “first” film. This has a new human cast, but I was still looking forward to it. I was super disappointed in it. I was bored and couldn’t wait for it to end. I really don’t see myself being amped for a third film when it comes out.
Mike: Godzilla. I actually liked Godzilla. I was just super disappointed that Godzilla himself isn’t actually in the film. I know Ken will argue with me on this, but I really don’t think he’s on screen for more than five minutes. I felt ripped off.
Ken: Jerseys Boys. I had a blast with it. Myself and fellow IWM2$ writer Rocky Maxwell saw it together and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The music is great. The performances are great. It’s from Clint Eastwood so it shouldn’t be surprising, but I had low expectations for it and totally dug it.
Mike: The Purge: Anarchy. I thought the first film had a great concept but was pretty disappointing This film does what the first movie should have done, and it reminds me a lot of the cult classic Judgment Night. Plus, Frank Grillo in the lead role makes an excellent case for why he should play The Punisher. Also, I thought Adam Sandler’s Blended was a lot better than most people did.
Best “Indie” Film:
Ken: I really liked Cavalry, The Trip to Italy, The One I Love, and Life of Crime, but if we can include May, Chef is the Best “Indie” film of the Summer. It’s in my top 5 of the year so far as well. Favreau’s return to lower budget filmmaking is a lot of fun and I hope to see him make a few more like this.
Mike: The Sacrament. Even though it’s a found footage movie, the latest from fan-favorite filmmaker Ti West is absolutely stunning. I’ve liked West’s earlier films but not loved them, and this one finally lives up to the potential he’s shown. It’s a masterpiece of tension; track it down.
Ken: Snowpiercer. This movie is bad ass. Chris Evans proves yet again he is way more than Captain America (although he is a great Cap also). A lot of people saw it on VOD, but I saw it at the theater where it belongs. Huge size and scope make a great ride.
Mike: The Rover. It played in limited theaters, but this post-world-collapse Australian film from the director of Animal Kingdom, is fantastic. Guy Pearce literally personifies intensity in the lead role, and Robert Pattinson is virtually unrecognizable as his half-wit companion. Seriously, you will never look at Pattinson the same way again after watching him in this film. It’s one of those performances that is transformative.
Movie You Missed But Wish You Saw:
Mike: Actually, you’re not missing much with Lucy. It’s pretty bad. Great concept, poor execution. For me, I’d have to say Snowpiercer. I’ve actually read the comic book this movie is based on, I’m a huge Chris Evans fan, and I love anything post-apocalyptic. But the movie never played near where I live, which was a huge disappointment for me.
Biggest Shocker at the Box Office (Good or Bad):
Ken: The Expendables 3. I had a lot of fun with it. It got a PG13 rating so even more people SHOULD have seen it. It was pirated way ahead of its release so who knows what that did to the box office numbers. There’s just no reason this movie should have bombed. Edge of Tomorrow barely breaking $100 million domestically is shocking as well.
Mike: I agree with both of those. I loved Expendables 3, and I really enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow. The terribly bland title didn’t help that one. And I’ll say it again: I don’t know why more people don’t embrace the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man films. I think they’re fantastic.
Ken: People don’t embrace them because Garfield is bland as Peter Parker and the movies are boring!
Mike: You’re so wrong.
So what do our readers think? What was your favorite films of the Summer? What about the worst? Think one of us got it all wrong? Let us know on Twitter @Murraymaker @TheMikeSpring