Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer Cinema Shootout: May

It's Labor Day!  You know, the "yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country". Hopefully you're doing something relaxing or fun, unless you work in the service industry and are getting some nice Over Time.

Labor Day marks the end of the summer cinema season, not just big, special effects filled blockbusters but outdoor screenings in the grass as well.  If this summer's films taught us anything, it's that 1)  Hollywood crams too many movies into a short time and 2)  Audiences can only take so many big spectacle action films.

Thanks to surprise hits like 1998's Deep Impact, 1999's The Mummy and 2000's Gladiator, early May has officially become the start of the summer movie season.  It's great to be first before viewer fatigue sets in as Marvel learned since they've slotted Iron Man Two, Thor and The Avengers there, essentially getting while the getting is good.  This year my May consisted of:

Iron Man Three:  Great way to start the summer.  Fun and surprisingly funny.  Ben Kingsley's Mandarin was superb even if Guy Pearce's Mortal Kombat-esque villain, Gwentyh Paltrow's presence and inherent subsequent annoying media quotes and too many damn Iron Man suits flying around make you wonder where they can really take the franchise from here.

The Iceman:  Not exactly a summer blockbuster but a nice change of pace.  Small, character driven, well cast and executed.  Michael Shannon's killer warm up before going full out for Man of Steel.

Star Trek Into Darkness:  The summer's best use of Peter Weller.  Exciting and funny but with some real high peaks and really low valleys.  Still talking with Trek purists about their loathe for the film but hey, they tried to get Benecio Del Toro to play Khan!  Not sure if J.J. Abrams told Karl Urban to go complete Deforest Kelley... "Are you out of your corn fed mind?!"

Fast & Furious 6:  Good times with car chases, destruction and fights.  A couple truly "What The Fuck but I'm going with it" moments to keep you paying attention.  Diesel and company need to learn from Arnold that the hero shouldn't be noticeably bigger than the villain because when hero wins it's not exciting.  The Rock has become a caricature of himself though and not in a good way.  Well, he was great in Pain & Gain...

The Hangover Part III:  Got a little dark, got a little who gives a shit...I'd rather watch Old School.

May Champion:  Close fight between Iron Man Three and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Great clip of Peter Weller talking about how he got involved with Trek:

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