Summer Blockbuster Movies – so far

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Explosions, car chases, battles in the air, random people in revealing clothing, posing and looking cool… all right at home in a summer blockbuster movie! Endless SOS has got your back: here’s what’s worth watching and what to avoid like bird flu.

Scarlet Witch

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Starting things off with a gigantic explosion! After 2014’s Captain America: Winter Solider, we all know now that the ‘cap is the man. Avengers 2 has some great scenes of the crew just hanging around, knocking back drinks, and having a good time. The early scenes come off as priceless and hilarious. Hawkeye manages to have a backstory and we get a great look into the Black Widow’s character (psst… Marvel, give her a movie!). This time around, Iron Man and Hulk go a little too far in their experimentation with artificial intelligence, creating a robot that decides that the best ideal outcome for the planet is the extinction of humanity.

Makes sense to me.

I always loved Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver although Quicksilver wasn’t nearly as cool as he’s been in the comics (or X-Men: Days of Future Past… sorry but nice try Marvel!) Once again we get a giant action-fest with some amazing special effects!

What I didn’t care for: We now have obligatory forced Avengers movie scenes. We need a good guy vs. good guy fight. We need The Avengers to come together to fight a massive army. It makes sense, that’s what this series is and it’s what happens in the comics, but it’s predictable. The action and violence also feels a little too squeaky clean for what’s actually happening. I get it, only Deadpool gets to see the R-rated action and Marvel needs to make money off the kiddies, but the sense of cheese never leaves during the most climatic battles.

Still a killer movie. Go see it.

Grade: B

Mad Max Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

Car Chase: The Movie – Starring Mad Max. The Mad Max series is back after a hiatus, the last movie coming out in 1985. Max, less mad and more disconnected, gets captured by the tyrannical Immortan Joe and his crew of pasty followers. Immortan Joe isn’t a nice man, maintaining an artificial shortage of water in the society he rules over and of course, keeping a band of sex slaves.

Furiosa, a woman with followers of her own, frees the girls and makes a break for it in a colossal diesel truck. Mad Max, reluctantly, gets involved.

Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and guy with a flame-thrower guitar, this movie is insane. Like, crazy 80’s anime insane.

What I didn’t care for: its balls-out fun that won’t translate well to a small screen. Mad Max embraces the fact it has no story and is better for it, but ultimately, it still has no story. You’re watching for the action. It’s really cool but it’s also 100% mindless. Depending on who you ask, that doesn’t make for a well-rounded movie.

There was weird talk of this movie somehow being feminist propaganda. I can officially state that this is not the case.

If you’re cool with heavy action without a plot, go for it.

Grade: B+

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland

Here’s a movie that was almost great.

Casey Newton stumbles onto a pin that when she touches it with her bare skin, she sees glimpses of a futuristic land. She can’t directly interact with that futuristic land but she can walk around and observe it. She becomes desperate to visit this place.

It is the land of the future, right? Too bad the people she visits first, attempting to get information, almost kill her. And now she’s being followed around by a psycho child claiming to know what’s going on. And Casey’s supposed to save them all.

Director Brad Bird knows how to direct some intense action scenes. That being said though, Tomorrowland never reaches its full potential.

It’s a movie with assassin robots. It’s a movie about saving the world from mass destruction. It’s a movie with a bunch of people trying to kill each other. But then it’s also a PG Disney movie trying not to offend parents so they can sell a bunch of merchandise to children. The tone congruency isn’t there.

After signs of brilliance, Tomorrowland slips into padded-wall garbage, all the way into Hollywood feel-good trash. It’s uneven, falling apart, and unable to maintain its momentum. Even coming to terms with this movie in the PG arena, the “message” at the end, fresh off the Animaniacs wheel-of-morality, is insulting. That’s what you get with a studio movie.

Grade: C

San Andreas

San Andreas

California is falling down but at least we have The Rock!

Yeah, that’s basically this movie. A lot of women saw this because The Rock is sexy and he poses a lot. Hey, I totally understand. It’s also a disaster movie. California is crumbling down thanks to The Largest Earthquake California Has Ever Seen. The Rock has to team up with the ex-wife to save his kid who’s lost within this Unsafe Environment. Insert undertones of romantic tension, lots of stock footage of people getting killed by Big Disasteres, earthquake scenes, and everyone going through their own paper-thin personal journey. There you have San Andreas.

Have you seen any disaster movie ever? This is absolutely no different in any meaningful way. For some reason, some people enjoy those movies. The best thing you can say is at least The Rock brings a heightened level of charisma. Even when he’s in the worst of trash (Hercules), his screen presence does help some.

See this if you love disaster movies with no point or drooling over The Rock (Endless SOS won’t judge you, its okay, go ahead).

Grade: D

Jurassic World

Jurassic World

The follow up to Jurassic Park we always wanted, Thankfully JP 2 and 3 have been forgotten. Jurassic World stars CGI dinosaurs and Chris Pratt, also known as The New Best Thing in Hollywood. See Guardians of the Galaxy for further evidence.

Jurassic World is now a fully-functional Jurassic Park ranging in dinos from the small and cuddly to the mean and ferocious. Kids love this place. Families love this place. You and I would love this place. In order to continue providing the next biggest thing, the park has now begun to genetically create dinosaurs even more dreadful than the tyrannosaurus rex.

As you can expect, it gets out of hand. Fast.

Everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. People are getting eaten. Chris Pratt as Owen takes center stage in resolving this mess, stepping up from his normal day job as Head Raptor Trainer. Claire, a Person In Charge, is supposed to be looking after some nephews that of course get lost in this Jurassic hell. Claire and Owen meet up, have romantic undertones, and fight of dinosaurs. Everyone at the park turns out to have a very bad vacation.

Insert crazy dinosaur action scenes here.

The sense of awe and wonder of the original is no longer possible but Jurassic World does a very good job at providing the best it can without attempting to replace the original. The plot is light but again, that’s not why you’re seeing this. Chris Pratt makes a great leading man and the dinosaur fights are fantastic. Just be ready to turn your brain off for this one.

Grade: B+

Terminator Genisys

Terminator: Genisys

Here’s the controversial movie of this list. The new Terminator movie. Ah, the franchise that got completely out-of-hand.

Genisys attempts to set things straight. It mostly works.

Genisys got a lot of flak from critics. It’s understandable. You need to know and love the first 2 movies well. You also need to be comfortable with this 5th movie completely changing everything you thought you knew about them. Get ready for it: everything is now different.

Time travel, alternate dimensions, 30-year retcons, changing the originals in a beloved series, science fiction, horror elements, a gigantic budget, and Schwarzenegger action. That’s Terminator: Genisys. If you’re comfortable with all of these things, it’s a very good movie. Most people aren’t.

Terminator mythology in a nutshell: John Connor is supposed to lead the war against the machines in order to save humanity. A terminator robot gets sent back in time to kill John Connor’s mother, Sarah Connor. In order to keep Sarah Connor from getting killed, the human Kyle Reese goes back in time to protect her. The four previous movies span this entire multi-generational timeline.

Movie 1 starts with Kyle Reese going back in time. Movie 5 starts at the point in the future where they’re finally ready to send Kyle Reese back in time to accomplish the events that happened in movie 1 which allowed the events of movies 2-4 to happen. This still needs to happen in order to keep everything from screwing up. This time though, everything gets screwed up. When Kyle Reese goes back in time to live out he events of movie 1 again, nothing is what he expected.

The fifth movie focuses on how certain key characters and events are destined and unavoidable, regardless of the preventative measures taken. From this movie, it sure seems so.

If you can swallow the pill, the movie is amazing. Not all Terminator fans will agree, though. This movie is made for a very specific person. Watch at your own risk.

Grade: A-

Ant-Man

Ant-Man

Figuratively and literally, the smaller Marvel Comic Universe movie. Ant-Man has the power to… shrink. When he shrinks, he gains tremendous power. Constantly moving back and forth between sizes, he’s a rather interesting fighter and can sneak into a lot of interesting places. He also gains control over insects. Because why not.

The plot is straight-forward and simple, Hank Pym (the previous Ant-Man in the comics) is an old man and can no longer don the suit. His rival at Pym Tech, Darren Cross, the man Hank used to mentor until he got forced out of his own company, is on the verge of creating a suit of his own. Due to Darren’s evil tendencies, Hank works with the promising Scott Lang to become the new Ant-Man to stop Darren from selling this technology to the evil Hydra Corporation.

Obviously, Scott Lang starts to have a crush on Hank’s daughter. Who the heck wouldn’t?

Ant-Man is a total no-brainer. No double-crosses, no plot twists, nothing out of left field. A lot of these summer movies have a tendency to have that issue. For this movie, Ant-Man pays for it. The final produce is not quite a deal-breaker, but not as exciting as other Marvel movies.

My other issue is a bit more nuanced. It’s hard to find exactly where Scott Lang fits in the Marvel Comic Universe. Is he going to be the new Robert Downey Jr.? He’s got the same sarcasm, comes close to having the same look, but doesn’t quite measure up in the charisma department. It feels like he’ll be the odd man out.

Compared to other, non-Marvel comic movies though, he’s just fine. It’s a fun movie.

I wasn’t blown away, but I enjoyed this.

Grade: B-

And then the rest of the summer

Let me know what you think! We also have Pixels, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Fantastic Four, and a few others coming soon.

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Chris is a media enthusiast and loves everything related to video games, video, audio, and literature. He is one half of the original team that founded the Endless SOS. Follow at @EndlessChris.

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