Almost every year I write a post about my most anticipated movies of the summer. 2013 was no different. You can even go back and read my post from then. For the first time though I am going to actually give a thumbs up or down on whether I actually liked the movie or not.
Iron Man 3
I really enjoyed the original Iron Man and even enjoyed The Avengers last summer. But I am hitting some Iron Man fatigue. Iron Man 3 was a huge step forward from the second movie, but it hit the same tropes that we have become accustomed to. It had its moments but since I am left with only two options I will give it a Thumbs Down.
The Great Gatsby
This had all of the potential to be the best movie of the summer. Although I have been told it won't be Jenn's top song of 2013 (spoiler) it also has the best soundtrack of any movie this summer, led by Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey. The movie itself had some was far from perfect but I love the era, I love the story, and Leo is the best actor currently working without an Academy Award. A very mild Thumbs Up.
Star Trek Into The Darkness
I'm shocked I got to see this in theaters. I didn't think I was going to be able to get Jenn to go see it. I think Into the Darkness might have been my biggest surprise of the summer. I really enjoyed it. It was an intelligent action movie that hit all the right notes to make for one of the most enjoyable movies of the summer. A very solid Thumbs Up.
I really didn't think I was going to enjoy The Internship as much as I did. Jenn and I went on a date night down to the Tustin District and had a fantastic time seeing this movie. The combo of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson proved that it can work greatly in Wedding Crashers and I think does so again in The Internship. There is a nice little message woven into what is a very safe but enjoyable comedy. I'm happy to give it a Thumbs Up.
Man of Steel
"My most anticipated movie of all of 2013" is a direct quote from my original article. Unfortunately that statement is now going to be followed by "Biggest Disappointment of 2013." Yes I love myself some Superman but I just could not get myself into Man of Steel. The pacing was off, the acting was alright, and the story was sub-par. As much as I was rooting for it, Man of Steel is a sad thumbs down.
World War Z
If I was rating World War Z on its trailer alone, World War Z would win the award for best movie of the summer. But the two hour version of World War Z didn't fair as well. It was entertaining, and kept a good pace. Except for the fact that the movie just starts and less then five minutes in we have the entire character story, and it does nothing to develop any of the characters from that point on. Entertaining yes, but worth ever watching again? Nope, and that's why this one is a thumbs down.
Despicable Me 2
Only Shrek and Finding Nemo rank higher then the original Despicable Me in my favorite animated movies of the last ten years. Jenn and I were both looking forward to the sequel quite a bit. Although Despicable Me 2 hits a lot of the right beats, it doesn't have that genuine heart the original one did. I hate to say it but it almost felt like a cash in. It wasn't bad by any stretch but failed to recapture the originals magic. A unfortunate Thumbs Down.
I had to convince Jake to go see this but luckily we were down in Riverside to celebrate my birthday so I dragged an resistant Jake and a very excited Ally to go see The Wolverine. If I am being honest I thought I was going to hate it. I was a huge fan of the original few X-Men movies, but they had progressively gotten worse. The Wolverine is a very good movie though. It falls into some of the comic book movie traps, but it manages to be a very shallow but entertaining movie. A less then confident Thumbs Up.
Out of all the movies this summer, Elysium had the most potential. Based solely on the plot portrayed in the trailers I was already into this movie before it started. Unfortunately that didn't hold through in the actual full feature film. Elysium is a very entertaining but lacked plot development. You have Earth which is nothing more then ruble and Elysium which is paradise outside of Earth's atmosphere. This to me is a super interesting idea but one that is never realized. Oh and Jodie Foster is awful in this movie. A reluctant thumbs down.
The Way Way Back & The Spectacular Now
Two movies that weren't on my "most anticipated" list were easily my favorite movies of the summer. Both were not wide releases but had a heart and a message that none of the other movies of the summer had. If you haven't seen either of them I would highly recommend them both. I give them both a resounding two thumbs up.
Didn't Bother Seeing: After Earth &The Hangover: Part III