Scott D. Parker
With the arrival of Labor Day, the season of summer movies is over.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I really love summer movies. It is an annual thing for me and (most) of my family to see nearly all the summer movies. The big ones. The tentpole movies. The loud films where you need giant speakers to fully get the experience. Thinking about it, many of my favorite all-time movies debuted in the summer: Star Wars (and Empire and Jedi), Raiders of the Lost Ark (and Temple of Doom and Last Crusade), The Dark Knight (and the entire Christopher Nolan trilogy), When Harry Met Sally, Guardians of the Galaxy (and many other Marvel films), Batman ’89, Die Hard, many Pixar films, and the list could go on. Yeah, that’s a bunch of a certain type of movie, but it’s the kind of movie I love.
Back in mid April 2018, the slate of films to come out in Summer 2018 was massive. Heck, “summer” started on 27 April when Avengers: Infinity War was released. So, to commemorate the end of Summer 2018, I’m going to chat a little about some of my favorite films. They are in chronological order with, ironically, the last one being my favorite. The only ones I haven’t yet seen are CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (likely on Labor Day itself), the Mr. Rogers documentary, and CRAZY RICH ASIANS.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR - Really, what’s not to love? It’s a giant team-up movie with nearly every Marvel hero on screen. And they broke out into various smaller teams, which I always a treat in the comics. Giant spectacle, great action, more humor than you’d expect, and some genuinely heartfelt moments (Spider-Man’s last scene). The audience was also fantastic, with gasps and shouts to the screen.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY - A perfectly fine film that would have done much better at the box office had it debuted December 2018 rather than a mere six months after last year’s THE LAST JEDI. It was a movie I didn’t particularly want or need, but it was enjoyable. An odd thing to say about a Star Wars movie, but if they keep churning them out, then the sense of “this is an event!” will fade and you’ll just have another Star Wars movie. The reveal at the end, though: great!
INCREDIBLES 2 - Wonderful film! Really, really enjoyed it. Laugh out loud moments and pure domestic emotions all usually within five minutes of each other. THE INCREDIBLES was, arguably, one of the best superhero movies of all time. The sequel doesn’t quite reach that level, but it is heads and shoulders above many, many other superhero films. And the Michael Giancchino soundtrack? Golden! He even leans harder into the James Bond-ian hooks. Funny note here: while driving back home after seeing this film, I commented we only had a week until the next blockbuster. My wife looked at me askance. Nevertheless, the following week, we saw…
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM - And, frankly, have forgotten most of it. The one image instilled in my memory was of the gentle brontosaurus lowing at the departing boat, doomed to die a fiery death. Oh, and Bryce Dallas Howard’s non-high heeled shoes. Other than that, not as exciting as the first Jurassic World movie, and nowhere near as good as the original Jurassic Park.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP - Three years ago, the first ANT-MAN debuted and it was a breath of fresh air in the superhero genre. A funny one. Intentionally funny. And Paul Rudd was so not like every other chiseled hero out there. Now, with the sequel, it is still a darn good time at the movies. Rudd plays Ant-Man as a real human, with real emotions. The movie is really entertaining with some great laugh out loud moments.
Now, all of those movies are good and ones I really wanted to watch. But there was one movie that was so darn entertaining, thrilling, funny, and more that I actually saw it twice. Moreover, I spent over seven hours listening to director Christopher McQuarrie deep dive about the movie on the Empire podcast. Yes, I’m talking about my favorite movie of the summer…
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT - I’ve already devoted an entire blog about it and another about the McQuarrie interviews. A phenomenal film. The first time, I grinned like a goofball, wholly entertained about what I was watching. The second time, having heard McQuarrie discuss this and that scene, I enjoyed it for the piece of film making it is. And it is still just as enjoyable the second time around. Even the audience for that second viewing—about a dozen or so folks—gasped in wonder at what was transpiring on screen. I’m now looking forward to the DVD where there will be even more behind-the-scenes material…and I’ll get to watch the film a third time.
So, those were my favorite summer movies of 2018. What were yours?