Summer, the season of sunshine and the brief glimpse we Brits get at something approaching good weather. When you can finally enjoy the outdoors and all it has to offer while roaming free in your unworn holiday clothes that are as surprised to see the sun as you. Also a very popular season for going inside to sit in a large dark room with your jacket on because the bloody cinema air con is set to kill.
Hollywood has got us coming in blinking from the sunshine over the last few months with a blockbuster-tastic (yes that’s a real word) summer. From wizards to cowboys to aliens- sometimes even in the same film- the chart topping films this season have been truly fantastical. Our love of the summer blockbuster has led to record amounts of takings at the box office; showing a blatant disregard for the weather but a beautiful commitment to film and cinema.
Here is a recap of some of the top grossing films this summer:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two – It’s all over, a generation of us wave goodbye to our childhood and must come to terms with the fact it’s not coming back. Until the DVD release of course. It’s no wonder this was a world record breaking movie, grossing over a billion dollars worldwide, despite the fact everyone really knew what was going to happen. This feature, much darker than the rest, seems a long way from the earlier films- with large amounts of the cast being killed off. However it’s not all bad; Rupert Grint finally gets to snog Emma Watson and Radcliffe unsuccessfully attempts to look old enough to have a young family.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Eight years after the original it turns out people still can’t get enough of Captain Jack Sparrow, and I for one am pleased. This latest installment isn’t ashamed of quite clearly being an excuse to follow Johnny Depp’s character around while he gets into ridiculous and impossible situations and just as impossibly manage to turn out on top. Thoroughly entertaining, this film truly does display some great acting from its lead roles- as well as a cameo by Judy Dench so brief I’ll give you a tenner if you spot it… O.K maybe just a congratulatory high five.
Hangover II - Yet another sequel for this summer, and with The Hangover being such a success the follow up had a lot to live up to. Luckily pretty much anyone who enjoyed the first would love the second, with the plot being almost identical. In a shameless parody tigers were switched for monkeys, a tooth for a tattoo, and a drunk best friend for a drunk fingerless relative: but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – The US military hide a secret from Optimus Prime and his Autobots- endangering the planet and giving them some pretty angry robots on their hands. Autobot’s battle Decepticon’s as can only be expected, and Shia LaBeouf tries to help save humanity- again, it’s what he does. If you enjoy impressive CGI, incredible sound effects and a Megan Fox replacement in the form of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley then this is the film for you.
Kung Fu Panda 2 – The chubby panda with a passion for martial arts is back and fighting along side the Furious Five yet again. A new villain threatens to take over the city- voiced by Gary Oldman so you know he means business- and only Po and his friends can stop him, however Po’s mysterious past threatens to get in the way of Victory.
X-Men: First Class – The first film was great, the second pretty good and since then the X-Men films have seemed to be heading downhill. Happily however this latest installment, a prequel to the series, is the best film yet. Focusing on the characters of Magneto and Dr X, the film follows them growing up, explaining why each take a different view on mutants and humans and finally revealing what happened to make Dr X wheelchair bound. An interesting plot and good script is made even better by the excellent acting of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the lead roles.
Cowboys and Aliens – You might not believe me but I guessed the title of this before it was revealed when I first saw the trailer. It does what it says on the tin; combining the odd couple of both cowboys… and aliens. A decent cast of Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Sam Rockwell are brought together to battle the aliens and save humanity in what is a genuinely serious sci-fi flick.
Super 8 - From the director and producer of ‘Lost’ this film features a train crash that looks awfully like a plane crash I saw somewhere. Befitting his usual style J.J. Abrahams keeps the audience constantly guessing and creates a jumpy and thrilling movie that is more Alien than E.T.
Horrible Bosses – A lot of people hate their bosses, not so many of them attempt to kill them though. A dark comedy about three friends who plot with their ‘murder consultant’ how to get rid of their various awful bosses; Kevin Spacey plays a brilliant psycho, Colin Farrell a waste of space and Jennifer Aniston a nymphomaniac. The acting really makes this film while the plot is only OK… I mean for a start, what man would mind Jennifer Aniston constantly making passes at them?
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Andy Serkis is yet again allowed to display his favourite monkey impression in this prequel to The Planet of the Apes. Crazed scientists, very angry apes and the population of San Francisco come together to demonstrate that allowing for extraneous variables really is as important as your science teacher always said it was.