The kids are back in school, the cool fall breeze has started to blow, and scary movies are starting to come out. That must mean the 2017 Summer movie season has come to a close. There have been reports of a box office slump this summer, with reboots, sequels, and even some new properties not meeting expectations (The Emoji Movie failed? No way!).
While there were plenty of sinkers, the staff here at AiPT! takes a moment to look back at their favorite flicks from this past summer as we head into fall.
Ken: I didn’t catch as many movies as I’d hoped this summer, but the one I absolutely couldn’t miss was Dunkirk, presented on 70mm film at my local art house theater. The relentless tension as the characters struggled to survive was captivating, performances were powerful, and the cinematography was stunning. It wasn’t a perfect movie, but Christopher Nolan’s take on a WWII war film was definitely one of the cinematic highlights for me this summer.Rory: This summer was certainly a definite improvement than last year; which seemed to be a competition between major studios releasing some of the worst movies out there. No doubt we’ve had clunkers this summer, not least from franchises that have run their course, such as Transformers: The Last Knight, which may not be the worst Transformers installment, let alone the longest, but it is a strong contender for THE worst film of the year. However, there have been delights with great comic book adaptations, coming from both Marvel and DC. But the two highlights of this summer are War for the Planet of the Apes (one of the bleakest summer blockbusters ever made) and Dunkirk, the latest from Christopher Nolan who still hasn’t broken my curse of being a Nolan apologist.
Nathaniel: This summer had a lot of great options for movie fans. Spider-Man:Homecoming is an easy pick and Dunkirk will deservedly get a lot of love come awards season. If you have not seen those movies yet, then you absolutely have to. The other movie that stood out for me this summer was Atomic Blonde. Charlize Theron does her own stunts in some of the best action scenes of the year. The soundtrack is perfect and David Leitch’s direction adds to the film. Frenetic and colorful, Atomic Blonde is the perfect movie for the summer season.Dave: I saw a lot of summer movies this year and had a lot of expectations either blown away or thrown out the window. Wonder Woman is up there for sheer entertainment value, while The Big Sick was the biggest surprise and possibly the most perfect film out of everything I saw. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was certainly the most underrated film I saw that was still pretty meh, while I was surprisingly lukewarm for Baby Driver. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 lived up to my expectations though and ended up being the crowd pleaser I wanted it to be. Pound for pound though, The Big Sick was the biggest win.
Michael: I saw a ton of films this summer. And I pretty much loved the already mentioned picks, except Dunkirk, which I found little more than a beautifully filmed but tedious narrative exercise. Wonder Woman delivered and even gave me some hope DC could right the ship. And Guardians 2, the only film from this year I’ve seen twice, was surprisingly moving. I won’t lie. I got teary eyed during the Reaver funeral, and the brilliant Drax joke in the middle of the scene was perfect and didn’t ruin the moment at all. I think I loved it more than the first Guardians. War for Planet of the Apes was a great end to a trilogy. And, on the other end of the movie spectrum, I loved The Big Sick too. It was a great little love story with a lot of laughs. Ray Romano delivered a surprisingly strong supporting performance, and the film featured one of the best 9/11 jokes I’ve ever heard. But if I can draw people’s attention to one more lesser seen indie film, Ingrid Goes West proves yet again how great Aubrey Plaza is. The film, an exploration of the impact of social media on our society, reminds me a little of the first episode of Black Mirror‘s third season while featuring a supporting performance by the actor from the second episode of Black Mirror‘s third season.
Cam: Didn’t get a chance to see too many movies, mostly the big super hero ones like Wonder Woman, Guardians, and Spidey (all three of which were great). My only fun story is that I saw 5th Element for the first time at a midnight showing. Now, I know I’m late to this by 20 years, but that movie is BONKERS. Holy cow. Having only seen like, 20 minutes playing in a bar one time, I was looking forward to more context. Having now seen it from beginning to end, I don’t know if I get what’s going anymore than I previously did. I DO, however, know that it was an awesome movie, made even better by watching in a crowd that was cheering along the whole way. Plus, someone came in a KILLER Ruby Rhod costume.
And there you have it, the highlights of Summer 2017, AiPT!-style. Bring on the Oscar bait!
Were there any we missed? What was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!