Planes, Trains, and Automobiles surviving and struggling during the summer movie season.
Summer is coming to a close, which is always sad, because we all love the warm weather and spirits. But it also means it’s time for the Oscar season. For now, I want to present to you two small lists ranking the best and worst movies I’ve seen this summer.
Let’s start with the best.
5.) “Bullet Train”
Brad Pitt and director David Leitch both seem to have the kind of chemistry that the filmmaker and Ryan Reynolds have displayed in “Deadpool 2.” Put “Kill Bill” on a train, and you have yourself a wildly entertaining action film. Sorry not sorry.
Baz Luhrmann’s narrative about Elvis Presley may be a long movie, but there’s a lot going on for fans to see. But it’s really Austin Butler who deserves to win or at least be nominated an Oscar for his portrayal of the King.
3.) “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”
Jenny Slate gives one of her most delightful voice performances as a boy shell trying to find his lost family, while learning about the qualities and difficulties of growing up. It started off as a YouTube short, and expands into a kind-hearted masterpiece.
Jordan Peele’s latest horror film loves “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and a number of other movies. Don’t look up at this UFO, and you’ll survive. If you do, you’re screwed. That’s what makes this movie daring and original.
1.) “Top Gun: Maverick”
I was right when I said this Tom Cruise sequel would make fans feel like a million bucks. Almost everyone I’ve talked to about it has seen it and loved it as much as I did. It’s everything you can hope for in a sequel about Navy pilots.
And now, let’s finish with the worst. Although it’s not usually ideal to save the worst for last.
Director Joseph Kosinski released “Top Gun Maverick” and “Spiderhead” this summer, and both of them feature Miles Teller. “Spiderhead” is inferior to “Top Gun: Maverick,” as it tries to be its own “Limitless” with Chris Hemsworth trying to trigger the human mind. It won’t make you addicted.
4.) “Jurassic World: Dominion”
Although it’s not as bad as the last sequel, because of the reunion of the original “Jurassic Park” stars (Laura Dern, Sam Neil, and Jeff Goldblum), it still offered nothing fresh or thrilling. In fact, it’s more boring and laughable than it is serious.
3.) “Mack & Rita”
Diane Keaton deserves better than this stupid and dull “Big” rip-off. What more is there to say about it? It’s bad.
2.) “The Gray Man”
Why is this one of Netflix’s biggest action hits? Because it’s an A-list project directed by the Russo Brothers and starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. But everything about the film was predictable, boring, bombastic, reckless, and routine all the way through. Being one of the streaming services most expensive films, it’s more odious than “Red Notice.”
1.) “Me Time”
Just released on Netflix, this Kevin Hart/Mark Wahlberg comedy is as mean and gross as it is stupid and routine. These two brilliant talents can do better than succumb to the crass and juvenile nature inside. In fact, it feels more like an Adam Sandler comedy, and he was great this summer in “Hustle.”
Disclaimer: like my annual Midway Point, my choices of my favorite and less favorites of the year are subject to change. Come back in December, when we find out what movies win and lose.