Summer is often considered the time when a lot of high-quality, big-name movies are released, hence the common term "summer blockbusters." However, even in this season filled with cinematic promise, not all movies can fill these big shoes and live up to general expectations. Here are what some of our reporters believe to be the best and worst movies from the season.
This summer, the best movie I saw was Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters.” Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig, the movie was a fun and empowered update of the 1984 classic. This film appealed to me because of the fresh comedy voices seen in its cast, its strong female presence and the simple, fun mood of the film. Combined with the fast-paced plot and feminist themes, the movie, although a departure from the more serious films that I usually call favorites, inspired me with its "girl power" message and was the perfect choice for lighthearted summer entertainment.
Worst: "Alice Through the Looking Glass"
The worst movie I saw this summer was “Alice Through the Looking Glass.” I was not a fan of Tim Burton’s 2010 “Alice in Wonderland,” and the James Bobin-directed sequel starring Mia Wasikowska was of even less quality than its predecessor. The film flaunted an oversimplified feminism that totally lacked subtlety or quality delivery and disjointed performances that were missing chemistry and authenticity. With a heavy reliance on CGI characters and a lackluster and flat script, “Alice Through the Looking Glass” was not a film that made a statement to its audiences or an impact on me as a viewer.
Best: "Swiss Army Man"
There were a number of good movies this summer, but none were half as memorable or fun as “Swiss Army Man.” “Swiss Army Man” is about a man named Hank (Paul Dano) who is stranded and hopeless on a deserted island until he finds a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) with special powers, including the ability to propel himself with his farts. The film is completely aware of how strange it is and, with the right sense of humor, “Swiss Army Man” can bring out laughter in a way that few movies can.
Worst: "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
Though it might be at the top of some people’s lists, many viewers, myself included, were disappointed with the big screen clash between DC’s most iconic heroes. “Batman v Superman” suffered from multiple problems, one of the most prominent being its pacing. The movie dragged out some plotlines with pointless scenes while rushing through others that could have given the film greater depth and payoff. With poor pacing, numerous plot holes and overall bad writing, “Batman v Superman” was a train wreck that not even stellar acting from Ben Affleck could save.
Best: "Finding Dory"
I saw many movies this summer, but the best by far was “Finding Dory.” Thirteen years after Dory captured hearts in “Finding Nemo,” she takes us on another swim across the ocean to find her family. This movie is heartwarming and teaches a lot of lessons to the viewer, such as patience and the value of friendship. It also includes a peek at human impact on marine life in a way that does not take away from the story.
Worst: "The Legend of Tarzan"
My least favorite movie of the summer was “The Legend of Tarzan.” Despite having a fantastic cast and beautiful scenes, the story was predictable and weak. Many of the characters that played an important role were lacking in characterization and only seemed to exist in the movie for the sake of being heroic. A lot of the action in the movie was just there for the sake of having action. The romantic aspect of the movie felt unnecessary and sexist. Jane’s character appeared to only be in the movie to be sexualized and used as a damsel in distress motif. I would skip this movie and just dig out your old Disney classic VHS of “Tarzan.”