It’s become a tradition. Every summer we expect the biggest most explosive movie blockbusters to hit the cinema and compete for our hard earned dollars. This summer was no different. We were loaded with sequels, aliens, and explosions. It’s all in the name of entertainment, but were any of these blockbuster events really any good? Let’s take a look back at the movies that I managed to see and review on The Neverland Podcast and contemplate what this year’s crop had to offer.
One might say I’m kicking off the Summer blockbuster season a little early by listing “Captain America: Civil War” but it’s really the only Marvel offering we had this year. This was a movie that was the make or break film in a summer with DC superheroes (or villains) trying to make a name for themselves with movie fans. DC fans were very split on this Spring’s “Batman v. Superman”, a movie that I actually enjoyed despite myself. Although Cap’s name was on the marquee, this was an Avengers movie in many ways. We were introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Unviverse’s (MCU) new Spider-Man and Black Panther. Marvel Studios must be happy about the overall positive response to these new additions and their portrayal onscreen. For me though, the jury is still out until I see the upcoming “Spider-Man: Homecoming” of which I still have doubts.
I really enjoyed this film, and I look forward to watching it again on Blu Ray Sept. 19.
Jumping ahead to Memorial Day weekend, the official kick-off of Summer, May 27, we find two movies with Disney characters, but only one of them was released by Disney. I didn’t see “Alice Through the Looking Glass” because I saw the previous attempt at a live action Alice. My wife saw it, and from her review, it sounds like she was forcing herself to like this movie. It was scored 30% on Rotten Tomatoes. It seemed a film Disney fans would soon wish to forget. But never fear, Disney had lots of offerings this year.
While Heather viewed “Alice”, I sat in anticipation in a screen showing “X-Men: Apocalypse”.
This film reintroduced my two favorite X-Men, Cyclops and Jean Grey. Finally we get a Scott Summers that isn’t portrayed as a lame jealous boyfriend. And while I did enjoy Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse, this film wasn’t a hit with audiences. I had fun with this movie that seemed to being trying very hard not to screw up what they got wrong in the original film series. They’d gotten a chance to fix some past mistakes with “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and now they knew they had something going after the success from “Deadpool”. Although this installment scores pretty well on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes still scores it low. This was entertainment, but it just wasn’t the quality we want from a Summer blockbuster.
June 3 brought a surprise to the cineplex. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is the sequel to a mediocre TMNT film from a couple of years ago.
I came into this film with very low expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised by a film that was a well cast throwback to the 1980’s television series that introduced the Turtles to most of us as children. Despite Casey Jones being reinvented and not quite living up to what we expected, he was well played by Stephen Amell of “Arrow” fame. This movie actually took time to hang out with the Turtles and we even get an emotional story that threatens to split the brothers. It was fun, it was funny, and we even got a fantastic Rocksteady and Bebop!
Despite not making the money it was expected to make, I hope that DVD sales prove successful enough to show Nickelodeon that this is the type of TMNT film fans will enjoy.
We are just getting started on looking back at these films, so make sure to check out our coverage next week!