Top 5 box office blowouts of the summer

By David Napolitano

Yet another vibrant summer at the movies has drawn to a close.

Through its spectacular adventures as wild as the imagination, its inevitable, bittersweet end brings forth the elegant and refined season of fall.

That said, there’s no better time than now to review the films from a season that makes moviegoing such a universal event.

Here are the five finest films from this past summer.

Like all the best superhero films of recent years, “Wonder Woman” accomplishes something special – the seamless marriage of genres into a singular and arresting vision.

With the gripping action of a superior comic book film and a stirring philosophy of a war picture, the film bestows its worthy heroine with thoughtful dilemmas that pull the curtain behind the complicated forces of good versus evil.

Gal Gadot embodies the iconic character with ease, capturing the strength, heart and beauty of a maturing warrior coming to grips with the reality of human nature.

The supporting cast added much needed heart to the grand journey, particularly Chris Pine who portrays her sidekick, Steve Trevor.

His keen comedic timing and affable heart creates an enduring chemistry that strengthens the film rather than diminishing its exciting and delightful core.

What seems like a familiar “one last job” heist-thriller becomes an exhilarating and original pseudo-jukebox musical that’s laced into an entertaining action film.

Writer-director Edgar Wright’s long fascination with a comedic coming of age narrative follows him from “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End” to this new heist film that fancies both the intricacies of the capers and Baby’s path to redemption.

While hardly any of the characters in “Baby Driver” burst out singing to the film’s rock album, the film’s pace whips and cuts in flawless harmony like a Russian ballet on steroids.

It’s this refreshing attention to cinematic detail that proves that a great film’s impeccable style can drive its substance, rather than the other way around.

With this stellar installment into Wright’s diverse resume, his manic gift for genre filmmaking accelerates to an art form.

Loosely based on the real-life relationship between the film’s star, Kumail Nanjiani and wife Emily Gordon, portrayed by Zoe Kazan, the story lambasts race relations with blunt humor towards its insane dysfunction. While doing so, it wears its huge heart on its sleeve through the earnest charm of this love story.

Based on the many scenes that range from poignant and heartbreak to heartfelt and hilarious, the screenplay, written by Nanjiani and Gordon, must have been an endless delight to create. One minute, Nanjiani struggles to make amends with his conservative family. In another, he and his wife’s father, a wonderful performance by Ray Romano, have an awkward but poignant exchange about the nature of love.In a perfect testament to the film’s heart, Gordon’s mother, an exquisite performance by Holly Hunter, verbally incinerates a racist heckler at Nanjiani’s stand-up routine.

It’ll be a huge shock if this year will ever see a romantic-comedy that’s wiser, funnier and more sincere than this one.

Writer-director Christopher Nolan continues to succeed with championing the bridge between blockbuster spectacle and arthouse expression. In his most experimental film yet, “Dunkirk” tells a nonlinear chronicle of a real-life event in three different arcs””land, air and sea””that intersect at different points in time.

The film challenges the war genre’s sacred conventions with the purest of cinema, harkening all the way back to the silent era. Its narrative also innovates the everyman into an anonymous and relatable ensemble portrayed by an understated cast.

The staggering and overpowering cinematography of Hoyte van Hoytema, shot in pristine IMAX and immersive 70mm film cameras, and another brilliant soundtrack from Hans Zimmer give birth to some of the most tense, harrowing and downright terrifying scenes ever committed to film””all with a PG-13 rating.

Indeed, the centerpiece of “Dunkirk” is Nolan’s focused direction and a challenging screenplay that will be analyzed and discussed in film schools for many years to come.

This is a monumental triumph of multiple feats. It’s a powerful ending to a stellar trilogy that defys a reboot’s stale and hollow stereotypes to stand on its own as fantastic cinema that’s more worthy of the fall season rather than a traditional summer release. As the opposing sides grow more motivated through revenge, survival and dominance, the fabric of humanity blurs, rips and finally explodes between Earth’s two sole species.

Andy Serkis’ restrained but commanding performance as the tortured and conflicted Caesar brings to life one of the most complex and engaging characters ever committed to film””human or otherwise. Though the film reserves all its outstanding action for the first and third acts, the masterful drama of the second act’s visual narrative unites the two into an emotional and thrilling whole.

Moreover, it’s much less a final battle like “The Return of the King” and more akin to a classical Hollywood epic. Aided by Michael Giacchino’s haunting and resonant score, “War for the Planet of the Apes” evokes pure cinema out of the planet’s broken and divided landscape.

5. "Wonder Woman"

Courtesy of IMDb

5. “Wonder Woman”

4. "Baby Driver"

Courtesy of IMDb

4. “Baby Driver”

3. "The Big Sick"

Courtesy of IMDb

3. “The Big Sick”

2. "Dunkirk"

Courtesy of IMDb

2. “Dunkirk”

1. "War for the Planet of the Apes"

Courtesy of IMDb

1. “War for the Planet of the Apes”

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

‘Trolls’ delivers colorful humor for all to enjoy

In an explosion of colors, fluffy hair and song and dance, the movie “Trolls” ...

Theatre production gives Shakespeare new life

By Angela Stevens In the “Taming of the Shrew,” a young woman named Kate ...

ISA marks traditional Hindu festival of lights

By Agnes Musee In celebration of Diwali, the Indian Student Association collaborated with the ...

Verified by MonsterInsights