As Hannah Montana once said, "Everyone makes mistakes." I just happened to make a lot of them. Earlier in the summer I wrote an article entitled "Top 10 Films To Look Forward To This Summer," and hoo boy, was I wrong with just about every single film. I already wrote an article defending my often overcritical judgement on films, but there's no denying that this summer season was lackluster to say the least. Blockbusters bombed and lesser known films underwhelmed. I'm not old or wise enough (yet) to make the call that this was the worst summer for film, but I can at least say that it was extremely disappointing.
1. Captain America: Civil War
Essentially Avengers 2.5, "Captain America: Civil War" is just another generic Marvel film. It includes too many Marvel heroes for a "war" that was ultimately a playdate. The battles are a joke; they lack stakes, tension and consequences. The only redeeming quality of this film is the new Spider-Man, who is unnecessarily introduced, but who's youthful comedic appeal is the only reason I didn't fall asleep from boredom.
2. The Lobster
This is the only film on this entire list that I actually got right. Now, this film isn't a crowd-pleaser. It's dark, dry humor might not suit everyone, but the premise is intriguing enough to merit everyone's attention. For those who complain that original films aren't made anymore, I urge them to see this film.
3. The Nice Guys
This film isn't perfect by any means, but my biggest issue with "The Nice Guys" is that it's okay. It's not bad, but it definitely isn't great. The chemistry between Gosling and Crowe is okay. The action is okay. The comedy is okay. The plot is okay. This film is mediocrity at its best and at its worst. I have no desire to ever see this film ever again, but if it came on TV I might not change the channel.
4. The Secret Life of Pets
I think I was the only person I knew who was super hype for "The Secret Life of Pets," and deservedly so. This movie is gah-bage. It's a cash-grab tailor-made for children. I remarked in my preview that it was "Toy Story" but with pets instead of toys, but even that comparison is an insult to "Toy Story." While I did laugh a few times because of Kevin Hart's character Snowball, I mostly groaned and wished for the apocalypse.
5. Lights Out
So, I failed to see "Lights Out." My family hates "scary movies" and, not going to lie, I did not want to see "Lights Out" alone. I apologize for my cowardice, but as compensation, I did miraculously watch "The Conjuring 2" with a friend. I'm not a horror fan, but I loved this film. It had the scares, but most importantly, it had heart. As paranormal as it was, the film felt grounded and real. It's not just another horror film.
6. Jason Bourne
So, I also failed to see "Jason Bourne." My bad, but as Hannah Montana once said, "Nobody's Perfect." I don't know why I was once excited for this movie. Perhaps I thought it would be another "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation." However, the more I saw, the less I cared. And once the middling reviews started pouring in, I completely lost all interest. If nothing else, I can at least recommend watching "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation." That movie is perfect.
7. Suicide Squad
This is the first blockbuster in 2016 that I loved. When I first saw "Suicide Squad," I thought it was great. Upon a second viewing though, I must admit the logical errors and missteps are jarring, if not laughable. However, I stand by my initial praise. What this movie has that "Captain America: Civil War" so dearly lacks is personality. The characters are distinct and the action set pieces are riveting. Above all else, this movie is a very entertaining joy ride from beginning to end.
8. Café SocietySociety" is a beautifully shot fan film. There are hints of Woody Allen in this film, but mostly "Café Society"
seems like a pale imitation. It's superficial, generic and not very funny. I doubt Woody Allen will stop making films anytime soon, but I hope that there's more "Blue Jasmine"s and less "Café Society"s.
9. Sausage Party
Film critic and all-around great person Sasha Perl-Raver said it best when it came to "Sausage Party": "it would've been a great concept for a short film." Much like how "The Secret Life of Pets" panders to children, "Sausage Party" panders to the simple-minded adults who like poop jokes. Except instead of poop jokes, "Sausage Party" relies on a gratuitous usage of profanity and raunchiness that is funny for five minutes, but then is annoying for the next hour and 24 minutes.
10. Kubo and the Two Strings
Although I haven't seen "ParaNorman," "Kubo and the Two Strings" is my least favorite Laika film to date. It lacks the comedic genius of "Boxtrolls" and although there are a few absolutely beautiful shots, the visuals pale in comparison to "Coraline." By the final act, the film completely falls apart with a subpar villain and an overbearing repetition of the film's moral through its dialogue.