THE LIST: Daniel’s (Official & Final) Summer Movie Rankings
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
IT COMES AT NIGHT
An extended episode of THE WALKING DEAD and didn’t do it nearly as good as my favorite episodes of that series. I loved the acting, especially from Kelvin Harrison Jr., but the trudging pace and inability to feel like we really went anywhere left me feeling largely underwhelmed.
A movie more fun and pleasing than most critics will give it; however, it definitely has a few major setbacks. Though I initially enjoyed this movie, I’ve felt less inclined to return to it since first seeing it. The King has now fallen into the “if I ever get around to it again” category, but I know when I do, I’m sure to have some fun with it.
Drew is going to hate me, as well as many others, but I simply don’t think I’ll return to this movie anytime soon. A technical wonder with fantastic visuals and a unique way of retelling this battle. However, the movie just didn’t register with me, and I just couldn’t get into the characters. Sadly, the ticking clock in the soundtrack made me truly feel like time was slowly counting down. I’m sure Nolan meant to use it to make you feel like time was of the essence and to feel pressure — it just made me uncomfortable and annoyed at its overuse.
This is tough. I laughed A LOT in this movie. I really liked Tom Holland. Michael Keaton KILLED it and ranks as one of the best MCU villains, and on-screen comics villains we’ve had so far. But this movie came at the time I was fully aware of one thing: the comic book movie formula is feeling so staged, dated, and unoriginal to me. There is truly a lot to like about this movie, but I just don’t see myself wanting to revisit this since it felt like the most comic book movie of the year so far.
THE DARK TOWER
The greatest hits of all Dark Tower novels really had me asking: where do we go from here? I really liked Idris Elba, but McConaughey just didn’t do it for me as the Man in Black. That really bothered me more than not sticking to the source material, because I love me some MM, and in theory, he would be perfect for this role. Unfortunately, this version of Walter felt underdeveloped, as well as most of the story. I loved King’s opus and I was fine with the creators of the movie(s) not sticking to the novels, but some flaws were fatal to the success of the movie here. One is that they tried to accomplish too much in this single 90-minute outing, and I wish the filmmakers trusted the audience a bit more to latch on to King’s original tale. Though I’ll return to it eventually, the need to rewatch is slowly tanking as the days go by.
A fun horror movie that seemed out of place to come out in the summer. While I enjoyed the story for the most part — the best part was having a character with a disability for once — there were a few you-called-it horror elements that bothered me. I’d still recommend it to scary movie fans.
I tried ranking this right in the middle of my list because this movie is split for me. Half of it I really enjoyed and half of it was so frustrating, I wished I was watching something else. I really liked the retro vibe, the badassery of Theron, and that one long shot that took place in the stairwell. However, it seemed way to complicated for its own good and some metaphors didn’t make sense to me, like the fall of the Berlin Wall connection.
A hybrid of Alien and Prometheus from Ridley Scott, and we get more Xenomorph action! I really enjoyed the religious symbolism and metaphors used in this movie. The actors did an overall good job (here’s looking at you Danny McBride). Also, David continues to be insane, but also one of the best parts of these prequels. The one massive drawback is how so many of the characters continue acting in a typical see-it-coming horror movie fashion.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOLUME 2
I’m 100% feeling superhero fatigue, but there’s just enough here to make it feel different than the average superhero flick. Ranking just below Wonder Woman on my Summer Movie Rankings because I’ve caught myself wanting to return to this movie more than any of the movies I’ve ranked below it on this list. I thoroughly enjoyed the father/son and family dynamic of this movie. While it helps set it apart from the first film, it still suffers from some major flaws that keep me from enjoying it as much as I did with Vol. 1. The standout is Michael Rooker (one of the main reasons why I want to rewatch this) and of course, I loved seeing some Kurt Russell action, though I felt like they missed a few opportunities with his character/development. Overall, the music has a way of hooking you and leaving a lasting imprint on your brain so that when you hear The Chain playing on the radio, you feel like revisiting your favorite space pirates.
Finally! A DCEU movie so good, we don’t deserve, but is well worth the cost of admission! I love the symbolism, strength, and style of this movie, especially how empowering it is to have a female superhero that kicks butt better than any of the current DCEU superheroes. A few flaws — especially the final lackluster baddie battle and CGI — didn’t keep me from laughing with and rooting on the amazing Wonder Woman.
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
I’m a huge Planet fan, and I loved every single nod to the original series, while using this as a means to illustrate how, if you leave man alone, will destroy himself/herself in given time. A sad, bleak outlook on life, but all of the metaphors registered with me, even though the pace slogs at times.
It (get it…OH! There’s another it pun!) just gets a quintessential Stephen King story right! Even though I enjoyed the trailers, this movie surprised me in how much I enjoyed watching it unfold on screen. I don’t think I can say I was “smiling like an idiot” when kids are getting eaten alive by a sadistic multi-dimensional shape-shifting clown, but it (I did it again!) delivered on the laughs and feels. I felt like the kids were really good for their roles, even though some of them weren’t as flushed out as I would have liked (Mike especially).
Also, one of my favorite movies of the year so far. The energy, pace, characters, editing and directing, and music keep the movie revving from beginning to end, and I have caught myself wanting to rewatch it multiple times since seeing it TWICE in the theater. It’s such a fun movie that I easily recommend to everybody.
For Drew’s picks click here.