The Summer Movie Round-Up
Watching a movie in theatres is an important aspect of understanding the beauty of filmmaking because it forces the viewer to remember that films are an experience that is meant to be shared. The darkness of the movie theatre simulates a degree of isolation but bright flashes on the screen and gasps of shock break this illusion. These extra diegetic elements re-enforce the shared experience of the audience and creates a bond that is difficult to replicate in other mediums. What this all boils down to is that I really enjoy watching movies and I especially like talking about movies with other people because sharing is caring.
This summer I managed to see most of the bigger hits at the box office. I avoided most of the superhero movies/franchises as I needed a break from them. Very briefly I’m going to list the movies that I watched and give my entirely subjective rating of the movie. I would like to highly recommend the movies Dunkirk and Girls Trip along with War of the Planet of the Apes for those familiar with the franchise. I would also like to honourably mention The Big Sick for having such an interesting love story.
Dunkirk – 9/10
Dir: Christopher Nolan
This is the stand-out movie of the summer for me. It is a technically gorgeous movie that depicts a harrowing moment in history. The weaving of each individual timelines together creates a disorienting pace but the audience is constantly grounded by the urgency and desperation of the characters involved. I use the word character loosely with this film as the movie doesn’t follow the convention on focusing on a particular character. Christopher Nolan has created a film that is singularly focused on people’s collective experience of an event.
Girls Trip – 8.5/10
I was extremely surprised at how well Girls Trip found inspiration in Bridesmaids and created a refreshing update of it. The stand-out performance in this movie is Tiffany Haddish who injected the film with great energy and humour. And fun fact I just found out is that Director of Girls Trip is the cousin of Spike Lee.
War for the Planet of the Apes – 9/10
Dir: Matt Reeves
There isn’t too much to say about this movie if you weren’t a fan of the previous movies already. But this was the movie that I was most excited to see this summer. The Plant of the Apes franchise reboot should be followed as the gold standard for rebooting a franchise. War for the Planet of the Apes is most definitely the best movie in the series and is one of my favourite movies of the year. The facial tracking software used in the movie can communicate amazingly complex emotions and gave the protagonist of the movie a human level of expression.
Logan Lucky – 8/10
Dir: Steven Soderbergh
I wasn’t particularly drawn in by the trailer but this movie was a pleasant surprise. The plot is essentially a heist movie which drives the pace of the film. Some great acting from all the leads in the movie.
Baby Driver – 8/10
Director: Edgar Wright
I confess that I am not that big of an Edgar Wright fan. Baby Driver tones it down a bit along with a brilliant soundtrack which includes Run The Jewels!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – 6/10
Director: Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg
This movie had Johnny Depp in it. The movie wasn’t actually that bad just had some trouble with the pacing. This movie also had Johnny Depp in it.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – 7/10
Dir: James Gunn
The Guardians are always fun and Baby Groot is most definitely a must see.
The Big Sick – 8.5/10
Dir: Michael Showalter
This movie flipped so many clichés and stereotypes while keeping it all within a tightly contained environment. There was also enough time to appreciate the quiet times of a relationship. What caught me most off-guard was the way the parents were involved in the film. The parents are integral to the story and deliver an extra emotional pull.
Jing Bo Yu (2L) is Culture Editor of Juris Diction.