The summer movie season is always an exciting one. Cinephiles typically receive a small dose of every type of film that there is over the three month period from June to August. From a continuation in their favorite franchises to the “hot out of the festivals” indie film, there is something special about films in the summertime. And since 2017’s summer is coming to close, we here at Next Best Picture have decided to take a look through some of the films that were released this summer.
There was a wide array of films released this summer from some stunning indie films to some truly terrible blockbusters. We saw a fair share of experienced directors deliver lackluster box office numbers. We also experienced some newer directors explode onto the scene. There were some terrible franchise continuations and some exciting ones. All in all, it has been a solid year for cinema and this summer has contributed quite a few movies to that statement.
Everyone has their favorite summer movies but there obviously were some pretty important milestones. The most important of these was Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman.” Crafting possibly the greatest origin story superhero film, Jenkins’ proved every studio wrong with this fantastic movie. Breaking down barriers and kicking ass, “Wonder Woman” is easily one of the greatest films this year. From its spine tingling score to the brilliantly choreographed action sequences, “Wonder Woman” was the superhero movie we all needed.
Another crowd favorite from this year was Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver.” A high octane thrill ride that never stops being exciting and proves that sometimes style over substance isn’t a bad thing. From its rhythmic editing to the nostalgic soundtrack, “Baby Driver” was a thrill ride that pleased many of Edgar Wright’s fans and catapulted Ansel Elgort to greater heights.
This summer we saw a lot of highs and a lot of lows. Some genres flourished and others did not. One really exciting thing that came from this summer movie season was the impeccable number of indie films. Not only were there more than normal indie films released this summer, but most of them were truly fantastic. From “The Big Sick” to “A Ghost Story,” indie filmmakers made quite a statement this summer amongst all of the other big Hollywood blockbuster films. One thing is for certain, indie filmmakers are attacking the general audience and they’re doing it hard and fast. We are currently seeing a rise in general audiences responding to independent films and this is incredibly exciting. Not only are these fantastic films getting noticed but it’s also keeping some of our favorite directors, actors etc. employed.
However, there were some downsides to this summer season. A lot of seasoned directors released new projects this year and came up short at the box office. Luc Besson returned to the big screen with “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Steven Soderbergh came out of retirement for “Logan Lucky.” Kathryn Bigelow gave another stab at political controversy with “Detroit.” There were several other flops including “The Dark Tower” and “The Mummy.” Even “Transformers: The Last Knight,” another film in a franchise which used to be considered a sure-fire hit, underperformed. Some of these were movies that not even the general audience had an interest in seeing.
It seems that we are in an age where the general audience is beginning to demand more from the films they are watching. Obviously comic book and franchise films will dominate the pop culture landscape nine times out of ten but we are beginning to see a shift in interests. With films like “Baby Driver” and “The Big Sick” dominating at the box office, it is clear that more and more people are paying attention to what they’re viewing. We saw a lot of tension rise this summer in regard to Rotten Tomatoes and how it is “ruining” the industry. We saw how films such as “Baywatch” and “Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” were sure fire box office hits that underperformed mostly due to poor word of mouth that the studios tried to pin on Rotten Tomatoes. Word of mouth is becoming more important and people are demanding more content in their films. We saw first hand what the combination of artistic vision, storytelling, and a large budget could do with “War For The Planet Of The Apes” and even to a certain extent, “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
As the summer movie season comes to a close we also would like to also give a big shout out to some Oscar hopeful films. Without a doubt, the film that premiered during the summer that will be the biggest player in the Oscar season is Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk“. It is a massive and masterfully crafted war film that exceeds in all areas. Cinematography, acting, direction, every crevice of Nolan’s film is astounding. There are a few more Oscar hopefuls we have in mind. Maybe a few tech nominations for “Baby Driver.” Maybe a Best Picture nomination for “The Big Sick.” Will Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit” manage to get any nominations? There are a lot of films we would love to see contend at the Oscars this year but right now it’s looking like the big winner from the summer is “Dunkirk.” How it will fare as the season gets underway in a few days remains to be seen.
This summer movie season was a great one with a ton of fantastic films released. From action to horror, to animation, to comedy, we received a little bit of everything this summer. Be sure to write in the comments section below and also vote on our weekly poll here (Closes Saturday at midnight) to let us know what your favorite summer movie was.
And now….Oscar season is right around the corner.
You can follow Josh and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @josh_williams09