Welcome to Breaking Geek, a column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week (or whatever else he wants), using his expansive knowledge of all things geek! This issue is our third“Breaking Geek Discussion” with input from LRM’s Editor-in-Chief, and my friend, Joseph Jammer Medina, as well as LRM’s man from across the pond, Cam Clark, and “newbie” Kyle Malone.
The summer movie season has come and gone, starting a week early this year after Marvel Studios shockingly moved Avengers: Infinity War from the traditional first weekend of May (a weekend that has seen a Marvel release nearly every year since Spider-Man in 2002). Seeing as Marvel always opens the summer, let’s start with Infinity War on April 27th and take summer through… let’s say The Meg on August 10th. As if anyone would nominate an August movie. Ha!
Nick “Dollface” Doll: Gentlemen. This summer felt like it had some of the best summer blockbusters in a long while, with other memorable films few and far between. At least for me, most blockbusters were as good or better than their trailers suggested (NOT including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom). I thought Avengers: Infinity War, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and especially Mission: Impossible – Fallout crushed it, while I didn’t see any surprises like Baby Driver this year (Sorry to Bother You feel short).
My favorite film of the summer is obviously Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Yes, it is now my overall favorite film. Yes, that is ridiculous. But Fallout is so ridiculous itself, so why not? Never have I seen a better-paced action film or action scenes quite as good as Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise produce. I could watch it a million times. I have watched it five times. I love a big CGI spectacle like Infinity War, but nothing can top practical effects, especially when they are this mind-blowing. It all feels real and dangerous, even though we know Ethan Hunt will win in the end.
Joseph “Jammer” Medina: Jesus, has summer come and gone already? It’s almost like it never really appeared for me. While I think we had a couple of solid movies…I can’t really say there’s any one film that stood out — at least not for me. When asked this question, I didn’t know what to respond with. Avengers: Infinity War? It was good, but not amazing for me. I had to pull up a list before I even remembered what came out.
The standouts for me were Deadpool 2, The Incredibles 2, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Of those three, I think the standout for me was Deadpool 2 — even if I think Fallout is a technically better film. They weren’t the only solid films to come out this summer, but I think that’s been my main problem. This summer had a decent set of solid movies, but nothing that really blew me away. The main thing that blew me away this past season? Watching the TV show The Good Place through its first two seasons. That blew me away more than anything I saw in theaters. Call me jaded, but I just wasn’t captivated like I wanted to be.
Dollface: I was captivated by the big ones, that were good, but mostly Fallout and Infinity War. Even the others I liked, I saw far fewer times than movies I enjoyed previous years. And yes, The Good Place is excellent and mind-blowing. I just already saw it… and it’s not a summer movie…
Kyle: Summer used to always be the blockbuster season. And then Disney started pushing out massive movies in winter and spring. Even the first Deadpool took advantage of the wide open month of February and look how well it did. Infinity War was great and very epic, Incredibles 2 is a nearly 15-year-old dream completed, Deadpool 2 was hilarious, and Ant-Man and the Wasp had a classic summer affection film feel to it. Wow, that’s a lot of superhero movies.
I loved Ant-Man and the Wasp. I thought it provided a great transition from Infinity War to what comes next. It’d be hard to go from Thanos to Captain Marvel and back to Thanos again. Ant-Man brought the fun back to the MCU after the wholly depressing ending of Infinity War. I really enjoyed the simple conflict and the villain’s motivation. It wasn’t an epic film but it was fun.
Dollface: I need to see Ant-Man and the Wasp… a second time, which is unlike me. Usually, I’ve seen all my favorites of the summer multiple times! But, it did seem to get lost between the other, bigger releases. Not common territory for an MCU film…
Cam: Well I don’t think anyone will be surprised to find out my favorite summer movie was Avengers: Infinity War. Do I think it was perfect? No, but for me it came pretty darn close. I don’t think I need to say too much about Infinity War that we haven’t already covered. So I’ll instead have a pop at all your choices, fellas.
I’ve seen most of the movies mentioned here other than Deadpool 2 and Incredibles 2. With regards to Incredibles 2, I think we are waiting for home release as my son isn’t that keen on a cinema visit and we always see movies together. It’s pretty obvious after saying that why I never watched Deadpool 2 at theaters. But as to why I have not watched it at home yet, well I didn’t enjoy the first movie all that much. I’m not a huge comedy fan, and Deadpool is just too much direct comedy to ever truly appeal to me on a deeper level.
Ant-Man and the Wasp was enjoyable, but the plot was extremely basic and straightforward. I liked it, but it never hooked me into the story like Infinity War did.
As for M:I – Fallout, well it was definitely one of the best M:I movies, that’s for sure. Still, while I find them enjoyable it’s really just a throwback ’90s action film isn’t it? Sure the stunts look better, it is well paced, and….. it’s still the same plot as every other M:I or Bond movie. Nothing surprised me at all, it’s really a bog standard spy action movie.
Can anyone say Infinity War was a bog standard superhero story, with nothing exciting or unexpected?
Kyle: Infinity War was amazing. It is, in my opinion, the most comic book-y comic book movie ever. I love it more every time I watch it. As for the simplicity in Ant-Man and the Wasp I think it’s great. A celebrity bassist once told me there’s bliss in simplicity, and sometimes that enhances the overall experience. The more going on in a movie, the more things there are fur the audience to judge and the more chances to mess something up.
Dollface: I’m not going to deny Infinity War is great, after all, it was my second favorite movie of the summer, so you got me there, Cam.
I will say I liked Fallout because it was a ‘90s throwback, though I’d prefer to call it an ‘80s throwback. We haven’t had a truly great action throwback like this since Mad Max: Fury Road, which also contained the simplest of stories. That’s part of why I like it. While not up-heaving the formula too much, Fallout offered shocks and surprises that are few and far between in spy movies these days.
But the biggest throwback of all is Cruise. I can’t stress enough how much better it is watching a movie star actually do stunts. I loved the other movies we are all discussing, but those were made in a computer. As these days, I say there are two types of action movies, those made in a computer, and Mission: Impossible films. With “real” action so few and far between, it’s hard not to gravitate to Fallout, even though Infinity War is a new high in the superhero franchise, because I see CGI superheroes beat the crap out of each other at least 5 times a year between Marvel Studios, Sony, Fox, and DC.
Kyle: I can agree with you on the stunts bit. I really appreciate actors that put their bodies on the line for their art. As for the idea of ’80s and ’90s action in Fallout there was no Ah-nold and no Sly so… I get it though. It was a fun popcorn movie that had some depth to it too.
I love comic book movies, good ones at least, but I feel that we’re missing out on some classic summer films out there being shopped around. I think studios are going for the low hanging fruit, (Venom anybody?) and the next great thriller or action flick is being passed on. This summer was a perfect example of a lack of new stuff. Nothing but existing properties… Then again I still had fun at the big screen this year.
Jammer: Going way back to Kyle’s point earlier regarding the summer season. The line has become so blurred, and we get blockbusters so frequently that we’re definitely hitting diminishing returns on all these. In order to stand out, a film REALLY has to be firing on all cylinders. With that in mind, it’s almost unfair the amount of expectation I throw at them. But such is the world we live in. When every film tries to be the end-all blockbuster, they all kinda start to feel just a little less special.
I don’t consider this a result of my jaded nature, but rather an inevitable result of them relying so much on tent poles. Maybe Warner Bros. had it right with Crazy Rich Asians — a film that really filled a romantic-comedy-shaped void the cinemas have been having for around 10 years. Maybe we should focus on other genres so that these tent poles actually start to feel more special. Yeah, I’m being a bit dramatic, but I just want these films to be around forever, and I will be very concerned that one year when there are 30 blockbusters hitting and all 30 fall short. But maybe that’s what we need.
Cam: So Infinity War wins, right guys?
Dollface: As always, NOBODY wins, but good talk, gentlemen. (Or did we settle on Fallout as the best film of the summer?) I will say as my last point, I am blockbuster man. I’d rather see a dozen blockbusters than a single smaller film. It’s just my DNA. So, I’m happy with the climate, happy about the movies I loved, but a little disappointed I wasn’t into more films this summer.
What are your thoughts about LRM’s favorite movies of the summer? What was yours? Let’s discuss!