Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Summer Movies 2013: Best, Worst, and Most Surprising

posted by Nell Minow

It seems like just days ago that I posted my discussion of what to expect from the summer movies of 2013.  There was no real smash hit and there were a couple of massive flops (though likely to make enough money outside the US to break even.)

Let’s see how they stacked up.

Superheroes:  Nothing was as exciting as “The Avengers.”  This year ranged from the pretty good (“Iron Man III”) to the so-so (“Wolverine” and “Man of Steel”).

Sequels: “Red 2″ and “Kick-Ass 2″ were far below the originals.  Both went overboard with the violence to attempt distract audiences from the lack of attention to story and character, and the result was hollow and unsatisfying.   “Despicable Me 2″ and “Star Trek: Into Darkness” were also not as good as the originals. They were enjoyable but not memorable.

Monsters, Chases, Explosions, and the End of the World:  Nothing really clicked in this category.  The biggest disappointment was “After Earth,” a massive misfire that failed in every category.  This was a movie that asked us to believe that humans with access to fabulous technology that included spacesuits that change color and holographic communications devices had developed nothing to fight the blind, fear-sniffing monsters that constantly attacked them beyond the Bronze Age-weaponry of a spear.  It was painful to watch.  “The Lone Ranger” was almost as bad.  There were a couple of nifty train chases, separated by a long, dull, weird movie with two heroes, one too bland and one too strange.  I liked “Pacific Rim,” about as good a giant robots facing giant monsters movie as anyone could hope for.  I even enjoyed “White House Down,” the second blow-up-the-White-House movie of the year.  But neither made much of an impression.  “Elysium” was excellent but didn’t get a lot of love from audiences.

Middle school books to movies: “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” and “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” pleased fans of the books but not much more than that.

Animation:   Nothing this summer came close to the level of “Toy Story 3″ or even “Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted” or “Brave.”  “Monsters University” was another sequel that never matched the first one, with a weird ending that seemed anti-school.  “Planes” should have stayed, as originally planned, as a DVD release.  “Turbo” and “Epic” were pleasant but not much more.

Indies: There were no breakout hits like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” but it was the small independent films that were the summer’s most refreshing and captivating surprises.  If you have not seen “The Spectacular Now,” “The Kings of Summer,” “Short Term 12,” “20 Feet from Stardom,” “The Way Way Back,” “Fruitvale Station,” and “Much Ado About Nothing,” add them to your Netflix queue right now.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mike

    I had to watch the Denzel version of “Much Ado About Nothing” in an English class I took at NOVA over the summer. I didn’t have to read the play growing up, so it was new to me.

    “The Spectacular Now” didn’t impress me one bit. The believability factor was thrown out the window and I felt it was more to do with the source material than the acting/script. “Kings of Summer” seemed very believable.

    I enjoyed “Now You See Me” a lot. I avoided a lot of movies this summer, but “This is the End” is the funniest movie since “The Hangover”.

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Mike! I like the Denzel Washington version of “Much Ado” but I like the new one, too. I also enjoyed “Now You See Me.” Not sure why so many reviews were lukewarm.

Previous Posts

"Let's Be Cops" Could Have Been Not Terrible
"Let's Be Cops" is a dumb movie that wants to be like "Lethal Weapon" or "The Other Guys," a comedy action film about buddies with badges. It's moderate box office returns are possibly in part because the unrest in Ferguson and news stories about police brutality made the timing bad for a cop comed

posted 11:35:46am Aug. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang -- Beyonce, Cher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Jesse J
Two hit tunes from the hottest pop divas are both called "Bang Bang."  One is Beyoncé's sultry, glamorous cover of the Cher oldie in this teaser for her HBO special. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WebQaN7Lbs[/youtube] Ariana Grande, Jesse J, and Nicki Minaj have an unrelated song

posted 9:00:40am Aug. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: Hey Arnold! The Complete Series
The football-headed Arnold and all his pals are here in this box set with all 99 adventures from the beloved Nickelodeon series. It's available exclusively at Walmart, but I have a copy to give away! Send

posted 12:20:14pm Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Dylan Brody on Comedy, Depression, and Robin Williams
Dylan Brody is a comedy writer and stand-up performer dubbed "brilliant" by Robin Williams.  It was Williams' tragic suicide that inspired Brody to write a moving essay about his own struggles wit

posted 8:06:10am Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Opera Flash Mob at a London Grocery Store
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/44UC6muN8KY" frameborder="0"] Sacla staged an impromptu Opera in the food aisles of a London grocery store. They planted five secret opera singers who were disguised as casual shoppers and store staff amongst the groceries who bro

posted 8:00:13am Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.