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Summer Films 2015: The Great, The Good, and The Gaudy

Written by
Keith Hodder
and
and
September 26, 2015
Summer Films 2015: The Great, The Good, and The Gaudy

Since the debut of Star Wars in 1977, summer has been the season for blockbusters. 2015 is no different, offering up a slew of flashy superheroes and spies, franchises that harken throughout the decades and the ever-dwindling presence of original concepts. There were successes and failures, pleasant surprises and predictable passes. Here’s what this summer had to offer.

The Great:

Mad Max: Fury Road: Pioneer of the post-apocalyptic George Miller brings his title character back to the big screen after a 30-year absence. Though Tom Hardy is mediocre in his moody and barbaric take on Max, Charlize Theron picks up the slack. The contrasting colour palette is beautiful, the stunts awe-inspiring, and the production design like nothing you’ve seen before.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation: All hail the return of the fantastical spy film. Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, almost 20 years after the first Mission: Impossible installment and seemingly just as youthful – perhaps the power of Scientology? Religious controversy aside, Rogue Nation offers some of the best action seen on film. It’s evident how committed Cruise is to his audience, performing his own stunts and pushing himself to improve their daring cleverness.

Straight Outta Compton: Whether you’re a fan of N.W.A. or a newcomer to their music, Straight Outta Compton is an expertly crafted biopic and introduction the group’s gangbanging roots. Invoking both sympathy and loathing for its characters, Compton helps viewers identify with the rappers’ cause and provides a portrait of the time’s racial turmoil, one that is sadly mirrored in today’s headlines.

The Good:

Ted 2: Say what you will about sequels, but Ted 2’s raunchy and cruel humour can reduce even the most pretentious into fits of laughter. As always with Seth Farlane’s brand of comedy no pop culture icon is safe. It’s hard to say whether this film would earn a solo viewer’s praise, as comedy is often enjoyed in groups, but Ted’s dependence on references new, old, and sometimes obscure can definitely alienate and confuse.

Ant-Man: It’s hard to watch Ant-Man without thinking what could have been. Originally Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) was slated to write and direct, but ended up stepping down midway through the process. While Paul Rudd is charming and the film’s pace a welcome departure from Marvel’s other titles, it would have been interesting to see a more down-to-earth approach. Would Rudd’s everyday man really brandish a chiseled six-pack?

The Gaudy:

Avengers: Age of Ultron: This superhero extravaganza heralds the beginning of the genre’s downfall. Age of Ultron sells scale rather than spectacle, forcing viewers to endure repetitive action scenes wherein countless henchmen and robots are blasted and smashed into oblivion. The second installment places its focus on Hawkeye and Black Widow - two characters deserving of the attempt - but fails to make you care.

Jurassic World: How this film earned its place as the third highest-grossing film in cinema history is baffling. Not only is the film an overt mutation of all that the original concept stood for, saturated with unbelievable and flashy computer generated creations, but the story’s warning should have forced its creators to ask themselves: just because we can, should we?

Terminator: Genisys: The first two Terminator films are cinematic masterpieces, totting both thrills and richly developed characters – something that is so rare in today’s blockbuster climate. Though it’s a pleasure seeing Arnold return, Terminator: Genisys proves in its poor impersonation of the first film’s cast and 1984 setting that some concepts can’t be topped.

The Surprises:

Tomorrowland: Its trailers were unimpressive, but maybe that was the plan. After all, movie trailers of recent have been rife with spoilers and a film’s top-notch moments. Helmed by Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Incredibles) Tomorrowland is an inspiring film for both children and adults alike. Despite failing to meet its budget, this original concept is filled with inventive moments and gizmos, not to mention a slew of nostalgic winks to when spectacle cinema was at its finest.

No Escape: This film quietly snuck into the summer roster with an incognito Wednesday release. Starring Owen Wilson and featuring a brilliant change of pace for Pierce Brosnan, No Escape finds a businessman and his family embroiled in a violent political revolution. Wilson brings levity in small doses to an otherwise serious and gritty role, but Brosnan is the real star here, taking a departure from his usual rom-com fare and letting his rougher side surface. Though some Hollywood moments detract from an otherwise well-plotted film, No Escape is a properly foreign and fresh breath of air.

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

"Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system."
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