By Nick Anstett
After a season of robots, explosions, and dinosaurs, 2015’s summer of blockbusters has come to a close. While it may not have been the veritable smorgasbord of quality pop entertainment that made for last year’s dog day entertainment, 2015 sure had quite a bit to offer, both good and bad.
The Best of the Best (Be Sure To Catch on DVD/Blu-Ray/etc.)
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
George Miller’s three decade long absence from the madcap, post-apocalyptic franchise ends in this boundlessly creative, progressive, bloody, and, most importantly, fun action film. It has rightfully earned Oscar buzz and proudly sits as the best film of the summer.
Despite a weak showing from this decade so far, Pixar returns to form in Pete Doctor’s inventive and emotionally stirring exploration of the human psyche. It’s the perfect sort of children’s film that incites thought as well as laughter.
Other Safe Bets:
The box office prehistoric behemoth was the biggest movie of the summer and boasts undeniable entertainment factor despite its bouts of cheese and occasional lack of brains.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron”
While overcrowded and less enthralling than its predecessor, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” represents another entertaining outing by Marvel’s epic superhero saga with a knockout digital performance by James Spader.
Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow craft a delightfully subversive and contemporary romantic comedy that is sure to please despite its length.
The Indie Scene:
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”
Those burnt by “The Fault in Our Stars” will find themselves refreshed by this honest and disarmingly funny story of adolescent friendship and mortality. It drips with humor and visual creativity and may be the best teen movie of the last five years.
Boasting a star-making performance by Shameik Moore, “Dope” is a subversive and impressively topical indie action comedy that deservedly received recognition at this year’s festival circuit.
The Bottom of the Barrel:
This tepid remake of the classic 80s ghost shocker lacks invention, enthusiasm, and, most importantly, scares.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the veteran sci-fi action franchise does little to elevate this indifferent fifth outing that finds itself stilted by sluggish pacing and an overly convoluted time travel script.
Fears of a “superhero fatigue” seem more prevalent than ever in this plodding, visually unappealing reboot of the classic superhero franchise. The only upside is that we may never get a sequel.