Top 5 films of the summer

The summer movies of 2019 were a tad underwhelming to say the least. Populated with mostly reboots, remakes and sequels, these movies ranged in quality from total flops like “Men In Black: International” to average films that drip with wasted potential (looking at you “Godzilla: King of The Monsters”). 

Despite the mostly lackluster offerings Hollywood presented us this summer, there was still some fun to be had, especially in these five films. 

5. “Midsommar”

A follow up to 2018’s smash hit “Hereditary,” writer/director Ari Aster once again creates a slow, nightmarish film that unsettles and disturbs, even if its script isn’t quite up to par. In the tale of a strained American couple who unknowingly become the center of a pagan ritual, the more interesting human drama gets buried and ultimately lost beneath all the creepy horror stuff. The film is still shot and acted beautifully with a sense of never-ending dread that will keep you on the edge of your seat, even when the film’s story can’t.

4. “Spider-Man: Far From Home”

Taking a break from the bleakness of “Avengers: Endgame,” “Far From Home” is a lighthearted, brightly lit and easygoing film that gives audiences exactly what a summer film should. It’s funny enough, touching when it needs to be and doesn’t ask you to think too much.  The movie’s real standout is Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio, who is at his goofy best. While it’s not the best Marvel film ever made, it’s certainly one of the most enjoyable.  

3. “John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum”

The John Wick series is on to something. Each film is essentially the same thing: Keanu Reeves fighting slews of goons and killing them in brutal and inventive ways. While you’d expect the films to get less creative with each reiteration, John Wick becomes more visceral with each film. This new third chapter is the most adrenaline-fueled of the trilogy, and those wanting anything close to a story need not apply. But for any action junkies out there, this is as good as it gets.

2. “Rocketman”

While undeniably in the same vein as last years “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Rocketman” does a lot to set itself apart from the typical musical biopic. For one, the R rating allows the film to delve a bit deeper into the hedonistic lifestyle of a rock star. It also allows for the human drama to be more compelling. The films fantasy musical sections are also a major highlight. Instead of just playing songs that you know and love, “Rocketman” turns them into full productions that are a total treat to watch. While it doesn’t jump every pitfall, it still does enough new things well to warrant a watch.

1. “Toy Story 4”

While the necessity for another “Toy Story” sequel is questionable, Pixar justifies its existence by creating a masterfully animated and touching film. All the old toys are back, but Woody takes center stage as he finds himself in a sort of mid-toy-life-crisis. This concept is all at once hilariously absurd and poignantly realized. It’s hard not to be at least a little choked up during the conclusion, which sends the franchise riding off into the sunset with subdued, but very deserved, closure.

mason.dredge@gmail.com

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