Summer 2012 at the movies was a fun ride with prequels, sequels, revamps, tons of testosterone filled films, and superhero movies galore. The top two movies on DZI’s summer movie list sold out movie theaters, raked in the money, and currently hold the 3rd and 9th place on the All-Time Worldwide Box Office rankings. Whether you are a DC or Marvel comics fan may sway your decision on which blockbuster deserves the title of best of the summer. Despite the tight race between the front-runners only one could take the crown. Without further ado, here’s DZI: The Voice’s Top 10 Summer Movie Smashes. Sound off and leave your voice if you agree or not! And come back on Monday to see which films you need to be looking out for in our week long Fall Movie Preview series.
10. Resident Evil: Retribution
Alice is back in action and just in time to end the summer movie season. The 5th film based on the popular video game Resident Evil, starring Milla Jovovich, has easily become a fan favorite in the series. In this part, Alice is T-virus-less, but she still manages to kick major ass without extra powers. It’s hard to take your eyes of all the female on female action going on (no, not that type). The fight scenes of Alice vs Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and Rain Ocampo (Michelle Rodriguez) were super cool.
Also seeing the special effect highlights of breaking bones and hearts literally stopping as Ocampo takes down Leon (Johann Urb) and Luther (Boris Kodjoe) is exciting. Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) is back and a little less evil than usual. The addition of Ada Wong (Li Bingbing, who has an uncanny resemblance to Ada in the video game) makes Retribution even sweeter. The last scene in Retribution assures there will be a part six to RE, and most likely this unconfirmed sequel with be the last in the Resident Evil series. If that’s the case, it will suck to see Milla Jovovich put away all her weapons, but that upside is the 6th film will probably be the biggest and baddest of the series.
9. The Bourne Legacy
It’s been five years since the last Bourne spy film. The first 3 starred Matt Damon as the title character, Jason Bourne, but surprisingly in the fourth installment Damon is not only gone as the lead character, he’s not in it at all. Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Avengers) has picked up Damon’s torch, not as the new Bourne, but as the Black Ops operative Aaron Cross.
Renner is definitely no Damon when comparing the two, but the durability Renner’s shown in his past movie roles, particular last year’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, makes him a great choice for the lead to continue on the Bourne series. And it’s already been confirmed Renner’s Bourne will have a sequel. There is also speculation that Renner and Damon may team up for a future Bourne film. Added into the Legacy installment is Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Scott Glenn and returning are Joan Allen as Pamela Landy, David Strathairn as Noah Vosen, and Albert Finney as Dr. Albert Hirsch.
8. The Expendables 2
The sequel to 2010’s über cool and successful The Expendables is bigger of course, but not necessarily badder. The first film was filled with the legendary action heroes Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Jason Statham, and part 2 saw the addition of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and Dolph Lundgren. No plot needed, just these famous names plus massive explosions, fights, and killings. Back are Randy Couture and Terry Crew along with newly added Liam Hemsworth.
It’s kind of amazing other renowned action stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Vin Diesel, Jackie Chan, and Steven Seagal are still M.I.A. from an Expendables movie. And how about at least one equally tough woman whose on The Expendables team! Supposedly in the next sequel not only may Seagal join in on all the testosterone, but maybe even Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes and Nicolas Cage. Now if these casting rumors come to pass and The Expendables 3 has Eastwood, Ford, Seagal, Snipes, and Cage plus most of the E2 cast, even without Chuck Norris coming back, that would be the most badass action flick in movie history!
7. Snow White and The Huntsman
This retelling of the Snow White fairytale is definitely not the cutesy Disney version meant for children. Snow White and The Huntsman is truer to the Brothers Grim story making it a dark and brutal film. Don’t worry, a poisoned apple, dwarfs and adorable forest creatures still makes it into this version by Rupert Sanders. Seemingly wrongly cast, Kristen Stewart was tapped to play the rosy red cheeked image most hold for Snow White. Since her success as Bella in Twilight, Stewart is apt to take awkward, klutzy roles, so the graceful Snow White seems like it would be a stretch for her. Although a bit stiff at the start, Kristen is surprisingly convincing as the warrior Snow White is forced to be made into in Snow White and the Huntsman.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor) is perfectly cast as the brute, rough, drunken huntsman. Charlize Theron, deliciously good at being bad, is over-the-top glorious as the evil Queen Ravenna. Theron’s eyes bulge, and she dramatically screeches, screams, and rants. Snow White and the Huntsman is interesting in that with all the action-packed, startling fight sequences it feels more like an epic movie rather a fairytale film. A sequel is in the works, but Kristen Stewart is not set to be back as Snow White. The continuation of Snow White and The Huntsman will focus more on the huntsman reprised by Chris Hemsworth.
6. Step Up Revolution
The fourth installment in the popular dance movie series, is pure fun, ultra cheesy at time, and as always, all about the dancing. Step Up Revolution has the usual Step Up formula: dancer girl meets dancer boy, they fall in love, break up because one of them is “betrayed” somehow, then they reunite. And of course, a dance contest of some sort is a major piece of the plot. In Revolution, that girl and boy are both acting newcomers. Kathryn McCormick plays the ballerina Emily, and Ryan Guzman plays Sean, the leader of a dance crew called The MOB who perform crazy flash mobs. The betrayal is not that important because of course, they reunite. The contest this time around is a fairly typical YouTube competition for the most views. But the flash mobs dance sequences are simply incredible!
One thing about every Step Up movie, the actors may not be the best, mainly because they’re dancers first, but the Step Up performers are the very best in the world of dance. Stand out Step Up characters who were in prior Step Up movies that make cameos in Step Up Revolution are the nerdy, but cool, Robert “Moose” Alexander III (Adam Sevani Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D ), hip-hop loving Asian chick Kido (Mari Koda The Streets, 3D), and the robotic Vladd (“Madd Chadd” Smith 3D). A 5th sequel in the Step Up series isn’t in the talks yet, but you know it’s coming.
5. Magic Mike
Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, and Matt Bomer- half-naked, gyrating, stripping!!!!!! Is there really anymore to say?!?!
Magic Mike and company was without a doubt a refreshing sexy treat for most women (and some male) moviegoers. A sequel, supposedly not based in a strip club, but more of a comedy road trip adventure with the strippers reunited, is possibly in the works. And maybe this time Tatum will be taking on the director role as well as starring in the flick. (He’d better!)
4. The Amazing Spider-Man
Many people felt ex-Spider-Man Tobey Maguire didn’t really have the oomph for the role, but the new Spidey, Andrew Garfield (The Social Network), definitely has it. He has the overall look for Spider-Man in costume, but more so, as Peter Parker outside of it. Garfield brings out a more accurate Parker seen in the comics; the jokester who really uses his radioactive spider powers. Garfield’s such a great, subtle actor that he brings so many little interesting things to the characters of Spider-Man/Peter Parker.
In this version Parker’s well-known love interest Mary Jane, is replaced by Gwen Stacey played sweetly by Emma Stone. Sally Field and Martin Sheen play Parker’s Aunt May and Uncle Ben respectively, and the villain is the reptilian monster Lizard (aka Dr. Curt Connors) played by Rhys Ifans. Another missing main character is newspaper mogul J. Jonah Jameson, but that’s okay because Garfield’s Peter Parker hasn’t started working at Jameson’s The Daily Bugle yet. One of the best things about The Amazing Spider-Man is the amazing first person p.o.v. of Spider-Man’s acrobatics as he webs his way above, below, and between New York high-rises. The Amazing Spider-Man is absolutely being turned into a trilogy and the sequel in the Spider-Man reboot is scheduled to be released in summer 2014.
The long-awaited chilling, and often visually beautiful, sci-fi prequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien is as impressive as the 33-year-old original. Although Alien is considered a sci-fi classic, Prometheus doesn’t disappoint one drop either. The opening scene of Prometheus showing the landscape of the alien world of the Engineers (the giant, blue tinged God-like humanoids) will have your eyes and mouth agape (and they may stayed that way throughout the entire film).
Of course, the movie is scary. The alien life forms are larger-than-life, nasty creatures who want human flesh and they get it. Prometheus takes place in 2089 with the spaceship Prometheus’s crew searching for answers and the home of the Engineers whom are thought to have sent them an invitation. Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw is no Signorney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley from Alien, but she holds her own, fights hard, and is just as badass as Weaver. She gives herself a Cesarean section. Enough said. And Michael Fassbender is wonderfully believable as David, the devious android. Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce (who is unrecognizable as old man Weyland) complete the rest of the great cast. A sequel is confirmed and tentatively titled “Paradise” as it will take the audience and the remaining crew members to the Engineers’ home planet.
2. The Avengers
The fact that The Avengers was even made makes it an epic movie in itself. It is the first superhero movie to combine the popular superheroes Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk, along with Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye and villain Loki. It’s no surprise The Avengers holds the place as the third highest grossing movie of all time to date. It’s hard to think of a more perfectly cast summer blockbuster. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth just are Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. And Mark Ruffalo makes the best Bruce Banner yet.
The Avengers kick major ass and the action never lets up when the action heroes are assembled. The amusing riffs between the characters as their personalities/powers clash and each Avenger displaying his strength are definitely highlights. “Angry Hulk” especially steals the movie with his rippling, gargantuan green muscles getting mad at everyone and smashing everything. A sequel is supposedly set all the way in 2015 with Joss Whedon returning to direct. And although it probably won’t be as exciting as seeing The Avengers crew assemble on screen for the first time this year, The Avengers 2 may just outtop the original with new villain Thanos and possibly new Avengers team members .
1. The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan ended his Dark Knight trilogy with a bang. Batman (played by the always splendid Christian Bale) goes from being retired to resurfacing beaten and broken (the backbreaking scene needs to go down in superhero movie history for its pure epicness!) only to rise up again.
The terrorist Bane (the terrific Tom Hardy) is the main villain joined by the sometimes good/sometimes bad master jewel thief, The Cat. Though never mentioned in the movie, The Cat aka Selina Kyle (portrayed surprisingly sultrily and strong by Anne Hathaway) is obviously a reference to the infamous Catwoman. Nolan also brilliantly sneeks in a surprise sidekick and a 2nd femme fatale foe of Batman as well. The ending leaves Batman fans thinking ‘Holy Moly Batman!’ and either cheering, feeling blue, or left confused, but nonetheless still praying to see Nolan and Bale bring Batman back one last time. Unfortunately, Nolan proclaims he’s finished with The Dark Knight. Too bad and really sad because it’s now really hard to see how any other director and actor combo could ever top the Nolan/Bale Batman team.
Next: Fall Movie Preview series begins Monday, September 24
Cover photo coutersy of oneheadlightink.com
All movie posters courtesy of impawards.com