Top 10 [Studio] Movies of Summer 2018
I recently conducted a poll on my Instagram to decide whether I should do an overall Top 15 of all the best summer movies, or separate them by distribution (meaning do a list for all the indies and another list for all the studio films). Over 35 people voted and majority ruled that separation is better, and I kind of agree with that. This summer we were were bombarded by more indie films than studio blockbusters. And the majority of the studio blockbusters this summer... well, how can I put it simply?
But there were 10 (and only 10) summer blockbuster movies that were thoroughly good, if not great. Without further ado, I present to you my Top 10 Summer Studio Movies of 2018.
10) Ant-Man and the Wasp- Hey, are you still hella depressed after the events of “Infinity War”? Do you need a Marvel movie to keep your mind off of the sadness of “Infinity War”?! Well, Kevin Feige’s amazing business moves continue for Marvel Studios and he has the perfect antidote for you. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is here to cleanse your sadness and give you what Marvel knows how to do best: comedy. And that is what “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is: dumb summer adventure fun.
9) Uncle Drew- Honestly, I thought this was going to suck, but while watching “Uncle Drew” I laughed, felt emotion, and was impressed that the majority of the NBA stars can act. KYRIE IRVING AND SHAQ MADE ME EMOTE! And for endlessly impressing me and making me smile throughout, you earn a spot on the list.
8) Deadpool 2 - Hear me out. “Deadpool 2” is a good movie. It’s funny as hell. But unlike the first, it doesn’t have much rematch value. Nevertheless, the merc with the mouth’s second bout is as fun as ever. It goes bigger, bloodier, and holds no bars to anyone the writers aim at.
I’m telling you, when Deadpool dropped this line out of nowhere, my best friend and I died in laughter for a full minute to an extent that we were crying!
That is the magic of Deadpool. Granted, even though 2 hours of him is kind of insufferable and the movie really wears out its welcome, “Deadpool 2” still manages to be a fun summer R-rated blockbuster that maintains faithfulness to its character while going bigger, as any sequel would.
7) Alpha - “Alpha” is a film that has been really mistreated by its distributor. This movie was delayed again and again and then dumped in the no man's land in August. The cinematography is beautiful, the visuals are entrancing, and God the IMAX 3D experience is worth it. The story is a basic coming of age story, but it is the masterful presentation that makes “Alpha” an incredible adventure you don’t want to miss.
6) Incredibles 2 - Whereas “Deadpool 2” is funny, “Incredibles 2” is downright hysterical. If you think that “Incredibles 2” is a deep, emotional story that touches on family issues, such as Mr. Incredible going through another variation of a mid life crisis, then you are dead wrong because “Incredibles 2” is a C O M E D Y. It still has the engaging action sequences, but at the core, this movie is a comedy; it may be the best comedy of 2018 so far. I was dying of laughter here more than I did in “Deadpool 2” in points where I could barely even catch my breath. “Incredibles 2” plays like a competent “Despicable Me” movie where comedy trumps story and emotional depth, but that’s the film’s charm. As I said, it doesn’t feel like a Pixar movie but it's still incredibly entertaining as hell.
5) Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again - Narrative Structure?
Transitions that makes sense?
Well, take those elements that are essential for any feature film and throw ‘em out the window, play ABBA on the nearest jukebox, and have a grand ol’ time. The predecessor failed to imitate the heart and soul that made the Broadway musical it was based on so beloved. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” perfectly captures the charismatic and lively essence of the musical where it embraces its silliness and makes every character loveable. Just like “Paddington 2”, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is nothing but pure joy that is infectious and impossible to not fall in love with. You’re so wrapped up in the positive fun within the first hour that by the time Cher comes in, it just becomes God tier. They don’t develop her character at all, but it’s “Mamma Mia” so who gives a shit.
Honestly, who knew that a sequel that had the absence of Meryl Streep made for a better film than the movie that she was present in? It’s as if all of Streep’s skillful attributes are wrung out like a wet rag and poured into this movie, for it is an exceptional musical, like the woman herself.
4) Teen Titans Go! To the Movies - One month. I had to live with the fact that this movie was good for one month. Nobody was looking forward to this movie. The internet was spewing nothing but hate fire at it and I was part of that fuel. But, while watching “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies”, I couldn’t stop smiling. When it comes to comedy, this movie exceeded the number of belly laughs I received in both “Deadpool 2” & “Incredibles 2”. Out of all of the movies this year to weave in a clever subtext about the film industry and oversaturation of superhero movies, it is surprising to see something such as “Teen Titans Go!” feature messages about the superhero market and the tropes we’ve seen in film. For God's sake, the movie’s central premise is about the Titans going to Hollywood to become famous and have their own movie. IF THAT’S NOT META AS A PREMISE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS!
But what really makes this movie is that stinger. God, I’ve never been so excited while watching a stinger since the end of “Captain America: The First Avenger” where they teased “The Avengers”.
Speaking of which…
3) Avengers: Infinity War - Does this count? This movie came out in April, which is still technically more spring than summer. But you know what? Who cares? Everyone knows summer starts when Marvel Studios drops a movie in the first quarter of the year. I never reviewed “Infinity War” because the film felt more like an event than a movie, and boy did it deliver. It delivered all of the natural buildup the MCU has been teasing for the past 10 years and this movie is as emotional, action-packed, and well written as you would expect. It may be a bit too overstuffed, but by the end you’re impatient for the follow up in 2019. And all of those years waiting for Thanos really did pay off, for he is the studio’s best villain.
2) Mission: Impossible - Fallout - Out of all of the current ongoing film franchises, the “Mission: Impossible” series has to have the best glo-up of them all. “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” is cinematic proof that Tom Cruise does not need another film franchise to compensate for his drive of doing his own stunts, because this is the main one that we love him in. What “Fallout” primarily benefits from is how it isn’t just a “latest installment” where Ethan is doing a new mission, but it is the first actual continuation in a way where his actions in the previous film carry over into this, which raises the stakes for our characters, primarily Ethan. At this point, there is no way to step it up from here. The stunts and action sequences are magnificent, well choreographed, and masterfully filmed. This exceeds all expectations as a popcorn flick and becomes the best of the franchise so far.
1) Crazy Rich Asians - On the surface, “Crazy Rich Asians” may seem like a cheesy remake of “Meet the Parents”, especially if you judge the trailer too harshly. But holy shit, that trailer does not do this movie justice. If you walk into this film expecting a studio romantic movie, you’re in for a surprise. You walk in expecting a standard genre movie, but the film is fueled with cultural significance and they use it as the primary theme for the narrative. “Crazy Rich Asians” takes familiar tropes and revitalizes them and it’s entire genre. It prospers from a great cast, amazing direction, and powerful writing with unfathomable complex and a dimensional theme that doesn’t just refresh romantic comedies, but also revolutionizes the genre.
Thus concludes my list of the best movies studio movies of 2018 (so far). Don't worry I'll get to the indies soon. What were your favorite movies of the summer? Any films you would’ve liked to see on this list? Feel free to write in the comment section below!