With summer coming to a close, it’s time to recount the best and worst movies of 2012. This summer had its fair share of disappointments and successes, so it’s difficult to set only a few apart. And while I haven’t seen every summer movie, I’ve seen enough to know which movies exceeded expectations and those that were downright disappointing.
Biggest Waste of Time: The Amazing Spiderman (winner)
My adoration for Emma Stone and director Marc Webb made me want to really love this film, even though I thought the reboot was a bit premature. Unfortunately, The Amazing Spiderman fell flat. Rather than take the franchise in a new direction, à la Batman Begins, Webb chose the safe route and opted to retell the origin story once more. And while Andrew Garfield is a far more attractive Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire, he doesn’t possess the same acting range. Compared to the other super hero movies released this summer, this was the worst by far.
Biggest Waste of Time: To Rome with Love (dishonorable mention)
Woody Allen’s latest film failed to capture the magic of Rome—something he did flawlessly with 2011’s Midnight in Paris. Not only was To Rome with Love disjointed, it wasn’t all that funny.
Biggest Letdown: The Dark Knight Rises
Before you write me off as a complete idiot lacking any real taste in movies, let me plead my case. I’m not saying that TDKR was a bad movie; it was simply the weakest in the trilogy. After re-watching The Dark Knight for the umpteenth time, my expectations for the follow-up were astronomical, especially when they announced that Anne Hathaway and Joesph Gordon-Levitt would be in the film. However, no amount of star power could dissuade me from feeling like this film took one huge step backwards, resorting to outlandish plot points—an atom bomb, really?!
Best Movie: The Avengers
Another superhero movie, I know. The Avengers was great though! I should preface that I’m a bit biased, as in I’m a major Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. Not only did Joss Whedon write the film’s script, he directed as well. That’s pretty impressive considering he only directed one other film before taking on The Avengers. Unlike most superhero films, The Avengers possessed both brains and bronze. It didn’t sacrifice clever storytelling for the sake of being ‘action-packed’. Plus, it made me giddy knowing that the actors had just as much fun filming the movie as I did watching it.
Summer Sleeper: Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson’s latest film possesses a lot of the same qualities as his previous films: it’s quirky, stylish, and stars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. Set in the 1960’s, this film revolves around two awkward adolescents who become pen pals before pledging to run off together. There are great performances from all the cast, including Edward Norton and Bruce Willis. There’s not a lot going on in this film, but the interaction between the characters and their snappy dialogue makes this one of the funniest films this summer.