Big Blockbuster Boredom

In the latter days of 2015, I remember looking at the list of movies coming out in 2016 and thinking, “next year is going to be an amazing year for movies.  There is so much good stuff coming out.”  Now, here it is, the middle of August in 2016, and I find myself wondering what happened to all those movies I was excited about?  Did I kid myself into thinking there was a ton of great movies coming out?  I don’t think I was fooling myself, I seem to recall actually believing that this year would be full of nonstop excitement when looking ahead to the crop of blockbusters coming out this year.  And yet, here I am, just over halfway through the year in the aftermath of the summer movie season, feeling somewhat let down and disappointed overall.  It’s not that the movies this year were bad per se, with one or two exceptions, rather, it is that most of the movies this year turned out to be just…..average, pedestrian, formulaic, uninspired, etc.

Let’s take a look back at the once promising list and see if we can figure out just where things went wrong.Deadpool

The first movie that came out, way back in February of this year, was, of course, Deadpool.  I actually really enjoyed this movie a lot, and it gave me great hope for the future of movies to come.  Deadpool was near perfect in the interpretation of the comic source material, and Ryan Reynolds was perfect in his role as the Merc With A Mouth.  Sure, the actual story of the movie might have been a tad basic, but the humor and pure entertainment value of the movie more than made up for this flaw.  Deadpool made me laugh hard, and I left the theater excited for my next dose of superhero movie bliss.  That feeling, however was quickly snuffed out when we got into March.

Rating:  On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give Deadpool a solid 4.5.   The movie was funny, highly entertaining, and actually stuck fairly close to the source material, which is rare.

Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Batman vs Superman, or as we on the We Be Geeks podcast prefer to refer to it as, Batman Hearts Superman: the Flop of Justice, quickly killed any bliss that might have been left over from Deadpool.  What may, perhaps, be the worst part about my experience with the movie is the fact that I initially left the theater thinking that BvS was not that bad.  The final act of the movie fooled me into believing that the movie was not actually as bad as I had heard, and might actually be a decent movie.  Then, as the rosy afterglow wore off, I started to recall things about the movie that brought me crashing back to reality.  I remembered actually being bored through part of the movie as I watched it.  I remembered hating Jessie Eisenberg’s ridiculous portrayal of Lex Luthor (don’t try to give me that “he’s actually the son of Lex BS!).  I flashed back to the dour, borderline depressing representation of Superman in the film.  And then, I remembered the egregious plot holes and paper thin story devices in the movie.  When you add all of that together, along with a laundry list of other issues, it is clear that Batman vs. Superman was NOT a good movie.  No matter what the DC die-hards try to say.

There were a few gems to be found in the movie, such as Ben Affleck’s Batman performance along with Gal Gadot  as Wonder Woman, but none of those were enough to make this movie good in any form of the word.

Rating:  On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice a 2.  The movie was dour, depressing, and I wanted so much more from a film about such iconic characters.

Jungle Book

Unfortunately, I did not get to see Jungle Book when it came out, but I did hear that it was pretty good, and I do still want to see it.

Captain America: Civil War

The summer movie season officially opened with the third installment of Marvel’s Captain America movie franchise, and I have to say that this movie really satisfied my craving for a good superhero film in ways that Batman vs Superman could not.  Don’t get me wrong, the movie was not perfect, and I did have some small issues with it.  For example, Marvel still seems to have a problem with their villains as the main antagonist of the film, Helmut Zemo, shared no traits with his comic counterpart other than his name.  Despite that fact, Zemo’s plan that tore the Avengers apart was quite interesting to watch.  What made this movie truly shine was the titular Civil War in the middle of the film that had most of the Marvel heroes, including characters new to the MCU such as Black Panther and Spider-Man (I can’t tell you how excited I was to see Spidey) fighting a huge battle in an open airfield.  This battle was so fun on so many levels that it should bring a smile to the face of any comic book fan.  After the morose Batman vs Superman, Civil War was a breath of fresh air.

Rating:  On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give Captain America: Civil War a 4.5.  This movie is exciting and energetic, with an interesting plot.  The huge superhero battle in the middle of the film is exactly the type of thing you would find in a comic book, and was executed perfectly.

X-Men: Apocalypse

 Apocalypse is the third film in the “first class” era of X-Men films, and, as a follow up to the stellar Days of Future Past, I felt that Apocalypse fell far short of that film.  Apocalypse took one of the X-Men’s greatest villains and stuck him in a film that was completely formulaic and uninteresting.  The movie was average at best, and even the cast seemed to be bored as the lackluster movie dragged on.  I was really excited to see this X-Men movie, but I left the theater feeling disappointed and bored.

Rating:  I would have to give X-Men: Apocalypse a 3 out of 5.  Not bad, but certainly not particularly good either.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Like Jungle Book, TMNT was  another movie I fully intended to see, yet somehow, I missed when it released.  Though I found the first film merely average, and I have heard mixed things about this sequel, I do still want to see this movie at some point.

Warcraft

Fun fact, I have never played a single Warcraft game in my entire life.  I don’t have anything against the games, I just have no interest in playing them.  With that in mind, I skipped Warcraft because I felt that I would have no interest in this movie because I am not a fan of the games.  From what I have heard, Warcraft would not be a movie for a non-fan such as me.

Independence Day: Resurgence

Simply put, I did not care for the original Independence Day at all.  I did not enjoy the film in any way, and I had, and still have, absolutely no interest in seeing the sequel which is obviously just more of the same just on a larger scale.  Sorry, but I am just not interested.

Ghostbusters

And so, we come to what might be considered the most controversial film of 2016, the reboot of Ghostbusters.  No matter what anyone might try to say, this movie is a straight up reboot, plain and simple.  First of all, let me state for the record that I was not opposed to the all female cast at all.  In fact, I even like two of the stars a lot, and I am lukewarm on one of the other stars.  Having said that, I would have rather seen a more mixed main cast as it felt that the studio and filmmakers were trying to use the “all female” aspect as a gimmick.  I suppose that the gimmick worked given the amount of exposure the film received.

Ultimately, Ghostbusters was nothing more than another average film that again felt uninspired and unoriginal.  The film felt as though it were trying too hard to be funny without actually succeeding.

Rating:  On a scale of 1 to 5, I give Ghostbusters a 2.5.  In the end, this movie was nothing more than another pointless Hollywood reboot that did nothing to improve on the original.

Star Trek Beyond

I have been a fan of Star Trek since I was a kid, having grown up on the Original Series, and I have had mixed feelings about the new versions of the franchise.  I loved the first film, and was irked by the second, though I did not hate it as some fans seem to.  I found myself feeling excitement that the movie was written by Simon Pegg, while simultaneously feeling trepidation that it was being directed by Justin Lin.  Overall, I enjoyed the movie even if I did have a few issues with certain aspects of it.  The characters in the movie were all played perfectly by the entire cast, and it was pure joy to watch them all interact with each other.  I did find a few small issues with the story, and I found the entire motorcycle scene in the middle of the film unnecessary, but none of that was enough to detract my ultimate enjoyment of the film.

Rating:  On a scale of 1 to 5, I give Star Trek Beyond a solid 4.  The movie wasn’t perfect, but the cast definitely is.  I am always happy to see more Star Trek in this world, and this movie definitely makes up for any problems with the second film.

Suicide Squad

I was genuinely looking forward to Suicide Squad, particularly after the disappointment that was Batman Vs. Superman.  I was not crazy about the Jared Leto version of the Joker, but I was hopeful that he would be a small part of the movie.  Additionally, the rest of the movie looked like it would be good enough to make up for any problems I might have with the Leto Joker.  I am sad to say that I was sorely mistaken in that regard.  As it turned out, Suicide Squad was yet another average movie that felt like it was completely by the numbers and formulaic.  There were a few things I enjoyed about the movie, such as Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, but not enough to make this anything more than average at best.  I walked out of Suicide Squad feeling disappointed because I was hoping for so much more from this movie.

Rating:  On a scale of 1 to 5, I give Suicide Squad a 3.  Though not a bad movie, Suicide Squad was nothing more than average.  At this point, DC and Warner Brothers really need to do more than just pump out average, or less than average movies.  I want to see DC succeed and reach the heights that Marvel has, I am just not seeing that happen as of yet.

I think that covers most of the major blockbusters so far this year.  There have certainly been plenty of other movies this year, but these are the “big ones” most of us geeks have been looking forward to.  It is going to be a bit of a slow period until around November, but there are still at least two big movies coming out this year that I am holding out hope for.  With Doctor Strange and Star Wars: Rogue One coming out at the end of the year, there are still movies to look forward to.

That is all for this edition of Now Geek This!  Tune in next time for our next exciting edition.

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