Ensemble casts galore!
As summer arrives at the home stretch, blockbuster spectacles move to the cinematic backburner in favor of lower-budget films with eyes on award season. This doesn’t mean that big budgeted, effects-laden films disappear completely as the Holiday window typically sees a fair amount of blockbusters released in conjunction with independent films finally receiving a wide release after bouncing around the festival circuit since Venice or even Cannes. This summer saw a dip in movie quality relative to the last string of strong Hollywood summers with only the nerds inheriting the box office after a slew of Marvel Comics-based super hero movies, the fourth Transformers adventure, and a second Planet of the Apes prequel dominated ticket sales. Comedy and animation came off as recycled sequels when the genres each had a submission on the weekend of June 20 with 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2 and failed to gain further steam with the failures of Tammy and Planes: Fire and Rescue. The Expendables 3 leaked three weeks early online with a near-final cut which one can guarantee killed a good amount of its potential profit. However, narrative and plot is the name of the game now that movie stars and CGI have run their respective course. This fall sees releases from the likes of Christopher Nolan, Peter Jackson, David Fincher, Ridley Scott, Paul Thomas Anderson, Matthew Vaughn, Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Farrelly Brothers, Jean-Marc Vallee, Bennett Miller, and Kevin Smith. Honorable mention: Tusk, Penguins of Madagascar, Horrible Bosses 2, The Imitation Game, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1, Foxcatcher, Wild, The Judge, Annabelle, The Interview, Kill the Messenger, Nightcrawler, St. Vincent, The Equalizer, Laggies, This is Where I Leave You, and The Two Faces of January.