With Inception blowing up and only one month of summer movies left it seemed prudent to feature a list about the best summer blockbuster films. I considered qualities that I felt truly exemplified what a summer blockbuster film really is. The list I compiled all contain spectacular special effects, banked in a huge amount of revenue, but also have managed to remain just as relevant over the years that have passed (or at least I predict they will). These films supersede the stereotype that a popcorn flick is without merit beyond superficial enjoyment and not only were financial successes, but also excellent films as well. The list I’ve created feels most worthy of that praise, and of course I’ve brought on honorable mentions, though certainly I may have missed something. Either way, here it is: for better or worse!Honorable Mentions goes as: Independence Day (1994), X-men (2000), Back To The Future (1985), Star Trek (2009), In The Line Of Fire (1993), Gladiator (2000), Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Askaban (2004), Total Recall (1990), Batman (1989), Die Hard (1998), and Star Wars (1977)
|10. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Somehow in the process of doing my top 100 characters of all time I missed adding in Roger Rabbit who is without question not just one of my favorite animated character’s but also one of my favorite character’s in film period. Being one of the first animated characters to really intermingle into a live action film and make it work flawlessly was an exceptional feat in itself, but the comic timing, the off beat nature, and zest and enthusiasm to make people laugh and smile made Roger an inspiration, but also too infectious to deny. Most importantly, Roger will make you laugh.
|9. Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2002)
Captain Jack Sparrow and the rest of the Pirates Of The Caribbean cast took the world by storm in 2003. This took most people by surprise considering the basis for the film was an amusement park ride in Disney world. Regardless, pirates are some of our favorite villains to love and hate, and Pirates Of The Caribbean gave us just that. Gore Verbinski paid homage to it’s Disney creation by using the ship, “The Black Pearl” and some of the sequences from the ride itself, but added was a fantastical script, exhilarating special effects, and some highly substantial performances by Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightly, Geoffrey Rush, and the marvelous Johnny Depp. With a great love story, intense battles, insanely entertaining character’s, and plain good fun, Pirates Of The Caribean is a classic film, that will be remembered and last threw the times.
|8. Aliens (1986)
Aliens is one of the few films that I can note with the fullest of confidence that needs no altering or editing, standing the test of time. Even James Cameron refuses to “update” the film with special effects, as he believes they still hold up. I couldn’t possibly agree more. While “Alien” was a groundbreaking movie in it’s own right, “Aliens” managed to tread further down a new path in the world of female heroines and science fiction mingling with action adventure. If this film was released today, people would still feel it’s entertainment and ingenuity.
|7. Ghostbusters (1984)
No one ever said a great ghost story couldn’t be funny. And while Ghostbusters is just as easily gut busting, it also has a little scary too. The actors are amazing in this film that inspired sequels, a cartoon series, video games, and an adoration that is impossible to deny from it’s fans, Ghostbusters is one of a kind.
|6. The Dark Knight (2008)
If you are a Batman junkie, this movie is for you. If you are an action hero or superhero junkie this movie is for you. If you are a chick flick junkie this movie is for you. It doesn’t matter who you are, this movie is for you. Don’t bother to wait for it to hit DVD’s, go to your theatre this second, stand in line for an hour, buy a ticket and prepare to be blown away. Three years seemed a long wait after Batman Begins, but now I can’t seem to muster the patience to wait five months till I can own it on DVD. Best movie this year. Heath Ledger’s performance as the harbinger of death and chaos is alone worth every penny and every second devoted to this film.
|5. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Empire Strikes Back over the years has evolved into my favorite Star Wars film without much question. It’s not only the most compelling of the six films made, but it’s the most fun to watch as well. The Empire Strikes Back has the best light sabor battles, the best one liners, the most compelling character developments, the best of Star Wars comedy and back story, and interweaving of everything that we love about Star Wars. Plus it has Billy Dee Williams. Beat that.
|4. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Terminator 2 attempts to combine so many different elements of film making and story telling and amazingly it succeeds, in fact, it flourishes. It’s an action adventure science fiction drama special effects dynasty with so many complex character developments it wouldn’t seem possible to fit all in one movie. But all of the elements are there for each genre of movie.
|3. Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
Lucas hit it right on the head in this script with a keen ideal for a world that was ours but different nonetheless, the spirituality, the history, and the action combined, not to forget about the brilliant character’s and vision of it’s obviously untouchable spectrum, Lucas must have known he was opening yet another door to a Hollywood franchise that would be forever loved and adored by the general public. Then handing the script to a man with a vision like Steven Spielberg, the man who made Dual, was perfect fit to create the trifecta of perfection that became Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Even today it still has the same feel of mystery and magic as it did when I was a young girl.
|2. Jaws (1975)
Jaws was one of the first movies to ever really thrive on suspense and the imaginative curiosity of the human mind. Small, seemingly unrelated events all building up until it’s clear that a murderous shark is on the loose and it’s found a liking to the taste of man. The time the movie takes to actually build to the climatic scenes is necessary to drive in the mystery and suspense. The film is solely structured around ominous line droppings and events that allude to something dangerous, but seldom comes right out and says so. When people talk about movies not being made like they used to, Jaws is one of the movies they are talking about.
|1. Jurassic Park (1993)
Jurassic Park is exciting, intelligent, thrilling, suspenseful, funny, and visually absolutely stunning. Even now part of me wants to believe that those walking giants are real. The brilliant pacing, combined with suspense driven scenes creates for a thriller like never seen before. It proves a box office hit doesn’t have to be a mindless popcorn flick, it can have depth and great FX, and turn out to be a great movie. Jurassic Park is timeless.