Now that the autumn leaves have officially fallen, it’s the perfect time to reflect on this summer’s movie season. This year’s crop of blockbuster releases (or wanna-be blockbusters – looking at you, The Lone Ranger) feels like a mixed bag of quality. Some films proved themselves worthy of the hype (This Is the End, Star Trek Into Darkness) while others were more lackluster affairs that failed to match the significant pre-release buzz (World War Z, Elysium). Still, few films managed to capture the essence of what made summer films so popular to begin with.
The birth of the crowd-pleasing, popcorn-munching summer film arguably took place in May 1977 with a little film called Star Wars (though a case could be made for Jaws, which predates it by two years). George Lucas’ space opera took audiences by surprise, transporting them to a world they’ve never seen and providing what still stands as one of the most unabashedly fun films of all time. The Avengers unquestionably owned that title last year, and while Man of Steel may perhaps be my personal favorite Hollywood blockbuster of the season, no film released in summer 2013 embodies that sense of escapist entertainment as well as Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Here’s why. Continue reading