Four fantastic summer films

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Movie studios have tried time and again to finally make the Spider-Man franchise work. The most well-known attempts were 2002’s Spider-Man, which brought with it two sequels, and 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which only hailed one sequel. But no matter the quantity of movies revolving around everyone’s favorite web-slinger, one thing’s for sure: every movie has, for the most part, fallen short of fans’ expectations.

So how does Homecoming hold up?

Surprisingly well. It seems Marvel has finally nailed it this time, at least according to the box office. Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland and Zendaya, made over $726 million, making it the eighth highest grossing movie of the year.

That begs the question: what made Homecoming work?

The exclusion of an origin story could have done it. I’m tired of the same boring “Uncle Ben” origin story, and, thankfully, I didn’t have to sit through it once again. The movie begins with Peter Parker already having realized his powers, and the movie is all the better for it.

The movie also took an approach which was quite different from previous installments in the franchise.

Instead of going for a mostly serious super hero movie, Homecoming went for a coming-of-age theme. Obviously inspired by John Hughes’ discography, the movie put Parker’s relationships with fellow students and his high school drama into play. This definitely made the movie and its teenaged characters much more relatable to a wider audience; it made people care more and become more invested, and Spider-Man: Homecoming is all the better for it.

Baby Driver

Let’s get real: I have an attention problem. When I go to see a movie, I usually find it impossible to stay off my phone and pay attention 100% of the time; however, that wasn’t the case during Baby Driver. From the very moment the movie started, I was entranced.

Baby Driver is a crime-action movie directed by Edgar Wright and starring Ansel Elgort. It follows a getaway driver named Baby who is constantly listening to music, with his ever-present earbuds.

The film tells the totally compelling story of someone with a good heart who is involved in dangerous work against his will, and his attempts to live a normal life.

There wasn’t a moment of boredom. The plot and action were completely intertwined with the unique use of music: every gunshot was on a beat, certain lyrics would show up on surrounding walls, and the song topics would correlate to the mood of the film.

The beginning car chase was a clear-cut, adrenaline-inducing frenzy that was sharply choreographed, as was the rest of the movie. Baby Driver is an exciting summer movie you won’t want to miss.

Dunkirk

Director Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk’ brings the dramatic tale of the Dunkirk evacuation to life. Since the movie’s opening on July 21, Dunkirk has grossed a whopping $412.20 million worldwide and topped the charts as this summer’s number one, non-franchise movie. Lead actors Fionn Whitehead (Tommy), Jack Lowden (Collins), Aneurin Barnard (Gibson) and Harry Styles (Alex) tell the story of union soldiers waiting to be rescued after being cornered on the beach in Dunkirk, France.

With its unique combination of music and sound effects, Hans Zimmer’s score pulls the audience from their seat, into the movie, giving the audience the feeling as if they are in the cockpit during the heart-racing scenes of aerial fighting scenes or struggling alongside the trapped soldiers. Dunkirk has a wide spread amount of fears built in to the scenes, making the movie seem not like a war film, but more of an intense survival movie. The film wasn’t only intense for the audience, but also for the actors as Harry Styles told Variety magazine, “Honestly, they made the world around you, so it was so intense.”

The film’s plot remains true to the stressful events of the Battle of Dunkirk. The leaflets seen at the beginning of the film, other than being in color, hold the same message of the leaflets of the German army. Nolan also made sure that the characters in the film held a true role in the battle. We see that Styles’ ‘Alex,’ Whitehead’s ‘Tommy,’ and Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Commander Bolton’ were all based off actual allied soldiers.

The Glass Castle

Eleven years after the release of Author Jeannette Walls’ best-selling memoir the Glass Castle made it to the big screen. Since its opening on Aug. 11, it brought in almost $16 million worldwide.

Brie Larson plays adult Jeannette, Woody Harrelson plays Jeannette’s father ‘Rex,’ and Naomi Watts plays Rosemary, Jeannette’s mother, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats with the dramatic telling of Walls’ dysfunctional family.

So how does the film compare to the memoir? The Glass Castle movie’s plot stays true to the memoir’s plot. The only real differences being the first scene ( the film opens in a different time of Walls’ life than the book), her fiancé wasn’t wealthy New Yorker David, but Eric Goldberg, and most importantly, the film cuts out a large majority of Walls’ life- her siblings. Throughout the memoir, Walls addresses her closeness with her siblings as they grow up in their eccentric lifestyle.

“I cried when I saw Woody Harrelson in character for the first time on the set. It was a very dramatic scene. It was Brie Larson—that would be me—coming down the stairs, and he asked her to stay. I love Woody Harrelson. He is a fine actor. I thought he’d do fine in the role, but when I saw him in character, I gasped. I gasped kind of loudly. Luckily, I was far enough away that he didn’t hear me. I was shaking, because he had the body language,” Walls said in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine.