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The Mary Sue’s 2013 Summer Movie Wrap-Up

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This summer was a weird one. It felt, in a way, like were were still coming down from the high of The Avengers, the movie that ruled our hearts, minds, and wallets just a single summer ago. On hand to catch us as we fell were some good movies, some bad movies, some movies that we weren’t angry at, just disappointed, and one shining example of Oh please God, no, why did this movie happen?!

We’re taking a fond (or, in some cases, not-so-fond) look back at the summer of 2013′s giant monsters, giant robots, giant stuffed rabbits, and the giant pile of wrongness that was a whole lot o’ whitewashing. Whew! With the summer over, let’s get ready for the end-of-year releases. More Hunger Games, Thor, and The Hobbit are right around the corner.

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  • allreb

    Re: World’s End, I felt like they didn’t reeeeally know how to end it so the ending just kind of… was what it was. But it was extremely entertaining.

    Re: IM3, for me, the after the credits bit was worth the price of admission.

  • Adam Cross

    IM3 is the most disappointing film I’ve seen in a while, it had a few fun moments and Pepper’s short lived time as Iron Woman saving Tony’s butt was the best part but overall i was genuinely horrified at how bad it was, makes IM2 look like a masterpiece.

  • James Gardiner

    “producing movies with a consistent tone” This.
    When your leads having their big kiss at the Ground Zero analogy isn’t the worst part of your movie there’s a problem.

  • Thomas Hayes

    I like IM3. I think I share the post-Avengers comedown thoughts about it though, I wanted it to be *that* good and it wasn’t, but I liked everything in it. I thought the kid was the best acted and written kid role I’ve ever seen in an adult film! STID I kind of enjoyed but had to split my brain in half to do so, one half enjoying the rollercoaster ride and the other half cringing at the shit dialogue, convoluted plot and half-assed ripoff of Khan. Enjoyable but stupid. Man of Steel…. I kinda liked it, but i had no real enthusiasm to see it again and it gets worse in my head the more I think about it. Why did they follow up one boring, dreary Superman film with yet another boring, dreary Superman film? Pacific Rim, flawed but I loved it, only film I went to see twice. Rinko Kikuchi was great, Idris Elba was great, and Mana Ashida was awesome!

  • Thomas Hayes

    I honestly had no expectation that they were even attracted to each other by that point. Where the hell did that come from? I was quite content with Lois and Clark NOT being all over each other at first sight this time round, that would have been a nice change and that’s how it looked like it was going.

  • Janelle S

    Fast 6 was easily the second best two hours I spent in a movie theater this summer. The caveat here is that I have a small child at home and don’t get out much, so the number of movies I saw in the theater can be counted on one hand. Still, for a summer action movie, it hit all the buttons I wanted it to hit.

    (The best two hours were Before Midnight because… Before Midnight.)

  • John W

    If you like Paddy Considine watch Dead Man’s Shoes. He plays against type. Warning it is very violent.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I haven’t seen MoS yet, but is it as bad as the whole DKR thing? “Hey, here’s Bruce talking to a lady about science and things aaaaannnndd…they’re boning. Because, well, she was present and had lady parts, I guess. Wow. Look at that chemistry spark.”

  • Natalie Willoughby

    Wow. You guys were brutal with Elysium. While it certainly wasn’t on par with the mindfuck that was District 9, it was enjoyable and exciting. How do you mean it didn’t have a plot, and you didn’t know what the character’s motivations were? Did you SEE the world they live in? That’s motivation enough to get to Elysium, not to mention all the dying people and crippled children to save. Who cares that they didn’t explain what their intentions were once they actually reached Elysium? I think it’s quite clear that the people who remain in the slums of LA are so desperate for any sort of relief that they didn’t think ahead – it’s more relief of disease and pain for the short term, rather than changing things long-term.

    To me, this quite literally shows what people in poverty are thinking of on a daily basis. They think of how to feed their children, how they will pay for health care and food, how they have to beg and steal and work several shitty jobs just to keep a roof over their heads. If there is no change in America in the next 100 years, I can see the trajectory of our nation heading to something that resembles the situation in Elysium – the 1% vs. the rest of us, doomed to live out our lives in debilitating poverty. This portrayal of our humanity’s future is the root of science fiction – a reflection of ourselves.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    Interesting to see the variety of perspectives on this. I thought it was really well-done. I think it is also a perfect addition to the context of the wave of Marvel movies that are all interconnected.

  • Eva Catherine Harding

    I’m reading the mortal instruments currently and I must say it’s in my top 3 YA book series. The film however was awful. I mean awful. I feel extremely bad for the fandom. The actual cinematography and visuals were actually stunning but the script was awful. You wouldn’t even know that the director had even read the book if you went by the plot line. Such a shame for a film that had such great casting and a good book.

  • Eva Catherine Harding

    Tyrannosaur is a great too. Again very violent though

  • Anonymous

    I really liked Pacific Rim and Iron Man 3. A lot. So it was interesting to see the two best big name blockbusters were the two that genuinely embraced the whole ‘Oh yeah! movies are supposed to be FUN’ concept.

    It’s just nice to see considering the way WB have totally locked themselves into this Nolanized tone, for better or worse. (Spoilers) It’s for the worse.

    The World’s End was cinematic love at first viewing for me. That might be the film that gets it’s spot in the top 10 of the year.

    Also greatly enjoyed The Conjuring and You’re Next. Both very solid, well executed horror movies. They may not have been completely original, groundbreaking films but still really entertaining examples of their sub-genres.

  • Thomas Hayes

    I can’t recall TDKR that well, but I think you’re talking about Cotillard’s character? That was a bit out of nowhere, but she was also a minor character. The difference with Amy Adams’ Lois is that her role is major in MoS and generally she’s pretty good, I really liked her in it- BUT there is not a lot of chemistry, romantically speaking, between her and Cavill in this film in the screen time they share. It sort of feels like “Oh, yeah, this is a Superman film, he’s got to get with Lois Lane”, almost as if it wasn’t originally in the script.

    Do go and see the film. If anything the amount of discussion it’s stimulated proves that it’s something you have to make up your own mind about.

  • Aeryl


    I’m glad that with Phase 2, the post credits scenes aren’t about setting up the next movie.

  • jdhovland

    So, spoilers of course, but I’ve not read the series. Is the fact that crushing boy gets bit and healed, but somehow isn’t affected by sunlight an important plot in the later stories? Because that left me dumbfounded.

  • John W

    I gotta see that.

  • Anonymous

    I really hated IM3. Loved the first one, was disappointed in two, but IM3 was just horrible in my opinion. I actually, really enjoyed The Wolverine.

  • Captain ZADL

    I agree. The movie completely ignored many of Tony’s character traits (eg alcoholism) and the suits were suddenly tinfoil. When, in the first film we see the Mark III suit take a tank shell, being hit by a plane, and all sorts of other punishment in stride, and in the second film we see it being shot dozens of times, and in Avengers he goes toe to toe with Thor, but in IM3 the suits fall apart when anyone sneezes at them – it makes it look like the writer didn’t even see any other movie with Iron Man in it.

    I felt it was dreadful, meandering, and boring. Oh, and it borrowed the Batman Begins plot for the Mandarin. L. A. M. E.

  • Myomorph

    Ms. Jill’s HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA at Lone Ranger?

    Best. Review. Ever.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, when I think about it, they just seemed like they’d make more sense as good friends. She’s his confidante and go-to news outlet, which I think they’ve done before. That would have been much more interesting.

  • frodobatmanvader

    Thank you for name-dropping Before Midnight. I still haven’t seen it, but the first two were lovely.

  • ACF

    I actually saw The Lone Ranger and enjoyed it. A few caveats; I didn’t know anything about the movie before hand, beyond a few trailers. If I’d realized they had Johnny Depp as Tonto, I likely wouldn’t have, just on general principle. That said, I thought there was some good humor, and the plot, if not amazing, was compelling enough.

  • Anonymous

    Also why is nobody talking about how IM3 is the 5th highest grossing movie in history?

    Because that’s not adjusted for inflation (which is why multiple box-office records seem to get broken every year), making the statistic meaningless. When you adjust, The Avengers is the 27th-highest grossing movie in history (domestic box office), or somewhere around 8th-highest (worldwide), and Iron Man 3 is nowhere near the top.

    (Based on Box Office Mojo and this blog:

  • Lapin

    Pacific Rim and The World’s End were by far my favorite summer movies. They both hit all the right notes for my ideal “fun” movie. And they both had some emotional poignancy buried in the fun, which is a plus.

    Also, Pacific Rim may have been lacking in female characters, but it gets serious points in my book for focusing more on POCs and characters with disabilities than any sci-fi movie I’ve seen in a long time.

  • Janelle S

    Yeah, it’s a thing. I thought the books were on par with Twilight, but yes, that event does go somewhere in the books.

  • Eva Catherine Harding

    yeah thats actually from the second book i think, although they changed it, surprise

  • Laura Truxillo

    She was a minor character in screen time, but she was supposed to be the one responsible for everything–she was the child that Bane saved, al Ghul’s daughter, the one orchestrating Gotham’s demise and getting revenge for her father. So she should’ve been more on screen and had more chemistry, but…*shrug* afterthought.

    I’ll probably maybe watch MoS when it comes out on DVD, just to finally see what all the fuss is about.

  • Craig Forshaw

    Paddy Considine should be in everything. I agree with this on so many levels.

  • Adam Cross

    absolutely Before Midnight <3

  • Anonymous
  • Mina

    Yeah, I think it just came out of an adrenaline rush. Later when he shows up at the Daily Planet, they’re flirty, but they don’t appear to be officially in a relationship. So I chalk it up to adrenaline.

  • Miss Cephalopod

    I don’t know where you spend your time online, but it’s been discussed up and down and the writer has issued a very sincere apology. (Not to sound snide, I really don’t know where you like to hang out on the webz :-) )

  • Anonymous

    I miss “Percy Jackson 2″ on the list. Is it really so average as everyone is saying? I get the impression they put those roles and scenes into the second part they left out in the first one?

    Concerning “Star Trek into darkness”: Just one more entry and we’re through with the Abrams-stable of producers and screenwriters. Hopefully the next film ends with Old Spock returning through a black hole back into our Enterprise unverse and the next one who’s dealing with Star Trek is doing that what Abrams should have done: Telling new stories with new characters further in the future! (Bryan Fulller, maybe?)

    Concerning “Man of Steel”: This was a great “X-Files” movie (just think about it: a red-haired woman finds an Ufo and an alien in the arktis to be shortly after being pursued by security agents in black cars while one man is trying to uncover the TRUTH about his existence… ;-9 ;-9 ;-9), not so fond of the action-crash-boom-second part of the movie but one has to make sacrifices. Superman-movie? Not that I know they did one this summer. I would have known. I would have had big laughs and a romantic love story with that black-haired reporter Lois Lane trying to find out if Clark is in reality Superman! ;-9 ;-9 ;-9

    “Pacific Rim”: Only three words: Guillermo del Toro. I just don’t get what people like about his films. I can see any idea or twist in his films coming along light years before they happen. His films are from my point of view so terribly predictable that his films actually bore me to death and I constantly want to sent him back to screenwriting class. And yes, I’m the one who found “Pan’s labyrinth” not to be a good film!

    “Elysium”: So many bad reviews… quite shattering… Nevertheless, I still want to see the picture so I can judge it by myself. But one thing I know before: Jodie Foster always sucks when she is supposed to play “bad” characters. That’s actually her one big weakness. Oh, and being funny of course! ;-9

    The DVD I will be watching tonight: “House on Telegraph Hill” (1951) from Robert Wise.

  • Anonymous

    I really do like Amy Adams but she didn’t play Lois. Believe me: If I don’t want to throw the girl out of the window for being so nasty / arrogant / emotional instabile / unreasonably stubborn and aggressive in the first 2 minutes after her appearance than it’s definitely not Lois Lane. So what character Amy Adams may have played in MoS it was definitely not Lois. Same counts by the way for Perry White.

  • Anonymous

    I’m gonna actually advocate for Lone Ranger here. I think it should at least be a renter. Seriously. I saw it (for free, before it came out) and…I have NO IDEA what the critics are on about. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up on TLR? I don’t know.

    It was a decent, entertaining film. There were fun Wild Wild West-(but more realistic ish) explosions!

    The worries about Johnny Depp as Tonto being racist? Completely unfounded–they really go out of the way to make it clear that Tonto isn’t like other tribe members at all. He’s all mystical and cracked in the head.

    It also is a surprisingly good take on revisionist history and what that does to a culture. Seriously. Nuance is there. It was really an enjoyable popcorn flick.

    …and I kinda can’t believe I’m standing up for it this much, but I really don’t think it deserved the complete derisiveness it got here. Go see it, at least.

  • Saraquill

    It was still a less than sensitive portrayal.

  • BatiHoney

    “… it suffered a lot from meandering plot threads (the kid)” I need to ask Jill to expand on this, because I’m really curious. I thought the kid was wonderful and I just loved all of his scenes with Tony. I also found out today that the kid’s actor has a three-movie deal with Marvel, so we’ll be seeing him again and that makes me so happy. First time I see anyone “complain” about the kid (He has a name I wish I could remember…)

  • BatiHoney

    “… it suffered a lot from meandering plot threads (the kid)” I need to ask Jill to expand on this, because I’m really curious. I thought the kid was wonderful and I just loved all of his scenes with Tony. I also found out today that the kid’s actor has a three-movie deal with Marvel, so we’ll be seeing him again and that makes me so happy. First time I see anyone “complain” about the kid (He has a name I wish I could remember…)

  • Thomas Hayes

    I agree, I thought he was brilliant.

  • Amy Henson

    my Aunty Chloe got an awesome Lexus LS 600h L Sedan only from working parttime off a macbook air. about his


  • Norman Osborn

    Yeah, I absolutely loved Harley (the kid). The actor who played him was a rare find for a child actor – very natural and unaffected and he and Downey had awesome chemistry together. The way Tony was being oh-so Tony with him, insults included, yet also clearly affectionate and caring, was really well done and was so much better than the “And now our hero will team up with a plucky kid!” thing I feared it could be.

  • Eric Xin

    But it’s a well-made action movie with heart, and one that breaks the mold of the macho-man savior of humanity and the subservient love interest he hooks up with besides.

    I hate to break it to you ladies, but if you read the official novelization of the movie (skip to the very end), Mako and whats-his-name white guy kissed. So apparently she did fall for the guy…10 seconds after the movie ended.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Meh. Novelizations don’t count as canon to me.

  • Captain ZADL

    He wore like 20 different suits, and they all fell apart! Even the remote controlled robots (because without Tony in them, that’s all they are) fell apart! All it took was one punch from a hot minion and whatever he was wearing fell off. That means that either all the suits he made were terrible, or each of the hot minions was stronger than Thor (who, need I point out, stood up to the Hulk).

    That whole ending sequence was one big jarring mess of a scene with suits falling apart everywhere, and then blowing up like fireworks in a ham-handed clumsy and overly obvious “symbolic” romantic scene with Pepper that hammered the viewer with such un-subltle metaphoric imagery that it left me rolling my eyes almost as quickly as they had in STID.

  • Captain ZADL

    Yes there was an arc over three movies, but there really wasn’t any acknowledgment that his alcoholism had ever existed in the third movie, and there should have been. The film actually was talking about PTSD, and believe me (I know), an alcoholic going through PTSD doesn’t suddenly stop drinking. They drink more. So what the studio did was crumple up that entire personality trait and pretend it never happened.

    Really though, he was sober in the whole movie because Moms objected an alcoholic hero, and the studio bowed to Moms. Especially when they had to install the Boy Sidekick character, and transform the genre from a Superhero film to a Kiddie-Buddy movie.

    Good on them for talking about PTSD, but bad on them for watering it down to be family friendly.

  • AnnaB

    Meh. I’ll go as far as saying that the source material is pretty shitty. Tonto is offensive on so many levels that it really doesn’t matter whether he was portrayed by Johnny Depp (and BTW, I think JD may be part Native American, though his ancestry in that respect may be so far gone that it’s highly debatable) or any other actor of absolute Native American descent. Tonto was just an awful character, and anything they could have done to mitigate the buffoonery of that character really won’t help it much. In general, I don’t think they could’ve made this movie any better. I don’t think the Lone Ranger is what you’d call a timeless series. They should not have made it at all.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    I didn’t think the child actor was bad, in fact, he was much better than I expected. I just thought that entire portion of the plot was wasteful film time that could have been better spent exploring more interesting things. I often find shoehorning “cute kids” into movies annoying – dragging them along unnecessarily or putting them in for comedic relief. Every time they cut back to the two of them chatting I got frustrated. Just not my cup of tea, I suppose.

  • Miss Cephalopod

    The novelization is based on an earlier script. In it, Hermann is also blonde and has no limp. So the romance is as canon as blonde, able-bodied Hermann.

  • odango atama

    I’m in love with Susana’s reviews. <3<3<3

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed Pacific Rim and IM3 for the same reason: big explody fun times (with heart). I’m glad that the review of IM3 pointed out how they handled Mandarin, because I was really concerned about that going in, and actually ended up quite satisfied. Maybe I’m just not the most sophisticated theater-goer in the world, but it took me by surprise.

  • BatiHoney

    Oh I understand! But it depends on how you see it too, I guess? Up until thiat point we had never seen Tony interact with a kid before, and I think it helped show another dimension of Tony’s character, another part of his human side. It is rare to see Tony just walking around, interacting with regular people, much less kids, and I thought it was refreshing to see. Definitely an experience Tony can learn something from. Once I get the movie in DVD and I can watch it again, I could analyze it further. It was nice to see the kid being helpful and useful and not dumbed down, I just personally loved their chemistry and interactions.

    Considering we’ll see the kid again in other movies, I don’t he was there unnecessarily or for comedic relief, and even when I was watching the movie I thought that I definitely wanted to see more of this kid and hopefully Marvel would keep including in other movies. However, you’re right, if it’s an element you usually like, I totally understand =u= I was just curious.

  • Brittany K

    He’s either 1/8 or 1/16 Cherokee if I remember correctly.

  • Scott

    Pasific Rim was a movie with good action scenes, but so full of anime cliches, I could not enjoy. And the really bad thing is, it had alot of the sexist anime cliches. Most revolving around Mako, the NOT strong female protagonist.

    -Mako never _ever_ does anything the general hasnt ok-ed
    -Mako shows she can fight really well. And yet, is guided throughout the Jagger fights by our everyman male hero. “Ok, we’re going to do this Mako” “Mako, we have to do this, ok?” (But hey, she knew about the sword…. later in the battle.)
    -In the “mess up in the drift” scene, the everyman makes the initial mess up that sets systems off track, but he recovers quick. Meanwhile Mako makes things infinitly worse, and almost kills part of the base population.
    -Mako doesnt make character development happen on her own, it is either given to her, or she is guided to it.
    -”Ooooh my, I’ah can’ah see everymansan dressing. Oh my.”
    -Mako is saved from having to risk a heroic sacrifice at the end when everymansan activates, for her, her escape pod.

    I might have had fun if not for these and the other anime storytelling cliches. It was detailed and action packed and had good acting when there was good writing. But frick and fuck scientists fighting at first, and working together at the end. The cutsey jokes. And fuck’n Mako just bored me after the exciting action scenes.

    I just wanted to see more of the russian couple. hell the dog was more entertaining than Mako

  • Raiden

    Iron Man III: I HATED It.

    Star Trek II: Only kinda liked, what they did to Khan was disgraceful.

    Man Of Steel: Despite it’s flaws, IMO still the best film of the Summer.

    Monsters U: Is it any good? I never saw it, heard a lot of good things about it.

    World War Z: Good movie, lousy adaptation.

    Lone Ranger: Didn’t see it, never want to see it.

    Pacific Rim: I will buy the Blu-Ray and see the Sequel.

    Wolverine: I like the first half of it, the second half got kinda cartoony.

    Elysium: Awesome film, if a bit alienating and polarizing. If you haven’t seen it, see it.

  • Miss Cephalopod

    “Candidly, it was meant to be a nod to the de Havilland engine. The pejorative context isn’t a usage I’ve had much cultural experience with. But I certainly wont presume to tell anyone what should or shouldn’t offend them. I can only apologize for my ignorance, offer my assurances that it was not our intent to propagate any hurtful stereotypes, and promise to be more careful in the future.”

    This is whining in your book? He says he was ignorant and doesn’t say “you’re stupid to be offended”, but admits his mistake and says he wants to do better in the future.

    Out of sheer curiosity: what should he have said? I’m white as toast, so my perspective isn’t that of a person of Roma heritage and I can’t speak for them. To me, as white person, I felt the apology was entirely appropriate. But again, I’m an outsider. What should he have said instead to satisfy you?

  • Petrinka

    I thoroughly enjoyed IM3 because going in I knew it was just a movie to entertain me. Something to take me away from the real world for a couple of hours. It did that quite nicely.

  • Captain ZADL

    Totally fair. :)

  • Ryan j

    @Tiffany – Did you?

  • Anonymous

    No, BUT! he went out of his way to get several Native American groups on board with his performance and they were supporters and advocates for the film, so … I think your characterization is completely incorrect.

  • Fionnabhair

    I agree with you: good on them for talking about PTSD. Furthermore, good on them for talking about PTSD and depicting it in a realistic way. As someone with an anxiety disorder, I was really, really impressed with how realistic Tony’s first panic attack was. He didn’t understand what was going on (an experience I can very much relate to when I think back to my own first attack), and he bee-lines to his suit, which allowed him to get diagnostics done, but also because his armour is where he feels safe. Then he takes off in that same armour. If my own anxiety is bad, I also want to get to a place where I feel safe, and preferably left alone.

    I really feel like the people involved with the movie either has personal knowledge of what panic attacks are like, or they consulted someone who does. I was super impressed with that scene.

    Shame the rest of the movie (the treatment of The Mandarin in particular) was a disappointment.

  • Anonymous

    Guessed you are not the type to give respect to your senior, like what Mako give to Pentacost (who raised her as his daughter), & Raleigh (who is considered a senior pilot to her in the Jaeger program. If you don’t get it still, she was just promoted into co-piloting the Jaeger with Raleigh, her SENIOR)

  • Anonymous

    }}} Cast an actor of the correct race for an infamous character for the first time in Star Trek history.


    What, because he has the name “Khan” he MUST be “oriental” (no, not ASIAN. You’re apparently not complaining he’s not Indian, Turkish, or Saudi)?


    Or are you making the equally ludicrous argument, that since Ricardo Montalban is of Hispanic descent, that the NEXT guy to play the role must be?

    Either proposition is ludicrous.

    GET A CLUE: Khan is NO RACE. He’s as MUTT as it is possible to be. His genes were selected to make him the best possible outcome of human genetics, in terms of inherent intellect and physical skills (they clearly ignored the emotional elements of what makes a Great Human). I don’t think those who made him were likely to worry about his SKIN color (in fact, if you WANTED to make an argument, that would be WHY they chose him to be “white” — they were a neo-nazi faction… LOL).

    So your notion that Cumberbatch is the wrong choice is just imbecilic.

    I concur with Jill they wasted his talents for the most part — but he was in no possible way the wrong “racial” choice. I’d even bet that, if they HAD cast him as “oriental”, that there’d be just as much wailing and gnashing of teeth, probably more — about the villain being so obviously racist — and probably from the same mouths currently whining about this. There’s a term for you: “Perpetually Indignant”. We’re tired of the BS, frankly. Get off your stupid little tirades at everything in the world that doesn’t match your silly notions of How It Should Really Be. Grow the hell up, the world does not give a rodent’s patootie about you… it was here first.

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  • Lilly

    what are your best of the summer?

  • Constance

    I’m tired of arguing with people about INTO DARKNESS, so I won’t even try. If you want to hate it because it doesn’t have Shakespearean quotes to let you know when something is significant or symbolic, or because it’s too similar to the originals (when we’re not complaining that it’s too different) go for it.