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Leo Fahey-Newman

Staff Writer

Year after year, moviegoers hear about the next summer blockbuster and how it’s going to change the cinema industry because of its hyperrealistic effects, stunning CGI, explosive action, etc., but the true purpose of summer blockbusters are to entertain the viewers (and make piles of money). With that principle established, here are my personal top five summer blockbusters, which will be available on DVD within the next two months.

WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

5.) Black Mass

2/4

Yes, technically it wasn’t a “summer” movie because it came out in September… but it’s still going on my list. Black Mass is a biography of James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp), a Boston mob boss who ran the infamous Winter Hill gang. The plot loosely follows the story of Bulger, documenting his crimes in Boston from the meeting of Kevin Weeks (Jesse Plemons), one of Bulger’s most loyal followers, to his eventual capture and arrest by the FBI.

This movie felt very weak in terms of genuinely showing Bulger at his worst; at parts, it almost seemed to glorify him. Whitey Bulger committed atrocities throughout South Boston ranging from pedophilia, murder, and torture, yet the film seemed to glaze over his most uncomfortable and explicit crimes, focusing only on the murders (as if those are somehow more “acceptable”). Another loose plot point existed in Whitey Bulger’s son, who was shown for a brief while and never mentioned again after his premature death. Overall, Black Mass was only a decent movie with some factual inaccuracies, thus leaving me unsatisfied.

4.) Avengers: Age of Ultron  

2.5/4

Avengers: Age of Ultron, directed by Joss Whedon, is the second installment of the Avengers Series and the tenth movie in the Marvel Avengers universe. Age of Ultron is similar to the first Avengers movie thematically, except instead of combatting aliens, the group of heroes battle Ultron, an artificial intelligence system created by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) designed to protect citizens with superhero-like capabilities. New additions to the cast  include Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), added villains for the Avengers to face off against.

Originally, I wasn’t interested to see this movie because it seemed fairly generic. However, I did enjoy myself throughout; I just felt as though  it didn’t deserve recognition for accomplishing anything new. This movie felt like a stepping stone to a third Avengers title, ultimately adding nothing to the superhero genre. Avengers: Age of Ultron was nothing special, but certainly more entertaining than some of the other mindless summer movies released in 2015.

3.) Straight Outta Compton  

3/4

Straight Outta Compton follows the emergence of a famous gangsta rap group from the 90s’ — The N.W.A. The rap group’s main members, Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Dr.Dre (Corey Hawkins), and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), occupy most of the screen time as the plot navigates their poor beginnings in tough neighborhoods, the L.A. riots, and the corruption of the Los Angeles Police Department. Main themes include gangs, violence, and drugs as the rappers assimilate to the culture of Los Angeles’ South Side. This movie was an excellent story about the musicians’ upbringing and eventual life of luxury — it showed every detail unapologetically and  kept a rapid pace throughout its duration. I would absolutely recommend this movie to others; it is a must for anyone who appreciates the history and development behind music.

2.) Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

 3.5/4

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is the fifth installment in the Mission Impossible franchise and my fourth favorite in the series; the story follows Ethan Hunt, an agent for the IMF (essentially a fictional CIA), and his search for the secret organization called the Syndicate, a group of highly intelligent and highly skilled criminals. On his search, he is accompanied by his colleagues from the last installment, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames); these supporting characters help add a rich environment to the movie. For anyone who enjoys  action, spy, or combat movies, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation promises to deliver.

1.) Mad Max: Fury Road

4/4

Mad Max: Fury Road is the 4th installment in the series directed by George Miller. For those unfamiliar, Fury Road is a dystopian movie taking place in Australia following a nuclear apocalypse. Here, water is a highly valuable and scarce resource, meaning those who control it are those in power. Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a slave of antagonist Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), are forced to come together after Max escapes from Immortan Joe and claims the truck Furiosa is driving. Together, they venture to save all of Immortan Joe’s other slaves. The story is great for character development because it never has any explicit monologue explaining the characters, opting instead to let the audience get to know them based on their actions, ambitions, and motives. This movie is absolutely fantastic and beautiful to watch cinematically; I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a perfect combination of pure action and stunning visuals.

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