Get ready to complain as Short Ends and Leader unveils our 'enterprising' list of the Best and Worst Films of Summer 2013.
When the history of Summer 2013 is written, the biggest story won't be the return of legitimate terror or the wealth of off the radar gems one can uncover outside the standard Cineplex experience. No, everyone will go overboard discussing the various flops, from The Lone Ranger (which we liked, so sue us) to White House Down (we preferred Olympus Has Fallen for our sampling of faux Die Hard cheese). They will try and decipher why certain known quantities -- Johnny Depp, family films ala Turbo -- failed to inspire while adding their own bits of baseless schadenfreuda. For us, the answer is always a question of connection. A movie can be smart and savvy, or poorly conceived and cobbled together, and if audiences don't agree with your particular approach or aesthetic, the effort will fail, no matter what we critics think or say.
So working through the films from the last four months is a bit of a pickle. There were several excellent movies that didn't make the final Best of cut - The Grandmaster, Elysium, Only God Forgives, Pacific Rim, This is the End - simply because there were titles we liked better. On the other hand, awful entries like The Killing Season, R.I.P.D. , The Purge, and Aftershock don't demand additional discussion. In fact, the only way to look at this list is to accept the fact that everyone is entitled to their learned opinion (thanks, Uncle Harlan) and, in this case, we think ours is pretty erudite. In only one situation will we go, cinematically speaking, where no other compilation has gone before. The result is our Top Five Best and Worst Films of Summer 2013, and there is horror in both the bad (a lot of it, actually) and the good (you'll see why). In fact, it was a season of fear, be it at the subject matter being explored, or in the case of the bad, the end results offered up.