We Live Entertainment’s Favorite Summer Blockbusters
Summer is a fantastic time at the movies and cinemas worldwide. We have gotten some of the best and most memorable films out of the Summer Blockbuster season. Here at We Live Entertainment, we love talking about movies, but not just the current ones. We decided to take a look back and talk about our favorite Summer Blockbuster movies and experience. We hope you enjoy the article and don’t forget to comment with your favorite Summer Blockbuster moments!
Corinne Donnelly, Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
I moved to Hollywood at the end of 2012, so Star Trek: Into Darkness was officially my first summer blockbuster in tinsel town. I watched it the night it came out with my new boyfriend (now fiancé—thanks, Star Trek?), and when the lights came back up at the end of the movie, I was high on both life and nostalgia. I was born and raised a Trekkie, although I am partial to The Next Generation and Voyager, which is likely why I wasn’t particularly perturbed by the blatant parallels to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Spock has always been my favorite crew member from the original series. Thus the emphasis on the growth of his character also pleased me immensely. It helped that I loved Quinto’s more emotional portrayal of Spock in Star Trek (2009), so it was exciting to see him develop the role further. Cumberbatch also played a spectacular Khan, different and more brooding than his predecessor (Ricardo Montalbán), but just as fascinating. Star Trek will always be my first love, so I will definitely recall this film experience for many years to come.
Ashley Menzel: Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Sci-fi films have always been a favorite of mine, whether it is the imagination behind the story or the idea of escaping to another place, time, or world, I was fascinated. When Live Die Repeat was in theaters, Scott and I rushed to see it. Disappointed that there were only a few other people in the theater, we braced for the worst but were pleasantly surprised. I LOVE this movie. I can’t even tell you how entranced I was watching Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt on screen for almost two hours. It reinvigorated my excitement for sci-fi films in a world that was so overrun by superhero films every single year.
Gabriel Alcantara: Independence Day (1996)
Yup, my pick is good ol’ ID4 from 1996. I don’t care what anybody says; this flick is a classic because it gave me that definitive blockbuster experience that I’ll never forget. It started with the marketing. I still vividly remember seeing posters in December of 1995 that simply had an alien ship hovering over Planet Earth with the logo “ID4”. My father and I had a very enthusiastic response after seeing the first teaser trailer with the now-iconic shot of an alien ship destroying the White House. A few months before its release, a rep from 20th Century Fox visited my high school for Career Day to show off the official trailer and to hand out official posters. Yes, I got one. I remember watching all of the behind the scenes specials and interviews that only escalated my anticipation. Then finally, the day came when my family and I went to the best theater near us to witness this massively hyped film.
It was well worth the wait. I still remember the audience cheering, gasping, laughing, crying; it was unlike anything many of us had ever seen. The groundbreaking special effects, the colorful characters, the spectacular dogfight sequences, the score, the emotion, the quotable lines; it felt like the complete theater going package. I didn’t want it to end. The movie was a phenomenon of its time. It made Will Smith a genuine movie superstar. It broke box office records. People wouldn’t stop talking about it. I wouldn’t stop talking about it. The VHS sales were huge too. ID4 felt like the biggest movie ever made. Every time I watched the film, I was reminded of the grand experience I had in the theater with that enthusiastic audience. Now although there came a time when I eventually got tired of watching it every 4th of July, that sense of blockbuster goodness the film held never went away. Many blockbusters obviously came before ID4 and afterward, but it was the first time I truly understood the idea and the glorious nature of the Summer Movie Blockbuster. Kick the tires and light the fires!
Matt Marshall: Star Wars (1977)
While Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ holds a special place in my heart as the first film I saw on the big screen, ‘Star Wars’ is and always will be my first love. Sadly I wasn’t born before May 25, 1977. But from my first VHS viewing back in 1990, I was hooked. ‘Star Wars’ changed my life, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without that galaxy, far, far away. I never had the chance to experience it on the big screen until January 1997 – the Special Editions. Oh, the Special Editions (but that’s a whole can of worms to itself).
It’s the epitome of the summer blockbuster before the idea of a summer blockbuster came about. Well, that and ‘Jaws’ from 1975. If I was growing up in the 70s, I guarantee I would’ve gone to see ‘Star Wars’ at least 10-15 times that summer. Oh wait, I did that several summers before with two other franchise. Scratch that. ‘Star Wars’ at least 20 times the summer of 1977. No other film in my life has had this amount of replay value – in theaters, cable, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray. And now that ‘Star Wars’ approaches 40 years, my passion has never been stronger.
Mark Krawczyk: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
A sequel that came out seven years after the first film and made with 15 times the budget, it was THE EVENT film of the summer. I was a huge fan of the first one, so I was stoked. I made sure to avoid all spoilers for the film including turning off the Guns n Roses music video for the feature song “You Could Be Mine.” I went to the first showing, opening night and sat front row center with my good friend. The theater was PACKED. You did not get as many tentpole films like this, and everyone wanted to be the first to see it. Three rows behind us were a group of seven college guys who were doing Arnold impersonations before the movie. When the film started the crowd erupted, that had not happened at many premieres I had been to. The crowd was fairly calm after that…until Arnold, while riding his motorcycle, shot his shotgun to blow off a lock and spun the shotgun around to reload. The Crowd roared and the rest of the movie we were whooping and hollering. I thought for sure we were going to get kicked out, but we didn’t, and it was one of the most memorable times at the theater I have had to this day.
Spencer Moleda: Spider-Man (2002)
No art forms mark the timeline of our lives as boldly as music and cinema, and no blockbuster underlines my childhood as sharply as Sam Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN. It’s high-wire balance of comic book idealism, and grounded visuals created a paradigm shift in Hollywood filmmaking and cemented the cinematic aesthetic of the early 2000’s. I was the farthest thing from a comic obsessive at that time. My only prior exposure to Spider-Man was an ancient Dorling Kindiserley Reader guide called The Story of Spider-Man that my father would read to me at night. His wonderstruck narration always made the story spring colorfully to life, even if I was essentially being fed the Cliffnotes. And then we saw the film together, and everything changed. For the first time in my life, entertainment had a kind of prophetic quality — I had watched a story that connected my father, and I go from illustration and daydream to flesh and blood on the big screen. If that doesn’t convince a 7-year old that anything is possible, what will?
Nick Casaletto: The Avengers (2012)
This is the definition of what a summer blockbuster is. The anticipation was at an all-time high, the buildup was over four years in the making, and childhood dreams came to life. The Avengers is that rare summer blockbuster that has characters you care for, a witty script and of course, amazing action set pieces. Whenever I see a superhero movie nowadays, I can’t help but compare it to that first Avengers movie, and how it still holds up as the ultimate summer escapism.
Daniel Rester: The Dark Knight (2008)
For my favorite summer blockbuster film, I could go with a number of films but “The Dark Knight” stands out. I remember seeing it three times in theaters and being blown away each time. The summer of 2008 was defined by that film. It’s so great because it works as both a Batman film and an intelligent crime drama. It’s simply the best comic book film ever made and features an iconic performance by the late Heath Ledger as the Joker.
Tony Estrada: Inception (2010)
Inception is one of the best summer blockbusters I’ve ever seen. This is a movie I love because it is not only a movie you can have fun watching but it also challenges your mind as you are witnessing the storyline progress. The visual effects are just spectacular as it adds so much to the phenomenal storytelling brought by Christopher Nolan. Every single character in this mesmerizing feature is compelling and memorable. Hans Zimmer’s score is astonishing as it beautifully blends with the suspenseful and dramatic scenes. It’s truly breathtaking experiencing a movie like Inception in theaters because it was just so refreshing for a summer blockbuster. Sometimes, you think you have seen it all but then an original and fresh idea like Inception comes along, and it’s unlike anything you’ve witnessed. It is easily one of the greatest theater experiences in my entire life because of us as the audience getting to experience a ton of mind-blowing imagery as we are following these characters going inside the dreams. Hans Zimmer’s loud score and even the sound editing as you can expect in a Christopher Nolan really helps being part of that grand theater experience even more. Inception expands on its imagination, and it is because of that gigantic and well-crafted imagination that it created for one of the best experiences ever.
Zachary Marsh: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Raiders of the Lost Ark is the self-watched example of a “big screen” movie, in my eyes. I always appreciated it growing up, but I always thought The Last Crusade was the best Indy film. That is until Raiders was released in IMAX back in 2012. Man, did that experience change my thoughts on the film. Seeing iconic scenes like the opening heist, the airplane scene, and the big climax in a dark theater projected on a larger-than-life screen made me understand why so many people love the film in the first place. I laughed a lot, I was on the edge of my seat, and I have overall blown away with Raiders despite not only having seen it before, but owning it on DVD. If there are people who don’t think Raiders is not only the best Indiana Jones film but one of the all-time greatest blockbusters, find a theater that’s going to be playing it and take them to see it. The big screen really does change how one enjoys a movie, and this is one of the few times I can truly say that about something.
Scott Menzel: Jurassic Park (1993)
As a child with an obsession for Dinosaurs, Jurassic Park was easily one of the most memorable summer blockbuster experiences. I remember sitting in the theater with my mom and dad, and they were so worried that I would be scared by the film. Instead, I was so engaged and on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Jurassic Park was one of those rare Blockbusters that was unlike anything we have seen before. Sure, there were Monster Movies, but the Dinosaurs in Jurassic Park looked and felt real. It sparked my imagination and made me feel like I was watching real creatures roam around some unknown island. The cast was terrific with everyone from Jeff Goldblum to Wayne Knight knocking it out of the park.
I will never forget seeing the first appearance of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park. The amount of fear and excitement as my 10 year old self watched him inspect the car and step on it. It was pure movie magic. And what is best of all about Jurassic Park is that still today, almost 25 years later, the film still holds up and is as noteworthy as it was back in 1993.
We hope you enjoyed this article and re-lived some of your favorite movie moments along the way. Don’t forget to comment with your favorite Summer Blockbuster moments!