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The Top 10 Summer Blockbusters of the Last Decade

Is Dark Knight better than The Avengers?

by
John Boot

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July 4, 2013 - 12:00 pm
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A lot of forgettable movies have rained down on the multiplexes during Hollywood’s nonstop deluge of blockbusters this summer. But what are the ten most essential summer blockbusters of the last decade? Here’s one fan’s take.

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10. The Avengers (2012) 

Too comic-booky to be a truly great movie, and degenerating into a meaningless pow-biff-bam climax, Joss Whedon’s superhero omnibus nevertheless sparkled with clever dialogue and launched what looks like a new era in movie mashups by managing to fit a squad of mythic larger-than-life figures on a single canvas.

Whedon’s trick was to shrink them a bit, treating them as squabbling fraternity brothers mocking each other’s amazing backstories the way the lads at Delta House would taunt each other for being fat or having an ugly girlfriend. Whedon made these demigods relatable without making them absurd.

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All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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"Dark Knight Rises": Seriously. One of the very worst movies I've ever had to sit through. No kidding. Bad storytelling from start to finish. No redeeming qualities.

Starting with Tim Burton's idiotic rubber suit and Jack Nicholson as a fat, elderly Joker, and winding up with a messy, boring non-adventure where Batman is held in a trap so long that he literally GROWS A BEARD (shades of Python's Olympic Hide-and-Seek!) I have arrived in a place where Batman is utterly ruined for me.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm also baffled at the praise heaped on "Dark Knight Rises". First of all it was boring, which is possibly the one unforgivable sin for a summer movie. The plot made no sense and had holes in it big enough to drive a batmobile through. There was just no sense of fun to it.

The Avengers, on the other hand, is the most fun I've ever had at the movies. Granted, as a lifelong fan of the comics I sit squarely in the target demographic for it. And I can maybe understand how it's not to everyone's taste. But any list that rates DKR as better than the Avengers is fatally flawed from the get-go.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hm. There seems to have been a trend over the last ten years. Not surprising; it's the era in which we live. Juvenile, escapist, loud, and simplistically hopeful.

Heck, in the '50s it probably would have been Westerns.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Heck, in the '50s it probably would have been Westerns."

Of course it would! Need I remind you and people like you that movies are entertainment? That they are SUPPOSED to be fun!

Shoot - that's why I don't even go to the movies anymore - I'm tired of being preached to. Well, that and the price! But if I were to got a movie it certainly wouldn't be because I wanted to see some artsey-fartsey deeper meaning of life junk! NO! I'd want to see something BLOW UP!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry but The Avengers is the best comic book movie ever made. So that throws your list all out of whack. It's just what a comic book movie supposed to be. The Batman movies were good but what makes them are the villians. The Batman is kind of whiny and weak.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I'ma let ya finnish, but The Avengers is one of the greatest comics book movies ever made!"

Sorry. When I read your comment, I had to do that.

To me, all this recent criticism of TDKR seems awful hipster-like to me - let's criticize a good movie because it was popular. Remember Forrest Gump? Today everyone acts like it was a stinker, but the truth is that it was a quality film.

Likewise, TDKR was a quality film. It was not a flash-in-the-pan popcorn-entertainment movie, it was a serious film with serious messages. Even classic novels have plotholes, and not all comic books and films need be comical.

In an age where most of what Hollywood produces is flashy dribble, TDKR was refreshing in telling a serious story with conservative overtones (whether that's what the creators intended or not). The Avengers to me was flashy dribble - granted it was done well, but it takes more than witty dialogue and snappy visual effects to entertain me.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
10. Taras Bulba
09. The Castaways (with Haley Mills)
08. Lawrence of Arabia
07. She (with Ursala Andress)
06. The Magnificent Seven
05. The Alamo
04. The Absent-Minded Professor (with Fred MacMurray)
03. The Conqueror Worm (with Vincent Price)
02. North by Northwest
01. M*A*S*H (with Donald Sutherland) -- especially the football-game scene!

Ah!, the memories ...

Oops! I forgot Jason and the Argonauts!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you can remember Taurus Bulba you have been watching movies a long, long time.

But wasn't Yul Brynner great?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've seen all but "The Avengers" and "Captain America", and believe the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy certainly belongs in this listing, even if only the final episode just barely made it into the decade.

And while action-packed, the Bourne series is both over-the-top and a slam on the intelligence community as little more than a bunch of assassins at the ready. The latter notion is, of course, preposterous. And such operations involve a lot of organization and preparation, not to mention high-level authorization, not the text message kill orders followed minutes later by a hit on the target as portrayed.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's the top grossing films of 1964. At least a dozen are considered classics and only one is for kids if you don't include Hard Day's Night.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moby

Nothing on this list will have that reputation with the possible exception of Shrek 2. Bit of a fall off to have one year beat the pants off an entire decade. How many classics from this year? How about none?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you want this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_in_film
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wouldn't have put Iron Man 2 on there. It was enjoyable, but I found the first one to be much better. As for Avengers, Avengers was good for what it was in terms of the long plan - Avengers is the climax of an extraordinary gamble by the studio who made it. They planned to introduce each of the main characters, sans Widow and Hawkeye in their own movie instead of trying to introduce each main character in the ensemble film itself. If too many of those movies had flopped, The Avengers never would have happened. That two of the characters had films on this list along with the ensemble film itself shows how well that gamble paid off.

The other challenge the ensemble film was operating under was that each of the characters is a almost a marquis in his or her own right. The writers and director had to find ways to give each one a moment in the sun without drawing away too much from the others and from the overall plot.

But I do agree that Star Wars, Jaws and Wrath of Khan should have been on here if we were expanding this list out to a few decades.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
No "Star Wars". No "Jaws". But the limitation is imposed by "last decade". Why on earth settle for inferior product being offered in the "last decade"? I did like Iron Man and a couple of the others, but I don't think any of these movies have the visceral impact both upon individuals and upon society as either Jaws or Star Wars had.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jaws and Star Wars were 1970s movies.

What were the top 10 summer blockbusters of the 1980s?

"Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Superman II," "Batman" (the version starring Jack Nicholson), and "Total Recall" are the only ones I can think of. And again, two of those are based on comic book characters. (Did "Ghostbusters" premiere in the summer?)





41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here are the top movies of 1984:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_in_film

1984 was a good year!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Such depth, such honesty, such...such..., well, such.

I must say I'm surprised to see any of the Bourne movies listed, but, hey, whatta I know. Matt Damon is reason enough not to see a movie. He cannot act, sounds as though he's doing a first read-through of the script and moves like a wooden Woody from Toy Story. What can you say about talent, though, hey? Yet, he keeps showing up in one bluster movie after another.

Comic books, sequels and remakes. That's Hollywood!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hmmm...so we have exactly one movie in the top ten that isn't a cartoon or based on comic books?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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