2017 Summer Movie Awards

While every year produces an awards season, there are summer movies that happen to go overlooked during that time period. So, I’ve taken it upon myself over the last few years to give credit to what the summer had to offer.

Best Movie – War for the Planet of the Apes

The recent “Planet for the Apes” franchise that started in 2011 concluded this summer in convincing fashion. While “War for the Planet of the Apes” was less a war movie and more of a prison drama film, it was still a fantastic example that summer can be the place for intelligent, thrilling and action packed pictures.

The movie included an amazing performance by Andy Serkis, who used motion/performance capture technology to play the computer generated ape Caesar. His opponent in the movie was an intense military leader played wonderfully by Woody Harrelson. This movie was entertaining, fascinating and emotionally compelling.

Best Family – Cars 3

2013 had “Monsters University,” 2014 had “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” 2015 had “Inside Out” and 2016 had “Kubo and the Two Strings.” All of those were phenomenal summer animated family pictures, but unfortunately, 2017 didn’t have one on that level. Of the family pictures that were released this year, “Cars 3” won by default.
It’s an alright movie, and far ahead of the other animated features that came out this summer. However, when compared to most of Pixar’s work, it lags behind.

Best Comedy – The Big Sick

One of the best romantic comedies in a while came out this summer in “The Big Sick.” The film was exceptionally relatable and funny, making for a heartfelt and sincere viewing experience. With quite a few laughs and just enough drama here and there, “The Big Sick” easily won me over and was by far the best comedy this summer.

Best Action – Wonder Woman

DC Comics knocked it out of the park with “Wonder Woman” this summer, with solid characters, entertaining action sequences and great writing. Probably the best part of the movie is the dynamic between Diana and Steve, brought to life wonderfully by the performances of Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.

Just as good, though, was the look of the film, capturing the World War I feel, as well as some good reflections about humanity and war from the vantage point of a super hero.

Best Actor – Andy Serkis, War for the Planet of the Apes

This was a close one, as at the end of summer I did manage to catch “Wind River” in which Jeremy Renner gave arguably his best performance. However, Serkis’ work in “War for the Planet of the Apes” continues to be in a class of itself. His performance as Caesar has always been fantastic and this time around was no different.

Caesar is a strong, stoic and brave character and Serkis once again portrayed this in spades. Thanks in part to Serkis’ performance, this can be classified as one of the best trilogies, ever.

Best Actress – Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman

Gadot’s performance was very layered and effective in delivering a multi-dimensional character. The Wonder Woman featured was strong, brave, caring and wise, and all of this was well presented thanks to Gadot’s work.

Best Supporting Actor – Daniel Craig, Logan Lucky

Who would’ve guessed that the guy playing James Bond could be so good as a southern safecracker.

That’s just what audiences got with Daniel Craig playing Joe Bang in “Logan Lucky,” an ensemble heist film taking place in West Virginia. Craig steals every scene he’s in, playing the crass, energetic and short tempered character.

His charisma and energy keep the film going and creates a great contrast to the lead characters in the film.

Best Supporting Actress – Holly Hunter, The Big Sick

While the two lead performers Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan were great in this picture, the supporting cast deserve equal if not more credit. A prime example is Holly Hunter, who played the mother of Kazan’s character.

Her character is protective of her daughter, stressed by the situation presented in the movie yet at the same time is shown to be fun, open minded and caring. Hunter captures this so well in some key scenes where she’s interacting with Nanjiani’s character.

Best Action Scene – Car chases from Baby Driver

This decision was razor thin between an opening car chase scene from “Baby Driver” and a war scene from “Wonder Woman.” In the end, I narrowly went with the car chase sequence from “Baby Driver.”

This was mainly thanks to Director Edgar Wright perfectly syncing music, sounds and visuals together to make a fun, immersive experience. It’s fast paced and there are some close calls that puts an audience on the edge of their street.

Worst Movie – The Mummy

There was some competition for this spot, but “The Mummy” was definitely the worst movie to come out this summer.

Tom Cruise just went through the movie acting shocked to everything around him and his character was unlikable, there was an unlikable side character, a forced romance and recycled action sequences that have been seen in other Mummy movies. Worst of all, though, was the attempt to create a new cinematic universe based around monster movies. “The Mummy” chose to spend way too much time on this aspect.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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