Throwback Thursday: Must-See July Movies

This year’s summer blockbuster season has seen plenty of hits, most notably when Iron Man 3 became the fifth highest-grossing movie of all time back in May. As we move into those sweltering July summer days this Throwback Thursday, let’s look at some upcoming movies and some past July releases that took the box office by storm.

Pacific Rim
July 12

Since the Transformers series ended (or did it?), I’ve been without a movie to satisfy my giant robot-fight cravings. Thankfully, Pacific Rim looks to put an end to that with the stylish and outrageous gusto that Guillermo del Toro always brings to the screen. You may remember del Toro from his previous movies, including Cronos, Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy II—all of which carried that distinctive Guillermo del Toro stamp of fairy tale/horror visual panache.

 

 

I expect nothing less from a story that involves giant aliens who invade the Earth after emerging from a portal deep within the Pacific Ocean. The human race responds to this threat as you would expect: by fighting them with giant robots. Nothing satisfies my inner 12-year-old like the thought of a robot fighting a giant monster. The trailer makes it look like an action tour de force that is sure to keep audiences plenty entertained come one of those steamy July nights.

The Wolverine
July 26

It’s hard to believe, but one of the characters that re-launched the superhero genre back in 2000 is still up there fighting the bad guys on the big screen. The original X-Men movie came out 13 years ago, but audiences have yet to grow tired of Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the disillusioned, invulnerable Logan aka Wolverine. The last time they tried giving this character his own story in X-Men Origins, the result didn’t live up to expectations. This time, director James Mangold, who brought us Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma, is at the helm and is expected to give Wolverine the respect he deserves while also making a great action movie.

 

 

The Wolverine finds Logan alone in Japan where he encounters someone from his past and must confront his own seeming immortality. As Hugh Jackman summarized in an IGN interview, “You get to see who he really is. That he’s vulnerable both physically and emotionally.” I don’t know about you, but seeing my heroes’ weaknesses tends to bring out the best in them and satisfy my suspension of disbelief better than when they’re invincible. Hopefully this movie will be a fitting tribute to a lasting character.

Now if you’d rather stay in than brave the heat to see these new movies, check out a few recent July releases that have captivated so many of us by breaking into the top 100 highest-grossing films of all time.

The Wolverine is only the latest in a long line of successful superhero movies that includes The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Amazing Spider-Man. Something of a superhero in his own right for transitioning from a television sitcom career into blockbuster movie star, Will Smith has starred in his fair share of July successes from Hancock to Men in Black and Independence Day, proving our thirst for alien invasion movies has yet to be quenched. Other similar fare includes the aforementioned Transformers and the further monumental adventures with Armageddon and Inception, each of which filled that popcorn-shaped void in our hearts. If you’re into the idea of a series of movies, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 all proved that even late entries in a series can keep the audience coming back. However, if what you’re really looking for is some counter-programming to all the superheroes and explosions, there are always some reliably entertaining animated movies, including Despicable Me, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Ice Age: Continental Drift, and The Smurfs. Or if you’re looking for something completely on the other end of the spectrum from giant robots, Mamma Mia! showcased plenty of cinematic spectacle.

Looking forward to any summer releases? Tell us in the comments below.

Cover Photo Source: G Milner via Flickr

Kaz is a Junior Executive at SJG. He earned BAs in English Writing and Business Marketing at Illinois Wesleyan University and is currently pursuing an MA in Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin. Outside the office, Kaz consumes gobs of media including but not limited to books, magazines, music, movies and television.