Summer Film and TV Recap


Summer 2016 featured an endless number of new films and new television shows, and it’s safe to say that 99.9% of the films released were all consisting of CGI (computer-generated imagery) in some way, shape or form, much to my dismay. There were also a number of remakes and reboots of franchises, i.e. Ghostbusters, The Legend of Tarzan, and Finding Dory among the many. Thankfully in this mess of film reboots, critically acclaimed television shows such as the infamous Stranger Things were introduced to Netflix, while Game of Thrones and Mr. Robot made epic returns to the TV screen.

Summer is a time where we see Hollywood producing a wide variety of films, from horror to romance, but it’s more so a monetary issue than a ‘let’s produce a good film’ issue. Though, comic book film adaptations were at their peak in the year of 2016 as a whole. Suicide Squad had its premiere, raking in $640 million, but earned very mixed reviews from those of The New Yorker to Rotten Tomatoes, the latter getting a petition against it for its contenders “indifferent” ratings towards only comic book films. From my own perspective, Margot Robbies’ Harley Quinn was the highlight of the film, thanks to her dark humour, and I hope to see more from her. But, talking about Jared Leto’s Joker would require a whole other article in its entirety. Leto’s whole aesthetic (thanks to the genius that thought the costume designer was doing great work) and interpretation did not cut it for the amount of anticipation director David Ayer built up. It was like watching Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor from Batman v Superman, no thank you.

Kid-oriented films also dominated the big screen this summer. Steven Spielberg’s The BFG making $153 million, Disney’s Pete’s Dragon making an underwhelming $76 million, and Illumination Entertainment’s  highly anticipated The Secret Life of Pets raked in a grand $724 million. And moving onto the horror film genre, The Purge returned with its third installment The Purge: Election Year (perfect timing with the USA’s upcoming election) earning a total gross of $105 million, while The Conjuring returned with its second installment, The Conjuring 2 that made an impressive $319 million with a budget of $40 million.

The talk of the summer, however, was most definitely the Ghostbusters reboot. As someone who didn’t see the film and have only read horrid things about it, I can concur that it wasn’t as big of a success as intended. The film made $217 million with a budget of $144 million and has received nothing but negative attention, even as far as one of its cast members, the comedian Leslie Jones, being the recent subject of death threats and computer hacking. As a whole, we can gather that summer 2016 was definitely a summer filled with nothing but reboots and sequels, earning no good comments.

Sure, there were original films like The Shallows and Me Before You, but if we divulge into the actuality of what was released, you’ll find that what was put into theatres was just sequels. There was Independence Day: Resurgence, Star Trek Beyond, Jason Bourne, Now You See Me 2, and the list ridiculously goes on. We can argue that some of these reboots were good and gave us nostalgia, but is this what we’re going to be seeing in the cinemas from now on? Is this what Hollywood is coming to? Reboots and sequels? When it comes down to it, as a consumer, are you really going to want to see a remake of Harry Potter in several years? Probably not.

On to the television spectrum, Stranger Things has dominated all opinion columns and has taken the internet by storm with its great reception. The show, which can be viewed on Netflix, features everyone’s favorite leading lady from the 80s and 90s, Winona Ryder, who stars alongside young newcomers Millie Bobby Brown and Gaten Matarazzo. Orange is the New Black returned for its fourth season, Game of Thrones returned for its sixth season, Mr. Robot returned for its second season, and most recently Fear the Walking Dead returned for its second season. Fear the Walking Dead getting a nod from myself, due to British actor Frank Dillane’s portrayal of a strung out boy named Nick Clark. Overall, television shows have gotten nothing but generous recognition, most being signed on for their next season that is already highly anticipated.

As we look back on this past summer and what it has offered us, we come to terms with the fact that, yes, some of us actually paid to see that God-awful Alice Through the Looking Glass film. Or we find that some of us sat through Finding Dory crying and realizing we should appreciate our parents more. These films that were part of our childhood shine light on circumstances we don’t understand in our naivete, but now that we’re older can understand the symbolism behind, and for that are grateful for.