By Sean Ray | A&E Editor
Summer has come and gone, which means an end to another blockbuster season for movie theaters everywhere. This year displayed some real money makers like “Jurassic World” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” both bringing in over a billion dollars. But with so many films coming out in so little a space of time, it can be hard to view them all. So, which movies were the best of the lot, the ones that should be picked up on DVD or Blu-ray on release?
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
Released at the start of blockbuster season in May, “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the fourth installment in the post-apocalyptic franchise and the first in more than 30 years.
The plot details the escape efforts of Imperator Furiosa trying to escape the tyrannical Immortan Joe, along with his harem of oppressed wives. Initially only dragged along due to circumstance, the titular Max comes to assist these ladies in their escape along the Fury Road, while Joe and his legion of followers chase in hot pursuit.
“Fury Road” brings back the high octane action of its predecessors while adding a surprisingly feminist plot line. Furiosa is arguably a bigger character than Max is, just as competent and skilled as he is, while Immortan Joe provides a wonderfully evil villain who exploits hundreds for his own benefit.
Well shot, well-acted and full of some of the best action set pieces in years, “Mad Max: Fury Road” is a movie that needs to be witnessed.
Superhero movies are a dime-a-dozen these days, but Marvel’s “Ant-Man” stands out on its own and then some. Combining super heroics with a heist movie, “Ant-Man” follows ex-thief Scott Lang who is recruited by genius inventor and ex-superhero Hank Pym into donning the Ant-Man suit in order to steal a more advanced prototype being made by Pym’s former protégé turned mad scientist Darren Cross. The suit enables its wearer to shrink down in size while increasing ones strength and the ability to command legions of ants.
Being much more down to Earth than the “Avengers” movies, “Ant-Man” is a redemption story as we see Lang try to get his life back together, which really endears audiences to the character. Darren Cross on the other hand, is a spectacular villain. He is built in the same vein as James Bond villains with a dash of extra insanity. Easily becoming one of the best Marvel villains, Cross is menacing and even scary in a few scenes.
The film also features some very cool camera and effect work with its shrinking, as well as a scene reminiscent of “2001: A Space Odyssey”. If you only watch one superhero movie this year, make it “Ant-Man.”
“Bigfoot: The Movie”
Very different from the other entries on this list, “Bigfoot: The Movie” is not a blockbuster at all but rather a small independent movie released in May. So why is it on this list? Simply because “Bigfoot” is the most Western Pennsylvanian movie ever made and is a must see for any natives. Staring Curt Wootton of “Pittsburgh Dad” fame, the movie parodies Pittsburgh stereotypes, with its characters speaking very heavy Pittsburghese, and has such funny moments as Amish mafia members and a bar fight broken out over someone insulting the Steelers.
The movie is absolutely hilarious and is best watched with a group of friends gathered around a bowl of popcorn.
Whether you’re a native Pittsburgher who wants to laugh at all the in-jokes of the film or someone from out of town who needs to adjust to Western Pennsylvania in these first few months of school, “Bigfoot: The Movie” cannot be missed.