As we near the end of the road in this summer movie season of 2012, it's time to look back at what has been a rather mediocre slate of movies both big and small. There were the hits, indeed, but I would argue there were more misses this season than most summers given expectations and sheer volume of releases. Some of the better summer films were smaller, some were as large as you would expect. Same goes for the poor entries this year, they were big and small. All in all I get the feeling audiences are ready to shift gears a little and move away from the franchises, reboots, sequels, and the rest of the nonsense littering the hottest months. Let's take a look at five films which met or exceeded expectations, and let's look at those films we need to scoop up off the lawn and discard.
5 Awesome 2012 Summer Movies...
5. Magic Mike
Men should really get past their apprehensive attitude towards Steven Soderbergh's "male stripper movie." Sure, Magic Mike revolves around the tumultuous lives of a group of male dancers, but this is not some sort of Showgirls for female audiences. I would argue the flesh parade is equal parts male and female. But this is the problem, discussing the nudity quota of a film that is, plain and simple, a good movie. Channing Tatum takes another step forward as a legitimate actor here, playing Mike the most talented of the male strippers. He brings in a newcomer, played by Alex Pettyfer, who buckles under the weight of glitz and glamour and succumbs to drug addiction. And then there is Matthew McConaughey, amidst a stunning career renaissance, playing the old and desperate ringleader, Dallas. The look and feel of Magic Mike is dark, foreboding at times, and rife with edgy performances. This is less a parade of flesh than it is a film in the vein of Boogie Nights. That being said, Tatum's dancing is quite impressive, regardless of who you is watching.