The Top 5 Movies of Summer 2013

5. Fast and Furious 6 - This franchise has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. To say that it's anything but that would be an absolute lie. This time around, they step up the action, add a few more characters, and take the whole franchise in an absolutely over the top direction that is nothing but pure eye candy. Yes, I know. Iron Man 3 is missing from this list. But honestly, FF6 moved at a more frenetic pace and kept the action going constantly whereas Iron Man had a very flat midsection. Don't get me wrong. Iron Man 3 was still great. But where Iron Man 3 fell flat, FF6 just kept trucking and never stopped. For that alone, it gets in to my top 5 favorite films of the summer.

4. This Is The End - Comedies have never been my thing. I like watching them with groups of people but I will typically won't search out the newest comedy. This Is The End is one of the rare occasions that a comedy piqued my interest and had me laughing from beginning to end. The whole idea of this movie was genius. Let's make a movie about real comedic actors dealing with the armageddon. Who in there right mind approved this idea? Let's find him and give him a big fat bonus because this is how its done. This Is The End mashed several genres in to one gloriously offensive movie that doesn't fail to entertain.

3.The Way Way Back - A family comedy/drama called The Way Way Back was one of the most delightful and honest pieces of work released to theaters this summer. This story about a teen that doesn't fit in has some of the most earnest performances of the year and stars Sam Rockwell in one of the funniest roles he's ever had. This is the type of movie that most audience members will find one character they can relate to or sympathize with. The Way Way Back is filled with broken people that are moving towards closure or something greater in life. Each actor does their best to offer a realistic portrayal while keeping it just light enough to suit a diverse audience.

2.Fruitvale Station - This low budget true story is the only movie this summer that had a major emotional impact on me. Fruitvale Station is an intimate look at a real life person that tragically died before his time. The movie builds you up with an inside look at Oscar Grant's struggle to leave the gang lifestyle but ultimately lets you down with the ending you know is coming. The realism is perfectly rendered while the characters are fleshed out by some very talented young actors. Next time I see it I'll make sure to have some tissues handy.

1. Star Trek Into Darkness - Star Trek Into Darkness is the one big budget summer film that truly met my expectations. Every other blockbuster this year was sadly disappointing. Elysium was disappointing. Pacific Rim was loaded with cheese. Man of Steel just wasn't Superman. Star Trek Into Darkness was the one time I could suspend my disbelief and enjoy some unabashed sci-fi goodness with J.J. Abrams at the helm, lens flare and all.  Did it steal a lot from the old Star Trek movies? Sure. But, I for one, loved it. I grew up with the original movies and think that the crossover between films keeps a level of fluidity that most reboots lack. I wouldn't call myself a Trekkie or Trekker or whatever you call them these days, but the Abrams version of Star Trek had to go in a different direction of big action and tons of explosions. It's what the youthful audience of today wants. And he gave it to them in a big shiny white box.