I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the contributions of our veterans to our nation and I thank them for their service (and for making sure we have a day off).
Much to the disappointment of Mrs. BA - summer is over, but she can look over this list (as can all of you) of the Top 50 Summer Blockbusters. If I've seen the movie, I've noted that in italics. From Dissolve via kottke.
Blockbusters have become such an integral part of the way we talk about films that it’s hard to believe they haven’t always been with us. But while there have always been big movies—lavish productions designed to draw crowds and command repeat business—the blockbuster as we know it has a definite start date: June 20, 1975. That’s when Jaws first hit screens in the middle of what was once, in the words of The Financial Times, a “low season” when the “only steady summer dollars came, in the U.S., from drive-in theaters.” It’s summer, after all; why go to the movies when you could be outside? Jaws changed that. Star Wars cemented that change. And now, the summer-movie season is dominated by the biggest films Hollywood has to offer. (At least traditionally; some signs suggest that the season is losing its meaning.)
For our list of the 50 Greatest Summer Blockbusters, we decided to be strict in some ways and lax in others. Only films released in the United States between May 1 and August 31 qualified. That eliminated a lot of films that might have landed on a list of best blockbusters, including the Lord Of The Rings films (all winter releases) and The Matrix (released March 31, 1999). (In fact, only The Matrix Reloaded qualifies for consideration. Spoiler: It did not make the list.) Beyond that, however, we left it open, meaning films with laser cannons and exploding Escalades qualified, but so did animated movies, comedies, and any other sort of film released during summer months. We let the calendar define what it meant to be a summer movie, but let our panel of 12 critics define what made a film a blockbuster, narrowing it down from 655 contenders over the course of three rounds of voting. The process yielded a diverse bunch of movies starting with a comedy about a man discovering love late in life, and ending with… Well, we’ll get to that.
50. The 40-Year-Old Virgin(2005)
49. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World(2010)
47. Top Gun(1986) - in fact LBA wandered in the other day when I was watching this and he got to watch a little bit.
46. Minority Report(2002)
45. The Lion King(1994)
44. Bull Durham(1988) - a baseball movie that LBA (who really, really likes the genre) may not watch yet.
43. The Iron Giant(1999)
42. Iron Man(2008)
41. The World’s End(2013)
40. Moulin Rouge!(2001) - I know this surprises me - it being a musical and all.
38. Poltergeist(1982) - "YOU MOVED THE HEADSTONES BUT YOU LEFT THE BODIES - DIDN'T YOU!"
37. Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan(1982) - KHAAAAAANNNNNNNN!
36. Gremlins(1984) - really, it's a Christmas movie.
35. Batman(1989) - the first is the best.
34. The Thing(1982)
33. Risky Business(1983) - right in my high school wheelhouse. "The thing is, Joel, I don't have to pay for it."
32. Airplane!(1980) - Yes, I'm serious, and stop calling me Shirley.
31. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
30. The Truman Show(1998)
29. The Muppet Movie(1979)
27. Midnight Run(1988) - One of Mrs. BA and my favorites. "I got two words for you . . . "
26. Spider-Man 2(2004)
25. The Shining(1980) - Mrs. BA wandered in while I was watching the end of this the other day. Her comment, "this is more than this movie I have ever seen."
24. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut(1999)
23. Toy Story 3(2010)
22. Finding Nemo(2003)
21. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence(2001)
19. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure(1985) - I'm so ashamed.
18. Blade Runner(1982)
17. Apocalypse Now(1979) - Do you smell that, son?
16. Ghostbusters(1984) - I did mention that LBA and SoBA were ghostbusters for Halloween, right?
15. RoboCop(1987) - um. yeah, this one, too.
13. Terminator 2: Judgment Day(1991)
12. Alien (1979)
11. Star Wars(1977) - I want this to be higher on the list.
10. The Dark Knight (2008)
9. Jurassic Park (1993)
8. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
7. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
6. Aliens (1986)
5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
4. Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
3. Die Hard (1988) - Again, now really a Christmas movie.
2. Back To The Future (1985)
1. Jaws (1975) - and every single time it's on, I'll watch it.