The best, the worst and the most disappointing of summer 2017 movies

The best, the worst and the most disappointing of summer 2017 moviesEntertainment

‘Wonder Woman’ officially passed ‘Deadpool’ at the domestic box office. ‘Wonder Woman’ has gone on to overtake several of its fellow comic book-inspired films, including ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.’ Wochit

The blockbuster hype is over, the superheroes have flown. The summer movie season has run its course, save for a few leftovers (Red Christmas, anyone?). 

All that’s left to do is crown the champions — the good, the bad and the villainous. 

Biggest star: ‘Wonder Woman’

Gal Gadot soared above high expectations as the star of Wonder Woman, the long-overdue female superhero project directed by Patty Jenkins.

Wonder Woman’s powerful message of love resonated in the warrior role that Gadot seemed born to play. The DC Comics superstar came into her own in this rare bird of a summer movie that earned both critical praise and the season’s highest box office —  $400 million and counting.

Movie we’ll be talking about in awards season: ‘Dunkirk’

Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit brutally portrayed police mistreatment during the city’s 1967 riots, a timely subject matter which has earned earnest Oscar discussion.

But summer’s truest contender is Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic Dunkirkstill going strong as the calendar turns toward autumn’s awards season, with rave reviews and $166 million in box office.

The story of the celebrated British military evacuation has propelled Nolan high on Oscar watchers’ lists for major categories including best picture and best director (he’s never been nominated for the latter).

Biggest box-office downer: R-rated comedies

One glaring, not-funny culprit for the summer box-office slump (down 13% from last year) has been R-rated comedies, which wildly underperformed in the heat (notable exception: Girls Trip).

Instead of another summer hit like Trainwreck, Amy Schumer made a mess when she joined forces with Goldie Hawn in Snatched. The results weren’t much better when Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell hit The House. Dwayne Johnson and his lifeguard crew stumbled in the big-screen Baywatchand Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon and company had a tough Rough Night.

Biggest surprise hit: ‘Girls Trip’

The Big Sick, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy centering around the culture clash between a Pakistani-American comic (Kumail Nanjiani, playing himself) and his white girlfriend (Zoe Kazan), has been a sleeper hit ($38 million to date).

But major respect must be paid to the raucous Girls Trip, featuring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and summer breakout Tiffany Haddish as friends hitting New Orleans hard. The R-rated comedy has steadily cruised beyond $100 million.

Biggest disappointment: ‘The Dark Tower’

It’s hard to find something more unfulfilling than Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, a project that star Charlie Hunnam should never have pulled from the rock. But in terms of pure disappointmentThe Dark Tower takes the prize.

How does a Stephen King adaptation starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey as gunslingers die so ignobly (earning just $42 million in three weekends)?

Best screen villain: The Colonel in ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

Michael Keaton took flight as the evil Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. But Woody Harrelson propelled his War for the Planet of the Apes colonel over the top in this category with unstable, military-grade villainy.

Smelling of booze and Apocalypse Now-like danger, Colonel gave Caesar (Andy Serkis) a worthy, if unhinged, foe in the ape leader’s final Planet of the Apes chapter.

Runner-up: Whichever Sony executive greenlit the disastrous The Emoji Movie. 

Best summer rebirth: David Hasselhoff 

It can’t really be summer unless David Hasselhoff dons the Baywatch red shorts, as he did in an extended cameo for the R-rated reboot. The Hoff also emerged in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the fantasy father figure for ’80s-loving Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) before singing in the film’s Guardians Inferno music video.

Hasselhoff even got a namechecked in the spy thriller Atomic Blonde.

Biggest screen rivalry: Competing twins

Nothing screams combustible tension louder than when twins share the screen, the center of the comedic conflict in Despicable Me 3 — with Steve Carell voicing both bald villain Gru and his perfectly coiffed, successful brother Dru.

In Okja, Tilda Swinton played scheming twin sisters Lucy and Nancy Mirando, who made corporate backstabbing a family affair.

Most unfortunate use of a British thespian: Sir Anthony Hopkins in ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

Dame Helen Mirren as a cockney gangster in The Fate of the Furious, that worked. Sir Patrick Stewart appearing as Poop in The Emoji Movie wasn’t that bad, given the actor’s absurd embrace of the role.

But we’ll never be able to unsee Hopkins earning his paycheck as eccentric Sir Edmund Burton, somehow central to Transformers: The Last Knight

Best movie no one saw: ‘A Ghost Story’

Casey Affleck, as a sheet-clad, recently deceased man haunting the house he shared with his lover (Rooney Mara), stirred up a Sundance Film Festival hit in director David Lowery’s A Ghost Story. 

But the critically beloved drama spooked off audiences in its July release, earning only $1.5 million.   

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