The Best of Summer Movies

By Victoria Staub, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Summer hosts the premier of many of the year’s blockbuster films. With school being out of session, theaters see an increase in moviegoers, therefore prompting them to release some of their most anticipated films during this time. Summer 2022 was no exception to this, giving us some of this year’s highlights. Here are a few of those features.

"Nope" (2022) (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

“Nope” (2022) (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

“Nope”

Jordan Peele has become a leading director in the horror genre with “Get Out” and “Us” making waves in the past few years. His newest film, “Nope,” only helps to solidify him as one of modern horror’s best directors. This July release explores the extraterrestrial in a neo-Western setting. Daniel Kaluuya, the lead of “Get Out,” returns for this film, but Keke Palmer truly steals the show. Her character, Emerald or “Em,” is so loveable and incredibly stylish. This film’s teasers have been intentionally vague, shrouding the film’s plot in mystery and, ultimately, enhancing the film-watching experience. Like all of Peele’s films, “Nope” is jam-packed with societal commentary that, unlike his past films, is envisioned as more of a thriller than a horror movie. Despite being one of the less discussed films of this summer, “Nope” viewers certainly left the theaters pondering quite a bit about the flaws of humankind. 

 

 

 

 

"Thor: Love and Thunder" (2022) (Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios)

“Thor: Love and Thunder” (2022) (Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios)

“Thor: Love and Thunder”

Unsurprisingly, Marvel released a highly anticipated film this summer. “Thor: Love and Thunder” is technically the fourth Thor movie, but it is the second one directed by Taika Waititi, the first being “Thor: Ragnarok.” These films have provided more of a goofy take on Thor’s character, which has prompted a bit of backlash from some fans while, at the same time, engaged others. This newest installation into the Marvel Cinematic Universe included the return of Natalie Portman’s character, Jane Foster, and the introduction of a new villain, Gorr, played by Christian Bale. “Thor: Love and Thunder” was heartfelt, rom-com-y, and a bit cheesy, but it was certainly not devoid of action. Gorr is arguably one of the scariest villains to terrorize the MCU, and Bale’s performance truly enhances the film in a holistic sense. As the title suggests, love is very central to the theme of this film, so don’t be surprised when love ultimately saves the day, not just Thor.

 

 

"Lightyear" (2022) (Photo courtesy of Disney Movies)

“Lightyear” (2022) (Photo courtesy of Disney Movies)

“Lightyear”

An additional franchise owned by Disney released a film this summer with Pixar’s “Lightyear.” This film tells the story of Buzz Lightyear, the man embodied by the loveable “Toy Story” toy. While this film was obviously made for children, the nostalgia associated with the origin story of Buzz Lightyear is too tempting to skip out on. Throughout the film, we see a determined Buzz, voiced by Chris Evans, who risks spending time with those he loves to complete a space mission. We are also gifted with a robot-cat companion for Buzz named Sox as well as the identity of his famed enemy, Zurg. This film is incredibly heartwarming, but it has attracted some controversy. “Lightyear” portrays a lesbian main character as well as a kiss shared between her and her partner, of course receiving criticism from more conservative audiences. In fact, this storyline was partially why Tim Allen, the former voice of Buzz, was not cast in this film as he is an outspoken conservative. Overall, “Lightyear” provides a nostalgic experience for moviegoers who wish to know why Andy idolized Buzz Lightyear as much as he did. It is now available for streaming on Disney+. 

 

 

 

"Top Gun: Maverick" (2022) (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

“Top Gun: Maverick” (2022) (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Nostalgia seemed to be a theme for movies this summer as “Top Gun: Maverick” is the sequel to the 1986 film “Top Gun.” Different generations of moviegoers have been able to bask in their nostalgia this summer, but this film was not only popular amongst parents. In “Top Gun: Maverick,” Tom Cruise reprises his role as Maverick, hence the title. Thirty years after his time at TOP GUN, Maverick returns to assist in training a new class of U.S. Navy test pilots. Some characters from the original film show up, as well as a new character, Rooster, who is the son of Maverick’s best friend, Goose, who died in the first film. Rooster, played by Miles Teller, has assisted in bringing in a new generation of “Top Gun” fans while also kick-starting a mustache craze over the summer. This movie is full of action with the actors actually piloting Navy jets during the flying scenes. “Top Gun: Maverick” is the continuation of a classic that will appeal to the whole family, and its excellent reception is telling of just that.

Summer 2022 had far more film releases than those listed above. Some were blockbuster hits. Others were not. Some may receive Oscar buzz in the upcoming months. Others will fall victim to time forgotten. However, the four films discussed above, “Nope,” “Thor: Love and Thunder,” “Lightyear,” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” were all notable releases from this summer, and are certainly worth a watch.

This article originally appeared on page 21 of the September 2022 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.

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Author: Victoria Staub

Victoria Staub ‘23 is the editor of the Arts & Entertainment section of The Gettysburgian. She is a political science and Italian studies double major with a minor in religious studies. She is the match secretary of and an athlete for Gettysburg’s women’s rugby team. Additionally, she works as a tour guide for the admissions office, is a member of the school’s co-ed service fraternity, APO, and acts as the co-vice president of the political science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha. Victoria is an avid film fan and enjoys keeping up with the entertainment industry.

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