The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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The Torch (@sju_torch) • Instagram photos and videos

Kristen Stewart plays Lou in Love Lies Bleeding. 
Photo Courtesy / YouTube A24
“Love Lies Bleeding:” A24’s Newest Thriller
Celina Mullady, Asst. Culture Editor • April 11, 2024
Torch Photo / Abigail Grieco
Surviving Senioritis as a Second-Semester Senior
Abigail Grieco, Features Editor Emerita • April 11, 2024

Blockbuster Breakdown

If you’re a toy, a superhero, a
vampire or a dream reader, you probably had the best summer ever.

Fantasy monsters, Disney tearjerkers and a single thought-provoking thriller dominated
the box office this summer while
competitors were either shrugged off or completely ignored.

Toy Story 3 was the summer’s top
earner. As reported by Forbes.com, the third sequel to the Pixar classic earned over $1 billion worldwide in theatres, the first film in history to do so. Once again, viewers were reminded of their
childhood playthings as Woody, Buzz
and the gang question the love of their owner, Andy, who is now grown-up and
college-bound. After being mistakenly given away to a daycare center,
Andy’s toys get sucked into the
seemingly affectionate care of toddlers only to be mishandled and torn to pieces come playtime. They meet a group of
resentful and deceitful toys, led by Lotso Bear, who eventually learn that love is
unconditional, no matter how old you get.

Overall, it was a true coming-of-age
story for the young and the
young-at-heart alike.

When it comes to celebrity
superheroes, none compare to Tony Stark, otherwise known as Iron Man. In a clever show of special effects and Robert Downey Jr.’s comedic-yet-charming portrayal of the cocky billionaire, the sequel was one of the summer’s hits, bringing in $622
million. Downey proves he was
tailor-made to be the (barely)
indestructible Iron Man as he struggles through memories of his past and the pressure to be as successful as his father.

Stark’s relationship with his assistant, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is affected by his risky behavior as he tries to
overcome his rockstar lifestyle while fighting off Ivan Vanko’s (played by Mickey Rourke) legion of killer
robots. In the end, he learns he must take care of himself before he can save
the world.

The summer’s most-talked about film was undoubtedly Inception. Its
A-List cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio,
Joseph Gordon Levitt and Ellen Page, lent to the thought-provoking thriller based on thought implantation and
dream designing. Raking in more than $480 million, Inception is a movie worth
every minute of the two-hour dream sequence it was made to be. Written by
Christopher Nolan (responsible for the Batman movies), the film explores the psychological motives behind one’s dreams and how they affect the
perception of reality. A good chunk of its earnings can be attributed to the fact that moviegoers came back to
theatres to watch the movie multiple
times, hoping to understand it a little more with each screening.

But the good did not come
without the bad. Summer burnouts
included Sex and the City 2. Although
the highly-anticipated chick flick
provided a solid Friday night
outing with the gal pals, the sequel
was not as great as the first. Let’s hope
this is the last film endeavor for Carrie
Bradshaw and her crew.

Fairy-tale love stories proved to be the stuff that summer films were made
of. Shrek Forever After did not bank
as much as the previous three, ending the ogre saga on a note that wasn’t so
happily ever after. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse caused hysteria among Twi-hards who lined up at
theatres the Wednesday night of its
release. With a new director at the
helm and the same beloved
characters in the form of a Edward
Cullen, an Bella Swan and Jacob Black, Eclipse could not overshadow its
predecessor New Moon, which earned $710 million in comparison
to Eclipse’s $650 million.

Other summer breeze-throughs
included the Russell Brand and Jonah Hill comedy, Get Him To The Greek, Prince Persia: The Sands of Time, Marmaduke and MacGruber.

Forgive yourself if
you don’t even remember these films’ names. They were only good while
they lasted.

Other potential contenders that reached theaters just in time for the
end of summer were Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Last Exorcism and Eat,
Pray, Love.

This summer delivered quite a
diverse selection that was either sink or swim. But overall, Inception
successfully controlled the minds of viewers who kept coming back, hoping to make sense of the
limbo. As for its fellow box office
buddies, it will not be the last we
see of a vampire or a werewolf, especially
this fall, with other fantasy films set
to be released. Regardless of whether
you favor the fantasy or reality,
films will continue to serve as the
pastimes meant to simply entertain.

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