Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lazy Movie Weekend: I went to the movie theater and all I got was a box of Red Vines

Back in April, I posed a question on my Facebook newsfeed that I'm not sure was ever fully answered. Here it is:

"When did we get to the point in the universe where we require a sixth Fast & Furious and a third Hangover to exist?"

There was some discussion about Paul Walker's need for employment (since Vin Disel has, you know, range),  the fact that we live in a world where Firefly was canceled, and that I'm ultimately a dream crusher (which is totally true). However, we never decided why these movies exist and I'm still perplexed and a bit disappointed in the movie viewing habits of everyone. If we continue at the sequel rate for the  Fast & Furious franchise alone, for those of you who had children this year, when your child is 13 (since the current F&F is PG-13) we'll be at in its 19th installment, Vin Diesel will be almost 60, Paul Walker will be in his mid-50s, and none of the actresses in the film will be allowed to be on screen because they'll be "too old" and will have been replaced by 19 year olds. This is how summer movies work - who's ready for 2026?

In theory, I should love the F&F franchise because I grew up watching terribly ridiculous action movies on cable. These movies are made for summer because they're loud, contain lots of explosions, and the dialogue is awful. When it's too hot to go outside and you just want to sit in air conditioning, these movies and their cineplex brethren are the perfect way to enjoy the laziness of summer. This is not great acting by any means. I can even agree with some of the points made into this brilliant piece of Buzzfeed movie criticism about F&F (and I would like to befriend both of these guys). I mean let's be honest, there was an entire period of time in the early 2000s where we all watched a lot of terrible action movies because Vin Diesel's arms happened to be cast. It's just how life worked.

Anyway, some people would argue that summer really begins with the start of summer movie releases. If that's the case it's been summer for three weeks already and someone should really tell Mother Nature. I can't say that I have seen any of the movies that have been released since the beginning of May. I've missed Iron Man 3, The Great Gatsby, and Star Trek Into Darkness. I am not sad about missing two of these (I'll let you guess which ones). I guess there's still time to see them if I really wanted to. However, I feel like if you don't keep up and make it to the theater every weekend, you'll just get behind and never make it to September.

Summer movies fit into the following categories (and yes, there can be cross-categorization):
  • Action movies, non-superhero
  • Action movies, superhero
  • Action movies where the Earth or the White House is completely destroyed
  • Horror movies, usually reboots or "sequels" but occasionally something creative and inventive 
  • Latest literary franchise installment
  • Reboot of a classic television series
  • Possible literary classic that has the potential to be awful but you hope is really amazing
  • Romantic comedies
  • Terrible comedies starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, or both
  • Bizarre comedies starring Simon Pegg
  • Quiet indie films or documentaries

I wish I could say that recent summers have wowed me but I'd be lying. I enjoyed last summer's The Avengers and Dark Shadows (although I shouldn't have liked Dark Shadows). I could watch Moonrise Kingdom every day and not get tired of it. I didn't see Ted or Brave until they came on cable so those don't count. But there was no anticipation with any of these movies. Does the anticipation of summer movie season have anything to do with actual summer vacation? Since I rarely take a real vacation, maybe my enjoyment of summer movies has been impacted because there's no expectation of anything anymore.

Or maybe it's that my summer movie viewing habits have changed. I used to watch lots of comedies and romantic comedies (and still do) and even a large number of action movies but I find that I have less tolerance for most of the movies that come out these days. It seems like movies are being made for some demographic that I can't find words to describe. Yes, I could join the ranks of critics and moviegoers that say everything is dumbed down (there's truth to that) and that nothing is original anymore (more truth to that) but I think this is one more sign that I'm becoming a little old lady and now movies make me cranky. It's also possible that I'm more of a fall or winter movie kind of girl. You know how I love sad things and sad movies are not part of summer.

I have a subscription to Rolling Stone and the recent issue featured their summer movie preview. I only want to see seven of the movies listed and many of them are not particularly summer movie-y. They also failed to include the only movie I truly care about this summer, Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. Who cares about anything else when this movie is right around the corner? Joss Whedon is my only hope.

June 7 - who's with me for some Shakespeare, Joss Whedon, and the possible redemption of summer movies? 

Coming Soon to the Island: I'm introducing a new regular feature on the Island (like Lazy Movie Weekend) entitled "You're Doing Everything Wrong". In this semi-regular feature (probably monthly but who knows at this point), I'll discuss something that I'm "doing wrong" by some bizarre standard and discuss. Up first: You're Doing Everything Wrong: 1949 Called - Here's How to Land a Man. Thank you to Jessica for encouraging these random ideas I have and listening to my ramblings about this first post in particular.

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