A Torpedo Of Truth About Summer Blockbusters

We’re getting screwed. This year there will not be a single memorable blockbuster hit all summer, no Toy Story 3 or Inception to save us. Do you want to know the worst part? We are the ones to blame.

We€™re getting screwed. This year there will not be a single memorable blockbuster hit all summer. There will not be an Inception, a Toy Story 3, or a Inglourious Basterds to save us. Do you want to know the worst part? We are the ones to blame. Moviegoers are on a remarkable three year streak of taking whatever mediocrity studios slop across the screen, swallowing it en masse, and then pulling an Oliver Twist and begging, €œPlease Sir, I want some more.€ Why do we accept bad movies that think Ryan Reynolds would make a good super hero, and why do we put bloated (mindless, disorganized, ect.) sequels like Transformers: Dark of the Moon on pace to be the biggest hit of the summer? €Because we€™re chain smokers. Only our two packs a day habit is comprised of sequels, reboots, and comic fodder instead of Marlboro Lights and L&M€™s. We have all the telltale signs of it: how we keep returning to the familiarity of each mindless sequel with no restraint, the dulling of our tastes allowing unhealthy reboots to substitute for thoughtful hand crafted creations, and, of course, our craving for €œmore.€ Our habit has been growing for years. The Dark Knight and Iron Man were like our first drags. Christopher Nolan convinced us sequels and reboots are better than originals, and Jon Favreau made us feel like every superhero and comic had a story worth telling on the big screen. We begged for more because everything we were getting felt like gold; now we are coughing up blood in the kitchen sink because we didn€™t think ahead. Why couldn€™t we just say no to X-Men Origins or sure-to-be-bad Bradley Cooper led reboots like The A-Team? Now as the summer wears on the death toll mounts from our addiction. The Hangover Part II and the newest Pirates sequel being inevitable casualties of our habit, but even everyone€™s favorite kid Pixar got taken down by second hand smoke; showing they€™re not immune to bad judgment with their first certified critical dud in Cars 2. Those movies are bad, but you€™re thinking, €œEvery summer has €œbad€ movies.€ So let€™s look at the €œgood€ summer movies for perspective. Thor had an amusing story and fun characters, but it was supposed to be a summer action blockbuster, and all the action set pieces ended up being trash. Fast Five was big dumb and entertaining, but we have a right to expect something other than a fourth sequel to be wearing the crown of €Best Action Movie€ this far into the summer (though Transformers can now make a case), and even movies like the new X-Men reboot and Super 8 felt good, even original at times, but still failed to connect across the board with audiences like a breakout hit should. That leaves what, Bridesmaid? Is Bridesmaids really the best movie of the summer so far? I mean really? It was very good, but not €œBest Movie of the Summer€ good. The more pressing question though is this: is anything left going to dethrone it? I have my doubts. These are all the big ticket movies we have left before the fall: Transformers, Harry Potter, Captain America, and Cowboys and Aliens, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Conan the Barbarian. Sure a few people drunk off butter beer will end up proclaiming Harry Potter to be this summer€™s saving grace, but they€™ll also be the same people trying to tell you Dumbledore is better than Gandalf and that quidditch is fun even if you can€™t fly and the balls aren€™t magical. So, after setting the deluded HP fans aside, there isn€™t much hope. Jon Favreau might qualify Cowboys and Aliens for longshot odds of being memorable, but it€™s tough to make a case for any of the the other €œblockbuster€ contenders. And there is the crux of the problem. We told studios what we wanted and they have delivered with pleasure (at an ever increasing rate and an ever decreasing quality mind you). Every single movie I€™ve talked about qualifies as a sequel, reboot, or comic book movie except Bridesmaids. It€™s hard to believe there are so few creative new properties being released. Last year Inception managed to be a breath of fresh air - a movie filled with creativity, intelligence, and cinematic spectacle €“ even as we began choking on our ever worsening predicament. We all got a glimpse of what life was like before we started down this slippery slope a while back. Last year we had a movie people won€™t forget. This year, there is no reprieve in sight. It€™s time to take action! Together we can wean our way off this ever worsening addiction.. If we can cut back gradually over the rest of the summer then we can start saving our money for a healthy fall and winter lineup (Drive, 50/50, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, War Horse). Instead of going out to see bad reboots like Conan and Apes stay in and watch Inception again€ because maybe the top will fall this time, and rather than wasting away with Captain America rent, well, anything really. I mean do you actually think Chris €œMy Filmography Belongs in a Human Rights Violations Museum€ Evans will make a better super hero than Ryan Reynolds? I don€™t expect us all to go cold turkey tomorrow - a guilty pleasure or two is fine - but let€™s hope on December 31 to be toasting newfound health, happiness, and a slew of great new movies for the New Year and beyond.
Want to write about The Dark Knight, Thor, Cowboys-and-Aliens, Conan-the-Barbarian, Inception, Captain America: The First Avenger, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Hangover 2, Finding Nemo, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Bridesmaids and Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen? Get started below...

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Phil loves a good debate. Don't expect him to shy away from starting the conversation. Follow him on Twitter @MrTallgeese if you're of a like mind, or if you just want to troll him relentlessly.