Summer: The Worst Season for Film (2017)
Why, oh why do summer movies always suck so much? Warning, the future is not looking much brighter.
So, we are yet again in the middle of what I argue to be the shittiest season for movies. Things like another Transformers, another Planet of the Apes, The Mummy (2017), Snatched, The Emoji Movie, and how can we forget the utter unnecessary nightmare that was Baywatch. Normally I wouldn’t complain so very much, however this Summer Movie Season has extended way past just the summer months (an it has been doing so for quite a while), it has bled into all other months of the year. Except of course for the seemingly impenetrable golden bubble that is Oscar season, which, thank God, has managed to avoid the complete shit storm that mainstream cinema has become. I shall provide a few other examples of non-summer releases in past three years; Ghostbusters (2017), Jupiter Ascending (2015), The Great Wall (2016), The Boss Baby (2017), London has Fallen (2017), Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016). That was just a very random selection I know (the list could also be ten times longer) , but it still proves my point in strides. Mainstream cinema had devolved into superhero flicks, buddy comedies, painfully dumb family films, and mindless action movies. Every once and a while we come across a film worthwhile, or even one that’s just ok. But this is an increasingly rare occurrence these days. I did not get into this industry to watch below sub-par movies being made while genuine and good films are subjugated to limited releases or are stepped over entirely in order to make this crap. I am disappointed and, truthfully, I’m just sad about the current state of things. It is times like this that I thank God that I live in a college town with a little indie theater, for on-demand releases and Netflix, because without these I would not be able to see the good films that do get released; the indie films. I direct you to this Indiewire article to prove my point: http://www.indiewire.com/2015/02/the-50-best-films-of-the-decade-so-far-266754/ . Indies are the future of modern film-making, they are the only thing saving modern films these days. And I am proud to be working on independent films. Come Oscar season my tone will change, but that doesn’t mean the state of film will change as soon as the air begins to chill and we all busy our minds with making the perfect Oscar prediction list. Oscar season please do come soon, I’m at my wits end.
I’m not saying I’m completely blameless in this situation, I am not against the occasional ‘fun’ movie, something silly, for pure entertainment. I am not that radical (yet). I saw Wonder Woman this summer, it was a truly excellent movie. I have been known to see the Fifty Shades films, and did shamefully par-take in the disaster that was Jurassic World in 2015, that I am not proud of. I also plan on seeing Atomic Blonde this week, so stay tuned for that article, I do feel that film has some genuine cultural implications however. So you see I’m not against these kinds of movies entirely. But what I am against is their complete domination of the box office which leaves room for little else. These ‘fun’ movies seem to be the only thing that exists to mainstream audiences anymore, and that genuinely frightens me. And what scares me more is that audiences are not complaining, if box office numbers are anything to go by anymore, they are loving these movies year round. At least one of two things need to change, but not both, I know better than to pray for both anymore. The audiences need to change, or the movies need to change. When or if this happens and in what capacity the change occurs, I cannot tell you. I wish I had a solution or an answer, but this time I’m afraid I’m clueless. These movies need to stop making so much money in order for the studios to take any notice, that I know for sure. Not much else will change corporate studios minds these days, this is also another sad fact.
What ever happened to summer movies like Jaws (1975), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Gladiator (2000), or Forrest Gump (1994). Those were good, entertaining, popular, and important movies.
Those days are gone, I know, I will always be guilty of being the nostalgic, that will never change either (I’m allowed to be stubborn too). These movies were culturally important too, I cannot think of a single summer blockbuster in the past four years that you could call culturally important. And you won’t have another one of those in the near future either if the industry continues moving on its current trajectory. By the looks of things we are looking forward to a great Oscar season, as usual, and an increasingly sad rest of the year for film. I predict by the end of April the barrel will have run dry of quality films and I will find myself, yet again, skimming Netflix for something worthwhile. For once I want to be wrong.
I know this article is shorter, and more venomous, than my usual fare, and I know I haven’t written much this summer. But all that will soon change (except the venomous part possibly). Look forward to my Atomic Blonde article, and I hope everyone is having a great Summer.