Summers bring to mind an image of muggy nights that drive people to the movie theatre in search of some entertainment and air conditioning but things have changed. This summer hasn’t been that hot and even the many people who have air conditioning in their homes haven’t needed it. Those air conditioned homes often have Netflix, so who goes to the movies anymore?
Say it were hot and you live in a rural area with terrible internet access and you still like to go to the movies… there isn’t much in the original film category to draw people to the movie theatre.
There are too many sequels, prequels and reboots being made and not enough of the big blockbuster summer movies that have the big budget and the big stars and make it impossible to resist.
The sequels and prequels and spin offs can be great and very entertaining – like Wonder Woman and War for the Planet of the Apes – but the reboots are usually just sad. The announcement of a remake of the 1990 film Flatliners was the last straw. The original film was, well, original. It was one of those movies that you could see and then discuss afterwards. How often can that be said about what’s in theatres these days?
Granted, where we live we don’t have access to a diverse offering at the box office. We are limited by what comes to the surrounding big box theatres and although there is good cinema out there, we just don’t get to see it (until it can be streamed or downloaded if that luxury is available).
There have been some exceptions; Baby Driver, written and directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), feels fresh and quirky, perfect for a summer flick and Dunkirk is educational and entertaining.
There are some action films that look promising in terms of escapism; Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, The Dark Tower and Atomic Blonde (all adaptations).
No judgment on the comic book franchises, but another Spiderman? Too soon. And what to say of The Emoji Movie?
The studios are playing it safe with more of what they know will sell, especially in the kids’ flick department, with second sequels for Cars and Despicable Me.
There are probably lots of good original screenplays out there but business is business and the studios aren’t going to gamble away their profits so we are stuck with what we get.
Let’s face it, in 10 years we will be going to see Pirates of the Caribbean 16: Geriatric Jack.
Given the state of the world, it seems shallow to complain about a lack of quality film but one could argue that we need an escape from the real world more than ever. Maybe that’s why movies aren’t living up to expectations, because real life is stranger (and more entertaining in the darkest sense) than fiction.
With a few exceptions, this summer’s movies have been a bit of a snorer (not unlike this editorial).