Now is the Summer of our discontent

Well, the summer of 2005 has come and gone. How was your summer? In the view of the only folks who matter–Hollywood–Summer 2005 sucked. Why, no one was going to the movies, unless they were going to Wedding Crashers.

There are a lot of factors in this. One is that there seems to be a six-year cycle for these things, with peaks and valleys coming every three years. The main reason, though, is that the movies this year were pretty bad.

I probably saw more of them this summer than I have in a long time, and it’s hard to think of anything memorable. Even Land of the Dead, which I guess I liked best, was interesting solely because it was a chance to see a George Romero film in a theatre. In retrospect, that’s not much, is it?

Some of the other films were okay, and I didn’t hate any of them, but boy…”I didn’t hate it!” sure ranks pretty low as a blurb, one imagines. Certainly nothing I saw compared to last year’s Sky Captain in terms of sheer spectacle and movie-going thrill, but then again, Sky Captain bombed, so, what do I know? That’s a rhetorical question.

I think the biggest problem is that screenwriters and directors are now so insular, just feeding off each other’s borrowed ideas, that there’s very little that was surprising or even interesting about the films I saw. Just the same old scenes from other films, re-cast, re-shot and re-edited until there’s just nothing left at all. Watching the trailer is the experience, now. I didn’t see Wedding Crashers, except for a couple of extracts lasting seconds on some television, somewhere. But I felt I knew exactly what was going to happen anyway, from the funny beginning to the sentimental end–it just seemed like a waste of time to, you know, actually go see it, since in a very real sense I’ve already seen it. Lots of times.

I guess there’s still Fall and the Holiday season to look forward to, if by “look forward to” I mean, I might hate those movies less. I used to love movies, but then, I used to love Big Macs, too. I still eat Big Macs now and then. And I still go to the movies. This will probably be the last Summer that I go out and see as many as I did, though. There no longer seems a point to it.

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