Last week we claimed that the summer movie season was over. Every year, twice a year, Hollywood dumps the dead corpses of rotten movies on us, and much like the rubbish we got just after New Year’s (does Nicolas Cage ring a bell?), the end of summer is always signaled by studios giving up, and giving us trash movies that just had no chance of standing up to any movie that came out between May 1st and July 31st (and that includes The Smurfs). Last week we thought we were hitting rock bottom with stoner comedy 30 Minutes or Less, and what we can only hope is the final Final Destination movie. However, we might have called it too soon. Yes, as Hollywood always does, they’ve topped themselves this week, with an even larger (4 movies), smellier trash heap, and they expect us to continue to buy into this. No thanks, but without further ado, let’s take a look at how low Hollywood can go.
Almost as reliable as the mail, a throwaway movie in Hollywood is almost always a remake, either of a famous TV show your parents watched in the sixties and seventies, or a cherished, albeit cult film, from the 80′s. So, no doubt this week, we get two of them; one’s a vampire flick looking to capture the teen audience, and the other is a remake of Conan the Barbarian, which will likely be seen by nobody. In the “there’s a monster living right next door” movie category, Fright Night came out in the mid-eighties, to an audience clamoring for campy horror movies like Friday the 13th and the Nightmare on Elm Street series; it wore its camp on its sleeve, and grew a cult following from kids growing up on catching it on TV and video. The remake, which stars Colin Farrell and up-and-comer Anton Yelchin, doesn’t quite cheese it up, and doesn’t quite capture that fun that a cult film usually needs to garner repeat viewings. Looking almost exactly like Disturbia (starring another young Hollywood darling, Shia LaBeouf), we can’t say this would completely suck, but let’s face it, if we wanted to watch a movie like Disturbia, then we’ll just re-watch that one, and politely pass when people ask if we want seconds. Conan the Barbarian, however, is a remake that deserves as little attention as possible, mostly for the fact that it wasn’t screened for critics, and if they put such little faith in a film they reportedly blew $90 Million on, they should learn to save their money and reinvest it in their R&D department, so maybe a good movie idea might have a chance to make it to the screen someday.
That day seems like a decade away, as the other two movies opening this weekend are a Spy Kids sequel (the 4th in the series), and an Anne Hathaway/Jim Sturgess movie that is what Beyond Sunrise/Sunset would’ve looked like if Richard Linklater was a lazy S.O.B. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D is a candy colored entry in the popular Spy Kids series, but people, will you never learn, it’s the rule of 3 – from art, literature, and sometimes even movies, everything is better in 3′s. How popular are movie trilogies? Very popular. Now tell me, what’s a great movie series that has 4 installments? Whoah, whoah, just give me one, please. And don’t get me started on the “in 4D” portion of the title, and yes, that is part of the title of the movie. Yes, we all know tacking on 3D to your film is going to make it easier to market toward idiots, but if you already name your 3rd installment Spy Kids 3-D, well, you’re kinda out of luck. And unless you can explain in-depth Euclidian geometry, or demonstrate the 4th dimension in spacetime, you shouldn’t be allowed to tag “4D” onto the end of your movie title. And as for Anne Hathaway and her horrible English accent in One Day, a movie about two people who are in love with each other (but don’t know they’re in love with each other), who meet one day a year for 20 years, we just have to say please stop now, and thank the stars we don’t have to revisit this junk once a year, every year……..
……it’s actually two weekends a year, and if the trend is to keep spreading the summer movie season trash heap over several weekends, making it to the Fall movie season is going to be a rough journey.