MCN Blogs
Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Wake Me When It’s Over

God, I hate summer movie season.

Love summer for the downtime, going to the beach with the kids, 4th of July fireworks, cookouts. Hate summer for the summer tentpoles, most of which I have no interest in at all, and the boring news cycles.

I wrote on Facebook this afternoon:

I was just over on and there is nothing — zero, zilch, nada — on that site that I even remotely care about reading. You can have a zillion headlines that start with TOLDJA and I still wouldn’t care. Ditto for any number of other movie sites right now. I’m sure I’ll get over my malaise around time for TIFF when the movies are more interesting, but for now? Pffffffft. Do. Not. Care. About 99% of what’s passing for “news” on movie sites.

Yes, I’m being a bit melodramatic. Yes, you personally are awesome. If you are one of my friends (and very likely, even if you aren’t, with a very few exceptions) everything you write is probably terrific. It’s just that it feels like so many movie sites are writing about the same stories, over and over again and everyone desperately trying to put a little spin on it to make it interesting.

Transformers 3 either sucks or does not suck, depending who you ask. Unsurprisingly, it’s making a ton of money either way, which just goes to show … whatever it goes to show. People dig giant robots and explosions and tits and ass and Shia. Not really a news flash. David didn’t hate it, though, so perhaps when the kids insist on seeing it on PPV I’ll sit through it.

Johnny Depp might sign on for another Pirates flick and make another big paycheck. So long as he also makes good movies, who cares? I liked the first Pirates okay, the second was meh, didn’t see the third, likely won’t see the fourth.

I was way more interested in seeing how Azazel Jacobs’ Terri would do — a respectable over-$13K per screen on six screens in NY and LA, and hopefully it will have a strong showing as it expands. It was one of my favorite movies out of Sundance and, I thought, a really solid somewhat higher-budget effort out of Jacobs, whose Momma’s Man and The Good Times Kid were pretty definitively really good, low-budget indie fare.

It’s always tricksy when very indie directors find success and more funding … will they retain what made their voice unique once the headaches that come with bigger budget productions start pushing back against unrestrained creativity? Because, as another well-known indie filmmaker said to me recently, the most befuddling thing is when you’re an indie writer/director and you knock it out of the park, and everyone loves you, and then people with money come knocking … but then they want to control everything and tell you what you can do and how you can do it, and take away the very freedom and creativity that allowed you to make something that caught their attention in the first place. It is, as they say, a conundrum of this business.

I did dig the hell out of Super 8, which is one of my favorite bigger movies of the year so far. I just got a screener of Crime After Crime, which I’m looking forward to watching maybe later tonight. And okay, I am looking forward to the final Harry Potter. My 14YO pointed out the other day that she and her siblings don’t really remember life before there was a new Harry Potter to look forward to. She will probably cry when the credits roll on the last one, and maybe I will, too.

After Harry Potter gets done, we’ll have Captain America, which thankfully opens the same weekend as my daughter’s wedding, so I have a great excuse not to see it unless everyone and their brother is over the moon about it. And then the next week brings The Smurfs, and criminy, does anyone really want to see that movie? Even two-year-olds? Anyone? I thought not. Good, so it’s not just me.

There is Cowboys and Aliens that same weekend, and maybe that won’t suck. And then Planet of the Apes, which looks like they stole the first half from Project Nim. I swear, when I first saw the trailer I thought it actually was a narrative take on Project Nim until it got to the part where the apes are going apeshit and running all over cars and threatening people. That one potentially could have some interesting philosophical underpinnings if they didn’t screw it up by being all about the Cool! Effects! And Flipping Cars! — and if there aren’t any apes transforming into robots and destroying Chicago.

Moving onto the rest of August, we have 30 Minutes or Less, which I would be completely uninterested in except that it stars Jesse Eisenberg, who has tended to make pretty good script choices. So call that one a maybe. That weekend also has the limited release of The Last Circus, which I recommend you see under the influence of something. At least a high-carb meal. It is messed up and kind of all over the place, but if you see it with a mentally altered, packed crowd, it kind of works. And you can quote me on that.

Then we have One Day (another big maybe, I love Anne Hathaway but her script choices are sometimes dicey. See: Bride Wars), Conan the Barbarian (why?), the newest Spy Kids (ditto), Columbiana (That one sounds a bit like Hanna, doesn’t it? With the young girl assassin?), The Debt (another maybe) and Our Idiot Brother (heard decent things about that one).

That’s about it for the rest of summer. Then we can move on to fall and the awards season rush, and hopefully in spite of all the Oscar hooplah there will be some great movies to watch. Until then, we’re stuck with a revolving door of mostly non-news and mostly mediocre movies. I’m gonna take a nap. Wake me when it’s September, will you?

One Response to “Wake Me When It’s Over”

  1. Lisa says:

    Midnight in Paris is pretty terrific. Had high expectations going in and it completely blew me away.

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~ László Krasznahorkai

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One of the great movies. Charles Bronson, great, Charles Bronson. Great movies. Today you can’t make that movie because it’s not politically correct, right? It’s not politically correct. But could you imagine with Trump? Somebody says, oh, all these big monsters aren’t around he’s easy pickings and then shoot.”
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