By J’Mel Davidson
Boils and ghouls, it is finally time for celebration! We are, all of us, knee deep in my favoritest time of the year: the Summer Movie Season! Robots and Dino Damage™ and sequels and explosions and Tom Cruise™! Let’s face it, folks—life is difficult. There are bills and life insurance and the neighbor’s stupid dog that always defiles your lawn. Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.
Maybe your sexy boss at the magazine told you to “Stop being a whiny belligerent crybaby and write about things people care about!” You know what, folks? Your sexy boss is right!
Nothing in this ridiculous life can compare to the joy of sitting in a cool and darkened auditorium anticipating your trip to movieland! Your fingers covered in artificial butter-flavored chemical and your pockets full of Dollar Tree Sour Patch Kids and Cookie Dough Bites (them bites gonna melt up right nice in yo pockets, boy!)
I’ve never seen Cinema Paradisio, but I assume it’s about escaping into the world of movies when life around you keeps reminding you how “lifey” life can be. Either that or it’s about George C. Scott trying to hunt down the people who forced his daughter into the world of underground “doin’ it” movies. Either way, Cinema Paradisio—yeah. That’s what my summer is all about.
There will be time for heartfelt Academy Award contenders later. Those movies have their time and place. And yes, I agree with you that the idea of “America” is a failure until a film about assembling the world’s best team of deep-core oil drillers being sent into space to destroy an asteroid the size of Texas qualifies as an Oscar-worthy film. We still have a lot of work to do as a nation.
Until we cross that river, here are the five pieces of cinematic therapy I’m most looking forward to for summer 2015:
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
More than 30 years ago, writer Director George Hill pretty much cemented the look of the post Apocalypse forever with his film Mad Max. And this summer he returns with what promises to be a two-and-a-half-hour fire-and-dust-storm-packed chase scene through the Australian Outback. My buddy Brad says the original cut had a three-hour first act. I have not researched this fact simply because I find life a lot more tolerable if this is even partly true! I will be sneaking an entire Blooming Onion into the theater when I see this film.
2. Terminator: Genysis
Two out of every three Terminator sequels is bollocks. This is a well-known fact. So perhaps it’s time for another good sequel? According to my calculations (read: I’ve done no calculations), it’s about time. The reason I’m excited about this sequel isn’t seeing Arnold as an aged Terminator and it isn’t the return of the T-1000. My excitement lies in the promise of good old-fashioned time travel paradox action! Your old buddy J’Mel is a sucker for time travel complications!
3. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
The third film on my list. The third summer movie with a colon. Coincidence? I don’t know, but I appreciate the colon placement. Classy. People can think what they want about Tom Cruise and his personal beliefs. I just want to see the man run and jump onto moving vehicles and explode stuff. The Mission: Impossible franchise has been solid for 20 years with only one terrible sequel out of the four I’ve seen. I like those odds! So, I’ll be Going Clear—to my nearest IMAX theater to see Tom Cruise hang from a plane then fall into a volcano and punch a shark. (Note: I’m assuming this film is based on my Mission Impossible fan fiction.)
4. Jurassic World: Money Never Sleeps
I may be way off here, but I’m gonna take a stab at what happens in this film. A bunch of rich people take a vacation to an island that is a theme park and zoo built around clones of giant dangerous extinct lizards. They enjoy the sights, learn some science, pay way too much for in-park Panda Express lunches, and finally leave with an experience that they’ll never forget. This sounds fantastic to me. Were it my film, I’d have some of the dangerous dinosaurs escape and bite some rich vacationers in half. But what do I know?
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Eeeeeee! OhmyGod! OhmyGod! OhmyGod!
Let’s be serious here, friends.
These Marvel films are carefully orchestrated symphonies created by corporate committee to generate top dividends by releasing highly potent geek pheromones into the atmosphere a couple times a year. The films are less art than they are product like the new, soon-to-be-obsolete Apple sensation or American Idol winner. Disney and Marvel produce beautiful wiggly bait from the infinite bucket of chum and we eat it up like good little consumer sharks.
And even though some of us are childless middle-aged single men with no idea what tomorrow holds, no idea what lies over that hill, no idea what lies beyond death—It doesn’t really matter.
Because Tony Stark has created the Hulkbuster armor and Captain America throws a motorcycle at a Jeep and Thor uses his might hammer to whack Captain America’s shield through a dozen evil robots.