Shoe Money Tonight

Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Sunday, July 01, 2007


There was a time when the summer was a good time for movies. Fun summer blockbusters used to be the norm. It has been many years since there have been any decent movies. I can't even remember the last time I actually looked forward to a summer movie season. ES1 & I have been to the theater perhaps a half dozen times since we were married, mostly to see Harry Potter or Pixar flicks.

Now, ES1 & I are big movie fans. The day after our wedding we hopped across the hotel parking lot to the mall to go see Hellboy. We have a fairly respectable DVD collection. Very little, however, has been able to drag us to the theater of late.

What is the cause? There are many possibilities. What it basically boils down to is that most of Hollywood has become an inbred echo chamber. It's full of idiots who think they have something important to say. Blowhards who often didn't finish grade school spend their time lecturing people who hold degrees they couldn't even spell. The culture of celebrity celebrates fame for the sake of fame.

There are precious few real stars in Hollywood. Take folks like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, or Matt Damon, for instance. They are essentially grown up children. Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood - these people were men.

The female side is a little better. I generally enjoy a good Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon flick. I can actually feel part of my IQ being sucked away, however, whenever Cameron Diaz appears. Angelina Jolie? I can see about 2 reasons for watching her. And I can get that better by watching Nigella Lawson, who actually has brains & talent, teaches good cooking, and doesn't even play up the first thing (because she doesn't need to).

Movies today are all about "shades of gray." Moviemakers make movies where there are no good guys. There's nobody to root for. People who fly around in private jets call people evil for driving cars. Useful idiots who idolize vicious butchers like Castro and Guevara look with scorn upon the founders of this nation. Moviemakers who see those who strap bombs to kids, attack shopping centers, start bloody riots over anything even remotely perceived as insulting, and seek to drive the entire planet into the dark ages as victims, have trouble deciding who the most evil people are - those who go to church, or those who want to make money.

Into all of this is a lack of originality. Everything that has been even remotely big of late has either been an adaptation or a sequel. This is not itself a bad thing, if the moviemakers can remember the original magic. Thankfully, at least one of them has.

ES1 & I went to see Live Free or Die Hard last night. I won't spoil anything for anyone. Suffice it to say, it was everything you want in a Die Hard movie. Great dialogue, great action, and a good story. Everything was perfect, right down to "Yippie Kay-Yay Mother Fscker" appearing at exactly the right time. This is exactly what you want in a summer popcorn flick.

This week, we will be going to see Transformers. Hopefully, Michael Bay won't fsck this one up. Everyone has high expectations of this. How to satisfy them? Don't try to make a statement. As a listener to Trash Talk said about the movie, "I wanna be 10 years old again, watch trucks turn into robots and blow sh** up!"

If they keep this in mind, this could be a great summer movie season. If not, well, what can you expect - there just Hollywood types.


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