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Summer Cinema 2017: A Post-Mortem

Ah, another summer in the books! Usually the best time for films, this summer season actually seemed pretty low key, if I’m being honest with you. I’m not sure what it is. I mean, I’m 25 now. Ancient, as they say. Maybe my sensibilities have changed. Maybe I can more easily ignore stupid malarkey like any of those Transmorpher films. Maybe I work a full-time job and write on the side but still don’t have time or money to go the theater too often? Maybe I’m just depressed and don’t feel much excitement for anything anymore. Most of those are possible and probable, but that hasn’t stopped me from looking back at some of the films from these past few months and providing some thoughts on them.

Keep in mind, I am a professional critic, so the following information should be taken with a high level of authority and seriousness. I don’t fuck around, man. If I hear anyone laugh, I swear I’ll tell the Critic Collective (basically the Yuzuka of the film journalism industry) and they’ll come to your house and make you watch Nothing But Trouble.


THE MUMMY

Tom Cruise’s supernatural action flick is probably one of the worst films of the summer. It’s cynical, panders to foreign markets, and it’s lazy as all hell. It’s most egregious misstep was it’s attempt to start that asinine “Dark Universe” bullshit. Too bad the film didn’t actually lose money, because the only dark universe I wanna see are all the lights shut off at Universal Studios because they wasted too much money in yet another failed attempt to start a “universe” so they can’t pay the electric bill in this, here, our actual universe.

Too many universes! They’re all infinite already; please stop adding to the clutter. Hopefully, The Mummy is a wrap to the Dark Universe! Bandages? More like BADages. The only thing that should be buried alive in a tomb is Alex Kurtzman!

Tom Cruise is cool though, be nice to him. Sincerely! He’s a craftsman who just, yknow, should pick better scripts henceforth.


WONDER WOMAN

Gal Godot’s acting lessons paid off because Wonder Woman is, finally, a competent film from those losers over at DC with their DCUniverse (ugh). Sure, it devolves into blurry action towards the end but it had a strong sense of style—even with the god damn speed-ramping—and it never lost too much steam till that end bit.

Too bad men can’t watch it, right? I want a man-only screening of…uh…300? That’s the manliest movie! (Can you believe that was actually a thing?)

Men are the worst.

I am the worst.


WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

The Monkeyverse expanded to it’s grand finale, and wow, was it alright! I actually really didn’t care about this series, at all. James Franco caused the end of humanity. That’s all I want to and need to know, because it’s gonna happen in real life too.

The Francopocalypse. Just wait for it.


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

The MCU (oh my God) let me work through a lot of my Daddy Issues (TM) over the course of two hours in this rollicking funtime superhero movie. This wasn’t as fun as the first one, but it’s still better than most of the other Marvel flicks.

Sure, I loved Doctor Strange when I saw it at the theater, but that might have been the gallon of Ecstasy I drank in the bathroom right before the movie started. It was all like, “Whooaaa, maaannn,” but Guardians was more like “Whoa, man.” You know? You know!


BAYWATCH

You’d think a movie featuring lifeguards wouldn’t drown at the box office as badly as Baywatch did. Thank goodness there won’t be a Baywatchverse…except there already kind of is, since Baywatch Nights does indeed exist. Spooky Baywatch ghosts? Count me in! Let’s all go re-watch (and yes, I said re-watch) Baywatch Nights instead of picking this up from the five dollar bin at Wal-Mart.


THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

The Legoverse (fucking kill me) is actually a pretty funiverse to be in. Director Chris McKay, an Adult Swim veteran, slides right into place and clicks with all the other pieces of the film just dandy. You know, like a K’Nex? I went and saw this alone and for an hour in a half I forgot how sad and alone I was (and am!)! What a feat! Bravo, film! Bravo!

Also, thanks for all the in-jokes and podcast casting. Love it, for real. It panders right to my sense of happiness and belonging.


ALIEN COVENANT

Ohh, Ridley Scott. You’re so adorable, you keep trying so hard. But, gosh, this is gonna feel like taking away an elderly man’s tapioca at the nursing home, but dude, maybe it’s time to hang it up. Enjoy the spoils of your riches. Don’t make six more Alien films if they’re all going to be as lame as this one. What even happened? Michael Fassbender blew himself for a half hour, then people that we didn’t care about died. Lovely. Especially that first part. But dude man go face hug some margaritas and just relax! Or make Robin Hood again and see if anyone notices.


SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

What if Birdman became a giant metal bird, man? And birds eat spiders, right? Thus, Spider-Man: Homecoming was born!

God, this movie is dripping with so much meta-commentary it’s almost insulting. Even the title! The title, damnit!

It’s a great little flick, though. As far as superhero films go, it’s pretty low-key. The stakes, finally, aren’t world-ending, and there’s no big, blue laser threatening to, uh, y’know, cause the atmosphere to fart or whatever they do. But dang man if it ain’t the best portrayal of Spider-Boy on the big screen yet!…even if Spider-Man 2 is a darn-near perfect film and will never be topped by any of these Marvel waves.

I will literally fight you over this point, because I’ll take any human interaction I can.


ALL EYEZ ON ME

The title may have beckoned for a glance, but the audience’s eyes never quite made full contact with this limp Tupac biopic.

Ain’t no love from California here!

Only God Can Judge Me? Well, now so can Rotten Tomatoes!!!

These are shitty jokes, don’t publish them. Or, if they are published, don’t read them. Wait, this is too late of a warning, isn’t it?


THE BOOK OF HENRY

From the man who will be helming the next Star Wars film comes a lovely tale of a home-brew murder plot concocted by a MENSA-level preteen. How fucking adorable. It flopped and tanked and was dumb.

Don’t ruin Star Wars, you asshole. Jurassic World is not very good, everyone! Sorry to burst that bubble! Someone had to. Finally.


BABY DRIVER

Any film that seamlessly incorporates Beck’s “Debra” into the plot automatically gets a pass from me. Maybe in the future, when I drunkenly howl this at house parties (which mysteriously disband when I commence my rendition), I won’t seem like such a goofy oddball!

Edgar Wright finally made his passion project and for something he worked for so long on, the script feels hollow. The action is immaculate, as is his penchant for fun framing and kinetic camera movement, but the characters all feel kinda half-baked, and the central romance was cute but lacked any sense of actual heft. God, it sucks not loving things as much as everyone else, sometimes, because I feel like I come off as a pedantic asshole.

It’s not because I’m a trendy hipster, okay? It’s because I’m a shallow husk of a human being, barely clinging to this mortal coil. If you dumped a bucket of puppies on me as I was swimming in a pool of watermelon Jell-O, I’d still think Baby Driver was a solid 7/10.


WISH UPON

The only thing the audience wished for was an hour-in-a-half of their life back! Zing!

Shit man what am I even doing anymore…

I sometimes sit alone and wonder just exactly what the point is, in the long run? The shadows creep long at the edges of my mind, my dreamscape tattered with battered remnants of hazily happy memories, long gone, buried beneath dust, bone, and shattered dreams. I remember Cindy, her flaxen curls bounced, as did my heart. The heart I have now looks nothing as it did back then. Decrepit and empty, one wonders how my veins haven’t dried out yet. The constant whiskey swilling in my guts probably kept the rot at bay, somehow. A man can stare at sunset and sunrise and still not understand just how much gravity the situation has. What happened happened, and it happened because of me and my failings. As a man, a lover, a fighter. All of the above? Master of none.

Oh, sorry, slipped into my mediocre Noir mode there. That dumb, nonsense paragraph you just read is infinitely more interesting than this YA-Horror drivel.


DUNKIRK

More like DUMBkirk, huh?

Just kidding. This film was very intense. I don’t know how Nolan does it, man. He has this ability to craft such events in such wide of scopes that somehow never lose a sense of intimacy with his characters and the audience. He even got to do his little subversion of general cinematic formula with the time jumps, which only served to invest the audience even further, piecing together a puzzle throughout the whole film. That music, too, am I right?

When is Inception 2 coming out tho, 4 real?


THE EMOJI MOVIE

Who the fuck do you think you are, Sony? Better question: who do you think we, the people, are? Morons? Why in the fuck would you even think about turning static faces on our phones into a movie? Are you that morally and creatively bankrupt?

I cried. I cried when this was announced. I cried when I realized that Sony was right, because people were excited to hear Patrick Stewart say “We’re number two” while voicing an anthropomorphic piece of shit.

All of you who gave money to this travesty of cinema, this fucking black hole of happiness and all that is good and right in the world, YOU are the anthropomorphic pieces of shit! All of you, damn it! I feel like Charlton Heston at the end of the first Planet of the Apes!

At least TJ Miller knows it’s a sham and even said he knows they’re gonna “get paid, globally.”


Well, that’s about all I have to say about this year’s batch of blockbusters and such. If I missed anything, well, they probably weren’t important enough or relevant enough or I didn’t see them or I didn’t care gosh you’re very demanding you know that right? Tune in next year when I’ll cover the end of humanity as we know it, also known as “The Post Avengers: Infinity War” era.

 

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Josh Heath is a staff writer for Cut Print Film. He wants you to know how much he truly enjoys terrible movies.

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