Hope and I went to see Super 8 this weekend. Since Forest has been born, it’s harder and harder to see movies in the theater. Between the money, the time, and finding a sitter, it just doesn’t happen much. But this was one that interested us both, and we were not disappointed. I was a sucker for the Spielbergian atmosphere of the whole thing (I’m a big fan of E.T.), and even though it got a little more action-y towards the end, it never felt like it went totally off the rails.
Not like the movie was perfect, but I feel very positively disposed towards it. Mostly, that’s because this has been a very dire summer for movies, from my viewpoint. I’m pretty tired of seeing row after row of sequels/remakes/familiar property. That may sound a little hypocritical coming from the guy who recently devoted a whole entry to Tintin and my excitement for that movie, but that’s a little like my excitement for the Lord of the Rings. It’s part of who I am, and that’s always exciting. Most movie trailers today tend to elicit merely a weary sigh from me. I’m tired of being offered up mediocre superhero movies, and fourth installments of series that probably didn’t need more than one installment to begin with. Even the usually reliable Pixar has made Cars 2, a movie that I haven’t seen, but feels pretty mercenary.
The thing is, a lot of these movies would have had me pretty excited as recently as two or three years ago. I genuinely love the idea of summer movies, because I tend to be something of a populist where film is concerned. I like big exciting adventure stuff, with spectacle and action. Many of my favorite movies involve the words “Star Wars” or “Indiana Jones.” That’s the kind of stuff that made me excited to see movies when I was younger. So that could be why I’m so disillusioned right now. I like summer fare, but I crave something more original. I long for something I haven’t seen. Super 8 wasn’t quite what I’d call original, but it was well-directed and not too noisy, and for once, I was able to go in without ever knowing most of the basic premise.
What does excite me this summer? Well, I can only go on trailers, so I’m pretty excited about the new Planet of the Apes movie, which looks exciting enough to even interest Hope. Cowboys and Aliens looks just silly enough to get me excited, and the pedigree is surprisingly high there. And of course, there’s the last Harry Potter movie, although I’m ready to be done with those movies by this time. They’ve given me a lot of pleasure, and I will certainly buy the whole set at some point, but I’m worn out by the endless promotions and the unfortunate decision to split the last installment.
So there you go. I’m worn out from the endless parade of blockbusters. Maybe I’m just getting old, maybe I’m just getting picker. What do you think?