Wait, no, that’s not right. In fact this is the exact opposite. Instead of teaching you to fish for a lifetime, I’m gonna give you a way to beat the heat for about 90 minutes.
Go see a movie in the theater! Here’s what’s in town right now:
Our resident uber-multiplex has a standard smattering of everything you’d expect from Hollywood: six sequels, a spinoff, a terrible piece of trash, and a Jennifer Aniston movie that will probably disappoint you.
In addition to Despicable Me 2 which has been owning the box office for the last month, there’s The Smurfs 2, RED 2, Grown Ups 2, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and The Wolverine. Aside from all being second installments, they are all sequels to terrible movies. And of them, only The Wolverine has received any type of positive reviews, by which I mean lukewarm reviews. Grown Ups 2 is notable for how unnecessary it was and how much it made me lose faith in humanity. If the apocalypse has a face, it will surely look like Adam Sandler.
You could also opt for Planes. It’s not a sequel, just a spin off… of the worst movie I’ve ever seen: Disney/Pixar’s Cars. So temper your expectations, or make sure you have toddlers, as they’re the only ones who could possibly enjoy this.
If there’s one other face that will adequately replace Sandler’s as the endorsed celebrity spokesman of the end of days, it would surely be Jennifer Aniston. But for once, her movie actually looks sort of decent. We’re the Millers is a crime comedy about a fake family of criminals with Jason Sudeikis and a host of cameos by comedy greats.
Other than the sequels (and Ragnarok personified), there’s still Pacific Rim, reviewed here two weeks ago. If you don’t feel like digging up my review of it, the short version is it’s a rip off of several underwhelming movies you’ve seen before, crammed into an unimaginative sci-fi candy shell. So set your phasers to snore.
Regal Cinemas 9th Street
This theater is a little smaller, and frankly looks like it won’t be with us a year from now, resembling the set from High Noon more than that of a thriving theater.
But they’ve actually got a current crop of damn decent films to be seen if you can’t stand the heat.
The Heat is still on. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy’s action comedy has been blowing up the box office; we reviewed it here a few weeks ago, and I can’t strongly enough endorse this surprising little gem.
Other than that, there’s 2 Guns, last week’s box office champion, which is a fun-looking little buddy action flick with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. The Conjuring is an actually scary-looking horror movie based on a “true story.” (By which, of course, I mean a completely untrue story.) And rounding out the field is the brand new Elysium by visionary director Neil Blomkamp, who brought us the brilliant District 9 (2011). This sci-fi epic stars Matt Damon in a part that was previously offered to Eminem. That’s not even the ramp up to a joke. The part was really turned down by Eminem and accepted by the Oscar winner, Damon. So who knows what to expect?
Thank God for the Darkside. Corvallis’ only truly independent theater is running a nice complement of terrific-looking films.
Lovelace is a star-studded look at the life and times of legendary porn star Linda Lovelace. It’s got James Franco playing a young Hugh Hefner, so… yes, please.
Much Ado About Nothing is Joss Whedon’s take on Shakespeare’s original rom-com. He popped this one out on the fly in between productions of The Avengers and The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. It puts the classic tale of love and misunderstanding in modern times, so… it can’t be worse than Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet, right?
Fruitvale Station is a dramatization of the true story of Oscar Grant’s death at the hands of police in Oakland. It was a smash hit at Sundance Film Festival this year.
The Kings of Summer is the well-reviewed coming of age comedy with TV stars Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Tony Hale, and Allison Brie in supporting roles.
20 Feet from Stardom is the acclaimed documentary on the lives of backup singers. People have been calling this one of the best movies about music in years.
And after Thursday when the lineup gets shuffled, there’s a slate of new and excellent films that “suck less.” One in particular that looks fabulous is Blue Jasmine, the hilarious-looking new Woody Allen film with Cate Blanchet, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., and Andrew Dice Clay.
So before you drag that kiddie pool out of the garage and fill it with ice cubes, consider the fine tradition of movie-going excellence we have to work with in Corvallis. And remember that no matter how bad or good the movie is, you’ll always get a going rate for the cool breeze.
By Ygal Kaufman