Summer Lackbusters Part 1

By Ygal Kaufman

SummerMovieThe American summer movie scene is the most American thing that begins with “American…” Take that, apple pie, Dallas Cowboys, and porn. Our summer movie schedule puts giant terrible spectacles shoulder-to-shoulder with beautiful classics like nothing short of the Olympics, or a Kardashian wedding. Here’s a movie of note for each week through the end of the summer:

Jersey Boys – June 20
Clint Eastwood directed an adaptation of a Broadway musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons… Unfortunately I’m too young to pretend I give a crap about this, but too old to disrespect a Clint Eastwood movie. The stage version is more popular than oxygen, so you have to imagine this will be big.

Transformers 4 – June 27
Remember all that derisive Kardashian talk from the intro? Here’s the Kim & Kanye of summer sci-fi. This is actually the fourth movie in a series based off action figures, starring Mark Wahlberg and John Goodman as the voice of a crafty robot commando named “Hound.” And when I have to explain my functional usefulness to society to some future alien overlord to justify my meager food rations, they’ll google that previous sentence and have me blown out of the airlock. Which is to say, this movie looks really stupid.

Tammy – July 2
Melissa McCarthy has been on fire over the last few years, with multiple megahit movies and a long-running popular sitcom on CBS. Unfortunately, I thought her two biggest hits (The Heat and Bridesmaids) were a little overrated and her show, Mike and Molly, is objectively terrible. So not to be a contrarian, but I haven’t gotten what the big deal is. Here I finally expect to “get it.” A raunchy road movie written and directed by the immensely talented Ben Falcone, starring McCarthy along with Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Dan Aykroyd, Toni Collete, and Gary Cole.

Boyhood – July 11
A movie Richard Linklater actually shot over the course of 12 years, as a young actor grew from 5 to 18. This movie is probably for you if you like watching sunsets with your parents. I don’t mean that in a bad way. If you’re into that, I recommend this fine-looking film. My dad and I are probably going to see something a little less feely and soft.

The Purge 2 – July 18
Oh, hey there, something a little less feely and soft. Just kidding, this movie will likely be even worse than its primogenitor, a movie that imagines a world where one night per year we’re all allowed to just kill each other and go bananas. I would spend July 18 reading a book if I were you…

Lucy – July 25
This one should get the brain cells moving a bit more. It’s about a girl who gets dosed with a drug that unlocks her brain’s potential, allowing her to use “more of it,” not to get too sciencey on you, and thus allowing her to see the future, visually manipulate lines of communication in the air, physically change her bodily attributes like hair color, and selectively just knock people unconscious and telepathically manipulate anything she wants with her mind, and… you know what? Let’s just agree this looks terrible and not go to the movies in the second half of July.

To be concluded next week…