S.G. Browne

Movie Review Monday: Summer Movie Sigh

When I saw the slate of films scheduled to be released this summer, I found myself filled with anticipation for more than a dozen upcoming movies, including Super 8, Green Lantern, X-Men: First Class, Horrible Bosses, Cowboys & Indians, and The Tree of Life. While I haven’t seen all of these films yet, I have to say that so far I’ve been underwhelmed.

Super 8 was fun and entertaining, but I felt it lacked the emotional resonance of the Spielberg films to which it paid homage. Horrible Bosses wasn’t nearly as funny as I’d hoped it would be, especially considering the cast. And while I appreciated the acting and what Malick was saying in The Tree of Life, if I want to spend half an hour watching the evolution of life on Earth, I’ll turn on The Discovery Channel.

Maybe it’s because I have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly. Maybe it’s because I’m too familiar with the actors and directors. Maybe it’s because I read and hear too much hype about these films so that by the time I actually see them, they can’t possibly live up to my expectations.

I remember going to see movies and not knowing anything about them except maybe a little word of mouth buzz. I didn’t know anything about films like Big, The Untouchables, or Beverly Hills Cop before I saw them other than who the stars of the films were. I had no idea what the movies were about or who was directing them or what critics were saying. I don’t even remember seeing any television commercials. Or billboards. Or ads on the sides of buses. I just went to see films and enjoyed them without any preconceived notions.

I didn’t even have any expectations when I went to see Star Wars for the first time in 1977. And I didn’t have a clue what Raiders of the Lost Ark was about until I saw the film on video a year after it left the theaters. But today, the advertising is impossible to miss.

I don’t know if the saturation of information and hype is partially to blame for my less-than-enthusiastic response to some of these films, but so far the best movie I’ve seen this summer has been Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, which had no significant marketing or hoopla surrounding it but which was a fun, intelligent, and creative film. And which should at least get Allen an Oscar nomination for Best Original Script.

Filed under: Movie Review Mondays,Movies and Books — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 8:00 am