I spent the summer looking for a good movie. Didn’t find one. Maybe I’ll have better luck in the fall.
Hollywood took a hit this Summer. It seemed every week, a gigantic movie that had a budget bigger than Mexico came out and then flopped. Here are just a few:
Tom Cruise has had a bad year. First Jack Reacher came and went in a weekend then, the much-anticipated Oblivion slipped into …well… oblivion. Somehow the guy just can’t seem to get a hit any more. I heard TOP GUN 2 is in the works. Oh great. Now we get to see a 51 year-old pilot travel faster than light. And will it have Val Kilmer (all 300 pounds of him) and Kelly McGillis looking like a grandma. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
WHITE HOUSE DOWN
Tatum Channing took some time off from dancing at Magic Mike’s to spend a week-end in the Secret Service. Not a bad movie. Lots of implausible action though. But it’s a Summer movie and Summer movies aren’t supposed to make sense.
THE LONE RANGER
Audiences were just not into seeing Tonto with a dead crow on his head. It really wasn’t all that bad, but it looks like it’s going to be just a lone ranger (as in the only one, no sequels). The $250 million dollar budget buried the movie in a wave of backlash even before it opened.
sank into the Pacific Ocean, never to be seen again. This $200 million dollar movie was supposed to have a different angle— monsters attacking from the ocean floor.
This was done 60 years ago with Ray Harryhausen’s special effects. Now it’s CGI and the monsters aren’t lovable this time.
Good idea for a movie: Earth 1000 years in the future. But it fell apart the minute Jaden Smith appeared. Which is unfortunate because he’s on screen in every second of the movie. Word has it now that the kid has such a swelled head he threw a tantrum because the production company wouldn’t let him have his own Hollywood apartment. (He just turned 13.) Anyway, Will Smith is trapped in a space ship on a dysfunctional Earth and throughout the entire movie Blue Tooths his son instructions on how to rescue him.
THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE
This flopped badly. Was it because Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey had wigs that flopped badly? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas and that’s where this movie stayed.
It’s hard to figure out why so many movies flopped; each and every one had a sure-fire star money-maker. I personally feel, with the economy not yet recovered and ticket prices so high, a night out at the movies just isn’t worth it. After candy and popcorn, a couple will spend close to $50.
And there’s the competition from streaming services. Netflix, ROKU and others are easy to download and offer a wide selection of stay-at-home entertainment. Let’s not forget Sy-Fy also offers Sharknado (and its sequel Shrimpnado); how can you go wrong staying home? There were good movies too—and I’ll cover them in a future column.
Watch for my Halloween Special next time.
Ric Pantale, writer and director, is an independent film maker.