And This Time, We Brought The Rock!

Reel DirtIt’s springtime!

And that means it’s almost summertime!

The-Rock-GIJoe-DollWhat’s significant about spring when it comes to movies? Not much.

Every once in a while, a studio will crank out something in the spring that they think has chops. Something that will get anyone out no matter what, or that they just want people to think has a good chance. Sometimes these movies do alright – witness: Oz, The Great and Powerful – and sometimes they don’t – witness: John Carter.

But real hope lies in the summer. That’s when a whole swath of the populace will no longer be restricted by the confines of the weekend! Mostly, I’m thinking about students, but teachers, as well, will have a greatly different schedule.

[pullquote]When the actual Memorial Day weekend and the new sequel arrive, not only are you going to have a movie that is the very definition of high octane slamming its way into theaters, but you’ll also see the culmination and confluence of two rivers of Hollywood happenstance…[/pullquote]

Big studios have been trying to push that nebulous boundary of summertime earlier and earlier so that it will eat up more and more of the calendar. Unofficially, Memorial Day (the beginning of the summer movie season) has been moved to May 3, Iron Man 3. Now that’s a movie I’ll be seeing at midnight. You’re welcome to join me.

I don’t know if this means that Hollywood will be lobbying for a shorter school year, but that would make perfect sense.

Before that, we have to finish off March. After slogging through Jack the Giant Killer, Dead Man Down, and Olympus Has Fallen, we have that new Rock movie coming out. No, I don’t mean it’s a movie about Alcatraz or the Rock of Gibraltar, I mean it’s a movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (who’ll always be just “The Rock” to me).  

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is opening on Good Friday, and that means that if you want to turn your brain off for a couple of hours and enjoy overpriced popcorn and soda in a quality temperature-controlled darkened theater, you have an opportunity to do so. The first one didn’t make sense, and this one doesn’t look like it’ll be much of a mindbender. (Heh heh – seven people got that joke.)

But it does introduce an interesting phenomenon that has been prevalent in recent years. The Rock has made appearances in the following movies: The Mummy Returns; Be Cool; Fast Five; and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

Notice something about that list? They’re all sequels! Not only that, but they’re sequels to movies that The Rock wasn’t in. The trend seems to be to establish a franchise, then bring The Rock in.

Granted, I wouldn’t say the people behind Get Shorty and Be Cool were looking to create a franchise per se, but still, the fact that I can name five examples of this, including the aforementioned G.I. Joe film, tells me that there are more than a few movie producers who see The Rock as a Hollywood clean-up hitter.

michelle-rodriguezAnother actor – or, in this case, actress – who has her own trend is Michelle Rodriguez.

In Lost, Michelle was killed in the second (or maybe third – feel free to write in if you know the correct one) season, and she came back after a fashion in the alternate world created in the sixth season for the producers to drive all the viewing audience certifiably insane. In the Resident Evil series, Michelle was killed in the first movie. (Oh … um … SPOILER ALERT.) However, we got to see her character again in the most recent installment, Resident Evil: Why Won’t This Series Die? At least, I think so … either that or it was Resident Evil: Retribution.

If you’ve been following the Fast & Furious movies, then you know that Michelle met her destiny in flashbacks in the fourth movie, which was not called Fast & Furious 4 but was just called Fast & Furious. That’s not to be confused with the first film, which was called The Fast and The Furious. Got that? Well, I hope so. But if you saw Fast Five (the fifth movie in the series), you saw a suggestion that she had again slipped the greasy claws of death and had made her way back to the land of the living.

If the previews are any indication, when the actual Memorial Day weekend and the new sequel arrive, not only are you going to have a movie that is the very definition of high octane slamming its way into theaters, but you’ll also see the culmination and confluence of two rivers of Hollywood happenstance: the recurringly resurrected Rodriguez meeting up with the Hollywood clean-up hitter. And both of them coming (fairly) recently off of similarly titled movies (Retribution vs. Retaliation). Coincidence? Probably.

So, I guess I’m saying go and see Fast & Furious 6.

In two months, when it comes out.

Maybe I wrote this article too early? Oh well. I’ll see you in a few.RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

About James Brown

James Brown
James Brown is not related, affiliated, or representative to or of the estate of the Godfather of Soul. Any similarity is purely coincidental.

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