Summer Movie Madness: Halftime

Reel DirtActors-Summer-Movies-2013As we sneak past midsummer and into the dog days, we have a good idea of how the summer is shaping up. So far, Iron Man 3 has been far and away the major “BOO-YA!” of the summer, but like Bon Jovi says, “We’re halfway there …”

Fast & Furious 6 has already come out swinging and is aiming for $250 million before it has to go home. Not a bad day at the office for The Rock, Vin, et al.

Man of Steel swooped down all powerful and locomotive-like with an impressive opening weekend. However, it didn’t carry him through the following weeks, and it looks like Monsters University is going to be doing its own rampaging over the man of steel, The Heat, and White House Down as “˜Merica’s birthday comes up and marks the middle of the season.

If anything makes more than Iron Man 3, I’ll eat my hat. (Yes, I have a chocolate hat. What’s your point?)

Your local cinema still has a lot to offer before we get to the technical end of the summer movie season. That doesn’t happen until Labor Day. Before that, there’s a masked cowboy movie, a CGI supervillain tale, a clawed mutant’s adventures in Japan, and a flick about giant monsters fighting giant robots, and more to deal with. And I’m looking forward to it.

My prediction is that we’ve already seen the biggest moneymaker hit the theaters. Some of the upcoming flicks will perform very well, but if anything makes more than Iron Man 3, I’ll eat my hat. (Yes, I have a chocolate hat. What’s your point?)

Despicable Me will probably score highest in the second half of the summer, but The Wolverine and The Lone Ranger will do alright. Pacific Rim, like all other Guillermo del Toro movies, is hard to predict. I think it will at least do better than Hangover III.

A Big Ball of Universes

Will the real 2013 summer movie president please stand up?
Will the real 2013 summer movie president please stand up?

You ever think about the fact that every time you see a movie, you’re glimpsing an entirely different universe? Think about it. In one universe, the president in 2013 looks like Aaron Eckhart; in another, he looks like Jamie Foxx. In another, he might look like William Sadler and wear a suit of armor every now and again that looks like Iron Man’s.

Every movie we see, we reset the universe in our heads to allow a myriad of new, mutually exclusive possibilities. I think that’s pretty amazing. For a couple of hours, we are asked to forget what we know about our world.

Some of them are much more blatant about it. If the movie is set in the future, or on another planet, or in some fantastical realm, it’s pretty much saying, “This stuff ain’t real.”

But flicks that are set in a world more like our own, such as Fast & Furious, or The Great Gatsby, or even The Hangover – why not believe that all these things happen in one, single, other world? A single movie world where you can go from watching Rocky fight Apollo to seeing Woody Allen and Diane Lane chase lobsters around a kitchen and then stumbling across Dustin Hoffman “walkin’ over here!”?

Or maybe all the worlds where you hear Morgan Freeman’s voice coming from nowhere all coexist. He’s talking about penguins and Shawshankian convicts and also is God. Follow him around for a day, and I imagine that there’d be some incredible shenanigans of biblical proportions to witness.

Marketing-wise, a single movie universe would be an easy sell. Every movie would be a sequel to every other movie. And if you could extend it to the worlds of science fiction, plot holes would be so easy to fill.

It also makes Patton Oswalt’s rant about the future of Star Wars seem a lot more believable. Han Solo fights the X-Men fights Pegasus fights Thanos fights cyborg Chewbacca. Makes perfect sense. Patrick Swayze’s character from Ghost has to fight the Ghostbusters to come back and save Demi Moore from Charlie’s Angels, one of whom is now also a leader of a group of deadly Japanese gangsters? Sure. Why not?

And if you don’t think that the last scene in the latest Fast & Furious would be a great catapult into an F&F/Transporter crossover (or even a Crank crossover), then you have no soul.

I’ll see you soon. I have to go pick up the latest issue of Maxim and figure out who the boss is now.RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

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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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