Some of my fondest memories growing up were summer vacations at Emerald Isle in North Carolina. Being at the beach for a week had advantages in and of itself, but my favorite activity was trips to the local cinema and seeing the most recent Summer Blockbuster. Some of these were comical duds, e.g. Wild Wild West (those Jim West sunglasses from Burger King were on point, however). Some just escaped me, e.g. Men in Black. Some were just outright bad bad bad bad bad bad, e.g. Godzilla (but I do love that soundtrack), and a few, like Spiderman 2, would become my favorite films of all time.
The movies that fall into the category of “summer blockbuster” are an interesting breed. They belong to no specific genre, but at the same time they remain a genre unto themselves. They’re built for a massive audience via a delivery system of pure spectacle.
Over the years, the summer movie season has become something lesser. Remember the anticipation? The fevered rush to get tickets? Nowadays my excitement level hovers near zero regarding most summer blockbusters. I think there are two main reasons for this downturn, rampant disappointments and perpetual, regurgitated franchising that always lends an air of overfamiliarity.
Still, occasionally there are glimmers of hope. Low expectations transformed into awe. I can’t help but think about my glowing response to Edge of Tomorrow — and that was four years ago! Due to my lackluster attitude, I’ve been late to some summer blockbusters. I didn’t see Avengers until three years after its release, and I’m not referring to the one with Sean Connery in a teddy bear suit.
As for the guidelines in picking a movie for this Cinema Shame prompt, I think the only parameter for a potential selection is that it had be released between the months of May through August. It just has to *feel* like a summer blockbuster. Movies built on spectacle and pure entertainment value. My choices for this month will be watching the most recent films from the Planet of the Apes series: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes.
As always, submit your Cinema Shame Summer Blockbusters by tweeting your link to @CinemaShame or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to your selections, conversation and good natured ribbing over these choices.
Please, someone, anyone watch Armageddon.
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