Last week, Steven Soderbergh bemoaned the state of the film industry during a talk at the San Francisco International Film Fest, and this week, the Girls in Hoodies respond to some of his arguments. We use examples from a so-far-underwhelming summer movie season and Baz Luhrmann's upcoming The Great Gatsby 3D as fodder, and probably alienate every fan of Marvel's Avengers mega-franchise in the process.
Summer is always an endurance contest: week after week of Movies You Have to See. Once upon a time the season was four months, like actual summer. But climate change has managed to monkey with the Hollywood release schedule. Now summer starts whenever a studio says it does; last week Universal called summer first. So the season pretty much began in the middle of April, with Oblivion, which delivers Tom Cruise as the last man on Earth. The movie industry is hoping you like the end of the world. It's the source of the season's other endurance contest: seemingly endless months of planetary devastation, alien invasion, and surviving. Armageddon is the new Avengers.
Maybe it's foolish to wonder whether the bombing of the Boston Marathon and the subsequent citywide hunt for the perpetrators wasn't summer movie enough. Maybe this should have been the summer Mark Wahlberg partied with the vulgar teddy bear. We are strong, however. Absentminded, too. So if Brad Pitt wants to race around the globe in the name of stopping a zombie pandemic, we might be helpless not to watch. But there's something going on when even the comedies are horning in on that action. I saw the poster for This Is the End, with the faces of all those funny people — Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, James Franco, Jay Baruchel — and assumed it was about a bunch of man-children graduating from night school or getting drunk at a wedding or something. It might still be about that. But it's also about how a disaster has hit Los Angeles and left them stuck with each other. I'm going to go ahead and predict that Robinson dies first.
We've got summer blockbusters on the brain this week on the Hollywood Prospectus, and so we thought it'd be a good time to run back some of the summer movies we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts, the films that epitomize everything a summer movie should be. There will be explosions, there will be bus jumps, there will be fridge-nukes. But mostly, there will be our enduring love of summer escapism in its purest form. (Also, three-breasted hookers.)
With Emily still recovering from Coachella, and Molly still recovering from Anthony Mackie in a Dan Marino jersey, the Girls decided to ditch the map this week and free-form jazz their way through their discussion of an eventful pop cultural week. (So eventful, in fact, that we didn't even get around to talking about Amanda Bynes's face! Apologies for going off-brand.) The highlights were of course Emily's weekend in Tatooine Indio, and the Grantland staff's (controversial!) Pain & Gain screening, but other topics discussed include:
The Dark Knight Rises, which will conclude Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, is one of this summer's most highly anticipated films which naturally means it's a prime target for parodists. Oscar winner Christian Bale and Oscar nominee Anne Hathaway are fine and everything, but when the movie comes out in July, will they really be able to top the performances in these parody trailers?
No one you know was more upset about G.I. Joe: Retaliation getting bumped from opening June 29 of this year to March 29 of next year than I was. I mean, by the time those Cobra banners unfurl on the White House, I could be dead! When Paramount announced the move last week, the reasons seemed sketchy: Really, converting it to 3-D? This is a good business decision five weeks out from its scheduled release date? Sure enough, now this cover story is starting to show its holes.