The summer movies just don't seem to exist this year.
While Captain America 3 wasn't bad, it came out too long ago to be considered a summer film. Now You See Me 2 wasn't awful, but as a sequel it didn't really surpass the original, and beyond that (I've never been a huge Finding Nemo/Dory fan), it's really been slim pickings this summer. Tarzan? Independence Day 2: Who Asked For It? The Purge 3? Central Intelligence? Me Before You? The BFG? That's what we have to choose from? It's been a pretty slow season for movies..and usually the summer is awash is big, bold spectacle (even if they're not always the most cinematically skilled). While there are still a few glimmers of hope coming up (Ghostbusters Redux? Jason Bourne? Suicide Squad?) there's no question it's been a poor summer for movies. The question is...why?
I've read for a long time about how the changing mechanics of the studio industry was ultimately going to lead to fewer, safer, more cookie-cutter films in order to assure profits. Since movies cost too much to make, market, and sell in American and global markets, it's vital that they have a universal, multi-cultural appeal (i.e. lots of explosions and fighting with a simple plot-line), and be tied to sure-fire franchises (i.e. sequels or reboots only). While the sequel surge is nothing new, perhaps we're finally starting to see the effects of this coming trend. Are movies starting to become safer, less frequent, and more predictable, or am I just getting cranky as I get older? Sadly, it's probably a little bit of both.
So while I'm sure I'll go see Star Trek 3...Again later this year, and while The Founder might finally offer some fresh blood into the "good movie pool" this season, it's looking like a bust for Summer 2016. Not to worry, they'll be a whole new batch of superhero films and reboots in 2017....hopefully they're just a little bit better.