Summer Movies That More People Should Be Looking Forward To (A Mad As Hell Op-Ed Piece)

I know it’s tough when there are so many blockbusters to be had in the summertime.   And I’m going to say this and be met with some resistance, but really, the blockbusters haven’t been all that great.  With the exception of Star Trek it’s been a pretty tepid summer.  So, here are the anti-blockbusters that you can see once you are tired of the mediocrity that has been left on our doorsteps this summer:


Why You Should See It:  It has Sam Rockwell, who is a phenom of an actor.  The man is prime to take over and you need to be in on the ground floor.  Plus, this film looks like 2001: A Space Odyssey meets 12 Monkeys.  And furthermore, it’s directed by Duncan Jones, who is David Bowie’s son.    “Ground control to Major Tom, commencing countdown, engines on, check…out this film.”

500 Days of Summer

Why You Should See It: Alright, I know I said Sam Rockwell is prime to take over Hollywood, but he’ll have to share some of it with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Levitt has come a long way and is becoming the rising star to watch.   His other big film this year is G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but it’s less likely to show his real acting range. Billed as a romantic comedy, it looks like it takes the rom-com formula and subtracts all of the cliché  moments that audiences have come to expect.  I’m going out on a limb and stating that this film will be Romantic Comedy Nirvana.

Taking Woodstock

Why You Should See It: It would be easier to list why not to see it, but I’m an optimist so here goes.  Ang Lee is directing, and few directors understand the human condition better.  Emile Hirsch, Demetri Martin, and Liev Schreiber are talented performers and typically give 110% in their endeavors.  Focus Features is behind the distribution and they tend to back , in recent years at least, some of the more memorable films (Milk, Sin Nombre, In Bruges…).  Lastly, the film created some real buzz at the Cannes Film Festival, which is the type of recognition a film of this caliber needs to be a success.

So, to recap that is one anti-blockbuster for each month of summer.  If you attend the movies once a month, take heed of my warning…these are the films to see.  The blockbuster seal has been broken and nothing else (besides Public Enemies and Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince) looks that promising.   Give these anti-blockbuster films, blockbuster box office takes…the other films don’t really need it.


About Pamp

Pamp is a lover of great scotch, good films, and bad fiction. When not playing video games or reading comics, he occasionally helps teens figure out "things and stuff". On a good day he does all three at once.

Posted on June 15, 2009, in Mad As Hell Op-Ed and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. So far this summer has been pretty slow, but I am sure it will pick up as we go through. Every year people say it is the worst summer for the movies but the three aforementioned films look like they will hold some clout.

  2. Mike Pampinella

    I’m hoping things do pick up. I want this summer to be successful, because sooner or later film executives will say “time to dial it back and cut the budgets on these action films” which will result in even more mediocrity.

  3. When I saw the “Taking Woodstock” trailer I was giddy with excitement. It could easily be too precious, but I don’t really care.

  4. Mike Pampinella

    And Wendy, I too was giddy and I think this summer could do with a little more “preciousness”.

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