PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The PopMatters Summer Movie Preview

In past years, Hollywood purposely counter programmed these renowned Cineplex dog days, trying to offset the perception that cinematic scraps were all the studios had to offer. Today: August films, including The Bourne Ultimatum.

Stay tuned each day through Friday as we preview the coming summer films month by month.

The ape is back. That's right, that sizable simian known as the Summer Blockbuster movie season is ready to make its way, Kong like, across the vast pop culture landscape. Back in the days before such massive motion picture monkey business, in the halcyon days when two or maybe three films total felt like legitimate contenders for the typical sun and fun hyperbole, audiences could catch their breath, noting that said unavoidable 800lb gorillas were few and far between. But over the last couple of years, studios have stopped playing fair, and instead have decided to overwhelm us with weekly doses of mass marketed choices. That's right, every Friday between 4 May and 31 August there will be at least one inescapable big budget extravaganza making its way onto multiple screens at your local Cineplex, demanding your attention, and dollars.

It's really quite astounding when you think about it. May 2007 alone will see the return of three major franchise films, with two promising to bring their terrific trilogies to an epic, earth-shattering end. June will see the arrival of four more, while July and August offer up a pair each. In fact, with nearly 10 guaranteed moneymakers in the commercial queue, over the next 16 weeks Hollywood could have one of the biggest popcorn picture paydays ever. Sure, the budgets have ballooned astronomically, making such a windfall seem insignificant, but with a half dozen films poised to bring in $300 million or more, these cash machine chimps should enjoy one helluva championship season. And don't worry if you forget one or two -- Madison Avenue will make you well aware of their already overwhelming presence.

Of course, for every Alpha male entry, the chest-pounding movie destined to dominate the leisure time arena and business bottom line week in and week out, there are ancillary choices. Call them 'Simian Sidekicks' or 'Outsider Primates' -- ready to relieve some of the "Sold Out" stress that comes with summer. In fact, many of these off titles promise more art and invention in their cinematic stance than their higher profile brethren. So no matter if you choose the 800lb gorilla sitting smack dab in the middle of the room, letting these blockbuster brutes overpower you with the sheer size of their status, or you make an effort to seek out and enjoy some of the beast's creative kinfolk, it's clear that industry evolution is redefining the Summer Movie season. For most, it's just survival of the fittest. For others, it's a question of entertainment extinction.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.


Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.


'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.


The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.


The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.


'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.


1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.


'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.


The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.


Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.


15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.


'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.


20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.


Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.


The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.


Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).


Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.