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.




Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.


Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.


Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.


Alastair Sim: A Very English Character Actor Genius

Alastair Sim belongs to those character actors sometimes accused of "hamming it up" because they work at such a high level of internal and external technique that they can't help standing out.


Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's New LP Is Lacking in Songcraft but Rich in Texture

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's The Mosaic of Transformation is a slightly uneven listen. It generally transcends the tropes of its genre, but occasionally substitutes substance for style.


Buzzcocks' 1996 Album 'All Set' Sees the Veteran Band Stretching Out and Gaining Confidence

After the straightforward and workmanlike Trade Test Transmissions, Buzzcocks continued to hone their fresh identity in the studio, as exhibited on the All Set reissue contained on the new box-set Sell You Everything.


Patrick Madden's 'Disparates' Makes Sense in These Crazy Times

There's no social distancing with Patrick Madden's hilarious Disparates. While reading these essays, you'll feel like he's in the room with you.


Perfume Genius Purges Himself and It's Contagious

You need to care so much about your art to pack this much meaning into not only the words, but the tones that adorn and deliver them. Perfume Genius cares so much it hurts on Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Confinement and Escape: Emma Donoghue and E.L. Doctorow in Our Time of Self-Isolation

Emma Donoghue's Room and E.L. Doctorow's Homer & Langley define and confront life within limited space.


Political Cartoonist Art Young Was an Aficionado of all Things Infernal

Fantagraphics' new edition of Inferno takes Art Young's original Depression-era critique to the Trump White House -- and then drags it all to Hell.


Folk's Jason Wilber Examines the World Through a Futurist Lens in 'Time Traveler' (album stream)

John Prine's former guitarist and musical director, Jason Wilber steps out with a new album, Time Traveler, featuring irreverent, pensive, and worldly folk music.

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.