I spend most of each winter wishing it was warm. Be careful what you wish for, I guess, because I have spent much of the last few months wishing this summer back to the cornfield. Irony is perverse.
What a Georgia summer it’s been: when it’s not raining, it’s 95 degrees with 105 percent humidity. Unless you’re one of the fortunate few with a pool, pleasant days to spend time outdoors have been rare. I haven’t even uncovered my patio furniture. (Come to think of it, of the last few summers here, the majority have pretty much sucked raw eggs.)
I guess that makes it easier to be inside, chained to the computer, which is where I’m usually to be found. But it makes me sad…and I’m pale, for crying out loud! I hate being pale.
Few summer distractions have mitigated the pall. July 4th was a notable exception, when I spent time with friends at a BBQ and fireworks extravaganza. Last month, a day at a friend’s pool, topped off by the best steak I’ve had in years, was a slice of paradise. And then there was last weekend, which was a fabulous trip to see high school friends and former coworkers in Milwaukee—what a wonderful excursion filled with reminiscing, catching up, and exploring a delightfully vital city that people seldom visit just to see (pity…Milwaukee has a great deal to offer).
“I’m going to write about this weekend.”
“What were you going to write about before?”
(The Big Chill)
Other than that, blah.
“But summer,” you say, “is the season of movie blockbusters! What a great time to be you, Movie Freak!” Well, this summer’s movies have been quite a letdown. Let’s review.
Terminator Salvation is a complete bust. Let’s not even talk about it.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine has claws but no teeth. It didn’t blow my socks off, even though I’m a big fan of both X-Men and Hugh Jackman.
Transformers 2 …oops, didn’t see it. Somehow I couldn’t bring myself to watch that Fox woman for two hours. Guess I’ll catch it on video. [Later addition: Saw it; fun but a bit dizzying; yup, could have done without that Fox chick.]
I enjoyed Public Enemies, which is a well-made film and features Johnny Depp (nearly always a sure thing), but let’s face it…this cleverly understated film doesn’t really rank among the blockbuster hopefuls.
All the crazy action films and big productions get thrown at us in the dog days of summer, when it’s easier to sit in an ice box with other overheated movie-watchers (wishing we’d brought a sweatshirt) than to spend the dough to cool the house a bit more. And I think the studios count on that and chuck a bunch of explosions and CGI into a bag, shake it up, and present their cocktail as the next coming. It’s sad. Where are the intriguing characters? Where is the tongue-in-cheek roller-coaster ride? Where are today’s Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jaws?
Star Trek came closest this summer to capturing that magic I miss. It’s a pretty well-crafted homage to the original series, souped up with modern effects, a passable plot, and creditable performances. It’s not perfect, and there’s some schlock, but the action and effects are riveting and the humor flows from obvious affection for and understanding of Rodenberry‘s original characters.
So, it seems, this summer has become one big nostalgia spree. I must be getting old.
I’m looking forward to seeing District 9, a late summer entry, which looks smart and is receiving good press. Perhaps it can redeem this summer of lost blockbuster-less souls. (Or, is that soulless blockbusters?) [Later addition: This is an AWESOME film! I appreciate it on so many levels. As I mentioned in a thread elsewhere, it’s like a mix of Independence Day, The Fly, and Blood Diamond. If you haven’t already, SEE IT.]
For once, I am also looking forward to September (complete with Lucifer and the apocalypse…on Supernatural; OK, so maybe I’m not just getting old as much as entering my second childhood as I join the ranks of the fangirls…).
Me, looking forward to fall…it’s just so wrong.
Hey, you kids—git off my lawn!