The Summer of Flops and Missed Opportunities

With Labor Day around the corner and students getting back to hitting the books, it’s a good time to reflect on the summer at hand. From an entertainment perspective, the last four months have been pretty lackluster. There have been very few mainstream movies that haven’t been dead on arrival and the trend looks to continue.

In Country Music, there hasn’t been one major release of new music since Alan Jackson put out Freight Train March 30. A couple of new singles have gone up the charts of late, but all the most anticipated new music isn’t coming out until September and October which is creating more than a significant jam.

the Indie world has been on fire however. Two of the summer’s best reviewed movies The Kids Are Alright and Winter’s Bone have come from that world. I’ve seen the former and it’s the closest Hollywood has come to releasing something decent in ages.

So what’s going on?

The tried and true formulas Hollywood has relayed on ages are falling apart. It’s gotten so bad that when a friend of mine mentioned having seen Iron Man 2 I didn’t even know it had been released yet!

The real problem is the reality of our times. Moviegoers seem to be waking up and taking notice to the dumbing down of cinema. The only film to make us use our brains has been Christopher Nolan’s Inception. It’s even recommend the film be viewed twice in order to absorb all that is going on. And viewers are flocking to it.

For all of us romantic types out there, their hasn’t been one romantic comedy worth watching since It’s Complicated. The main problem lays not only with the increasingly more insane plots but with the actors themselves (if they can be called that). With Jennifer Aniston and Katherine Higel taking the lead female roles in almost each film, the genre is suffering from overload. It makes one long for the days of Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts.

I can’t believe I’m about to write this but Jennifer Aniston has proven in the past that she can act. You don’t win an Emmy forFriends without putting in some hard work. Give her more roles like her indie-hit The Good Girl. At least there she was flexing her acting muscle. On the same note, Katherine Higal can act, too. Just watch her play Izzy Stevens dying of cancer on Grey’s Anatomy. Some great stuff there.

The other main problem is the been-there-done-that mentality. So many films seem to either fall in the same genre or be the same film made over and over. How many comic book / superhero films does America need? How many times do we have to suffer through Angelina Jolie playing the part of a super spy? Even surefire hits of last year from the likes of Judd Apatow are failing. And if I have to suffer through one more film staring Michael Cera I think I might be done with. Sure, he was likable in Juno, but he’s taken the geek shtick a bit too far.

What Hollywood needs, and badly, are some new ideas. They cannot rely on what used to make money. It’s happened time and time again, too much of a good thing has the adverse effect. Just ask Michael Patrick King and the cast of Sex and the City 2. I bet another film in the franchise will only be a dream in the minds of whomever still likes the sexploits of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte. The rest of the population has moved on.

The place where Hollywood needs to take notes is cable television. Whereas Hollywood has been struggling, television has been on fire as of late.

More to come…

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