He stirs. He rolls to one side. His arms feel the coursing blood of a dozen film reels slowly revitalizing him into consciousness.
No, that was not in response to memories of watching The Master. I have awoken once more. The temperature is rising (in theory) and the threat of the longest, coldest, blandest fucking winter in history is beginning to abate. That’s right! I have returned! Mama bear has risen from her den of lazy iniquity, doing her best to ignore the last four months of utter penis-drizzle that has decorated our silver screens (Pro-tip, if your movie theater is sticky, use disinfectant).
It is a time honored tradition among critics (well, just me) to lull oneself into a three month slumber, a coma of such artistic impenetrability even Rip Van Winkle would say ‘dial it back a bit, homes’ (because we all know Rip Van Dubs was totes hood – look it up). After the annoyance and rampant self-congratulatory visual masturbation of ‘awards’ season, cinema annually decides to not only ‘take it easy’ but to essentially attempt suicide. This, my friends, is the Time of Turds, the Armpit of Art, the Peril of Perry. Think I’m over-reacting? Think I’m hyperbolizing? Remember this butt-plugging-woman-hating-ham-fisting-kardashian-employing-smeg-ulicious gem?
Granted, my critical hibernation had a few desirable hiccups along the way. Evil Dead was fun. I mean, not in the “Let’s hang out and grab coffee” kind of way, but rather, if I saw Evil Dead hanging out at a party, I’d totally say hi and make awkward conversation for a few moments. It was a classy film. Did I say classy? I meant bitch-cut-off-her-own-arm-with-a-meat-shaver. That movie was terrible. And fucking amazing.
Anyhoo…I’m back. From outer space. I just walked in to see you here with that sad look upon your face. And guess the fuck what? I’m back in time for mutherfucking SUMMER MOVIE SEASON!
(Cue audience applause)
That’s right, folks, the Rear Admiral of Snark is about to admiral his rear in the direction of some of these seasonal stinkers. Do I think it’s absurd that I’m talking about summer movies while still wearing a scarf because it’s thirty fucking degrees outside? Of course not! Because when I moved to this back-asswards town they call Chi, I knew what I was signing up for. That’s right, a Checkovian/Satrian/ Beckettian nightmare of meteoric implausibility and almost rabid weather-based mood swings. So, zipping up my winter coat, lets talk about the joke that is SUMMER.
Those of you who read my articles last year, you know, when I was writing articles and such, you will know that I have four distinct and essential categories of summer film: first, the coveted Movies I Want to See, you know, the films that get my fan boy goulies all twisted up with some kind of Joss-Whedon Family-Jewel Juice (Patent-pending). These are the movies that, when their glorious cheeky grins spread across the movieplex, I’m reduced to a galloping and insufferable child, returned once more to my days of hiding behind the couch when that Nazi’s head explodes at the end of Raiders. This is Class A, premium cut, top quality ass meat (but the good kind of ass…like rump, you know, not-anus meat). Expectations will be high! Sweeping declarations will be made! Tears will be shed! Dreams, like a really dodgy masquerade ball filled with David Bowie look-alikes and far too much Bowie-Balls, will be shattered! This is usually where the most weeping occurs, fair warning to you all.
Second: Movies I will See and Hate Myself. Let’s be real. Cinema is a drug. No, fuck that. Movies are candy. They’re a pack of gummy worms, of Reese’s Pieces, of sugar-encrusted cola bottles because, fuck, I certainly wasn’t getting enough sugar when I bought the regular old 100% sugar treat designed to taste like a drink made of 100% pure cane white gold. You have one, but you know it doesn’t stop there. You reach into the pack again and again. I mean, you could cook something with, you know, nutrition but…well, that’s all the way in the kitchen and this grab bag of pre-diabetes is already right here. You eat and gorge and stuff and suck and, before you know it, you’re three hundred pounds getting a Reese’s Hysterectomy (full disclosure: not really sure what a hysterectomy is, but it sounds cool – fuller disclosure: OF COURSE I KNOW WHAT A HYSTERECTOMY IS). During the summer, I will return to the movie theater again and again, hoping that this time…well…this time it’ll be different. We all hear ourselves saying it: “But guys, maybe they’ll get Wolverine right this time?” or “Well, I know watching the last Smurfs movie was like getting a lap dance from Rush Limbaugh…but this is a sequel,” or, “Fuck it. Just give me two scoops of Transformers: Whatever the Fuck the Next One Will Be Called.” Yes, these are the movies that, on a rainy summer night with nothing else to do, we might reach into the bag and wake up the next morning with apenda-Michael-Bay-citis. These are the movies that are soulless, pointless, classless and, in the worst way possible, worthless. They’re the movies you will one day catch on TV when you have the flu and, due to general weakness and the fear of self-defecation, can’t reach the control. I’ll see them. I’ll ‘meh’ them. I’ll forget them. Like that one movie I forgot last year… Can’t remember the name of it, but it’ll come back to me.
Third: Movies I Will See Drunk. Ah yes, perhaps the most sacred of categories. This list of cinematic delicacy is really only palatable with a handle of Jack and, let’s say, another handle of Jack to wash the first one down. If one were to witness these gifts from the filmic gods while under the satanic influence of sobriety, one might be tempted to claw one’s eyes out, or sex one’s mother, or something else of the Greek persuasion. Everything about these crotch-monkeys is terrible. Bad acting. Bad writing. Bad, well, ‘directing’ is a strong word. Let’s say ‘Man wearing an ass for a hat waggling his penis in the direction of a camera’. However, add to this crap-pie just one (actually ten) shot of whiskey and, ladies and gentlemen, you have a mutherfucking masterpiece. That’s right, Jack Daniels should have a goddamn Oscar for Best Supporting-My-Ability-to-Sit-Through-Abraham-Lincoln-Vampire-Hunter. This is probably my favorite category of film…in that I fucking hate it and love it all at once. If I publicized my relationship with this category on Facebook, it would be ‘It’s Complicated’ followed by a really awkward picture of me licking the DVD case of Piranha 3D. Don’t tell my therapist about that last part.
Finally and absolutely lastly, the fourth category: Movies That Want So Much For Me to Like Them to the Point They’d Roofie Me, Throw Me in the Back of Their VW and Then Gradually Reeducate Me While Having Me Strapped to a Chair in their Parents’ Basement. These are the films that are devised and concocted in a lab on a boat out in international waters, Robert Oppenheimer on one side and Josef Mengele on the other. These are the movies crafted precisely for my ‘Demographic’. You know, white twenty-something douchebags. These are the movies with about as much respect for gender equality as I do for the Star Wars prequels. These are the movies where aerial-barfing is a glorified art, farts are as revered as strings to Tchaikovsky, where pedophilia is the punch line (I’m looking at you, everything-Adam-Sandler-has-ever-done). These are the movies that, if I had the chance to condemn something to eternal damnation, they’d be at the top of the fucking list ready to be shoved down Beelzebub’s throbbing gullet. I will not see these. Not just because they are bad. Not just because they are lazy and stupid and about as witty as the smelly kid in kindergarten accidentally sticking a thumb up his own anus and getting it trapped (okay, that’s kinda funny). It’s because they offend me. They offend the fact that they want me. They try so hard. They woo me with their Zack Galifinakises, their casts of the Daily Show, their Senor Changs…but then the product they offer up is about as palatable as a dinner at Courtney Love’s new restaurant chain, “Needles N’ Noodles” (don’t get the lo mien, I beg you. Unless you’re really into Hepatitis A through G. If you are, fair play. Bon appetit).
So, my adoring and, probably now, nonexistent public, tune in over the next couple of weeks for my Summer Movie Preview. There will be Marvel movies! Prequels! Sequels! Sequels to prequels! Oh lord will there be sequels! In fact! Now that I look at it! It’s pretty much ALL sequels!
Mama bear is back. And she wants some meat.
Okay, that last part was really creepy. Now I’m confused about several aspects of my psyche. Um…I’ll catch you next time.