I used to wait in agony throughout the school year for the movie onslaught from May to August. My summers would be measured not by the temperature or the length of the days, but by release dates. Summer vacation would start with the big Memorial Day release, things would amp up around mid-June, peak around July, then it was wait for the late-August horror flick and then back to school. Blame it on my advancing age (and cynicism), but I get little more than a flutter of joy from summer movies. That's why this summer I've decided that staying away from multiplexes is the way to go. Here's 5 reasons why...
I can't recall any point in my life when TV was as good as it is right now. Mad Men. True Blood. Dexter. Community. Party Down. The League. And those are just some of the shows I watch and love. So many more are out there that I've never seen and always hear great things about. There is simply not enough time to watch all of the great TV that's out there. And if new, first run shows aren't your thing, you can get your self a Netflix subscription and watch TONS of older shows or get caught up on current shows. The State. Reno 911. 30 Rock. Dexter. Party Down (good enough to mention twice). Wizards of Waverly Place (I have a problem).
2. Video Games
Three words: Red Dead Redemption. There isn't a single movie out right now that can compare to the action, excitement, drama and overall production value of RDR. A video game. I hadn't been a big gamer for years, but I've gotten back into it more than ever lately. (Okay, you can partially attribute that to my lonely hermit lifestyle, but give me a break.) The market is filled with games like RDR that have the story and character to go with the shooting, puzzle solving and treasure hunting. Go to the movies to see cars and robots (and sometimes both) mindlessly smash into each other. Stay home and fire up the PS3 if you want characters, plot and intrigue.
3. The Internet
Funny People was a great movie, but it wasn't as funny as the title wanted you to believe. If you wanted the laughs from Funny People, you just went to Funny or Die to watch Raaaaaaaandy! FOD has been on fire all year. The HBO show is great, but it's just a controlled sample of the hilarity that exists on the website. Their April Fool's prank (Beiber or Die) was classic and they've managed to get the most eclectic assortment of comedians and celebs in their original videos. There have been some great comedies out there, but you get more laughs in a 5-minute FOD video than a 90-minute Steve Carrell movie.
Are you aware of how many amazing comedians there are in the world? And you can hear most of them on podcasts. For FREE. If you like comedy and you don't listen to Comedy Death Ray Radio every week, I politely ask you to check yourself. Chris Hardwick has a great podcast (The Nerdist) and so does Doug Benson (Doug Loves Movies). Never Not Funny lives up to its name. As far as comedy podcasts go, though, the Holy Hosanna of them all is SuperEgo. It's funnier than anything else in the world. Want some good comedy albums? Andy Daly's Nine Sweaters is great. So is Paul F. Tompkins' Freak Wharf. And here I go listing. Just check out any of the comedians that frequent the UCB and you'll never go wrong.
The A-Team and The Karate Kid are both out in the same weekend. I guess you might be interested if you weren't alive in 1985. Or maybe if you were alive then and wished it still was 1985. (Granted A-Team looks like fun. You'd have to drag me bloody and screaming to The Karate Kid, though.) This year alone, the only good movies have been based on other things: Kick-Ass and, uh, wait what was the other one? Give me a minute and I'll think of it. Most of what's out or on the way looks like microwaved leftovers from the past 20 years. So if you're jonesing for a good movie, why not watch something old that you've never seen? A Netflix subscription is about 20 bucks - about the price of two tickets. - and you can watch more great movies in a week than you'll see in a theater all summer.
I should note that there are a few movies that I am excited to see this summer, so here's a sub-list of what I'm chomping at the bit for:
2. Scott Pilgrim v. The Mundo
5. I'm sure there's something I'll see.
Oh, yeah! The other movie I was thinking of! Cyrus! And it's not based on anything! An original work! It opens limited on the 18th of June. Saw it at the Phoenix Film Festival this year and capital Loved it. So there's ONE reason to go to the movies this summer.