The kids and I went to see The Avengers last night. This was the official beginning of the summer movie season for us. The movie itself was a perfect start. It was big. It was loud. It was fun and it had a happy ending. If you want a detailed review, a lot of Leaguers have some good ones up. I also love everything that Rob Bricken writes over at Topless Robot.
This summer movie season is a crazy one for me. I made my summer movie wish list the other day and it contains 19 movies. That’s a record. Some of them are most definitely going to be stinkers (Battleship). Some will surely be instant classics (The Avengers) and some have potential to be cult hits (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). I don’t discriminate during the summer. I see them all.
We are big movie-goers in our house. We love the whole experience. The popcorn, the over-priced sodas, the hope for a good seat, the optimism of great trailers before the main attraction. There are also all kinds of emotions tied up in summer movies. I remember seeing The Goonies at the old Raceland Theater by my house, which is now a car dealership. We left the theater that night on a natural high and then topped it off with ice cream and a ride home with our legs sticking to my mother’s vinyl seats on a warm June night. I also remember that summer signaled the opening of the drive-in. Early memories of fried chicken picnics in the back of my dad’s truck and then pretending to sleep while my parents watched some slasher flick for the double-feature. Those recollections give way to drive-in dates that were less about the movies and more about biology lessons. Still, it was summer.
Summer movies are indeed about happy endings. If you want to leave a movie depressed, or completely confused as to what you just saw, or simply fearing for the future of mankind, then wait for winter. A coworker and I joked this morning that nothing says ‘winter movie season’ like a rape scene. Much like summer reading, summer movies shouldn’t make you think too much. They should be fun and light and allow you to decompress from the school year and winter blahs. A good summer action movie should also make you feel just a little patriotic (in preparation for July 4th) and/or make you laugh until it hurts at least once.
So this summer I will be at the movies…a LOT. And I’m looking forward to every minute of it. As for what I thought about The Avengers? My spoiler-free opinion is that it was genius. The build-up through Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America was perfect. It deserves this blockbuster opening. It won’t win any Academy Awards but it will define the summer of 2012 for many children. And that’s success in my book.