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Entertain-dement: July 26, 1995

By Andre Mayer

Summertime, and the living is anything but easy. If the heat won’t kill ya, leave it to a rash of mindless summer movies to put the nails in your coffin.

The whole movie-going experience nowadays has become increasingly unsavory anyways. First you arrive at the 300+ theatre multiplex and fork over a small mortgage just to get in. Then of course they seduce your stomach (and subsequently your wallet) into buying something to eat, something like say, popcorn, which is clearly only a chemically-ambiguous shadow of its former self anyways. After sitting down in the theatre and immediately make a note to call your chiropractor from the lobby once the movie is over. By the time the movie begins, you’re thinking maybe the movie will be okay. Boy, are you naive.

Yep, summer is the surest proof that we all are nothing but rats in the laboratories of Hollywood’s dream factories. Classic example: The Blockbuster. First comes the trailer, released a whole year before the rest of the movie follows. Your interest is piques. Then, the soundtrack arrives – three months before any sign of the movie itself. CFNY seems to like it, and the added hook, you hopeless trout, is that those songs can’t be found anywhere else. Then begins the obnoxious circle of the interview circuit – two months before full release. By the time the movie finally gets wide release, you’re walking around like a zombie who eats, sleeps and breathes this movie. You haven’t seen it yet, but you know it’s gonna make Gone With the Wind look like your public school drama production. Of course it won’t. But at this point, who cares if the movie is good? They’ve already lured you (and your precious $$$) to the theatre like an elephant following a trail of peanuts. And the formula goes for the rest of Tinseltown’s offerings. In addition to the blockbusters, there are also the aimless sequels – more often than not just plain silly rehashing of the original. And then there’s Disney’s annual entry, another ethics tale that could have been scripted by Bob Dole and his merry band of Republican morality pimps.

Summer movies are utterly thoughtless. But, since imagination boils at 20 degrees, and becomes a gas that floats away like a migratory bird only to return upon cooler climes, it only makes sense.

So, folks, instead of allowing your brains to be sauteed by Hollywood’s vacuous crap this summer, read a book, write a book, catch some music, make some music, ride your bike, braid your nosehair…whatever. Express yourself. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper, and it’ll put your soul at ease. 

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