(I assume Tom had intended this to be posted in June 2009.)
So it’s finally June. Here at ZSN, that means adding ice to the Scotches that are older than us, and switching from snow boots to sandals (sneakers are okay, but only if there will be sneaking involved). It also means that we’re entering a magical time of year, the time when children cheer and mothers weep with joy and fathers grill in celebration and bros high-five: the Blockbuster Marathon.
The Blockbuster Marathon is, of course, the string of movies starting sometime in April or May and going until the end of August where flashing colors and quick jokes take precedence over multilayered characters, social mores, or, in some cases, “plot.” This is nothing new in Hollywood, of course. In fact, it’s pretty much tradition at this point. The fall is Oscar Season, so it’s movies that are all about the human condition and deal with difficult subjects and have a lot of very serious people sitting around staring at each other and talking in hushed tones. Winter is the time where they stick the movies they don’t care about (not counting Christmas, which is somehow a target for hilariously un-Christian fantasy movies), and Spring is, literally, Spring Cleaning. Chick flicks rule the day, while everyone begins gearing up for the summer.
And why not? During the fall and winter, the weather sucks. If it’s not dropping feet of snow in sub-zero temperatures, it’s sheets of rain that drown even the largest of sewer rats. What are people going to do? Sit home and talk to each other? Pfft, of course not. They’re going to go out to a movie that will do the talking for them, so that they can continue to drink wine by the bottle and tell themselves it’s okay because it’s the spirit of the season.
Summer, now, summer is a different animal. The weather warms up, the sun stays out longer. People start doing things like wearing shorts and playing Frisbee. What is Hollywood to do? It’s the summer, no one wants to sit around watching families of pretty people sit around and have arguments, they’re too busy going hiking and rock climbing. However, summer is also the season of the 4th of July, America’s Independence Day. Which means fireworks, which means bright flashes of color and huge explosions.
Enter the summer blockbuster, the movie that is the embodiment of the summer for so many: America, explosions, things happening outside (such as explosions), and sitting in air conditioning.Â Therefore, there is a proud tradition amongst film directors to try to cause the biggest explosions possible, in hopes of etching their names eternally into the childhoods of millions. Enter Michael Bay.
Now, a lot of people hate Michael Bay. This boggles my mind. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Michael Bay is following a proud tradition of over-the-top summer movies, and continues to try to make his explosions bigger, brighter, and more…explody….
Anyway, sure, he directed Pearl Harbor. But Spieldberg directed War of the Worlds and we forgave him (another summer blockbuster, I might add). Lucas directed Episodes I, II & III, but we…okay, bad example. Michael Bay directed Pearl Harbor, yes, but he also directed The Rock. Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage breaking into Alcatraz is more than enough to make up for putting Brad Pitt in a movie.