I don’t believe I was having auditory hallucinations recently when I overheard a TV ad for OCEAN’S THIRTEEN hyping it as “the best three-quel of the summer!” First of all, that term should be offensive to any intelligent movie-goer. The fact that there should be enough of these unoriginal, bloated sequels of sequels in one season to even have a competition is a disheartening state of affairs. When was the last time any third installment of a film series was any good, let alone as good as either of the two that preceded it? OK, maybe the Alfonso Cuaron directed HARRY POTTER film (PRISONER OF AZKABAN), but I’m hard-pressed to think of another.
Yet here we go again with SPIDER MAN, SHREK, PIRATES, and OCEANS duking it out on the majority of the nation’s screens, with RUSH HOUR and BOURNE still to come (along with DIE HARD 4 and HARRY POTTER 5). Gimme a break! I like a good summertime popcorn flick as much as the next guy, but with the exception of KNOCKED UP (put me in the laughed-my-ass-off camp on this one) and maybe Brad (THE INCREDIBLES) Bird’s RATATOUILLE, this season of tentpoles, sequels, remakes, TV adaptations and blockbusters makes my stomach hurt. Since when did originality and surprise become such dirty words?
At least Enzian is doing its part. WAITRESS will be making way for THE VALET soon, with LA VIE EN ROSE and INTRODUCING THE DWIGHTS to follow (and hopefully JOSHUA as well.) The forementioned five are highly recommended (as are ONCE and SICKO whenever and wherever they open) to provide a respite from the summer cinema blahs.