Budgie Didn’t See Any Summer Blockbusters
Welcome to The Bulge. It’s been a while since I’ve done one, so I figured I’d get you up to speed on what The Bulge is. The Bulge is a pop culture column I used to write until the website I wrote it for was retooled and turned into a hub for doing nothing but advertising podcasts and reprinting news from other sites until it sank, having let its only real columnist go off into the sunset.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the Summer of Blockbusters that Budgie never saw.
I’m starting with Captain America: Civil War, because that’s where this summer kicked off for me. It’s also the only “blockbuster” I’ve seen. Does anyone even use that term anymore, or am I dating myself here? Anyway, longtime fans of mine will remember a while back, when I did a Bulge piece on Marvel over-inflating its cinematic universe, focusing on how much they planned to shove into this one movie. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
What I got surprised me, pleasantly. I got the Captain America sequel I wanted. I got the Avengers all up in there (most of them anyway). I got Spider-Man returning to the big screen. I got a seventeen minute all-out superhero brawl that may never be topped in cinematic history again.
This, dear readers, busted my block. Hard.
But the summer went on.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice didn’t come out in the summer at all. It came out back in March. Yes. I do remember hearing about this. I’m only listing here because I thought it was slated for a summer blockbuster, and I thought it came out after Civil War. Why did they do that? Did they fear going up against another Marvel juggernaut of a movie, or did they want to put more space between this and Suicide Squad?
Dawn of Justice gave no justice to the characters or source material. I know that, and I didn’t even see it. I’m a huge Batman fan, and nothing could motivate me to get my ass to the theater for this. This was all build-up and Justice League padding, leading up to the actual battle that lasted less than half as long as the super-awesome brawl in Civil War. Hell, I didn’t even care that Wonder Woman showed up in the end, and I don’t know anyone who did.
A huge part of the reason I skipped this is because of the long preview. It basically showed the entire movie in two minutes, and it went exactly how I would’ve predicted. Batman is grumpy, Superman is doing Superman stuff, and it’s making Batman grumpier, some talking happens, then they fight real quick, then they’re teaming up to battle a common enemy, then Wonder Woman is there, then the end.
The only thing this movie accomplished was getting nerds pissy at critics, fighting over what could’ve been described as a disappointing comic movie abortion near the level of Spawn. I saw what’s coming up for DC and Warner Brothers, and it looks to get more messy from here. Good luck trying to get me to give a fuck about Aquaman without Vinny Chase, you ding-dongs, and I barely liked Entourage!
My recommendation: Get yourself a copy of the animated Dark Knight Returns one and two. The Batman v Superman fight in that is worth watching, and the story around it is compelling. Thank you again, Frank Miller!
X-men: Apocalypse followed Civil War (but not Dawn of Justice, because Warner Brothers miscarried that back in March, remember?). Again, I didn’t see this movie this summer.
I have a history of disliking any X-Men related movie that comes out, with one exception: Deadpool. Apocalypse was not another exception to my rule. The trailer didn’t do anything for me, and I snoozed on this one. I’ll say what I always say about these Fox-made movies: they just want to toss a bunch of random X-Men into a poorly written plot, because that formula has miraculously put asses into the seats time after time. There are so many great stories from the comics, but they’re satisfied paying writers to piss out script after script after script.
Fuck Wolverine too. I don’t even give a fuck that he shows up in this one, like so much Wonder Woman in some other film adaptation of a superhero abortion. I said it. Come at me.
At least the Fantastic Four movies seem to have died.
The next is the first kids movie on my list. I think it’s a kids movie at least. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows burst forth this summer too. The kid in my got excited, seeing Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady being advertised. The skeptical asshole in me kicked that kid in the nads, reminding him of the last TMNT movie. You serious, you little shit?! I remember that movie. Aside from that one scene where they were going down the mountain, that movie sucked. Isn’t this the studio that churned out all those shitty Transformers movies too?!
Fuck it. Maybe I’ll check that one out on video.
Warcraft came out this summer too. That is all.
The next movie on the seemingly never-ending list is Finding Dory, the sequel nobody asked for. I have a theory on how this one came to be.
“Holy shit am I hungover,” Disney exec number one said.
“How much blow did we do?” Disney exec number two asked, picking his head up from their conference room table.
“Enough,” number one said, remembering snorting coke off an eleven year old’s boner. “I can’t believe I sucked your jaggon.”
“Oh my god,” number two said. “We did suck each other’s jaggons last night!”
“We need to pitch our summer hit for twenty-sixteen today,” number one said, “and I don’t have anything.”
“Me neither,” number two said. “Just have Pixar do another sequel. How about Finding Nemo 2.”
“Didn’t they find Nemo though?” Number one asked.
“So?” Number two said. “The nerd writers can figure out the logistics of it. Let’s get this pitch over with.”
Disney’s magic never ceases to amaze.
Independence Day: Resurgence followed, bringing the sequel I would’ve died to see nineteen years ago. This looked so bad that Will Smith couldn’t be bothered to appear it it, and it seems he rarely says no to a bad script, especially if he can jam his kid into it.
The BFG or “The Big Fuckin Giant” was the next kids movie that came out. It’s about a giant who’s way too old to be hanging out with a little girl. The Big Fuckin Pedophile would’ve likely been a better title, am I’m definitely not taking my kid to see that. I don’t care if he was mentally challenged! It’s still creepy!
Tarzan soon followed, but Budgie didn’t. Unless they’re building up to a Tarzan vs King Kong movie, I’m not interested.
Edit: I recently read the mashup will be Godzilla vs King Kong. Now that I can get behind.
Ghostbusters, formally titled “Girl Ghostbusters”, proved that you can reboot something despite repeatedly being told it doesn’t need rebooting. I thought this sounded like a fun idea back when it was a sequel, taking place thirty or so years after the original, but it lost its luster when I heard it was a complete remake.
Picture Bridesmaids with ghost busting and no diarrhea jokes, and that’s how this movie was billed. I was really turned off when social media went full tilt, making anyone who didn’t want to see it out to be anti-feminist. It really got out of hand when Leslie Jones, the new black Ghostbuster, used her beef with Twitter trolls to further use negative publicity to keep people talking about this unpolished turd of a reboot.
It was a low brow way to hype a movie, and it’s the main reason I skipped this one. Maybe I’ll watch it when it’s on basic cable, nestled between reruns of Big Bang Theory. Then I’ll see how anti-feminist it was to skip while in theaters.
I liked the first two Star Trek movies helmed by JJ Abrams, but he skipped out on this franchise to get nipple-deep in Star Wars, so I skipped out too. They got the Fast and Furious director, and it seemed nobody was really interested in the third installment much like any of the last five Fast and Furious movies,but they seem to keep popping out those brown nuggets. Hell, they’re even getting a ride at Universal Studios! What movie was I talking about again?
I’ll end this summer how I started it: with a DC comics adaptation by Warner Brothers. Suicide Squad was the final movie of the summer I skipped. It was also the one I was most looking forward to, aside from Civil War. I was primed up for this movie, but I decided to stay home and wait for it to become available through other means.
The hype-machine versus fan reaction is what killed my interest in Suicide Squad. This seems like one of those movies that can be really great with an ‘R’ rating and a well-written script (like Spawn should’ve had). What the previews made it look like was a fast-paced romp full of quips and catch phrases with nothing more compelling than the quirkiness of Harley Quinn.
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to see it. I just don’t think wasting a trip to a theater is in order for it.
Well, that wraps up this look at all these movies I haven’t seen this summer. I’ll see you in the theaters soon, but not until Doctor Strange is out.
I saw Dawn of Justice between writing and posting this piece, and it was actually decent aside from Batman going on multiple murder sprees and the whole “Martha” nonsense. Also, I was still indifferent to Wonder Woman and Warner Brothers’ attempt at recreating the Avengers. Otherwise, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.