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Filtering by Tag: The Village Voice

And Now For Something Largely the Same: It's My Fifth Annual Village Voice Summer Movie Preview!

Chris Klimek

In olden times, Memorial Day weekend marked the start of what was known as the Summer Movie Season. It's an obsolete notion, now that would-be blockbuster releases are most heavily concentrated between mid-February (when Black Panther arrived this year) and the first weekend in May, and can come out basically any month of the year other than January. But as a kid who grew up planning my summers based on which hotly anticipated, frequently disappointing tentpole release came out when, I carry the torch for the idea that summertime is the season for escapist genre films that seek to overwhelm the senses.

My pal Alan Scherstuhl, the Village Voice's film editor, indulges me, assigning me each May to single out a dozen due before Labor Day that show promise. These features get shared among the whole New Times media ecosphere; sometimes even before they turn up in the Voice. No matter. Here's the list.

ID4ever: Independence Day: Resurgence, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman showed up for the 20-years-later sequel to  Independence Day.

Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman showed up for the 20-years-later sequel to Independence Day.

The barely-screened-for critics Independence Day: Resurgence is not by any stretch a good movie, but neither was Independence Day, a film I saw at least twice and possibly three times during the grim summer of 1996. I'd even go so far as to say I enjoyed this barely-coherent follow-up a little more. Here's my alien autopsy, for the Village Voice.

You might also enjoy the War of 1996 website, a neato but apparently unsuccessful marketing tool for the movie. It offers a fictional timeline of the last two decades in the Independence Day-iverse, a couple of primitive but weirdly addictive games, an invitation to volunteer for the Earth Defense Force, and of course, information on real U.S. Army careers that might be right for you.

Air-Conditioned Fun in the Summertime 3: Presenting My Third Annual Village Voice Summer Movie Want-List

Chris Klimek

The Nice Guys, which I expect history shall remember as my favorite film of the summer of 2016, came out last week; Captain America: Civil War, probably the best of the Marvel bunch, is old news. But Memorial Day weekend is still the traditional start of the summer movie season. Here, for the third consecutive Memorial Day weekend, is my Village Voice list of summer movies I want to see. Light up a phone in any of these and you'll hear from me.

Enjoy those X-Men, everybody! I'll be observing the holiday at the AFI, taking in Spartacus in its 212-minute entirety.

For The Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, and affiliates, Ten Summer Movies I Hope Don't Suck

Chris Klimek

Pixar's  Inside Out  gives physical form to one girl's Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The first trailer was sexist and lame, but trailers ain't movies.

Pixar's Inside Out gives physical form to one girl's Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The first trailer was sexist and lame, but trailers ain't movies.

It's Memorial Day weekend, which a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away used to signal the start of the summer movie season. Sometime around the turn of the century, the summer movies began arriving the first weekend in May. In recent years the first weekend in April has become a perennial launchpad for Marvel movies and Fast & Furious flicks. 

But I'm the sentimental type, so I (and The Village Voice and L.A. Weekly) waited until this week to post my look at ten releases coming up in roughly the next 10 weeks for which I've got grand or at least moderate hopes. Plus Magic Mike XXL, which I was asked to add so the list wouldn't be "too straight." I am aware that Channing Tatum is what the former John "Cougar" Mellencamp would call "a real good dancer," but Steven Soderbergh is not un-retiring from theatrical filmmaking to direct this sequel, so I'd probably rather see Jurassic World or Ant-Man, neither of which made the cut.

Have a great summer, movie lovers.

Miss Sogyny by Any Other Name: No Good Deed, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

No Good Deed  stars Idris Elba & Taraji P. Henson are also credited producers, so they should know better.

No Good Deed stars Idris Elba & Taraji P. Henson are also credited producers, so they should know better.

The thrice-delayed, not-screened-for-critics thriller No Good Deed opened at No. 1 this weekend. Box Office Mojo reports its audience was 60 percent female and 59 percent over age 30. I'm an over-30 straight white dude, so WTF do I know, but to me the film -- which was written by a white woman and directed by a white guy -- felt incredibly insulting to its target audience of black women. In my Village Voice review, I tried to unpack the cynical, unkind assumptions it makes about the primary demographic paying to see it. Without making the piece as much of a drag to read as the movie was to watch.

Air-Conditioned Fun in the Summertime: 10 Movies I Want to See in the Next Three Months

Chris Klimek

Time was, the summer movie season -- when blocks got busted and Oscar contenders got out of the way -- began Memorial Day weekend and had shot its wad by mid-July. Once in a while you’d get a great late-summer picture, like The Fugitive, released Aug. 6, 1993 (and nominated for Best Picture, come to that.) But generally the big action pictures, which gradually gave way to the superhero flicks, needed six or seven weeks before kids got marched back into school so studios could benefit from repeat business.

In the 21st century, the summer movie season advanced to the first weekend in May, a date that in recent years has belonged to Marvel Comics adaptations, whether they’re made by Marvel Studios, like The Avengers, or by other studios, like the Spider-Man pictures (both the Raimis and the Webbs) from Sony, or the X-Men series, from Fox.

Nowadays, of course, the cinema calendar is a lawless Thunderdome: Liam Neeson starts kicking ass in January, and Bond flicks and Hunger Games adaptations come out in November.

Anyway. I filed my rundown of the 10 summer movies I was most anticipating to my editor at The Village Voice before I'd seen any of them. I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past last night, and I've no regrets about including it on the list. I left Life Itself, Steve James's documentary about Roger Ebert, off just because it's a documentary. I'm very curious about Ari Folman's The Congress and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes or whatever that one's called, too.