The months of May through August mark an important interval for both Hollywood and moviegoers. For us common folk, ‘tis the season where we gleefully submit to the deluge of superhero orgies, furiously fast car chases, family-friendly animated fun, or magnum-sized magical Mikes. For the Hollywood brass, summer movie season is industry parlance for “let’s fuck up some commas!”
Without the huge summer tentpole releases that audiences fiend for, the movie industry would permanently be in the red. These are the only months where Hollywood can proudly flaunt its commerce > art ethos and get away with it. Big price tags beget big profits which begets having a deeper financial reservoir to fund the smaller, artsy movies in the remaining months of the year. It’s a win-win!
That is, unless those big summer movies bomb. Which brings me to the crux of this article: It’s time to pay tribute to those neglected summer movies from the days of yore—movies that deserved much better than the critical guillotine and/or box office gallows they suffered through, unfairly overlooked by audiences and bullheadedly maligned by critics. And before you go accusing me of #fakecare or ironically appreciating these gems that were treated like pebbles for skipping, I can assure you I’m not viewing them through rose-colored glasses. They truly are enjoyable—and some are legitimate classics—that require another viewing and perhaps a discussion about their place in the canon. Allow me to lead the charge on their vindication.
Now that the $191 million dust has settled after Avengers: Age of Ultron’s opening weekend, take the time to revisit these forgotten gems of summers passed. You might have heard they sucked, or you might have not heard of them at all. But now you might hear me whisper “I told you so” as you run these movies back and see that they were really great all along.