As the weather warms, the quality of the movies tends to improve
Good news movie fans, the movie dead zone is almost over. If you’ve been wondering why there are no decent movies out there lately — except for the Oscar winners you might have missed earlier — the reason is simple economics.
The period after the December holiday movies and before the Easter holiday is traditionally the worst movie-going period of the year at the box office. Movie companies are holding back their quality films for the Easter holiday and beyond, and of course the blockbusters and the rest of the summer lineup will be unleashed around mid-May.
This is the reason the movie companies dump movies this time of year that have been A) sitting on a shelf somewhere; B) that stink or C) are no-name-cast horror movies with a built-in, if limited, audience.
Since they don’t expect much, why waste a quality movie in January or February?
It is also a time when you might see an actor doing something unexpected. For example, Dwayne Johnson wanting to prove he is more than an action hero/kid movie star by showing his ability as a serious actor in Snitch. The problem is his fans don’t want him to be a serious actor, hence the February release date.
On the other hand, Johnson is in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, a popular franchise. That movie has a more box-office friendly opening date of March 28, right before Easter. If Johnson were really trying to cultivate more respect as an actor, he shouldn’t have decided to return to the fake world of WWE wrestling right at the same time he was getting serious on the big screen. It’s a mixed message.
Of course if someone in marketing had the bright idea to stand out among the bad movies with a good movie, they might break Hollywood’s off-season dead zone mentality. Hollywood executives doing something innovative in the winter? Well, I can dream, can’t I?
But enough about why movies are lousy right now. The good news is the drought is about to end. With the arrival of Easter the bad movie syndrome will be broken and movies we want to see will be hitting the big screen. Yes, there will be bad movies in the mix (there always are), but at least some of them will be good and dare we hope, even great.
Last year was a very good year at the movies and 2013 has nine more months to catch up. With that in mind here are a few movies coming out in the next few weeks that just might launch the 2013 movie season for real.
Your mindset regarding Oz the Great and Powerful is most likely shaped by your reaction to The Wizard of Oz, the film classic that was a staple on television for decades. Either you loved the original and were interested in exploring the wizard’s back-story, or you loved the original and were suspicious of any attempt to reboot a classic.
There was some history made at the 2013 Academy Awards and if Captain Kirk comes back from the future with an Oscar headline regarding host Seth MacFarlane, it will read: He didn’t suck. This was an Oscar evening that shared the good vibrations around in an appropriate manner.
Director Steven Soderbergh and his screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, Bourne Ultimatum) were inspired to create Side Effects based on their fascination/revulsion with all the drug commercials on TV.
Some would say being a Quentin Tarantino fan is a matter of taste, or perhaps in some minds, it’s a matter of being swayed by his utter tastelessness. Put me in Camp Tarantino every day and twice on Sunday.
The film stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in game-changing performances as two broken people with mental issues who find each other, and while that might sound like a drama, it is so funny it resists being so easily labeled.
There are nearly as many clichés as bullets and bodies in Olympus Has Fallen, the first of two movies featuring a terrorist takeover of the White House scheduled for this year. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter), Olympus is the action movie equivalent of a Frankenstein monster assembled from other movies with the main template being Under Siege, plus a dollop of attitude from Die Hard and an overall blow-things-to-hell ambiance from almost any Michael Bay movie from the last decade.