The summer movie season rolls on, as this weekend brings an epic disaster to movie screens. As well as a Dwayne Johnson movie about an earthquake.
I’m almost fanatical in my devotion to Almost Famous (as well as Untitled, its expanded director’s cut). It’s one of those movies that just makes me feel good, where every character is one I’d love to sit down and have a meal and a drink with, and where everyone genuinely feels like they’re in a better place when the ending comes around. Cameron Crowe says and does all the right things here. The problem is, he seemed to run out of things to say and do after this, because everything that came out of his own head after that was a huge disappointment (Vanilla Sky was a remake and he did two documentaries as well). Elizabethtown and We Bought a Zoo had their hearts in the right places, but just didn’t come together at all. And the advanced word on his newest film, Aloha, has been downright toxic. Which is a shame, because the trailers made me want to see it. I still might. Just with expectations substantially lowered.
I already have low expectations for San Andreas, but they’re the good kind of low expectations. I want to see the Rock vs. an earthquake and I’m damn sure going to get it. This is straight-up disaster porn in the Irwin Allen mode, where it’s sure not to make a lick of sense if you stop to think about, but fortunately the film won’t let you as it keeps dropping buildings on you. Being a few thousand miles removed from the actual fault probably makes it easier for me to look forward to California’s virtual destruction, but I can’t help it. This is a big dumb capital-S SUMMER MOVIE, and I want to lose some brain cells and watch big things go boom.
Besides, I’m totally going to go see Mad Max: Fury Road one more time to make up for it. This film has become cinematic crack for me. I know I’ll own it on disc and be able to watch it whenever I want, but there’s something about seeing it on a gigantic screen, where the sheer scope of it can overwhelm you. It demands a big picture in a big room with big sound. I want to get caught up in its propulsive rhythms and gleeful mayhem. I just want to live in it, large, while I can. It’s the film of the summer so far, and very likely the year, at least until a certain energy field awakens this December.