I can’t. I just can’t. There’s no way I’m going to be able to muster enough enthusiasm to do more than acknowledge that The Transporter Refueled and A Walk in the Woods open this week. I didn’t even know A Walk in the Woods existed until a week and a half ago. Chances are you didn’t either. And really, most of you are going to last gasp it this weekend and wring a few more days out of summer rather than spending time inside a theater watching either of these films. So I’ll dutifully post their one-sheets and nod vaguely in their direction, and that’s it.
I will say that if you missed Mad Max: Fury Road in the theater when it was released back in May, you’ve got two chances to rectify that. First, the film was released on DVD and Blu-ray earlier this week, but even better, it’s getting a limited IMAX 3D release next Friday. That puts an already weak-looking lineup to absolute shame, and might just be my fifth theatrical viewing of the film. Even if you opt for the home video route, you’re in for a treat. The film looks absolutely gorgeous on disc, and loses none of its propulsive urgency on the home screen. And it’s such an amazingly compact, efficient film. I was honestly surprised when the end game started unfolding, because it felt like the film had just started. But beyond being a great action machine, there’s so much thematic and emotional depth to it, as well as a surprising amount of restraint for such a gonzo-looking film. Moments that could have been heavily underlined with dialog or voice-over are simply allowed to happen, letting us fill in import and meaning. It’s just a remarkable film that deserves to be seen.
As for films that are going to be seen no matter what anyone says about them, I braved the midnight line at Target for Force Friday, the official release of the new merchandise from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My needs were few — a copy of the new core set for the X-Wing miniatures game and maybe a copy of the new Risk variant — and my presence there was a total last-minute whim anyway, so my experience was pretty pleasant. This particular Target also did a nice job of crowd control, a far cry from some of the free-for-alls I’ve heard about at Toys R Us and other locations. Not that it wasn’t crowded and filled with people desperate for small plastic totems, but it was an orderly desperation. Sure, there were some cool toys I missed out on, but I have a feeling the Disney machine likes money too much not to make more. And yes, I got my core set, although apparently the Risk game isn’t hitting store shelves just yet. Which is fine, because I have plenty of board games I don’t play already.
So seriously, stay out of the theater this weekend and make some time to let Max into your barbecuing, and maybe go buy some Star Wars toys. It’s bound to be more rewarding than watching Robert Redford and Nick Nolte go camping.