Mark Hates The Movies
One of the major hyped scenes in Clerks II is "the Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings" debate. Essentially, it's Randall (representing Star Wars) against the nerdy Christian kid working at Mooby's and the short guy from Alias (representing LotR), and it's a classic Kevin Smith-deconstructs-pop culture moment.
There's just one problem: the scene came off as stale as day-old bread. It wasn't particularly funny, or insightful, or even overly clever -- 10 years of shows like "Hey, Remember the '80's" have made riffing on pop culture commonplace, rather than something original. The scene just seemed unnecessary, which is also the word that basically sums up Clerks II as a whole. It was ok, but it just sat there.
If there's a movie that summarizes the cinematic summer of 2006, Clerks II is probably it. This has been the worst summer movie season in recent memory, largely because virtually every movie (even the few I liked) have been entirely unnecessary. Like most summers, it's been a wasteland of sequels, but even by sequel standards, originality has been lacking.
MI3? It will take more than a generic action movie to get me to look past the baggage that comes with any Tom Cruise movie. Confession: I haven't actually seen it, but come on.
Superman Returns? Mmm, I guess the franchise needed an update, but not an update that is 80% taken from the Christopher Reeve series.
Pirates of the Caribbean II? Haven't seen it yet, it's probably entertaining, but....was a sequel needed? Were that many teenage girls clamouring to see Johnny Depp again? (actually, according to the box office, yes)
Da Vinci Code? The most interesting thing about the movie was when I heard that the producers of 24 bid for the rights with plans on adapting it to the season of the show. It was funny since I even said to Trev during the movie, "This would be loads better if it was Jack and Chloe running around Europe." It would've been even better if, had the novel's plot been followed, Chloe would've ended up being the descendant of Christ. Dammit, can't this still happen? Come on Dan Brown, have a soul.
Miami Vice? I liked it, but Bill Simmons put it best: "When I say the movie had nothing to do with the TV show … I mean, the movie had NOTHING to do with the TV show. Here's what they had in common: A white cop named Sonny Crockett teams up with a black cop named Rico Tubbs to crack a drug case in Miami. That's it. Everything else was different."
My current top five for the year stands at A Prairie Home Companion, Ricky Bobby, V for Vendetta, and Strangers With Candy. You'll notice that this is just four flicks, since I genuinely can't think of a movie I considered better than ok in the rest of the summer. Anyway, my fab four are all very good movies, but guess what: still no totally original ideas. All of these movies are adaptations (ok, Ricky Bobby isn't technically an adaptation of anything, but it's still a general continuation of Will Ferrell's comic persona).
By this point, the fall will have to have some jaw-droppingly good films, or else 2006 will be a near-total writeoff. At that point, I'll start my campaign for the Borat movie to win Best Picture.