Why Do Summer Movies Suck So Hard?


Hearty greetings from the second stateliest concrete erection in Washington D.C. proper. I’m not talking about the Washington Monument, Mayor Berry’s highrise crackpipe-in-the-sky or Clinton’s curved trouser bubba, I’m talking historic doorsteps film nerds where the tiny wastrel actor Mickey Rooney once uttered the famous Ruthian line, “This is the house the Mickster built …”

Ring a bell? I know it sounds like an Emmy acceptance speech but it was actually a famously ill-timed remark back in the day, not cause old man Rooney will always be a foul-mouthed Brooklyn drunk, but because it came during a posthumous celebration of the life of Jack Valenti, the former (beloved) head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and on his home turf no less …

The Foot Fist Way; courtesy of MTV Films

Talking about stepping on cold toes. According to witnesses, the celebrity carnage was like a scene out of Julius Caesar. Seconds after Rooney started in on his egotist’s rant, Valenti Center security turned off the Mickster’s mike while outraged Jack supporters dragged the munchkin actor offstage by his tiny legs and had him taken out back and beaten like a French infantryman for having big britches. 

Don’t you just love stories from the Golden era of Hollywood? They were all so classy then, weren’t they?

Shitty Summer Movies Are An American Birthright

Pineapple Express; courtesy of Sony Pictures

Today, of course the Valenti Center is home to the fascist Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). If you’re ever in Washington D.C., check out their jackbooted tour, it’s like touring the Death Star. The highpoint? Their Obscenity Tracking Center must be seen to be believed … 

I always thought the MPAA was all about “making movies safe” for impressionable children but if you tour their facilities, there’s no one in charge of upholding squat. MPAA movie ratings are a computerized system run by illiterates. No shit. I even peeked in the headman’s office and it was empty except for this monkey wearing a priest collar that quotes Bible verse, downloads porn and scratches his nuts all day long. I know that’s like 50 percent of the CEOs in America, but Bubbles is so important to the MPAA family, they have him behind bullet proof plexiglass and he makes $350,000 a year. Has Hollywood gone stark raving mad?

Mmm Summer … Ice Cream, Super Heroes & Torture Porn

Vicky Cristina Barcelona; courtesy of the Weinstein Company

After seeing so many hairy knuckled employees hanging round the water cooler, no wonder the MPAA thinks it’s awesome to flood theaters with horrific torture porn (like Hostel 1-4 and Saw 1-4) every 9 months while banning hot sex on the big screen for the last 30 years. Chimps don’t want to see naked human flesh unless it’s being torn apart by a pack of wolves. Don’t you get it? It’s the law of the jungle, man. 

But if humans are calling the shots at the MPAA, let me get this straight: movies depicting demented madmen slowly dismembering screaming victims to a thrash metal soundtrack is cool (Rated R), but watching Michael Douglas go down on Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, The Director’s Cut is like totally (Rated NC-17 or X) “obscene?”… Whatchu talkin’ about MPAA?*  It’s almost like unevolved primates with underdeveloped brains are regulating the movie industry …

Where’s Censorship When You F**king Need It?

Choke; courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

As for this week’s tip for cinematic salvation … I have a few: stay home and wash your dog, go shopping, find God, masturbate. MRF calls ‘em like he sees them and when the studio cash cows are laying turds all over the back 9, this cowboy’s staying home to watch reruns of Twin Peaks

I tried writing a summer movie preview full of zest and anticipation, I really did film geeks, until I started analyzing the ’08 summer movie lineup and wilted into the fetal position with little mini-throw-ups following hourly until I settled down. 

The sad news is where is censorship when you need it? On deck is a hellish repeat of last summer – 10 awful super hero movies, 10 god-awful big budget action adventures, 7 cute cartoons, 5 Apatow guy comedies and a few torture porn horror movies … for the kids. Any questions?

Let’s face it; last summer sucked balls yet it was still a banner year at the B.O. That means this summer won’t be any different. So give up trying to candy coat their shit and do yourself a favor, stay away from theaters until May, they are radioactive. Instead, plant a tree, have sex with a stranger, romp with a puppy in a park awash with magical rainbows. Become gay, become straight, become a Republican—get hyphy! 

And if you’re still totally jonesing for some film love, trying whetting your appetite on teasers for a few summer picks (included below) that probably haven’t been tainted by the black glove of the MPAA. I said probably … Time to make like Mickey Rooney and blow, until next week stay torture porn-free my fellow primates, this is MRF signing off, be bad and get into trouble baby…*

Summer Films Probably Not Ruined By the MPAA
•    The Foot Fist Way – Dir. Hill
•    Pineapple Express – Dir. Green
•    Choke – Dir. Gregg
•    Towelhead – Dir. Ball
•    The Wackness – Dir. Levine
•    Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Dir. Allen

Volume 62 Footnotes
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater doing his best Nicholson impersonation to a monacle-lovin’ Winona Ryder. 
•    “What you talking about Willis?” – Different Strokes (1983): Arnold drops a verbal haymaker on his drug addled older brother.
•    “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) breaks it down to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack

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