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David Poland

By David Poland

Does Cheese Go With Those Fries?

What is your standard for the great summer movie experience?
Do you need to be daxzzled (or bedazzled) or do you just wanna have fun?
Read. React.

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55 Responses to “Does Cheese Go With Those Fries?”

  1. LesterFreed says:

    Isn’t having fun and being entertained the whole reason why we go to the movies?

  2. teambanzai says:

    Well that’s pretty much why I’m not going to see Stealth. When Rob Cohen can screw up something as easy as a car chase movie then it’s obvious that he’s not going to pull off Stealth, and just from what I’ve seen in the trailer I’m right.
    When are we going to see ads with “the Fast and the Furious in the air!” Oh wait that’ll be one of the lame quotes in Sunday’s paper.
    So how much did they give Sam Shepard to be in this?
    As for the rest of summer, Four Brothers looks like a fun I’ll wait till cable film. Red Eye looks silly in the trailer. The 40 Year Old Virgin looks funny. And of course as I’ve said before I’ll go see Dukes for the car.

  3. bicycle bob says:

    sam shepard would do pootie tang 2 if u paid him enough money for it.

  4. Josh says:

    If a movie is good I’ll be dazzled anyway. I was dazzled by the effects of Day After Tomorrow but the movie stunk to high heaven.

  5. BluStealer says:

    The summer is a season for big movies. The really fun ones with no pretensions of anything more than entertainment. That is the way it should be anyway.

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    Sorry, but I’ve never bought into the notion of “summer movie.” I like a really good kick-ass action movie or a really, REALLY funny comedy any time of the year. At the same time, I’ll take a meaty drama, an affecting tragedy or a thought-provoking, deeply personal cinematic statement any time of the year, too. In short, I expect — no, by God, I demand — a balanced movie diet 365 days a year. And I get it, too. Tuesday night, I saw “Sky High.” This weekend, I’ll probably go see the new Ingmar Bergman movie. And then on Monday night, I’ll catch a screening of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” And on Tuesday, I’m seeing Jim Jarmusch’s “Broken Flowers.” That’s the sort of line-up a real movie lover enjoys.

  7. Bruce says:

    I go to Summer movies for the entertainment and even if its really bad the fun aspects of it. I got to Fall/Winter movies for the quality which equals fun in my book.
    I just don’t expect summer movies to be of high quality. High quality meaning Oscars.

  8. Josh says:

    There hasn’t been anything of that high quality so far this year.
    Best thing has been Batman Begins and I doubt thats getting Oscar heat.

  9. LesterFreed says:

    The summer is a great time to wait for dvd’s. Especially this crappy summer.

  10. BluStealer says:

    You say summer movie and I think Jurassic Park. I think Independence Day. I think Spiderman. Really huge movies. Fun. No ambitions other than to entertain and rake in the dough.

  11. moviefreek says:

    Dave, can you please stop with the “Read. React.” thing? It’s pretentious and a turn-off. Not to mention annoying. We get it, we get it.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    I think the best summer movies do have ambitions beyond merely to entertain, though.

  13. Josh says:

    I like the read and react because it links up to the column which sometimes I don’t check since starting on MCN.

  14. jeffrey boam's doctor says:

    Dave, I am confused about what we’re supposed to comment on based on the column. Films in the lazy carefree daze of summer are lightweight entertainment? Ummm yep.. and your anagram is not fair.. a shit omelette would be a shilette. You cheated just so you could make fun of poor lil STEALTH. Shame Dave Shame.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Mmmm…shilette…the best a man can get.

  16. Rory says:

    The idea that Summer films have no ambitions. Not only insults any Summer film (including the indie variety), but seems far from the truth. All films, be them good or bad, aspire to something. Sometimes they fall flat on their ass. When it comes to these aspirations. But seeing Summer films as a blank slate, and Fall/Winter films as deep makes very little sense to me. Especially in lue of Fall/Winter films being more and more about PAIN. If you enjoy 3 to 4 months of films about humans in some state of agony or irritation. Then we definitely are going to the theatre for different reasons.
    Leydon and jeff make some very good points in this thread as well.

  17. Rory says:

    Something I forgot to add. banzai, Cohen might have USED to, not be able to film a car chase. Yet, again, I must stump for STEALTH just from the first 10 minutes of footage I have seen. Few FX shots have thrilled me more this year.
    When did a film with an evil Johnny Number Five as a aircraft stop being a good thing?

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Too many people think that if they hear strings swelling in the soundtrack and see a tragic love story or someone dying onscreen, then whatever they’re seeing is high quality.

  19. Mark says:

    It’s true. Cohen can’t even make a bad film without Vin Diesel.

  20. atthesoundofthefallingtree says:

    I saw the trailer for Stealth and laughed out loud when I realized it was about a killer airplane. It’s Killdozer–in the sky! If I hadn’t recognized the actors, I would have mistaken it for one of those fake “turn-off-your-cell-phone” trailers.

  21. Angelus21 says:

    Stealth is a great waste of Josh Lucas. Not to mention Jamie FOxx and even Jessica Biel.

  22. teambanzai says:

    The effects do look impressive, it just that’s all Stealth has. It was the effects that… Well wait let me clarify there is nothing good about either Fast and Furious films nothing, nothing nothing. But it could have had one in the plus column if they hadn’t faked 99% of the driving with digital effects. Part of the fun of a film like that is seeing driving that is top notch. That’s the only thing that Dukes of Hazzard has going for it right now is that there’s no digital car effects in the film. All the jumps were real.
    With the budget Stealth had there’s no reason they couldn’t have had a decent story as well as top notch effects. Certainly no one here didn’t see the cliche’s in this film a mile away.
    Oh yeah and Killdozer in the Sky that’s funny I nearly shot gum out of my nose when I read that one.

  23. Angelus21 says:

    The Fast and the Furious was a highly entertaining movie. That’s a summer movie. If you didn’t like the acting, the direction, etc. That’s fine but it was entertaining. Unless you don’t believe in just escapism summer movies. Then why are you seeing movies like Fast and the Furious anyway?

  24. Mad Monk says:

    There’s “good” escapist summer entertainment and then there’s “bad” escapist entertainment. I’m all for the good type but Fast and the Furious was about as fun as ripping your hair out. Some people just have really really low standards I guess.

  25. joefitz84 says:

    I liked them both. Not every movie you have to see has to be Citizen Kane. If you can’t sit back and enjoy some fast cars, a Vin Diesel comedic performance and some hot girls in no clothes then you should be waiting til October to see movies.

  26. Sanchez says:

    I’d rather watch a Fast and the Furious than a Million Dollar Baby or a Crash. So apparently would most of the world.

  27. KamikazeCamel says:

    I enjoy watching movies like 2 Fast 2 Furious or whatever because sometimes I honestly do not feel like watching something dramatic. I just wand some action, some silly dialogue and attractive people.
    But when I think of MY FAVOURITE (read: not necessarily the best in terms of film making) Summer movies I think of when I was in the teens (er, I turn 20 in October so I still am in my teens I suppose) I grew up watching these world disaster movies that I loved, even if people say a movie like Deep Impact is overwrought and silly I enjoyed it. Movies like Twister, ID4 and so on. Hell, I even enjoyed The Day After Tomorrow because I got into the “lets destroy earth” vibe.
    But the best Summer movie of all time (and with that I add that I do not know what movies were released in the Summer of 1954 or something like that) is Spiderman 2. Just purely magic there.
    And while I can understand that some people do not like movies like Deep Impact or Twister or whatever, but if those people cannot realise that other people DO like them (not because of “bad taste”, they just enjoy them) then that’s pretty sad.
    Not everyone wants to watch depressing Russian art films about turtle doves all the time.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    art films are a luxury, unfortunately.

  29. Rory says:

    Spider-Man 2? Intriguing.

  30. PastePotPete says:

    Geez, how many times did you say “B-Movie” in that article, Dave?
    I don’t really agree with the way you’re using the term either, not sure how Monster-in-Law is a B-movie, it’s just a shitty A-movie. Just being junk doesn’t make a film B-list.
    Also the shirtless Rachel McAdams in Red Eye. Please elaborate.

  31. KamikazeCamel says:

    I’m sure she just changes outfits and she walks around in a bra.
    Anything to get teenage boys’ rocks off I suppose.
    Rory, you didn’t like Spiderman 2?

  32. TheBrotherhoodOfTheLostSkeletonOfCadavra says:

    Just because a “summer movie” is loud, violent, silly and full of FX doesn’t mean it has to be stupid. LAND OF THE DEAD cost one-tenth of THE ISLAND and it’s easily ten times better. If you got a good script, everything else falls into place.

  33. atthesoundofthefallingtree says:

    Just because a “summer movie” is loud, violent, silly and full of FX doesn’t mean it has to be stupid. LAND OF THE DEAD cost one-tenth of THE ISLAND and it’s easily ten times better. If you got a good script, everything else falls into place.
    Exactly. A movie is good or bad depending on what it’s trying to do and how well it succeeds at doing it. People who say “Why don’t you like summer movies?” or “go watch an art film” don’t seem to get this.
    Star Wars, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, LOTR, Spiderman 2, even Jurassic Park…for me, these are “movie-movies” that work. On the other hand, you have Wild Wild West, Tomb Raider, Pluto Nash, Star Wars Prequels, Jaws sequels..the list goes on, and is far longer than the “good” list. These movies fail to entertain in the WAY THEY WERE INTENDED TO. No one is comparing them to Stalker or even Ghost World.
    I could easily come up with a long list of dramas or art films that are failures for whatever reason. It’s not the point. Bad summer movies are like soggy, oversalted popcorn. Complaining doesn’t mean you hate popcorn.

  34. nick says:

    I’m sure to catch absolute hell for this, but I actually loved Rob Cohen’s “Daylight,” starring Sylvester Stallone. (I am a Stallone fan anyway though haven’t been able to bring myself to rent his latest direct-to-video stuff, it depresses me that he’s fallen so far.)
    Cohen’s “Dragonheart” wasn’t that bad either, though it was no “Dragonslayer” or even on par with “Godzilla: FInal Wars.”
    Now then, what is a summer movie to me? Well, the other day I went to two different theaters and paid out well over 20 bucks to see, back to back, “War of the Worlds” and (finally!) “Revenge of the Sith,” and fortunately, I wound up loving them both, though for vastly different reasons. You know, I didn’t exactly expect either one of them to be very escapist, I had the advance feeling (and was correct) that “WOTW” was going to be of a piece with Spielberg’s recent war movies, though at the same time there was much in it that WAS purely escapist … the emergence of the first Tripod is just a breathtaking piece of filmmaking, and indeed I think I’ve never been so innately FRIGHTENED by a Spielberg movie in my life (the shark and dinoosaur movies seemed to me larks by comparison). Whereas “Revenge of the Sith” just was something I had to see, I’d seen all the others in theaters more than once, I just had to see it (and will have to squeeze one more screening in as fast as possible, this one seems to be vanishing even faster than “Attack of the Clones”). There is a lot about “Sith” I found strange and off-putting, but when was that never true of a film by George Lucas; I’m just sorry my dad isn’t around to see it (he pretty much MADE ME see the original 1977 Star Wars, it looked like the most retarded thing of all time to me, but he’d followed the opening weekend buzz and well, the rest is history.)
    The whole idea of “summer movie” is vaguely depressing now, since it’s got so many built-in expectations, including sheer stupidities that the filmmakers figure they have to factor in (but when is this not true the rest of the year either?) But there have been some really happy surprises, pictures that not only deliver on what they tell you they will but give you a lot you didn’t expect (“Batman Returns” comes to mind, and you’ll laugh at this but I mean it, “Con Air”

  35. Joe Leydon says:

    Saw “Four Brothers” (instead of “Dukes of Hazzard”) last night, “Broken Flowers” tonight. Summer suddenly seems a lot better.

  36. Stella's Boy says:

    I saw Four Brothers tonight. It’s pretty damn awful.

  37. Joe Leydon says:

    Stella: Sorry, you’re wrong. “Four Brothers” is neo-blaxploitation with a great Motown soundtrack. As soon as I heard “Trouble Man,” I was hooked.

  38. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m wrong? So we’re dealing in facts now Joe, not opinions? Gimme a break. I didn’t expect that from you, of all people. It’s crap. A totally generic revenge pic pull of cliches and predictable from the start. There’s a reason it’s an August release. I need more than a decent soundtrack to decide that a movie is good.

  39. Joe Leydon says:

    Stella, don’t be such a sensitive tight-ass. It ill becomes you, especially in this room. I was joking with you in the spirit of this particular movie, that’s all. I guess I had better not do that. Geez, even LDB is more fun to play with.
    Which reminds me once again: He’s been gone for a while. Jeffmcm: Have the cops questioned you yet?

  40. Stella's Boy says:

    Pardon me, Joe, but it is difficult to tell when someone is joking with you on the Internet. How was I to know that you were playing with me? My sincere apologies.

  41. Joe Leydon says:

    You’re wrong! = Joking.
    You’re stupid! = Hostile.
    G’day, mate! You’re stupid! = Teambanzai
    You stupid fuckin’ asshole! = Lester Freed
    Boy! Boys! Knock it off! = Lota
    Wooooo woooooo wooooooooooo! You’re a racist for not liking this movie! It was better than that crappy “World of the Worlds”!!!! = LDB.
    Still, the mystery remains: LDB — dead or alive? Or did his meds just finally kick in? I mean, hell, we’ve heard more lately from the guy who pimps Garnier Fructis. That can’t be good.

  42. Stella's Boy says:

    Got it. Thank you for the clarification. Very helpful.

  43. Joe Leydon says:

    “Did I say ‘World of the Worlds’? Damn. Typo. Probably mess up that cracker Jeff!” = LDB Redux
    “u r stupid to bring yr leftie crap in here.” = Bicycle Bob
    “Hey, anyone up for some Colt 45? It’s not just for breakfast anymore!” = David Poland
    “Hey Dave: You the mack king, man!” = Joe Leydon

  44. Lota says:

    i had to rustle myself out of binge sleeping to get some Lucky Charms and I see Leydon misquoting me again. Damn that two bit drunken hoodlum critic ho. Do you Know WHo I Am Leydon? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!
    LDB is probably here but a good deal quieter, I wouldn’t worry.
    I also wouldn;t worry about Spam. If it is indeed the same can of Spam I’m recollecting, he’s likely casting a movie in between sips out of a hip flask.
    At least you’re quoting Poland correctly.
    I’ve heard they bring out a different list of booze specials at Chaya & the Palms just for Dave. They call it the “60 proof minimum” list.

  45. Joe Leydon says:

    Lota: Speaking of hos: I can’t begin to tell you how broken-hearted I am to hear that “Deuce Bigalow 2” won’t be pre-screened until the Thursday night before the Friday opening in my market. (Believe it or not: I’m giving a final exam to my film history students that evening.) Guess I’ll actually have to buy a ticket to see what my fellow Man-Ho is up to.

  46. Bruce says:

    I think you made Stella’s Boy cry Joe Leydon. He is genuinely upset that you didn’t agree with him. Did you have some kind of unshakeable bond?

  47. Joe Leydon says:

    Bruce: No, we have an unstirrable Bond. Like, in shaken, not stirred. We’re just warming up to become the New School version of Siskel and Ebert on this site. He just doesn’t know it yet.

  48. Josh says:

    Who are you ,Joe? Ebert or Siskel???
    Stella’s Boy is more of a Roeper from the looks of things. Very easily annoyed and thin skinned. Not a good trait for a critic.

  49. LesterFreed says:

    Stella’s Boy would be strangely watchable I think hosting a show like that. As long as he continues to hold these kinds of opinions of course. Wackiness makes for great tv.

  50. BluStealer says:

    If you’re Bond, Joe, does that makes Mr Stella, Jaws? I can’t Goldfinger him can I?

  51. bicycle bob says:

    thoughts of stella on tv just made hit the toiler. hard and violent. stop that.

  52. Joe Leydon says:

    Josh: Well, at the rate I’m going, I’ll soon have about as much hair as Gene did. (Note to Gene on The Other Side: Just kidding.)

  53. Bruce says:

    And toupees look like crap. Don’t be that guy. When mine finally goes I’m going out in style. Shaving it.

  54. Joe Leydon says:

    Bruce: Already tried that once. I looked like a decadent Mr. Clean. Or a mischievous Lex Luthor.

  55. Mark says:

    Beats having a comb over. That is one guy you don’t want to be.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

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