Car! In Movies!

This weekend Fast Five, the fifth—fifth—film in the Fast and the Furious franchise zips its way into theaters (and our hearts???). And according to the good people at the marketing department at Universal, summer starts this Friday, April 29.
The summer movie season! It’s here! Apparently! And, uh, Fast Five is kicking it off. So rev your engines, movie fans (HA HA, CAR PUN). It seems like the summer movie season starts earlier and earlier each year. There was a time when the summer movies only happened in the summer. And there were maybe one or two big summer movies. Studios would release their tent-pole films on the July 4th weekend. It made perfect sense: the long weekend, fireworks, America. A big, loud, brash blockbuster was the perfect complement to the summer. 

But then big movies were released around Memorial Day. A big start to a big season! The movies may not have been the biggest and loudest they could have been, but they were blockbusters just the same.

Now, though, big event movies are being released earlier and earlier. Fast Five may not be the biggest film on Universal’s slate this summer (that’s probably Cowboys & Aliens), but it’s sure to make a splash. Next week Thor debuts and then on May 20 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth—fourth—film in the Pirates franchise comes out. The actual Memorial Day weekend films (well, the Thursday before the weekend, but at this point Thursday is the weekend) are The Hangover 2 and Kung Fu Panda 2. After that we can expect Transformers 3, Cars 2, and Harry Potter 7 Part 2.

Maybe you noticed something about that list of films. Was it that all of them (except for Cowboys) was a sequel? Why yes, that’s right. They are all sequels. Sequels are nothing new, and neither are sequels during the summer. It’s guaranteed. And it’s easy to hem and haw that each summer there are nothing but sequels. And this summer is no exception. It’s all sequels. Some more: X-Men: First Class, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (both prequels, in a way), and Final Destination 5.

Sure, there are some other upcoming movies that aren’t sequels that are worth a look. Entertainment Weekly laid out a nifty chart listing the big movies coming out this summer. There’s Terrence Malick’s next film, Tree of Life, the comedy 30 Minutes of Less from the director of Zombieland, and J.J. Abram’s Super 8, which is not the eighth installment of Super.

So sit back, strap in, and enjoy the ride (ANOTHER CAR PUN). Summer movies are here, and we might as well enjoy them. We can lament the amount of sequels, the lack of Spring movies (and Spring in general), and the same movie coming out again and again. But for now we can enjoy watching cars drive through trains, turn into robots, and make wisecracks.


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