Notes on a Summer Movie Season

After a long and cold two semesters in Ithaca, where the closest non-arthouse theater is a semi-abandoned mall Regal that always felt just a couple bus stops too far away, I arrived home ready, more than anything else, for the summer movie season. And from the vantage point of a return to campus life (albeit a non-Ithaca campus due to study abroad), the season and its hits didn’t disappoint. Granted, I skipped the digitally de-aged grotesqueries of the new Indiana Jones and the child-purchasing sting operation grotesqueries of Sound of Freedom, but I still managed to keep a weekly AMC Lincoln Square appointment and enjoy more than my fair share of blockbusters. And so, here goes my flash thoughts on a whole host of summer releases: 

Asteroid City

For many film fans, myself included, Wes Anderson is how we learned about auterism: The man whose visual, narrative and comedic stamp is so distinctive that it’s impossible not to feel his hands on every single frame. Thus, it becomes a bit funny when, as has been happening recently, Anderson turns his eyes to the artifice and the authorship within his films. The Grand Budapest Hotel contained within its nesting doll structure a story of an author with writer’s block hearing a true story, and The French Dispatch framed its sequences around long-form magazine pieces, each written by characters whose relationships to the story became clear as the sequence went on.

‘Oppenheimer’

This is the incoherency of a noncommittal Nolan who juggles ideas with little concern for where they land. He abuses Göransson’s score to foster some mirage of thematic cohesion.