Summer Blockbuster Season in a Dangerous Time

By J.J. Ulm

Come have a seat by the fire, kids, and let me tell you about a time, oh, about a year or two ago, right on this here internet. Those were simpler days, when Nazis were what we shot in video games and the only people who talked about cuckoldry were the ones who were really into it.

Back then, around this time of year, all over social media people would get all worked up over summer blockbuster season. Everyone would be talking about your Avengers and your Transformers and all the other big movies full of explosions and running and flying around that were coming to the theaters. Now of course those movies are still coming out – the river doesn’t stop flowing just because you stopped paying attention to it – but without months of constant social media buzz they sneak up on you.

Why, did you know that it’s a mere week until a new Guardians of the Galaxy movie? It’s already out in Europe! Now maybe you saw a trailer for it, maybe you saw the cast making the rounds on late night TV, but then you went back to holding protests in favor of actually acknowledging that science is a thing and worrying whether North Korea was going to bomb us into a Fallout game. Why, back in the old days we spent most of a summer watching the trailer for the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie over and over, listening to Hooked on a Feeling and not getting distracted for a moment by the possibility of petulant man-children plunging us all into nuclear war!

Did you manage to catch, in between all your friends’ tweets about their fears of losing their access to health care, that there’s a Wonder Woman movie coming out this summer? And a new Spider-Man! A precious baby Spider-Man, who Marvel Studios has hopefully helped Sony get right this time. Back in the Before Times that’d be all you would hear about from now until July. That and the slow, cautious build-up of optimism that this Transformers movie might actually have a vaguely coherent plot. (We were naive in those days, always hoping, always disappointed.)

Maybe a new Alien movie from Ridley Scott will help us forget, for a whole 123 minutes, the rise of white nationalism in this country. Maybe War for the Planet of the Apes will give us a little bit of inspiration for our own survival when the world inevitably falls apart. At the very least they’ll give us something to talk about when we need to escape from the news for the sake of our sanity.

Remember that trailer for Thor: Ragnarok? The one with Jeff Goldblum? Won’t it be cool if Western Civilization survives long enough for us to get to see it? I mean, November is a long way off, it’s pretty ambitious, but we can hope, right?