I have to admit, during the summer, while I look forward to the big blockbusters, I’m also looking forward to the smaller movies aimed at nerds, the counterprogramming.
There’s a reason for that. At cheaper budgets, these movies can be more creative or go against conventional wisdom. Blade, for example, was released in August partially because it had less competition and partially because the studio not unreasonably believed it had a distinct possibility of tanking just because every Marvel movie had to that point.
But this summer was mostly marked by either big blockbusters or duds. All the smaller movies were comedies, pretty much. Granted that there were accidental pleasures like Battleship, and it’s not like we didn’t have three great comic adaptations, but still, beyond those, it was a bit sparse.
Now, coming up in the next few weeks and months, we’ve got Dredd, Looper, Cloud Atlas, V/H/S, two video game adaptations, and The Hobbit. When did fall become the new summer for nerd movies?
And a lot of them look good, which is the kicker. Dredd is being hailed as the best adaptation the comic will ever receive, in some quarters. V/H/S is starting to build some real momentum as a good found-footage horror movie. Looper is getting great reviews across the board. Cloud Atlas is sharply dividing critics, but it isn’t going to be bland. The Hobbit by all accounts will continue the level of quality we expect from the Lord of the Rings.
This happened partially because the dynamics of summer moviegoing have changed. You might have noticed that fewer movies came out each weekend compared to previous years. This is because film attendance dropped off a cliff in 2011. This summer was marked by a handful of massive hits and everything else bombing.
So the fall is when, hopefully, these will stand-out. We’ll be putting reviews of all of the above out as they hit, so keep an eye out.