Like my honourable colleague, Robert “Rob” Holloway (see blog post below), I have a similar hankering for the halcyon days of youth, in which summers were brilliant and sun-scorched and stretched for weeks into the shimmering distance.
And while younger days were filled with BMX ’stunts’, ghost-knocking and inappropriate usage of a magnifying glass (still have the scars to show for it; on all fronts), double-digit years were spent in urban America, the Wild West, and galaxies far, far away.
I blame The Empire Strikes Back. And growing up in the 80s, where the movies were as gloriously varied (and often as hilariously cheesy) as the music.
But to this day, the prospect of any time off immediately turns my mind to what I can watch. Bit annoying that I’ll be at work all August, but I’ll squeeze in as much as possible, and one look at our Top 20 for the month puts the lie to the idea that this summer’s films are a bit thin.
I might challenge you to watch all 20 before August is out, but there are a few premium pay-per-view titles in there – Limitless, Knuckle, Sucker Punch and Little White Lies – so it may seem like a shameless attempt to fleece you for extra cash. So look, watch them if you can/want.
Cinema-wise, I’ve already seen Cowboys & Aliens and loved every ludicrous second of it: Indiana Jones and James Bond in a Western, with flying saucers and evil alien monsters, and Olivia Wilde. It truly is as if Jon Favreau & co taped my dreams for a month and forged a film out of them – dreams, more than obviously, born in the 80s.
Super 8 is cracking too, another film fully flavoured by that decade, produced by Steven Spielberg and directed – by J.J. Abrams – exactly as Spielberg would have done in his 80s pomp, right down to the gang of kids, splashy action and sense of wonder. A double dose of monkey magic looks promising as well – fictional (we hope) in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and real-life in Project Nim.
More fantasy and wonder on DVD (Source Code) and as part of the no-extra-cost streaming service – I’ll definitely be having some Signs (even if the end makes me wince a bit), yet more Spielbergian brilliance in Empire of the Sun, and once again returning to a far off galaxy for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.
A fit brunette, an adolescent lad, frequent scoldings and scrapes… sounds like my teenage summers all over again. Just with fewer BMXs and more lightsabers…
Darren Bignell, Senior Communications Manager