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Bracing for Summer 2015 in THE AGE OF ULTRA

Despite a strong box-office weekend, much has been written, reported and speculated about Avengers: Age of Ultron, and not all of it from the pen of Joss Whedon.

While I respect everyone’s positive opinions about the movie, including this recent one from our very own Benn Robbins, it just didn’t work for me.

I’m not about to dwell on about the film too much, but after sitting through a barrage of trailers and then the aforementioned feature, I am compelled to complain.

Once again we’re being bombarded with big budget summer bonanzas at the box office. But this year in particular either I’m getting way too old and cranky, or the line-up is all at once overwhelming and underwhelming.

Take for example this Summer’s starter film, Avengers: Age of Ultron.

It is what I would call a typical “bad superhero sequel.” Not quite as bad as Superman IV, but then not even as much fun as X-Men: The Last Stand (which for the record is a bad superhero sequel).

It’s ULTRA bloated in story, ULTRA uninspired, and simply not as much fun as the first film. It’s exactly what I feared as a follow-up, yet not what I had expected given last year’s stellar Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

While we’re on the subject of those expectations, sequels and remakes are exactly where I’m feeling more underwhelmed, and certainly trepidatious for Summer 2015.

Trailers before Avengers 2 kept me rolling my eyes in a state of pure meh.

First there was the enough-is-never-enough bravado of pending mega-quake San Andreas.

I feel what the Rock is cooking, and it’s not an Oscar for Best Actor. The trailer, and I assume the film, is a mash-up of every disaster movie ever made has ULTRA in spades. ULTRA disaster-porn, ULTRA impossible rescues, and ULTRA eye-rolls.

Did I mention meh?

Ant-Man​ at this point is Switzerland to me.

It shouldn’t work and has a lot going against it (certainly after the misguided Avengers 2, but I’m willing to give this one a tiny, little chance.

Pixels makes my head hurt, especially in the wake of Disney’s brilliant Wreck-It-Ralph or the must-read Ready Player One​, soon to be ironically directed by Spielberg for the big screen.

Does the sight of Pac-Man chomping his way down a city street á la Stay-Puft Man excite me? Yes, but I’d be more excited without Kevin James and Adam Sandler as protagonists. I’m willing to bet a repeat viewing of The Last Starfighter will be more rewarding, and imminently more nostalgic.

There’s the “most terrifying chapter yet” Insidious Chapter 3​ which somehow is a prequel even though it’s called Chapter 3. I’m already confused, and after Chapter 2​ not feeling a need to explore The Further any further.

Insidious of course owes a lot to Poltergeist, and so does what we’ve seen in the trailer for May 22nd’s remake also titled Poltergeist.

You know what scares me?

Unnecessary ULTRA remakes. That said, I really hope this ends up being one of the few remakes that I like to called “unnecessary but brilliant.” Recent examples include Let the Right One In, Evil Dead, The Grudge and to an extent Fright Night​, but that’s just my opinion.

Even the films I’m generally excited about this summer are reboots, remakes or sequels promising ULTRA versions of familiar franchises. The stakes have been raised.

I can’t wait for what looks to be a genius retelling with George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road​. The promised over-the-top, kick-ass action in the trailer gives hope.

The way bigger and bad-ass Jurassic World has been promising since it was announced, and it has a lot to live up to.

Oh, and for the record, Inside Out looks like Herman’s Head​.

Will I see it because it’s a Pixar flim? Probably.

Do I need to? Not necessarily.

Additional ULTRA releases this summer put me back into a state of meh.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation​, Vacation, Fantastic Four, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Ted 2, and Terminator: Genisys​ are unnecessary.

They’re wanted more by studio executives praying for hits and desperate to keep franchises relevant.

End of story.​

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