Summer’s almost here, and that means it’s time for the 366 Weird Movies reader base to send me, Alfred Eaker, on my sixth masochistic field trip of blockbuster movie torture. Since the blockbusters listed here actually extend to the end of the year in 2019, I will grant readers a choice of 4, rather than the normal 3 (AS LONG AS AT LEAST ONE CHOICE IS A FILM DEBUTING AFTER JULY). The candidates are below. Be sure to view the entire post; you will vote at the end.

  1. We’ll start with the most masochistic film imaginable: Pokémon Detective Pikachu (Opening May 10). Do I have to explain why a field trip to a mortuary would preferable? Although I’ve never seen anything out of the Pokémon franchise, I know it’s supposed to be the most profitable media franchise of all time and I’ve seen enough of its merchandising to know this is something to be quite afraid of. Of course, one will never go broke underestimating the intelligence and taste of the American public, so it will naturally be the biggest thing since Moses parted the Red Sea… until the next big thing, that is.
  2. Aladdin (Opening May 24). Strike one: is dead. Strike two: This is directed by Guy Ritchie, who’s never made a good film in his entire career. Strike three: Uh, live action movies of animated Disney fodder are lessons in banality and redundancy. The proof is in the pudding of Dumbo. Did anyone really think that was going to be anything less than a pile of excrement? Especially, since it was directed by whose mojo violently gave up the ghost twenty years ago. Disney never learns.
  3. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Opening June 7). There has been a pretty consistent lesson with the whole “X-Men” thing: hire , avoid all the entries not directed by him, and do not let him direct anything else. With Singer’s personal and legal matters, his career seems to be history now, so why not put the franchise out of its misery? Not a chance, no matter how many godawful movies they churn out.
  4. Child’s Play (Opening June 21). On the (maybe) plus side, Mark Hamill has a supporting role, hopefully as a villain, as he is far more interesting when his ugly side comes to the surface (something the crying fanboys could not grasp regarding Last Jedi). On all of the negative sides; the director, Lars Klevberg, has only directed one feature, and it was reportedly dreadful. So too was the original Child’s Play, which failed to do in 2 hours what Trilogy of Terror accomplished in 15 minutes. The sequels were even worse—so now, let’s revive that dead horse.
  5. Spider-Man: Far From Home (Opening July 5): Ok, the previous one, also directed by Jonn Watts, received great reviews. However, the trailer for this looks like a preview for the next Avengers thingamajig. Besides, I heard they killed Spidey in the last Avengers thingamajig. Still, hopefully it will suck so I can pan it and piss off Marvel fundamentalists.
  6. The Lion King (Opening July 19). Oh, come on! Two–count ’em, two–pointless live-action rehashes from the studio of mucus in one summer! At least the original Aladdin was good. And, yes, I know I’m in the minority, but Lion King, with its saccharine “The Circle of Life,” today still sends my acid reflux into overdrive. It does have a director (Jon Favreau) with a good track  record, but what the hell can he do with a supposedly “live-action” version?  Which, of course, has to be practically 100 percent CGI. That leaves us to ask: why?
  7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Opening July 26). does Hollywood in the Manson era—oh yeah. I know the Summer Blockbusters are supposed to be your sadistic revenge upon me, but try to have a heart and send me to this one.
  8. The New Mutants (Opening July 26). Disney isn’t the only studio beating dead horses twice during the summer. See #3.
  9. Gemini Man (Opening October 4). Ang Lee is a damn fine director. Even if he has had a few lesser efforts (which are still interesting, i.e. Lust, Caution), there’s The Life of Pi, Brokeback Mountian, Hulk (yes, it was one of the better Marvel efforts, which fanboys are still crying over 16 years later), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ride with the Devil, The Ice Storm, and Sense and Sensibility. That’s enough to be optimistic about this sci-fi thriller with a stellar cast.
  10. Joker (Opening October 4). Okay, everyone is raving over the trailer, comparing favorably to the late Heath Ledger, but the fact remains that director Todd Phillips is the hack who gave us Starsky and Hutch, the Movie. I feel an “I told you so” coming.
  11. Zombieland: Double Tap (Opening October 11). Nothing is more yawn-inducing than zombies. Since really is dead now, they tapped Ruben Fleischer to direct. You know, the guy who’s stinking up cinemas as we speak with his Venom bowel movement. Oh, but this one is supposed to be funny (uh, they’ve done that before too, and not well, mind you).
  12. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Opening October 18). Marielle Heller is not a prolific director at all, but her track record is good, and how can a feature film about Mister Rogers go wrong?
  13. Terminator: Dark Fate (Opening November 1). Who knew Ahnold was still alive? I’m still downing Rolaids over the last Terminator. Gawd.
  14. Doctor Sleep (Opening November 8). ‘s belated sequel of sorts to The Shining is directed by , who some critics think is the horror genre’s next big director. Having seen none of his films, I can’t voice an opinion, but I will say that the best thing that ever happened to King was mutilating his novel.
  15. Star Wars: Episode IX (Opening December 20). I saw the original on the weekend it premiered  in 1977 and counted myself a fan, but today the ONLY demographic more generally loathesome than Marvel fans are Star Wars fanatics.You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy… and of misogny and racism.

(Poll is open for 1 week only. You may vote once per day).


  1. A nearby mall used to have two cinemas in it: one focusing more on “older” and “artier” films. One evening, years ago, I partook in a do-it-yourself double feature of “Starsky & Hutch” followed across the mall with “the Passion of the Christ”. Huttah.

    1. A double feature of Starsky & Hutch with Lethal Jesus?!? Never heard of something so horrific. And you admit it even! Hve you no shame, Giles? I’m going to write admin and suggest some kind of sleazy penance for you.

  2. I accept the challenge. (Though heaven knows I’ve seen my share for this site already.) “Giles Burning Down the (Art)house”.

    And Al, I’m sure you were young once; I was. If only very briefly.

  3. arthouse snoozer sounds about right. ok, Giles, we’ll let Greg determine the exact nature of your penance. if it was me, i’d probably make you do a write-up on those 70s blue movies that pretended to have a plot. I remember once, in a gallery showing, an artist did this video edit of clips from 70s blue movies (that’s what we called them) but not the actual sex scenes. Rather, he edited together the in-between scenes, where they we talking or spewing about some spy or whatever-Before they undressed. It was hilarious. And yes, I was young once, but I realized I wasn’t young at a friend’s wake and someone pointed out a photo on the wall in front of the late friend’s gallery and there were 6 of us in the pic and, with no tact, the commentator observed (aloud) that I was the only one of the 6 remaining; the other 5 now having all passed.

  4. Where was the option to send Alfred to see the three glorious hours of “Avengers: Endgame”?

  5. What, they’re not putting out another “Fast & Furious” this year? I thought that was like an annual thing.

  6. The winners:

    Pokémon Detective Pikachu 18.85% (59 votes)

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 13.42% (42 votes)

    Aladdin 11.82% (37 votes)

    Joker 11.18% (35 votes)

    Readers took pity on Alfred and sent him to one (possibly) good movie. Looking forward to the pain of Pikahcu soon!

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