LESSON #1: DON’T TEXT IN MOVIES, BE A BETTER DATE, AND BEING BUTTHURT NEVER EQUALS LITIGATION— A cockamamie story made headlines recently of a man suing his disinterested date for the price of his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie tickets because she was texting nearly the entire film. Several problems arise from this. To the date doing the texting, put your f–king phone away. Your besties and Snapchat followers will survive two hours without you. Show some effort. You feigned interest, said yes to the date, and likely didn’t speak up about not wanting to see a movie. Swipe a different direction on whatever dating app you use next time. To the litigious man, if your hot-to-trot date gives you the “I don’t care” or “whatever” treatment about going to a movie, don’t take her to a movie. Go do something else and, you too, show some effort. That’s your fault for being an uncreative date planner. Most of all, what do you expect to get from suing? Principle? Better dates? Your name is out there now, Brandon Vezmar. You’re on blast as a sh-tty person and women aren’t going to let you forget it. Good luck getting another date without a name change or Mission: Impossible level disguise.
LESSON #2: THERE IS BURIED TREASURE WAITING FOR YOU THIS SUMMER— Now that the summer movie season is in full swing, anyone ranting about sequelitis or blockbuster fatigue isn’t looking hard enough to satiate their supposedly discerning taste. Indiewire posted a perfect little list of 19 indie and festival favorite films that are releasing this summer. I can personally vouch for A Ghost Story coming July 7 after seeing it at the Chicago Critics Film Festival. Scan a little further down the showtimes list, dive into VOD, or drive an extra mile for an arthouse theater. If you get to the end of the summer movie season and say it sucks, then you didn’t use your summer very wisely.
LESSON #3: I WILL BELIEVE “TOP GUN 2” WHEN I SEE IT— Like many children of the 80s, Top Gun is near the top, if not resting at the peak, of my list of endearing action classics. I’ve wanted the same sequel you all have wanted for 31 years and we’ve been hearing about one since 2010. Director Tony Scott’s 2012 suicide derailed momentum and the 2014 “dream project” of The Jungle Book screenwriter Justin Marks never matriculated. With nothing set in stone, here comes Tom Cruise on the PR tour for The Mummy saying the sequel will be shooting in 2018. Sure, Tom. When the thetans and your sequel show up, let me know. However, if Cruise can tab (as rumored) Oblivion and Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski to make it (and throw in a sick score from M83 or Daft Punk), I’ll be the first one you see standing in line.
LESSON #4: REAL LIFE IS BIGGER THAN ANY MOVIE— Much like acidic standup comedian Anthony Jeselnik, I’m not a “thoughts and prayers” kind of guy. I think there are better ways to support tragedy than showy and self-serving social media posts. That said, Zack Snyder’s decision this week to step away from post-production on Justice League to heal and handle a family tragedy deserves extraordinary commendation. For a man that has unjustly garnered an army of haters, I hope people can gain pause, reevaluate stances, and separate entertainment from life. Zack Snyder is a person first, a father second, and a husband third. “Filmmaker” is down the list and “ruiner of childhoods and dreams” should never even be on any list. I hope his loud haters step back and realize there are more important things in this world than getting wound up for some movie. Man to man, husband to husband, father to father, I applaud Zack’s strength and hope he finds peace going forward. I cannot imagine what he’s going through and hope I am never in his shoes.
DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based film critic writing on his website Every Movie Has a Lesson. He is also one of the founders and the current directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle. As an elementary educator by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. As a contributor here on Feelin’ Film, he’s going to expand those lessons to current movie news and trends. Find “Every Movie Has a Lesson” on Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and Creators Media.