April 6, 2013

The "Jay Sherman Test" and 2013's summer blockbuster movies

The "Jay Sherman Test" and 2013's summer blockbuster movies

Repeating a post from last year, I thought I’d look at 2013’s summer blockbuster movie slate, and see which ones pass Jay Sherman of “The Critic”‘s criteria for whether or not it’s worth seeing a movie (at least at the theater for $11). Jay’s criteria were:

  1. If it used to be a TV show, just don’t go.
  2. After Roman numeral II, give it a rest.
  3. If it’s a remake of a classic, rent the classic.

The actual “The Critic” scene is (at this writing) still available on YouTube.

And now, on to the actual list of movies. List of films taken from Box Office Mojo.

Pass

  • The Great Gatsby
  • Tyler Perry Presents Peeples
  • Epic
  • The Purge
  • Now You See Me
  • After Earth
  • The Internship
  • Man of Steel
  • This Is the End
  • Monsters University: Though not stated, I work on the assumption that just as one sequel is allowed, so is one prequel.
  • World War Z
  • The Heat
  • White House Down
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Grown Ups 2
  • Pacific Rim
  • The Conjuring
  • R.I.P.D.
  • Red 2
  • Turbo
  • 2 Guns
  • 300: Rise of An Empire
  • The Smurfs 2: I assume it’s based on the classic Belgium comic by Peyo (and not just the TV show), so passes.
  • Elysium
  • Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
  • Planes: It’s set in the same universe as Pixar’s “Cars” movies, but since it’s presented as its own film (and not “Cars 3”), I’ll give it a pass.
  • The Wolverine: Similar reason as “Planes”—set in the X-Men movies’ universe, but seems to be presented as standing on its own—so I’ll also give this one a pass. If anything, it’s a sequel to the Wolverine film from a few years ago.
  • We’re the Millers
  • The To-Do List
  • Kick-Ass 2
  • Grandmasters
  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  • The World’s End
  • You’re Next
  • Closed Circuit
  • Getaway: Despite the title, it’s not a remake of the 1970s Steve McQueen film.
  • One Direction: This Is Us
  • Satanic

Fail

  • Iron Man 3: It’s a part three.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: It’s based on a TV show. Since it’s a reboot of the franchise, it might also count as a “remake of a classic,” but just being based on a TV show alone is enough to put it in the “fail” column.
  • The Hangover Part III: It’s a part three.
  • Fast & Furious 6: It’s a part six.
  • The Lone Ranger: It’s a remake of a classic radio/early television series.

Comments

Not many in the “fail” column this year, for some reason. Maybe we’re between high-numbered sequels? Or the zombie craze means making stabs at original horror-themed films is in vogue? (Though there’s a lot of movies with “end of the world” plots this summer…) Or the high-numbered sequels and remakes are big enough names to hang most of Hollywood’s summer profit-making hopes (Iron Man 3, Star Trek’s sequel, etc.)?

Will be interesting to see which films become hits and which ones miss around Labor Day…

For a famous cinematic diversity test (though centered around female characters), see the Bechdel Test.

Tags: Bechdel Testblockbusterfilm originalityJay ShermanMediamoviesThe Critic