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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

things I learned from this summer’s movies


One of the alternative weekly newspapers that runs some of my reviews is Salt Lake City Weekly, and for a piece there this end-of-summer holiday weekend, I contributed a few bon mots about stuff I learned from this summer’s movies. Click over to City Weekly to see which of my contributions made the cut. Here the ones that didn’t:

• Doctor Who really does not like it when amateurs play around with time travel. (Terminator Genisys) [This one might be too obscure: you have to know that Matt Smith, aka the Eleventh Doctor, plays the human-looking Skynet thing.]

• Never to trust your raw musical talent and lack of corporate guile to Paul Giamatti. (Straight Outta Compton and Love & Mercy) [This one didn’t get used because SLCW editor Scott Renshaw beat me to it, as you can see.]

• One kid with a bow and a few arrows is an even match for a band of highly trained mercenaries. (Big Game)

• Career ladies need to learn how to mommy and be happy when men who harass them are mistaken for their boyfriends. (Jurassic World)

• A man who does not brush his teeth every day will have no trouble snagging a hottie who worships him. (Pixels)

• There are day-of tickets available to walk up and purchase at New York Comic-Con. (Ted 2)

• Major dinosaur theme parks are happy to let unaccompanied minors drive themselves around in all-glass vehicles through wide-open ranges where dangerous carnivorous animals roam. (Jurassic World)

What important life lessons did you learn from this summer’s movies?

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  • Jurgan

    “This one might be too obscure: you have to know that Matt Smith, aka the Eleventh Doctor, plays the human-looking Skynet thing.”

    It more bothers me that you had to refer to “The Doctor” as “Doctor Who,” but that’s unfortunately necessary if the audience doesn’t know which doctor you’re talking about.

  • RogerBW

    Helicopters can be mildly damaged by having skyscrapers fall on them.

    You will go to hell for using modern medicine.

    You can live from 1908 to the present day and never do anything interesting.

  • Bluejay

    Women are not things. (Mad Max: Fury Road)

    Women are not things but their story can be told some other time. (Paper Towns)

    Women can be kick-ass heroes. (Mad Max: Fury Road)

    Women can be kick-ass heroes but maybe later ’cause Daddy doesn’t want them to be. (Ant-Man)

  • Exactly. It bothers me too.

  • Which one has the modern-medicine lesson?

    You can live from 1908 to the present day and never do anything interesting.

    Ha! Wish I’d thought of that one.

  • Bluejay

    And it’s probably too much of a mouthful to say “Doctor Who’s Doctor.”

  • Beowulf

    Who is the Doctor on First?

  • Danielm80

    See, now I want to write a story where the Doctor goes to see Doctor Freud, because he’s developed multiple personality disorder, and he keeps thinking he’s the First Doctor or the Ninth Doctor.

  • RogerBW

    Self/less. At least I think it was trying to be an allegory.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Go for it!

  • I’m not following. How was that movie about going to hell over modern medicine?

  • RogerBW

    Doctors are evil, your life extension comes at the cost of someone else’s life. (“To hell” is hyperbole.)

  • Tonio Kruger

    1. If it comes out in mid-May, it’s still a summer movie.

    2. If you pay full price to see such a movie in May, you’re a sucker because most likely it will be in the second-run theatres by August and on DVD by Labor Day.

  • David C-D

    We just got to see Age of Ultron at the second-run theater in Grand Rapids, MI during our week of vacation. Sadly we didn’t manage to squeeze in Mad Max.

    Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a second-run theater anywhere in the Philadelphia metropolitan area!!! (as far as I have been able to tell), so normally anything we don’t catch in the first run has to wait for the small screen.

  • Ah, okay. I can’t say I saw that. If there was a lesson, I might say it was “Money really can buy *anything.*”

  • Unless you want to be able to talk about the movie before Labor Day…

  • Exactly. The problem with waiting to see anything is that no one has any interest in talking about it 3+ months later.

  • Danielm80

    I won’t be watching season five of Game of Thrones till next March,* but I’ve already been spoiled on several of the big plot twists. In six months, I’ll find out if I’m as outraged as everybody else.

    *Ominously, the Blu-ray is coming out on the Ides of March.

  • I don’t think that’s quite true, at least not at a site like this one. Many people don’t see movies until they’re on VOD/DVD.

  • I learned that chrome paint applied to the mouth makes things shiny and allows me to ride eternal.

    Also, we need more flaming guitarists driving up and down the freeways during rush hour.

    I also learned I needed more motorcycle sniper-shooting grandmothers in my life. Just on my side, you know, not shooting at me.

    I also learned I should not become addicted to water, as I will resent its absence.

    I also learned that Mad Max Fury Road should win all the Oscars this year because there isn’t any better movie out there.

    Or am I just hopped up on chrome paint?

  • they are bringing Mad Max Fury Road back to IMAX theaters this Friday Sept. 11th. Check your listings.

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