Now that the 2018 summer movie season is over, we can finally see what the big-budget studios produced. While some movies were quite good, others were total bombs. It’s always the same with these things, but it seems like Hollywood is struggling with the same issues year after year. We need to examine the quality of these films in light of what we know about aging and mental health in order to figure out what’s going on.
The Grand Tour
Let’s start with the worst offender from the 2018 summer movie season: The Grand Tour. This movie has been a major flop since its premiere early this year and has only managed to accumulate $23.9 million in worldwide box office. While some might argue that the film’s dismal performance is a result of poor word of mouth or critical reception, I would argue that it’s the result of a major misstep by the filmmakers. The premise of The Grand Tour is that famous travel writer Richard Simmons gets a group of his friends together and they embark on a massive road trip across the country. Along the way they stop in a variety of iconic American locations and share their memories of those places while on the road. As an added challenge, Richard’s friends are all elderly, so their bodies are constantly breaking down as a result of injuries and illness from falls and vehicle crashes. This is a film that could have been so much fun to watch if it wasn’t for the fact that the movie studios behind it seem to think that seniors are too old to go to the movies or enjoy much of anything else for that matter.
It’s clear that the filmmakers behind The Grand Tour didn’t understand aging in any way, although they might have thought that they did. Richard Simmons is a 65-year-old man and the fact that he is able to embark on a cross-country road trip so easily is a testament to that. Moreover, none of his friends are even remotely old enough to be considered seniors. While the production values of the film are actually quite high, it’s the characters that are quite unbelievable. One of the film’s stars, Richard Simmons, was actually born in 1946, which would make him a senior in the real world. This explains a lot about the fact that he is so physically capable of taking on such a journey with his friends. It would be one thing if the characters in the film were believable, but since they’re quite clearly not, it makes the whole production something of a misfire.
The second worst offender of the 2018 summer movie season is yet another trip to Hollywood. This year’s biggest disappointment was probably Wonderstruck, which opened to mediocre reviews and only managed to gross $16.3 million in its opening weekend. Based on the children’s book Wonder by Peter Parnell, the movie details the story of a young boy named Elliott who has a close encounter with an alien while on a trek in the woods with his father. The encounter leaves him with life-altering knowledge and subsequently with the power to move things with his mind. Wonderstruck is a sci-fi fantasy and it’s quite clear that the filmmakers behind it didn’t do their research on the subject matter. While the performances of the actors are quite good, it’s quite obvious that none of them are Wonderful characters. Wonderstruck is quite clearly an attempt at making a Harry Potter type of movie, something that J.K. Rowling adamantly refused to let happen.
The movie doesn’t even come close to Harry Potter in terms of sci-fi or fantasy, which means that it’s quite a stretch to claim that it’s just like HP. Moreover, there’s no way that anyone could ever mistake Wonderstruck for HP. The book that it’s based on was published in 1977, which means that J.K. Rowling wasn’t even born yet. This is the kind of thing that could cause problems for a writer of Harry Potter, especially since it deals with an altered state of consciousness and how it might be possible to interact with the world around you. Wonderstruck is trying to show us something that isn’t even close to being real, which is something that J.K. Rowling would never let happen.
Just Keep Driving
The third worst offender of the 2018 summer movie season is yet another misfire from Hollywood. Just Keep Driving is a crime drama about Eliza, a woman who was raised to be a doctor but decides to follow a different path and become a taxi driver. Her decision to take the wheel for others comes from her own desire to help others, which is why she became a doctor in the first place. She ultimately saves some lives, which makes her feel like she’s accomplished something. Although Just Keep Driving is heavily based on true events, it’s quite clear that the filmmakers behind it didn’t do their research or just didn’t care at all. The story is quite unbelievable and although the performances of the actors are quite good, it’s quite an insulting and inaccurate portrayal of what actually happened. It’s quite possible that some people might think that it’s satire, but it’s not. This is another film where the idea is quite clearly not well-thought-out or based on any kind of research or knowledge about how old people think or act.
This summer, Hollywood tried something new. They made a bunch of bad movies, which is quite an accomplishment, especially since summer is usually a time for kids’ movies. While some of these movies might actually turn out to be good, it’s quite clear that the movies Hollywood makes during summer are usually of the same quality as the average TV show during its first season. The fact that they’re mostly bad might have something to do with it, but they’re still quite entertaining to watch.
The above examples represent some of the worst offenders from the 2018 summer movie season. While some might argue that Avatar: The Last Airbender and Aquaman saved the season with some really good movies, it’s quite clear that these are the exceptions that prove the rule. Since summer is usually a time for kids’ movies, it’s quite possible that some parents might want to keep their children home this summer so they don’t end up seeing one of these movies. It’s quite sad when you think about how bad these movies are compared to the quality of most TV shows and movies these days. Most people aren’t even aware of how bad the quality of movies has gotten, which is quite evident by the fact that people go to the movies just to escape from their TVs. This is why filmmakers need to try harder and avoid the mistakes that have become so commonplace.