Summer Movies: two to see, one to watch out for, one to avoid

Ty Davis

Summertime means school can be on the backburner, and you can get to that list of movies to catch up on. Here are two to see, one to watch out for, and one to avoid. 

First to see: BlaKKKlansman

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Spike Lee’s name should be enough to draw you in to see this movie, but unfortunately, Lee’s name just doesn’t carry the same weight as it did during the days of his earlier hits like Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, or even Bamboozled. However, BlaKKKlansman might yield a return to the forefront of public consciousness for Lee.

Based on a memoir of the same name, the film follows the events of how Ron Stallworth, a black police officer who infiltrated and subverted the Colorado Springs chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. If the racially-charged premise and Lee’s track record is not enough, the film is co-produced by Jordan Peele, and has also won the illustrious Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Second to see: Crazy Rich Asians

If the title does not make you chuckle even a little, congratulations your life is devoid of joy. Crazy Rich Asians was originally a novel published in 2013. Writer Kevin Kwan showcases the world of China and Singapore’s super-rich by partnering the audience with protagonist Rachel Chu, an American-born Chinese woman who agrees to fly to Singapore with her boyfriend Nicholas Young.

Once in Singapore, Rachel realizes how wealthy Nick really is and is caught off-guard by the entirety of Singapore upper-class with antics you really do have to see for yourself. In addition to an all-Asian cast, the film features Constance Wu of Fresh Off the Boat fame in the role of Rachel Chu.

Be hesitant of: Skyscraper

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson brings a sense of joyous spirit to any movie that cannot be dampened by the even the most serious film. Skyscraper looks to have so many possible mistakes it is doubtful whether The Rock’s presence can save it. First, the film seems to want to flip-flop between two interesting premises; having the tallest, most technologically advanced building in the world as your major set piece, and having a proficient ex-special forces agent with a disability as your protagonist. Either one of these elements could warrant a movie on their own, so how they co-exist in a movie without overshadowing each other is a mystery. Second, Hollywood is known for a dubious history of unflattering depictions of people with disabilities, making it doubtful if they will be able to use the protagonist’s leg as little more than a plot device.

Avoid: The First Purge

The Purge franchise is the arm-chair-philosopher of the film world. Each movie thinks it has something profound to say when in reality it feels like the philosophical postulations of an angsty middle schooler. The Purge (2013) was a half-hazard film that barely survived on an interesting theme. The films never had anything profound to say other than “no restriction on human behavior would be a disaster”, which was already thoroughly summed up in the first film. The Purge franchise is the very definition of unnecessary. 

Happy movie watching (and avoiding!)

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Collegian reporter Ty Davis can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @tydavisACW.