My birthday, Aug. 26, falls on a Friday this year. A Friday birthday means your big day coincides with new movies being released. A Friday birthday in August usually means the movies being released are bad ones.
August is the dumping-ground month. It’s when they toss out movies that are too dumb to be autumn, Oscar-bait releases, and not entertaining enough to be summer blockbusters (else they’d have released them earlier in the summer).
Some recent August releases include “Coyote Ugly,” “Hollow Man,” “Original Sin,” “Rush Hour 2,” “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,” “Bubble Boy,” “Ghosts of Mars,” “Summer Catch,” “The Master of Disguise,” “Serving Sara,” “FearDotCom,” “Gigli,” “Uptown Girls,” “My Boss’s Daughter,” “Exorcist: The Beginning,” “Without a Paddle,” “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid,” and “Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2.” (The last three all came out the same DAY in August, last year. Yeesh.)
There are exceptions, of course. “Bring It On,” “Space Cowboys,” “The Others,” “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” “Signs” and “Freaky Friday” were all August releases in the past few years.
Anyway, back to my point, Aug. 26. This year my birthday movies are:
“The Cave,” in which people go into a very deep cave and are killed by monsters/aliens/something. The quintessential late-August crapfest, by the looks of it.
“The Brothers Grimm,” Terry Gilliam’s latest fairy tale, about two con artists who protect villages from magical creatures that don’t exist — and then are called upon to save the day when some REAL monsters appear. Could go either way; the fact that its release date was pushed back from last fall makes me nervous.
“Undiscovered,” about a group of young performers trying to make it big in L.A. Yawn.
Curious, I looked to see what films were released on my birthday in 1994, which is the last time it fell on a Friday. They include:
“It’s Pat.” Yes, the movie about Pat from “Saturday Night Live.” Surely among the worst movies of the 1990s.
“Natural Born Killers.” Oliver Stone’s controversial anti-violence (or perhaps pro-violence), anti-media (or perhaps pro-media) screed. You love it or you hate it, but it’s at least worth talking about.
“Police Academy: Mission to Moscow.” May heaven help us all.
“Wagons East.” John Candy’s last film. Universally loathed.
Here’s hoping my birthday movies this year are better than the last ones.