23 August 2011

The Long Halloween Vol. II: Summer!

Welcome folks to another installment of The Long Halloween, our year-long look at the best Holiday-Themed Media Consumption possible each month. August is always a bastard because there's no major events here. It's just this dead month where everyone is trying to get their act together for their lives to start up again in September after sitting on their ass eating Corndogs all Summer. Thus, for August we are looking at just that - Summer. How do we roll an entire Season into a Single Holiday? Really didn't take too long.

For me, my Most Idyllic Summer was 1996, pictured here.

Summer Flicks:

There are so many perfect Summer Movies. Anything big, loud and obnoxious will do, anything that is reminiscent of the Summer Blockbuster Season. Transformers (2007) comes to mind. More seasonal-specific though, there are plenty of movies that perfectly capture a Summer Mood. To best recall the idle Summer Days of childhood I recommend The Sandlot (1993). You've got baseball, hot pool chicks and a hot slobbery mutt, all perfect Summer Tropes.

The most fitting Summer Movie may, however, be JAWS (1975). It's centered around the Fourth of July and extensively features beaches, swimming and tons of people acting very stupidly. That's Summer Fun! It has also left a mark on the Summer of '75 and Movie History, forever changing our paradigms of what Summer should be. Suddenly in addition to vacations and beach bumming, we also had to see lots of big dumb movies. That's all JAWS. Extending from the premise is the idea that the Summer Season is what makes towns like Amity survive (and a Big Nasty Shark chomping off its shores will kill it) and it reminds us that these little Seaside Burgs really do cater to a Summer crowd that is a bit different when there's Sunlight rather than Snow.

To remind you, Wet Hot American Summer stars everyone awesome.
Perhaps the best Summer Movie though, or at least one explicitly suited to the Final Week of Summer, is Wet Hot American Summer (2001). I'm not sure I can fit more uses of Summer in one sentence. It's again going back to a "simpler" time where shorts were short, hair was long and everyone listened to Jefferson Starship and Loverboy. There's the futile Summer Fling, river rafting, motorcycle chases, everything that a good Summer requires. It also has a phenomenal cast that almost all would eventually become A-List Actors, a story largely about nothing and a sense of humour dryer than a Sudanese Well. Too soon?

Here is a list of some of these flicks among other great ones to enjoy the season with.


Caddyshack (1980) is an essential Summer Movie. It's golf, pools, yachts and getting hooked up with the wrong chick. That's all you need. Of all the immortal comedies of that Era I'd consider Caddyshack to be the one that falls most appropriately for Summer. Watch Animal House (1978) come Fall to get your mind back into the wet leaves and start of classes, Christmas Vacation (1989) during the Winter to put a deranged Family Holiday Tale in your mind and that really just leaves The Blues Brothers (1980) for spring, because you need no other excuse to watch The Blues Brothers.

Summer Tunes:

Rainforest sweaty.
There are tons of great Summer Songs, I spend the whole Summer trying to figure that out. I've also gone in to previous detail here. Actually I'm not sure I can add more to that list. If you get to hot in here, you can play "Hot in Herre" by Nelly. If you think the sun is about to come out you can play "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles. It all comes together. I might add Last Year's Queen of Summer, Katy Perry's "California Gurls," that was a perfect Summer Track that makes icicles melt in January. Play some righteous rock or fast dumb rap or even a smooth slow jam and you can get into a funky Summer Mood, baby.

Summer Fun:

There's a lot to enjoy about Summer. Probably far to many to list here. Beach volleyball, soccer and baseball are your available sports to watch and play. Beer, Hot Dogs and Watermelon are your available food and drink. You had better make it something Mexican, like a Corona or Tecate. Beautiful. In addition to that form of Mexican Intoxication why not slug down some frothy Margaritas during the lazy Summer Months? Or at least some kind of Lemonade. You can't drink Lemonade in December. That's just not right.

Did I really make a Sudan joke back there?

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