Movie Maniac

September 9, 2012

There was some good in summer’s movies

The summer movie season is officially over, going out with a whimper — August’s take at the box office was the worst since 2006, according to

The summer movie season is officially over, going out with a whimper — August’s take at the box office was the worst since 2006, according to

But it unfortunately was a fitting end to a mostly lackluster summer at the movies. Oh, there were still monster hits such as “The Avengers” (which had the best opening weekend ever, raking in a little over $200 million domestically), but summer attendance overall at the box office was down 2.8 percent from 2011, with the total summer haul for 2012 being $4.28 billion, according to

Looking back, some of my favorite summer films were — true to fanboy form — “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.” Hey, I wear my geek button proudly.

But the best film hands down was “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a little indie that defies explanation. After I saw it, I was in tears — not from sadness, but from having witnessed something beautiful. Another indie that I truly enjoyed was “Safety Not Guaranteed.” It’s a little uneven in tone, but the ending left me soaring.

Otherwise, the summer season again was full of sequels and remakes, many of which tanked (“Expendables 2,” “Total Recall”).

Hear that, Hollywood? We’re voting with our wallets, and we’re tired of the same old thing. Next summer, bring on the new, daring and bold.


Manly movie night — In celebration of their milestone anniversaries, the Tallgrass Film Association and Botanica have partnered to present several “Pop-Up Cinema” events this year.

The next one will be Wednesday at Botanica, 701 N. Amidon, titled “Guys’ Night Out.” Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with a screening of the comedy “Caddyshack” at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20; $15 for Tallgrass and Botanica members.

Admission gets you into the gardens, the screening, complimentary made-to-order crumbly burgers from NuWay, pizza samples from Picasso’s Pizza, chips and salsa from Playa Azul and wings from Buffalo Wild Wings. Better loosen up those arteries before you go.

Other features of the night will include miniature golf, cigars for sale from Mort’s and a massage booth by Elite Wellness.

There will also be a cash bar.

For more information, go to

Mountain air comes to WichitaThe Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is a traveling festival that features films about the spectacle and richness of mountain culture. Hosts at each tour location choose a program of films from the festival’s roster that reflects the interests of their local audiences. Films cover such topics as adventure, cultural living, environment and extreme mountain sports.

The program starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Orpheum, 200 N. Broadway. Tickets are $5. For more information, go to

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