Hot Summer Nights


Rated Greg’s Top 5 Drug Dealing Movies

  1. American Gangster
  2. Belly
  3. Scarface
  4. Paid in Full
  5. Blow Hot Summer Nights

Can I interest you in a drug dealing coming of age movie starring Timothee’ Chalamet? Set in 1991 Cape Cod?  With the standout soundtrack of the year?  Brought to you by A24?  The same studio that recently produced Lady Bird, Moonlight, American Honey, and Eighth Grade?  Well?  Are you interested?  Sounds pretty phenomenal on paper, right?  And after seeing the trailer?

No brainer, right?  Ok good.  Glad that’s settled.  Oh and by the way, just ignore the fact that this went straight to video and has a 42% Rotten Tomato score.


I’m legitimately confused as to why A24 deemed Hot Summer Nights unworthy of a theatrical release.  When exactly was that decision made?  It’s almost as if they made the poster purposely look like a straight to video movie.  Do I have that bad of taste?  I mean, this movie is really entertaining!  You’re telling me that you put this trailer in a modest number of ad spots and people won’t go to the theater?  Especially with Chalamet fresh off a 2018 Oscar nomination?  And double especially in the moviepass era?  I find that hard to believe.  Something else must have happened behind the scenes.  Perhaps it’s the Queen’s Boulevard situation all over again (OH YEAH!).

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Or perhaps A24 really was scared off by the critical response.  They’d been sitting on this movie since forever, since it premiered all the way back at the 2017 SXSW Festival, a good 7 months before Call Me By Your Name was even released.  The studio probably wanted to ride the Chalamet wave into the summer but the critic apathy altered the course.  Looking at their list of films, A24 doesn’t really release poorly reviewed movies. While they have varying box office success, almost every one is a big hit with critics, consistently more so than any other studio.


Here’s the thing though, I skimmed some of the reviews and they weren’t that nasty, just indifferent.  The common flaw highlighted is that Hot Summer Nights is unoriginal. They’re not wrong.  Hot Summer Nights is VERY unoriginal.  It borrows from a lot of movies.  A LOT of movies.  To name a few: Adventureland.  The Sandlot.  The Outsiders. Drive.  Goodfellas.  I’ve never actually seen Dirty Dancing but I’m pretty sure Dirty Dancing could sue for royalties.  Even Heat.  It comes close to stealing a scene directly from Heat!


But I don’t care.   I love all those movies and I love Hot Summer Nights.  It’s both as original and as enjoyable as Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines was in 2013.  Sue me.  Grade: A-.  Coming to Amazon Prime in September.

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Rated Greg’s Top 5 Mission: Impossible Scenes

  1. The Langley Heist – Mission Impossible (1996)
  2. The Paris Chase – MI Fallout (2018)
  3. The Phillip Seymour Hoffman Sit Down – MI3 (2006)
  4. The Vienna Opera House – MI Rogue Nation (2015)
  5. The Burg Khalifa – MI Ghost Protocol (2011)


The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey recently declared Mission: Impossible the “Best Movie Franchise.”  He didn’t really clarify whether he meant best right now or best of all time, but I’ll go ahead and clear that up for you.  Mission Impossible is the best movie franchise of all time!  Yes, better than the Marvel movies, better than Fast & Furious, better than Bond & Bourne, better than Rocky, better than Harry Potter, and……earmuffs nerds……it’s better than Star Wars too.  The only two that can compete with it are Indiana Jones and The Dark Knight trilogy, but you have to take into account the quantity of this quality.


I actually suspected that MI might be the best series after 2015’s Rogue Nation, but Rated Greg didn’t exist back then.  I think I texted some superlative about the franchise to the WayBackBoys text chain, and they likely in turn told me to shut up and changed the subject back to PAC-12 basketball.  But anyways, Tom Cruise has now made FIVE really good movies as Ethan Hunt over the past 22 years, with only one bad one in MI2. Harrison Ford as Dr. Jones made 3 great movies. Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne made 2.5. Cruise deserves the crown after his fifth and with a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, unheard of for a silly action movie, the critics appear to be on the same page.

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout is incredible. It’s the best iteration of the franchise, probably the best straight up action movie since Mad Max Fury Road, and contains perhaps the best multitude of action ever featured in a PG-13 movie (How have I never seen a high speed helicopter chase before?!).  The fact that the majority of the stunts are real sets the experience so far above anything you’ll see in the CGI heavy Marvel or gravitationally ridiculous Fast and Furious.  Cruise even reportedly broke his ankle while filming this jump.

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Now that’s dedication to a craft.  Grade: A+

Special Disclosure:  Before the release, a friend asked me if he needed to see the first five to enjoy Fallout.  I responded no, given that each of the previous installments are all pretty much stand alone stories (kind of like Bond).  However after seeing this my advice was a little wrong as there are multiple story references to MI3, 4, and 5 in Fallout.  Granted, plot and character development are low on the list of reasons why you see this movie, but still, if you want to appreciate all of the payoffs you might want to check those out beforehand.  And honestly if you like action movies, I’m a little offended if you haven’t already seen those anyways.