Hot Summer Nights

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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