West Lafayette, Indiana - Super heroes, sequels and animated features are leading this summer's lineup of Hollywood releases, according to Purdue University film expert Lance Duerfahrd.
"Blockbusters once aimed to inspire fear and awe in audiences in original ways. 'Jaws' was so powerful it interrupted our summer rituals and made it difficult to go back to the beach," Duerfahrd said. "The upcoming summer releases reveal how the industry has changed: blockbusters don't bust anything and instead seek to become part of our summer rituals."
Duerfahrd, associate professor of English and director of the film and video studies program, is an expert in film studies, global cinema and bad movies. He is available to discuss the 2016 lineup of sequels this summer including "Independence Day: Resurgence," an all-female remake of "Ghostbusters," plus installments in the "Star Trek," "X-Men" and "Captain America" franchises.
"Maybe blockbusters should be renamed doorbusters since these films merely aspire to get a maximum number of shoppers in to buy their wares," he said. "Continuing well-established franchises and product lines, these films aspire to difference no edgier than a new flavor of Dorito. That Hollywood wants to serve only familiar fare is evident in how we need to talk about the vintage of the reboot: 'Independence Day 2' follows its original installment by 20 years, 'Ghostbusters' by 30."
Duerfahrd's research focuses on film studies, theory and cultural studies, history and theory of film and photography, film noir, and global cinema. He is currently completing a book, "A Semester of Bad Film," on how the worst movies make us into better filmgoers.