retail news in context, analysis with attitude

First of all, and most importantly, thanks to the couple of dozen folks who showed up at Boss Bar in Chicago this week during FMI to hang out, have a couple of beers, and swap a few stories. It always is great to catch up with old friends, and also to meet new folks ... for example, there was a 25-year-old "data scientist" (which is a very cool title) who came by, which was just terrific. I always think that while it is important to be relevant to the CEO class, it is equally important that MNB speak in a way that also is accessible to millennials.

My goal is to do this again in Portland next month ... and hopefully more often in cities around the country as I travel. When I do, I hope you'll join me.

Independence Day: Resurgence opens today, and I can say without reservation that you can feel very comfortable about finding another way to spend two hours of your time this weekend.

As the movie, a sequel to the very-successful-and-actually-fairly-decent-for-an-alien-invasion-movie Independence Day, started, I almost immediately began getting a very uncomfortable feeling. I was recalling sequels like The Sting II, which starred Jackie Gleason and Mac Davis in the roles made famous in the original by Paul Newman and Robert Redford, or the prequel Butch and Sundance: The Early Years, with Tom Berenger and William Katt playing the roles created by Newman and Redford. Both were awful, and both seemed utterly unnecessary, as if the studios had made a financial calculation that the titles alone would guarantee them enough box office to make them worthwhile.

Independence Day: Resurgence is almost that bad ... and if there is any good news, it is that it brings back Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner in the roles they created in the original. But as good as these three actors are, they cannot save a screenplay - about the aliens returning to Earth to take revenge on humanity, which vanquished them the first time around - that seems as if it were painted by the numbers. There is almost no originality, and none of the jaunty humor and genuine spectacle of the original. The special effects may be better, but in some ways they seemed less impactful ... there is so much noise and smoke and destruction, and at such a fast rate, that there is almost no way for any of it to actually register on the audience.

I have no problem with sequels. Sometimes, they can be pretty good ... and sometimes (like The Godfather, Part Two, they actually can be masterpieces. But Independence Day: Resurgence strikes me as the epitome of cynical filmmaking.

In fact, there's a sequel out there in the theaters right now that is actually funny, charming, and a worth follow-up to the original. If you're looking for a movie to see this weekend, I'd go see Finding Dory.

That's it for this week.

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.


KC's View: