7 July 2012

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Great Holidays Inspired by this summer’s Blockbusters

With summer now upon us, the season of hugely hyped Hollywood blockbusters has arrived ready to try everyone’s patience with oversized budgets, wooden acting, over the top special effects and preposterous plots.

However, if nothing else, most of these films at least provide some fantastic eye-candy to enjoy, and whether they’re set in a tropical jungle, vibrant metropolis or alien-infected spacecraft, can offer some great inspiration for that all-important summer holiday. So before you plan your next trip to the Cineplex, take a look at these 5 summer blockbuster options, pick one that best matches your ideal holiday and start taking notes. That way you’ll get something out of the experience, even if it turns out to be as bad as Battlefield Earth.

It’s not immediately clear how closely this Peter Berg effort is based on the classic board game, but anyone hoping for some kind of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead style rumination on the existence of small plastic playing pieces patiently awaiting their demise may be disappointed. Instead, we get an alien invasion (surprise, surprise) of Hawaii, and some convoluted cloaking system that forces each crew to take pot shots at each other, presumably using commands like ‘B4… Hit!’

However, while Battleship does look a little ropey (Rihanna has a fairly prominent role), it does provide some lovely shots of Hawaii that are certain to pique the interest of anyone thinking of trying sailing holidays this year. Besides, if this summer’s blockbusters somehow offer a realistic portrayal of the future, you’ll want to get out and experience the beauty of the islands before their inevitable destruction by aliens.

Set for release this summer some 15 years after the original, Men In Black 3 takes a familiar route for the franchise blockbuster by offering up a prequel, of sorts. The basic plot revolves around the present day ‘death’ of Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and the efforts of Agent J (Will Smith) to travel back in time to save him and thus prevent an alien invasion (yet again) in the future.

While time travel isn’t yet available as a holiday option for the masses (or at all, as far as we’re aware) there are destinations that allow us to better imagine what life was like in the past. From the pyramids at Giza, to the ruins of Machu Picchu, to the amazingly preserved human forms at Pompeii, your summer holiday can help you travel in time as well as geography.

The Amazing Spiderman
If the summer blockbuster season is representative of the health of Hollywood as a whole, it seems we’re in worrying times. The sheer number of sequels, prequels and re-booted franchises released in the last few years is staggering. It’s been a whole 5 years since Spiderman 3, but apparently it’s already time for a series re-boot which will once again explore Spiderman’s origins (they’re changing it slightly in an attempt to keep it ‘fresh’) and set up a series of sequels sure to deliver ever-diminishing returns.

That said, there is still something pretty cool about everyone’s favourite nerd/arachnid and his amazing climbing and web-slinging abilities, so why not brush up on your wall-scaling skills with a climbing holiday? There are some fantastic climbing destinations that combine different ascents suitable for all experience levels with incredible natural scenery. Yosemite National Park offers a huge range of routes for beginners and experts alike, while Krabi in Thailand has shorter climbs, and the option of being lowered into the beautiful clear blue sea if you get too tired or hot. If you fancy something a little closer to home, the French Alps and Spain’s Costa Brava offer relatively cheap climbing with some delicious food and wine to enjoy after a hard days work.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Seriously?! Yep, one of this summer’s biggest cinematic hopes posits that the 16th President of the United States, author of the Gettysburg Address and abolisher of slavery also found time for a spot of vampire hunting.

Sadly, the trailers don’t appear to treat this idea with quite the irreverence it deserves, and the film appears to be a full-on action spectacle instead of the tongue-in-cheek romp it perhaps should have been. Still, it may provide some holiday inspiration for those who’ve always thought of themselves as fearless Van Helsing types in search of the ultimate in activity holidays. For a start there’s the town of Forks, Washington. Reportedly one of the wettest and darkest places in the US, Forks was also used as one of the principle shooting locations for the Twilight films, so there are plenty of tours available for tourists.

If you’re looking for some undead-chasing fun in Europe, there’s always the Vrykolkas in Greece, a bloated, red eyed creature that uses the cunning tactic of knocking on villager’s doors and waiting for an answer. If the door is opened, the resident will die within two days and become a Vrykolka. There’s also the children-stealing Cihuateteo of Mexico, the beautiful, seductive but evil Baobhan Sith of Scotland, and of course, the horror that awaits in Transylvania.  

About Today's Guest Writer:
Lal is eagerly wading through this summer’s ‘must see’ movies and is going to make sure she goes on her sailing holidays before checking out the revamped version of Jaws.

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