Captain America reminds me of a solar eclipse.
I can tell by that look that you are not going to accept that statement at face value. I suppose I should explain how I reached this bizarre conclusion.
There are stories that animals and birds react strangely during a solar eclipse. They think it’s really night and go into sleep mode.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” came out a few weeks ago and fooled a lot of people, although animals and birds were not fooled. They knew that the “Captain America” sequel was not a summer movie, even though it looked an awful lot like a summer movie. Humans were confused, however, and thought the summer movie season had arrived unusually early. Some people actually headed to the beach, thinking it was Memorial Day.
But “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” only appeared to be a summer movie. Everybody knows that the summer movie season doesn’t start until Friday.
Other than the “Captain America” anomaly, a summer movie is usually easy to recognize, even without looking at a calendar.
For instance, if the movie you are watching stars an Oscar-winning actress who suddenly changes shape and turns bright blue in the middle of a dramatic scene, you are probably watching a summer movie. Everybody knows that Oscar-winning actresses never turn blue except in summer, although they occasionally turn green during awards season.
Here are some other tips for spotting a summer movie:
• If a cool car is traveling down the street and, without warning, transforms into a robot, it is likely a summer movie. During the fall movie season, the only thing a car will turn into is a gas station.
• If an insect bites a boy and turns him into a costumed, web-slinging superhero, it’s definitely a summer movie. If he gets gravely ill from the bite and you have to reach for a tissue, it’s the fall movie season.
• If a giant Japanese lizard is wreaking havoc on innocent cities, it’s a summer movie.
• If the title includes a number that would indicate a sequel, such as “22 Jump Street” or “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” it’s a good bet that it’s a summer movie.
• If the Wachowski siblings of “Matrix” fame are directing Channing Tatum in a sci-fi action film, it’s a summer movie. If he takes his shirt off, bet the farm on it being a summer movie.
• Although there was a nonsummer Hercules movie this year, it’s a safe bet that any Hercules movie with Dwayne Johnson in the title role will come out during the summer.
• If apes are running amok on a planet named after them, it’s summer.
• If it’s a movie about Marvel superheroes that you never heard of, it’s coming out in the summer. Who are we kidding? Any movie with Marvel superheroes is going to come out in the summer when all the kids are out of school. One more thing — if Vin Diesel is playing a character named Groot and Chris Pratt is Star Lord, it’s a summer movie.
• If your protagonists are in their teens, have a bit of a mutant problem, are proficient as ninjas and carry a shell on their back, you are watching a summer movie, my friend.
• If Sylvester Stallone is playing a mercenary, it’s summer.
• If the legendary Frank Miller comes down from Mount Graphic Novel to co-direct a 3-D sequel to “Sin City,” it’s summer in black and white.
There also are clues to recognizing a movie that will never be released during the summer. For instance:
• If Meryl Streep is playing a character with an accent, it’s probably not a summer movie.
• If the lead character is played by a British woman with the title “Dame” before her name, it’s likely not a summer movie.
• If it’s based on a play, it’s usually not a summer movie, although “Jersey Boys” is coming out this summer. But that’s a musical. We’re pretty sure Shakespeare isn’t big in the summer.
• If Jared Leto is wearing a dress, it’s not summer. If Matthew McConaughey is wearing a dress, it could be summer.
• If Joaquin Phoenix is talking to his phone, it’s not a summer movie. If Kevin Hart is talking to his phone, it could be a summer movie.
• If Amy Adams is not chasing Superman, it’s most likely not a summer movie.
• If Woody Allen wrote it, directed it or starred in it, it’s not summer.
• If Jonah Hill is working on Wall Street, it’s not summer. If he’s working undercover, it probably is summer.
• Finally, if a movie director calls his film a “labor of love,” it is not a summer movie.