Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I love movies. I'm even happy to pay bloated prices for tickets, sugarwater, and popped vegetables, only to buy the special-edition, extra-profit director's cut when it is released on DVD later. But some trends in big-studio filmmaking just leave me shaking my head.

Why, for example, do we need not one awful Hot-girl-beats-people-up-in-a-futuristic-setting movie, but a whole bunch of them in a row? (To be fair, I've seen only previews, but they all look genuinely awful) Why were there several A-meteor-is-going-to-hit-earth movies released within chronological spitting distance of each other? How about all the Guy-seeks-to-deflower-the-girl-but-they-fall-in-love movies that came out over the course of a summer? And lately, it's been a wave of Cute-computer-animated-animals-share-heart-warming-fart-jokes films.

I don't mean to just pick on stupid movies either. I'm all for stupid movies. Adam Sandler generally plays the same sweet-but-troubled guy every single time, but God help me, I continue to find 50 First Happy Waterboy Daddy Singer Deeds funny, time and time again. I make no claim that all cinematic repetition is bad.
You can do it!

But when the pitch for a two-hour movie is something like "this redneck guy acts obnoxious" or "bratty kids laugh as their dad is on the receiving end of pies and other standard-issue slapstick" or "it's been a while since Titanic, let's do another sinking-ship, tragic-romance picture", I just have to wonder what exactly causes these projects to get the green light.

The content of so many films isn't even the whole story. Now they're even packaged in an obnoxious way. The thoughts running through film executives' heads has to go something like this: "Keep the exhorbanant ticket and snack prices, but now show twenty minutes of loud, extended television commercials to anyone who dares care enough about the movie to want to get there early and find good seats. Not only that, but talk down to them about how illegal it is to copy movies." Know what? If we're still coming to the theatre, even though the DVD will be out next week and we'll be able to not have noisy kids and cell phones around us while we watch... If we're still coming to the theatre, when it's ridiculously easy to download a fairly high-quality version of the movie before it even opens... If we're still coming to the theatre, how about showing some appreciation? Respect, even? A blaring, two-minute Coca-cola ad? This theatre doesn't sell Pepsi. If I'm thirsty, Coke's already got my money.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to see Scary Movie 4.

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