Friday, October 1, 2010
The Utter Collapse of Western Movies
To be honest, I'm not a movie person. This is not to say that I do not have movies that I like. I have a fairly large movie collection, full of movies you have never heard of or never seen. Most of my favorite directors are either dead or extremely elderly. Also, a lot of movies I like most people consider to be dreadful. I haven't seen many Hollywood staples like "Rocky" or "Top Gun". But even I have noticed that Hollywood is on a losing streak of unheard of proportions. This year has been one enormous yawn on the movie front. I can't remember a period of months when absolutely no big movies have come out. Think about it, have you really looked forward to a movies since Expendables/Scott Pilgrim/Eat Pray Love weekend? Absolutely not.
And we go. We still go. Well I should say you go, because I don't support that crap. The last movie I saw was "The American" which wasn't exactly a blockbuster. I know that it seems like a George Clooney Spy Thriller seems like it would be pretty damn hard to mess up, but they found a way. They did so by producing and directing the entire film in Italy, land of moody, morose, and macabre movies. "The American" will forever be known as the movie so moody they gave out Zoloft at the door instead of 3D glasses. That picture up there? Clooney is aiming for the audience's Joy. They chose to release it in the Summer, when people want fun movies! The damn movie started in the Winter! Any joy and good feeling the audience had when going into the theater was definitely assassinated by the time they left.
So what does Hollywood have planned to bring us back? Sequels out the ass. I for one am glad for the sequels because I would rather see that than take a chance on something, ahem, "original" from these people. And for me I see no difference between big studio movies and indie movies. At their heart most "indie" movies follow similar tropes just like the big movies do. Indies movies are all heart and emotion and guts and tugging on heartstrings. There are very few indie movies that are straight out action films, and I know you can say that that's a function of budget, but really that is just a cop-out. It can be done, see "Black Dynamite". As with everything connected with the film industry, the creative people just are not trying hard enough. I know people who are beginning filmmakers, so I am under no delusions about how difficult it is to make a movie. It's slightly less involved than planning an amphibious assault against an entrenched enemy fort. Still, whether the budget is $120 million or $120 every crew has a responsibility to the public to put out the best product possible, and that just isn't happening.
This has been a depressing movie year in many senses of the word. Along with "The American", the year started out with "The Lovely Bones". Anyone see that? Well don't if you are having a bad day. Or have children. Or ever plan on having children. The unintentionally funny commercials for "Extraordinary Measures", "I ALREADY WORK AROUND THE CLOCK", got more attention than the movie did. "Repo Men" repo-ed the plot from a previous movie. "Kick Ass" made me angry and sad for reasons none of you will understand, and it just goes on and on. This was the Summer of disappointment and, except for Harry Potter, it looks like the rest of this year is going to be blowful as well. I wish that we would all just boycott Hollywood for a month. One month if we all got our shit together the quality of movies would increase substantially wouldn't it? Ah, it's fun to dream.