88 Movies Per Hour! Looking Into The Future of Cinema

It seems, that with the rush of time-wasting, pathetic, inconsiderate action flicks that Hollywood is a dying empire. Now, I’m certainly not the first to point this out, but I’d like to expand a little on this sad truth to try and give a clearer answer to the question:

Is Hollywood a dying industry?

My first instinct is certainly not. They’re churning out heaps of movies every month so why should we complain? It certainly doesn’t look like they’re slowing down, and in terms of film output, they certainly aren’t. But fewer people are recognizing the difference between a good film and a bad film. Just yesterday, I saw Michael Bay’s new snorefest Transformers 3: Darkening Moon, or whatever it was called, and to be honest, it depressed me. I sat fidgeting in my seat, left the cinema about three times in frustration, before going back in to finish the movie. The only reason I saw it was for research on an upcoming post involving Bay, but I really had trouble watching the film and wanted to leave so very badly.

This is not a good sign. And what’s worse is, it’s not the first time. Similar things have happened three times for me so far this year. Now, I generally try not to go to the cinema if I know the film I’m going to see is going to be bad. It’s not worth wasting money when you can wait for the DVD if you really must see it. I like to only go for good movies, but I’m overwhelmed by the amount of terrible garbage that’s so readily available.

Oh, and don’t get me started on 3-fucking-D. So many “filmmakers” are resorting to this pathetic “visual enhancement” to make their movies more exciting to watch. Well, excuse me, but if you haven’t directed a film that’s pleasing enough to the eye to watch without having to change it visually to we have to see things thrown at us to enjoy it, then you’re a bad filmmaker.

Okay, well maybe it’s not the filmmaker’s fault in all the cases. Hollywood is hungry for crap these days, and it seems that that’s an easier way for a director/actor to make money. But if you have the choice to either make a crappy movie to earn money and feed Hollywood’s obsession with shit, or not make a movie at all, then pick the latter.

And, what’s even more annoying is that many directors are choosing to make pointless action movies, sadistic horrors and cheap comedies, when they could be making thought-provoking dramas, intriguing and twist-ridden thrillers, or something original in the indie genre. That’s where the good stuff is generally to be found at the moment, in the indie genre. So go make one of those movies, and give the audience something to think about, not something to drink so you can forget.

Now, I am talking to Hollywood here, but I’d like to remind you that not everything they’ve produced has been bad. We’ve had great movies recently like Super 8 and Bridesmaids that have been generally pleasing, but if you really take a good look at it, the generally pleasing movies are overwhelmed by the rotten, stinking carcasses of unoriginal, cliché-ridden snoozefests that are continually convincing younger, more gullible minds that, “Hey, that movie has explosions and romance! That means it must be good!”

In preparation for this, I interviewed five children, aged 6, 9, 11, 12 and 15, respectively, and asked them a few questions. This is what I got:

Q: What is your favourite type of movie?

Age 6: Princess movies.

Age 9: Comedies.

Age 11: Action movies.

Age 12: Action movies.

Age 15: Action movies.

A: Do you have a favourite movie?

Age 6: Tangled.

Age 9: Hot Fuzz.

Age 11: I don’t really have a favourite, I just like whatever’s good.

Age 12: That new Transformers movie’s really good.

Age 15: Whatever. Any action movie’s pretty good.

A: What’s a movie you really didn’t like?

Age 6: [no answer]

Age 9: I like ’em all.

Age 11: I dunno.

Age 12: There was one, but I can’t remember what it’s called.

Age 15: I’m not sure. Nothing recently, really.

I wasn’t surprised with any of these answers. It’s typical. Kids are getting swept up into a generation where they can’t tell the difference between a good action movie or a bad one, a good comedy or a bad one, and they think any intellectual movie is garbage. They’re fickle, and they’re supposed to be the next generation of people, the next generation of filmmakers, so what’s happening?

Every month when I skim through the selection of new releases, I see about two in every ten that I’d go out of my way to see. When I was growing up, at about age 13, eleven years ago, the ratio would be closer to six in every ten. This is sad, for me. It’s depressing to see that as I’ve got older and developed more of a taste for good movies, I’ve come up short with new releases. This is why I’m glad I have classic movies to rely on, but some would say living in the past is ignoring the future, and I certainly don’t want to do that.

So what can we do? Is there anything to do? We should count ourselves lucky we have film festivals like Cannes and Sundance to pick out the good movies from the crop, but the ol’ reliable Academy Awards seem to be giving away Oscars to completely undeserving films (granted not all the time, but Crash is a notable, recent one).

And this is where movie blogs come into view. We should consider ourselves a group, an army of writers fighting for good films, for great films, and trying to teach a whole new world how to love and appreciate them. The Large Association of Movie Blogs recently reached 1000 members, and this is good, because we now have 1000 people testifying their love for the classic film, and if we keep going, if we keep writing, we can get through to more people and hopefully convince them to love film properly, and go to the cinema for excitement and adventure, rather than boring old recycled plot elements, crude sex jokes and pointless action sequences.

We have the power to influence the future, so let’s do it. Are you with me?

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About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on July 9, 2011, in Filmmakers, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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