The Business of Entertainment

What is the last movie that challenged either your intellect or moral boundaries?  Can’t think of one?  I am hard pressed to think of one too.  At least in the context of a Hollywood made film.  I find myself turning to foreign films more and more to quench my thirst for substance.  To be clear, I don’t think American film-makers are stupid, I think the mega-Film-juggernaut Hollywood studios don’t want to challenge anyone.  They want to include everybody.  To produce a film that appeals to Men, Women and children is their goal.  To maximize profits is the only thing that matters.

Stop and think about it.  Film, like photography, and by extension, Art (Painting, Music, Writing), it is all Art.  Film is suppose to be (it goes without saying) entertainment, but it is also an Art form.  Look at the music scene today, it is all glitz and glamour.  The top “entertainers”, because they are no longer musicians, have a team of song writers.  Which I don’t even mind all that much, but the top ten is a product, it is a franchise.  But, there is still a huge market for “underground” music.  There are millions of successful bands working away at clubs, and producing albums, all the while living off of what they make.

Films are no different, except it has an even smaller success rate, if that can be believed.  They call them independent film makers.  The only trouble is, you still need millions to make a financially successful movie.  Sure, you can write and film a movie for relatively nothing these days.  That is the great thing about technology.  But how many of those films go on to make a lot of money?  How many of those film makers do we talk about around the water cooler at work?  Next to none.  Though of course there are exceptions.

I was inspired to write today because of a few recent movies I have seen. The first being “Now you see me“.  Let me tell you, it made a ton of money.  It has Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, it looks fantastic with an interesting plot…and it sucks!  Far from being the worst I have seen (I am looking at you “Upside Down“).  It is either written by ten year old children of by thirty year old boys who like magic, but have no concept of it.  Th acting truly is a atrocious, like the always wretched Jesse Eisenberg.

But when it is all said and done, it was made purposely to be stupid.  It has to appeal to everyone under the sun.  We can’t have people scratching their heads.   Although I was scratching my head afterward, thinking “How was this made?”.  I ask myself that every time I see a stupid movie.  Hundreds, hell, thousands of people put there life and souls into making a big movie like this.  Months , if not longer, to get it finished.  Staying up late to finish this or that shot.  Agonizing as to where to put a light in order to get the best scene.  But after it is all finished and done…it blows.  You are expected to be wowed by the “magic” which in the movie is literally magic.  Some of the things that happen are impossible.  I know it is a movie and I should use my imagination, but it is flat out takes you away from the reality, knowing every subsequent event to be impossible and therefore pointless to care.

INCEPTIONEven highly regarded movies like Inception were lauded for it’s highly intricate story.  People came to me and said that they didn’t understand it etc.  It is a very simple plot, okay, maybe not simple per say, but easy to understand.  Are we as a society getting dumber?  Is this day and age of super fast computers and digital books to blame for our making entertainment simple?  Everything must be spelled out at all times.

I still enjoy movies as I said in my last post, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t insult me every time I watch a movie.  Practically every movie I watch, particularly ones I was looking forward too, end of disappointing me.  At least in some fashion or another.  I go to an action movie, they make it so that a child can watch it and it ends of being about emotions, the inner strength will prevail crap.  No, action = big ass badass kills bad guys.

I should change this blog to film blather.

Please tell me what movie challenged you in any way in the comments.  I am sure that in my slight rage I have forgotten about many!  Thanks!

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