I went to a late screening of The Master tonight (which I will review after having a night’s worth of sleep), and during the film, a man from the back of the theater gently walked down the stairs looking suspiciously in a threatening matter. As I saw the man pass my row, I couldn’t help but think, “just in case…”. It wasn’t that I chose to be reminded of the tragic events in Aurora, CO, but it was a natural reaction to something that felt out of place. In reality, it was an older male gingerly walking down to the stairs to most likely use the bathroom. But in a dark theater where anyone can pass as anything, who knows? Unfortunately, I feel that this won’t be the last time I become aware of my surroundings in a theater for my own safety, rather than concentrating on what is happening on screen, and who can blame anyone who thinks like that? One individual has broken the barriers of safety and escape in the theater, and has forever allowed a disturbance to our trip to the movies. The real tragedy will always be the individuals who lost their lives. There’s no doubt about that. But an underrated aspect of it all is how it affects all members of society. Just like 9/11 or Columbine, any event can change everyday activities. And it seems that going to the theater for now has been perverted and stained.
If you haven’t noticed, there hasn’t been much activity on my blog these past few weeks. Sadly, it has been over a month since the last movie I watched, and unfortunately, it was a repeat viewing of the Dark Knight Rises. As a self-proclaimed cinephile, I’ve always felt responsible to see films that are being released, no matter how I feel about that or no matter what the public perception of the film may be. We all have films that we love or adore that are not critically acclaimed (Space Jam, You’ve Got Mail, Lucky Number Slevin) and films almost everyone thinks you’re crazy to like. But I’m not exactly sure if it’s with age or just the sheer exhaustion, but there’s seems to be a lack of quality with the current films that are being released right now. I know in a month or so, my mouth will not be full of criticism or frustration with Hollywood, but focused more towards the new Oscar potentials like Silver Linings Playbook, The Master, etc. But considering where I attend college and the difficulties of seeing those kinds of films, it’s extremely disappointing and frustrating to see the new movies come out only to feel that my $8 was wasted.
Don’t get me wrong, I love guilty pleasures. There are films that I watch that sometimes I feel ashamed to be watching, but personally, those films had a quality in them where the focus was not necessarily on the dollar, but on the filmgoer. Today, we are constantly blitzed with really crappy action, animated and dumb comedy movies. Remember the days when we would get about 4-5 high quality animated films? Now we get 10-15 mediocre ones. Remember the days when the $100 budget was rarely crossed and when it did, we could expect something grand? Remember when slapstick comedies were actually funny?
I’m only 23, but I sound like a 70 year old man trying to remember the good ol’ days. I fell in love with movies when I was a child because of the experience. Because I felt like I was transcended into a world that I never could experience. I felt surrounded by the sound, the images and the visuals that were transpiring on screen, realizing that a movie is so much more than movie. I think Hollywood has lost that ideology. Movies are not looked art anymore. It’s looked at as a business. As a dollar sign. And who can blame them? All they are doing is pleasing the mass population. We love explosions, terrible writing and foolish characters. What we are essentially saying is, “please don’t make us think!”
I recently had a conversation with a friend about the advancement in film, specifically garnered on comic book and super hero films. His argument was that almost all super hero films that have been released in the last 4-5 years are high in quality, writing and plot. That the comic book films of today are so much better than before in all phases. And I do agree. Comic book and super hero films are in such high quality right now, and the investment studios are willing to take is something of appreciation. But isn’t that somewhat of a sad situation? That the films that are producing the best writing, character development and story are from super hero films? Our standard for films has been extremely diluted, and what we confuse with substance we lack in observing quality.
Please feel free to respond.
Case and Point (Any Nicholas Cage film is a case and point though…)
I know this blog has not been nowhere near as active as it should be, but considering I’m finishing up my last year in college in an area that doesn’t have many theaters, I don’t have many opportunities to review and speak out on my opinions. I will say that I do need to do a better job though, and I promise, once I get a better handle of my time, I will really unload on the entries. Thanks for being supportive and just wait!