What is there to say about the current crop of films in the theaters that hasn’t been said? It’s strange watching a film like WALL STREET 2. On one hand, it’s a pleasure seeing a big film, with big stars and expensive looking sets, on a big screen. Money buys a certain amount of size and my 50″ screen at home is never going to be as big as that 50 foot screen at the theater.
The fact that the movie isn’t good is a little besides the point. Oliver Stone might have gotten away with such a mediocre film a few years ago. Studios always put out disappointments. Now it just seems old fashioned, which, in a way, is worse.
In my mind, audiences have finally started wising up to the fact that Hollywood movies stink. Because Hollywood enjoys a defacto monopoly on the theater screens, the only result of this is audience decline.
Hollywood loves to blame all movies, but they don’t consider anything besides what they do to be a real movie anyway. Until the theater owners step up to the Hollywood machine, there’s not going to be a lot of change. Still, it’s incredible to watch some movies make it through to the theaters – a mindnumbingly tough road to travel – and see how out of touch they are. It is not unlike GM putting out their boring, ugly gas-guzzlers that keep breaking down and then wondering where all their customers went. But that is what happens in corporations: the people at the top came up in the decade or two before they came to the top, so that’s what they know; it’s hard to steer these huge corporations in new directions. It’s the same in film.
Now more films are being made outside of Hollywood and then brought in for distribution. Some better films will surely come of this, but also some bigger misfires. The real trouble remains getting the films from the minds of filmmakers who want to make them, to the audience that wants to see them. Hollywood can claim over and over again that the audience isn’t showing up, but it’s just a form of denial. Hollywood has spent three decades disenfranchising audiences only to turn around and blame any current film that isn’t pre-branded for the decline of American theater goers. Reminds me of the Republicans blaming everyone but themselves for the deficit that happened over the last ten years.
Hollywood needs some new ideas, and they’re just not up to the task of trying them out.