Do we have only ourselves to blame?

Matt Briggs emailed me a link to this very interesting article in the New York Post on why movies are so dreadful: ‘Everything that’s wrong with Hollywood — We have only ourselves (and directors, actors, China) to blame‘.

Of course, I don’t accept the premise that movies are, indeed, dreadful. The article talks a little about some movies which it thinks would be good but which haven’t been made, but nothing much about movies which are good and have been made. Yes, good smart movies are still being made. That some of them incorporate quality action stuff and special effects (eg. The Dark Knight, Inception, Star Trek) doesn’t mean that they aren’t excellent. Those effects and action elements finish off the movie, not try to replace what is missing.

Others do largely without that stuff and are great too (eg. The Fighter, The Prestige) (and, yes, I do list a lot of Christopher Nolan stuff, unapologetically).

Of course, ‘good’, here, is entirely my judgement. Ultimately, which I regard as good is that from which I derive enjoyment. If a movie gives pleasure to a hundred million people for a couple of hours, why should I be down on it just because it isn’t to my taste? Well, because I don’t like it of course.

The ideal critical environment would, in my view, be lots and lots of critics with a wide range of tastes so that readers could find one or more with whom their tastes largely align, and therefore a reasonably reliable guide to their movie choices.

Finally, I’ve mentioned it before, but for look inside what sometimes appears to be an amazingly petty movie-making industry, I recommend Terry Rossio’s 1995 essay on the creation of the movie abomination, The Puppet Masters.

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4 Responses to Do we have only ourselves to blame?

  1. treblid says:

    Probably too harsh? For me I find there are around 3-5 good movies worth watching a year. That is still a very healthy figure for me. 😛

  2. al says:

    I do think a lot of movies just put out as money spinners. watched a few and wonder …why ?

    some good movies too though. watched a couple of outstanding movies this year. The french movie “Tell no one” and “Winters Bone” brilliant movies. Good to see movies like this still being released. Just matter of sifting through

    avatar and I know it probably was a box office hit. but its one that I think was one big gimmick film. and I went errrgh..on watching.

  3. treblid says:

    Avatar I like, not because of the movie, but because of the experience. I watched this movie in a full house. All the kids in the theatre are enjoying the movie, and it’s the sfx (oohing and gahing) from these kids that makes it enjoyable for me :p… Those sfx actually made me a lot less critical…

    Director’s intent or I was just lucky to be in a cinema packed full of kids. But it worked… 🙂

    Watching the 2D version at home was a total waste of time though.. :p

  4. Mark says:

    One thing I cannot understand is remaking an already good/excellent movie or TV show.

    For example I once saw a quite poor remake of Carrie ( It rates 5.3 as opposed to the originals 7.4.

    Currently 11 is screening the US remake of ‘Being Human’, as series that is still in production with the UK original. As far as I can see, aside from the identical script, the US remake is markedly inferior – poor acting and a low-res video look. Once again I ask myself why? Surely the money being wasted on this remake would have been better spent on continuing an original series like Stargate SGU or Caprica?

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