Why Current Movies Suck
And They DO Suck
The movie industry is at a loss for why so few movies do well these days. The last few years have shown an overall slump in box office sales with 2005 being the worst box office year in 20 years. If not for Batman this year, 2008 would have been extraordinarily bad as well. Revenues for movies have been about as good this year as they were last year- because ticket prices went up. That's right- tickets prices were increased to make up for fewer moviegoers.
Movie executives continue to scratch their heads and wonder why people aren't going to the movies. Is it because they can download bootleg copies off the Internet? Is it because they are so distracted with their Wiis and X-Boxes that they don't care about movies?
Film industry execs try to comfort themselves by believing all of these reasons, but none of them are the real reason behind the slump. Movies today suck, and here's why...
There are two reasons why movies suck so badly right now. The first is the film industry's star vehicle theory. The theory goes that a movie company can put together any piece of crap they like and people will see it if it has a big star in it. Many of these types of movies are slapped together very quickly without any real thought to story, tone or even timing. Put a big start or two in it, make some stuff explode and/or a few sex scenes and there you go.
The result, of course, is crap. Most of the best movies are entirely character and plot driven. They usually don't star the big movie stars at all. Actually, it's the other way around- people become big stars after they have been in a good, quality movie. A movie doesn't become good just because it has a star in it. A few examples:
Titanic: Kate Winslet was hardly a household name when the movie came out. She had been in a couple of small movies and was not a star by any means. Leonardo DiCaprio had been in a few movies and was relatively well known but was not a big star. Titanic went on to become the highest-grossing movie of all time.
Star Wars: Need I say more? The only person in the cast who could have been considered a star was Obi Wan, and he wasn't that well known among the younger audience. Did anyone go to see it because he was in it? Not bloody likely.
Jaws: No huge stars, great movie. Not only did it clean up at the box office, it made people afraid to swim for about 20 years.
Dead Poet's Society: Robin Williams was the only star in the cast and was not the main character. The cast of boys were complete unknowns.
E.T.: No stars, just a solid story. It's the kind of movie that stands the test of time because it wasn't built around close-ups of the star of the week.
The Fellowship of the Ring Trilogy: Same deal. Based on a solid trilogy of books and the movie didn't lean on any stars. Liv Tyler was probably the best known actor in the movie, but she played a very small (useless) part.
These are just a few of the movies that relied on characters and a story instead of throwing money at the biggest star that the director could get at the time. And all of these movies will be remembered far longer than the Hancocks and Iron Mans.
The second problem with current movies is that the budgets to get the big stars means that everything else in the movie has to get less attention. The actual story is something that can't be attended to because most of the movie budget has to go the the celebrities that demand $25-50 million to be in the movie. Two or three stars like that and the rest of the movie is really beside the point.
The result is this: sequels and remakes. There is no budget for finding scripts from new screenwriters who actually have good ideas. There is no budget for hiring a group of writers, or even one quality writer, to spend a few months developing a worthwhile story. Instead, the biggest stars possible are booked and then the producers choose a movie to either remake or continue.
Here are just a few of the many, many sequels in the works right now:
- National Treasure 3
- Shrek 4 and Shrek 5
- Super Troopers 2
- Ice Age 3
- Starship Troopers 3
- Jurassic Park 4
- Saw 5
- Pink Panther 2
- Scary Movie 5
- Wild Hogs 2
- Jeepers Creepers 3
- I,Robot 2
- Silent Hill 2
- The Grudge 3
- The People Under the Stairs 2
- Alien 5
- Austin Powers 4
- Star Trek 11
- Forrest Gump 2
- Finding Nemo 2
- Stargate 3
- Monsters, Inc. 2
- Heathers 2 (!)
- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 2
- Mad Max 4
- Pulp Fiction 2
- Reno 911 2
- Scooby Doo 3
- X-Men 4
- War of the Worlds 2
- Spiderman 4
- Spiderman 5
- Spiderman 6
- Underworld 3
- Terminator 4
- Toy Story 3
- Trainspotting 2
- Beverly Hills Cop 4
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