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The Top 10 proven and sure-fire ways a movie studio can prevent me from seeing a flick

Updated on December 12, 2011

It is no secret I am a movie lover. There are as few things I find as entertaining as watching a movie I've never seen before with my friends or family. But these days I don't see as many movies as I once did and I've had to become a lot choosier about what I go to see (or rent to see) because frankly my entertainment budget has tightened along with the economy.

Unfortunately, movie studios often just seem oblivious to this fact and keep cranking out the same kind of films I wouldn't voluntarily watch if my life depended on it. It is their loss, of course, and perhaps they don't deserve sympathy. But I understand, too, that we all have families to feed and homes to pay for. On the other hand, if movie studios are eager to keep me and my business away, they can take some lessons here. Yep, if my patronage scares or insults them -or if they just like the idea of raking in a little less profit- they can successfully shoo all my interest away by imply incorporating at least one of the elements I hate most in the production or publicity of their product. For their heads-up I hereby present:

The Top 10 proven and sure-fire ways a movie studio can prevent me from seeing a flick

10. Obviously overstated and ridiculous kudos comparisons to films I like.

Examples here are tried-and-failed kudos such as "If you enjoyed _ then you'll love _!" or "In the tradition of _" . This stunt is inevitably employed when after a pre-release audience screening the movie makers realize what a bomb they have on their hands. But sorry, no matter how direly you need to turn a profit movie watchers are not brainless. If we hear "If you enjoyed AVATAR you will love Teletubbies Take Mars!" we're going to know to stay at home. But perhaps, if they're all masochists, this is what studio heads want to do.

9. Make it using real animals with computer animated facial movements to go along with their “speaking” abilities, and all the worse give the voice-over parts to actors with grating voices.

Who, and from WHAT planet, lives under the assumption parents find this kind of trite animation amusing? Heck, even my kids have come to dislike these things. I don't want to see -and especially hear- Marmaduke talk (it was a tedious comic strip to begin with!). Likewise, I have no interest in wise-cracking dogs, smack-talking cats, cantankerous penguins, bawdy birds or insipidly babbling mice.The exception I make here is the character of Scooby-Doo from the Scooby-Doo movies. He was honestly funny. Otherwise, the majority of these film types are unforgivably bad.

One film series of this genre that particularly stands out -in that the rest of story was somewhat entertaining- were the George of the Jungle movies. John Cleese cast as that snide, uppity gorilla was slightly humorous ONCE; by the second film the gorilla's lines and jokes were predicable and totally lame. But the very worst offender in this category are those awful Beverly Hills Chihuahua movies. Not only were the story lines stupid they cast George Lopez in the lead voice-over role. Lopez's limited emotional range and incessant use of exaggerated bellows and whines are grating already; why on earth would any one with an ounce of compassion, cast him to do a voice-over for a film that any unsuspecting non-hearing impaired person might happen to watch? Sadistic, that's what it is.

Anyway, these are the reasons I hate this genre of movies. Frankly I do love animals, and If I'm going to watch a movie about animals give me a Beethoven, Benji or National Velvet. Animals are entertaining in and of themselves and don't need inane humor coming out of their mouths. And if they just have to talk I want something without the eye-grating computer animation, like Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. That's actually one of the BEST G-rated movies I have ever seen. Absolutely love it!

But, dear studios, since you may be averse to taking my money, go ahead and keep pumping out these dismal things and make sure to cast the irksome-throated to do the voice-overs. Trust me, you'll never get me into the theater.

8. Make certain the film is gushing with those lurid superimposition chroma key techniques like they did in “300”.

There's nothing like watching a movie that makes you truly value Visine, unless it's one that lends you the need for a pain-killer at the same time. Thanks to superimposition chroma key graphics the makers of eye drops and pain meds are surely turning in the cash hand over fist every time one of these films hit the theaters. I'm not sure what objective that drives the makers of these films and it could be a number of things like 1. presenting their product in nightmarish sepia-seeping colorjamba just makes them feel artistically cool 2. this type of imagery is supposed to take the viewer's mind away from the otherwise sorry-butt storyline or 3. the creators are working in sync with certain drug makers in California who don't think audiences are getting enough hemp in their diet. But honestly, if I wanted to watch movie that makes me feel all distorted and surreal I wouldn't have given up dope years ago. But since I haven't smoked anything illegal in many years and have no plan to do so ever again I'll just have to politely abstain from these.

"This is PAINFUL!!!"
"This is PAINFUL!!!"

7. Make it a family-friendly teen Romance with modern and politically-correct social values.

If there is one word that adequately sums these type of movies up it is: ARRRGGGHHH. I'd rather be force-fed a plate of creamed spinach chased by five gallons of soured milk than watch this kind of film. At least after the forced meal I'd vomit and get the nasty aftertaste out of my system. But these flicks do nothing but aggravate my ulcer, produce nightmares and force me to dig out my raunchiest explicit Romances in order to get over the migraine. Ok, that last side-effect really isn't such a bad thing...but STILL! The other side-effects are bad enough that I can't even hear the words "empowered young woman" anymore without having flashbacks.

6. Take a classic children's tale and make it a piece of politically-correct propaganda

Self-absorption, indifference and unrestrained incidences of rage have become so common these days that children are often desensitized to violence from an early age. But leave it to the geniuses in the film industry to attempt to thwart the most villainous things children can be exposed to - namely the fairytales and stories passed down from previous generations that frowned on self-absorption, indifference and unrestrained incidences of rage.

But while the average person (like me) may feel differently, the liberal factions inside Hollywood understand that nothing so utterly strips a child of all ethical potential like being introduced to the nefarious mores suggested in old world stories.. These disciples of superior morality spend a great deal of energy and money making films that will reach our youngsters and educate them in all the really valuable ideals that were denied earlier generations. And the most prized tool in their educational armory is the animated film.

Yes, wherever the malevolent ideals of Romance, chivalry, true love, inherent difference between the genders rear their ugly heads Hollywood will be turn those ideals on their heads and strip them of every decadent fabrication lying in wait to seduce and ruin our children. There is a New Order, one in which strong female heroes don't need men and if a male is fighting at her side he's doubtlessly insensitive, juvenile and usually intelligence-impaired. In the case of Princess Fiona from Shrek the girl not only had to be bad-ass, but the more hideous and deprived of manners all the better. Only the attractive, evil princesses didn't fart. In Hoodwinked! Red Riding Hood had to be a snotty-mouthed example of kick-ass heroism. With Happily Never After Cinderella is another kick-ass heroine, but additionally we have a good example of Hollywood destructing the old world gender typecasting -those EVIL things, remember- and giving us a moron of a Prince Charming and a male protagonist in the form of a modern spineless male friend for Cinderella.

Sigh. I refuse to watch these propaganda films any more, and I also ban them from my children's movie watching. In this case the purveyors of the genre have written off more than just one viewer. So while Hollywood is chasing off my business I have invested in a new purchase of The Brothers Grimm Tales. Yep, the movie makers may not want my money, but the publishing house at least appreciates it.


5. Get Meryl Streep in it

There is no denying Meryl Streep is an adequate actress. It also feels sometimes that Hollywood would literally implode on itself if she went for a single year without an Oscar nomination. The problem for me is that I think she also happens to be the most overrated actress in the history of film. Her talents are average at best and her standard roles of choice just not interesting. If she has proven anything it is the ability to give mediocrity a definite chichi. So call me low-brow and throw me into the pit for thinking emotional range and portrayal convincibility mean more than the ability to make yourself sound like you've been speaking Eskimo since birth. Give me Sandra Bullock, Kathy Bates or Glenn Close any day -heck I can even stomach Angelina Jolie most times- but dear gods of popcorn, please don't tie me in a theater with only a Meryl Streep film to keep me company.

And since movie studios haven't resorted to this -at least YET- I'm safe.

4. Promote it as a kick-ass-heroine type piece

These kind of flicks may appeal to wimpy guys who salivate over the idea of a woman emasculating other men on the screen or even men-hating women who salivate over the idea of seeing a man emasculated on screen. But for me the most they do is make me want to pull the director into a real cat-fight. It's not because I think women don't know how to fight, it is that I know they fight a whole lot differently than men. If you go solely by what's seen on the silver screen -or the SyFy network- you wouldn't know this, of course. But in reality women are women and our natural preference in fighting maneuvers is nothing like what Angelina Jolie pretends to do by hanging from a set prop for a shot that's going to be blended in over some computer animation OR like what Hilary Swank pretends to do within the safety net of a cushiony insurance policy. My other problem is that while yes, we can put up a good fight against other women, by nature men are stronger, more martial, more naturally aggressive toward one another. So while most of us will put up a huge struggle to protect our young we aren't out there looking to bang horns with one another. Yes, this isn't PC or feminist in thinking, but boo hoo, get over it, sometimes nature is stronger and smarter than politics. And because I am a real woman the studios can breathe a sigh of relief to know I won't be watching these flicks.

She fought like a man and died like a true idiot.
She fought like a man and died like a true idiot.

3. Promote it as a “destined classic” or something similar

Admittedly, the Disney studios generated this one entirely on their own. I can't think of another single studio that has the audacity to make such claims, but then again no other studio has been able to combine social proselytizing with shady corporate shenanigans the way Disney does.This is the studio that has given us divas like Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato. This is the studio that, after the Navy Seals took out Bin Laden, sought to trade mark and cash in on the term, "Seal Term 6". The very same profit-conscious-ethics-lacking company that hired child predator Victor Salva.

So their boastful promotions never surprise me. Nonetheless, I still won't be watching their new hailed "destined classics". But in all honesty, I highlyly doubt they care.

A real Disney classic film

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

A genuine Disney screw-up

Victor Salva, director of "Powder".
Victor Salva, director of "Powder".

2. Have it directed by Michael Moore, Robert Redford or Rob Zombie

Three directors, three different styles. The first makes Pro-Socialist Agenda films, the second makes boring films, and the third makes movies with a distracting amount of profanity and raunch.

To be fair, I think Redford is a wonderful actor. I also think Zombie is an adept musician. With their artistic talents they certainly have the potential for turning themselves around in the world of film directing. As it stands right now, though, I'm not seeing or hearing anything that would make me want to chance their work again. But if Redford went back into acting or Zombie re-focused himself on music they would certainly have my patronage.

With Moore, however, he's not only die-hard in his ways, I just don't foresee him changing his tune. When you think of it, his Socialism-for-Profit stance lends him a surreal mystique. That's actually something close to being artistic! With any luck somewhere down the line he'll also own up to the fact artists have historically been thrown under the bus fast after any socialist coup and re-think his animosity toward the Capitalist system that feeds him.

I won't hold my breath for this. But what I will do is to continue to personally boycott his movies. Considering his advocacy for protests this should make him awfully happy.

1. Promote it with an overdose of voice-over critic snippets

If you have a television you've seen at least one of these kind of TV promos. A portion of a movie trailer is taken and provided voice-over by a narrator quoting snippets of critical praise for the film. The narrator inevitably has a deep voice that resonates with a patriarchal sense of sober urgency.. Listeners are immediately affected by this tone and we stand there, mouths agape, hanging on to every word the man says, as if we've just been informed by the President the earth has veered into a course for the Sun and we're waiting desperately for instructions on how to reach the emergency shelters.

The words themselves, of course, are nothing of the sort. Instead we hear stuff like,

Rolling Stone magazine hails, "A masterpiece of visual artistry!"

"Brilliant! 5 Stars!" says the New York Times.

The Hooterville Chronicle declares, "Riveting, inspiring, what movies are meant to be!"

"The most thrilling movie experience of the year!" hails the Old Spinster Journal.

Barney the Dinosaur raves, "The greatest cinematic achievement since Teletubbies Take Mars!"

I confess, when I was a teen promo like this would have instantly put the movie on my have-to see list. But I'm older now and I have had enough experience with movies to know the more sensational the critic snippets and more dramatic the announcer sounds then the more likely the movie is a real snoozer.

This finishes my Top 10. What's your top reasons for not seeing a movie?

©December 11, 2011


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