Why Movies Suck Now Part One: The Myths

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ProfessorLayton:
Movies suck today in the same way that PC gaming is dying...

I think this is the fairest statement yet. I am disappointed in Bob that he skips over the obvious initial assumption that easily. I guess you can gauge the state of the movie business in 2 general ways. The amount of crappy movies that are release and the amount of good ones. I prefer to remember the good ones and I've actually noted an increase from the American studios over the last few years.

I think that movies suck because they no longer really care about engaging their audiences...or rather that they try too hard to engage their audience. They are like the unpopular girl who gives head to every popular guy in the hopes that they will love her and recognize that she is a sweet, loving person.

Predictably enough, she gets treated like a slut and ignored:cue movies.

GodKlown:
Generally, I leave a lot of movies alone. There aren't a lot that seem to peak my interest, especially in the last decade. I think I got ruined on the late 80s action movies (if anyone else here is old enough to remember the rise of Segal and Van Damme). Those movies, while most had different stories, usually had the same elements. The worst thing I can remember from those movies were the gratuitous sex scenes in nearly every movie. Just out of nowhere, for the benefit of the male audience (and to the female audience that got dragged along) the main characters would just start humping in the middle of the movie. And there I'd sit, not entirely hating to see an attractive woman naked, but wondering why in the hell they are screwing when they are either supposed to be getting away from the bad guys or trying to hunt them down. At least in the first Terminator movie, it actually panned out to make sense in the sequel (even though John Conner's age didn't make a damn bit of sense since it was less than a decade between movies, yet he had somehow become 12 or 14 years old in that time). Van Damme always found an excuse to do the splits (the worst example was in Time Cop), and Mr. Asian Experience always found a way to work in an angle where he tossed some guy through a window or glass table. For a few movies, Wesley Snipes found a reason to do a high kick to someone's head. They all had their signature moves that fans always looked forward to them doing, sort of like the moment nearly everyone waits for in modern movies where they mention the title of the movie within the movie, none being more of a whore to this concept as "Dude, Where's My Car?".
I'm glad we've seen the death of those terrible spoof movies that we were plagued by for the longest time, with at least one coming out every year based on the popular movies of the day. Damn those got annoying as hell!

Sorry to be pedantic but Terminator 2 was actually set in 1995, other than that I agree with what you're saying.

While I'm here, I feel I should address the fallacious notion that Hollywood is run by "liberals". It is not. Hollywood is run by rich, white conservatives just like every other media industry. They're all in the same hands after all. Sure you may well get people working in Hollywood who espouse liberal or socialist viewpoints but they're not the ones in charge of the pursestrings.

Willbass86:
While I'm here, I feel I should address the fallacious notion that Hollywood is run by "liberals". It is not. Hollywood is run by rich, white conservatives just like every other media industry. They're all in the same hands after all. Sure you may well get people working in Hollywood who espouse liberal or socialist viewpoints but they're not the ones in charge of the pursestrings.

But it doesn't matter who's getting the money, what matters is what's being projected onto the screen. What people see in movies and on TV is most often left-sided and that's what really matters. This speech basically sums it up.

Axolotl:
V? Really using V for Vendetta as an examplem against movies being too political?

I'll admit I'm not expert on the movie but the comic is about as political as it gets.

I think he meant as in divided politically. It mixes right and left wing ideas.

I've never seen it or read it, and have no intention to. But interpreting Moviebob, that's what I got.[/quote]Yeah but the comic at least is very left wing. About as left wing as you can get. It's basically Alan Moore ranting about Thatcher. It had moral ambiguity but not much political ambiguity.[/quote]

I didn't find it left or right at all. V main message that I interpreted was about how awesome anarchism is. Moore seemed more preoccupied in telling us why we don't need a government at all, rather than proclaim a leftist government.

Axolotl:

Onyx Oblivion:

Axolotl:
V? Really using V for Vendetta as an examplem against movies being too political?

I'll admit I'm not expert on the movie but the comic is about as political as it gets.

I think he meant as in divided politically. It mixes right and left wing ideas.

I've never seen it or read it, and have no intention to. But interpreting Moviebob, that's what I got.

Yeah but the comic at least is very left wing. About as left wing as you can get. It's basically Alan Moore ranting about Thatcher. It had moral ambiguity but not much political ambiguity.

I didn't find it politically left or right. V's main message that I interpreted was about how awesome anarchism is. Moore seemed more preoccupied in telling us why we don't need a government at all.

OT: It really irks me when my friends just casually say "Nothing is original" anymore. Besides the fact that creative isolation is impossible, does being original instantly transform a mediocre film into a good one? Repo: TGO was original (I think, so if it was based on something else feel free to correct me), but it sucked ass. A good movie depends on its script, direction, and actors, not originality.

Edit: I fracked up my post, so just ignore the one above. Last time I post on my cell phone!

Wow, great job. You really hit the nail right on the head. All the reasons you listed made perfect sense, I just wish more people would read stuff like this

Quick: Can you think of a functional premise somehow involving a hungry, hungry hippo? Because that might be worth money right now.

Let's see, a romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Sarah Jessica Parker. She is the resident vet at a zoo (financial trouble at the zoo is an option here) who loves animals more then she loves people. He's a irresponsible man-child who is ordered to work at the zoo to pay of some damages he caused. Even though he's attracted to her, she hates him. This changes when he manages to cure a hippo with digestive troubles.

God, sometimes I hate myself..

omegawyrm:
That Big Hollywood article about Twilight that you linked to is one of the most sickening things I've ever read.

"...And [the majority of young girls] simply don't understand why the very same adults charged with protecting them use classroom time to roll Trojans on cucumbers."
That sentence alone infuriates me more than the Twilight craze ever could. Breitbart and all his buddies make me want to vomit.

I have a bit of a problem with MovieBob referring to V for Vendetta's enemies being called stand ins for the bush administration. I agree with a lot of what Bob says in these columns, but in many cases his (not untypical) patriotism becomes a bit insulting.

The government in V for Vendetta has two obvious parallels; the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany (and if you look a bit deeper into British history the similar attempts by individuals such as Oswald Mosely to bring a type of fascism to Britain in the inter-war years) and the overreaching government in 1984 (which Orwell based upon Stalin's Russia). To take a British comic written by a British writer changed to a film set in Britain (albeit made by americans) with themes heavily influenced by a book written by a British man (Orwell) about totalitariansim in Germany and Russia, then to say that it is about the bush administation because of a few shots of anti-war protesters displays an arrogant self-important view in my opinion...

I believe Bob's review of Green Zone bemoaned the willingness of Americans to make everything all about them, perhaps he should read his own reviews?

Airsoftslayer93:

DannibalG36:
"V (as in For Vendetta) hates Government so much he makes Glenn Beck look like FDR, but his enemies are thinly-veiled analogs for the Bush Administration. Which one's the liberal, again?"

Well, well, well, Bob. Apparently, you've only bothered to see the V for Vendetta film, which clearly pits V against a government that's a thinly veiled Bush administration allegory.

However, if you had even bothered to read the original comic series, you would note that Alan Moore (of Watchmen and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen fame - both originally graphic novels) paints V as an anarchist - a terrorist who wages brutal war against a fascist British government. V is no liberal avenger, as seen in the film version. He's a hero, a villain, and a psychotic madman - not unlike the Dark Knight's Joker. Nor are his enemies Bush-analogs. They're closer to some crossbreed between Mussolini and Stalin. Moore portrays a world spiraling into madness, a world devoured by insanity. V's fight is no liberal and just crusade. He fights heroically but madly, and is an agent of destruction and chaos, for the sake of murder and pillage against those just as evil.

V for Vendetta (film) certainly isn't a good case to illustrate political nebulosity. It's just a case of a Hollywood's liberals messing with excellent source material. Sure, V for Vendetta was an above-average graphic novel adaptation, and I enjoyed the film (went to see it twice, in fact). But you would be very wrong to use it as an example of political ambiguity without reading Moore's novel.

Not the bush administration, its about the thatcherite administration in britain

Quite right, you've saved me some time by saying this. Thank you. But to be fair, I think that it's easy, if you're aware of the production process, to have an American reading of the film and accidentally put aside the British setting. Failing to look at the history of Britain for more nearby examples of extremely right-wing governments is an easy mistake to make if you're not from there and don't know British politics.

I think that Bob's final answer in the other, newer article is the part of his argument I find strongest. Movies don't "suck now", they've always been bad. We've just got centralised commercial suckage rather than indy low-budget suckage, now.

If there ever was a Golden Age of film when they really didn't suck for the most part, it was entirely because on the sliding scale between these two extremes, there was a point at which the balance was correct for making a well-organised, original and inspirational film community that puts more masterpieces together than usual.

Myself, I don't think that we'll get much better films than those made by Alfred Hitchcock for a long time (whether or not his work took place in the theoretical Golden Age, I don't know, it's probably just personal taste speaking). Just looking at a still from any part of any of his films, tells you so much about the extremely heavy work and planning that went into each of his works.

The other part of Bob's argument that really struck me as true was the fact that there are definitely well-made children's films. I frankly was unimpressed with the Harry Potter ones so far. They're well-crafted, but there are definitely much better children's films out there (and the books are just better, in this case). Meanwhile, when something like Lord of the Rings comes around, I think everyone just goes "wow", and forgets that, violence notwithstanding, it's ultimately a teenager's or kid's tale (or at least, it makes us recall both the beauty and sadness of childhood). And that's one thing that can (not always, but can) make a masterpiece.

Another is an appeal to the collective unconscious - something that a totally adult film can often lack, because childhood (and all the possibilities that entails, pleasant and unpleasant) is so much more universal as an experience.

Darkstrike_11:
I have a bit of a problem with MovieBob referring to V for Vendetta's enemies being called stand ins for the bush administration. I agree with a lot of what Bob says in these columns, but in many cases his (not untypical) patriotism becomes a bit insulting.

The government in V for Vendetta has two obvious parallels; the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany (and if you look a bit deeper into British history the similar attempts by individuals such as Oswald Mosely to bring a type of fascism to Britain in the inter-war years) and the overreaching government in 1984 (which Orwell based upon Stalin's Russia). To take a British comic written by a British writer changed to a film set in Britain (albeit made by americans) with themes heavily influenced by a book written by a British man (Orwell) about totalitariansim in Germany and Russia, then to say that it is about the bush administation because of a few shots of anti-war protesters displays an arrogant self-important view in my opinion...

I believe Bob's review of Green Zone bemoaned the willingness of Americans to make everything all about them, perhaps he should read his own reviews?

If we were talking about Moore's original comic I would agree with you, but have you seen the movie? It loses the large part of the subtleties and brilliant writing of Moore that he was very careful to insert in the original comic, even though he set out to write it because of how much he hated the government. The guys who made the V for Vendetta movie (wasn't it the Wachowski's?) feel no need to hold themselves to that high level of intellectual honesty and validity as Moore always did. They instead settled for taking the original story (which is actually about the tings you mentioned, and specifically about Thatcher's government that was pissing Moore off when he started the book) and "reinterpreting" the anti-fascism angle as a straight anti-Bush message. If you watch the movie considering the kind of minds behind this adaptation, I think it's obvious that that allegory was the most they trusted their audience to handle.

(I actually really like both the V for Vendetta comic and film if that sounded too harsh, but the film is pretty dumb when compared to it's big brother)

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