What the hell happened to Hollywood?
I’ll take Barbara Stanwyck or Robert Mitchum over anything made today, any day of the week. In my mind, they’re two of the coolest actors ever to take command of the silver screen. It doesn’t matter that I’ve enjoyed their same movies numerous times. They’re still fresh and exciting to me. The comic genius of Buster Keaton still stands tall without ever uttering a single word in more than 100 years. He never had to blow shit up to be number one.
How many recent comedies made in Hollywood can I remember? One. Bridesmaids and it was a few years ago.
I’ve had two movie tickets languishing at home for over a year. I look and look and look and often feel there will never be another movie for me.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Hollywood is dead. I need a good villain and a real hero, but Travis Bickle and Karen Silkwood are both dead too, as is the importance of good storytelling. As far as the studio wonks are concerned, money is the only thing that matters, and incessant advertising within the movie drives the bottom line. I don’t want a gigantic mechanical monster carrying a Starbucks cup that smashes up everything it comes into contact with telling me my 12 dollars was money well spent. But then again, I am 55 years old. I don’t want to feel a little less intelligent when I exit the theater. If that’s what I wanted, I’d have stayed home and smoked weed.
“Dumb em down. We got em where we want em.” That’s the message of Hollywood producers these days.
Remember how cool Fast and Furious 6 was? Me neither.
Great stories have been traded in for massive explosions and over the top visual trickery, which producers believe adds value. Value is open to interpretation. Remember when humans with feelings used to be in movies? Large breasts, tight skin and rippling muscles are not the way of the world I live in. I learned this from low-budget foreign movies with great stories, saggy breasts, great fat actors, fantastic cinematography and directing.
There is still the occasional masterpiece with hit it out of the park performances, like Birdman. But for the most part, Hollywood is like a bad sausage factory, a multitude of butts and noses ground together and fed to a public who is hungry for anything. Superman, Spiderman, Batman, the Hulk, are the same movie with the same large breasted woman. Now there’s a superhero that’s an Ant? Seriously? What’s super about an ant? Does the antwoman have large breasts, too?
Give me Paul Giamatti instead. If I want to see the world coming to an end, I’ll read the news.