The summer movie season has been long reserved for the major blockbusters that studio want to take up the slack from the dumping ground movies from January to April. DreamWorks’s “How to Train Your Dragon” can not be in theaters forever. Something needs to get the momentum going from good movie to good movie, but they hasn’t. Not yet.
People have been actively avoiding the movies opening up this year including myself. The last movie that I have seen was the SNL movie bomb, “MacGruber”. There are slim picking out there people. Hearing the “meh” response for most of the releases had me worried. Why do the movies this year suck? Is it a trickle down effect of the writer’s strike of late 2007? Projectionists were saying that the effects of the strike would be felt last year and they were right. Is this an elongated domino effect? Who knows?
“Iron Man 2” was supposed to the opening gunshot for the summer movie season, but it was like more of a bb gun going off. When the first movie came out during the same time two years ago, it was a surprise. Everything was against, a superhero that not that many people know, have Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark with an actor/director, Jon Faverau at the helm. This movie was supposed to be a worthy successor, but it turns out just to be a big set-up from the upcoming “Avengers” movie. This will have a trickle down effect on the “Thor” and “Captain America” movies. They would have a mindset of “it’s just gonna be another bridge for this other movie.” Ultimately, they will suffer for it.
Ridley Scott tries to give as the umpteenth version of “Robin Hood”. This is not the “Nottingham” movie that was first pitched that intrigued the film going community. Now, we are stuck with “Gladiator 2” set in medieval times. We have “Shrek Forever After” or “The Final Chapter” whatever the hell it’s called. Who cares about the same characters doing the same thing throughout the entire? Hmm… why does that sound so familiar? Oh, right. The next sparkling vampire-underage jailbait flick that makes the tweens cream themselves, “Eclipse”. People are camping out to see the pile of werewolf shit. See! This is why Hollywood is going to shit.
This is not a fluke people. “Prince of Persia” was a flimsy mess. “Killers” would the operative word for any chance for this movie to succeed. “Marmaduke”? Really? This movie was made! Why? “Jonah Hex” was a poor excuse of filmmaking in general. Then, you have remakes of 80s properties like “The Karate Kid” and “The A-Team”? Should they even need to be remade? What is wrong with looking at the original properties? Are people so afraid of something older than one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend that they have to see a new carbon copy of it?
As the weeks and months roll in, I continue to avoid going into theater. With “Grown Ups” and “Knight and Day”, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Priest”, “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”, “Little Fockers”, “Step-Up 3D”– Who the fuck wants to see a dance movie in 3D? Are you fucking kidding me people? — on the horizon, I am still holding out.
Do we have to wait until the season is half over to get a movie that has been both critically praised and commercially successful? Apparently, so. There are a few bright spots with “Toy Story 3”, the upcoming Nolan flick “Inception”, “The Other Guys”, “Eat Pray Love”, “Scott Pilgrim vs the World”, and “The Expendables”. I hope that they would be better than the dreck Hollywood spews on us every weekend. It makes me feel sad that I have to scrape and claw to see a good movie at my local indie theater than one of the so-called “blockbusters” than are more blocks of shit.
Hollywood producers need to wake up, because more and more people are getting sick and tired of paying ten dollars to be disappointed. It’s not fair for the consumer, because they feel cheated in the end. It’s just not worth it.
The follow rant will contain some coarse language that is directed to anybody running Hollywood studios and greenlight movies. Don’t let the kiddies read any further.
The genesis of this rant come from a tweet that I had written about the difference between Deadpool and Deathstroke. They are both masked mercenaries that use samurai swords and guns as weapons. Then it was another tweet about everybody going into 3D. Lately, I have been disheartened about the lack of originality with Hollywood. What the fuck is your problem, Tinseltown? Ever since Pocahontas/Fern Gully/Dances With Wolves rip-off Avatar came out, everybody wants to convert movies into 3D. Why? Alice in Wonderland, the new Clash of the Titans was converted to 3D post-production. Why would you do that? It would just look shitty as all get out.
Now, every movie is going to be in 3D; the reboot Spider-Man movie, Saw VII, Shrek 4, Step-Up 3, Jackass Tres, Tron: Legacy, Green Lantern, Toy Story 3, and the sequel to The Hangover. Are you fucking kidding me? Enough already! You know that this is a tool to gauge the consumer so the studios could make back their money. Just because Avatar made $2 billion dollars worldwide doesn’t mean that process is going to be repeated. Keep dreaming.
Next, vampire movies. Oh, my god! Stop it. Just because those shitty Stephanie Meyer books are making tween girls cream in their panties doesn’t mean that you should make another vamp movie. We already had The Vampire’s Assistant, Daybreakers, a sequel to 30 Days of Night, the US remake of Let the Right One In, Priest, Abraham Lincoln: The Vampire Hunter, Blood: The Last Vampire, The Vampire Diaries, Dark Shadows, Fright Night remake, and Vamps. I wish that we could suck the blood out of this genre.
What’s up with the entire modern take on Greek mythology? We already had Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. What an obnoxious title, by the way. It’s basically a teen version of Clash of the Titans, which already mentioned. Now, there is another movie called War of the Gods or something. Why do we need that?
The success of The Hangover, everybody wants to make the next (insert sleep hit movie here). That was the downfall of She’s Out of My League. The blurbs were saying that this is the next big thing and it’s not. You are setting yourself up for failure.
I am getting sick and tired of movies getting unfairly compared to one another. I don’t know if this rant made sure. I needed to vent.
The follow rant will contain some coarse language that is directed to anybody associated with televised award seasons and the voting academy in general. Don’t let the kiddies read any further.
I’m having an epiphany. With the current award season in full swing, I am having a heated discussion on my Oscar Watchers groups after the SAG awards. The awards almost repeated the Golden Globes a couple of days before.
I realize the awards show are becoming more irrelevant every year when sub par movies or performances are being rewarded for going outside the box or being more than average. I maybe rambling incoherently in this rant, but bear with me.
During awards show season, the same actors or movies are always hogging the prize for more deserving ones. Personally, I am happy to see Mo’Nique speak eloquently about being recognized for her efforts or Christoph Waltz being thrilled for being exposed a completely new audience of fans.
I have a problem when actors get the “Career prize”. It doesn’t matter what it is. In case of Jeff Bridges, he is basically playing the same role that Mickey Rourke did last year in “The Wrestler”. Rourke didn’t get that much love, but Jeff is because Jeff has been nominated for four Oscars and everybody wants him to win. Is he deserving of the Oscar? Maybe. But like with Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman”, Morgan Freeman in “Million Dollar Baby”, Sean Penn in “Mystic River” or Martin Scorsese for “The Departed”, they rewarded prizes for the Academy’s screw-ups. I don’t like that.
People have been arguing about the “politicking” and the “campaigning” of certain people or movies. I think the performance should stand alone, not what the studios or the stars want. They should be rewarded for their effort, not how much the studios are paying for trade ads, etc.
The awards have been fawning over Sandra Bullock for “The Blind Side” which I’m not surprised. This is basically what I like to call “The Erin Brockovich Effect”. Just because you put on a blond wig, have crazy accent and tight outfits doesn’t mean that you should get the big prize. I have no qualms against Bullock. I like her, but I don’t think that her performance is Oscar-worthy in my eyes. Others beg to differ.
There was this notion of Bullock being a work horse for so many that she should get some recognition for her body of work. No. I don’t see it that way. She should be rewarded for giving a great performance better Streep’s Julie Child, Mulligan’s innocent schoolgirl, Sidibe’s abused teen mother or Mirren’s neglectful wife. A person’s age, genre of movie, subject matter should immediatel eliminate them for getting an award. If that is the case, don’t nominate them at all.
There is also something about how the blockbusters would haul in all the awards like “Avatar” for Best Picture (Drama) and The Hangover (Comedy) at the Golden Globes. I don’t buy that. A film winning should be determined by money totals. It should be recognized for pure merit. If box office in the only drive forces, then “Avatar” should win along with “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, “The Hangover”, “Twilight Saga: New Moon”, “The Proposal”, etc.
There is also the notion of the people voting for what’s best ala Mtv, Peoples or Teen Choice awards. Giving awards to some shitty movie like “Twilight”, “High School Musical” or “The Ugly Truth” should give pause that awards shows are a fucking joke. Allowing tweens to vote would kill everything.
I don’t know if the rant made any sense, but I need to get out of my system. I think I am frustrated that good movies are being overlooked for middle-of-road fare. I am becoming disillusioned with these events more and more that I can’t get excited anymore. I guess, I have resigned the fact that awards are pointless, boring, and a waste of time when the same people and movies are winning repeatedly. There is not that surprise factor in years past.
I have said my peace. I hope.
A couple of days ago, I was looking through the LAMB website. I saw that that there was another screener opportunity like the one with Die-ner (Get It?) I looked at the website and saw the trailer to movie. It reminded me of a movie ten years ago, Blair Witch Project, but I let that slide for the time being.
Well, I emailed one of the producers of the movie. In the context of this rant, I will call said producer, Heartless Bastard to protect his douchey identity. I emailed Heartless Bastard with the following message.
“On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 10:41 AM, Branden Renfro <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Hello, Heartless Bastard.
My name is Branden Renfro and I write a film review blog called “Foolish Blatherings.” I want reading on the LAMB website about obtaining a screener of your movie, “Evil Things.” I am interested in watching your film.
You could send the screener to this address:
I waited for his response. I knew that he was busy and will get back to me eventually. The next I recieved this message from Heartless Bastard:
Do you currently have a website that has viewers? I’m really trying to promote my Blair Witch Project ripoff, and since it very expensive to send out screeners, I have to know that I’m going to get some kind of publicity in return on a site that has viewers. Please let me know.
I give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure that it could be expensive to send out screener. Even though, you were advertised[sic] on a site that have small viewership [sic]to its members. “Die-ner” producer Seth Martin was very gracious to send one. He just burned the movie on a CD-R disk and sent it out. I bit my tongue.
I responded by:
“On May 13, 2009, at 12:02 PM, Branden Renfro <email@example.com> wrote:
My website gets a couple of viewers a day, roughly 30 a day. The last movie that I promoted, I had a couple of people wanting to see that movie. They want to support films that doesn’t have distribution yet.
By the end of the day, Heartless Bastard sent this to me.
“I’m sorry Branden, I need to have higher numbers than that to justify sending you a screener. Really sorry about that.Heartless Bastard
Sent from my
I know that it is a little selfish of me, but you don’t have to be rude. I’m not the one that sinked my life savings on a movie that rips off another movie. You are the one that has a movie to hock, not me. You need all the publicity that you get and you cannot afford to alienate people that could get your the distributor that you need.
From this day forward, I put a hex on you and your shitty movie. If I actually see the movie, I will massacre it in my review. Believe that. I am an angry black woman. You do not pissed off an angry black woman. I will go off on your ass! I hope that your movie doesn’t find a distributor.
Who the hell would make a movie when you are about to lose your job? What kind of dumbass would do such a thing?
That is all children. Go play now.