ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hollywood as Bankrupt as the Democratic Party

My wife and I have been laughing at each new movie released over the past few years. Hollywood seems to be parroting the Democratic Party when it comes to ideas: I'm stumped on what to think - how about we dig something up from 1960!

Frederica Matthewes-Green's review on NRO of Bewitched shares this view... and her closing description of what went wrong with this film (and the film industry in general) is interesting:

There's something hostile about this whole production. Like so many contemporary films, it's the product of exacting calculation. You have to start with a failsafe old idea — a superhero, a classic TV show, an old movie, or Broadway production — because new ideas are unknown quantities, and that makes them too risky. The idea has gotta be broad, explainable in a single sentence, because you need to attract young teens whose appetite for subtlety is not large. Since a film has to make a desperate splash in its first 48 hours and can't wait to build a following, you need big names up front, whether they're appropriate for the production or not. Unfortunately, their big salaries crank up the tension further. It becomes even more urgent that every single detail be adjusted to pander to this imaginary and presumably stupid moviegoer, who might for some inexplicable, selfish reason decide to spend his dollars on Zombie Surfer Babes instead. By the time a movie actually opens, you can feel the resentment of every single person connected with it. That's more true, of course, with some productions than others, but it's palpable here. There's something magical about a really enjoyable and satisfying movie, but Bewitched is left holding the broom.

Although I haven't seen Bewitched, I have to agree to the larger point about hollywood's "formula" in the past 5 years.

When the new Herbie movie was announced, someone commented to ARC:Brian that they should run the original movies just prior to the release, as a cheap marketing campaign. ARC:Brian's reply: "But it'll just remind everyone of how cr@ppy the original films were and why they didn't do well back then. And there's no way someone will go shell out $25 for 2 people to see Herbie today."


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler