The other day I stumbled across an old issue of GQ and read, “The Day the Movies Died” by Mark Harris.
It’s a very honest critique of movies today — and why many of them suck:
It has always been disheartening when good movies flop; it gives endless comfort to those who would rather not have to try to make them and can happily take cover behind a shield labeled “The people have spoken.” But it’s really bad news when the industry essentially rejects a success, when a movie that should have spawned two dozen taste-based gambles on passion projects is instead greeted as an unanswerable anomaly. That kind of thinking is why Hollywood studio filmmaking, as 2010 came to its end, was at an all-time low—by which I don’t mean that there are fewer really good movies than ever before (last year had its share, and so will 2011) but that it has never been harder for an intelligent, moderately budgeted, original movie aimed at adults to get onto movie screens nationwide.
Here’s the brutal — if not entirely depressing — reality of films in today’s theaters, according to Harris:
With that in mind, let’s look ahead to what’s on the menu for this year: four adaptations of comic books. One prequel to an adaptation of a comic book. One sequel to a sequel to a movie based on a toy. One sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a movie based on an amusement-park ride. One prequel to a remake. Two sequels to cartoons. One sequel to a comedy. An adaptation of a children’s book. An adaptation of a Saturday-morning cartoon. One sequel with a 4 in the title. Two sequels with a 5 in the title. One sequel that, if it were inclined to use numbers, would have to have a 7 1/2 in the title.
It made me think about the movies I’ve liked over the years — and how many of them didn’t rake in the kind of box-office bucks, say, the sequel to a cartoon or an adaptation of a comic book. Movies like “Sneakers,” “Inception,” even “Babe” never got the kind of revenue love as critically un-acclaimed films like “XXX” and even “Hangover 2” (which, in my opinion, was grossly overrated.)
So do you know some movies that are worth seeing that didn’t get the kind of attention they should have? Share here. I’m updating my Netflix account.