Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer Movies

OK. This summer, I only have two movies I really want to see. Inception and Toy Story 3. It's shocking and it's a first for me, but it's a sign of the times as well. Filmmakers need to give audiences more credit and intelligent consideration. I can usually summarize my movie needs in one word - story.

Let's look at the summer movie previews (they're not "trailers" because they don't come at the end of the film anymore). These previews often fail to convey a storyline for audiences. They may have one, but the preview fails to entice and establish purpose beyond entertainment. Avatar was a great film with a solid story that took considerable production time.

If the preview works, then the next step is the waning prospect of going to the theater to see the film. Unruly patrons often unchecked by a lack of ushers (this unfortunate state ruined my disappointing Hulk and The Happening double features in the summer of 2008...the films were a supporting factor as well), expensive prices, unhealthy food, and other factor can ruin the experience.

Sometimes that Hollywood movie magic works its spell and we find it a privilege to go to the movies, but some high end services at the theater quell this spell. It's the experience, but I suppose it's required we have to pay for the experience? How about some awesome customer service from knowledgeable staff who ask you something other than "do you want extra butter"?

Successful films can create amazing experiences no matter where you are. I'll never forget seeing The Sixth Sense or Forrest Gump in the summer time. Lack of successful Hollywood films has opened up the foreign markets more and we're making make more informed choices through objective formal reviews and/or user comments. Filmmaking experience and knowledge really helps so seek those reviewers/commentors (myself included) before heading out to the multiplexes and single cinemas.

On the Hollywood business side, producers have franchised movies into a glutton of sequels. At least theater goers aren't subject to every sequel thanks to the new straight to video market (Wrong Turn 3 anyone?). Summer movies need to spend more time developing great stories and less time on marketing aspects, product placements and demographic considerations.

Yes, Hollywood has changed since the failed “if has successful stars/branding, people will see it” mantra has hurt the bottom line in the financial part of the business, but consider the audience. They’re fickle. Trends are hard to track. There is no magic formula, so lumping films together financially and hoping for a big blockbuster among several risky ventures became the norm.

Plug in a big name actor with a successful box office record and it’s sure to produce a sure fire hit right? Not always since this overused method has exposed the inevitable truth of every star – not every movie will be successful for each actor/actress. Just like life. We learn from challenges. Some might say mistakes, but can a box office failing movie really be qualified as a mistake overall? I love reflecting on this aspect. Avatar made me feel like a privileged patron while Perfect Stranger left me uninspired.

The bountiful fall has many great films to anticipate including Red, Hereafter, Tron Legacy, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, True Grit, Casino Jack, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, The Next Three Days, and The King's Speech. As long as the story is there, then I'm there.

Happy summer viewing everyone! It's been a while. :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Julia Smith