What If You’re All Just Being Used? The “Whattsa’ matter with Movies?” Edition

I love movies and believe the best way to see them is at the theatre. However, I rarely go and don’t really feel like I’ve missed out on a lot when I watch an anticipated movie at home on my 40 inch television. Special effects are no longer that special, too often it is too obvious people are just standing in a green screen draped soundstage, sufficiently reciting their lines and trying to blend in to a world they won’t really conceive until it is laid out in post production. This is akin to trying to act blindfolded and no matter the talent, a director can only do so much. Anyway, here’s what I think may help our movie going experience remembering theatrical releases are where they produces need to make their most money. They’ve already shown their willingness to spend on lazy 3-D so why not this, are you ready? Here we go.

Imagine a movie theatre as a box and the walls of that box are all screens. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, every inch a projection medium. I’m going to use the recent movie “Pompeii” as an example here. There will be seats on the floor the viewers will still face front but the chairs could offer some mobility be it up and down and side to side depending and the viewer will be immersed in the production. The volcano will erupt in front of us! The lava will flow beneath our feet! The skies above with darken with soot, smoke and ash! Terrified Pompeiians will flee on either side of us as buildings crumble all around us. We already have surround sound, why not surround viewing?

If these people, producers, backers, pimps whatever have so much money to spend on convincing us to watch their product, why the **** not just spend it on making a decent product nay an enjoyable? Spend it where it counts or spend it in a different industry. It’s an insult. The world is full of talent, the internet gives us unprecedented access to it yet the same hacks and cronies are utilized again and again. Something stinks here, it started at the core but it’s soaking outward and starting to get on my shoes, so I’m starting to take it personally, as you all should as movie fans. Stone cold fact – you’re being lied to, manipulated and used. You’re being made to feel bad for not supporting these franchises, I can’t say exactly how but I know this is how marketing works and moreover, I know how I feel. This is psychological warfare all in the name of generating profit from movies and herein is the nut of my point.

I’m no accountant but I do know people are not afraid to spend good money if they believe they’ll get better money back. With the advent of digital display I believe the cost will be negligible and if done correctly will bring people back to the theatres. I’ll leave this up the bean counters and their bean counters. What I do recognize is a saddening trend in ‘film’ these days, exploiting a well established property to deliver garbage, generally speaking. Classic tales are being picked apart to create spinoffs, sequels, prequel, side-quels you name it which some fans should be glad for. To be honest, in the case of Star Wars fans this is what we’ve been clamouring for isn’t it? Again, in theory yes, but recent history gives us cause to be wary if not totally creeped out. Like the proverbial uncle, protected by the surprisingly elastic familial bonds, these guys are going to fondle you everywhere and often until you not only scream foul but get your fists up.theatre

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The Hobbit Trilogy (2012 – 2014)

Talents : Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage,Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Manu Benett,Lee Pace, Ryan Gage, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Elijah Wood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Andy Serkis.Screenplay by: Fran Walsh, Philipa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro from the novel “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien. Directed by: Peter Jackson.

As this will cover all three movies I’m going to do away with the three-tiered review and just lay it out, tiers ‘a’ through ‘e’.

So to begin, for movie lovers of all sorts there is not much here, it’s a mess for anyone whose attention span doesn’t reset every seven minutes or so. Though the core story of ‘The Hobbit’ is laid out it’s watered down by the filler needed to expand this into three movies. I guess, if you ever dreamt of an expanded universe than this may give you some enjoyment. Otherwise I’d stick to the book even the earlier version released in 1977. Though dark and generally unsettling, it was coherent and faithful. Lovers of Tolkien are advised to avoid, it’s a waste of time unless you need clear evidence of how greedy and shameless movie producers can be these days.
The CGI is sloppy, rushed and lazy and most offensive is it’s at least 5 years out of date. The make-up, hair and costumes are all overdone and are believable even in the fantastical world of Middle Earth.
Sooo many added or expanded characters to puff up the running time and nothing more. I’m going to stop here as I have nothing positive to say besides it was nice to see Frodo and Gandalf was great but it was like looking at them through a blob of multicoloured jello. It was a total misfire. which brings me to my next point, and one I’ll address further in a follow-up post on the state of the industry as a whole. What the hell were they thinking? More on this later. Consensus : Avoid read the book or graphic novel. Spend your money (or time at a library even better) on a production who actually gave a damn.