Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hollywood Nitwitism vs. $$$

I adore movies, especially on the big screen. Going to the theater is a transcendent experience for me, and there was a time when I would go to the theater to see every single release of the summer. But something changed, and I now go to the theater with about 20% of the frequency I used to. Coincidentally, that's about the current frequency with which Hollywood produces anything that isn't a half-assed remake, TV show adaptation, tired sequel, in-your-face political propaganda, or just plain gross, sleazy, or dumb off-the-shelf assembly-line junk. Goodness knows, I've watched my share of dreck just for the experience of being in a theater, but it was all pretty much inocuous, apolitical, dreck.

Now, sadly, the entire movie-going experience is tainted for me. My beloved Star Wars has become a parable about the evils of Republican administrations; I can't watch anything with Jennifer Aniston without thinking of this; the fabulous Lethal Weapon movies are forever tarnished by Danny Glover's nitwit politics; and, heaven help me, I used to adore Barbra Streisand movies, but egads.

I can't be the only person who feels this way. Take a look at Michael Medved's latest column about Hollywood denial and the current box-office slump [hat tip: Libertas].
Tinseltown's recent setbacks suggest a crisis of major proportions, with a May USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll showing 48% of adults going to movies less often than in 2000.
Apparently, there are a lot of us who feel this way. Maybe I'm just being specious here, but America is approximately equally divided between red and blue voters, and with Hollywood becoming more vocal about its liberalism after the 2000 election -- decidedly so right before the 2004 election -- is it possible that Hollywood has managed to alienate about half of its audience?
Despite efforts by entertainer activists, a majority of voters cast their ballots for Bush. If even a minority of those 62 million GOP voters — say, 20% — reacted to Hollywood's electioneering by shunning the multiplex, it could easily account for the sharp decline in ticket sales after Bush's re-election.
Maybe it's not so specious.

Medved goes on to explain that many of us don't bother with the box-office, because we don't see our values reflected in movies anymore. Our dad, who has lived in Canada for quite sometime, tells Canadians that if they want to understand Americans they should watch High Noon. But where are the modern equivalents to High Noon? Is there anything in the last five years that you could proudly point to and say "That's America. That's me"? I can't think of any. But it's not bad enough that our core values are missing from films, now they are often denigrated and ridiculed. Well, sorry, but I'm not going to pay $8.25 + $15 in snacks to sit through a two-hour lecture on how I am responsible for all the evils in the world.

So. It comes down to this: either Hollywood execs are so steeped in their dogma that they would rather self-destruct than produce conservative films in sufficient quantity to survive or else, eventually, the film industry "will evolve to where the money is," as Carnaby says. I hope it's the latter.


Blogger Mr. Completely said...

I gave up on movies about ten years ago, maybe more. Had a phone survey call a couple of days ago wanting to know how often I went to the movies. I told him it was over ten years ago, and I hadn't been to one since, and no,I don't remember what the last movie was. end of phone call......

7/26/2005 2:40 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

That's about the time I gave up on television.

But, movies? Unless that watchable 20% dries up, I'm still gonna go.

7/26/2005 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Rusticus said...

My wife and I have stopped going for the most part. But mostly that's because it's a pain getting a babysitter.

We tend to just do the big ones, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman 1 (missed 2) and Star Wars.

I am hoping to see Batman and War of The Worlds.

WotW if for nothing else than to say "That's not in the book." And "HG Wells must be rolling in his grave." And "Boy, they sure got that wrong!"

7/27/2005 8:28 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Rus, I haven't read WotW, so if you see the film and feel inclined to post something on its faithfulness (or lack thereof) to the book, that'd be interesting.

Batman was fantastic, BTW.

7/27/2005 3:30 PM  
Anonymous rusticus said...

Sure, when I get around to seeing the movie I'll re-read the book and mock the movie accordingly!

7/28/2005 7:46 AM  

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