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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The cinema is dead

"When the popcorn outshines the movie, it's time to give it a rest."

Movie Stars with stature
 I had a telephone call earlier from a mate, asking if I fancied grabbing a movie Thursday evening and then  getting a few beers but a quick glance at the list of films playing filled me with dread and I declined, suggesting instead that we bypass the cinema. I don't think I'll ever go to the cinema again! What's the point? Movies these days are mostly shit - Is it me getting old or are the movies not as good as they used to be?

The fact that I don't have any desire to go to the flicks certainly suggests that either I or the films have changed - I've always loved the cimema,ever since childhood. There was a time a few years ago when I went at least once a week, often more. Now though, I think the last time I went to the cinema was to watch Grand Torino.

Maybe I will pop along to watch the Coen's True Grit - but I'm deeply nervous about this one. The original is a dearly loved classic and it's got John Wayne in it. Now I do think Jeff Bridges who takes the Duke's role in the new version, is a great actor but he ain't John Wayne. What's next, Sands of Iwo Jima with Tom Cruise?
You know, thinking along these lines, makes you realise that it's not only the standards of movies that are dropping with each year but the quality of actors too. These days there are no actors with the pull of say James Stewart or John Wayne, or Bogart or Cagney, Cary Grant, Errol Flynn. I guess each generation gets what they deserve and as long as we encourage the entertainment industry to peddle raw sex, unnecessary violence, vulgarity, car chases and an inexhaustible supply of gunfire by purchasing tickets or by tuning in, we continue to subsidize mediocrity.

The Muppets: Pigs in Space set
And I don't think it's an age thing - I mean most of my favourite actors and directors actually come from well before my time, and the defining film of my generation, the massive blockbuster Star Wars, I actually think is an overrated mess of a picture. I mean it's an okay children's film but it ain't nowhere near as good as The Wizard of Oz. In fact I often think that if one film is responsible for the dumbing down of the cinema then it is in fact Star Wars - Long, long ago, in a galaxy far far away, plot and story used to matter but not anymore. Take a look at Star Wars again, judge the quality of the dialogue - "travellin' through hyperspace ain't like dustin' crops, boy!".

"George Lucus couldn't direct traffic, if the truth is told."

Shit film, I am in
"Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison and me, we were all thinking the film was rubbish." Actor Anthony Daniels, C3P0

And think of the acting, Harrison Ford's most convincing performance in the whole sorry trilogy ( the original movies here, not the re-makes which I ain't even seen) was when frozen in a block of something or other. And then think back to a world when fast food tie-ins were not a part of the movie industry, when story was more important than the next big explosion.

Ahh well, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I am just getting old and grumpy.

1 comment:

Joanne Walpole/Terry James said...

I think there's too much emphasis on CGI and blue/green screen and not enough on story unless it's a 'chick flick' and even then it's debatable. However, I still enjoy the cinema. And I think you've made a typo - it's Jeff Bridges not Kurt Russell in True Grit. :-)