Summer's here and the time is right for dancin' in the street. Might as well, cuz the current crop of movies from Hollywood leaves a lot to be desired. That's if you're like me and prefer mature themes and at least some semblance of realism in your films. By that standard, you could say we're in a movie recession right now.
Hollywood's made a disturbing shift toward the PG-13 film, for purely economic reasons. Butts in the seats is the name of the game, so to hell with artistic vision and realism--that's potentially offensive and might get us slapped with the dreaded R rating, and that means fewer butts...
So the bulk of your PG-13 flicks are now silly, illogical, fantasy based pap--17 Again being a prime example. What you're getting for your nine or ten bucks is stuff that's barely above the level of the TV sitcom. Yeah, there may be some profanity, and sexuality may be ALLUDED to, (not shown) but that's about the only difference.
As I peruse the listings at one of our local cineplexes, I observe that twelve films are currently showing. ALL TWELVE of them are either PG-13 or PG...not an R-rated feature in the bunch. Yes, it's gotten THAT bad.
Thankfully, independent film makers are still turning out creative work--like Synecdoche New York-- and as a backlash toward Hollywood's capitulation to mediocrity develops, and it surely will, serious film fans will migrate toward intelligent independent fare, which means more of those kinds of films will get made.
Now, let's look at some of the individual flicks I haven't reviewed and don't intend to review, along with a couple of things I'm actually looking forward to. I didn't see Duplicity because I'm tired of Julia Roberts always playing such likable characters. It's basically the same character across the board, just different circumstances. No matter who she's portraying--she's likable. Even when she was a hooker in Pretty Woman, she was the most adorable hooker you'd ever want to meet. Just once, I'd like to see her challenge herself and play an axe murderer or something without being likable.
I'm not going to see Dance Flick--it looks like it will be wickedly funny-but again, too silly to be satisfying. Night at the Museum 2, same thing. Paul Blart Mall Cop. Observe and Report. Same thing.
Here's another category I will not bother with: The PG-13 horror flick. Are you kidding me? There was a time when virtually all horror films were R-rated, and for good reason. They were truly SCARY...like The Exorcist. Somebody popping out from behind a curtain and saying BOO isn't quite going to cut it.
And I don't want to see--generally speaking--a film based on the exploits of a historical figure everyone's familiar with, such as John Dillinger. I don't care what kind of reviews the forthcoming Public Enemies gets...I STILL KNOW THE ENDING. I don't think I'll ruin anything for you by revealing that Dillinger gets caught!
Here's what I AM looking forward to in the immediate future (and what you can expect to see reviewed on this site): The new Transformers movie. It looks like a hoot. Yeah, I know it's fantasy--but it's not going to PRETEND to be real...that's what I hate the most.
And I'm always a sucker for a good romantic comedy. Got to see Sandra Bullock in The Proposal. Don't know how good it will be, but Sandra actually has a nude scene...something to tell your grandchildren about.