Wednesday, November 25, 2009

His and Hers Apocalypse

If I must choose, I will go with Team Jacob, since his lone fan in this photo
is also the only one with whom I would ever consider having sex.

There has been a lot of barking from the men around here lately that New Moon is one of the foretold horsemen signaling 'the end of cinema as an art form,' or something to that effect, and that women--especially teenage girls--are to blame.

I have no bone to pick with this assertion, as I am inclined to agree, but I wonder if we would have the same opinion as to which horseman it was, although I'm sure we would all agree it wasn't the first.

After all, many of these same poo-pooing men paid money to see Transformers 2, even though they figured they wouldn't like it--and were correct.

Was the first Transformers movie not a previous horseman of said apocalypse? And yet they allowed their ticket revenue to fuel at least two sequels (yes, a third one is already slated for a 2011 release), thereby actively supporting the creation of the same awful movies they lament.

The problem here is not that women are supporting movie franchises that pander to the fifth-grade-educated masses, like Harry Potter and Twilight, but that men are doing the same thing on the other side of the aisle with Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Star Trek (I won't mention the second Star Wars trilogy, out of reverence for the first, but I should, so I kinda half-did).

The bottom line: It's the same as it was with Bush's eight year reign--people from all walks of life and of both sexes are to blame.

If Lord of the Rings proved anything to movie executives, it's that special effects tied to a popular fantasy book series can reap billions of dollars for rich white men, whether or not there is an interesting, enjoyable, well-paced story. As a result, we live in a PG-13 world and our movie screens are now filled with little but superheroes, animated toys, hobbits, wizards, and vampires.

Until everybody realizes their money is their vote, as far as which movies get made, and starts treating their moviegoing decisions more seriously, there will be no reversal of course. Nobody is going to take the time, effort, and risk required to make good movies if they can make more money making bad ones. It is simple supply & demand economics: the more money these awful movies make, the more awful movies there will be to choose from at the multiplex.

Hell, there may be 100 Transformers/Twilight movies by the time they stop turning a profit. How long was Cats on Broadway? 18 years. How many episodes of Guiding Light have aired so far? 15,000.

Perhaps we have slipped into a second 'age of the serial' without even knowing it, where $300 million tentpoles have replaced 10-minute Keystone Cops shorts. If this is true, at least we can assume it is cyclical and we will once again see the light, once again have a decade like the 1970s. If it isn't...the Earth will either need to be blasted by an intelligence ray or a Roland-Emmerich-style world-exploding death ray.

I'm rooting for the intelligence ray, although my wager is modest.

Speaking of the apocalypse, beloved film icon Michael Bay has decided to put his spin on the Mayan 2012 prediction. Here is a summary of 2012: The War for Souls, set for a 2010 release, courtesy of imdbpro:

An academic researcher who opens a portal into a parallel universe and makes contact with his double in order to stop an apocalypse foreseen by the villainous ancient Mayans. And he also discovers that there are multiple copies of the Earth that co-exist in different dimensions. All of the versions of Earth are threatened by an apocalypse that is to occur in December 21, 2012! December 21, 2012 is the date of an apocalypse prophesied in the ancient Mayan calendar. The researcher makes contact with another version of himself on another Earth by opening a portal into a parallel universe. He contacts the double to try and stop the prophecy from being fulfilled at all costs.
Summary written by Anthony Pereyra
Not the best grammarian, that Anthony Pereyra, but I think he was able to communicate clearly on one point--this movie will suck in many dimensions.


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