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34 Original Movies


Monday March 14 2005 Personally, I don't think there is such a thing as a big, original Hollywood movie anymore. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. In Hollywood they make the types of movie that attract the most visitors, in other words, what people like to see most. And the people love to see big, spectacular action movies with superheroes or historical figures, me included. I mean: I also want to see those movies, I am not claiming to be a superhero or a historical figure ;) Leave the original movies to the smaller studios, who are much better at that type of thing. You don't want the factory who makes popcorn to all of a sudden start selling haute cuisine as well, do you?

It was a good weekend for movies. We saw quite a lot, including Police Academy 1. It was quite surrealistic to be flipping through the channels and then all of a sudden running into this movie, on the day that I made the comic about it. All through watching this movie I was telling myself: you have seen this a dozen times already, switch it off! But naturally, I finished it, hoping that they will show the other Police Academy movies as well in the coming weeks!

Out of the other movies, the one I enjoyed the most must have been In Good Company. It gave me a very pleasant feeling to watch this comedy. It's one of those warm, feelgood comedies with great acting that you hope to see more. Topher Grace is very good in this movie, stealing the show from Dennis Quaid and Scarlett Johansson. I know that they campaigned rather heavily for this movie for the Academy Awards, but I am not sure if it was meaty enough for that. If Topher Grace keeps improving his acting like he did in this movie, however, maybe an award will be on the horizon for him...

04:41 PM in The Comic | Permalink


I guess that there should be a better balance in cinemas between blockbusters and smaller movies, but we all know that this is never going to happen, or at least not anyday soon.
You are right about the change in perspective, and that the indies try to act like the big boys now. Part of this problem comes from the fact that indies are not really indies anymore, since a lot of those small studios are in some way affiliated to a big studio. And the true independents also look at the box office charts, and when they see that their movies are in the lower regions with a box office take that does not even cover the salary of the assistant of the assistant of the 2nd unit directors assistant on some big Hollywood movie, then they also start to wonder if there is not something they can do to make their movies more successful as well.
And you are right, that is not a good thing at all. I hope there will be a change in this mentality, but I'm afraid it might take some time before it will take place. Look at the Oscars. When something truly original like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has to make do with only one Oscar, then that is not very inspiring for young people who want to become filmmakers, to want to make original movies. They also want to make what scores and what will give them the big awards. From the fact that Eternal Sunshine won all the fan awards, though, the studio bosses should be able to see that people like a bit of originality in their movies. A more healthy diet than just fast food.

I guess I should also lay off the fast food more often ;)

Posted by: Patrick | Mar 16, 2005 4:49:44 PM

To an extent, I agree. Hollywood is good at big dumb spectacles and there are times when a big dumb spectacle is just what you want - just the same as the times when you’re both tired and hungry and willing to be satisfied by the quick fix that McDonnalds provides.

The problem arises when the blockbuster mentality starts to take over, to the point that every film starts to be measured in terms of its special effects or body count. At this point, even independent films start looking like wannabe blockbusters and lose their own sense of originality. This - in my opinion - is a large part of Hollywood’s current desire to plunder all things Asian.

Whereas, in the past, the local independents would start to push the envelope of what could be shown and Hollywood would follow - often warily and from a distance - we are now starting to see independent films trying to emulate what is working for their big budget bretheren who now find themselves looking overseas for inspiration.

It’s also limiting when blockbusters start to dominate the cinema schedules so that any independents that do try to buck the trend have a hard time getting their films shown at all. Not surprising - cinema managers are businessmen at the end of the day and it’s bums on seats that counts - but a bit of variety would give audiences the opportunity to see and appreciate films that they might not otherwise encounter.

Admittedly, DVD is a boon in this situation but it’s not the same as watching a film on a truly big screen and, with independent or low-budget films on DVD you do need to have some idea of what you’re looking for if you want to avoid the admittedly large amount of dross that is out there.

Blockbusters are fine every now and again, but right now there are just too many of them.

Posted by: Paul | Mar 15, 2005 8:57:29 PM

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