Monday, March 26, 2012

Hollywood Abuse

I went to see John Carter a second time about a week ago, being one of the few people who didn't think it was a terrible movie i guess. I wasn't intending to see it again but I got the movie times mixed up with another local theater and ended up missing the movie I had originally intended to see. I hadn't originally seen the movie in 3D and quite frankly didn't intend on watching it in 3D because i find the whole concept a scam.

It didn't come as a shock to me when i realized that the movie, with the exception of one scene, wasn't filmed for 3D. However it did get me thinking on the concept of the different constructs that Hollywood uses like they're going out of style. 3D being the shining piece of fecal matter atop the pile.

It's a well known and well satired fact that Hollywood loves to make cliches. They catch a line in a certain movie that works really well, or a certain story point and it becomes an industry standard for the ages. One of the most recent one's i've seen was the cliche of a man who shows a picture of his sweetheart back home to anyone during war will most certainly die before the end of the film. I'm almost positive that this Cliche originated in the long stream of World War 2 movies that came out during and after the fact. It added drama back in, but now it almost becomes comical.

My friends and I went to see Red Tails a month ago and not only did it scream cliches from the start, it delivered on them. By the time we were 10 minutes into the movie we were placing bets on which cliches were going to happen and when. There is a man in the movie who falls in love with an Italian girl who is apparently oblivious to the war going on around them, and he begins bragging about her to all of his squad mates. Sure enough *spoiler alert* he dies by the end of the movie. He's one of the half dozen or so people to die from the allied fighter squadron.

Another clearly abused item is a writing style. The world famous author Homer, who wrote the Illiad, The Odyssey, and Perseus: The Hero of Ithaca, created a story structure called the hero's call. It begins as the hero minding his own business, going about his daily life, then he gets a call to action of some form, the story builds up to the climax, then settles back down into the ending. Recognizing this story arc is crucial for my next point: IT IS THE STORY ARC STRUCTURE FOR EVERY MOVIE EVER PRODUCED BY HOLLYWOOD. with the exception of a handful of films who dared to be different and failed, that's how movies play out. If you don't believe me, watch your top 5 favorite movies, then your top 10 if you need more convincing. You'll be enamored by how consistent it is.

Let's take some random movies i can think of off the top of my head for example.

  1. Dumb and Dumber: two friends who are rooming together can't hold a job to save their lives. Call to action is to leave the state and go somewhere else for a job. Climax: They end up thwarting a drug syndicate.
  2. Lord of the Rings: Hobbit child is born to the bearer of the 1 ring to rule them all. Call to action: the ring must be destroyed and task is placed upon Hobbit, his fat hobbit friend, his two idiot hobbit friends, and an entourage of professional killers. Climax: book 1: Frodo gets stabbed by the nazghoul. Book 2: helms deep. Book 3: the return of Aragorn.
  3. Unbreakable: average joe goes to work day in day out has a family to go home to every day. For some reason he can lift super-human amounts of weight and never gets sick. Call to action: get's harassed and eventually forced into his call to action by his arch nemesis. Climax: average joe finally buckles when his son tries to shoot him (vat a twist!)
Without beating the horse to death, i think i've made my point clear. Hollywood hashes, bashes and rehashes the same story arc dozens of times every year and it never phases anyone.

Finally there's the topic of 3D movies. Does anyone else remember when the only good quality 3d was IMAX? or when the only thing IMAX showed were educational videos about sperm whales that costed hundreds of thousands of dollars? I sure do. I also remember when Real3D was first released and the movies for it were actually recorded in 3D. But now companies record movies traditionally because it's cheaper, then adapt them to 3D to milk more money out of the gravy train.

I know the most immediate opposition would be that it's not true, the extra money that goes into every ticket is to counter the cost of the glasses. I'll play the devils advocate for a minute and give you that point. Even so, with the mass production of those standardized, ABS Plastic, polarized 3D glasses, each pair probably only costs companies about buck in total. They tack on 2-3 bucks to RENT the glasses which you're expected to return after the movie so they can sterilize them, and repackage them for a quarter then hand them out again. Tell me those figures add up and i'll show you to someone with a 4th grade math education.

No matter how you slice the pie, there's still a wad of cash that doesn't go towards recycling these glasses. With the pathetic wages movie theater employees get paid, it certainly isn't going towards them. Besides, their wages are covered in standard ticket fees. It's not like they get bonuses for selling 3D tickets, or i promise you they'd be strong arming you into the 3d showings as much as possible. So where does the extra $1.80 per recycled pair of glasses go? You tell me because i've already got my ideas of where but i'm always open to suggestions.


  1. Right on bro. Hollywood is shit and has been for a while. There's only a minor handful of movies every year that are ever worth anything.

  2. Yeah, I think Hollywood has been decadent for a while now.
    This is why I think that independent movies are becoming more popular.

  3. Yeah. Every movie is the same. always will be always has. boring, good, everything gets sorted out.

  4. Hey man I followed, can't wait to see more content!

  5. They may follow the same story archs, but at least they aren't blatant copy/pastes like the hunger games and battle royale