Struggling to stay positive
Two weeks ago, I struggled to find edible morsels of positivity in the mold-covered sandwich that is modern moviegoing. It was a gargantuan task, all things considered—ticket prices keep rising, Hollywood has fixed on overstimulated 9-year-olds as its prime demographic and Jonah Hill is freakin’ everywhere.
If you look closer, there are reasons to be encouraged about the future, a couple of which don’t concern the squirt-your-own-butter stations (the next frontier in popcorn doctoring) at the Folsom Palladio.
Musicals. Yes, there’s a bright side to this High School Musical/Hannah Montana/Glee claptrap (sorry, Gleeks, you’re not above it): An entire generation has grown up accepting the notion of characters suddenly breaking into song and dance. Hopelessly processed songs and deliberately perfunctory dance, sure, but let’s build on this!
My generation was conditioned to titter whenever two movie characters sang to each other, but the younger generation doesn’t even require the snarky remove of winking at the audience. Is it a stretch to imagine these kids discovering Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, or creating new musical stars that were raised outside of the Disney stable?
The end of movie stars. This is a good thing, despite what the publications that make their money off of these Botoxed faces would have you believe. Movie stars are the costliest and most disposable elements of a film, and eschewing them is essential to undermining the studios.
The “CGI-ification of the American Film-scape™” means that movie stars are more pitchmen than actors. Last weekend’s box-office loser Knight and Day sold itself with an old-school media blitz that ensured the ubiquity of its two toothy stars, Tom Cruise (who’s only good for PR stunts) and Cameron Diaz (who has more cache as a faceless voice in the Shrek films), and failed miserably.