When you know what you get, but ignore what you lose…

Independance Day is a very bad movie which made a big hit, the highest-grossing film of 1996!

I was 30 and was among all the guys who happily wanted to watch “a sci-fi movie with alien attacks and explosions”. Yeyyyy!

But here’s the problem :

I know nobody, including myself, who loved the film. Everybody hated it, found it a stupid deceiving embarrassing mess. Everybody!

So it was an interesting event : a big “blockbuster” movie, plenty of people to watch it, and nobody liked it.

It’s not the “blockbuster” thing which was a problem. There’s a pool we all know, “action CG blockbusters” like Transformers, or big Marvel movies, which gives what they promise. It is what is is, not Bergman for sure…

It’s action, it’s CG, it’s stupid, but it’s rarely THAT stupid. You know what you watch, but you rarely feel that the producers could “not care less about you”.

The subject of my article comes from the fact that the director and producers were happy of this big success. So “everything is OK”, right?

No, it’s NOT OK.

Critics were less enthusiastic : “cardboard” and “stereotypical” characters, weak dialogue (and a terrible pompous “speech”), a lack of imagination in the spaceship and creature designs, etc…

This gives a bouquet of little ideas :

  • What is a success which is a failure on another level?
  • What is to be blind because of money?
  • What if it was a decent movie and they get the triple amount of money?
  • What is it to get rich with vulgarity?
  • What is it to get rich with dishonestly and trickery?
  • How does it feel to be considered as an idiot?
  • What’s elegance, in the blockbuster territory?

From “Looper” to “Star Wars VIII”

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was directed by Rian Johnson (born in 1973). As I often like to chain the movies I watch with a link, I watched Looper… his previous film, the day after. Looper is a splendid Sci-Fi movie and I watched a long interview of Johnson in the bonuses. I discovered an adorable geek with a fast brain, capable of talking about Casablanca, Akira, who wrote, organized and directed the movie, which “delivers an uncommonly smart, bravely original blend of futuristic sci-fi and good old-fashioned action”, 93% on Rotten Tomatoes!
  2. I really respect and understand that the Star Wars teams wanted this guy, as they wanted Gareth Edwards (born 1975)  for Rogue One. Monsters was a haunting masterpiece (though very low budget), and his Godzilla was… really different.
  3. I have a third example : Joss Whedon. Smart father of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly (then Serenity), a great “space western”. After Cabin in the Woods, he was swallowed by Marvel Studios, directing two huge Avengers movies.

 

OK, here’s the pattern : smart directors swallowed by huge systems to make the biggest blockbusters.

Could it be a special Peter Principle?

Did we lose the guys for good cinema? Why?

 

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