Stagnant cinema

Hollywood dumbs down in the summer heat

Billy and ballet
Billy and ballet
Credit: 
Photos courtesy of movies.yahoo.com
Dumb dudes
Dumb dudes
Credit: 
Photos courtesy of movies.yahoo.com
Bumbling Bridget
Bumbling Bridget
Credit: 
Photos courtesy of movies.yahoo.com

If there’s any time of the year when people have more leisure time to go to the movies, it’s summer time.

If more people go to the movies in the summer, those movies make more money at the box office. This being the case, why are most summer movies so poorly made, cheesy, unfunny, empty, and not worth the $10 cinemas are charging these days? And is it any coincidence they are all American-made?

Oscar winners, understandably, tend to be released closer to the date of the Academy Awards ceremony in March. Fine.

But just because a movie might not be worthy of a gold statuette and pretty title, this should not mean it has to be crap. How does Traffic or Billy Elliot suddenly give way to Freddy Got Fingered and Dude, Where’s My Car? Is there no middle ground?

Admittedly, some audiences get a kick out of no-brainers, and perhaps all the hot summer weather causes brain fatigue and a need for movies that don’t require much thought.

Some moviegoers admit to having this ‘in-flight’ taste in film, the kind of movies that star Sandra Bullock, Freddie Prinze Jr., or ex-SNL actors.

A friend explained to me that she liked to go to the movies to be “transported into another world, where everyone is beautiful and nothing of consequence happens . . . everything is happy and you don’t endure an emotional rollercoaster.” But isn’t the whole point of a movie to expose yourself to a reality that you wouldn’t normally encounter, even though it might be harsh?

Chances are, if you have the time and money to go to a movie, you want to see something vaguely relevant. A movie should teach the viewer something or present an idea from an original viewpoint.

The movie experience shouldn’t be about fooling yourself.

Coming from one who saw Bridget Jones’s Diary twice, perhaps I’m not one to talk. But Bridget is one of those rarities that falls into the space between ‘Oscar-winner’ and, well, crap. While it is lighthearted, with simple jokes and an easy-to-follow plot, it also avoids tasteless humour — even the slapstick is well done.

Perhaps the next time you scan the theatre listings, and all that’s playing is A Knight’s Tale and Animal, you might want to consider renting a movie, a cheaper—and more rewarding—alternative.

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