Today we spent the morning at a Borders Bookstore location that was going out of business. While the deals weren't insane, our family somehow managed to leave with an armful of books. Most were things for the kids, but books in general, are my crack. I stopped myself at one book since I've now converted to being a Kindle person. Sorta. That's another blog for another time.... Anyhow, if funds had been unlimited, the line a little shorter and my basket a little bigger, I would have overdosed on reading. I clearly was not the only one- the line was huge.
Tonight, on our way home from the Sadie Hawkins dance (yes, you read that correctly- keep in mind, I'm married to a high school teacher), we stopped by the Blockbuster Video store that was also going out of business. No lines. We spent a good 45 minutes walking up and down each aisle. Nothing.
In the entire store, there was 1 movie that I would have considered purchasing- "Up." But they didn't have it on Blu-Ray. The clerk also was very upfront about the condition of the children's previously viewed disks-- "They are usually covered in scratches and boogers. I recommend buying it new." Good to know.
I should also point out that my husband is a cinenerd. Not in the "let's-discuss-genre-films-and-do-an-analysis" way, but in the "I-could-watch-pretty-much-every-movie-that-doesn't-have-subtitles" way. Action, horror, drama, comedy- he's seen it.
So how on earth did we leave without ONE movie?
They all sucked.
Well, not sucked. They just weren't all that great.
I kept walking up and down the aisles thinking "A lot of money has been wasted making a whole bunch of crap."
We had seen most of them, too. I use nearly all my charge card bonus points for movie tickets. It's an easy date night. It's fun. We don't have to talk to each other. There's popcorn. It's good.
It has been a long time since we've seen anything that we loved. "The King's Speech," "The Deathly Hallows," "Gran Torino" and "Up" have been the exceptions. (Oh, and "The Hangover." Sorry, we loved it. And we usually mock the crap out of Vegas movies. )
Now most of the movies aren't bad, but they seem very self-serving. Like homages to themselves. Inside jokes that people outside the business don't get.
I appreciate that many movie makers don't want to make "entertainment." I also appreciate that many movie executives must think that every American is a moron. But is there some sort of compromise?
What happened to thoughtful entertainment? Movies like "Jerry Maguire" are fun, had a nice message and I left the theater smiling. I was entertained. I didn't leave, shaking my head thinking "What the hell was that?" or the typical "Well, it didn't suck." I'm not holding "Jerry Maguire" up there as the best movie ever made, but there's a reason people went to see it. There's a reason it's quoted. Like the original "Rocky" or even "Caddyshack." Comedies used to have plots-- remember?
Apparently, these days, Hollywood is too full of itself to make movies that actually entertain people. Or if they do, they are so completely stupid - "The Expendables"- it's an insult.
What on earth is wrong with wanting to be entertained? Is it limited to 12 year old boys?
And let's go back to our experience at Borders....
It's not like there aren't great stories out there. But Hollywood destroys them.
"The Time Traveler's Wife" was not a bad film. The ending, however, was completely different from the book. There was no need to change it. It made the story make sense. Instead, people left the theater going "That was dumb." I understand you can't make every page into a scene, but when you start to mess with the endings and characters, you really get some crap. The list is long on great books that have been completely destroyed recently. I know a movie will rarely be as good as the book, but wow, lately, they aren't even in the same ball park.
And again, I've read an insane amount of great books in the past 10 years. I have not seen an insane amount of great movies.
So this weekend, as Hollywood slobbers all over itself in the awards show that was created solely to increase ticket sales, I would like to say:
Please entertain me. It's been awhile.
Make me laugh. Make me smile. Make me think. Make me be grateful.
Times are tough. I want to smile.
Stop banging me over the head with some political agenda.
Stop making farts and vomit jokes in lieu of witty banter.
FYI, CGI has made me numb to all effects. I want a story line. I want a character that I love.
I want to see a good movie.
If in between your awards shows celebrating yourselves, someone could actually make one, we'd really appreciate it.