Friday, August 31, 2012

Moving on to the next season

When I started this blog, or rather, when I turned into a movie blog, I did it partly because I wanted to find out who I was as a moviewatcher. You know, watching films is a big part of my life. So big that I now count how many movies I see in a year. Why? Because it interests me to see my patterns in movie watching. I want my passion for film to continue to grow and I want to sustain the relationship I have with film.

I noticed that I tend not to go to the movies very often in the 2nd half of July and for the most of August. Part of that has to do with the bad movies that come out during those times, at least in my opinion. But this year there were a couple of interesting films to come out at the end of the summer like Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer, David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, or even The Bourne Legacy. Certainly, that's worth a look, right? Heck, even the Joseph Gordon-Levitt vehicle Premium Rush received good reviews. Now I do plan on seeing Lawless tomorrow, but still, why do I tend to avoid the movies during these weeks?

Hard to say, but I do make up for it by watching a shitload in the last few months of the year. This year should prove to be very enticing for me. I got Lawless tomorrow, and later there's The Master, Looper, and maybe I'll see Trouble with the Curve too. Then in October, I got Seven Psychopaths, Argo, and Killing Them Softly.

I love the fall. It gives me a lot of good new movies to watch. I wish others felt the same way but they seem to care more about the summer movies. But, I've been thinking about it. Sure, I loved The Dark Knight Rises and the Avengers, but with so many people wondering about their chances come Oscar season, I started to wonder... is it really a big deal if they don't get nominated?

Of course not and I never understood people who get caught up in this debate. Who cares? Most importantly, again, as much as I love those films, I would personally rather more original films to enter the discussion of potential awards-getters instead of seeing The Avengers winning Best Picture. The Avengers is great entertainment, but isn't it sad the type of movies now that wind up being one of the highest grossing films of all-time? It has to be a comic book film that had five other comic book films leading up to it. It lived up to its promise and I consider it a good movie, but that's beside the point. Why can't movies like Argo, Killing Them Softly, The Master be hugely popular? Why don't we care about seeing these types of movies? Great blockbuster films like The Avengers and TDKR don't come out every year. But, every year we DO get great movies. Sometimes those great movies wind up doing huge business in the box office like with Black Swan and True Grit in 2010. But last year, the more serious, adult films mostly did terribly in the box office. It's a complete toss-up.

It's stupid, I know, to care about stuff like this. Honestly, these things don't bother me all that much, I just wish there were more people out there who got excited about films that look challenging, made by great directors, and having great actors.

I mean, people have talked about the fall of Hollywood A-list actors who can draw big business in the box office. It's crazy to me how few actors out there can get people's asses in the seats. Who's left out there that can do it? Brad Pitt, sometimes. Leonardo Dicaprio seems to have built a sturdy fanbase. Then there's maybe Will Smith, but that's about it.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of great up-and-coming actors who seem to star in good films on a yearly basis. Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and lately it looks like Joaquin Phoenix has officially put his hat back in the ring. Why can't these guys' movies draw big box office numbers? They're great actors in great movies. Now Tom Hardy is still a bit new to the game and we'll see how a film like Lawless does. Do people just not care that much anymore?

It's sad when even Steven Spielberg isn't the hot draw that he used to be. Let's face it, War Horse and Tintin had really disappointing numbers in the US box office last year. Now he's got Daniel Day-Lewis starring in an Abraham Lincoln biopic. Seriously, if that can't put asses in the seats, then there's something wrong with the American people.

In the '70s, '80s, '90s, people did see more serious films in the movie theaters. Maybe the marketing was better. Maybe there were fewer distractions. All I know is that whenever fall movie season comes up, it seems less and less people really care or are even aware of what movies are being released. The English Patient made a ton of money in 1996, won best picture, and became subject of a Seinfeld episode. Imagine if that movie came out now? A three hour romantic drama? Forget it.

I don't mean to be hating on the American public nor do I want to sound too complainy. The big thing is that I'm excited. There seems to be potentially a lot of great and interesting films coming out in the next few months and I can't wait. Let's hope they make money so that more great and interesting films can come out every year.

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