The Changing Tide of Movie Viewing

If you read my earlier post, you know why I support the actors/actresses that I do and why I do NOT read a critic‘s review of a film on them.  It is simple. It is not the critic who will decide the success or failure of an actor/actress but the viewing audience.  The viewing audience is the performer’s harshest critic, but there are times when after gaining some knowledge that they realize the performer is only as good as the director(s)  and/or the screenwriter(s).

In general, the critic truly speaks for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).  While they are dedicated to the advancement of motion pictures and boasts a membership of over 6,000 members, they do not represent the viewing audience–who buys the majority of the tickets. In short, their usefulness is in question since times have now changed.

More and more, bloggers and independent websites are promoting the independent films and the actors and actresses willing to support those.  There are many reasons for this, but a lot of people in the “real world of the working class underdog” are really sick and tired of the fact that the movie industry in Hollywood is so entrenched in politics that it has lost the meaning of what it is to make entertaining films for the most part.

Lately the viewing audience has been bombarded with remakes, prequels, sequels and such–but very few pictures with new plots and original story lines.  The actor or actress may be playing a good role, but predicting what an audience expects has to be hell.  Well, the audiences are tired of the same old politically charged, status quo.  They are tired of remakes, chick flicks and the saturation of movies for the teen market.  It’s time for these marketers and CEO’s to grow up and it’s time for directors and producers to read ONE book…If nothing else they should read “9 Indispensable Ingredients” (that are ALWAYS present in every hit film but always absent in failures) by Tom Laughlin…Here’s a link to the site:

http://billyjack.com/

The topics covered in here hit the nail on the head as to what AUDIENCE expectations are…The critics do NOT represent the audience any longer and by ignoring that fact, that is where Hollywood is screwing up.  This is a fact that should be clear since they are  marketing and making so many crappy movies that flop.  For those of you who are screenwriters, it’s a godsend.

There was a time when an audience held the critic’s word almost as gospel.  That is now changing.  Audiences now want to decide for themselves rather than rely on some else to give a view as if speaking on their behalf when their reviews only truly garner the attention of the Academy now.  I’ve been told that even VOD and DVD sales aren’t exactly great but part of it has to do with the economy.

These marketers and CEO”s that have invaded the entertainment industry are part of the reason I left my band years ago…The music industry and it’s critics aren’t different–they just deal with another aspect of show business. Again, the assumption is that they can sway an audience to support or not to support and with the advent of modern technology, they cannot. Viewers can decide for themselves what they wish and it has given them the power to make or break any actor, musician, screenwriter and/or songwriter.  However a lot of viewers do realize the actor has to do as the script and director demand…That is why viewers tend to judge an actor/actress on one thing alone: BELIEVABILITY.  After that it is the story that is judged, and the actors and actresses on a film are NOT the ones to be held accountable for trashy script writing in this day and age.  The 50’s and 60’s are over. The blame has now shifted for the most part and the crap trickles up the ladder at the major studios now–not down.  They can’t threaten the audiences by saying “IF X does well we’ll do this with the classic version…” either and YES this did happen recently.

The public is not easily manipulated and fooled anymore.  It is time for the CEO’s to wake up and realize it. Many have and have moved to the indie market which will flourish in the next 10 years. I do believe that in my lifetime, if things keep going the way that they are, that Hollywood will one day be known as the place that USED to be the film capital of this country and the world.
I also want to point out that many of  the older actors and actresses tend to do a better job than the younger ones. They come from different schools of thought and approach their characters differently, it seems.  A good actor/actress allows that character to come to life through him/her–regardless of how the script itself was written.  If that actor/actress can evoke strong emotion of some sort as the character comes through them, then (in my opinion) they have done THEIR job correctly. That being said, I invite you to discuss your favorite actors and actresses here, your favorite movies and what you think of the trends in Hollywood now.  Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/354427947959295/

There are rules but the main one is, don’t get upset and start getting out of control in there….Trust me.  It’s okay for everyone to have their favorites and others not to agree, but there isn’t any reason to fuss over it because different performers reach different people in different ways.

These Types of Movies Rock!

 

In 1962, Sophia Loren won the Best Actress Oscar in “Two Women”…In 1965, “Shelley Winters” took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “A Patch of Blue“.  Both movies were tackling issues that a lot of writers will not touch on any longer–or if they do, they do something stupid when writing it (and/or putting the cast together–like they did with “The Women” in 2008) and it crashes on the remake. Both “Two Women” and “A Patch of Blue” were somewhat ahead of their time, I think, but were important to film history itself.

This movie rivets viewers even 52 years after it’s release…

One of the most important films of the era, “A Patch of Blue” tackles racism, abuse, alcoholism in such a way it made one think back then. This film was definitely ahead of its time in many respects. It was well before the on air kiss of Captain Kirk and Uhura on “Star Trek, too…No they don’t kiss here, but it’s obvious that these characters had some type of feelings toward each other.

I feel the same way about “Chariots of Fire”.  The reason that movie has  had so much staying power over 30 years time is that there is a universal issue it tackles that has absolutely nothing to do with religious faith of some sort, but more to the point of being true to one’s self despite what society tries to dictate.  In short,  Eric Liddel and Harold Abrahams had huge sets of cojones and did not compromise on what they stood for, period.

Ben Cross and Ian Charleson portrayed them well.  It took equal amounts of cojones to even take the parts given what society says of that sort of thing now. After reading what Ben Cross did to prepare for that role, I am convinced that he and Charleson are the other two reasons that movie will have staying power for another 30 years in film history.  Argue with me all you want, but you won’t change my mind or the minds of the fans who watch these types of films again and again. The themes are timeless and universal–and that is what is severely lacking in what is being put out today in Hollywood, so they try to remake EVERYTHING.  They need to get back to some original thought and scrap the damned remakes altogether–especially when it comes to classic movies like these.

One of the best movies in 30 years–and it has new life in it again…

Instead of tossing us bones like they would to a dog, Hollywood needs to start putting some meat out there–and NO I’M NOT talking about eye candy…I’m talking about using seasoned actors and actresses that can REALLY ACT.  It doesn’t matter if they are older–I want to be able to believe if someone is going to play a murderer, then I want that actor/actress to play said murderer well enough that I’ll believe he/she IS THE CHARACTER and is about to bolt through that screen to kill my ass!  The late Jack Palance had a knack for this–in fact he was so good, he scared a fellow cast mate once.  I believe strongly that Hollywood is going to suffer some backlash if it doesn’t stop this constant marketing to teens, ‘tweens, and those who love the bloody “chick flicks”.  Baby boomers outnumber the other audiences and they are tired of this trend, I think.  I know I definitely am.  Of the movies I’ve seen in the past year and a half, “The Help” is the best one so far.

If someone were to build competing film studios in other states that marketed to my age bracket, they would make a killing because people in those states would invest in a good film. They say non-attendance in theaters is why films are made to cater to the youthful market. That is crap in my book. If they would market to us and the entire families we have, they’d make more money.  I think that for every teen that will go to a flick, there are 3 adults that will go if the movie is worth a damn. If not, they simply leave the kids to their own devices while they use Redbox, VOD, or PPV.

There are few actors and actresses that can pull of that wonderful feat of letting that character breathe through them to the extent that it seems real.  Ben Cross, Melissa Leo, Gary Cairns II, Jessica Chastain, Dallas Bryce Howard, Glenn Close and Zachary Quinto are among that number. Just a note here:  I hated the Dark Shadows remake–totally detested it, but that kid Gulliver McGrath is going to have a good career ahead of him…Even as young as he is, he is totally believable in character.   Michele Pfeiffer also did well in that film.  They were the only good things about that fiasco.