When did Cinema become so infantile?

I have a day off today and I thought I would go to the cinema this morning but then it struck me how there is absolutely nothing of any merit playing on one of the many, many screens at the local multiplex.

I know I’m not the only one who thinks this and even genre actors such as Simon Pegg have questioned why we as adults are living in such a stylised immature culture.

I’ve always had gripes with brain-dead Hollywood style blockbusters.  They all seem to be very generic which of course they are because the studios don’t want to change a winning-formula and are happy with staid stories and steady incomes rather than take the chance of creating more interesting and unique films that may sometimes take more money in receipts though often of course less.

It’s the age old creative dilemma whether one should make something special, perhaps even a work of art and sell very little or make something the creators think will sell at least to a segment of the population, time after time.

But what about us who aren’t in that admittedly large but still minority of the population? The current cinema set-up is very much a monopoly.  The multiplex chains often have strong links or are directly owned by Hollywood studios who will happily show whatever drivel is on offer so long as it comes from their studios rather than something a little more interesting.

There was once a study that showed that foods like popcorn are more profitable than drugs, weapons and even Afghanistan narcotics.  They have a profitability factor of many hundreds of percent and of course the people who watch the latest Marvel drivel are much more likely to buy this junk food in comparison to someone who wants to watch an interesting drama in a film with no special effects.

Junk food is quite apt in this comparison as the modern cinema is very much the McDonalds of the arts world.  Over priced, generic, simple, overly commercialised and the same, time after the time.  It’s output seemingly stuck at a level that even above-average 8 year olds would think was too immature.

Even the movie trailers are a real turn-off.  They all have the same gravelly toned voice-over man with heavily special effects laden images of either Washington, New York or London under threat.  There appears to be no story-line whatsoever and no dialogue of interest, in fact everything has to be full of catch-phrases and evil-loud music and explosions.   Nothing that I can relate to in any way and I certainly don’t have any interest in them.  Also everything has to be filmed in a hyper-realistic way with a soundtrack to match.

I wonder even why some people even think some of the films would sell?  Even discounting the ever-green superhero type films, there are plenty of films that not only appear to be stinkers from the adverts but do indeed totally tank and deservedly so.

Despite not really having NFL or Baseball or graduation days for High School or many other things, we still get these banal films that have no relevance to us at all and they generally do very badly here but the cinemas still show them rather than take a chance with something more different but more relatable to us.

Finally, well not really finally as there are so many bad things I object to with mainstream cinema, so many of the characters in these films aren’t just card board cut-out types but awfully immature too.  They are populated by middle-aged people ‘acting’ in circumstances that bear nothing to reality.  Behaving as if they were teenagers or had teenage problems but in a way teenagers would have never acted when I was a teenager.  Not having any sense of identity or work ethic, bad-mouthing their parents or friends and just generally being the very epitome of being a LOSER.

I’ve copied in below the movies currently playing on the VUE Watford cinema just 10 minutes walk from my house.  It isn’t a holiday period… as if that means we should all be subjected to brain-numbing rubbish.  This is what we, working, educated adults are thought to be interested in enough to pay quite a hefty entrance fee.

Marvel V DC   Who cares?  I'm an adult.

Marvel V DC Who cares? I’m an adult.

Captain America: Civil War

When politicians propose that a governing body should oversee the actions of the Avengers, it divides the team into two opposing factions, one led by Captain America, the other by Iron Man.
Running time:147mins. (moderate violence)

Just the trailer alone put me off.  So terribly generic.   I don’t know who the Avengers are.  I don’t care who Captain America is.   The only Iron Man I know of is from the classic Ted Hughes childrens story.  I just don’t care about any one of these ‘franchises’ let alone one with them all combined.  It’s just rubbish.
The Jungle Book

Mowgli the man-cub must fight for his place in the jungle when he learns a fearsome tiger named Shere Khan has sinister plans for him.

I haven’t seen the original Jungle Book, cartoons weren’t really my thing even when I was little but I understand it is a classic.  So why they have to revamp it again is beyond me.  Why it is on several times a day when children are at school is also a mystery.

The Angry Birds Movie

A group of mysterious green piggies interrupt an island paradise, and a certain group of birds are really quite angry about it…
Running time:97mins. (very mild bad language, comic slapstick, innuendo, toilet humour)

Sounds very bland and a total waste of time to me.  A film, based on a pretty basic computer game.   Even the official ratings give it all away.   Typical Hollywood child-friendly banality.

X-Men: Apocalypse (moderate violence, threat, bloody images, infrequent strong language)Disenchanted with the modern world in which he awakes after several millennia, Apocalypse, the most powerful mutant from the X-Men universe, sets out to destroy the world as we know it in order to build it again from scratch.

Disenchanted with the modern world in which he awakes after several millennia, Apocalypse, the most powerful mutant from the X-Men universe, sets out to destroy the world as we know it in order to build it again from scratch.
Running time:143mins. (moderate violence, threat, bloody images, infrequent strong language)

Oh no, how many X-Men films have their been?  How many of them have even been ‘good’?   It’s just a conveyor belt of schlock.  Who gives a ?????

 

Who could think these films have any depth or complexities?

Mistake number 1 – the reviewer went to see previous Marvel films. See an alternative but similar point of view below http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/i-swear-this-is-the-last-marvel-film-i-see-captain-america-reviewed/

Bad Neighbours 2 (strong language, sex references, drug misuse)

As they prepare to sell their family home and move on, Mac and Kelly discover there’s only one thing worse than living next door to a frat house… living next door to a sorority.

I don’t really know what a frat house is or what a sorority is?   I went to University to study not to join weird clubs with strange Greek lettering in the titles.  Nothing in the first film gave any indication that the formula would get better at the second attempt.  Again, ‘adults’ acting in a way that would demean drunk 3 year olds in a nursery.

 

Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins obsessively pursues her dream of being a famous opera star all the way to a performance at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall. But there’s just one problem, she can’t sing. (mild bad language, mild sex reference)

This sounds really, really lame and has all the hallmarks of being a by-the-numbers film.    I don’t want to watch a film about someone who can’t sing?  Who would?   Let’s actually have real opera that might actually improve and educate people a little rather than pay money to watch an unrealistic portrayal of a loser who can sing less convincingly that I can.

 

Everybody Wants Some

Take a trip back to the 1980s and follow the hedonistic lives of a group of college baseball players in Richard Linklater’s latest coming-of-age movie, dubbed as ‘‘the spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused.’’
Running time:117mins. (strong language, sex references, drug use)

Could not care less is my basic feeling.  Not bothered about hedonism.  No-one here watches baseball.  Coming of age movies are without exception awful.  Never heard of Dazed and Confused but it sounds pathetic and I’m not interested in a spiritual sequel.

 

 

Our Kind of Traitor (very strong language, strong sex, violence, drug use, sexual violence)

A couple become embroiled in a case of international espionage, after a chance meeting with a charismatic Russian oligarch at a Marrakech party.
Running time:108mins. (very strong language, strong sex, violence, drug use, sexual violence)

My word!  Is this an adult film?  It actually sounds promising but it is only on in the afternoon and evening.  Nightmare!

 

Green Room (strong bloody violence, gore)

When a budding punk rock band witness a horrific murder, they find themselves stalked by the vicious perpetrators who are desperate to eliminate any evidence of their attack.
Running time:95mins. (strong bloody violence, gore)

Sounds really bad but I like horror and maybe the trailer might convince me to see it.

 

Ratchet and Clank (mild comic violence, very mild bad language)

Everyone’s favourite Lombax and his robotic pal are kicking some asteroid on the big screen, attempting to stop Chairman Drek from destroying the Solana Galaxy.
Running time:94mins. (mild comic violence, very mild bad language)

What the hell is this?  Why is this even being given the time of day?    No wonder our society is turning into such a mess.  Just because a film is for children, it doesn’t have to be lame.

 

Eye In The Sky 

A mission to take down terrorists planning a large-scale bomb attack in Kenya becomes problematic when an innocent nine year old girl steps into the kill zone.
Running time:102mins. (infrequent bloody moments, infrequent strong language)

I actually wanted to see this.  An adult film dealing with a contemporary topic in a seemingly realistic way.  Sadly it’s only on once a day and not at a convenient time.

 

Zootopia

The first bunny police officer must work side-by-side with a scam-artist fox to crack a case in the sprawling city of Zootropolis.
Running time:108mins. (mild threat)

Oh go away!

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 

Two of the most powerful heroes of all time face off in this long-awaited and thrilling spectacle.
Running time:151mins. (moderate violence, threat)

Sounds bad on so many levels. I have not once thought who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman and I’ve never been in a conversation where anyone has even mentioned it.  A total non-event hyped up in a very Hollywood way.

 

Kung Fu Panda 3 

The third installment in the franchise sees Po reunite with his biological father and head to a secret panda sanctuary, only for an ancient spirit to terrorize the nation.
Running time:95mins. (mild martial arts action)

ARGGGHHHH MY HEAD HURTS

 

Miles Ahead 

A unique biopic of the life and musical career of New York jazz trumpeter, Miles Davis.
Running time:100mins. (strong language, drug use, sexualised nudity)

This at least seems like it is a mature film.  Sadly I don’t particularly like jazz nor do I really know anything of or want to learn more about Miles Davis though on artistic merit alone this must surely be more worth seeing than every other film on the list.

 

3DX-Men: Apocalypse Triple Bill 3D New release (moderate violence, threat, bloody images, infrequent strong language)

Why would anyone pay more money to see an already artistically styled dark screen to be darkened even more through the use of dark glasses?  This goes doubly when the original film seems so dire.

It doesn’t have to be this way though.   Below are just some of the offerings from the local Curzon cinema.  An independent cinema chain which amazingly seems to have no clunkers airing whatsoever.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 10.08.25

I’m not against American films, only bland and brain-dead Hollywood films.   Tom Hanks can always be relied on to be in a good film.  I haven’t see the trailers for any of the films above but surely each of them has to be more interesting, challenging and for those of us who aren’t into mainstream films, more entertaining than the other films above.  Sadly the nearest Curzon to me is a good hour away in central London and the vested interests of the big cinema chains mean these won’t get a look-in where I live.

John Le Carre can always be relied on for good stories as the recent BBC hit The Night Manager shows.  High quality, rave reviews and something lots of people watched.  It shows that entertaining doesn’t have to cater to the lowest common denominator but the fact that such a programme is comparatively rare shows that television suffers almost as bad as the cinema and that would take up a whole other blog post.

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
This entry was posted in Movies and Films, Popular Culture, television, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to When did Cinema become so infantile?

  1. Geoff Coupe says:

    Stephen, while I agree with your view that Hollywood gives us the cinematic equivalent of junk food, I really must take issue with your lumping the film Florence Foster Jenkins into that category.

    You’re probably too young to remember Florence, but I do, and remember listening to her records, and being amazed. The film, by all accounts, is a sympathetic treatment of a rather unusual woman. Stephen Frears is not a Hollywood director, but someone who has given us many worthwhile films over the years (My Beautiful Laundrette, Prick up Your Ears, The Queen, Philomena and many others).

    FFJ is definitely on my list of films to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Morning Geoff, yes it must be said that I have never heard of Florence Foster Jenkins before and I assumed it was a typical teenage melodrama. I had no idea it is telling the story of a real person, if the cinema text had indicated that it was based on reality then I would have written something different, I may even have gone to watch it. The description though doesn’t seem to be aiming it at the right audience. I agree though about the films that Stephen Frears has done, they are all worth watching and not typical films. Philomena was incredible. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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    • Bruce says:

      It’s actually fitting that FFJ is grouped amongst these films. Like all the above, she is the ‘upper class proof’ (opera) that someone with a complete lack of talent and artistic sensitivity or discipline or critical awareness can force their way to the top and become crowned as a cult hero; which is the common parlance today for genius. (With a big G). An insult to the history and better aspirations of humanity… She, this film and to a large extent are the Donald Trumps of the cultural world. A fitting summation of a society founded on P.T. Barnum’s maxim that “no one will ever go broke under estimating the taste of American culture”.

      (P.S. The major reason these films are so popular is the fact that in worldwide release, one of the most prohibitively expensive costs of production is for translation and/or dubbing of dialogue. As people the world ‘demand’ to see these films — no one has to pay to translate Aaaaarrggh!!! into thirty odd languages. Jes sayin.)

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      • I had been thinking of Donald Trump when wondering how broad a scope this post should be. From a foreign country, all we hear (and indeed all my American friends can tell me) is walls along Mexico, band Muslims, insults to women etc. What about an actual debatable policy such as specific investment in an American city or industry? Policy towards the protection of wildlife suffering under urban expansion. Schooling, how can exam results be improved etc etc… real life issues. I don’t know if the fault is with Trump or with the Media but between the two of them, they are just making the biggest intelligence sapping headlines without anything of substance. I think you’re right about the issue with dubbing. As the saying goes ‘make something foolproof and only a fool will want to use it’ and that seems to be the way of these films. From a certain standpoint, someone in the USA, in the UK, China and Uganda have hardly anything in common but they can all understand action heroes with little dialogue. I’d much rather see a real American Indie film or a Ugandan one come to that. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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      • Geoff Coupe says:

        Naturally, I disagree with your comparison of FFJ to DT. I suspect life is somewhat more nuanced than that. And I still fully intend to see the film, despite your dismissal of it. 🙂

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        • I can see I will have to see this FFJ film with several people talking about it. I’m sure it will still be better than Weiner Man or whatever we will next have from Hollywood. 🙂

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          • Geoff Coupe says:

            I’ve been reading the reviews on IMDB – several people have likened FFJ to Hyacinth Bucket, i.e. both are a tragi-comic character with delusions of grandeur/singing ability. Probably something in that comparison. Easier to empathise with Hyacinth than with Donald at any rate… I think you’ll enjoy the film.

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  2. Hi Stephen, recently I’ve been really trying to articulate almost exactly what you’re saying here since a number of my friends think these films qualify as ‘great’ or even ‘epic’ drama. Aside from some fantasy (Star Wars and the Marvel movies are often a bit of fun), I’m just not willing to pay for a few hours of anti-climactic mush.

    I definitely suggest going to alternative cinemas! The one near me is a bit cheaper than blockbuster viewings and they tend to have a more comfortable atmosphere.

    Listings from the Berlin Film Festival, Sundance and Toronto are always good to watch out for. Here’s a great selection I found from Netflix: http://agoodmovietowatch.com/netflix/best-movies-have-not-seen/all/

    I know most won’t in cinema, but if things are so unfulfilling it’s worth far more just setting up at home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there! thanks so much for commenting. I’m so glad you agree. I’ve been meaning to write something similar for months. Yes, I have no problems with the occasional bit of escapism such as Star Wars, especially when it is relatively rare and a cinematic event. I wouldn’t want every film to be Shakespeare or some Persian arty film either but there should be some choice and the default movie idea shouldn’t be so juvenile. If you like Film Festival type films, I very much recommend Victoria. It is a German film set in Berlin about a bank-heist that goes wrong. All in real-time and all in one take. It’s very immersive. Thanks for your link, I will check it out.

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  3. Dave Miller says:

    Well said Stephen although – as previously said – Florence Foster Jenkins is based on a true story although how true to life the film is, perhaps, debatable. I think the usual misconception is that Hollywood is all about films whereas it’s really all about money and I suppose it’s natural that the big money options will always win out. Perhaps we need to engender more discernment in the audience. After all if people start voting with their feet… However I did enjoy both Kung Fu Panda films so I’m hoping the third one won’t be a stinker.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dave. Yes, Hollywood really is all about money. Obviously all films have to make some money, at least enough to pay off the costs and hopefully allow them to make the next film but I think there is a big difference between films created just to make money and films that are made and just happen to make money. I wonder if the audience would be more discerning if they knew there were other options, albeit very hard to find. If people grow up knowing nothing but fast-food then they will obviously like it but not know that there is food that is unpredictable but potentially much more satisfying to eat.

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  4. swanpride says:

    They always have been that infantile? Let’s ignore that you just judged a number of movies and franchises you say you know nothing about just by the trailer. There hasn’t been ANY time in movie history in which movies haven’t been a mix of something designed for the masses and something designed to impress the academy, with the occasional visionary in-between. Some of those movies for the masses are nowadays considered classics (ie everything Hitchcock ever made).

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    • The trailers though are there to highlight the positive experiences of the film, to entice the audience to go there. I’m not in the wrong by seeing some of these trailers and hating every aspect of them. Similarly if I saw a trailer that I liked and went to watch the movie because of that then I’m doing so because the trailer is all I have to go on? What else is there apart the opinion of friends and people I respect? Just this lunch-time I read the following piece in The Spectator http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/i-swear-this-is-the-last-marvel-film-i-see-captain-america-reviewed/ which makes a similar argument. Movies, Music and TV are all about making money to a certain degree but I find those worth seeing are those with a purpose beyond simply making lots of money and appealing to the masses. The Captain America movie is probably 95%+ made for the money, even the studios don’t complain that they don’t win Oscars. Films like The Colour of Paradise are probably only 5% about making money with the 95% about telling a story, dealing with issues etc.

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      • swanpride says:

        The trailers are advertising. I certainly don’t trust them.

        So in the end it boils down to “wäh, those movies I don’t care for make more money than those really smart movies I like better”. Movies like The Colour of Paradise are totally fine with making one 5% of the money because they have a lower budget to begin with, because they don’t NEED a higher budget for the story they want to tell.

        Otherwise, I don’t like Transformers, I am totally okay with missing out on Star Wars, but I don’t begrudge the fans of those franchises their fun (provided that they have fun, I am always stunned that so many people keep watching Transformers even though nobody seems to like those movies). None of those franchises keep my franchise from being made…quite the opposite in fact. Those big blockbusters, they exists so that actors and actresses get a big pay check and then turn up in smaller movies for a more reasonable fee, for studios to schedule a “risk” one month later which they would never take if they didn’t feel comfortable in the knowledge that even if the smaller movie you like so much fails, they just can use it to balance out their books and pay less taxes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I see what you’re getting at and I don’t dislike blockbusters per se, I just think there are too many that are too similar. Yes it’s true how both the studios and individual actors use the cash-cow movies to allow them to be more creative later on. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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          • swanpride says:

            Some are the same…but let’s talk about the MCU for a moment. The Winter Soldier is a Political Thriller. GotG is a Space Opera. Ant-Man is a heist movie. Civil War is a Revenge Play. Doctor Strange will apparently a mixture of Horror and Mysticism.

            Zootopia (which turned out to be a blockbuster because people just loved the movie) is a story about racism.

            I can certainly do without another movie which is more about action than characters or another animated movie full of potty humour and flat jokes instead of a good story. But I don’t dismiss those big movies off-hand either. For every “Norm of the North” there is an “Inside Out”, and between all those reboots and remakes, there is also something like Fury Road (Which honestly surprised me, I didn’t like ANY of the Mad Max movies, but that one is so worth it).

            I am more bothered about the way movies are currently advertised….

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  5. Malla Duncan says:

    Thoroughly agree, Stephen. There seems to be very little original writing in film these days. Sometimes I think that our current film makers must have been brought up on a diet of television (they didn’t read books) and its stunted their imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think so too. Everything is so stereotypical, even the sci-fi or fantasy or superhero. The world is such an amazing place with countless unique stories, I know that both you, I and many others here routinely come up with more interesting tales than what we are fed onscreen. If current day film-makers are themselves only inspired by television then they are missing out on most of the source material. For example, I am a bit Star Trek fan but I much prefer the original even though it was old before I was born. The writers there were inspired by real life wars and economic depressions and political intrigue. The later Star Treks were inspired by original Star Trek and many of the new shows are inspired by the Star Trek sequels and imitators. They are so many levels away from originality that it is hard to count. Interesting that perhaps the top sci-fi film of the last year was The Martian and that was written by a real-world blogger/author!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’d also suggest seeking out really good, unique, and different films. For example, 12 Years a Slave; Germany, Pale Mother (although, not Hollywood); Bent; The Hours (also stars Meryl Streep); Orlando are just five of the many non stereotypical choices out there. I study films closely on a regular basis so it’s something I have many feelings about. 🙂

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  6. I’ve had the same musings when seeing the next upcoming movies. I see the trailers and think…didn’t they just make one of these? Isn’t this based on a book too? Can’t they come up with a story themselves?
    The only movie I’ve seen on your list is Green Room and I actually liked it a lot. It kept me guessing throughout. The actors (only two are well known) were all good.
    I live in the US but am lucky to live near the Alamo Drafthouse, which is a decent size chain, but takes chances on lesser known movies. A “Sci-fi” movie I recently saw that was a recommendation from them was called Midnight Special. It was fantastic. I recommend.
    It’s definitely getting harder and harder to find movies that make me say, “I want to see that”. I am looking forward to Alice and the Looking Glass (I love just about anything Tim Burton). Also at the Alamo Drafthouse they do showing like “Weird Wednesdays” where they show bizarre, usually bad horror movies, for $3. They’re a lot of fun to watch. I wish the main cinema folks would take a chance on something every once in a while.

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    • I agree entirely. I can’t imagine that any new one is better or different to the many similar movies last year except for being even faster with more CGI. The amount of times we’ve seen a Spiderman origin story recently when even the first of the modern films was only in 2002. Why do all these superheroes have to keep repeating their tired old origin story. If we have to see another Spiderman/Superman/Batman/ other hero, why not see their 45th adventure rather than waste one of the rebooted series on a story we saw just a few years ago.

      That’s really good that you have a good cinema near to you, they are like gold-dust. I will keep an eye out for Midnight Special as I do like Sci-Fi but a real movie, not some nonsensical Guardians of the Galaxy type dross.

      Tim Burton can always be relied on to make interesting and not very Hollywood films.

      The last Sci-Fi film I watched was 10 Cloverfield Lane. I hadn’t seen the other film but it didn’t seem to matter at all. It was very low budget and claustrophobic and really enjoyable.

      Like you, I’d rather take the chance of a “Weird Wednesday” type movie and risk seeing something awful or brilliant than something ‘Meh’. Thanks for commenting!

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      • I too saw 10 Cloverfield Lane. I thought John Goodman was fantastic as a weirdo. Ha. You should like Midnight Special then. It has a pretty original approach to it. YouTube trailers if you can.

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        • Yes John Goodman was great and he really had the audience going over whether the was telling the truth or just crazy. The actual twist is better than either.

          I just watched the trailer on YouTube and it looks really good. A hint of E.T or Close Encounters which isn’t a bad thing but definitely a thoughtful and mysterious film that isn’t cute, has a story and no unrealistic action or bad jokes… What’s not to like 🙂

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  7. As a person in my sixties, I’ve witnessed the slow yet steady decline of quality in Hollywood film productions. But instead of offering my specific thoughts on why this is happening, I’ll pose two simple questions:

    Does not art mirror the larger culture?

    Was Mike Judge’s 2006 satire “Idiocracy” prescient?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can imagine how terrible the decline must look to you as even in my forties but with an appreciation of older films, the mainstream movies have really gone downhill. There are still many great Indie films and now they often have a budget or technology to look good as well as be good but it is so hard to find them.

      I think you’re correct about art mirroring the larger culture. I’m sure they both feed of each other but if society hadn’t gone downhill so much then these films wouldn’t find such an audience.

      I think “Idiocracy” had it exactly right except they didn’t have to wait 500 years. Apart from technology and some morals, I think the average person from the mid-late 20th century would be superior to those today, let alone the 25th Century. It’s very sad.

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    • I’m curious about your comment about Hollywood film declining. Extremely racist films such as Birth of a Nation are no longer made. There is somewhat more diversity in the stories told and in actors. For sure, film both shapes and reflects its society. That’s a HUGE part of film theory/cultural studies/the historical analysis of film or any primary source. 🙂

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  8. In the time it took me to read this article they have probably commissioned another 4 Spiderman films.
    Interesting read. Although, in my opinion a lot of ‘indie’ films or artsy films can be just as creatively deficient or just as dull. The superhero trend needs to come to a swift end. They have definitely had their day. I feel the cinematic (and television) world is pretty oversaturated in general. Film after film, TV show after TV show are churned out in by the dozen each month, the laws of probability dictate that a large number will be mediocre or bad. However, it means you appreciate the good ones all the more. It makes them special.

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  9. chbrown6 says:

    I love going to movies not just to watch the movie but for the experience. At home, your dog is running around, your wife has to get up and answer her phone 3 times, your kid has to go pee twice, you have to get up and switch the clothes into the dryer…whatever it is we get distracted at home. But at the movies you get the experience. You get the popcorn, the somewhat in comfortable seat, the huge speakers muddling the whistling of the air conditioner vent above your head. I want to go right now 😉

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    • Me too. The cinema is probably my favourite and almost only 21st century past-time I not only take part in but really enjoy. I think it is such an event, the dark auditorium, the excitement and atmosphere. I wish I could go every day. I agree the experience is so important. I like movies, how they make them, the cinematography etc. I think thats why I have such an issue with the quality of the current movies as to me they aren’t art or an experience, just an industrially produced product 😦 Thanks for commenting!

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  10. gpj103 says:

    Hi Stephen. I can’t really fault your view on most of those films…in idea at least as I haven’t seen them either…although I did see a French film called Marguerite (very enjoyable) which is based on the Florence Foster Jenkins story. I really enjoy French cinema as they seem to present films based more around good acting and stylistically interesting angles. Less big explosions and CGI. I do feel at times that cinema is a dying art form…there is so little originality left any more…and TV is just garbage. Thank heaven for books! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there! I really enjoy French cinema too and for some reason Iranian. I like anything with a story and a little style and substance, there is definitely an art to it which seems to be vanishing. A good film can easily be comparable to other works of art I think. I agree about TV too, even in the UK where we have the legendary BBC; the fact that it has a long list of quality shows also highlights that out of 365 days in a year, there are still only a dozen or so undeniably good shows on leaving hours of dross. I really enjoy some European TV shows like the French Braquo or the Scandinavian The Bridge. I think it being in a foreign language means the other aspect of the shows have to be even better to support it which of course they are. Their approach to story-telling is just very different. Yes thank heaven for books and even blogs. Whilst lots of blogs are simple diaries, many are just so unique and insightful.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. indiasologuy says:

    Quite well argued, especially the first half of the post. Interestingly, Hollywood has made inroads into India as well. Expectedly, its only the big budget commercial successes that are dubbed and released here. Jungle book (I didn’t think it was so bad by the way) is one of this year’s top grossing films – and we have a very robust and prolific industry of our own. Bollywood also has strange parallels with Hollywood – the star system (as opposed to a studio system), commercial cinema trumping over that of substance, etc. I didn’t watch most of these recent ones including captain America / superman vs batman and kung fu panda – ill take your word for it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. mistermuse says:

    When you say you don’t like jazz, do you mean ALL jazz? I don’t ask in a negative way, because many good and interesting people don’t like jazz, but like many things, there is jazz and then there is jazz. For example, I dislike so-called progressive jazz but love classic jazz (of the type Woody Allen has on the soundtrack of a number of his films).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess that I don’t like the trendy obsession in some quarters with modern and contemporary jazz. Like yourself I like classic jazz and at a bit of a tangent bold big-band music and indeed classical music. Even then though it wouldn’t be my first choice of listening unless it caught my attention quickly. I guess I rate it similarly to pottery. I can admire the skill of the artist and the beauty of the piece of work without it actually being what I am really interested in. Does that help, without making me sound like a philistine? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: The Limehouse Golem – Film Review | Stephen Liddell

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