Studios admit to crappy movies

I just finished reading this article from the LA Times, which was filled with heartening quotes, such as this one from Amy Pascal, Sony Pictures Vice Chairman:

"It’s
really easy for all of us to blame the condition of the theaters, gas
prices, alternative media, the population changes and everything else
I’ve heard myself say. I think it has to do with the movies themselves."

 This
is the third article I’ve read already wherein studio execs have been
"fessing up" to lackluster movies as being responsible for poor
earnings this season. I have to admit, the last movie I saw in the
theater was Skeleton Key,
which — although a nice little film — was nothing special. The main
reason I went to see it was to get a glimpse of my dear New Orleans
just before it went underwater. Plus, I have a profound weakness for
voodoo-centered movies, and the script we’re working on right now
(Amelia’s Ring) deals with voodoo as a central theme. Maybe the
creepiest part of the whole movie, however, was seeing that grand
tracking shot of the main arterial New Orleans highway that goes over
miles and miles of water, after seeing it only the night before,
crumbled and broken.

But yeah, how about those crappy movies? I heard The Wedding Crashers was pretty funny, and The 40 Year-Old Virgin
has been bringing in the crowds, but I don’t usually see comedies on
the big screen without a really good reason. I will admit, we saw March of the Penguins twice (once on our own, and once to bring our family along), but otherwise I’ve either been renting or watching classic movies.

Sin City
was pretty good. I appreciated it stylistically, and it was true film
noir at a time period when other films merely nod at the noir style
without taking it all the way. The plot was okay — 10 points for
imagination — but the use of almost monochromatic film stock, with
highlights of color along the way, was really something to see. Bravo
to Robert Rodriguez,
who usually does everything right, for ringing in the originator of the
material as a co-director. In fact, he had to resign from the
Director’s Guild of America to do it, which got him knocked off another
film, A Princess of Mars,
and may have some bearing on his future career. That’s unions for you.
With his reputation, however, I doubt the move will prove to be be
anything less than freeing.

Unfortunately, our cinema in town had an electrical fire, which prevented me from seeing The Corpse Bride until it reopens next week. And I’ve been waiting for years for the new Wallace and Gromit movie so you can bet I’ll be first in line for that one.

By
the way, I’m running a draft of Amelia’s Ring through Dakota and a few
friends for feedback. I’ve also been talking with a few film
enthusiasts on campus, scoping out their interest in helping out with
this fall’s shoot. In a day or so, I’m going to let you in on an
interesting little film festival I saw on campus this week.

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