last week marked the unofficial kickoff of hollywood's dark season, and the only thing on my mind is the thought that this thing gets longer and longer every year. it used to be that sometime around memorial day weekend, the suits that entertain you would flood the market with an endless supply of re-appropriations, sequels, and t.v. shows and effectively cut my theater going year in half. but this year it seems they started a wee bit early and naturally it doesn't matter because hollywood has a pretty safe bet going in their consistent wagering on the cultural ineptitude of the american public.
while the combination of consistent hollywood grosses when coupled with the declining originality of product pretty much leaves the above statement beyond reproach, the thing i still cannot seem to put my finger on yet is the exact type of ineptitude that they are exploiting in their quest to part you with your coin. because if there is one fact that the numbers bear out, it is that no matter what kind of crap hollywood puts out, people will show. it doesn't matter how unoriginal, uninspired, or just plain bad it is, hollywood will pump up the production value, inflate its budget and put it out...and if you don't go see wild wild west with will smith or bewitched with will ferrell, you will go see something equally as ridiculous.
but what i can't figure out is, "why?" i mean, do the general public just not care about good stories or interesting characters? because most summer blockbusters are just hastily cobbled together(by 12 writers) plot lines whose narrative simplicity is covered up by whiz bang pyrotechnics. they end up like these huge, two hour bloated cgi fireworked-over music videos that have all he emotional and intellectual depth of the laser light show that used to accompany zeppelin at the planetarium. sure, it looks all bright and colorful...but there is a reason people basically only went to those things on drugs.
are people on drugs? well yeah, probably. our prozac nation is rather subdued, almost lazy, and completely willing to accept mediocrity in pretty much all aspects of life. i mean this is the same population that allows me to drive down washington street and notice a line out the door of the olive garden while the locally(and actual italian) owned italian gardens sits devoid of customers. people are afraid of a little spice these days...either that or free unlimited breadsticks really do cover up for the blandness of an entree. either way, the general population usually choose poorly.
people have become so accepting of this sort of prefabricated, cookie cutter, homogenized bullcrap that it is becoming harder to find alternatives. for every small scale, personal gem like the italian gardens or superbad or wendy and lucy, there are like a trillion soulless spidermans or olive gardens because these companies know that they don't have to make good food for the consumer to come in and lap it up.
and i don't blame them for that. i don't blame hollywood or the olive garden or the conglomerates that own and operate them. in fact, i don't blame them at all because if i can sell you an inferior product, why should i be expected to make it better?
no, i blame the idiots that are gonna line up around the block tomorrow for the pyrotechnic advancement of the star trek redux, because they have a choice to not show up. they can vote with their dollars for better product.
so my boycott of the megaplex starts now. i want better product, no more retreads, and less profit motive. i want an engrossing, enriching experience that enlivens my senses and emotions. i want them to care as much about the products that they put out as i do about the products i consume. and i'm not settling for less.