Why modern movies suck monkey balls

If you’ve been paying attention you’ve noticed that lately I’ve been complaining about the shitiness of much of modern film. Both the new Superman film and World War Z were, in my opinion, storytelling flops full of hard to follow action sequences and CGI hoohaw. (Modern CGI has removed the art of spectacle from film – if it’s as easy to show a giant robot flying into the sun and blowing up the universe as it is to show a happy elf, then what’s the point? If anything is visually possible, why be amazed?*)

* I commented on this in my old piece on Steve Ditko: “To me, Ditko’s work has lasted in the same manner of 60′s special effects great Ray Harryhausen – there are newer, better special effects, but in Harryhausen’s work, you can see the elbow grease, the creativity.”

The L.A. Times has an interesting report today noting that many of the big-budget summer films are flailing while smaller B-movies are succeeding. Why?

Several factors may be behind the turnabout, according to Hollywood analysts, including studios doing a better job of serving niche audiences and consumers experiencing blockbuster fatigue.

“Everything looked watered down and the studios were left trying to distinguish their movies,” said Ted Mundorff, chief executive of Landmark Theatres.

I’ve felt that fatigue. You find yourself thinking, “Do I want to see the movie where the hoard of zombies attacks New York or do I want to see the movie where the robot-alien attacks Los Angeles? Eh, think I’ll stay home.”

But I could get past the pointless spectacle if so many big budget movies of today didn’t also suffer from uninspired plots. The sense I get from many recent films is that they are written by committee and any plot twist that might offend some loser is voted down. In the Times article, Jason Blum, producer of successful B-Movie “The Purge,” is quoted.

Blum noted that similar sense of financial freedom helped him make satisfying choices within the movie. “I can kill my lead halfway through if the story calls for it. You could never do that with a $100- or $200-million movie.”

That’s the rub write there. With “Man of Steel” or “World War Z,” I know, in the general sense, what’s going to happen. That’s not the case with a lot of low budget horror I’ve been watching lately. You don’t see the twists coming. (Ironically, that unpredictability was part of what made the “World War Z” book stand out. But all that was washed from the movie version.)

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