Sunday, September 6, 2015

Disappointing Hollywood Summer


The movie season for the summer of 2015 has been very disappointing for me. In different ways, it has been more disappointing than the summer of 2014. This disappointment stems from an observation that some of my favorite films during this summer have either bombed at the box office or have barely made a profit. 

I believe that the quality of these films have nothing to do with the box office performance. However, I also suspect that today’s moviegoers have become increasingly conservative in their tastes in movies. These movie fans tend to cling to what is familiar to them . . . especially the younger moviegoers. This is why movies like "JURASSIC WORLD""THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON" and "MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION" have been such major box office hits. Even "TERMINATOR: GENISYS" is transforming from a flop to a hit, thanks to its release in China. Are they the best this summer has to offer? I personally felt that "JURASSIC WORLD" was among my favorite films. I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the other two movies, but to be honest, I also found them disappointing . . . to a certain degree. I believe that the Marvel Cinematic Universe and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise are in danger of running out of steam in the near future. I believe theTERMINATOR franchise already has ran out of steam. Worse, it has become just as convoluted as the X-MEN movie franchise. And a part of me wishes that the studios will move on to something new.

Then there are the films that did not do so well. "ANT-MAN" barely did well at the box office. Personally, I found it to be one of the most unusual films released by Marvel in so many ways. But it was not one of the typical films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And instead of facing the unusual nature of the film, many fans accused it of being politically incorrect. I am still shaking my head over that. Both"TOMORROWLAND" and "THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E." bombed at the box office. Personally, I felt that both movies were first-rate and the types rarely seen in today's movie theaters. But moviegoers did not want to see or acknowledge an unusual film like "TOMORROWLAND". And no one was really that familiar with the old "THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E." television series. Those who were, seemed pissed off that it was not an exact copycat of the old series. And then there is "THE FANTASTIC FOUR". Granted, I do not believe it was a great film. The three scenes deleted by 20th Century-Fox Studios left the film with a rushed ending. But so many fans are so determined to label it as the"worst film of the summer". Why? I honestly do not know. But I have this uneasy feeling that fandom's racist reaction to Michael B. Jordan portraying Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch may have played a role in this ridiculously rabid insistence in labeling the movie as "the worst ever"

Judging from the reactions of these films, I suspect that Hollywood will become less and less willing to take chances. Look at the new "STAR WARS" movie that is due to be released in December. Aside from some new characters, it almost seemed like a copy of the Original Trilogy films that were released between 1977 and 1983. The idea of something completely new seemed to be repellent to many of the franchise’s fans. Many fans are relieved that Disney and Lucas Film will not be inclined to take chances with the franchise, which is now in the latter hands. They have made it clear that they do not want Disney and Lucas Film to . . . "repeat George Lucas’ mistake" with the Prequel Trilogy. Frankly, I wish the filmmakers would take chances. One of the reasons why I loved the Prequel Trilogy so much is that Lucas took chances and offered something completely new. If Lucas Film and Disney manage to do something completely new and surprising with the franchise, I will be very surprised.

I will also be surprised if the Hollywood industry, along with movie industries from other countries, will continue to take chances in the films they release from their studios. But after what happened this summer, I doubt it very much. Pop culture is truly going to the dogs.

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