Monday, April 21, 2014

Coming Attractions

There is a problem with being one of those creative-types: sometimes you want to mess with other people's creations. My wife and I frequently walk out of movie theaters with an agenda. One of us will ask the other, "What would you do to fix it?" Then we spend the next couple of hours dissecting and eliminating the roadblocks that kept us from enjoying ourselves in the previous two hours. Sometimes it's very cathartic. Sometimes it just makes us tired.
Please understand that there have been plenty of films that we have enjoyed without this exercise. Sometimes we simply sit in our seats after the rating slide has faded and the curtains close that we wait in stunned silence for the other to find some hanging thread or unnecessary scene. Those are the truly satisfying moments. Those are the ones that are worthy of applause.
That still leaves us with a great many opportunities to pick nits. What about that truck-sized plot hole there? What was that character doing when he or she should have been calling the police on their forgotten cell phone?  How did the car get to the top story of the apartment building in the first place? I believe that one must offer sturdy enough cable to suspend our disbelief in order for the paying customer to do just that. We see a lot of movies, and maybe that's the problem. We've seen all those movies from 1939, and a great many years before and since. The notion that they don't make them like they used to is not exactly true. When a movie works, it works, whether it stars Cary Grant or George Clooney. Howard Hawks may have taught David O. Russell a few things, but it's worth noting that this new generation of filmmakers are learning.
Some of them faster than others.
You might guess that with all the chances directors and screenwriters have to get their films made compared to seventy-five years ago that they would become more practiced, and the result would be a flood of expertly made cinema to choose from down at the bijou. All this product has had essentially the opposite effect. More sequels. More direct to video. More remakes. Can somebody please explain the necessity for "Miss Doubtfire 2?" I'm just glad that nobody feels the need to make a followup to "The Philadelphia Story." Maybe that's what my wife and I should consider the next time we're grumbling our way through the credits of whatever underachiever we got ourselves into.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Humilite, Lancelot....

Nobody holds a gun to your head to make to go to all of those movies. (Now THAT would be a plot!!)