And the Oscar goes to…

16 Mar

I stumbled across this interesting article over at this interesting site called blackbxx.blogspot.com, the article is titled Chasing Andrew.

The basic premise of the article is that the about the writers appreciation for Andrew Breitbart and how he was able to connect many conservatives together in Hollywood, since the author in fact happens to be a screen writer apparently. That’s appreciable but not what I want to talk about.

Rather I can’t stop thinking about the first half of the article. Where the focus is more on how liberal ideology has entrenched itself in Hollywood and that any one apparently not toeing the party line runs the risk of being ostracized if not blacklisted.

It makes you wonder why the movie (and music) industry is having so much trouble creating anything original that even comes close to good these days, that people want to see.

Fittingly I recently read Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, stars of the TV show Reno 911!, as well as other notable credits.

In their book they dish some dirt on the way Hollywood conducts business and it shows you just how much of a joke it is. More rides on the opinion of an unqualified executive than the writer, producer, director, cast and crew. As they tell it, most of these folks have no clue what they’re doing and likely haven’t even read the script they are critiquing, this in turn leads to rewrites and alterations that cost money and may even stop the movie from even being made, equaling a big expensive pile of paper that has no purpose outside of a bathroom stall.

Hollywood knows it can bank on Harry Potter, Twilight, Transformers, and Pirates of the Caribbean regardless of whether the movie is good or not and they score with an Avatar or Hangover as well and the family friendly and animated sector is a breadwinner too . But where’s anything original that’s actually better than just good?

The films I mentioned aren’t great. Franchises by imperial decree can’t be good, they’re just hyped up. Avatar is simply Dances with Wolves in space and nothing without the studio experience. The Hangover is simply the Dumb and Dumberof it’s generation.

Why can we no longer make Gone with the Wind or Casablanca, not that I’ve seen either of those movies but all I ever hear is people gushing over them. Instead we get Rango. Really….Rango?

Let’s not be too hasty and lump all the criticism on to the studios all by themselves.

While we lack great films we are also lacking great actors.

What happened to the Peter O’Tooles and Michael Caines and Richard Burtons. I realize two of those three are still alive, but their not really “active” anymore, but my point is who do we have now? Tom Hanks? Denzel Washington? Kevin Spacey? I know it’s always easier to look at things in the past and say they were better, but I think you can compare and see a clear demarcation of talent. Not saying today’s actors aren’t talented, but not nearly as talented.

Strictly speaking in terms of action we went from Steve Mcqueen, who arguably wasn’t a great actor as much as he had presence, and John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and James Garner. Now we have Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx, and Colin Farrell. I don’t know about you but I notice more than a slight difference in the real-life characterizations of Lee Marvin and Sean Penn.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that we have to listen to the Hollywood set inform of us their oh-so enlightened politics and how we should think, we also have to sit their and hear them tell us thatThe Artist is a great movie, never mind that nobodies ever seen it or understands it (probably cause we’re just not smart enough to “get it”, but that’s a story for another time).

I’m siding with Robert Garant and Thomas Lennon. Give me Die Hard any day.

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