Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Acting Optional

The movie industry has been in a slump lately. Everyone in Hollywood is trying to figure out why no one’s going to the movie theatres anymore.

The main theory is that movie theatres have become unholy places. True. They have. I can’t stand going to movie theatres anymore. They’re all cell phones and obnoxious talkers and loud-chewing, elbow-room-usurping fatties. And no one seems to remember the unwritten etiquette that states that you never sit in the seat right next to a stranger if there are other seats available.

And why is it that the people who come 5 minutes late always sit right in front of me? It’s uncanny. They can find me even in the pitch black as they trip and apologize their way in my direction, shuffling down the isle sideways like Helen Keller at her own wedding.

But another theory is that home theatres have become so incredibly advanced that there’s no real need for public movie theatres anymore.

Sure, maybe. But it would be idiotic for the movie industry to give up on movie theatres. After all, if they got rid of them, then the studios would have cut out one more opportunity to make money. And they would never cut an avenue for profit. The film industry will get your money any way they can.

First, you go to the movie in the theatre because you have no choice. Then you rent or buy (or both) the DVD. But then the unrated version comes out, and you know that your life won’t be complete without seeing all the steamy scenes that the conservative, fascist, religious extremist, Republican puritans made the put-upon movie studio cut out of Dodgeball. Then, after a couple of months, after you’ve been satiated and are content that life couldn’t possibly get any better, the DVD distributors release the super-duper-deluxe collectors edition! Now it’s back to the local Best Buy to get that, just so you can sleep at night.

So, as you can see, if movie theatres went belly-up, the poor film studios would have practically no way of making money.

(As a side note: my solution to the movie-theatre dilemma is to have “membership-only” theatres. "Over 18" screenings, "mommy" screenings, "no jerk-ass" screenings, etc… Much like the gym, with a lot less gangsta rap (and jerk-asses)…unless of course they’re having an Ice Cube film festival.)

But here’s my take on the low attendance at movie theatres:

Movies suck.

There are very few movies that look promising enough to have to put up with the general population and go to a movie theatre.

What we get instead are films like “The Fantastic 4.”

Look, if you’re going to spend 100 million dollars to make a movie, couldn’t you at least maybe set aside $1,000 for an acting coach? Hell, I would have done it for a lot less.

The acting in this film is horrible. And the saddest thing is that the actors themselves (for the most part, sorry Jessica Alba but you suck) aren’t bad actors. It’s almost as if the director, as a joke, challenged them to say their lines as badly as possible and then, just to be cruel, kept those takes.

And the editor didn’t help either. The editing was awful. Even, in the rare occasion, a line did come out sounding halfway believable, the editor would somehow, magically, cut out all the acting part.

I’m sure Michael Chiklis was thrilled to have his hard-won reputation destroyed by the clumsy hand of a clueless film editor.

Don’t get me wrong. In spite of itself, the Fantastic 4 actually managed to be an entertaining film. And the action sequences are pretty good. They’re even edited well.

So why bother with the script (which, incidentally, wasn’t the worst script in the world)? Why not just make an action movie with no dialogue. Spare us all some agony.

Where’s Sam Raimi when you need him?

Fun Fact: Because of a metal shortage, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of plaster. Now, of course, we’ve gone back to using metal for the statues.

It’s just the winners’ performances that are made of plaster now.

Oh, and the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Sucksational!

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