By and large, I completely agree with the documentary, and simply because it is to me too obvious that Hollywood has been focused on nothing but enormous profit for decades. In the past, studios were determined to make money, certainly. However, they also still relied on powerful stories featuring interesting characters. For the big studios, it was all about finding a quality script. Today, as I see it, it’s all about CGI effects and repetitive, simplistic narratives going exactly where the audience knows they will go. The standard has been turned inside-out: “The material is actually nothing, OK? The material doesn’t matter” (Monster), and the film industry today, its concerns for profit in the past aside, is now a huge corporate machine generating mindless movies to appeal to teens. The thinking and/or mature audience is not wanted by the studios, just as that audience turns away from the formulaic, empty, sensationalist movies. Then, the corporate factor is clearly seen in the franchises built around a movie, with fast food companies promoting blockbusters with ads on their products: “Studios are very eager to… create an entire business around a single movie” (Monster). Basically, quality of writing, the most important element in a film, is unimportant today, and this creates a vacuum filled by explosions, false suspense, aging action heroes, and superheroes we have seen time and time again. A few blockbusters actually have quality, and for me the best modern one was the Lord of the Rings trilogy, if only because Peter Jackson stayed true to a complex story and authentic characters. In fact, the trilogy supports that there can be action and spectacle within a real, well-written, well-crafted film, and audiences deserve much more of this. Something needs to break this cycle of appealing to teens, and blockbusters, in plain terms, must seek to work from a foundation of solid writing and compelling story lines.
- The Monster That Ate Hollywood. Directed by Vince DiPersio. Riot Pictures, 2001.