by Kolby Solinsky
Editor, White Cover Magazine
I’m not sure if it’s just me. I love movies. But, I’m starting realize… I love old movies. Not really more than new ones. Just only old movies.
I like old news, slightly old coffee, and old movies. And, in that order.
Perhaps it’s the iTunes-ification of it all. Or, the On Demand cable boxes. Maybe it’s the non-existence of rental stores, or the goodbye song given to those $5 bins at K-Mart. Now, the entire Internet is a $5 big, or worse.
Torrent downloaders make even your most-watched of films seems routine. The Godfather is rudimentary stuff once you can rip it from somebody’s hard drive across campus.
Now, every studio appears content to crank them out as often and as early as possible. They’ve sacrificed quality and uniqueness for quantity and popcorn.
The Avengers was terrible by most standards. There seems to be this belief that action films like Die Hard and Total Recall were just as bad, just as pulpy, or just as cheese-bucket, but that’s not true. Nobody in The Avengers had the bladder to pull of, “Yippee Ki Yay!”
Romantic comedies have always been just Blah, but now they slip by without mention or even a ticket stub. Sometimes, you’ll hop on MSN after a long weekend and realize, “What the Hell is Something Borrowed and who actually helped it make $10 million?” or “There’s a Jackass 3?”
Brave films get nothing. Art films get nothing. Really, this isn’t new, but it’s worse now. That’s because – these days – nobody is taking the time to get to know them after they’ve been panned.
Almost Famous was a box office disaster in 2000, but it won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenwriting the following February.
Where’s Cameron Crowe now?
In some ways, movies have gotten better and better. Watch Ghostbusters II over this Halloween stretch and you’ll realize just how bad that damn thing was. We see things in films now we’ve never seen before. If Stanley Kubrick could see what his peers are doing now, he’d bow out of the race. We have Argo and Cloud Atlas and The Artist and Moneyball and Midnight in Paris. And yet, they just kind of float by and through. They don’t make contact with us. We don’t consume them with the same level of intensity or focus.
It’s like everything, really.
Go to a theatre in 2012. You’ll always think, “Hmm, nothing’s playing.” Really, though, there are 15 movies in that theatre, and all of them cost a multitude of millions to make. It’s just that they’re a drop in an ocean now. They’re dime a dozen.
Institutions and tabloids are keeping these people alive but, even then, celebrity is not how it used to be and celebrities don’t make what they used to make. Television studios wait until there’s no turning back to give their stars a pay cheque and most of the civilized world has no idea who Ben Whishaw is.
Now, movies have become those songs you love at first and then say, “Oh, but it’s so overplayed.” Because movies are so easy to get – at any time – we watch them all the time. And then, we fall asleep and forget we saw it.
Do you have Netflix? How often do you put one on for 15 minutes, realize it’s too slow, and then find a new one?
The Internet has actually given us so much, when it comes to film. It’s given us showtimes at the tips of our fingers, reviews at our beck and call and from everyone (including our common, fellow moviegoers), and it’s allowed us to access the film we want, whenever we want.
It’s given us exactly what we want.
But, what we want isn’t always what we need.