The Empty Balcony: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the GalaxyI think I may have seen too many movies. That’s the only reason I can think of to explain why I did not like Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios’ 2014 money machine. It hit all the right notes when it comes to action, pacing, and story. It kept things simple, avoiding all pretension, and at no point did it strive to be something greater than it was. But...

I think the movie showed a profound disrespect for its audience. Big action movies aren’t just simple anymore. Rather, they have been simplified, stripped of any sort of nuance or individuality in the pursuit of massive box office receipts. There is nothing inherently wrong in trying to maximize profit. But what it does mean is that, in seeing a movie like this, no viewer can expect anything beyond superficial uniqueness. There are new stories out there. But new stories require an entrepreneurial spirit that Hollywood is currently anathema to. It’s hard to explain how much the studio system has changed in a generation, so I’ll just give this example: Taxi Driver was a Hollywood studio film. That’s right. Taxi Driver. A film featuring a violent psychopath, who develops a crush on an underage hooker, as a protagonist. These days, the talents of that film’s young director, Martin Scorcese, would be steered into projects that are designed from the very beginning to be sanitized versions of past successes. Continue readingThe Empty Balcony: Guardians of the Galaxy”

October Horrorshow: The Skeptic

Hey, Hollywood. Cut Netflix some slack. The other day I was on Netflix’s streaming service looking for a horror flick about a haunting to watch, and the best I could come up with was The Skeptic, a movie I had no idea even existed. In fact, most of the movies in Netflix’s streaming horror queue are a complete mystery to me. This particular flick was just about the highest-rated there was for what I was looking for, and it barely cracked two stars. I did a little more research, and found that it raked in a grand total of six thousand bucks at the box office. That is just pathetic. Someone, somewhere, please sit down in a room and don’t leave until you figure out how to deliver me more than Hollywood leftovers in on demand service. I’ll pay a few more bucks a month, I swear. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Skeptic”