I just watched Juno and couldn’t figure out what people loved about it so much; I then also stumbled across James Franco’s response to critics’ review of The Great Gatsby film adaptation, saying that they’re wrong because it’s Luhrman’s reading of the source material. I’m reminded of Les Miserables and its lukewarm response; the way Transformers has become a joke; how Ninja Turtles are no longer going to be mutant teenagers, but aliens, according to Mr. Bay, and of the way popular cinema often misses, or is unable to capture what makes the original text so powerful - the best line in Fight Club is never uttered in the movie, as far as I remember, I even double checked by looking up quotes. The last popular franchise that created any thoughtful dialogue was Batman, and Bane was still a bit of a stupid character.
I think it’s hard to remain optimistic about an industry that so consistently cheapens source material with huge budgets and little substance. I suspect it comes down to the fact that the bigger names in the industry have made their name pandering to the broadest denomination of cinema-goers, and they are not likely to lose their place at the top of the food chain anytime soon, unless people stop listening to hype or somehow develop more critical taste. The popular cinema has become exclusive to the kind of money-makers with a vision for making things ‘cool’ but not making them meaningful, and it’s rare that something is thoughtful and similarly accessible. There is a similar problem facing the games industry (see: Call of Duty).
I don’t think the viewer should have to accept that only a ‘thriller’ or ‘drama’ will have more substance than Donald Trump’s hair. If any of the action is to have impetus then I should care about the characters, which I don’t - I struggle to believe anyone does. We are stuck in a loop of being fed the same drivel with different characters; Avatar and Pocahontas, every romantic comedy ever made, and so on and so forth. Are we so simple as to want the same set of emotions elicited in the same sequence over and over? At some point a step has to be taken forward, where we are done with the familiar, and we look for something that makes us think about the next level. If we are not evolving we are dying, and right now, popular cinema is a huge bloated corpse.
Beasts of Babylon - Eprom
This is a rip from an unreleased, or soon-to-be-released EPROM track. It ends abruptly, but it doesn’t matter. There are no words for how good this is.