Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #494: A Couple Of Mini-Bits

Welcome to the show folks...


The London Book Fair managed to get a few attendees despite the Icelandic volcano screwing up air travel, and some of those attending talked about movies.

Specifically, they talked about how "drama is dead."

According to some speakers the big studios are turning away from dramas for two reasons:

1. The sort of talky dramas that win awards and critical praise, just aren't enough to get bums in seats. Folks want big shows with big budgets and big FX if they're going to drop the kind of filthy lucre needed to get to a movie theater, let alone get a seat in one.

2. Television is doing drama way better than the movies have done in a very long time. In fact, many are saying that we've entered a new golden age of TV drama, if mostly on cable and not as much on the mainstream networks.

Now I have to say that if drama is dead, which I doubt, it's Hollywood's own damn fault, and here's why:

1. Too many filmmakers and critics think that drama is like cod liver oil, it's good for you, so you should accept that it tastes like a sea creature's bung-hole and take it. If you don't get that metaphor, I'm saying that if a film is considered entertaining, it's usually spurned as being "unworthy." Trust me, I went to film school, and sat through many a "worthy" movie where absolutely nothing happens. Tedium isn't seriousness, it's just tedium. Look at many dramas from the golden age of movies, the classics are both serious and entertaining, so why can't modern dramas be both?

2. Too many filmmakers & studios think high concept films can't be good drama, and hence give up on quality, and let the special effects department take over. That's laziness. It's extremely rare for a story to be beyond the rescue of anyone willing to put the talent and effort into making it worthwhile.
The Dark Knight showed that you can even make a quality drama out of superhero story. All it takes is talent and effort.

My suggestion, is that filmmakers up the quality in the fields of story and character department, while makers of drama up the entertainment factor in their films. Then maybe we can find some sort of equilibrium.


Billionaire investor Mark Cuban has publicly declared that will do all that he can to put the kibosh to the Weinstein Bros. campaign to spend $625 million of Ron Burkle & Fortress-Colbeck's money to buy back Miramax.

Three possible reasons for this:

1. The effects of Harvey's hypno coin have worn off and Cuban realized that he was talked into investing in "9" and Inglorious Bastards, and probably hasn't seen a penny from either.

2. The leprechaun that lives on his shoulder that only he can see has told him to do it.

3. He's feeling pissy today. Which might also involve the leprechaun.

If he's successful and somehow ruins their bid, it could open the doors to Tom & Alec Gores, the billionaire brothers of uber-agent Sam Gores to renew their courtship, or Disney honcho Bob Iger could keep to his strategy of trying to dump Miramax on someone who can't do anything with it, and sell it David Bergstein's Pangaea Media & their future litigants backers.

We'll have to wait and see...

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