Monday, January 03, 2005

American Movie Tastes Are Poor

Yet again American audiences have proven their lack of refinement and taste. Of course taste is subjective, but when a mediocre comedy like Meet the Fockers draws in 162 million in two weekends and movies like Phantom of the Opera are already being yanked from theaters, it's about time for someone to cry foul. And since no one else is willing to say it I will put it bluntly: OUR TASTE IN MOVIES SUCKS.

Sadly, Hollywood is run by the "Top 10" list published in nearly every newspaper and commented on by nearly every news station. This "Top 10" list is not organized by quality of course, but by dollar signs. This weekend for instance, audiences have numerous well reviewed, easy Oscar contenders to choose from. Instead, Americans have chosen "Meet the Fockers" as the best movie of the weekend with "Lemony Snicket" trailing.

The Aviator, an easy Oscar choice this spring, crawls in at number three- making 25% less than "Fockers." Behind "Aviator" in order is: Fat Albert, Ocean's Twelve, National Treasure, Spanglish, Polar Express and Phantom of the Opera and Darkness.

Sideways, the best reviewed movie of the entire year is at number 17. One of Johnny Depp's best performances in Finding Neverland was largely ignored by audiences, checks in at number 15. And a personal favorite of my own, by the director of Hero, House of Flying Daggers is number 21, proving that no matter how beautiful the cinematography, how moving the story is, nor how impressive the martial arts, ignorant American audiences won't see pictures in subtitles unless the protagonist is Jesus Christ.

The blame can be put a bit on the marketing and distributing departments of the big studios, particularly with regard to "Phantom" (whose per theater average ticket sales is better than every movie except "Fockers"). But the rest of the blame sits squarely on the shoulders of us- the moviegoing public, who unless we start changing our habits are only going to encourage mediocrity among filmmakers.


Blogger The Scenester Wannabe said...

In layman's terms:

I agree. Anyone who thinks "Meet the Fockers" is even in the same league as "Phantom of the Opera" should be shot repeatly in the leg.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't know. while i agree with you that american tastes lean somewhere towards jokes being told in a 6th grade boys bathroom for comedies, i don't beleive that phantom was really anything to rave about. the singing was screechy and offkey, the drama was melodrama to a distracting extents and other then the beauty of emmy rossum i did not think that it had any redeeming qualities, characthers, or captivating peformances by the actors. i would much rather have my 8 dollars back to save to go see the play, although for those who have never been exposed to musical theatre, i'm glad there is a way for someone to experience it in a somewhat diluted medium.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 words greg


what the hell! what the hell?

jk i love you
almost as much as i love ddg

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, Meet the Fockers was by no means a cinematic achievement of note, but to say American tastes are poor is a very far sighted comment. American cinematic achievement nearly surpasses the rest of the world with India in at a distant second. The fact that a ruanchy comedy does well and a rendition of one of the best stage performances of all time doesn't do nearly as well is nothing more than a marketing issue. Meet the Fockers, as done with Dodgeball, Anchorman ect. were craftily sold to an audience that views the most movies: teenagers. Furthermore, the Oscars are for the most part given to movies that are cinematic achievements, not highest grossing ( exception of Titanic which was a joke anyways). Citizen Kane, voted the greatest American movie of all time in 1998, the same movie i would give my vote too was nearly banned in theaters and didn't recieve recognition till years after its release. Don't make an ignorant mistake of using the dollar value of a movie or to whom it appeals to as a benchmark for its quality. Larkin

11:30 PM  

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