Sunday 2 September 2012

Most Movies Are Made Just To Give People Something To Do

Ben Stiller has a nice house. And probably a nice pool. Same goes for Vince Vaughn and everyone involved in 'THE WATCH'. They all have to keep working, so they can keep affording their lifestyles. And also, as grown men, it's important to have a reason to get up in the morning. Their going to the film-set is just like a guy going to work at the store, or the office; it's a place to go and do some work, earn some money, and find distractions from their problems.

Occasionally a film can be art. Maybe 1 in every 2000 movies, but most stink. I saw 'THE WATCH' and I saw 'TED' today, and both are extremely lazy movies, which were made purely so a bunch of people could have something to do and earn some money. 

You can't tell me there was much that was good about either movie. 'Ted' had a few laughs. But the teddy bear concept was worn out after 10 minutes. It didn't matter that it was a bear after that. Instead of the bear, you could have cast Jeremy Piven or Jon Favreau, it really didn't matter. The bear was just a novelty which made the trailer appealing, which made the guys in the pitch meeting say "I love it, let's make it!"

Throughout 'Ted', Mila Kunis' character wants Mark Wahlberg to grow up and get over the bear. He doesn't, so they break up; and then the bear comes back and tells Mila that it'll all work out and that she'll never have to see him (the bear) again, and that way Mila and Mark can live happily ever after. So Mila goes to see Wahlberg, at which point the bear gets kidnapped. 

So then the bear calls Wahlberg, and says he needs help. And suddenly, for no reason at all, Mila lets go of the issue she's been carrying for the whole movie (that Wahlberg needs to grow up and let go of the bear), and helps him go and save the bear from the evil person. They race through some streets, climb up a sports stadium, and of course: save the bear. 

And then Mila is happy, and says she 'just wants things the way they were'. Meaning that all along what she wanted was Mark Wahlberg and his stupid dumb bear, even though beforehand she didn't. It was like Seth MacFarlane (the writer/director) was given a note by an executive during filming, which said, "I have a greattttt idea! How about she actually LIKES the bear in the last scene, for no reason? She doesn't care that Wahlberg is a loser stoner and instead is happy at the end! AHAHAH I'd love that, so original lol". 

Movies don't have to make sense any more. Why? The audience don't give a shit! I've been in cinemas where the projection is so messed up that half of the movie is being projected onto the ceiling, and no-one gives a monkeys! People just want a place to go and sit in peace for two hours with their Blackberries. 

'The Watch' is an atrocious film. Utterly lazy and completely unfunny. It was written by very talented people (including Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg), and it stars comedy heavyweights Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, but it is completely unfunny. There's barely a laugh in the whole thing. 

And with this much talent, it's just LAZY.

I can't work out if it got killed through studio notes; or whether it was the complete opposite, and these guys were given too much freedom; because nothing works

Back to my original point - most films are made simply because films get made. There's a whole industry that has to work. And there are millions of people around the world who are hopeful of greatness whenever they go to the cinema. We get fooled by the trailers, every single time. 

There are people who think 'Ted' is great. But I must say to them, 'REALLY?!'. I'm not being a snob, you can like any film you want. But I highly doubt people love these movies half as much as they think they do. Think about the first time you saw 'Star Wars' or 'Forrest Gump' or whatever your favourite and most watched flicks are. 

The issue is not that the movies we see these days in the cinema aren't as good, I mean --- making great cinema is hard. Very hard. The issue is that, most of the time, these guys aren't even trying. 'Ted' was just dick-and-fart jokes, and not even GOOD dick-and-fart jokes. As for 'The Watch', I'd be surprised if anyone working on the movie cared about the quality. Nobody on that set thought they were making the best film of the month, let alone the year. 

I need to lower my expectations. I go to the cinema hopeful of finding characters that intrigue me, jokes that surprise me, and stories that pull me in and won't let go. The reality is that the cinema so rarely provides these things, especially when we pin our hopes on the mainstream. I'm not one of these people that can happily sit through shit movies every time I go to the cinema. Life is too short to sit still for two hours watching Ben Stiller walk around streets with Vince Vaughn being completely unfunny. 

I like movies that attempt to say something. That have the balls to take a risk, or have some class. I'm not talking about high-brow/low-brow, I'm talking about quality. About putting in some effort. 

Care to share?


  1. The Watch was one of my big disappointments for the year thus far. You're absolutely right. It was a lazy paycheck for those guys. Even Ayoade who was just being Moss from the IT Crowd.
    There are any number of alien films that movie could have looked up to and said, I'd like to try and emulate some of that quality, excitement, humour, heart etc instead they just low-balled everything from the sets to the irrelevent cameos (Cruddup = pointless), to the recycled jokes/personas.

    I laughed at Ted because I closed my eyes and pretended i was watching Family Guy, which I like, plus I've a juvenile sense of humour. But again you are right. It was just a buddy comedy with an expensive CGI budget to present the bear and my eyes rolled so far into the back of my head (when Kunis' character decided to forget all of her earlier issues with her relationship and the filthy stuffed animal toy) they got stuck and now, weeks later, i've forgotten what colour my irises are and my friends think i'm a zombie.

    Bang on the money again KITFR. I'm glad you're back seeing movies (and talking about them again), even if they do generally let you down. My two faves for the year so far have been a low-budget hoodlum film from London and a Norwegian crime thriller, showing Hollywood is slowly losing its grip on me

    1. iLL Manors and Headhunters. Get on board if you haven't seen either.

      Also, i forgot to write which sci fi comedies they could have tried to emulate: Ghostbusters, Paul, Attack the Block amongst others....

  2. I can't remember the last time I went to the cinema. Reading this post just reinforces why.

  3. I have never read a more honest, truer post in a long time. Movies are supposed to inspire, teach, entertain, influence, laugh, and to be loved. Let's not create films that fill up a person's day; let's make films that can change a person's life.

  4. This makes me sad. The Watch was a good premise. I hate to hear that they squandered that, especially considering that so few films actually make it through development and into the theater these days. :(

    I didn't see either. The last film I saw was The Odd Life of Timothy Green, which I liked very much, but didn't LOVE...which isn't to say that it wasn't one of the better movies of the year, just that I expected more.

  5. Really interesting topic here, one that I more or less completely agree with. The majority of mainstream American movies are, sadly, utter crap. Shame shame shame.