(Source of photo: Deviant Art https://www.deviantart.com/onenine72/art/John-Williams-Tribute-325819826)
I’m often criticized by family and friends for being finicky about movies today. The last film I actually took the time to go to a theater to watch was Black Panther, and while I left the theater entertained (I was an avid comic book collector/reader/fan as a kid), I was equally underwhelmed, as I felt that something was missing from the film that would have made it more entertaining.
Black Panther is a landmark film due to its cultural significance and I don’t think it was a bad movie, but I think that just because a film is culturally significant, its significance alone doesn’t make it a great movie.
I’ve seen the cinematic version of In the Heat of the Night (1967) with Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier so many times that I know virtually all of the lines by heart. I’ve seen A Soldier’s Story (1984) with Adolph Caesar and Howard E. Rollins (he of the television version of In the Heat of the Night) too many times to count. Two examples of movies that are decades old that I’ve watched over and over and I still feel as entertained as I was when I saw them the first time.
The acting in those films is beyond phenomenal. The soundtracks are memorable and just as relevant today as they were decades ago. Those movies told a compelling story that captured the zeitgeist of the time periods they either represented or were produced in. They told a story that didn’t require emphasis or embellishment to get the point across.
The Star Wars franchise under George Lucas told a story that made you want for more and made you willing to put in the emotional investment in its characters to actually care about what happened to them next. Can the same thing be said about Star Wars under Kathleen Kennedy and Disney?
Kennedy and Disney are so busy trying to enthrall audiences with Computer Generated Images (CGI), wooden acting, and propagating feminist and social justice warrior agendas that they fail to give audiences a reason to care about the characters or make us look forward to the next film (see photo below for proof that I’m not imagining the agenda part, Kathleen Kennedy is the one in the black shirt).
(Source: Voat.co https://voat.co/account/login?returnUrl=/v/StarWars/2313000)
I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t go to a movie to be spoon fed a political agenda. I go to be entertained. However, a movie can speak to the zeitgeist of the time and still tell a story that audiences want to hear/see. Both In the Heat of the Night and A Soldier’s Story addressed the issue of racism, but that was the backdrop of a compelling story, not an incongruent and irrelevant component of the story.
Hollywood seems to think that technology and great visuals make up for wooden acting and bad writing. CGI and political agendas have replaced great acting, great soundtracks (see opening photo), and compelling and memorable dialogue.
Great lines delivered by great actors stand the test of time.
Hollywood can’t even be bothered to write an original story anymore. I’ve never seen so many remakes and reboots of old movies and television shows in my nearly five decades of life on this earth as I do today. Even the latest Star Wars movies under Disney stole tropes and plots from the original trilogy instead of telling an original story progressed from the universe the original trilogy was based upon.
For my family and friends still wondering why I don’t get excited about the movies anymore, just read this blog post and wake me when Hollywood decides to tell me a story I haven’t heard before with actors that know how to act.
-The Rational Ram