Whenever I read about Hollywood's disappointing box office for what was expected to be blockbuster films, I'm amazed that the studios haven't figured out what's happening to the film industry. Right now, the number one film is Finding Dory, not the Independence Day sequel. That's not much of a surprise because G and PG films geared at children always perform well. But major stars like George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts aren't bringing in the big bucks anymore. There are several reasons why people aren't driving to see feature films anymore but the main reason may be that all of these movies are streaming for free online.
I might be more sympathetic to Hollywood's plight if I had any respect left for the entertainment industry but it deserves to hit bottom considering the trash it keeps churning out. I used to be a real movie junkie and when my husband and I were childless and living in Manhattan, we'd go to the movies once, even twice a week. We used to have Academy Awards parties where we'd print out the list of nominees and guess the winners awarding prizes to the best guessers. Now it's been years since I've even watched the overlong, overblown, disinteresting competition.
So what went wrong? Creativity is a rare commodity in the studios today and one has to wonder if the alleged heavy use of drugs in LaLa land is behind this drought of originality. Everything coming out now is a remake of a former blockbuster only the characters' ethnicity or gender is changed to promote diversity. What this really connotes is that the studios believe that persons of color have nothing of interest so let's just stick their faces on something that worked before. The Harry Potter play in London has a black girl playing Hermione. Why? What was wrong with having an original black wizard introduced?
So the Ghostbusters are now all women. Whoopedoo- and having one of them be the stereotypical angry black woman is the typical mindset of the closeted racist misogyny of major studios. I'm not planning on seeing that movie so that I don't know if they will inject the ubiquitous gay character to promote its LGBT agenda as has been its wont for the past decade. That agenda has reached the level of hilarity for many as any person who's watched the TV program ‘Wayward Pines' knows. Introducing a gay character in a futuristic series that's about repopulating the human race makes absolutely no sense except for pure tokenism.
There is nothing coming out in the films for senior citizens. The products are geared for either children; sophomoric young adults; or those with no taste at all. Full disclosure, I like action films with handsome stars so my last venture to the cinema was to see Captain America: Civil War. I loved it and this was one of the few films this year that earned what was expected. Amazingly, I read a moronic article by a writer complaining that Captain America and his buddy were too macho. Tweeters then started a campaign to find Captain America a boyfriend. Sigh!
Several years ago, an elderly friend of mine went with me to see a film that starred many of our favorite British stars; "Love Actually"a film with several vignettes about couples in love. Unfortunately, to our dismay, one of those couples were porno actors and naturally we had to watch them having sex. I'm sure the producers thought this dispassionate sex scene was amusing but I just felt pity and embarrassment for the actors involved. My friend swore off films unless they had a religious theme and the following year was rewarded with "The Passion of the Christ".
As I mentioned before, all films currently playing in theaters can be watched online because someone has either filmed it in a theater or a studio worker has downloaded a DVD of the film and uploaded it online. In spite of the fact that the FBI has warnings on DVDs about piracy, one can still find sellers offering the current movies for $5 outside many grocery stores.
Another reason for the decline of Hollywood appeal is that there are very few real stars. The Oscars used to celebrate the talent in the industry but now the only films that seem to be nominated are rarely ones that the public even gets to watch. How many actually saw the film, "Room" which won Brie Larson an Oscar for Best Actress? Last week, Olivia DeHavilland, one of the only surviving stars of "Gone with the Wind", celebrated her 100th birthday. I can't imagine her or any of the glamorous stars of yesterday, posing on the red carpet showing a side boob or half an exposed derriere like today's skanky starlets.
Another reason theater going is becoming rarer is because it has become dangerous. Lots of unarmed visitors sitting in a darkened theater are prime targets for terrorists and lunatics. Most recently, a theater in Germany was attacked by an armed gunman who held hostages until he was shot dead by police. Ironically, it is the theaters in the gun-free zones that are sitting ducks by jihadists inspired by Isis.
Many industries are going the way of the buggy whips thanks to modern technology and the film industry is one of the endangered species. I am logged onto one of the internet sites that provide links to movies still playing in theaters and appearing on the menu are The BFG, The Shallows, Independence Day Resurgence and even some films that haven't even debuted here in the states. Another cherished entity bites the dust but I really can't mourn what actually died from a self inflicted wound years ago.
If film piracy laws had actually been enforced maybe the industry would have survived longer; if outlandish salaries hadn't been doled out to mediocre talent so that theater going was less costly, maybe the cinema would still be an option for dating. Maybe, woulda, shoulda doesn't matter anymore. It's over. I prefer bridge anyway.
BTW, I am not going to share the name of that site but there are actually several available and they are free. Just ask your child or grandchild and they will clue you in.