Friday, February 15, 2008

Can’t We Just Be Entertained? - SendMeRSS

There is a strong message in the film Idiocracy that shows a future due to happen if Hollywood has its way.

Entertainment was in a slow spiral of stupidity, and independent thought was discouraged and civilization crumbles. We see this brave new world through the eyes of an “average” man who is put into hibernation for 500 years. When he emerges, he is easily recognized as the smartest man on the planet.

So this brings me to ask, can we just be entertained without being made stupid?

I started thinking this based on a question DJ Machismo offered in a comment. “Does anyone go to the movies anymore to be entertained? To have fun?” and I have to agree.

Does every movie have to be an Oscar contender. Can movies be made with tons of entertaining qualities and still not just be an insult to our intelligence?

I am not talking about BAD movies, but why is it when there is an entertaining movie, people automatically start calling it a crap movie because it didn’t change their entire life. Can’t we just watch something blow up without going into a deep dissection of why and how it happened.

Sometimes things just blow up. And it makes us smile.

The obvious example of this is the often debated and hated Transformers. I thought the movie rocked. I love it. As a purist, I had to admit that despite the changes, it still held true to the “spirit” of Transformers. People complained that it had too many of Bay’s trademarks (waving flag, meteor strikes, wide pan angles) and are quick to make presumptions about the sequel because they don’t like Michael Bay movies.

At the same time, people are quick to defend Jackass and spoof movies like Meet the Spartans. If I dare say that Jackass was stupidity, I get a lot of flack saying “You just don’t get it”.

Some movies are just bad because they are stupid. Not because I “feel” they are stupid, but because they are. People cannot even begin to think they can defend the deeper meaning of the Jackass movies. They purely are just one scene after another to make you say “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?” and flinch a lot. I know some people have some entertainment with that, and that is fine, but call it what it is. Stupidity.

So can movies just be entertaining? Why are people so critical over movies just because they were just entertaining. Perhaps you didn’t like a movie or didn’t find it entertaining. If someone else enjoyed them then so be it. Let them.

Movies are made to entertain. Despite some failures, we have to assume that this is the mission of every filmmaker out there when they undertake the process. Not all movies are going to be moving like The Power of One. And not all comedies will make you laugh.

If people enjoy fluffy action, cool. Stupidity, that’s fine too. Opinions are like bellybuttons. We all have em.

What movies are you tired of hearing the same griping about that you still managed to be entertained with?

Link - Comments - (John Campea) - Fri, 15 Feb 2008 09:09:57 GMT - Feed (2 subs)
User comment: By: James
"Can't We Just Be Entertained?" by: Rodney I don't understand why people keep missing the obvious...
User comment: By:
John, Although you know I disagree with you on the merits of "Transformers," that was a great post. I get that kind of flack every time I rip a lousy movie in a review on my site. You wouldn't believe the AVP-R defenders that come out of the woodwork to hurl epithets my way. Of course most of them come across like uneducated, ignorant 12 year olds... Vic
User comment: By: DJ Machismo
I for one wasn't bothered at all by Fox's acting in Transformers. Her character was the typical hott high schooler, and she nailed it, period. I personally don't think she's a terrible actress. I don't think she's an amazing actress but she did a good job. Could Transformers have used stellar writing and acting? Well what film couldn't use those. However Transformers didn't NEED to have those, though Mr. Voight always brings his A game and Shia knocked it out of the park in my opinion. The story worked and provided the right amount of interest, could have had more and a few less plot holes, but it worked. Just because a film could use something doesn't mean that it NEEDS to have something. Besides, as Doug would say, Transformers doesn't need those things, what it needs is a hell of a lot more focus on the Transformers if anything... and MORE LAZERBEAK!!! (Did I nail that last part Doug?) And yes, I do generally end up liking quite a lot. Thats not to say that I'll watch it over and over again like I do some films, but I still like them and will watch them again.
User comment: By: alfie
this all comes to taste so you are never going to get a clear answer. personally I need more than pretty explosions and nice cinematography. bays films look terrific but they are the supermodels of the movie world. pretty to look at but empty inside. look i liked transformers but i think it was good inspite of bay rather than because of him. i remeber campea saying at the time how bay was perfect as you don;t need great writing or acting for a film like this .... you don;t oscar winning performances etc etc but why not?? transformers could have transcended what it ultimately was if had been directed by some one who is interested inmore than explosions and set pieces... why can't we hope to see more comic films, action movies big effects films have substance to them??? why not hope to have oscar calibre film making attached to the genres we love?? you guys are the guys who are helping dumb everything down by defending these stupid movies by saying we should just enjoy them and accept them as they are. I don't see any problem at all in wanting more from an action film or a sci fi film than set pieces and megan fox stomach. I mean she said when she went to audtion she was asked 2 things "can she run and how flat was her stomach" and she wasn't kidding. I saw bay say the same thing. i mean why should we just be happy with that and not complain. because lets face it...she is a terrible actress who stinks up every scene she is in...if you had a film maker who cared about story and making a truly great film as opposed to making a disposable piece of junk he would have been more intrested in her acting then her fucking abs. dj machismo..I don;t believe you when you say you pretty much enjoy everything. and if that is true then more power to you but i persoanlyl wnat more from a medium I pay a of money to enjoy. films like transformers don;t have to be dumb but we keep going and letting get away with this lazy film making......
User comment: By: steven
DJ Machismo, my RSS feed always says john for some reason, didn't catch that.
User comment: By: Jay Pyatt
I heard it at the end of two different movies, "The ending could have been happier." The latest one that I heard this on was "I am Legend". Sometimes the hero is the hero because he dies, period. He doesn't die for some nobel cause or sacrifice, he just dies. It can still be a good movie without a happy ending. In this case, it was a fairly happy ending because compared to the short story, there is hope for the future. Oh, and Paris Hilton films. I just love rich people with the depth of a teaspoon making crappy films.
User comment: By: scoville
"Why are people so critical over movies just because they were just entertaining." You lost me when you wrote that. These movies are bad because they AREN'T entertaining. Transformers just wasn't entertaining to me. "Can't we just watch something blow up without going into a deep dissection of why and how it happened." Yes, we can. The problem is that explosions are boring when you film them like Bay does, and that kills the entertainment. Your beef isn't with people who don't like to be entertained. It's with peiople who have a different opinion of what entertainment is.
User comment: By: djj
"Sure transformers was entertaining at points but just imagine a transformers movie where you actually cared about all the characters. Where the action is filmed better. And where it doesn't simply rely on the geeky guy getting the girl to drive the first half of the movie. I think we complain about these big popcorn flicks because really when it comes down to it they don't have to be bad. Take a look at Bourne Ultimatum. It has a great story, great action and in my mind is a great popcorn flick. If we simply say that was enjoyable and ignore the flaws then we are basically telling Michael Bay and others that we simply want to see shit blow up and couldn't care less about characters and plot." QFT
User comment: By: DJ Machismo
Looking back on my post, it pretty much only explains the two opposite ends of the spectrum. I can see for those people in the middle, it reminds me of a line or two from Gladiator: "Are you not entertained?!?!?!" The point Proximo had to hammer home to Maximus after this, was that you needn't simply do what is required of you, but you have to put on a show along with it. That's what people are expecting I suppose. I'm just glad I can be on the end of the spectrum that can appreciate well acted classics for what they are and their achievements, as well as the stupid comedies (which I enjoy) and the popcorn flicks, mindless action flicks. I feel lucky that I can simply enjoy them all for what they are.
User comment: By: DJ Machismo
Roguepirate, I think I've already come across at least one person on the internet already who has an insanely blind love of Miss Hilton. steven, its Rodney, not John that wrote this. Does anyone even read who posted the articles on here, or do we all just think its John, hahaha. I seem to be one of the view that thinks Phantom Menace is a great movie. I grew up with the Star Wars movies, to me its Star Wars. I don't watch it for great acting or Oscar winning performances, I watch it for Star Wars. Phantom Menace delivered Star Wars story and feel in spades, at least to me. I went in for the story of Anakin Skywalker (which is essentially the Star Wars Saga's main story arc in my opinion) and the Star Wars feel. So I loved it and will continue to love it, and damnit be entertained by it. I feel bad for all of you who habitually hate on movies because of an actor, director, producer or what have you. I paid my money for the experience too, and I happen to enjoy it 99% of the time. So at least I'm getting my money's worth. What did you get out of it?
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