I feel the need to explain that actually like bad movies, just not ones where my expectations are elevated to think that certainly all those critics and moviegoers could possibly be wrong. But it was. This has been a cinematic version of mass hysteria, only instead of a bunch of New England high school girls coming down with a bad case of bad case of burping or Tourette's Syndrome, everyone instead is convinced that a terrible movie has some artistic merit.
Give me a bad movie where I know it's going to be bad-- but in a good way --and I'll cheerfully spend whatever sum Redbox is charging me to watch it at home. And, no, I'm not about to fork over $25.00 to watch a remake of The Three Stooges in a theater. Talk about spectacularly bad ideas in the pantheon of bad ideas... You might as well draw a Sharpie mustache on Mona Lisa for as much value it gives to make a Stooges movie. Shemp must be rolling over in his grave.
But The Hunger Games deserves special mention for the sheer audacity of attempting and then succeeding in convincing young people that they have seen a good movie. Chronicle? Good teen movie. Great movie, period. 21 Jump Street? Good movie. Particularly the cameo scene of Johnny Depp when he takes off his disguise. Excellent use of a great actor in a movie not deserving of his talent. Boy in the Striped Pajamas? Outstanding movie. But none of these got the acclaim that a poorly scripted and badly paced movie got from a largely illiterate audience.
I can appreciate that the book is likely head-and-shoulders better than the movie. But for as much adulation as it has been getting, you'd think it was the Lord of the Rings trilogy that was being made. Oh. My bad. That series of books was made into film and held true to the original plotline. See? That's how it's done. Same goes for Aliens, the best sci-fi trilogy ever made, which gives a Trayvon Martin beatdown to any three episodes of the Star Wars epic. And yes, Aliens is better than The Matrix series. Don't bother attempting to argue that one, although that trilogy was outstanding in and of itself.
I suppose the blame resides in today's "everybody's a winner" mentality. Kids playing soccer all win trophies despite no discernable skill, score isn't kept, drink boxes for all when the sugar rush ends. In the same vein, any moderately successful book must be made into a movie whereupon it is proclaimed in the manner of the NBA, the next Michael Jordan of Harry Potter stories, to mix metaphors. In the gushing reviews of the critics and screaming teenagers jumping excitedly behind the velvet rope lines shouting how this is their 8th time they've gone to see the movie and how they plan to name their firstborn Katnip, there is no sense of scale any longer.
Bring on the Three Stooges. I'm betting it'll be a sure-fire Oscar winner.
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