Friday, October 29, 2010

The Hollywood Dinosaurs

I'm currently working on a review of Dinosaur Valley Girls for Film Threat.  This Donald F. Glut vehicle (yes, that Donald F. Glut) came out as a two-disc set earlier this year.  It's available from Frontline Films and, of course, Amazon.  I'm not going to go into the review here, because I'm saving that for Film Threat, but I want to make mention of what kind of movie it is.

As you can imagine by the title, this is a dinosaur/cavewoman movie that has its tongue wedged firmly in cheek.  It's the kind of movie that you don't see in theatres anymore.  Some may be thankful for that.  Others, like myself, would prefer to see this over any of the feel-good crap that Hollywood shits out every few months.

Hollywood is driven by profit.  I don't think that's a controversial statement.  Movies like Dinosaur Valley Girls don't earn the kind of profit as Eat, Pray, Love.  Conversely, they don't cost as much to make, either.  Couple this lack of profit with the fact that there are far too many chain theatres all showing the same film, and you can start to see why public showings of such fare have gone the way of the (ahem) dinosaur.  There just isn't money in it.

Normally I'd argue the point that we are missing out on some great art because the smaller, lesser-known pictures don't get a chance to be seen by the masses.  I can't argue that here.  This film isn't art.  It's not meant to be.  It's meant to be entertainment, and when low-budget entertainment can't even get major screenings, some of the magic of movies is lost.

It's been debated that audiences are more sophisticated these days.  They won't tolerate these low-budget USA network-type fare.  I can sort of see that, though I would state the only way audiences have become more sophisticated is when it comes to special effects.  Today's mass audiences won't tolerate cheap special effects, but they will tolerate the same ridiculous stories done with a higher budget.  In fact, they do it all the time.

I'll always value art over entertainment, and I won't make excuses for that.  Every once in a while I prefer some junk food, however.  Hell, I'd just settle for having the choice.  There's really no reason why a multiplex owned by whatever corporation can't devote some screen time in its smallest theatre to some cheap, on-the-fly lesser known movies.  They'll cost less to obtain, bring in some people who don't care for the latest big-budget nonsense.  The only way you can see these little films these days is in independent theatres, and far too many towns don't have those. 

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