Happy New Year!/State of the Movie Industry Today

Okay, so I want to start by saying Happy New Year to everyone out there!  I can’t believe that we have hit the six month mark with The Jedi Council Blog.  I know that I haven’t always been completely diligent about blogging everyday, but I would like to think that I have been pretty good about blogging on a regular basis.  My family and I have had an incredible Christmas break and it is very sad to know that it officially ends tommorrow.  My wife and I had a wonderful time with our kids on New Year’s Eve.  My kids (all three of them) stayed up and watched the ball drop for the first time in their lives and we all had sparkling grape juice (sorry all my drinking buddies, but this was the first year we didn’t have champagne for New Year’s).  My kids were exhausted the next day but I think it was worth it for them to see the ball drop.  I must say that I was shocked at how Dick Clark looked and sounded.  I’ll be honest with you, I think Dick Clark needs to hang it up.  I know it’s tradition and all for him to cover the ball drop, but he shouldn’t do it if he is going to look and sound bad.

I was a little sad that Heather and I didn’t get a chance to get to Scott’s this year (Scott Miller who runs http://www.sheepguardingllama.com).  We try to get there every other year and I think we’re going to make a serious attempt to make it up there next year.  So Scott, if you’re reading this, be prepared (Dominica too!), we’ll be up there next year and I fully expect to do a joint blog AND podcast on New Year’s Eve.  It’ll be a huge amount of fun.

Okay, so tonight’s blog is going to have NOTHING to do with Star Wars.  Sorry Star Wars fans, if that’s what you’re looking for, come back tommorrow.  Tonight, I thought I would talk about the state of the movie industry.  I can’t help doing this since I have been reflecting on my past year and the movies I’ve gone to see.  So, it’s time to talk about the movie industry…..


What started all of this talk in my household is the “date” my wife and I went on this past weekend.  We went to see The Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  I will say this, the movie was okay.  For all the ranting and raving that all of my friends have made about this movie, maybe I had something bigger expected in my head.  Maybe it’s because I wasn’t into the “Chronicles of Narnia” books like I was “Lord of the Rings”, but this movie was almost dissapointing to me.  It really didn’t have anything that I didn’t picture in my head already.  Although the grand scale of the battle in the movie was cool and it didn’t seem like it had that “wow” factor that “Lord of the Rings” or “Revenge of the Sith” had.  Then I realized what was really missing from this movie.  The music sucked!!!  I know I’m a music teacher and all and that’s one of the things I focus on, but the music for this movie were even worse than I thought a movie could be!  For example, to build up to the big battle of the movie, there wasn’t any big raucous musical score, or big beating drums, but nothing!  NOTHING!!   There was silence just before the big fight scene in the movie!  That’s no way to build up to the main climax in the film.  Who is Harry Gregson-Williams anyway?  Okay, I’m all for taking risks, but they better pay off at the end of the risk.  That worked for Peter Jackson when he picked an obscure composer (Howard Shore) to write the music for “Lord of the Rings”.  It definetly payed off with some of the best music released in the past decade.  However, the music for Narnia simply sucked.  I went and looked up Harry Gregson-Williams on the internet and he really hasn’t done anything of any worth before this point.  Now, to make matters worse, he’s working on the music for “Shrek 3”.  Okay, so enough about my feelings on movie music, let me get to my other point….

Movies in the past five to six years are really beginning to suck except for the select few.  Here’s why.  First off, there are too many directors trying to redo movies that have already been done.  Prime examples:  King Kong, Godzilla, and even Pride and Prejudice.  Most of the movies they are redoing were classics in their own right and by redoing them, these directors believe that there movies will become the “new” classic.  My belief is that what is a classic is a classic because it lasts the test of time.  By redoing these movies, we are only destoying the modern versions of those movies.  Another example would be Disney’s remake of “The Shaggy Dog” with Tim Allen that is supposed to come out soon to theaters.  Again, Disney is messing with a classic like they did with the movie “Flubber”, which I think was a big mistake!  Have we really not come up with any new ideas?

And what about special effects?  All right, I’m all about special effects, hell, the Star Wars movies are my favorite because of the special effects.  On the other hand, good acting seems to be few and far between.  Then we get to the groups that do the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.  I am most frustrated with these groups.  There is no doubt that these particular groups have a political agenda.  How in the year of 2005, with the release of Revenge of the Sith, The Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong, and a varitable other slew of movies to choose from, they nominate Brokeback Mountain for best picture?  Well, it’s all political.  To push the current issues of the day, in this case, to push the gay rights issue.  It happened the year that As Good As It Gets won it’s Golden Globe and Emmy.  In the same year great movies like Liar, Liar, Inventing the Abbots, Murder at 1600, Austin Powers:  International Mand of Mystery, Lost World:  Jurassic Park, Con Air, Batman and Robin, Face Off, Men in Black, Air Force One, Picture Perfect, The Full Monty, L.A. Confidential, Gattica, Starship Troopers, The Jackal, Good Will Hunting, and Titanic were released.  However, As Good As It Gets was the acclaimed hit of the year by the Golden Globes and broke a record for Golden Globe nominations.  Luckily, the Academy Awards fixed the problem by nominating Titanic for more nods, but look at the political fallout of the high nominations of As Good As it Gets.  It’s not just gay rights issues, however.  Some movies have been nominated to encourage women’s rights, african american pride, and other various topics that have come up over the years.

Overall, the quality of movies have declined in the past decade and the quality of acting has gotten even worse.  Whatever happened to the overall star like Bing Crosby that can sing, act, and dance and puts on a show that everyone wants to see.  Now, actors are acting with “things” that don’t exist in places that don’t exist and we applaud them and say they are incredible, yet they couldn’t hold a tune and don’t even know what tap-dancing is.  The movie industry is complaining that it’s losing money.  Here’s a hint, give us a quality product and we will spend the money!  For example, although it hasn’t been nominated for any Golden Globes, Star Wars:  Revenges of the Sith grossed a total of $848,362,555 worldwide.  Luckily George Lucas doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the committee for the Golden Globes because he can laugh at them all the way to the bank.  We need more directors like Lucas that are willing to absolutely not care about how they are perceived and put out quality movie products.  Peter Jackson is starting to follow suit with Lucas and I wish more directors would “stick it to the man”.  Do I feel sorry that the movie industry is losing money?  Hell no!  The “right” people are making the real money!!!

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