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C'mon Hollywood: Is Hollywood dumbing down its summer blockbusters?

Aug. 26, 2014by: Paul Shirey

It was a mostly “okay” summer for movies with some memorable entries and quite a few flawed ones that didn’t quite live up to their potential. In fact, some dismissed potential altogether for pure spectacle, leaving the meat of story, thrills, and performances somewhere in the clouds. Thankfully, not every summer flick took to insulting our intelligence, but those that did took the path of easy excess, tired stereotypes, and contrived storylines, leaving many of us wondering and speculating as to why they failed to impress when they had every opportunity to do so. It's a recurring issue every summer movie season and one that continues to baffle me. Let’s look at a few examples, shall we?

The first disappointment came with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, which gave us a threadbare villain in Electro, who hated Spider-Man because…Spider-Man, a Beavis-looking Green Goblin (seriously, guys, just go FULL Goblin or not at all) and a romance story between the two leads that deserved way more development. We ended up with a film that served as a preamble to branch-off franchises rather than the next entry in the current one. A true shame, as the action sequences were actually quite good, but when being held up by toothpicks for a story they’re downgraded substantially in the grand scheme of things.

The second letdown was GODZILLA, an otherwise kickass monster movie (well, for about 30 minutes anyway) that had characters running around the movie doing one implausible thing after another. It became tiresome thinking up reasons to justify their actions, thereby turning what should’ve been people to root for into disposable morons. It's not easy to make human characters' actions legit in the face of giant monsters, I get that, so why have them take center stage for the majority of the movie? “Let them fight,” indeed. Let them fight for another 60 minutes in the sequel and leave the humans on the sidelines. I’ll happily hit the skip button generously on my blu-ray for this one.

Then, along came TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, which I admittedly have not seen and do not intend to see until it’s on HBO in a year or so. Why? Well, let’s take a look at that 18 percent rotten score and 2 hour 37 minute running time. I already suffered through the last two sequels and don’t need a third lesson to know that it will be another headache-inducing theme park ride with fart jokes and goofball science. In addition to that, not a single person I know that’s seen it has any praise to sing with many pointing out that it’s just “more of the same.” I don’t need to walk through a minefield to know if there are bombs there and this one is plain as day.   

The last big-budget summer opus that goes straight for the sensory overload without any substantial intelligence is TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. That may seem like an easy target given the characters’ origins, but as far as the turtles go they aren’t the main issue. Nope, it’s the Homo sapiens that deliver the most problems for this one, all of whom amount to one stereotype after another. April O’Neil is nothing more than a hot chick that wants to be a serious reporter and get the “big story” (My God, that trope is tired) and William Fichtner’s evil corporation bad guy is literally in it for the money. There’s no interesting twist or flaw or anything that makes these characters stand out above their paper-thin back-story; they rely on the usual devices so lazily that it’s almost baffling. Why not just cut the human filler and give us more turtles? That’s really what we all came to see, anyway, and they certainly could’ve benefitted from some more screen time.

The defense for movies like these is typically that people know what they’re getting, but that feels more like an excuse than a reason. It’s just not good enough. So, why did four big-budget summer movies (at least) come off so lame-brained? Well, one factor that continues to have an impact on the types of summer “blockbusters” we’re getting is the foreign box office, where films are making more and more money from a wider audience (TF:AOE made $821 million overseas, compared to $243 million domestic). With massive cultural differences and much being lost in translation, the easy way to the pocketbook of foreign markets is to keep it simple (i.e. explosions and CGI).  That's not to insult foreign audiences, either. It's simply the way that Hollywood looks at it to "play it safe" and deliver the most "universal" story possible. The other issue is that all-encompassing PG-13 rating, which certainly means anything made for beaucoup bucks is going to go straight for the masses, rather than a targeted group.

That’s not to say that there aren’t still smart blockbusters being offered. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES were true winners, both critically and financially, but others didn’t fare so well (domestically, anyway). EDGE OF TOMORROW, SNOWPIERCER, and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 are solid examples of great summer movies that delivered the thrills, smarts, and heart, yet they stumbled at the domestic box office. It’s difficult and frustrating to figure out when good movies struggle and bad movies succeed and certainly there are more variables involved than blaming audiences, foreign markets, bad marketing, piracy, etc. In some instances it’s a perfect storm of all those reasons that hold back a great movie from hitting its stride.

So, do a handful of films not living up to their potential mean that Hollywood is dumbing down their blockbuster films on purpose? I can’t say for sure, but it’s worth asking the question. When you look at the money and energy put into these films you certainly hope that it’s to make the best product possible, rather than the most profitable across multiple continents and age groups. We get it, you want to make money, but does it have to be at the expense of coherency, character, and integrity? I suppose it’s a common complaint, but it’s one that continues to resurface, so there’s definitely something rotten in the state of Denmark when dumb “bad blockbusters” soar and smart “good blockbusters” plummet. Here’s to hoping summer 2015 makes a stronger bid for quality. The potential is there for the taking, but I’d put my money on at least a few more disappointments to add to the growing pile.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Do you think some blockbusters are being dumbed down for mass appeal or is it simply the nature of the summer movie season? Let’s hear what you got!

Source: JoBlo.com

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8:51AM on 08/27/2014
I really enjoyed Godzilla, but didn't bother seeing Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers AOE or TMNT.
The three I didn't see, I kinda knew what to expect from previous movies or reviews - the chances of them being genius were pretty slim. There will always be dumb blockbusters and then big movies with a bit more heart or brain, like Guardians Of The Galaxy or Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Take your pick.
I really enjoyed Godzilla, but didn't bother seeing Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers AOE or TMNT.
The three I didn't see, I kinda knew what to expect from previous movies or reviews - the chances of them being genius were pretty slim. There will always be dumb blockbusters and then big movies with a bit more heart or brain, like Guardians Of The Galaxy or Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Take your pick.
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7:31AM on 08/27/2014
I honestly don't think blockbusters are getting dumbed down. I think people are getting to critical. We live in a very "now, now, now" era, and most movie fans, people like us who scour the internet looking for that next bit of information for a movie 2 years away (Star Wars, Bats vs. Supes) build up these expectations that nothing can live up to. Look at the movies the article lists as smart, they are all, with the exception of X-Men, movies that sort of flew under the radar and people didn't
I honestly don't think blockbusters are getting dumbed down. I think people are getting to critical. We live in a very "now, now, now" era, and most movie fans, people like us who scour the internet looking for that next bit of information for a movie 2 years away (Star Wars, Bats vs. Supes) build up these expectations that nothing can live up to. Look at the movies the article lists as smart, they are all, with the exception of X-Men, movies that sort of flew under the radar and people didn't really look a lot into. Transformers and Turtles are easy to hate on because of the stigma that comes with the name Michael Bay. But if you go back to certain blockbusters we thought were the best, turned out not everyone loved them, we just didn't have the internet to "prove" us wrong on something so subjective. Examples, look up Stargate, Independence Day, Bad Boys or Bad Boys 2, even the first two Ninja Turtles movies don't score well, and don't forget for all the complaining we did about changing the story in the new one, they did in the original.
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3:31AM on 08/27/2014
I'll have you know that I have defeated my temptation to watch the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in theaters.Even if it's a very small thing compared to the millions of dollars that the movie have raked in, I want to think that I'm doing the best I can to ensure the future of our children and our children's children from ever having to sit through another Michael Bay-ish summer blockbuster crap ever again.
Also, I felt really guilty for having watched Age of Extinction. That franchise to
I'll have you know that I have defeated my temptation to watch the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in theaters.Even if it's a very small thing compared to the millions of dollars that the movie have raked in, I want to think that I'm doing the best I can to ensure the future of our children and our children's children from ever having to sit through another Michael Bay-ish summer blockbuster crap ever again.
Also, I felt really guilty for having watched Age of Extinction. That franchise to me is like having a relationship with an abusive hot girlfriend.
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12:23AM on 08/27/2014
The answer to the headline, is 'yes'. The question in response is; 'After you saw Jaws, were they any good to begin with?'
The answer to the headline, is 'yes'. The question in response is; 'After you saw Jaws, were they any good to begin with?'
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10:45PM on 08/26/2014

I know why...

Because people in general are getting more stupid. Being told what to do, going for the popular thing, and having things handed to them. Rant over.
Because people in general are getting more stupid. Being told what to do, going for the popular thing, and having things handed to them. Rant over.
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12:25AM on 08/27/2014
People don't like to think for themselves anymore. They would rather be told what to enjoy, appreciate, and absorb within their life.
People don't like to think for themselves anymore. They would rather be told what to enjoy, appreciate, and absorb within their life.
6:51PM on 08/26/2014
This year is no different than any other summer. There's always a mix of good and dumb summer blockbusters. In the past we had films like Battleship, Batman & Robin, Godzilla (98), Fantastic Four, Pirates 4, Die Hard 5, White House Down, etc.
This year is no different than any other summer. There's always a mix of good and dumb summer blockbusters. In the past we had films like Battleship, Batman & Robin, Godzilla (98), Fantastic Four, Pirates 4, Die Hard 5, White House Down, etc.
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7:05PM on 08/26/2014
Ugh....White House Down.....I finally saw that on HBO the other day. I thought I had witnessed the bottom of the barrel of crappy film stunts until his daughter ran out onto the lawn waving the flag....which the pilots saw (from miles away) and decided to ignore direct Presidential orders to stop a nuclear holocaust.....you know, because shooting where you might hurt someone is bad.....
Ugh....White House Down.....I finally saw that on HBO the other day. I thought I had witnessed the bottom of the barrel of crappy film stunts until his daughter ran out onto the lawn waving the flag....which the pilots saw (from miles away) and decided to ignore direct Presidential orders to stop a nuclear holocaust.....you know, because shooting where you might hurt someone is bad.....
4:44PM on 08/26/2014
Worst thing is both Transformers 4 and TMNT were huge hits at the boxoffice (Transformers still may be #1 worldwide.)
If dumb/bad films make money you can't blame Hollywood for making more of them.
Worst thing is both Transformers 4 and TMNT were huge hits at the boxoffice (Transformers still may be #1 worldwide.)
If dumb/bad films make money you can't blame Hollywood for making more of them.
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4:42PM on 08/26/2014
Your just realizing this. Hollywood programs 99 percent of its movies for idiots. In a few more years it will simply be ass the movie.
Your just realizing this. Hollywood programs 99 percent of its movies for idiots. In a few more years it will simply be ass the movie.
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12:28AM on 08/27/2014
President Camacho agrees!
President Camacho agrees!
3:28PM on 08/26/2014
Dawn and X-Men were amazing. As for the other films, Spider-Man 2 looked rush from the start. I've heard good things about Godzilla, Transformers 4 looked promising with Wahlberg but then the trailers just took a dump on that one til Dinobots showed up, as for TMNT, i've heard that it was better than #3 but that's kinda not saying much.
Another one i really liked was LUCY...yes it was a little different but the mix of sci-fi with Scarlet Johannson equals quite a good time plus you have God
Dawn and X-Men were amazing. As for the other films, Spider-Man 2 looked rush from the start. I've heard good things about Godzilla, Transformers 4 looked promising with Wahlberg but then the trailers just took a dump on that one til Dinobots showed up, as for TMNT, i've heard that it was better than #3 but that's kinda not saying much.
Another one i really liked was LUCY...yes it was a little different but the mix of sci-fi with Scarlet Johannson equals quite a good time plus you have God himself, Morgan Freeman.
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2:24PM on 08/26/2014
thank you for underlining the major fault in Godzilla, making the title draw something that was marginalized into the background. I liked it for the monsters, hated the stupid human family stuff being shoehorned in.
thank you for underlining the major fault in Godzilla, making the title draw something that was marginalized into the background. I liked it for the monsters, hated the stupid human family stuff being shoehorned in.
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2:33PM on 08/26/2014
Meh.....I liked the family drama. You had very good actors doing a passable job acting around the ridiculous concept of 300' tall dinosaurs (powered by nuclear energy and having EMP abilities). Could it have been better? Absolutely! Cranston was wasted, Watanabe never had the chance to explain any of his theories, the military's decisions were never fully explained, and Olsen was criminally underused.

Now compare those characters to the badly acted, poorly written, one-dimensional
Meh.....I liked the family drama. You had very good actors doing a passable job acting around the ridiculous concept of 300' tall dinosaurs (powered by nuclear energy and having EMP abilities). Could it have been better? Absolutely! Cranston was wasted, Watanabe never had the chance to explain any of his theories, the military's decisions were never fully explained, and Olsen was criminally underused.

Now compare those characters to the badly acted, poorly written, one-dimensional dreck we got in Pacific Rim (probably the second best monster movie ever made). Everything about Godzilla was better except the cool long fight in the end of the second act of PR. I enjoyed both, but Edwards did a MUCH better job of selling the danger and seriousness of Godzilla. Now he just needs to find a way to increase the big guy's screen time in the next one.
8:16PM on 08/26/2014
While I liked and recommend the movie for the most part, it definitely took a bad turn passing from Cranston's character to Johnson's. Cranston could have carried the whole picture, but sadly the studio felt they needed younger actors to attract that all important 18-28 (or whatever it is) demographic....
While I liked and recommend the movie for the most part, it definitely took a bad turn passing from Cranston's character to Johnson's. Cranston could have carried the whole picture, but sadly the studio felt they needed younger actors to attract that all important 18-28 (or whatever it is) demographic....
1:20PM on 08/26/2014
I don't think Hollywood is dumbing down Blockbusters at all. Guardians of the Galaxy, Winter Solider, Edge of Tomorrow, Days of Future Past, Godzilla, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are all prime examples of great Blockbusters. While films like Amazing Spider Man 2, Transformers 4, Hercules, and Expendables 3 arent. So I think the good outweighs the bad (at least for this summer). And it's all about the talent these films attract and the direction each one of these films take.

It's just
I don't think Hollywood is dumbing down Blockbusters at all. Guardians of the Galaxy, Winter Solider, Edge of Tomorrow, Days of Future Past, Godzilla, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are all prime examples of great Blockbusters. While films like Amazing Spider Man 2, Transformers 4, Hercules, and Expendables 3 arent. So I think the good outweighs the bad (at least for this summer). And it's all about the talent these films attract and the direction each one of these films take.

It's just horrible that Edge of Tomorrow didn't do better at the Box Office. One of the best and smartest blockbusters of recent and more we need more of
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2:23PM on 08/26/2014
WTF is wrong with the software here? I added a sentence to my post and it created a new one below, then attached the same one to someone else's post as well......
WTF is wrong with the software here? I added a sentence to my post and it created a new one below, then attached the same one to someone else's post as well......
2:25PM on 08/26/2014
I wouldn't call Godzilla a "smart" blockbuster, but it's not NEARLY as bad as some of the crap we've happily paid for in the past (ID4 & Twister anyone?). People like the author of this article always yearn for the time when we got "smart" blockbuster movies, but that's crap. Once you get past the few really great big money releases that stand the test of time, you find that a lot of the stuff these guys pine over simply doesn't. For every "Star Wars" or "Jaws" (although that was hardly a
I wouldn't call Godzilla a "smart" blockbuster, but it's not NEARLY as bad as some of the crap we've happily paid for in the past (ID4 & Twister anyone?). People like the author of this article always yearn for the time when we got "smart" blockbuster movies, but that's crap. Once you get past the few really great big money releases that stand the test of time, you find that a lot of the stuff these guys pine over simply doesn't. For every "Star Wars" or "Jaws" (although that was hardly a big money production), we had tons of crap that was just thrown out there for people who just wanted big explosions or hot girls in bikinis.

Yes, the onset of high quality CGI has been accompanied by a reduction in the depth of the characters, but it doesn't mean all of the new ones are dreck......or that all of the old ones were diamonds.

BTW, I thought Hercules was exceptional for a Brett Ratner movie. They cleverly left it up to you to decide if there was something mystical about him, while giving reasonable explanations for the myths that sprung up around these characters. I thoroughly enjoyed that one.....just not on the level of Guardians or DOFP.
2:25PM on 08/26/2014
Triplicate post.....{sigh}
Triplicate post.....{sigh}
7:40AM on 08/27/2014
See I think it's to subjective. I thought Godzilla was as dumb as any popcorn movie, trapped in the atmosphere of a movie like Apes. I didn't care for it much, but didn't hate it. On the other hand, I thought TASM2 was the best summer movie in a long time (I'm in the minority) with the way they handled the characters on the Super, and human side of it all. I still say that in today's movie going world, if Marvel Studios made the same two Spider-man movies with the promise of incorporating him
See I think it's to subjective. I thought Godzilla was as dumb as any popcorn movie, trapped in the atmosphere of a movie like Apes. I didn't care for it much, but didn't hate it. On the other hand, I thought TASM2 was the best summer movie in a long time (I'm in the minority) with the way they handled the characters on the Super, and human side of it all. I still say that in today's movie going world, if Marvel Studios made the same two Spider-man movies with the promise of incorporating him into the Avengers somehow, half the people who don't like it, would.
12:55PM on 08/26/2014
Unfortunately, this has been the trend for a while now. It's partly fueled by the fact that audiences lap up drivel like Transformers (and so studios realize they don't need to put much time or effort in order for their product to become a hit), and partly because of the ignorant mentality of so many moviegoers that some movies are just there to "entertain", that they can just "shut their brains off" for 2 hours and just enjoy the ride...which to me, is just an excuse to ogle at pretty
Unfortunately, this has been the trend for a while now. It's partly fueled by the fact that audiences lap up drivel like Transformers (and so studios realize they don't need to put much time or effort in order for their product to become a hit), and partly because of the ignorant mentality of so many moviegoers that some movies are just there to "entertain", that they can just "shut their brains off" for 2 hours and just enjoy the ride...which to me, is just an excuse to ogle at pretty actors/actresses, gawk at incoherent action sequences, and simply have something to do on a Saturday night. That mentality just enables studios to put forth no effort into their movies, and so we're left with a never-ending cycle of Transformers, TMNT, The Amazing Spider-Man, and others that will make bank at the box office, but aren't actually very good movies at all.

Meanwhile, movies like Snowpiercer and Edge of Tomorrow are doomed to fail, simply because they dare to go against normal Hollywood conventions. Inception should've proved that SMART summer blockbusters can also rule the box office, Guardians of the Galaxy should've reinforced that notion...and yet, nothing ever changes. It's disheartening, to say the least.
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2:16PM on 08/26/2014
Actually, Edge Of Tomorrow failed because it was a tired story with a terrible ending utilizing an action hero that is officially past his expiration date. I saw it, I moderately enjoyed it, and I'd rate it as one of the most mediocre films I saw this year. There was no point where it surprised me, and the cop out ending was beyond eye-roll inducing.

Seriously, I don't get all the slobbering adoration for the film. The best thing about it was Blunt's character, and there wasn't enough
Actually, Edge Of Tomorrow failed because it was a tired story with a terrible ending utilizing an action hero that is officially past his expiration date. I saw it, I moderately enjoyed it, and I'd rate it as one of the most mediocre films I saw this year. There was no point where it surprised me, and the cop out ending was beyond eye-roll inducing.

Seriously, I don't get all the slobbering adoration for the film. The best thing about it was Blunt's character, and there wasn't enough of her being the badass she started out as.
3:48PM on 08/26/2014
bane - amen to that.
bane - amen to that.
12:45PM on 08/26/2014
This article should have been posted sometime in the 1990s.
This article should have been posted sometime in the 1990s.
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12:14PM on 08/26/2014
I saw Captain America 2, X-Men DOFP and Guardians and they were all good,
I saw Captain America 2, X-Men DOFP and Guardians and they were all good,
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+1
11:58AM on 08/26/2014

Sorry but..

this is just pointless complaining on our parts.

It's just as useless as the "3D as a gimmick" argument. It is here, and it will stay this way unless people simply "smart up" and stop giving the Bays of the Biz money to make them.

And since the "snapchat check my phone every 30 secs" generation is ruling the show... this is what we get as a result.

Hell.. just look at Die Hard or Expendables.. even the "toughest" actors on Hollywood are going the dumb PG13 route.

*sigh*
this is just pointless complaining on our parts.

It's just as useless as the "3D as a gimmick" argument. It is here, and it will stay this way unless people simply "smart up" and stop giving the Bays of the Biz money to make them.

And since the "snapchat check my phone every 30 secs" generation is ruling the show... this is what we get as a result.

Hell.. just look at Die Hard or Expendables.. even the "toughest" actors on Hollywood are going the dumb PG13 route.

*sigh*
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11:53AM on 08/26/2014
I actually like all those movies listed. Are they perfect? Far from it, but I enjoyed them. I get that people want intelligent, thought provoking, and well acted movies, and those do exist, but sometimes after a long week, SCREW THAT!!
Now, I will say this, ASM2 is pretty terrible, not for Jaime Fox or Green Goblin, but rather I thought the soul of what makes Peter Spider-man was...gone. Yes, villains were bland too, but the soul of the movie was lost for me and that is why I disliked
I actually like all those movies listed. Are they perfect? Far from it, but I enjoyed them. I get that people want intelligent, thought provoking, and well acted movies, and those do exist, but sometimes after a long week, SCREW THAT!!
Now, I will say this, ASM2 is pretty terrible, not for Jaime Fox or Green Goblin, but rather I thought the soul of what makes Peter Spider-man was...gone. Yes, villains were bland too, but the soul of the movie was lost for me and that is why I disliked it.
Godzilla. Man I loved seeing him on the big screen. I liked this movie a lot but disliked Ford (which I know he can act better) and I didn't care to really follow his adventures. Overall though, the destruction Muto's inflicted and seeing Godzilla, that was all fantastic to me.
Transformers. As a fan of the series, I really enjoyed this one too. Now, the person that wrote the article didn't even bother to watch it, and to be frank, since they hated the previous and friends said "stay away", there is no chance the person that wrote the article can remotely enjoy this movie, so that's that. Me, I find the series fun, although like every movie, far from perfect.
TMNT Had a terrible villian (fitchner) and Fox needed to breathe less heavily while talking, but I LOVED the turtles. I actually did not like Splinters voice though. The movie has it's bland plot, but it was funny, it was entertaining, and it made me smile.

Now, I am a "moments" person when it comes to movies. So, if I saw a movie in theatres, when I buy the dvd, unless I am watching it with someone, I generally watch only the parts I enjoyed. Revenge of the Fallen is about an hour long for me and I LOVE that hour. This is how I enjoy movies and rate them, based on moments.
The smarter movies, GOTG is a fantastic movie, Winter Soldier is a fantastic movie, X-men (with all the inconsistencies) is a fantastic movie. I plan on seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Edge of Tomorrow when they come out and again, I hear they are fantastic. So, with that, it's fairly balanced. You have overall fantastic movies mixed with movies that are meant to just kick back and watch. No one is forcing you to see them and yes, it sucks when a great movie doesn't break the box office. I still want Dredd 2.
That's life though.
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11:35AM on 08/26/2014
Yes of course they are. but they are simply listening to the audience. Audience demands more spectacle. Demands more action and thrills. But the audience tends to not know how to make a movie. Jaws, commonly referred to as the first blockbuster, vs something like Transformers, clearly they no longer care about good writing. Who cares about plot? Who cares about good dialog?That's usually what you hear from people who like action movies. Most people they just don't realize it. Why is First Blood
Yes of course they are. but they are simply listening to the audience. Audience demands more spectacle. Demands more action and thrills. But the audience tends to not know how to make a movie. Jaws, commonly referred to as the first blockbuster, vs something like Transformers, clearly they no longer care about good writing. Who cares about plot? Who cares about good dialog?That's usually what you hear from people who like action movies. Most people they just don't realize it. Why is First Blood better than Expendables? Why is the first Die Hard better than the last Die Hard? They were actually trying to make a movie rather than just getting off action fans.
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12:01PM on 08/26/2014
I think comparing 20+ yr old movies to now doesn't work. That said, you aren't wrong either. Die Hard series was great but 4 and 5 forgot about what made the first 3 so much fun. For example, the first 3 are realistically time based where John was under pressure, in the sense that there was a direct danger to him personally. 4 and 5 wasn't about that anymore, and that's where the series lost it's soul. They made a movie and ignored what made the previous movies memorable. Back then too, movies
I think comparing 20+ yr old movies to now doesn't work. That said, you aren't wrong either. Die Hard series was great but 4 and 5 forgot about what made the first 3 so much fun. For example, the first 3 are realistically time based where John was under pressure, in the sense that there was a direct danger to him personally. 4 and 5 wasn't about that anymore, and that's where the series lost it's soul. They made a movie and ignored what made the previous movies memorable. Back then too, movies still had a chance at being original scripts in some ways. Now, nothing really is. Even Transformers 4 mocked that before Cade found the truck.
12:53PM on 08/26/2014
GodMagnus, why does comparing 20+ year old movies to recent blockbusters not work? We're talking about Hollywood dumbing down their blockbusters for audiences. How do can we discuss something being "dumbed down" without comparing it to what's come before.

I think looking at the Die Hard franchise is the best way to show how movies are being dumbed down. The first Die Hard was a simple enough story made great with excellent characters and believable plot points. As the franchise
GodMagnus, why does comparing 20+ year old movies to recent blockbusters not work? We're talking about Hollywood dumbing down their blockbusters for audiences. How do can we discuss something being "dumbed down" without comparing it to what's come before.

I think looking at the Die Hard franchise is the best way to show how movies are being dumbed down. The first Die Hard was a simple enough story made great with excellent characters and believable plot points. As the franchise progressed, the action scenes got bigger and louder. Now you look at Die Hard 5 and the story as well as the action scenes are not even comparable to anything in the original Die Hard.

This could be said of summer blockbusters in general. Back in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's, the stories were well crafted, characters were fleshed out, and the plot points were generally believable within the reality of the movie. Blockbusters of today are all about getting from one big action sequence to the next. It's all about holding the attention of teenagers and early 20's kids who can't focus on something more than 20 minutes at a time before they need to check Facebook. What's been sacrificed? Good/intelligent story telling.

And now when good blockbusters are produced, they're overlooked because the teenagers and early 20's can't comprehend and pay attention to the movie long enough to get what's happening. As a result, they tell everyone they didn't like the movie and it wasn't good because they can't understand what transpired within the story. Compare this to Transformers, those same kids don't need to say if the story was good, they just need to tell their friends about the cool fight scenes and how hot Wahlberg's daughter was in the movie.
+2
11:32AM on 08/26/2014
Guardians, Godzilla, Edge, and Apes are probably my best of the year so far, oh Cap 2 was good also.
Xmen - its a pass for me, but nothing more - too many stupid plot holes which could easily be avoided.
TMNT - fun, but ruined the origin of the turtles - they learn from a book?
Expend 3 - well it was only 1 hour of expendables and 1 hour of newbies that no one cares about.
TF 4 - I actually enjoyed this one (I don't like the other 3) but for some reason I found this one more entertaining.
Guardians, Godzilla, Edge, and Apes are probably my best of the year so far, oh Cap 2 was good also.
Xmen - its a pass for me, but nothing more - too many stupid plot holes which could easily be avoided.
TMNT - fun, but ruined the origin of the turtles - they learn from a book?
Expend 3 - well it was only 1 hour of expendables and 1 hour of newbies that no one cares about.
TF 4 - I actually enjoyed this one (I don't like the other 3) but for some reason I found this one more entertaining. its not perfect of course, but I think a lot of people are just judging it based on previous entries and not as a movie on its own terms. Bay fixed a lot of the problems I had with the others and the action will still amazing.
Amazing Spiderman - well I liked Spidey in this movie and the fights. I don't think this is as horrid as everyone is saying. part one was horrid. this was much better, but not as good as the real spiderman 2 (then again that's one hell of a great movie)

Hollywood is dumbing down movies though!
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7:14PM on 08/26/2014
So we can't learn from books? Is that now a new thing now, books can't teach?
So we can't learn from books? Is that now a new thing now, books can't teach?
11:31AM on 08/26/2014
I know that a lot of people didn't like Amazing Spider-Man 2, but Electro did have a defined story and motivation. It's perfectly fine to not enjoy the movie and to disagree with the validity of the story of the villain, but it's just makes you sound like you didn't see it when you pretend that there was not one.
I know that a lot of people didn't like Amazing Spider-Man 2, but Electro did have a defined story and motivation. It's perfectly fine to not enjoy the movie and to disagree with the validity of the story of the villain, but it's just makes you sound like you didn't see it when you pretend that there was not one.
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11:35AM on 08/26/2014
it was a fun movie for me. I hated part one and the storyline with his parents in this one was TERRIBLE - wow we learned that oscorp is bad! glad we wasted 30 mins of screen time finding that out.
But other than the look of Electro, I liked him and the fights were good.

I think it was fun and I liked Spidey in it - good portrayal of him!
it was a fun movie for me. I hated part one and the storyline with his parents in this one was TERRIBLE - wow we learned that oscorp is bad! glad we wasted 30 mins of screen time finding that out.
But other than the look of Electro, I liked him and the fights were good.

I think it was fun and I liked Spidey in it - good portrayal of him!
7:15PM on 08/26/2014
It's my favorite Spider-Man movie of the five.
It's my favorite Spider-Man movie of the five.
8:21PM on 08/26/2014
It's funny, because I thought the movie was a lot of fun, but I can't say it was a good movie. The script was just weak, but I'd take it over Transformers any time.
It's funny, because I thought the movie was a lot of fun, but I can't say it was a good movie. The script was just weak, but I'd take it over Transformers any time.
11:19AM on 08/26/2014
If there's an intelligent summer blockbuster movie this summer, it's Godzilla. It's more of a slow-burn action summer blockbuster rather than blow things up in your face style like Transformers (which can be at least 30 minutes shorter). For TMNT, it's not that bad but I think it's really playing it safe since every one jumped on it when it was first announced that the Turtles would be Extra Terrestrial in origin. In the end, it wasn't bad but wasn't that good either. I think summer movies
If there's an intelligent summer blockbuster movie this summer, it's Godzilla. It's more of a slow-burn action summer blockbuster rather than blow things up in your face style like Transformers (which can be at least 30 minutes shorter). For TMNT, it's not that bad but I think it's really playing it safe since every one jumped on it when it was first announced that the Turtles would be Extra Terrestrial in origin. In the end, it wasn't bad but wasn't that good either. I think summer movies overall are a bit dumbed down/watered down for mass appeal. I like what Jedd The Jedi said of Inception as "thinking man's action movie".
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12:17PM on 08/26/2014
Thanks Netforce.
Thanks Netforce.
12:50PM on 08/26/2014
You're welcome, man. In terms of Thinking Man's Action Movie, I can only think of 3 Jack Ryan movies (Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, and Clear and Present Danger) with the exception of Shadow Recruits - just not my cup of tea.
You're welcome, man. In terms of Thinking Man's Action Movie, I can only think of 3 Jack Ryan movies (Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, and Clear and Present Danger) with the exception of Shadow Recruits - just not my cup of tea.
11:13AM on 08/26/2014
1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn't half as good as Spider-Man 2.
2. Transformers sucked AND was too long.
3. And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was ghastly bad.

Literally none of those three statements I did not see coming a year ago, so I'm not surprised at all.

I say all things being equal it's been a pretty good summer, with Guardians of the Galaxy being both an instant classic and hands-down the highlight of the season. I haven't got a chance to see Hercules, Edge of Tomorrow, or
1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn't half as good as Spider-Man 2.
2. Transformers sucked AND was too long.
3. And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was ghastly bad.

Literally none of those three statements I did not see coming a year ago, so I'm not surprised at all.

I say all things being equal it's been a pretty good summer, with Guardians of the Galaxy being both an instant classic and hands-down the highlight of the season. I haven't got a chance to see Hercules, Edge of Tomorrow, or X-Men yet, but I plan on blind buying all three of those blu-rays.

P.S. Godzilla was awesome. Sorry you didn't see the same movie I did.
P.S.S. Into the Storm. Pretty goddamned awesome.
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11:03AM on 08/26/2014
Godzilla was excellent. It took itself just seriously enough while clearly being made by a director with a love and respect for the source material. People go to summer blockbusters for the escapism and I really love big, silly action movies. It is true that they don't have to be dumb; I point to Inception as a great example of a "thinking man's action movie" even if a lot of viewers turned on it later on. I think that the homogenisation of Hollywood, how everything is focus grouped and market
Godzilla was excellent. It took itself just seriously enough while clearly being made by a director with a love and respect for the source material. People go to summer blockbusters for the escapism and I really love big, silly action movies. It is true that they don't have to be dumb; I point to Inception as a great example of a "thinking man's action movie" even if a lot of viewers turned on it later on. I think that the homogenisation of Hollywood, how everything is focus grouped and market tested, contributes to this feeling of summer blockbusters being "silly". Also, there's the ever-growing international market, especially China, where the chief concern is spectacle and not story or character. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of my favourite movies of the summer because it's fun, light-hearted and silly but never insultingly so and there are some genuinely emotional moments in it. Above all, that was a bunch of characters I really wanted to hang out with. I never got the sense that I wanted to hang out with April O'Neil or the Turtles, which should have been the case.
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2:30PM on 08/26/2014
Godzilla did what the Toho source material, and even the 90's version didn't do, they didn't cut away from the action. Sorry, you can't skip around what people payed to see to focus on family drama and some seriously contrived storytelling to insert a character into every important story beat. IMO what should have been a 8 or 9/10 film was reduced to a 6-7/10 film because of that crap.
Godzilla did what the Toho source material, and even the 90's version didn't do, they didn't cut away from the action. Sorry, you can't skip around what people payed to see to focus on family drama and some seriously contrived storytelling to insert a character into every important story beat. IMO what should have been a 8 or 9/10 film was reduced to a 6-7/10 film because of that crap.
10:52AM on 08/26/2014
I completely disagree with you on Godzilla. I loved it! They made an old school Godzilla film, which is exactly what a lot of us wanted. Who wants to see monsters beat each other for 2 straight hours?? The tease led up to the final fight, just like every other Toho Godzilla film made. It kept me excited to see the big guy again as the movie progressed. I loved every minute of that film and it was my favorite for the summer and had me clapping and giddy like a kid again in my seat.

Now the
I completely disagree with you on Godzilla. I loved it! They made an old school Godzilla film, which is exactly what a lot of us wanted. Who wants to see monsters beat each other for 2 straight hours?? The tease led up to the final fight, just like every other Toho Godzilla film made. It kept me excited to see the big guy again as the movie progressed. I loved every minute of that film and it was my favorite for the summer and had me clapping and giddy like a kid again in my seat.

Now the others you mentioned.....yeah, they were huge let downs.
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10:59AM on 08/26/2014
Godzilla - I have been having this battle with people. I own every G movie on vhs, dvd, and bluray - yes I triple dipped them all (minus 1985 which for some reason is not on dvd in region 1?)

anyway this new film used the same formula as every showa era G movie. that was the era they were referencing. which was a good idea, since those were all broadcast in north America and those were the ones that showed G as a good guy.
Godzilla - I have been having this battle with people. I own every G movie on vhs, dvd, and bluray - yes I triple dipped them all (minus 1985 which for some reason is not on dvd in region 1?)

anyway this new film used the same formula as every showa era G movie. that was the era they were referencing. which was a good idea, since those were all broadcast in north America and those were the ones that showed G as a good guy.
11:06AM on 08/26/2014
I also own 22 of the 29 films (only because some weren't available on DVD yet) and this movie felt like a Godzilla film to me! Went with my parents for my Dad's birthday and they loved it too. My Dad even said "Glad it wasn't some giant iguana"

1985 is on DVD now you just have to search for it. Amazon is a good place to find it.
I also own 22 of the 29 films (only because some weren't available on DVD yet) and this movie felt like a Godzilla film to me! Went with my parents for my Dad's birthday and they loved it too. My Dad even said "Glad it wasn't some giant iguana"

1985 is on DVD now you just have to search for it. Amazon is a good place to find it.
11:26AM on 08/26/2014
1985 - yeah??????? I cannot find it - like region 1?
ok ill search again.
other than that they are all on dvd - megalon was a crappy edition though, and the bluray (which is coming soon) isn't much better.

yes, this was a G movie - the only thing missing was subs (or bad dubbing)
1985 - yeah??????? I cannot find it - like region 1?
ok ill search again.
other than that they are all on dvd - megalon was a crappy edition though, and the bluray (which is coming soon) isn't much better.

yes, this was a G movie - the only thing missing was subs (or bad dubbing)
11:54AM on 08/26/2014
Here ya go...DVD for all Regions. It's a bit pricey but I am someone who paid $70 for Destroy all Monsters so I could have the original voice track instead of the newer one that is on most DVDs


[link]1985
Here ya go...DVD for all Regions. It's a bit pricey but I am someone who paid $70 for Destroy all Monsters so I could have the original voice track instead of the newer one that is on most DVDs


[link]1985
12:06PM on 08/26/2014
Thanks man!
Thanks man!
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