Boiling Point: Blockbusters


When will Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen stop being headline news?  When it stops earning millions of dollars every day and dominating the box office, despite (in spite of?) a critical lashing.  Say what you will about the latest Transformers installment, love it or hate it, it is what it is: a summer blockbuster.  These films used to be something we looked forward to and celebrated.  As the rockets red glare of a Chinese made firecracker bursts in air on the Fourth of July, we gleefully tuck ourselves into a darkened theater to watch things explode on a monumental scale.  It was lighthearted, fun, guilt free entertainment.  And it was good.  Now, slovenly and out of touch basement trolls want to take that away from us.  Bearded entertainment writers and snooty glasses wearing snobs and those kids with faux-military hats in coffee shops rap-tap-tapping on their latest screenplay have joined forces to malign the blockbuster.  In the words of Penn & Teller (ok, really just Penn) – that’s bullshit.

Is it so wrong to want some mindless entertainment?  Is it so wrong to want to enjoy something rather than study it?  A movie doesn’t have to contain some life altering lesson or tear-jerking ending or, even worse, some quirky characters who talk like a hipster’s wet dream.  Sometimes all a movie has to do is make you laugh.  Make you smile.  Make you toss your popcorn to the ceiling and just hump the air in celebration as yet another car you’ll never afford flips six times down a highway and then explodes.  But now that film is the enemy.  I’m not sure if any of you have read, but several critics have attempted to call Transformers the end of cinema.  They fear its success.  They’re afraid that because the movie is so entertaining profitable that Hollywood will only want to create carbon clones to mimic its box office success.  Seriously?  How idiotic do you have to be to believe that?  More and more ‘quirky’ little movies and independent features make it into the marketplace now than they did years ago.  The real carbon cloning is in Apatow-esque comedies, anyways.  In a time of studio belt-tightening do you think they want to shell out $200 million each time they roll the dice?  No, there will always be small movies.  A $15million investment that turns in $45million in receipts is always a better bet than a $200million gamble that nets $400million.

So why the ire against the summer blockbuster?  Fun, popcorn movies have given us Iron Man, Star Trek, and Revenge of the Fallen.  We don’t need Downfall or Lolita filling up our summer screens.  We want big fun to celebrate some time away from work.  Who wants to walk out of a film all gloomy?  It’s not like comedies cease to exist either — The Hangover is doing extremely well in the midst of a summer movie bonanza.  No, these critics are just snooty anti-fun mother fuckers.  To them if a movie costs more than $12million to make, something is wrong off the bat.  If it doesn’t challenge them with circuitous and asinine language, it’s not clever enough.  If your movie has a fireball that didn’t just incinerate an orphanage full of children who were 1 day away from being adopted, then screw it.

Summer has a history of being the time for larger than life, over the top movies.  How dare you try to shame us for enjoying that.  Just because we don’t like the same movies as you doesn’t give you the right to insult us.  Or did you forget how the minority opinion works?  In a world where cash talks and bullshit walks, you can kindly make for the exit because there are 500 million votes worldwide that we just want to watch some explosions.  Five hundred million dollars worth of people who just want to have fun in a dark theater.  So fuck you for trying to take that away.  Does this massive summer audience shit on your Junos or your Away We Gos or your Synecdoches.  No.  You can enjoy whatever little film you want, free of scrutiny.  But we choose to pay to see some fun eye candy and you call us idiots?  Fuck you.  Not every great work of art has some alarming meaning behind it.  The Mona Lisa is just a portrait, nothing more.  The wall mural in my room of a mustached strongman powerbombing a shark is there just because its cool.  There is no deeper meaning.  Does that poster on your wall represent something to you or did it just look cool as shit?

In closing, since most of these same jerkwads who call us idiots for indulging in blockbuster fare (whom no doubt scarf down copious amounts of Burger King to get all the collectible cups – should they not only choose elegant dinner fare?) are the same ones who attack Michael Bay just because it’s cool for them to do and he’s the poster boy for the summer blockbuster, I’d like to point out a few things.  Only once (The Island) has a film he directed failed to be profitable domestically.  All of his films make a profit internationally.  His average box office pull is more than $173 million per film.  He was handpicked by both Jerry Bruckheimer and Steven Spielberg to helm projects.  Clearly, the man is very good at what he does – entertaining.  So cut the guy a break.  He doesn’t shit all over your little website or your tiny magazine and his movies make more in a day than your newspaper makes in a summer.  The man has got my vote, and millions of other votes, when it comes to continuing to make fun summer movies for us to chill out to.  And hey man, if you hate a movie, that’s cool, but what the fuck do we care?  You gave your review, we didn’t listen now leave us alone.  You don’t want to start a name calling game, for all of us internet boys and girls have fragile egos.  So thanks for the heads up on your opinion, but we’ll take it form here and have a fun summer basking in robotic decimation.  In the meantime, you can get off your cinematic high horse, quit complaining about us not seeing movies we don’t want to see and mind your own business so I don’t spend this whole summer past my boiling point.

Do you enjoy blockbuster movies?  Does enjoying them mean you won’t enjoy other films or smaller films?  Nah, I didn’t think so, but discuss below anyways.

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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