Boiling Point: Studio Blindness


Oh studios. Studios, studios, studios. These are the guys responsible for remaking your favorite movies, crapping on your franchises, changing sad endings, and releasing spoof movies. You hear the cries against them constantly, especially from those on the internet. Hell, even from myself, when the situation warrants it. Is there anything good you can even say about studios? Yes. You can say a hell of a lot of good things about them. Namely, they make movies, which everyone who visits this site can claim addiction to. You see, this Boiling Point isn’t about studios, no, it’s about the critics and the fans and how we react to studios in mainly two absurd ways.

The less common reaction – superfandom. In recent memory, the studio that could lay claim to superfans was Disney. They had cornered the animation and children’s market and were beloved by all. But all was not great in the Kingdom of the Mouse as the Disney Co. was usurped and even turned (temporarily) into the villain by Pixar, who now, despite a limited slate of releases, commands arguably the largest legion of superfans. This superfandom first became apparent around 2003, after the release of the very successful Finding Nemo. Shortly after, Pixar was being praised to the gods on Olympus, and their catalog of shorts was selling on iTunes and receiving praise. Fast Forward Selector! Now we’re in 2008 and Pixar is almost guaranteed universal praise for anything they release. That’s fine. But what disturbs me is the ferocity and blindness of the superfans. There is a backlash against Monsters vs Aliens, a fine and entertaining film, seemingly because it’s simply not from Pixar. Various critics, when pressed, come up with vague assertions of it not being “good” or “lacking heart,” something which is generally followed up with some reference to Pixar. Are you kidding me? It’s absurd to use the releasing or creative company as a judgment criteria. I have yet to have anyone actually express what I would consider valid criticisms against Monsters vs Aliens, and the only people I’ve heard be negative about it have mentioned Pixar. You, good sirs, are idiots.

The more common reaction – the evil studio is totally evil. A studio so vile that when a trailer sucks, it’s the studios fault. When the movie sucks, it’s the studios fault. No matter what goes wrong with a film, you point a finger straight back at the studio and the audience goes “I knew those fuckers fucked it up!” Evil personified, in this case, by Fox Studios. Much of the backlash surrounding X-Men Origins Wolverine was pegged squarely against Fox – and perhaps justifiably so. In specific instances, in regards to changes or releasing SNAFUs, sure, the studio should take much of the blame. But the pure animosity towards Fox was ridiculous. Fox was an evil demon from hell for suing Warner Bros. over Watchmen rights. Reminder – Warner Bros. screwed up. Fox was legally right. Imagine if you had bought the plans to a unique mansion and you set them on your shelf for a few years. Later, you look across the street and see your mansion is 85% built and you had nothing to do it with and now you’ve lost your special mansion. That analogy sucks – deal with it. Just like you need to deal with the fact that Fox isn’t the devil. They brought you Die Hard damn it! In the past decade or so, Fox has also given you: Fight Club, X-Men, Cast Away, Moulin Rouge!, Ice Age, Road to Perdition, Master and Commander, and Night at the Museum. Let’s also remember they helped with the good Star Wars movies, not just the bad ones.

So what I’m saying is temper yourselves when it comes to studios. Just because you like most of what a studios does, doesn’t mean you have to like it all and vice versa. You can’t take points away from a movie because it came from the “wrong” studio. Bring some objectivity with you to the office, friends, and judge a movie based on what happens after the title card and before the credits. Other than that it’s all political bullshit. Further, remember to cut the studios some slack from time to time. I know they screw up – I’m right there with you when they do. But they also take big gambles making movies for millions of dollars based on what they think we might like. Since the first motion pictures came into existence, they’ve been a business. Whether it was a man kissing a woman or a horse running in a straight line, it was sold right off the bat. We should remember to be grateful every now and then that people are dedicated to bringing massive entertainment spectacles to the big screen. So this week I double up on my rage – whenever some super fanboy obsessively jerks over Pixar but refuses to acknowledge that another animated film can reach the same heights or whenever someone needlessly, wantonly, and absurdly craps all over a major studio responsible for some of our fondest movie experiences, I skip past my boiling point.

What do you think about Pixar fanboys? Are studios needlessly made the villains or do they deserve harsh criticisms?

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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