By now you’ve probably realized I’ve got more than just one bone to pick with Hollywood. There’s a lot that sends me into a raaaaaaage. I’m talking Red Hulk style rage. And one recent development has rapidly been climbing the ranks on the list of things that piss me off, and that’s the turn-around, or lack thereof, of topical projects.
For example – a Barack Obama documentary is already in the works. What? Listen, in 12 months, this guy could be a forgotten memory and a blurb in the history books. Why do we need a documentary about him right now? Because he’s in the news, someone thought “Hey, free advertising.”
United 93 at least waited 4 years to get rolling, but a lot of people felt even that was too soon. Did that story need to be told and did it need to be told then? Not really. Everyone knew what happened. We all saw it. We all saw it on the History Channel. It was unnecessary to begin with, and a little too early.
Look back in history. There has generally been a little buffer zone. World War II is the exception, though many of the films released then about the war amounted to not much more than propaganda, which I’m not saying is a bad thing. But if you ignore The Green Berets, which was a Vietnam film in the vain of the World War II celebratory films, Hollywood gave Nam about a 10 year rest. The first movies started coming out like 3 years after the end (Deer Hunter) while some of the past came out ten years later (Platoon). Right now there are something like four Iraqi war movies in the pipe line, added to Freedom Writers, Stop Loss, Rendition, and Redacted.
What is the rush to put these movies out? None of them did well (or will do well, Stop Loss) at the theaters. Why? There is no interest. We don’t have to watch a dramatization of something on the news. Give it some time. Redacted was already in theaters pointing the blame on a group of American soldiers “based on a true story” before those soldiers even faced a trial. And guess what – all of the ones who have since gone to trial have been found not to have been horrible murdering monsters slaying civilians. Last I checked, one person was still awaiting trial.
Back on the political side of things, there is a George Bush biopic in the works staring Josh Brolin. Again, too soon! These books aren’t even finished being written yet. How can you make a movie when the story isn’t done? Fuck that, man.
Now I don’t care too much about documentaries coming a little bit on the quick side, though I do think if you’re making a documentary about a Presidential campaign, maybe you sit on that and let the story wrap up first, you know? But biopics and straight up dramas and movies about the shit going on right this second. Have some patience, for crying out loud. There is no need for this. I wonder, looking back, how many movies that rushed to come out, end up looking stupid as shit because they’re just plain wrong. I reckon a lot. Ask Mark Cuban how that worked out for him.
So as always, maybe I’m just a testy guy who’s had it up to here. Maybe patience is a virtue long lost on the masses and you can’t wait to switch from MSNBC News Coverage of Obama to his feature length documentary. Maybe instead of reading the AP Wire you want to see Harrison Ford take Fallujah by force. But not me. Not now. I love fucking war movies and I eat them up, if they were your milkshake, I would drink them up, slurp! But they’re not. They’re movies. And for the most part, I’d rather just have them take some time and make retrospective films rather then concurrent films that end up screwing up the story because they couldn’t wait to see how it ended. Maybe I’m overreacting and being unreasonable, but it’s my column, and I’m past my boiling point.