I love movies, I love many different genre and style of movie. There are some genre that I enjoy more than others but by and large I love movies. As an avid movie fan Hollywood’s offerings as of late have felt very flat. I look at Hollywood and wonder what is missing? What is wrong? What the hell?
To best realize what is missing today I started by looking at the past to see what different societal and cultural influences made the movies what they are today. A wise man once said “follow the money”, I don’t know who this man is but he was onto something.
The peak of movie attendance was a very long time ago, 1946 to be exact. That was the pinnacle of people going to the movies. The late 40’s were that incredible time for Hollywood when there was a very eager market with lots of disposable income and not a heck of a lot of competition. Movies pretty much could not be made fast enough. The 1950’s gave movies some credible and long lasting competition, of course I am referring to the all mighty TELEVISION. The reaction Hollywood had to this competition was of course the 1960’s decade of crippling overproduction. Movies entered an era of style over substance that in the long run hurt movie studios. The end of the 1960’s did manage to give us a surprise in Easy Rider, a free wheeling movie that changed perspectives of the moviegoer and studios to some degree. That one movie helped usher in a decade of stylistic and artistic brilliance known as the 1970’s. The 70’s that gave us such powerhouse franchises as Star Wars, Rocky, Indiana Jones and Aliens. Although this decade was artistically stout it was very inconsistent in delivering financial rewards for the movie studios. This inconsistency lead to the beginning of the end, the 1980’s ushered in the practice of making movies by formula.
Movie studios moved from making movies to targeting specific demographics to extract money from their wallet. Creativity has been replaced by preproduction market research which determines the audience before production starts. This is a stark contrast to the creative freedom of prior years. This is an era where movie endings are changed by market research and characters are made more for their marketing potential and toy promotions than their character arch. Now that we have reviewed where we have been it’s time to reveal THE MISSING INGREDIENT! Hmm, getting to the main plot point so late, that is NOT going to test well with the 18 – 24 demo! Looks like SOMEONE won’t be selling any limited edition slurpee cups.
Of course when I speak of “the missing ingredient” I am talking about THE CANNON GROUP INC. Holy double takes batman, the CANNON GROUP? That’s right, The Cannon Group Inc. Movie Studio is what is missing from modern era movie making. Bare with me folks, this theory has some validity just look at all the text on this page. For those of you reading that do not know the history of the studio (most likely that demo I lost above), The Cannon Group is a movie studio that was active from 1967 – 1993. Wanna know why a movie studio that had a 26 year run was the game changer for all of Hollywood? Because they were the wild card, they were the crazy wacky unpredictable movie studio that was not B-movie and not top shelf. They were the thick meaty MID-LEVEL movie studio that did what they wanted with a vapid disregard for the viewer, a now extinct breed. We now live in a barren world of no-budget indie films struggling to swim up stream or the fat bloated uber-budget soon to be forgotten mega-movie. The indie film maker might take some risks in their hapless endeavor but the 30 or so people that see it won’t care enough to tweet about it and the blockbuster movie studios will only be doing safe franchise “reboots” or adaptation movies for the foreseeable future. In case you missed it the term “reboot” means Hollywood is taking crap movies we have already seen and RE-CRAPPING it out again and again. Hell, why bother thinking up a new story or character? Just take an existing story and make it all dark and edgy. Film it in that crappy grey brown that video games have adopted and off you go! Instant classic.
I am not a doom and gloom psychic saying that the end is neigh, but I am saying this period in film history will be seen as a dark sad time. Hollywood has become a formulaic crapfest churning out simple minded movies one after another. I have always liked B-movies, but modern B-movies stop and wink at the camera more than they try to act. My love for movies was born in the Chop-suey factories of Hong Kong in the 1070’s, guys in rubber monster outfits stomping on a fake citiscape and last but certainly not least the far out 50’s sci-fi flicks. Most do not consider these movies, but I submit to you these oft forgotten gems contain more heart and passion than most every blockbuster of the past 30 years. Look to The Cannon Group’s catalog if you want to discover wacky funny slick silly movies that are far better than they ever deserved to be. Not every one is a hit, there are plenty of bombs but I will bet dollars to donuts that you will laugh and smile and come away wanting more. See if you don’t, I double dog dare you!