Saturday, August 29, 2009

"One Eyed Monster" or Cinema's Descent into Stupidity

The inspiration for this post came to me after I spent around two hours with breaks watching an absurdity called “One Eyed Monster”. This is a B-movie about an alien possessing porn legend Ron Jeremy’s nine-incher and rape-murder the cast of an adult movie, who are stuck in a cabin during a blizzard.

The existence of such a premise alone poses the question: How far can people stretch the limits of creative stupidity? In the case of the Fields brothers, the creators of this movie, I’d have to guess that they can extend it the way Mr. Fantastic does with his extremities. But this idea wouldn’t be as bad, if it only remained an idea. Alas since there is a movie, then there was a whole group of people, who gave green light to this project, which poses another question: How low are the criteria in the movie industry to allow the shooting of this film, even if it’s a B-Movie? Apparently they go very low. I understand that today everybody has the freedom to put out any kind of content and I support this idea, but I am also a supporter of the idea that there should be at least a form of inner censorship that can say enough is enough.

Since I sound like a prick right about now, you must be wondering why I watched it and not say, delete it into oblivion, but instead bashing a very bad movie, when an intelligent person wouldn’t bother. That afternoon I had a friend over and our longest tradition together was to download and watch something extremely weird or idiotic and make fun of it. It’s a great way to manage stress, but this movie got me thinking where the movie industry is headed. Don’t think of me as a movie snob, because I believe that there is a cinema for every cultural need a human being can develop.

As such I also believe that there are movies that are solely created to entertain in one form or another without the need for mental input from the viewer. Transporter was all about action and adrenaline, while the first Scary Movies drove me to a heart failure with laughter at low brow humor and slapstick stupidity. I like it when a movie just triggers a mood that lasts and doesn’t involve much thinking, but I really like it when they are done right.

But where is the quality in the purely made for entertainment movies? This is question that “One Eyed Monster” led me to. This year has been very weak with movies made for that purpose. “Bride Wars” was bland; “The Haunting” as well; “The Spirit” and “Crank: High Voltage” almost made me vomit, while “Transporter 3” bored me and parodies haven’t been that great either. It would seem that right about now we are subjects to a steady stream of sequel series. Action is let loose without much of a plot like the edited mess of blurs that is Crank: High Voltage and nudity and sex are tastelessly served.

I guess sex is a major part in the movie industry, since sex generally sales, but lately this marketing technique has been boosted to new heights. For instance the upcoming “Jennifer’s Body” will heavily rely on Megan Fox exuding sex appeal rather than her acting ability. I think the movie will be good, but there are far too many grisly results where sex doesn’t help at all like the dildo scene from “Van Wilder: Senior Year”, “Crank: High Voltage” and “Zombie Strippers”, where necrophilia and striptease blend into something mind numbing.

I don’t judge, because for every movie there is a willing audience and I know that people wouldn’t enjoy things I watch and read and like in general, but I can’t help, but worry about the path the movie industry has taken. If the blockbuster list and new, strange productions speak about the taste in entertainment of today’s general viewer, then doesn’t that mean that flick by flick the general movie goer is dumbing down?

What do you think about this?


cj said...

Oh my, Henry. What a question.

But first, I've got to say you have got to be kidding me with this movie. I mean, seriously. What group of brain dead idiots thought something like that would be a good idea? Good grief.

Okay, that said, Hollywood is, in my opinion, becoming a bankrupt place. Bankrupt of ideas, that is. Look at all the old TV shows they are remaking - and more often than not badly. They keep retreading the same once successful movie into sequels that are worse and worse. And yes, everything is being reduced to the lowest common denominator - sex.

Personally, I don't like crass, in-your-face jokes about sex or any of the bathroom jokes that seem to be the basis of most movies these days.

You'd think Hollywood would pick up on the fact that it is the movies like Harry Potter and the kid's movies - animated or not - that do the best.


Harry Markov: daydream said...

CJ: Sadly it's no joke. The movie is real and after reading some reviews people are actually liking it, which scares me more than the fact that it exists really.

And I know how you feel about ideas in Hollywood. The good movies come from book adaptations and even comic book ones like the latest Batman and Watchmen, but almost none are original scripts. The sole movie I can name that I know is original is "Juno", everything else is copied out of somewhere and sequels nauseate me.

To be honest I can be low brow, so the jokes of this kind don't bother me much, but there is a way to handle them, which is a tremendous undertaking for any writer/director.

The Kid In The Front Row said...

Come on guys, it's not like this film spells the end of Hollywood. For every film you don't like about something absurd, there are movies like 'Little Miss Sunshine' and 'In Search Of A Midnight Kiss.'

One Eyed Monster isn't meant to be 'Shawshank Redemption' you know, it's just a piece of fun, which it is -- there's no need to read into it so seriously and get all depressed because it isn't Citizen Kane.

Harry Markov: daydream said...

You misunderstand me a little bit. I am not spelling Hollywood's doom, just contemplating on the average person's definition of fun.

I'd love to watch more movies like the original Van Wilder, Road Trip, the first Scary Movie, Repo The Genetic Opera and Return of The Living Dead. I don't expect the industry to put extra effort in every production, but I also think that there are some ideas that shouldn't be directed.

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