Sunday, October 10, 2010

credit where it's due

Loathe as I am, as always, to discuss BoxOffice numbers... well, what do you know? Defying my initial skepticism, "The Social Network" is actually doing quite well for itself - though what's most impressive and gratifying in this case is that it did so this weekend by coming out ahead of a ghastly-looking Katherine Heigl rom-com and Disney's big juicy ass-kiss to the "Family Values" set, "Secretariat."

"Secretariat," incidentally, isn't a BAD movie (it's nowhere near as vile as "The Blind Side," which is the movie it wanted to be) so much as it's an incredibly dull, uninteresting one. This is mostly due to trying to impose the "plucky underdog" inspirational-sports-movie formula onto a story where it doesn't fit - Secretariat was highly-regarded as a genetic miracle of a super-horse, and it was the MARGIN of his victories that were surprising, not the outcome - but it's also due to the self-conscious pandering to "Blind Side's" audience.

See, since the movie doesn't have an "underdog" in the horse, it has to find one in it's female owner i.e. "hmph! What's SHE doing here? Horseracing is a MAN'S sport!"... except, well, "Feminist" is still a dirty-word to the "Values" crowd; so all the conflict is muted in THIS part of the story, too: Marriage-strife kind of just "fixes itself" (in real life, they divorced), and all the grumpy-old-men "come around" without much fuss and the only real "bad guy" is the owner of the rival horse who is, of course, a swarthy "ethnic" caricature.

7 comments:

MAHistorian said...

The Social Network is the latest example of no matter what Geek/Nerd film is, whether it be superheroes, starships, or websites, if the film's has all four elements: good directing, good special effects, good writing, and can convey its universal theme(s) effectively, then, it can transcend from being a Geek/Nerd film, to not only be a good film but even a classic and timeless film.

The film second week, as number 1,at the Box-Office proves this because if a film like The Social Network is good, in the for mention categories, and it can convey its universal themes effectively, then, it has the staying power, at the Box-Office, over, a shallow romantic comedy and a pandering inspirational-sports-film.

Christopher said...

No offense Bob, but I fucking called it that Social Network would do JUST fine. Like I said before, people are fully well aware of what Facebook actually is. People did not flock to the theaters to see a movie about computer nerds, but the birth of something 1 in 16 people in the entire world has an account to. EVERYONE knows what Facebook is, but did they know what Kick-Ass or Scott Pilgrim was about? Hell no. All they knew they were based on a comic book, which these days is like saying this movie comes from a book. There's nothing special anymore about a comic book film since we are inundated with these things. The only ones that stand out are recognizable figures: Hulk, Spider-man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Superman, Batman, etc. Other comic book movies like Iron Man and Hellboy needed to step up their game in the trailers to show something truly mindblowing and made sure that it was marketed in every channel, theater, and pop-up ad. Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim limited their marketing to the internet and the "geek" crowd. That's it. But that doesn't cut it if you want a studio to make the big bucks, which they are desperate to do. They need to deliver an insanely good trailer and replay it everywhere. That's why Scott Pilgrim and Kick-Ass failed, not because of hate towards intellectuals, but blissful ignorance of something truly great

tyra menendez said...

I'm not the first to say this, but I still find it funny that Disney has made a family movie, about a "sport" that only exists to support gambling.

akkuma420 said...

Facebook- The Movie has good "special effects"???

Interesting...

Charles Ragesmith III said...

@akkuma420

Probably referring to the Winklevoss twins who were played by the same actor. They used a new CGI thing, instead of the usual split screening. Very subtle, worked great.

Hiding behind "Harmondale" said...

Its nice to see credit given where credit is due. Still waiting for a chance to see this movie, Hope its as good as it sounds!

Joe said...

That all said, I'm kind of sad Let Me In didn't do better at the box office. A few crappy and pointless CGI scenes aside, it was an excellent remake of the original Swedish film. And the performances, especially the child leads, were amazing.