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Hollywood Holding Action

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The LA Times ventures into the troubles of the action genre with “Pause in the Action”.

You’d think the company town’s home town paper would be more in tune, or at least strive to exhibit same, and get better quotes than, “The thing that’s most important to the audience is a feeling of connection to the character….” This from the president of the studio that released Kingdom of Heaven, for cryin’ out loud. I saw it. I don’t remember if there were any hugs but I do remember that at the climactic moment, the character we should have been connected to SURRENDERED!

This, in a time of war, is what Hollywood expects to earn money.

It is actually heartening that that dreck of a movie did better outside the US. It must be disheartening for the stockholders of 20th Century Fox, though, that their major studio now makes foreign films, for other countries.

The LA Times writer notes too, somewhat gleefully, that from the current crop of actioners “Anything that smacks of rah-rah American patriotism has been removed…”

And the financial problems of Hollywood are a mystery to these people? The industry writers and the presidents of major studios can’t spot the clues they speak and scribble themselves??

Not that all modern action movies have to be Sands of Iwo Jima but pay attention to the clues, and the news, Mr. President of 20th Century Fox. A significant segment of the audience might just support the war, and you can bet a majority at least hope it turns out well. They’d be interested in something a little more positive, and engaging, theme-wise, than an Act 3 surrender.

James Webb here exhibits more film biz savvy by noting the global marketplace may dictate a diffusion of patriotism, but heck, American money is green too. In fact, it’s greener than most, and closer to home.

As for action characters, the elfin Orlando Bloom does not manage to connect, by a mile. And Kingdom of Heaven did as much damage to the auteur theory as Coppola did with The Rainmaker. (For the record, the cracked edifice of the auteur theory deserves more than a little erosion.) Is this the same auteur who made Gladiator?

We’re beyond Frank Capra and Why We Fight, sure, but we could stand a little more Mrs. Miniver. Now there’s a character to connect with.


Originally posted at Feel the Love…I mean, Cinema Squeeze.


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