I’m Having a Hard Time Getting Excited About [Insert Name of Upcoming Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie Here]…
…because Hollywood is all about the special-effects-porno when it comes to science fiction and fantasy right now. Seriously, it’s all about the cool effects, the explosions, the slow-mo pan, the lens flare (I’m looking at you, Abrams), the really detailed thing moving super fast to confuse the eye and create an impression of WOW WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT I CAN’T WAIT TO BUY THE DVD SO I CAN PAUSE IT AND GAZE AT ALL THAT DETAIL WITH MY EYE THREE INCHES FROM THE SCREEN.
It’s about “creating excitement,” the first and only commandment in the marketing Bible. Dazzle ’em and make them talk about how blown their minds were today, because, let’s face it, ticket sales happen in the short term, and a butt not in the seat is less likely to buy merch and DVDs later.
Well, it’s hard to blame someone for trying to make some money. But we just don’t get the Logan’s Runs and Soylent Greens anymore. It’s too unpredictable to try to make a hit with…. you know, story.
The smart bet is to reach right through the visual cortex, grab it, and shake until money and screams of delight fall out.
And so I’m having a hard time getting excited about science fiction and fantasy films lately. Because I’m a story guy, and the special effects porn might make a lot of other people come to the theater, but it just doesn’t do it for me.