Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The SCOTT Trade

Last week we talked about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World's less-than-impressive box office take during its opening weekend, and things didn't improve very much for its second weekend either. The Wrap's Brett Lang lays out some of the possible reasons the movie may have belly-flopped here (and I can't say I even disagree with his point about Michael Cera) but John Lopez at Vanity Fair is taking a different approach and outright imploring you to check out Pilgrim in the theaters before it's gone. Says he:
What’s with the pushiness, you ask? Why is this so important? Well, one could argue, if you’ve ever complained at all about the woeful state of cinematic storytelling—how you get more engaging narratives in email forwards than you do at the movies these days—a healthy aversion to hypocrisy pretty much compels you to get your butt in that seat. See, as much as we like to complain about cynical studios and throwaway films, the fact is they make money—or just enough money to justify the bad habits. And if you must know, that’s what studios are trying to do (make money). Further, they don’t make junk out of some callous desire to inflict bland pain on our eyeballs. If anything, they inflict bland pain on our eyeballs out of fear: fear that they’ll take a tentative, baby-step stab at something different, something that presents semi-realistic issues, imperfect characters, and complex resolutions in a novel way—and no one will come. And they’ll lose money. And all the nay-sayers will take the box-office numbers as the final word on a movie’s worth. Worse, the studios won’t make those movies because when you’ve bet $100 million on “something new” and come up short, it doesn’t matter if in your heart of hearts you can tell yourself you made a good movie: you’re not going to bet your next $100 million the same way. If you still have a $100 million to bet. Or a job.
Can't argue with that.

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